This is my third attempt at writing this blog post. I have never been afraid to write a post for my blog, until now, and even at that I don’t know if this will even get posted. However, when I discovered that today is World Mental Health Day I felt it was important to share my story because I believe every story, no matter how big or small, is an important story… So here goes.
I guess I don’t know when it all started, I just woke up one morning and realised this lingering sadness wasn’t going away. I rolled over and checked my phone hoping no one had contacted me. They had. I put it back onto my bedside table and pulled the quilt back in towards me. I stared at the ceiling, weighed down by the unfamiliar feeling in my heart. Was it sadness? Numbness? Was I empty? As familiar tears rolled gently down my cheeks, I heard footsteps and prayed they weren’t walking towards my bedroom door. I wiped away the tears, but there was nothing gentle about that. The door sprung open, my mum throwing her hair back into a ponytail – “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I just feel sad all the time.” I mumbled through blubbers. This was the only way I could describe it – the pains in my chest, the love for my bed and the frenzied thoughts in my mind – I just felt sad. There was nothing dramatic about it. There was no major cause or occurrence. I just felt sad. I still feel sad as I am writing this in the same place I was that morning – my bed, my safe haven.
In general I am a very social and sensitive person. I love getting involved in conversations, I am always open about my emotions and I am never afraid to cry. Recent times were different though, I would wait until late at night when I was alone to cry because I didn’t want to worry my family or burden my friends, and the thoughts of social media made me feel anxious. I became unmotivated and lost that zest for life. I wanted to be alone, I wanted to go unnoticed for a few days, maybe even weeks, in order to come back to a world that felt enjoyable for me to be in again. Eventually I did cry, I cried on an average Wednesday in a room full of people. I didn’t want to cry in this setting but it was something I had no control over. I then went home and cried some more, and I have been crying ever since.
I feel sad, I feel lost and I feel confused. Very confused. I felt my identity drift away as my confidence and happiness did. Even coming back to my blog now, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for the absence I needed to take. In my head my wisest words are covered with dust and my smiley pictures are a little blurry. While I want all my dreams to come true, I want to pause life for a while. As my plans and to-do-list built up, I became overwhelmed and everything else shut down. I cannot explain how or why but for some reason I feel negativity fall on me every day.
This feeling is new to me and pretty scary. Although I have always been an anxious soul, not being able to lift myself out of this gloomy phase makes me feel powerless… I used to be able to throw on some music and a nice outfit and instantly feel lifted. I worry about life, I worry about myself and then I worry about every other thing I have absolutely no reason to worry about. I have always been a worrier, but right now I really need myself to be a warrior.
I have no explanation or cause for this feeling, and the thoughts of sharing this story scares me even though it is minor in comparison to the stories of many others. It scares me because I feel alone, it scares me that other people may not understand it and think I am strange or making it up. My only explanation is that lately I go through periods where I just feel overwhelmingly sad. However, there was something about today that needed to be the day. As I walked through my local town this morning, I was met by a man working on the road, he looked at me, the warmth of his smile beaming onto my face just like the sunshine was. “Beautiful morning!” he said. And he was right, there is something beautiful in every day and even though darkness can linger for a long while, the sun will always appear again eventually.
I wanted to write this because it may have been unexpected. You may not have seen it coming if you read my blog or meet me during the day. You may only hear my humorous, disastrous night out stories or see my over the knee boots and denim jacket strutting past you down the street while I’m holding three Penneys bags. That is okay though because this feeling was a surprise to me too. I think it is time to take care of my body on the inside just as much as I take care of my body on the outside.
And how about the fear of sharing this here even though I share hundreds of other stories about my life with my followers? Well, I guess that all comes down to the stigma around mental health, but my mum advised me to do what I do best even if I just wanted to keep it to myself. Of course she was right as always, because writing is what I do best and it turned out that writing this was a refreshing form of therapy that only I could bring to myself. So from me to you, whoever you are and wherever you may be, here I am, a physically healthy 21-year-old woman with an endless love of laughter and socialising, pouring my heart out from behind closed doors onto my most public platform. At the moment I am not feeling okay, but that is okay. A problem shared may not always be a problem halved, but I would definitely prefer to cry with a cup of tea and a friend by my side, so I really hope you do that too.