From the heart

My Secret Battle

I have wanted to write about this for a little while.

Until now I have never been brave enough (or silly enough?) to actually do it.

I’m considerably private and the thought of being judged or talked about kills me. I wouldn’t want to appear weak and vulnerable and although it shouldn’t, any sympathy makes me feel awkward and undeserving.

All I’m desperate to be is the strong, easy going, happy person that I know I am but this part of me is becoming harder to find.

Some days I feel ‘normal’ and day to day life is rosy, crystal clear and beautiful. I am a better me and feel so grateful for everything in my life and excited for the future.

When I least expect it the bright, easy days get darker, my vision turns blurry and my brain becomes so tired and foggy. I am painfully lonely and I truly get lost for a while. Every day I am trying my absolute hardest to find my way back.

1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from a mental illness. If it is so common then why am I ashamed to admit that I am one of those statistics? 

Why do I feel so uncomfortable and scared to even talk about it? 

Years ago, before I was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression I didn’t understand it at all. No way was it a real ‘illness’ and as awful as it sounds, I thought ‘depressed’ people were just negative and attention seeking. Obviously now my opinions have dramatically changed and I appreciate the facts. 

Mental health problems can be genetic or caused by traumatic life events, but you can also be the happiest person in the world with a wonderful life and just like a physical disease – a mental illness can affect you at any time. It’s not as simple as being a bit worried and sad, it’s completely crippling and destructive.

I don’t want to be anxious or to feel depressed. I hate it. If I could snap out of it, believe me I would. This illness has changed me as a person, halted opportunities, knocked my confidence and ruined friendships. A constant voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough and everything is hopeless, the first thoughts that enter my mind as I wake up and the last at night. It makes me tearful, irritable, on edge, exhausted and unable to concentrate or make plans. 

The worst part is the guilt I feel for how I am. I’m aware there is so much worse going on the world and some people go through more upset than I will ever comprehend. My life is pretty good and in so many ways, I am unbelievably lucky. I also worry so much that my children notice the down days even though I make every effort to shield them from it.

I know I push people away when I’m at my worst and it’s not that I don’t want help, but it’s because I cant stand my loved ones witnessing me in a bad place and I like to make people feel happy, not miserable or awkward. Anxiety also tells me that nobody cares or ‘understands me’, which deep down I know isn’t the case.

As I mentioned before, a lot of the time I can keep everything under control and I’m ok. I look for every positive outcome and treat most issues with a sense of humour. I’m still not certain what triggers my problems and why I go through these difficult periods, but hopefully one day I may understand a bit more. In the meantime, I shall carry on battling and not let the illness win, like so many others. I’m not the only one with issues and we all fight our own inner demons every day.

This was a big step for me and I have posted this for a few reasons. To air my thoughts and feelings, to raise some awareness about mental health and hopefully to reassure someone out there feeling the same. There’s definitely not as much stigma towards mental health as there was in the past but it still seems a bit of a taboo to talk openly about.

Thank you for reading.

Roxanne

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10 thoughts on “My Secret Battle

  1. I suffer with depression, ocd and anxiety,I,can relate with the guilt.and the shame. But if.we are open then hopefully one day mental health maybe better understood. Because mentalillnrss is a illness that should be taken serious just like a physical illness X #triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad you shared your story, I know it will help so many. I will be sharing this on Twitter and on my Facebook! It is so important to break the stigma!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I empathize with you and I am also glad for your bravery in sharing your story. You may have helped just one, or millions of people who feel/felt exactly how you do just take that extra step. Stop the stigma that mental illness brings by sharing stories. This world has a shot at getting kinder because of your bravery. ❤ #Triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have battled depression and anxiety all of my life. But, did not aggressively start taking meds everyday religiously to make me feel like I could function and at least be a somewhat normal person. Sometimes before the meds I thought I couldn’t breathe, or there were bricks on my chest, or the littlest problems were the biggest crises. I’ve went through two marriages and my third my husband had a cerebral hemorrhage of the brain and I had to take him from life support. During the short 3 1/2 years together from 2012-15, between my kids’ father and my new husband and a very stressful job, I had a nervous breakdown. The children were at school, I had a severe migraine for days and had lost track of the meds I was taking, my new husband got hurt on his job and I wasn’t filling ALL of my mine. But, I got ahold of his pain killers and my Xanax, and I almost died. My children were taken the next day. I was was locked up for evaluation for 10 days and released. I let him have custody. We both are Government workers and make good money. I’ve paid child support ever since. Something snapped. You HAVE to stay on your meds. If you have negativity in your life, remove it. I live by myself now. My Son graduated and just my daughter is with her father. I’m alright with wherever she wants to live. It’s just a geographical location. Too many people fight for custody and there is no since in it. I pay child support. I’m a parent. I have mental illness. I’m a suicide survivor. I’m 5 years from retirement. I’m doing ok. Learn from me. Learn from this woman. Be brave. One more thing. Remember I told you my ex and I work at the same place? Just think how I had to walk in those doors after trying to take my life, losing my children, people gossiping about me, I cried in the bathroom stalls everyday. Still sometimes I do. People still judge. There is that saying, don’t judge til you walk a mile in my head! Remember that! Stay strong! Take your meds. Talk, talk, talk. Don’t clam up! Ask for help. Don’t do what I did. I almost died on my driveway! It’s NOT worth it!
    Shelly : )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing your story with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope it was theraputic for you in some way. Just remember with every storm comes a rainbow! Keep your chin up and if you need to talk to someone I’m here if you need a chat.
    I hope to see you back next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done for writing this. It will help people realise they’re not alone.
    I’m a fellow sufferer too.
    Thanks for linking up with #instalinklove, it is for Instagram pics only but you can always include a link to the post in your picture, hope we see you there again tomorrow, it’s open from
    6.30am x

    Like

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