Tuesday 24 March 2015

Faking it for 16 years

For 16 years, I have felt helpless, worthless, anxious, lonely and depressed. 16 years. That is literally half my life. It's a scary thought when I think about that. 16 years of virtually hiding who I am. This no doubt has affected my relationships with friends, family and boyfriends. There are constant feelings of life passing me by and there is constant disappointment about where my life has headed. 

I guess I have been fortunate that even though I have had suicidal thoughts, they have been far and few in between and I never realistically thought of going through with it. The closest I ever came was running a push pin up and down my arm till I bled. Just ended up looking like a cat had scratched me. This was during my late high school years and early university life and have since realised that that type of behaviour is not at all healthy and the faint scars on my arms remind me of this.

I've never made a proactive action to seek help because I always believed you just took the good with the bad, but in the last few years, while the good has still been good, the bad has gotten worse, much worse. I guess the black dog is making its presence known.

The last four days in particular have been quite difficult. as Clarissa Vaughan said in The Hours: "I seem to be unravelling". I have been filled with anxiety and had minimal sleep. I have cried four times for no apparent reason (which I have fortunately been able to do in private) and have had very little appetite and force fed myself to eat something.

Today I finally booked an appointment with my GP to get a referral for a psychologist. As soon as I booked it, I began to talk myself out of it, thinking that I'm not really depressed, I'm just over-reacting or that there are people out there who are worse than me who need help. I was very close to cancelling the appointment but held out.

This evening, I watched Fake It Till You Make It. A show created by performance artist Bryony Kimmings and her boyfriend Tim Grayburn, in which they talk about Tim's eight year battle with chronic depression and anxiety. There were many moments where I fought back the tears and some where I let them flow. Hearing their story has made me realise that I am not being silly and am making the right choice in seeking proper help.

There is still that voice in me telling me to cancel and just deal with it, but after 16 years of 'dealing' with it, I need to accept that I can't keep living like this. Despite the smiles, the jokes, the friends, the active social life and travelling around the world having exciting experiences, I am scared and lonely and depressed but now I also feel hopeful too and that's a good thing.

So here goes...

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