Hello everyone, So this is a different kind of post compared to the beauty reviews and all my favourite cosmetics etc.. This is one is more of a personal one about my battle with depression and anxiety, where it started, where it continued and where I am with it today. If this sort of topic interests you or you too are suffering with these illness please keep reading on and let me know your thoughts. It's a bit of a long post but please bear with me . Thank you all for reading and for your continuous support.
My name is Gráinne and I am currently battling depression and anxiety. These feelings go way back to when I was 6 years old just after my grandfather died. I always remember being terrified that my parents and I were going to die. I remember following them around the house terrified of letting them out of my sight, if they went to the bathroom I would sit on the top stair outside and keep talking to them so I knew they were still alive. If it got darker through out the day I needed reassurance that it was just getting dark and I wasn't losing my eyesight. (my grandfather died of a brain tumour and was blind by the time he died). I became obsessed with death and was so terrified of it, it used to keep me awake at night worrying I was going to die in my sleep, I would never tell anyone, well mainly because I was 6 and I couldn't find the right vocabulary to explain how I felt but also because I remember thinking that I may get in trouble if I said anything because my grandfather just died and I worried that they might have got annoyed, which looking back now I know that wouldn't have been the case.
So moving forward we moved house to Celbridge from Dublin when I was 7 years old, leaving behind school friends and my best friend Lyndsey, only born 10 days apart (me being the eldest) and we only lived 3 doors down from each other. I changed schools and made new friends but always missed Lyndsey, again vocabulary wasn't my friend and I couldn't explain how I missed someone at 8 years of age. I made some more amazing friends in Celbridge (more so in secondary school) and I was so content with life I had great friends and was doing well enough in school. We all went to the same school too, which helped a lot. That was all to come to an end though just a month before my 15th birthday when my parents decided to move to Offaly, during my junior certificate. This was huge, a massive move away from best friends, my school and everything I was so used to. I started a new school in Westmeath and from day one the bullying commenced, I hated every second of it but I had 3 more years to endure, my "best friend" at the time was also getting bullied but little did I know I would be on the receiving end of her too, so I was going to school being bullied, coming home being bullied, I couldn't get away from it. I started smoking and drinking from a young age and totally rebelled against life. I hated it and wanted to just be oblivious to it all. I would find myself skipping class in school where I would hide in the bathrooms and self harm, I needed a release. I would take myself out of class to attend counselling sessions, which done absolutely nothing for me at the time but it was an hour away from the bullies. Any escape I could get I took. Then I got so ill, I remember my throat being so swollen I could barely take a breath, so my parents rushed me in to hospital where I was diagnosed with acute tonsillitis, this was only the start. They hooked me up to some morphine and I was in heaven! It was just so bliss, no pain, away from school and all the shit to go with. (excuse my language). The nurses were very worried about my health and had told my parents to expect the worse news which was what they thought was leukaemia due to very high white blood cells, thankfully the results came back and it was only glandular fever! So I was out of school for 2 months or so. It was great!! my "best friend" at the time used to come home from school and tell me how the girls who were bullying us had said that they were going to "lay off" me and give me a break... how nice of them right? so I finally plucked up the courage to go back to school thinking I might actually be OK and that all the shite would stop. How wrong was I?... Day one back in Business class and I have to scribble out stuff written about me on tables, I then go out on lunch and have rocks and stones thrown at me, I get names shouted at me. It was just horrific. I really wanted to kill myself at this stage, I mean how much can one person take. I would go home and sleep, write dark poems, cut myself some more and became very introvert. I was terrified of everyone. And all the while I still put on a brave face for family and friends. Yo're probably wondering why didn't I just change schools, I often considered it but I was terrified that the same thing would happen in other schools and I couldn't go through all that change again, also It wasn't something you could talk about, I remember telling my old friend how I was feeling and she responded with " you're freaking me out I can't talk to you any more", imagine how I felt then!! And what's worse is she rings me a few weeks later telling me how down she was feeling and I was there for her straight away. There is nothing worse than confiding in someone and breaking down all your barriers to be told you are a freak and how your're feeling is wrong. It isolates you. if someone is reaching out to you about mental illness let them talk, listen to them, if they want advice give it, DO NOT turn your back on them.This is a serious illness and has claimed far too many lives over the years, It is a black cloud that hangs over you every day even when the sun is splitting the rocks you can feel like death warmed up. There's days where I have to peel myself out of the bed and other days I just have to stay put because life's too much to handle. It is horrific.To put a smile on my face at times feels like I have just done the biggest workout, it can get so bad but to rise above it is my mission and my goal to beat it. Bullies have an awful lot to answer for too, it can kill somebody, it is so soul destroying to be constantly knocked down, being called names, seeing horrible things written about yourself and so on. It is the lowest of the low that a human being can do that to another. It disgusts me .
Not every day is a struggle, some days I hop out of bed and I often wonder why do I even suffer from depression when I can be so upbeat at times but then that's how it is, you could go months and be fine and then BAM it just hits you like a ton of bricks, it could be just an ordinary day or it could be an anniversary of a lost loved one, it could be something so small that could trigger it off like burning the dinner and then you end up feeling useless and think your're a bad person because of it. The mind is a powerful thing and that little voice is constantly going off planting the seed of doubt. The key is to try and ignore it and replace it with positivity, some days are a million times harder than others but when I am in that positive zone I try to embrace it.
These days I surround myself by people that bring out the best in me, I don't have 100 best friends I have a handful and that is more than enough for me. They are true friends who have stuck by me through all of this and I could never thank them enough. My boyfriend is my rock, he puts all my pieces back together when I fall apart. And my little Lucy, this little girl is only 2 years old but she saved my life, she came at the very right time just as I was on the brink of losing it all again she came as a very big surprise, she straightened out my life and got me focused on what's important again. My family are amazing too and are always there for me through thick and thin. What's important is family, love, life, happiness positivity, surrounding yourself with people that bring out the best in you not the worst in you, having a purpose in life whether it be your work, family life or just a hobby you enjoy doing, embrace that and explore yourself. Find out what it is that you're good at and continue to do it. Never settle for something just because its convenient or easy. Do what you want in life, you get one shot of it and you can make it amazing!!! It's getting in to the mind set of that, that's the hard part but it will all come together. My life is slowly coming together again, since having Lucy, meeting Anthony, starting college course and doing the blog. I have so much positivity in my life that I am embracing right now but I know I am going to have my bad days I just need to control them. So right now my status is that I am on medication 15mg Lexapro and they are helping me, I'm not ashamed any more to even admit it, whereas before I couldn't even mention the name. It's one small tablet I take before bed each night which results in me having a good night sleep in order to be able to face the next day! there is nothing wrong with that is there!!
So like my doctor told me recently after I had a huge panic attack in his surgery and I let all my feelings rush out I finally asked is this ever going to go away , and his response.... " no its not, but you are going to control it, its like a scorpion in a box, if the scorpion is out of the box it runs around causing chaos and stinging everyone and everything but if the scorpion is in the box it cant go anywhere its controlled and it cant sting" depression is the scorpion it needs to be contained and controlled and by doing this we need to use the power of our minds on this one. The tablets only help so much but I need to help myself too. :) I am learning and I hope one day that I will be free of all this negativity and depression and not doubt my every move in life, but I am confident that day will come.
I hope that this post might just help even one person to speak out about depression and other mental illnesses.Just know that you are an important person, you are loved and there is light at the end of that dark and dusty tunnel, you too can be a survivor and control this demonic illness. So please DO NOT suffer alone. There are so many people to reach out to these days, whether it be a friend, your local GP or even ring the likes of Samaritans for some advice or to just clear your mind. I have left links to Samaritans Email and phone number below. I also find writing my problems down helps a lot too. sometimes our problems are bigger in our heads than on paper. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on the links below my name. Thank you all for reading.
Until next time
Samaritans phone : Call 116 123 (free to call)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of Love