Friday, 16 November 2018


My mental health was triggered when I was 15, and my parents separated. There was a lot of secrets involved that I wasn’t allowed to say to anyone, and it really messed with my head. I was paranoid, I was constantly at a low, and constantly on the verge of either tears or screaming. This lasted for a year and then everything seemed to fizz down a bit.

When I turned 18, my coping mechanism was alcohol. I’d drink so much until I blacked out, and wouldn’t remember anything the next day. The stories I used to hear, from my family the next day, made me think I’m a whole new person. This lasted for a while. I felt quite low, thanks to just finishing College and not having a job. I found it quite difficult not having some sort of routine.

My actual mental journey started properly when I was 22. I’d have episodes of depression, where I felt numb constantly, I’d avoid conversations with friends and family, and I’d lock myself in my room. My parents were getting worried and I couldn’t explain what was wrong with me. I’d go to a job I hated, do the job emotionless, come home and then repeat. There were nights where I’d wake up with the feeling that my bones were shaking. I wasn’t cold, but my insides were. It’d take me an hour to warm myself up, calm my head, and then sleep. I googled what it was, as it happened quite a few times one week. And then realised, waking up to the feeling that your bones are shivering; is a sign of anxiety.

Now that I knew what it was, it all made sense. I always had an inkling that I had depression and anxiety, but nobody quite believed me. My mum and dad - even to this day - will sweep it under the carpet and refuse that my diagnosis is actually a mental health issue. I went to the doctors and had an assessment. She confirmed that I was suffering with mild depression and anxiety. And then she prescribed me with some anti-depressants. This wasn’t something that worked with me. People told me it would take a week for them to kick in, but they kicked in instantly. I suffered terrible insomnia the next few nights, I was constantly hungry, and always felt drained. I didn’t look right, and didn’t feel like myself. It was almost like I could feel the tablets sucking away at the person I am.

By the third day, I’d had enough. I got home, pulled them out of my bag and passed them at my mum. “Throw them, burn them, flush them down the toilet. I cannot cope with these anymore! They’re messing with my head!” Were the exact words I said that Friday in March last year.  She threw them away and I never went back to them.

I find that whenever I can feel a wave of anxiety or depression hitting me, exercise works well for me. The endorphins that leave your body and make you feel lighter and happier. I thought it was a load of rubbish, but it’s true. I had a low, depressive episode a few weeks ago. My dad asked once, and I lied and said I was fine. I felt exhausted, drained. Just basically sick of putting on a phase that I’m fine. And I got to the gym class, he walked over to me and said, “okay what’s wrong? Your face looks really different. You look exhausted.” So I explained my mental health was acting up and I felt really low. After the class, I felt so much better.

For me, coping with my mental health is by listening to my body. The older I get, the more aware I feel and know what I need. I know exercise is good for me. And when I’m drinking and feel the feeling of, “I just want to Black Out” coming close, I will stand up, pour out the wine, and sleep. Let my body recharge overnight.


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