Tuesday, 25 October 2016
At Least Im Not Depressed Anymore
Hi everyone so I wont be sharing this blog post on social media as it is something I really don’t like to talk about but Ive been compelled to write my story recently and maybe someone who needs it will magically find it and it will help them in some way.
Where to start?
The beginning is most probably best ha! So I was a very lucky child actually being born 01/01/1989 into a loving family good home, advanced for my age I would read and write (with assistance) by the age of three so at about three/four I actually started singing and dancing, making up my own songs, determined to be famous one day. Then at about 8 years old other children at school started bullying me, stealing my stuff, calling me ugly. Now as quite a happy child before this I had no backbone and couldn’t stand up for myself so I just used to cry. Hearing someone else call me ugly every day subconsciously changed the way I thought of myself.
So at the age of 8 I thought I was ugly but I was fairly happy still I guess. But then from that thought of being ‘ugly’ my mind just got worse over time, school became my worst nightmare and I tried everything I could to fit in. But one day fed up with everyone I told all my classmates that I was going to kill myself that night and I think I was roughly 9/10 years old, I remember thinking I was going to use a knife as I wasn’t really too sure what I was going to do. However one of the boys told my mum who must have been worried out of her mind and made me call childline but I didn’t really know why I said it but all I knew is that I definitely was considering it at that point in my life.
From this point on I think I could say that my life declined slowly into a depressed state. I could constantly think negative thoughts such as I hate my life, why was I born, I am so ugly. From the age of 11 to 16 I would always be crying and at this point I hated everything in my life and I can honestly say it wasn’t a hard life but I just thought in my head that it was meant to be better. I cannot really explain my depression except that being 11/12 you don’t realise you are depressed. But it is like one of the worst feelings I have experienced and I felt it every day for many years.
Being a teenager with self esteem issues and depression wasn’t technically hard for me as I felt it was normal to feel like that. When I was around other people though I never told them how I felt or thought so I think I over compensated by acting really happy and trying to make people laugh. But my parents always knew something wasn’t right with me. My mum tried positive books and I used to read a lot as a form of escapism. I also used to sleep A LOT. Then I would stay in a dark room most of the time, its actually only this year Ive started letting light into my room.
I would say as a teenager I did have suicidal thoughts not always but I would think of committing suicide but the thing is being a teenager is that I had this fear that if I tried and failed I would be in trouble with my parents and be back in my same depression. So rather than suicidal thoughts I just prayed that I got ill or hit by a car so it wasn’t my responsibility. I’ve not really gone too deep into this part of my life as there was not much to say you are just down and out, hopeless, helpless.
At 16 then I decided I wanted to be a model however I was like a size 12 then roughly. Although I was constantly depressed I still wanted to be famous but I was told I cant sing, I thought ok Ill become an actress and model . At 16 was a turning point for me because this is when I really started using the internet and took all these ‘are you depressed’ quizzes and I cant even tell you what compelled me to do them and thats when I realised I was in trouble but I didn’t know what to do so I just carried on.
Nearly forgot to write this bit. 16 was also a turning point as I had what I thought was a suicide attempt but what i guess god would call a tantrum. One day my dad said I couldn’t go to a party and in a rage I decided life was not worth living. Looking back I know this is silly but in reality as myself when I was really depressed I wasn’t brave enough to try attempt anything. But luckily for me god was on my side and the first tablets I picked up were my iron ones. On the bottle it says do not take with milk, so I assumed this was lethal. Little did I know you cant OD on iron tablets. I say I am lucky because i took the whole bottle, if they were something stronger I wouldn’t be here telling this tale. I took 30-40 of these things I cant remember. Then a full glass of milk. Then I got scared. Then my dad said I could go to the party. Then I thought shit I am going to die at a party. Telling this now actually sounds humourus but these were my actual thoughts. But I was excited I was going to the party. As an adult I would of tried to digest what I had just done but as a teenager with a clearly broken mindset, I really thought it was ok to just down a whole bottle of tablets as if nothing had happened. Well I felt a bit guilty at this point. Then I started throwing up. This is why it says no milk and iron tablets. But I still went, just shows how low my self esteem was I was so keen to be liked. So keen. I wanted to die if I wasn’t liked. I never talk about it as it sounds so fucking silly. I was sick that whole night well I acted as if I was ok then kept running off to be sick my best friend was like whats going on with you. I was like must be something I ate. And I know we shouldn’t say this but anyone who tries to comitt sucicide is selfish. And I know this because I felt it. A few months previous a girl at my school killed herself because she was being abused. Was I being abused? NO. Yes I was depressed and major self esteem issues but it wasn’t worth killing yourself over. But because of this realisation I never tried to do again whatever I was trying to achieve here.
I digress. As we all know models are sooo skinny so being the negative mindset I had at the time my first port of call was to lose weight. However I used to comfort eat massively and now I wanted to be healthy and go from a size 12 to a size 8. Being 17, in college with other people who cared very little about their weight I would say I had what turned into body dysmorphia and disordered eating. My mum at one point thought I had an eating disorder and got her friend to talk to me but I was in denial and said nothing was wrong with me. I was actually studying psychology at college so I knew I was depressed but I didn’t have anorexia or bulimia so I wasn’t any of those. But at one point I was so desperate I actually looked online at pro-anorexia websites for ideas to lose weight.
Basically when I used to eat, I would say I am going to have salad and I did but then later I would binge eat on junk food then cry about it. Or I would eat like once for the day. Or binge eat and feel bad. At 5’8 and size 12 I was still fairly slim but with other slimmer girls next to me at college and wanting to model I thought I was fat and my relationship with food was a downward spiral from there onwards.
I was also in a relationship at this point but with me being insecure, self-esteem and eating issues, I ended up with someone who seemed to be nice but turned out to be controlling and always told me how much better than me they were. But I still trusted them. So I told them at 18 why my behaviour is so up and down because even though I say I was depressed, from about 16 I just had depressive episodes so I would be ok sometimes then spiral downwards. Being with this person a lot he noticed so he asked me one day why are you ok one minute then not? So I tried to explain that I get really depressed at times but he just laughed at me. This is when I vowed I wouldn’t tell anyone else that I was depressed as I was really embarrassed at this point.
So I carried on finished college with 1 a-level as I was just so down and out the time of exams I just slept all day rather than revise and didn’t have a clue what I was doing when the exams came around. Before going to uni I spent 6 weeks in Jamaica with my grandparents and just before that I had cut off a family relative who was having a negative influence in my life. It was quite freeing, in Jamaica though I just thought maybe I only have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) as I am quite happy here in the sunshine. (I wasn’t happy when my mum rang about my a-level results though but I was already had a place in uni so my nan talked me around) Speaking of my grandparents, we were very very close me growing up and I found that when I was younger going to see them actually helped with my moods as a child but at the age of 11 they moved to Jamaica and I think it does have a correlation with me being depressed less when they came to visit. In these six weeks I read a book called ‘skinny bitch’ which at the time for a person with disordered eating was not the best choice but my bad relationship with food actually gave me a wealth of useful knowledge on food. (skinny bitch is actually an amazing book on how to live a more plant based lifestyle) From this book I gave up red meat, eggs, crisps, chocolate and other stuff. Didnt eat any of that for a year.
So I went to uni obsessed as always with calories what Im eating and to be honest for the last two years no one really noticed and I think my family got used to it. Until one of my uni friends said why are you so obsessed with calories and I was like Im not but I need to be skinny. She said you are skinny and I said yeah but I cant be a model this size. So I always thought why did I study psychology all those years and looking back the universe was giving me an intervention, helping me understand who I was and why I behaved the way I did.
All of this time I never saw a dr, I had just self diagnosed myself with depression and I knew what anti-depressants or anti-psychotic drugs did to you at this point so I wasn’t going to see a dr. Even at uni I did love it and went out and made friends but I remember my first year being a mixture of really high highs and really low lows. At the end of my first year my relationship ended and this actually helped me massively.
I do feel my depression was impacted so much by my environment, as soon as I wasn’t having an immensely good time my mind and body would crash. The next year of uni was different though because I was always chasing that good time be it through men or going out, I never had a moment to catch up on being depressed, I knew I wasn’t really happy but I was having a good time and suicidal thoughts had somehow ran away from me.
My relationship with food was a bit better at this point but I never enjoyed food, the guilt was still there, I hated my body, thought I was fat and ugly. Getting into my third year, I lived with one of my best friends and you know from I met this girl she helped light up my life but some how the depression came creeping back! I don’t even k now how!! We lived in a nice flat a bit cold but still. However I started getting migraines again (I had been suffering from the age of 15 but not really had any whilst I was at uni) Not knowing it then but it was the pressure of trying to finish uni and get it right, I always wanted to be liked, prove my parents right, prove than ex-boyfriend wrong that I wasn’t a failure like he said I was. This time being 20 years old I was fed up of thinking my life was ok just to be depressed and I would say in my teens it was my comfort zone but as an adult with a job, uni, friends and life it was pissing me off big time.
I found free counselling at my uni but as I hate talking about this stuff it never helped as I just told her the baseline things that were bothering me and she was good very understanding but it obviously wasn’t working as I just couldn’t open up. Friends around me found it bizarre that I was seeking help ‘when there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with me’ ‘that I hadn’t experienced any traumas in my life’. What people don’t realise is nothing means anything if your mind is depressed and suicidal, thats it. No explanations, no answers.
However most people knew that I was always on a diet, you trust me ask me if I haven’t tried it, I have researched it. At this point I was almost a size 8 or I was a size 8 now it was mission size 6 as models are size 6. One day one of my friends we used to always complain how fat we were together, was also studying psychology told me that I have body dysmorphia which I was like don’t be silly. Im not one of those people who look in the mirror and see myself as massive you know. BUT I found myself morbidly unattractive and would hate my stomach I used to stare at other peoples stomachs unconsciously and only noticed when a friend brought it up. So not only was I insecure I was projecting this onto others.
At 21 I had another turning point where I failed my uni dissertation. FAILED. F! I did think shit this must be a mistake but no mistake I had to re-do or I would get this basic diploma thingy. Before this would have broken me down and I would have hid in my room for days but we were studying a module called ‘motivation and emotion’ in psychology at uni and it was based on positive psychology, its like positive thinking but the more theory and research behind it. I just remember my teacher saying ‘failure doesn’t mean anything’. And for the first time I just felt so motivated I wanted to start my own business, I put in to re-do my dissertation. I felt for the first time in my life what I could say was happiness. And I didn’t feel depressed. Anyone who has been depressed and feels happy, you do forget that depressed feeling for a while so you then keep going and you forget to protect yourself from going back on that downward spiral.
So I moved back home properly after being away for 3 years at uni got a new job and met who I call my first love. The relationship I can say was awful but I wasn’t depressed so anything was better than going back there. 2011 then was my first heart break felt awful but it was nothing like being depressed. 2011 was good I passed my driving test, got a car, went Ibiza, graduated finally. Everything was looking up. Better still I wasn’t depressed.
Still eating terribly trying to become a model, in a job I hated and still thought I was ugly and a bit fat still (at this point I was a size 8 and skinny would be more appropriate). 2011 came and gone, I was on a self-development journey at this point from what I had learnt in my uni module I had gone on to research that further so I was improving my positive mindset, I felt more peace, felt different in 2011.
But 2012 I guess my mind got bored of all the happiness and on a two week holiday from work I crashed. No downward spiral, just a crash straight into a depressive state. I wasn’t suicidal though as I somehow managed to tell myself life is shit but we got family, friends we don’t want to die. I was also very very pissed off. All this fucking personal development to just be fucking depressed so I was depressed sad and angry. I crashed out from the world. This time at the age of 23 I went to to the drs. She gave me a questionnaire and said when I finish it I would get help. Now I am a psychology graduate and I know people that are much worse than me, those with bipolar, self-harming, who have multiple suicide attempts, turn to drugs and alcohol after being depressed. So I knew no way would I get any more than a few anti-depressants from doing this questionnaire. I did think to lie but I always had a part of me that constantly felt guilty so I didn’t want to take up someone elses treatments. At one point I just felt to voluntarily admit myself to mental hospital my mind used to drive me crazy but my friend who worked in the mental health environment said that could hinder my future job prospects (and she was right what sort of bullshit is that?).
Shortly after that I started a business that forced me to do more personal development and I felt moderately happy but I fell into a mountain of debt so I was again living a secret happy life and being afraid of money. I would say I wasn’t depressed here but majorly unhappy and scared. I think why I wasn’t depressed is because my grandparents were here for a while and my uncle got sick. 2013 I lost my job and got a new one, I really focused more on the personal development side as I was keen to get off my debts. The last few years also I found it difficult to live at home I had gone from being a parent to a mini child again. So I decided to follow my dreams and put in a transfer to move out.
At this point personal development was key to me because my default mindset was depression this stopped me from going back there but I have to read constantly and go to seminars and a lot of people don’t understand why I do this. But its the only thing that has worked for me.
However still 2013 my relationship with food wasn’t good I accepted I had body dysmorphia but wasn’t too sure what I was going to do about that and I was more ok than I had ever been so I brushed those issues under the carpet.
Jan 2014, I turn 25, its all good, but BAM for a whole month migraines. The ones I haven’t seen in years. Every single day. Every day. Every day. Getting worse. Without wanting to use medication as time has gone on ive researched so many things and what I haven’t said is my uncle that got sick he died. He had a brain tumor which I believe was from his mental health medication. So I used some old tricks and new ones to kill these migraines. Drink more water, eat regularly (not healthily), cut out cheese chocolate caffine, all alcohol (I wasn’t a big drinker so this was easy) and sleep more. So started doing all of this but my migraines got worse. I tried putting peas on my neck, going to sleep, drinking tons of more water. Nothing was working, so I gave in and went drs. He gave me migraleave. Like really waste of time. I just got some co-codamol as paracetamol didn’t work only to help me if I was in public or driving.
Then one day making some food choices I was hungry but I was like if I eat now I cant eat later etc etc usual shit but if I don’t eat now I am going to get a headache and in that exact moment my thinking about food changed. I told myself do you want to be fat or have a migraine and for the first time I did not care about being fat. These headaches were ruining my life and now they were happening for nearly two hours a day or more than one a day. Then one day someone randomly gave me a healing crystal after sleeping with that and eating more often my migraines began to fade and ive not had one for ages.
So july 2014, independent woman again in Liverpool on my own living life and I didn’t feel per se happy when I got there but I wasn’t depressed. I was eating normally. Still thought I was ugly and had self esteem issues. Body dysmorphic I cant say if I still felt this way as because I changed my eating I just avoided the mirror. But this is what I can call the slowest downward spiral of my life. Before no-one really knew I was depressed before apart from my parents but this time people started to ask me if I was alright. Well other people in my family. I was like I am not depressed and this is the first time I was actually in denial. I was still doing my reading now and then but there came a point where because I had no friends and family I didn’t see anyone for ages. I was isolated by default this time and I remember suicidal thoughts in my head. Such as why am I even alive. What is the point of living. I don’t want to live any more. And I am so grateful I had somewhere to go back to because living with those thoughts longer than the few months I had them I most prob would have acted on them. I even drank some alcohol because someone gave it to me, it was just ok to me but I suddenly understood how people become alcholics because if I liked alcohol I could imagine drinking myself into oblivion just to get through those lonely days.
I never realised how much my psychology degree really saved me until I wrote this. Because I knew when I was depressed, this causes another little voice that tells you not to kill yourself. That voice saved me so much I call it my voice of reason, it didn’t lift my depression but it gave me lots of reasons why I shouldn’t die. Reasons to live and thats why I am here writing this now.
And I still get sad. I am still quite apathetic, meaning I don’t feel emotions I lived nearly all my adult life not feeling much apart from the heart-break of my ex, my uncle dying and the exhilaration of finishing tough mudder last year. As I was so emotional before always crying, upset, depressed, seeking happiness, approval to be liked, it was stressful so at 18 I think in a way I taught myself not to feel and recently after doing so much work on myself I have started to feel again. Just a little bit, I am even trying not to cry after writing some of this. Dont get me wrong I have felt sadness but if I am not sad or a bit angry usually I feel like nothingess.
At the moment I am trying to focus on peace and loving myself unconditionally. My case might be rare that I went from what I thought was really bad depression, my thoughts as a teenager and my physical body was so painful just to get through day by day I am grateful I had family and friends that saved me from harming myself. I am also lucky that I never self harmed, that was mainly because I have a fear of pain that cutting/harming myself never even came into my thoughts. (Well some people say my food issues could have been a type of self harm)
But it hurts my heart to see young people in pain, because I know that pain, trying to be liked, trying to fit in, dying to be loved, dying to love yourself, dying to be happy, dying to be something else. And I love personal development but theres no no no point in telling someone oh read this or watch that if they are depressed they will brush it off as yeah yeah bullshit. I did landmark forum at 16 and part of me did think oh yeah this is good but after I was just like well that was a load of shit and I went back to being depressed and hating myself.
It wasn’t until I was 26 that I started to practice self love nearly 5 years after I started doing personal development. 13 years after my mum bought me a book by Iyanla Vanzant on loving myself. 25 years after that first call to childline. The thing is I know I never had trauma, my depression was caused by my own mind and in some cases you feel guilty or like you should hide because you've not had a bad life yet here you are again depressed, hopeless, hating yourself.
I love personal development and how much it has helped me and I am lucky that I did a psych degree that lead me down a road of self discovery and self healing without feeling I had to tell people and they were going to judge me as I was at home learning and developing. In 5 years the amount of personal development and work I have done on myself most people would be millionaires by now and I am not even at the point where I can say I am happy. I still get really bad pms which makes my angry and sad and I feel really bad.
But at least I am not depressed. For anyone reading this that is at the point which you know your depressed and you feel ready for change just know there is a light on this road and the journey is long and it might take you a while but one day you can say its a bad day but at least im not depressed.
If you still feel hopeless like theres no way out, I would say get help, its there, don’t feel embarrassed, life might feel shit but even though right now your brain is telling you ‘bullshit’ someone even if its an animal loves you or at the least cares for your wellbeing.
If you are depressed and having medication and reading this, do not stop taking the meds because I didn’t have them and I am not keen on medication for mental health, I still feel that until a new type of healing comes into play, keep with the medications for now, listen to your doctors, take the help even if you feel you don’t need it. If its healing you then its worth it.
If you are reading this and realise that you may be depressed then please seek help. Some people can self-heal and if you know what you are doing, it can be the best option and its only because of my background in psychology and the way I built my degree and outside research I was able to do so. It was only because I got so pissed off at being depressed I was able to make a change. It was only when I became AWARE myself I was depressed I could make a change.
So anyone reading this do not force a loved one to say they are depressed, do not force them to do anything. Show them you care, be loving and allow them to trust and open up to you. If you feel someone had a more severe mental health problems please speak to a qualified professional.
Even though depression is a severe mental health issue, its one of the few that I feel can be dealt with, worked through and you may have to have medication but some types of depression you may not have to be sectioned.
If you have other mental health issues, I am sorry I cannot speak on your experiences but I hope I am proof to help even one person even that little girl that was dying to kill herself at 9. a young mind is so malleable, changeable, she is easier to unravel and heal.
I hope my story can help someone find the strength, as sometimes were depressed because we feel weak, fed up and then we spiral.
I hope this can inspire people to be more understanding of this hidden disease.
For me the future is health and nutrition. Ive had a total 360 in the last 12 months which seems crazy that two years ago I thought I was fat now I am in a great shape and looking to teach others to love their bodies and get into shape. Because I know how it feels when you starve yourself from that love. Starve yourself from your own love. We crave our own love. When we don’t have it then it starts than downward spiral.
No-one is born depressed. No-one is born with mental health problems. I believe anyway. Some of us maybe more susceptible because its in our families. And some physical disabilities also can impair mental health. We all have triggers were all individual so we should be treated as such. Everyone gets depressed differently but know were all in it together. My mantra for all of you feeling hopeless, worthless is that one day you too can say its a bad day but ‘at least I'm not depressed anymore’.