Monday was the start of Depression Awareness Week and today I wanted to talk about Depression because I believe that talking about mental health helps remove the stigma.
I've been thinking long and hard about what I wanted to say because in order to fully highlight what it's like to live with Depression, I need to talk about both the ups and downs as that's what it is like. Some days are good and others aren't, but those bad days turn into dark days that just seem to last forever. In reality, they don't because it does it get easier. I have just completed my CBT sessions after my wonderful counsellor and I decided I was strong enough to take what I learnt and apply it on my own. And I am currently talking Citalopram 20mg each morning and despite what some people think about pills, I am not a emotionless robot; the pills help balance the chemicals in my body so I am not constantly feeling low.
Of course I have one low point that always sticks out when I think about my battle with Depression, but living with the illness isn't just big episodes. In fact, I would say my lowest points were days when I just couldn't get out of bed; didn't socialise or work; or looking at things with a biased, bleak, all or nothing thought process. As I got more depressed, the lonelier I got and I craved attention, whether it was good - a conversation with a friend or potential friend, or bad - sex based conversations with the bad guy (remember, don't fuck the Portuguese Guy!) These things would happen more frequently than trashing my room or putting myself in dangerous situations. The sad reality is that I didn't leave my room much and when I did, I couldn't wait to get back in it and sleep for whatever time I had left in that day.
But now things are improving. I'm not cured, far from it. Yet I can proudly say that CBT is finished and I am officially declared as healthy, as shown in this fine picture:
Being 'healthy' is a wonderful accomplishment, but it isn't just being told that which is special - I feel it. I wake up and yes, sometimes I am too gosh damn lazy to get up, but when I do, I get on with things opposed to just snoozing. My greatest achievements has come in the shape of forming friendships, such as Drama friend, Beth. Going round to her flat for rehearsals or food has been one of my big highlights, even if it means accepting that she has an addiction to books, which you can (and I would recommend!) getting involved with here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMzEeXqxx9GbcvWsZF8rWaw She'll be discussing all things booktastic!!
I've also started to improve my thinking process. Before if a so called Pixie would like another girl's picture, but not mine, or not reply to my texts, I would want to a) throw myself in front of a car because clearly he doesn't care about me or b) stick my fingers down my throat and puke up everything I had ever eaten. Drastic, I know, but since 'not pretty' gate, I convinced myself that in order to be "pretty" a man had to tell me so and if he doesn't, yo' ugly. I was clearly not thinking fairly. I am beautiful, inside and out, and sure, he doesn't like my pictures, but he's always there when I need him and that's all that matters. Social media is a bitch, but as I learned, it's not an accurate portrayal of life. So I am not quick to think the worst anymore, I actually find evidence to go against my initial negative thought and then have alternative thoughts. Turns out things aren't usually as bad as you first think.
And that's my story, without the morning glory. If you're feeling low, don't be afraid to speak up; you deserve to be and feel happy. Just because you live with mental health, doesn't mean you should suffer x