I’ve been wondering for a while whether to post anything about this. Maybe I shouldn’t but after the sad events of the last few days, I figure the more people who tell their story, the better.
I’ve had depression and anxiety for nearly 20 years. The anxiety is nearly always there but the depression sometimes lifts and leaves me for weeks/months at a time. It always comes back though, I try to manage it but have never fully gotten on top of it. What I have managed to do is mask it well and put on a happy front. Only in the last few weeks, I’ve told a couple of people. Towards the end of last year, everything got out of control and I was really really struggling. In short, I started having extreme suicidal thoughts. I was planning how and where I was going to finish everything. Sometimes I was driving alone and thinking how I could just keep going and never come back, I’d never felt so low and so worthless, and in reality I have SO much to live for. Thankfully, as much as I wanted to end things I wasn’t as low as many souls get and I knew I still had a choice. I thought about the despair and ripples this would cause for so many people I care about. I got an emergency appointment at the Dr’s and those first few days were just awful. I’d only seen a Dr about 5 days previous when I’d been feeling fine, this really came and hit me out of nowhere.
I cancelled almost everything and somehow faked my way through a party for a friend’s 40th. I called my mum and apologised in advance for potentially ruining Christmas. I deactivated my social media as I just didn’t want to exist anymore, didn’t want people seeing me and didn’t want to see anyone. I went for a lot of very long slow walks at night as it was one of the only things that helped with the constant buzzing and noises in my head, the darkness also helped. I felt my heart was going to explode, it was 125bpm when sitting still, clammy hands, constant nausea, sweats and the most awful feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach that something terrible was going to happen, it’s so so hard to explain it. One Dr told me it was all in my head, one Dr told me it was the side effect of my meds, I still don’t know.
I’m not writing this for any sort of sympathy, but more of a reminder that how people look on the outside isn’t necessarily how people feel inside, so many people in our daily lives put on a fake smile and nobody wants to be seen as a burden. It’s true that depression really doesn’t discriminate, and if you have no experience of mental health problems it can be the hardest thing to comprehend. Nobody really knows what others are going through or what demons they’re battling with, and in the same vein, nobody knows what YOU are going through or how YOU feel unless you open up and tell them. Try it.