Today is #TimeeToTalk day, a day of awareness of mental health challenges.
It’s a day that brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems.
“Too often, people who experience a mental health problem are also expected to take the lead on talking about mental health in the wider sense. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health.
Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness.
So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.”
Ive been quite open and honest about my struggles with mental health, though at times it was really hard to find the words.
After years of chronic illness and surgeries, my mental health took a real battering. I knew it and I tried seeking help through some talking therapy, this did help me sort out a lot of things from my childhood and past and I thought I was getting better.
Then in August last year, I fell into a pit. It snuck up on me until I realised that I was not well. I am in two minds whether to admit this but I felt so low that I considered ways to kill myself.
I felt worthless. Worse than worthless, I felt like a burden to everyone around me, I felt that my very being made life worse for all the people I love. I felt like ending it all was the wisest decision.
What is scary now is that at that time, this felt like a totally rational and sensible decision. I remember googling ‘can you be suicidal and not depressed?’ as I really couldn’t see that these weren’t normal feelings.
It actually scares me to think back on this time, I could see no light, I felt stuck in this quicksand that pulled me down and held me fast but still allowed my head to be up in the real world so I could see everyone around me feeling happy and living wonderful lives.
I thought about running away from home a lot, about just packing a bag and disappearing, I fantasised about just going and leaving everything behind. And then I felt extreme guilt about thinking about leaving my beautiful family.
I was in a cycle of bad thoughts and guilt.
It came to a head one day when it all came tumbling out, I cried and screamed and shouted at Timm. I lost it, pushing him away and telling him the horrible things that were going through my head.
I had 100% convinced myself that he was having an affair. I couldn’t imagine why he would want to be with me and I was so paranoid and lost that it became the truth.
I feel so sad now thinking back on this, I barely recognise myself in my own words.
The one thing that kept me going was my kids, my amazing children who I knew I would hurt more than I was hurting myself if I wasn’t here.
I read a quote once that said:
Suicide doesn’t take away the pain, it just passes it on to someone else.
And that quote kept me going.
I eventually went to the doctors and I was faced with the most caring and compassionate GP who put all my fears to one side. He took his time and talked through everything, he listened and told me it was all ok. That the feelings I was having were frightening but that lots of people have them.
He told me that my thoughts of running away or ending it were my brain going through options but the fact that I’d made the decision to be there in his office showed that I had chosen the right option.
I started on antidepressants last year and the difference is amazing. This imbalance in my head was addressed and slowly, those feeling ebbed away.
There was no switch, no instant recovery. But one day I realised that I hadn’t had bad thoughts for a few days. My GP said it’s like the sun rising in the morning, if you keep watch it takes so long, but if you turn away to make a brew, you come back and realise that the sun is here.
Im still taking my tablets, they have been life changing but the other thing that has helped so much is opening up and talking to the people I love.
Its hard to admit you’re struggling, but my husband and my close friends listened, loved and didn’t judge and I’m forever grateful.
So there we go, today was my #timetotalk I hope you can find someone to talk to if you are having a tough time right now.
Thanks for taking the time to read