Today is world mental health day, and it’s something so many of us suffer with. We live in a world where sadly there is still a stigma so we suffer in silence. But today Fuzzable are here speaking up and sharing some of our own stories and holding out our hands to say ‘It’s okay to not be okay’. So I’d like to share my own story of suffering from severe anxiety and suicidal times.
This is the definition of anxiety disorder found on Health Line
It’s normal to feel anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking a test. This type of anxiety is unpleasant, but it may motivate you to work harder and to do a better job. Ordinary anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes but does not interfere with your everyday life.
In the case of an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and sometimes debilitating.
This type of anxiety may cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. In extreme cases, it may prevent you from entering an elevator, crossing the street, or even leaving your home. If left untreated, the anxiety will keep getting worse.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
I noticed my anxiety tendencies starting at the age of 15, I was battling with depression – coming home every night from school and picking at my flaws and hating myself so much that I’d self-harm. I cut up and down my legs, only feeling a release when the blood trickled. By nature, I am very outgoing, but I started to make myself blend into the crowd rather than stand out. I canceled plans and would feel scared about going anywhere other than school. I wasn’t aware of the fact this was an issue. I thought it was just as my stepdad said, me being a typical teen,
When I left school, I went to college to study health and social care, this is when a term ‘depression’ began to make an appearance in my life. We were studying psychology and Sarah my tutor explained what depression is but clearer than the terms I’d heard. I resigned with that gut-wrenching feeling of not seeing light. I sought help a short while later and that was that. I had medication so I should be okay. I sure didn’t feel like I wanted to die any longer, I felt in situations I would die.
Anxiety to me isn’t a phrase to explain nerves. It’s my life. I have times where even being in my home, with the doors locked and only my family I still have fear. I have OCD tendencies about the weirdest things, I have to always have a specific knife and fork in fear that the others have been contaminated (I packed them on holiday with me) I shower 4 times a day, scrubbing at times with a tough dish sponge.
Social situations are tough, I find it hard to see people. I make excuses, I stay for short times or I bail.
The light at the end of the tunnel for me has been supporting networks. Cheesy as it is, my Fuzzable family has been my rocks for the last few months. I have been going through some personal stuff, which is so hard to deal with. The Niki who came from school each night cut when times were tough, she took medication meant for her mum’s heart to stop her own, she drank floor cleaner to try and clean her life away. This Niki dealt with the hardest times by calling on two people from Fuzzable (Jack and Kelly) and faced things without being alone. I got through it without harming myself. The whole Fuzzable team had my back too, sending cute pictures or letting me know I am NOT alone.
I will face a day where I can go out without my beta blockers (medication that slows my heart down to help panic attacks) and I have a future.
My call to anyone this World Mental Health Day is to admit your not okay. If you are struggling, reaching for a way out, there’s a hand willing to hold yours. In your darkest times, you can pull strength to go on.
Don’t be ashamed. Mental health isn’t you being crazy, it’s your mind not being well. The same way our tummies get ill, or our bones break.
Help is always here.
Fuzzable is a team of around 30 hearts. 30 people who will always listen, so if you ever need anyone, we are here. Just DM us on Twitter – @Fuzzable