Being Happy Series: Part Five - Update

22:00

So, I thought I would simply just leap back into writing with quite a tough post. It'll no doubt explain my absence from my blog but instead of doing a 'I'm back' type post I thought I would just do a proper post to get myself back into the swing of things. 

For those of you who don't know, or need a reminder, I've written some posts in the past about my own mental health struggles, this will be another one, so if you're not interested in these types of posts stop reading now, especially as this may end up being a long one. For years I've struggled with various mental health problems, in the past year I've been working really hard to try and get myself on track and I guess get my mind into a better and healthier place. This post will be very honest and to the point, hopefully this post will be helpful to someone in someway, but most importantly it's a little bit of therapy for myself and I'm also a great believer in talking about mental health and not being ashamed of it. There is nothing to be ashamed of and the sooner the world starts to understand that the better the world and the humans that inhabit it will be.

That all came crashing down around me in August, shit happened, I guess specifics aren't important as anything can be a trigger for someones downfall. I would never blame the situation that triggered this, it just triggered a hell of a lot of things I've been trying to 'patch' over and ignore for a very long time and I simply snapped. I guess I'm lucky and decided to get help before it was too late, but I can honestly say, I almost gave up entirely. The key word there is 'almost', because I got help, granted I ended up quitting it but it helped me get my head to a place where I could function better and simply have space to breathe. 

Every single day is a struggle, but I've gotten very good at pretending that I'm ok, very good. In fact a lot of people probably wouldn't realise I have as many problems as I actually do, that can be good in some ways, bad in others. It's good as it means I can carry on as if nothing is wrong and not have people constantly question me, however on those days where I'm really not ok it would be great if people knew because they would hopefully care enough to talk to me about it all. Sometimes just having someone who truly cares about how you're doing is all you need, good friends can be an amazing thing in bad times. Hell, I certainly wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for a few certain people who, whether they know it or not, saved me. Quite a big statement, sure the only person who can truly save you is yourself, but they helped me see that was possible and once they did I stood up and got help.

What was that limit? My personal limit was when I was sat on the floor in my bathroom crying my eyes out with a knife on the floor beside me with my arms bleeding all over me. I never cut too deep, but that was the point, I wanted to feel the pain, I didn't want to die by my own hand. I did want to die, but I'll get to that. I was on my phone texting a few people, I was a mess and those people helped me see past my despair, and for that I'll be forever grateful, because if I had no one to talk to I can truthfully say I have no idea what would have happened to me that day or the ones following it. I was becoming a hell of a lot more reckless and I barely knew who I was anymore. 

I said I didn't want to die by my own hand, and thats true, I didn't, but that didn't stop me from putting myself into situations where it could easily happen. I would stand on the edges of train platforms, especially busy ones. I wouldn't ever look when I crossed roads, I would just step out and walk across. There were many things I would do that could easily end it all, but thankfully, I'm still here. My doctor found it fascinating about the things I did, he also clearly found it worrying as I was pretty much immediately put on anti-depressants and this time I couldn't talk myself out of them like so many times before. I ended up having the dosage raised because they were having no effect on me, but by the time I was on those I had decided I didn't want to take them anymore. It just didn't feel right. For me, I guess this was the right decision as I'm still making positive progress, but I wouldn't ever suggest just stopping them, especially without speaking to your doctor first.

I've realised for those who haven't read anything previously, you would have no idea on what mental health problems I actually have. To reel off a few, I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks,  depression, trichotillomania and dermotillomania, OCD, BDD, and well, various other things. I'm a barrel of laughs right? Don't get me wrong all of those impact my daily life but I'm back to a place in my life where I can function and not let it overtake my life anymore. Don't ever for a second think that because I suffer with these it makes me somehow 'not normal' or someone 'that you should probably stay away from' or that I'm 'broken', I am as "normal" as anyone else on this planet and if you're a good person chances are you'll see beyond my mental health problems.

Like I said before I've struggled for years and it can be very up and down, I guess right now I'm in a more positive place, having a job that I enjoy has helped hugely with that. The other main difference has been that I've started working out more due to joining the gym and that has certainly helped, it's true what they say about exercise and it releasing happy endorphins. I had always ignored the advice of exercising before, but I urge anyone struggling to try it because it really has helped me a lot. Granted the health benefits at the moment is probably being evened out by the fact when I go out I drink plenty of booze but at least it's keeping me even! The plan for the new year is to cut down on the booze a little and spend even more time in the gym, and you know start doing more than just cardio! But I'll save more gym talk for a future post.

What's the point of this post? There probably isn't any point to it, but if it helps to get people opening up or talking more about mental health that can only ever be a good thing. It's important to remember a lot of people suffer with different problems and whether they are diagnosed or not, whether you can see it or not, just be mindful that making negative comments can make a huge difference. Let me give you an example (which in fact happened to me today which helped spur me onto to write this tonight), I was waiting for the bus home and had a delightful teenager walk past me with his mates and call me a 'fat bitch', lovely. It caused me to have an anxiety attack and today has been a bit of a write off, as I ended up getting home, curling up in my bed for several hours doing nothing. He probably was making awful comments to lots of people and maybe many of them would laugh it off or ignore it, but for some of us it can change everything around drag you down. I had been feeling pretty decent until that happened so if you're sat here reading this and you've made negative remarks to someone, apologise or quite simply vow not to do it again, because you honestly have no idea what effect it will have on the person who you say it to. It can quite easily be the final nail in someones coffin or the thing that makes that person snap, so be a good person and people will be good to you.

The most important thing I want you to know, is that mental health cannot just be fixed overnight, somethings can never be truly fixed, its all about how you deal with them and focus on being positive about it all. There will be good days and there will be bad, but try to surround yourself with good people, and try to be open and talk about your struggles, whether thats to a few people or just one person. Find ways to cope, find distractions, find things that you enjoy and that make you happy, I keep a daily journal on my phone which helps me track my good and bad days, but it really helps looking at my positive entries when I'm really down. I also write and draw a lot which helps, and like I mentioned before going to the gym and exercising is a huge help also. 

Most importantly, remember every single person on this planet is different, and 'normal' doesn't truly exist, so don't try to force yourself to be anything that you are not. Just focus on being the best that you can be, that's what I'm trying to do and so far I'm making positive progress so find something that works for you and go for it.

I think I'll stop writing for now, I've rambled for long enough and hopefully some of it made sense but who knows! 

If you need help with anything feel free to drop a comment on this post or dropping me an email (hello@bambi-bell.com) and I'll do my best to help in whatever way I can. Or if you simply want to share your story, please do as reading about other people helps to remind us that we are not alone or 'abnormal'.

See you in my next post, which I promise will include less text and a few more pictures!



- Bambi -

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