It’s seems appropriate to write about this today. I have heard about three untimely and tragic deaths this week, and to be honest, I’ve felt really low about it all this weekend.You see, I have been there in the darkness, in the pit, feeling like I was drifting away from everyone. I suppose I’ve had…
It’s seems appropriate to write about this today. I have heard about three untimely and tragic deaths this week, and to be honest, I’ve felt really low about it all this weekend.
You see, I have been there in the darkness, in the pit, feeling like I was drifting away from everyone. I suppose I’ve had anxiety my whole life, having witnessed a very traumatic event when I was just 7.
I was a very shy child and often felt unwanted. In 6th Form I developed anorexia. I would often sob in my bed on a Friday night, stressed at the thought of a very physical 8 hour shift at the supermarket the next morning. I was exhausted and felt out of control of everything. Everyone else was telling me what to do.
At uni, I would have panic attacks in lectures and seminars, sitting there, blind with fear, my stomach churning, my heart racing, and scared to leave in case I drew more attention to myself. I would control what I ate so as not to make any stomach noises. I swear I cannot even look at tomato soup these days. I was prescribed Citalopram by a uni GP, but I didn’t give it a chance and felt pressure to come off them. There’s still a big downer on uppers!
Despite my fears, I pushed myself and trained to be a secondary English teacher which I hated, since a PGCE is one of the most stressful years of scrutiny and testing. I loved teaching, but we all know a teacher’s role is more than that-we have to deal with the so called ‘professional’ adults too.
I taught for almost 10 years, I got married and I pushed through, until I fell pregnant. I couldn’t do it anymore and so I left through the support of my husband. I had a fantastic pregnancy, but a traumatic birth. And then there was PND. Darkness fell upon me like never before. I thought I was literally losing my mind. I would cry like I was trying to exorcise myself of the pain, but it just hurt more. I was exhausted but unable to sleep, and I thought one night during the torments of a racing heart, ‘Maybe if I just go out and lie in front of the cars, someone will see how bad I feel.’ I thought I would lose my husband, my home, my child…
I did eventually see a female GP who didn’t send me away saying ‘there’s nothing else I can do for you’. She saved my life, soothing me over the phone any time I needed to talk. I was put onto sleeping pills for a short time, and I gave citalopram another go, after weeks of refusing meds due to a fear of side-effects.
I’m ok now. I have my church, my husband, my daughter, my mum and my greyhound. I have my creative business and I tutor children, many of whom have also had mental health issues, and I know where they’re coming from.
It’s often hard for family members to support a loved one during the dark times, because we are messy, ungrateful, we lash out, we have no desire to do anything, we weep constantly; but someone out there can help, like the GP who treated me gently and with compassion. Don’t give up.