I’ve been away a while which I’m sorry for, but at the same time…I’m not. Being back at University provided me with the time to think, and the time to realise that we may FEEL broken, damaged or even crazy but it does not mean we ARE those things.
For a long time my diagnosis of being mentally ill meant that there was something wrong with me, I believed I was abnormal and people would view me as different or ‘weird’. I thought that I’d screw up and fail in life. When in reality, I just have issues with my coping methods and possibly have problems with the chemical balance in my brain. There is nothing wrong with ME as a person.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Although it is super important for you to seek help with your depression, YOU are the expert on yourself and YOUR life. So even though the people helping you with your illness are great, they can’t help you 100% because they don’t know you 100%, you are the only person who knows yourself inside and out and before and during the depressive stages in your life.
This can mean two things…the first one is that everything your Doctor or therapist, or even your friends and family recommend for you to do have to feel right for you, personally. If it doesn’t, don’t just play along to keep them happy, tell them. Although there will still be times when your treatment team still do things even when you say no, but most of the time they have to listen to you.
The second points is that you get to figure out what you need to feel better outside of that your treatment team recommend. If writing a blog (like I do), or muscling down, doing your work and receiving an A for your efforts, (which I did this week and I’m super proud of it), help to make you feel better than make that your priority in your good and bad days. As cringey as it sounds, listen to what you heart is telling you.
I had a ‘moment’ when I was first struggling with depression, a realisation that I needed to help others in order to help myself. Writing a bog was my starting point. However, after this realisation my negative self talk kicked in. That voice in me that is a real bitch sometimes. I told myself I knew nothing about ‘blogging’, even though I did this for a whole year whilst working for a digital marketing firm, I knew nothing about computers and the internet, but most of all I convinced myself I can’t write as I’m Dyslexic. I persuaded myself that I could never make myself better, nothing would ever make me better and I will never be my ‘normal’ self again.
I tried to forget the stupid idea of writing, but my heart wouldn’t let me forget, so I had a quick look at some blogging sites and decided to give it a go. I’m still scared shitless (excuse my French), as that self talk part of me won’t leave me alone but I’m hoping one day it will and you will definitely be the first people to know if it ever does.
So…yes, I may feel broken or damaged and I am mentally ill, but I’m not broke to the extent that I can’t be fixed. I have a therapist, a loving family and boyfriend to guide me, but most of all I have a heart that will be with me 24/7 for as long as I live. Following our hearts may sound cheesy, but when your mind is all self-doubt, anxiety and worry your heart is the one talking sense.