‘Mental Health’, I imagine, a word you’re used to seeing in the media of late.
Sadly, mental health has been a part of my life long before Stylist and Glamour started talking about it.
Three years ago I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.
They say you wait hours and three come along at once. This really wasn’t any different.
Did I cry post diagnosis? Not really.
I was relieved that there was something genuinely wrong with me and it wasn’t just a flip in personality.
For months, I couldn’t remember the most simple instructions. My manager would give me a job to do and before sitting back at my desk (three desks away) I’d have forgotten.
I’d wake up every morning with what felt like the worlds worst hangover.
Concentration? I mean, null. I went from reading books every week to reading the same sentence week in, week out.
Nothing made me laugh or smile. Now, my sense of humour has always been a little dry but I was miserable. I’d never felt a sadness like it.
I stopped washing my hair and relied on dry shampoo (even that was a strain). Washing became hard work. I’d spend hours motivating myself to jump in the shower.
I’d lost all respect and love for myself.
Someone asked recently how mental health has impacted on my life and I mean, where to begin?
Family relationships came to an abrupt end; they couldn’t handle my “attention seeking” and “jealous” ways.
My relationship struggled immensely, in fact, I’m surprised we’re still together sometimes.
My colleagues who were once friends are now just colleagues. I don’t get invited to birthday parties, leavers parties or general office chit-chat like I used to.
I believe people see me as a burden. In fact, not to long ago, my manager told me my “mood brings down the vibe” in the office.
That being said, what I have learnt over the last 12 months is that my mental health is just as important as my physical health. I need my mental health to keep my going, physically.
Today, is a bad day. Anxiety is rife this morning and a panic attack already had. But, like many of you, I’ll put my best smile forward and tell everyone I’m fine.
How has it impacted my life?
I’m a bloody good liar most days.