– Harriet
I think in a way the last few months have been kind of enlightening as I fully came to terms with this disease and interestingly I found I was embarrassed to put it online for everyone to see. So now it’s time to come clean and be truly honest about what’s been happening.
I knew I had depression, I think I’ve had it for many years but now I fully understand what that actually means. I also new that I had an addiction to self harm and for those of you that have read my other posts will know that this isn’t the kind of attention seeking, 14 year old ‘my life sucks’ kind of self harm, but the real, consuming, obsessive kind of addiction that completely surpasses the need for attention and controls my every thought. This is hard to truly admit because I am afraid of what those who know me will think about this, and I suppose in a way I want to explain myself, and maybe I just need the opportunity to see it all in black and white.
Before I met Ryan (now my fiancĂ©) it seemed kind of normal, something that happened when I couldn’t cope and it helped me to get rid of the anger and pain that just wouldn’t stop circling inside my mind, it got to the point where I didn’t even think about it any differently than smoking. Ryan changed that for me. He came from a world that I like to think of as warm, safe and happy, a normal place and that intimidated me a great deal. I always felt that I would never be welcome in that world and if i tried to join it everyone would know that I was a fraud. As the months went on I soon realised that we’d created our own happy, safe little world and in this place I did belong, in fact it was the only place I belonged. With this realisation came an overwhelming happiness that I’d never really known before, I finally felt that my future could be filled with nice things and not darkness. However, when you experience true happiness and escape from the monotony of daily emotion it also exaggerates the sadness as it produces such a vivid contrast. When the bad days came, they crushed me, flattened me as though I’d been deflated and the happiness seemed to disspate like steam. As time went on we both realised that these ‘bad days’ weren’t normal. My addiction wasn’t normal, and if I wanted this happy future I was going to have to do something about it.
Depression, as many of you will know, twists, distorts and darkens everything around you. It is a cancerous tumor that swells and seems its pitch black puss all over your eyes so that everything changes and suddenly its hard to tell what’s real. My perception was incredibly warped. I would see a situation in such a way that it would seem as though everything was bad and this was inescapable. When someone would tell me that it’s not like that I would become confused. How can I be seeing this with my own eyes and it not be real? Entire scenarios would over take my consciousness and they wouldn’t even have happened, they would torture me and whisper evil little words inside my mind and before I knew it I wanted to give up and die. When I started to realise that my mind was twisting my perception I began to question every thought, every action, try and decipher what was real or not. This was terrifying because I began to think I was going insane. Ryan stood by me, he held my hand through those days when everything that happened was a direct attack on me and the world was against me. My mind took over so much it even had me questioning if my friends were really my friends, I became so afraid of the world that I would shut down and completely switch myself off. Ryan was slowly teaching me how to stop doing that but I felt like I was getting nowhere.
One night I’d had too much to drink and my mind decided to completely take over and manipulate me to become someone I’ve never been. That night I said a lot of things that hurt a lot of people and when I sort of realised what was happening I lost it and became frenzied. Things happened that night which made me realise that I needed serious help. I went to the doctors and told them everything and so I began my journey. I started taking anti depressants and I’m still waiting for therapy, its been nearly a month now.
It’s really hard because I want more than anything to be normal, to get better, and I suppose naively I thought that I would start getting better pretty quickly. I told myself every day that I would get better and that the pills would help. I was okay for a while after getting to grips with the side effects. But now I realise that actually, I don’t feel any better at all.
I’ve spent alot of this weekend crying and I couldn’t even tell you why. I don’t feel like me anymore. I feel like a shadow of me, the only time I feel normal is hiding away in bed. I am tired all the time and I’m still so angry about so many things. I am embarrsed to see people at parties because I can’t drink and I don’t want people to know there’s something wrong with me. I don’t want them to see through my smiles and laughter and know that I am mentally messed up. All I really do is hide away and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get better. I am circling in an evil tornado and it would let me escape. I hope so much that this won’t last. I don’t want to think about hurting myself all the time and how much I hate myself. I don’t want to be afraid to see people and I don’t want to cry anymore.
I don’t have the answers, I’m not even sure what the questions are. All I do know is that I want this to end. I’m very lucky because there are a lot of people who offer incredible amounts of support and for that I am eternally grateful. My best friends Ryan and Sonni, my mum, my friends in London, friends at uni, they have all been there when I felt the world caving in and no amount of words can ever express what that means to me. I hope that when I’m better I will be able to give you all something back but until then all I can say is thank you.
One day I’ll look back over this time and think ‘I made it’, I just have to get there. I just have to keep trying because each little bit of good each day has the potential to be a bit bigger with a bit of perseverance. Even when some days it seems impossible I know at the end of it all I won’t feel this way anymore. I know I can get better, and I will get better.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if some of you feel that you understand then maybe knowing that someone else feels this way might comfort you. For those of you who know me, I hope you don’t think of me differently and maybe my strange behaviour will make more sense.