September 2015 was when it all became to much. I grew up and still live in a rural area. I've never really came across the topic of mental health and unfortunately it was something that I had no understanding of.
That was until I had to help myself and get a better understanding of what was happening to me. "I'm going crazy, why is everyone staring at me? They must know."
That's how it all started, my mind was racing with thoughts and feelings. Physically I was sweating, shaking, talking like a hyperactive-excited child and experiencing panic attacks. I was so completely lost in all of this and for the life of me I couldn't see a way out.
I came home from work one evening and decided to take my own life. I don't remember much after that point, but I do remember the ambulance man asking "why does a pretty young girl like yourself want to kill yourself?"
That's a sentence I would come across many more times while I was seeking support and I suppose that's when the battle to get better started. I've had a number of tumbles in the road and unfortunately lots of judgment against me. Of course I knew appearance has nothing to do with whether or not I would experience a mental health problem, but it became a symbol of one of the most difficult parts of the whole thing - getting people to listen and take me seriously.
I've had so many appointments that I've been reduced to tears of frustration. My Dad used to say to me "I don't know what you've got to be depressed about, you're a good looking girl, you can have anything you want, you've got your own car and a roof over your head." I tried to make him understand that depression doesn't care about any of these things. I would give anything to feel like me again because waking up and fighting with yourself everyday is heartbreaking.
I'm still nowhere near better but I'm in a much better place. Along the way Im going to do everything in my power to get more people to be aware of mental health problems, to know that they can happen to anyone, no matter who they are or what they have in life.
Fighting something as frightening as your own mind is so much easier if you have the right support from professionals and from people around you. Losing yourself and your inner voice because you was to scared of being dismissed or judged one more time is a awful place to be. I guess that's what has made me fight so hard to have a voice, because I know one day I will be a voice for someone else, anyone else who needs it.
Being young and being seen as attractive almost stopped me from getting the right help. That sentence needs to be a part of our history not our present, we must all work to change the way mental health is viewed in society.