September 22, 2015

“It feels like I am at the bottom of a well. I can see the light at the top but there’s no way to climb out”

I remember describing that feeling to my counsellor when I was at my worst. I was diagnosed with depression in 2014, but in all honesty I had the same empty feeling for about five years prior to that. Every day, over the years I’d wake up and pray it would go away and that I could keep it a secret. But it never did, it just got worse. I will never forget Thursday 14th August 2014, that was the day I hit rock bottom and felt suicidal. I was at the bottom of that well.

How did I get out of the well then? I’d lost who I was, who I used to be. In my place was a human being I didn’t recognise in the mirror, someone who just existed rather than living life. I did most of the climbing myself, but my friends held out their hands along the way to help me up. When you go through something as serious as mental illness, you realise who is there for you no matter what. I lost people who didn’t want to know me. But my family and friends have been amazing and I am so grateful and lucky to have them in my life.

In my experience, the best thing to do is reach out to others. There will be people who want to help you so please don’t be afraid to seek help. It doesn’t make you weak -  it is the strongest thing you can do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t sugar coat anything: it’s still hard. There were still things in my head that couldn’t be fixed by other people. I had to fix it myself.

One day I got up and I have no idea why but decided to fight back, I’d had enough. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also the best. It was scary, it was horrible; there were days I would fall to the floor and just cry and cry. But somehow, some way, I dragged myself out of it. With support from other people I became myself again and re-discovered what I love, for me it’s my football and my music, I’ve lost count the amount of times the lyrics of my favourite band Papa Roach have saved me.

My advice to anyone going through something similar would be to accept that your mental health may be a part of you but it doesn’t and should never define who you are and seek support from those around you who love you and want to help. And I promise you one day, you will wake up and the world will look just that little bit brighter and when it does it’s a pretty neat world to live in.

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