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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Comments

Depression, the silent soul destroying illness

Well where to start..I vaguely remember the moment in August 2009 , after years of university and working hard day in day out to help save the lives of others with the therapies I manufactured, that it was my life, my existence, that I was now fighting to save. Losing all sense of self-worth, shutting myself off from my family, friends and even my new born was hard for them to take. I pushed away all those who cared and agree you learn who's there for you when the chips are truly down. I'd crashed and burnt, was mocked by then wife and her family and progressively got worse. Looking back now, like other fellow suffers, the signs were there during my degree, my PhD and during my working life...the feeling of despair and trying to escape the 24/7 pain was excruciating. But with my faith, my mother, who'd also suffered from severe clinical depression, my closest friends, amazingly understanding company and amazing G.P who recognised how serious my illness had become..I fought my way back. There is light at the end of dark dark tunnel, it takes time to heal, it takes constant love, support and a realisation that you're blessed to have this chance of life and just as importantly that you can make positive differences in both your life and that of others. I won't sugar-coat it, there are still times where I'm close to relapsing but I have learnt to recognise the signs and speak out/seek intervention as quick as possible. The inner voice of reason tells me that I never want to go back to the 18 months of hell I went through and realise I've a bright future. It is important to realise that this illness isn't an illness of the weak minded, realise that you've pushed yourself to the limits and with loving support you can recover, you can once again achieve all your heart desires. Keep telling yourself you're stronger than the black dog, that your life is worth fighting for, those who love you are worth battling on for during those dark debilitating days. Take each day at a time, marvel at life, learn to love yourself and learn to listen to that inner strength which will guide you out of the darkness. To those of you just beginning the battle back blessings with all my heart, trust me when I tell you your recovery is just round the corner. Surround yourself with loving supportive caring souls, ignore the naysayers and focus your mind on the things in life that will bring you everlasting stability and inner peace to achieve all your heart desires.

i am with u

I read this like I had written it myself ... I too am a Rachel and this blog is me too. Thank you for sharing x thank you.

Well Said!

I love that you wrote about this! Many people don't know that you can treat the illness but it doesn't have to stop you from living your life. It can be tough, but there is help out there. I have also experienced the pain of mental illness, but fought back with the help of those around me. Thank you for sharing!

Depression

Depression destroy peoples.

Mental health

When I am in the depths of saddness, it feels like a grey dark cloud engulfs me. It has grips that lock on to my feet and I can not get my head out of it. My secret is to try and not go down. Take care

Me

I've always wondered if I had a mental illness I never went to the doctor I guess I'm in denial I do know I have ADHD I used to think I'm bipolar from all the anger issues and outbursts but the doctor said I was ADHD and it's part of it but then I said to myself what about when I isolate myself in the world I want to hang out I want to go to round one do it then we stay in the house just like I let my life to slip away I'm married my husband always says I don't want to go anywhere and do anything ever want to hang out with him or some of his friends I'm just at a point in life where I just don't want to do nothing I'm 40 years old sometimes I feel like what's the point.

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