I have experienced mental health problems since I was 15 and, for a while, I thought I would never be able to achieve anything. Even now there are times when I feel so alone, I sit in the dark crying whilst the voices inside my head scream at me and make me doubt everything. They even make me doubt that I have friends, that I have anyone who cares about me. Today though, I took a step back and realised that, though in my darkest moments when I don’t think anybody cares, they really do. I want to talk about six people in particular.
Adam and Glen, who I have only known for just over a year, have already helped me more than I could have ever hoped. From letting me stay at their houses because I haven’t wanted to be alone, to answering the phone at 4am because I can’t sleep. We have had a million late night trips to get food because I hadn’t eaten all day and they knew that wasn’t good. During a time when I hated myself in everything I wore, Adam made me the most beautiful dress. Glen sat next to me every day in the library whilst I cried and screamed and burnt my way through my Masters Dissertation, despite having his own to do.
Will and Amy are two of the funniest people I know and, though a lot of what they say are indirect joking insults, I love them both to pieces. Will and I have had our falling outs but he is always there to make me feel better in the most bizarre ways that would not make sense here. Amy is the same, mad but I love her. She doesn’t know when to stop talking but she always makes me feel better, even when she isn’t feeling amazing herself.
They have all been amazing and I owe them more than I can ever repay, but, more than this, I owe my life to two people. Alec and Rhys.
Rhys lived with me throughout University. Four years of putting up with my crying, my screaming in the middle of the night, my broken hearts, and my ways of dealing with my pain. I wouldn’t be alive without him, he helps me through everything. Mostly by telling me not to be stupid, not in the way that most people do, but in the most helpful and eye opening way. He has opened his door to me whenever I needed and the man deserves a medal for everything he has done. We don’t live together anymore but he is always there if I need to talk, be that meeting for dinner, coffee or just talking via Facebook. He helped me through the worst time of my life, when I was at my lowest and when I thought I would never get better. The stories won’t make sense here but they are some of my most treasured memories.
As for Alec, I met him when I was recovering from one of my lowest points and been there ever since. His phone is set to ring on the loudest setting whenever I call, even when it’s on silent. He has driven to get me when I felt suicidal at 3am, without even asking why. He has picked me up from anywhere just so I didn’t have to walk home alone. He has helped me calm the voices inside my head. He has never stopped having faith that I will get better. He is the best friend I can imagine. Without Alec, just like without Rhys, I wouldn’t be alive.
With the help of these people, and a few others, doing so much more than I can write here, I have graduated from my BA and from my Masters, and in September I am starting the perfect course to start a career I have always wanted. I still have nights when I can’t breathe and when I think that I annoy these six people and I doubt that they love me, but when I can, I take a step back and realise how much these people have done for me and how much I love them. They have all fought in my corner.
If anyone is still reading this, and if anyone feels like their attitude to mental health problems doesn’t matter. It does. There are amazing people in this world. And you can be one of them. Please just try and see that the little things you can do for someone who’s going through a tough time can change their life. Let that person in. Invite them round to watch a film, go with them for coffee, offer to pick them up, sit next to them and just let them feel your breathing. Believe me, the little things make a big difference.