I had never heard of the word anxiety. I had heard of depression but didn’t understand it, and at that point, I never thought it would hit me.
In 2012 I graduated with a 2:1 degree, made amazing friends and I was working for a company I loved. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out where I was working and I decided to leave my job and search for another one. It was a hard decision walking away from the company I loved but I knew I had my education and experience on my side.
Leading up to the day I opened up about my mental health I had struggled with anxiety for many years. It affected me in many ways and eventually opened the door for depression to come in, which would then take hold of my life for over a year. Throughout that time trying to deal with my anxiety and depression brought with it a lot of negative habits.
I’ve lived with bipolar disorder for fifty years, but recently came to see that this was not my only mental health problem. I always knew I was a bit too much of a child, but the degree to which this affected my behaviour and people’s view of me came as a surprise. I only realized recently, as I talked with my husband, how serious my emotional problems were. People don’t usually tell you such things.
Throughout my life I have had acquaintances, people who would speak to me in class who I would have a joke or a deep conversation with, but I’ve always had very few friends. I think this is mainly down to the fact that I don't push myself in many ways and actually prefer to stay in than go out to parties – yes, I'm a granny I know, but there is something about lighting a candle and putting your slippers on! I’ve struggled to fit in or be accepted by others.