As I psych myself up to write this, I contemplate how many things I have had to psych myself up for already today...getting out of bed, getting washed, brushing my hair, eating, driving to work, focusing on conversations, meeting deadlines, remembering what I have to do and in what order, and this is all before midday. This has been a part of my 'routine' for the last 15 years and it is exhausting.
But over time, I started having extremely bad anxiety and was becoming more depressed. School was using the little effort I had left. I gave up all my after-school clubs, all sporting events. I wouldn't eat at school or at home.
After a few months, I reached out to my friends about what was happening. But sadly, at that time they just came out with remarks about how I was being ungrateful and it was all for attention.
I felt extremely judged. Their comments made me feel worse.
In March 2018, a week before my 21st birthday, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. The doctor also told me I was in recovery from bulimia, but still showing signs of the behaviours associated with it.
Today, any of my friends would tell you that I am more than happy to talk about mental health openly and without shame. In fact, it's one of my favourite topics of conversation, and I think sometimes people might wish I would give it a rest. But I refuse to stop talking about it, because I know exactly how much impact a single conversation can have, and what it feels like to struggle alone in silence.