Living with Asperger syndrome (AS) and mental health issues is not an easy feat. It never is. Imagine yourself in a room full of people. All those people are laughing and mingling. Meanwhile, you aren’t. You’re sitting there in the corner all alone, watching everyone make nice with each other. Nobody even acknowledges that you’re there.
When you look at this picture you probably see a happy girl enjoying a night out with her partner. What you don’t see is the story behind the picture. Three days before, I had a nervous breakdown and had just been signed off work with anxiety and depression.
I feel like I’ve lost a lot of things to depression: time, energy, motivation. But none of these compares with the feeling that I lose myself and my identity when I’m depressed.
I’ve always been an over-achiever and a perfectionist. I would go above and beyond to help people. I rarely missed a day at my job. I was the responsible one and the one other people could count on. Except when I was depressed.
When my very much wanted and precious daughter was born two years ago, after a difficult pregnancy, we both suffered from an infection and were in hospital for a week.
As overjoyed as I was to have my dear little girl, I felt numb and overwhelmed. I did not have a family support network, as my mum was ill with vascular dementia and my father was bedbound from a stroke.