I’m on edge pretty much all of the time. I’m calm when I want to be. I have a constant need to be organised. I don’t mind leaving my clothes on the floor. I become snappy when I’m in a supermarket for too long. I crave distractions. I’m sometimes reckless. I’m the walking-talking definition of a teacher’s pet. I have dyed my hair so many times that my natural hair colour probably won’t come back. I recently decoloured my hair. I enjoy sending drawn-out emails to anyone in my contact list. I’m annoyed by mass emails. I trust the loved ones in my life.
We all know someone who experiences anxiety. A friend, or a friend-of-a-friend. That ‘flaky’ someone who turns up late, or cancels last-minute; who often seems on edge; who takes forever to make a decision; is overly worried what others might think. Maybe a colleague who takes random days off; or struggles with sudden changes of plan. I could, of course, be describing you. If so, welcome to the gang.
Originating from childhood trauma, I suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) - also known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). I have struggled with my mental health since I was 16 years old and I’m now 25. In that time I have become a qualified paediatric nurse and have, at times, received backlash from some people about my competence because of my diagnosis.
The pandemic we find ourselves in today has been, an event that began off as extremely difficult to deal with. I remember as a kid being grounded; never did I imagine a whole country being grounded. I remember when my parents would ask me, “why don’t you spend more time at home?”, now they ask me, “why don’t you go out for a walk?”.
When I think about it, the shift in attitudes is quite interesting and at times quite amusing.
In January I had the dubious pleasure of travelling down to London, to do some filming for Time to Change in their See the Bigger Picture campaign. Despite my, very, amateurish stumbling through the filming it was eventually finished – apologies to everyone kept waiting and grateful for their patience. The reason I became involved in that project is my belief that mental health issues need to be out in the open.