I’m an army veteran who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. For a few years now, I have been struggling to cope with my mental health problems. I come from an army infantry background and I completed a full operational tour of Afghanistan in 2014. However unbeknown to me I was battling mental health issues since I was a child.
These are words that come to mind: rejection, abandonment, sorrow, suffering and no knowledge. Some would say I was destined to wear a jewelled crown upon a troubled brow.
Recently, I was doing some research for a writing project I’m working on. My research was focused on emotionally unstable personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder, which is also my own diagnosis.
My name is Aida and I’m diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and a type of bipolar disorder.
When I was a kid, I was very introverted and it was hard for me to make new friends due to my shyness. I had insomnia and so many fears, I was even afraid to fall asleep at night. I was also very irritable but besides all these negative things I was generous, kind and I loved smiling and making others laugh.
When I was diagnosed with mental illness I was very lucky to have people around me who did not stigmatise me, who saw me as me and not my diagnosis. However, when I stepped out of my comfort zone and into society, I was hit with the stigma of mental health illness which many people have to battle with from time to time.
I wish I could give 2018 me a look into this year. I feel like a completely different person, and my whole attitude towards mental health has completely changed.
A year ago I was stuck in a job I couldn’t stand. My mental health was in ruins. And I could barely get out of the door. Every day I would sit in my local coffee shop and question whether I had the strength to get through the day. There came a time when I couldn’t sit at my desk for longer than a few hours without gasping for air in fear of what was to come.