Mental health awareness

Before my break down in 2011, I thought that depression was just being sad. How wrong I was.

Depression is like living in a haze, a dark haze. Even on sunny days, there is a gloom. You don’t want to do anything, you’re whole life is taken up by negative thoughts and emotions.

Day to day tasks were almost impossible to complete. I learned that if I masked the symptoms no one would know. I also found that I didn’t feel part of any social group or even family.

As my healing progressed, I struggled to find the real me. I’d been living in a different world, where I thought no one cared about me.

As I look back at the last seven or eight years, I can see that it was only because of friends and family who believed in me and showed me that I’m worthy.

Due to the help I received from people who understood what I was going through. I have now got through the worst of it. I can look forward to a hopeful future with love and friendship.

Without the help of others, I dread to think where I’d be.

Mental health issues are real, the same as a broken leg and cancer. Do we treat them like we treat people with mental health issues?

Dealing with strong emotions

One thing I have struggled with all my life is dealing with strong emotions. Until recently I have suppressed them.

Both good and bad emotions, I managed to shield them with humour. The problem with suppressing emotions is that they will spill out and I can’t control them. This is when I feel close to a meltdown.

After more than forty years of doing this I’m having to learn how manage them. I’m so glad I have caring, understanding friends and family. It makes things so much easier.

Acceptance

Acceptance, this has been more difficult for me to accept. Even though I instigated this whole process I feel that I wasn’t sure of why I started it.

The question was, am I autistic, why does it really mean and matter. I think I started it to confirm that there was nothing wrong with me. But when I took the tests online and had the phone assessment, it took on something bigger.

It was only after this had been done that I truly realised that I needed to accept my uniqueness and that it was something I needed to discover for myself.

After seeing a psychiatrist and filling in all the forms and discussing with my family. I’m now accepting who I am and realising my strengths and the positive way I can now see things.

On the down side, since letting my masks down, I can see a marked issue with sensory overload.

I now see that acceptance is so important and I’m lucky to have friends who just accept me for being me.

Having a wobble

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with everything. On Wednesday evening I felt so drained and overwhelmed. It felt like I couldn’t think straight.

I realised that the sending the forms to the assessment team made the whole process more real. Before I filled the forms in, it was just a another step. Now it’s more of a reality.

I know it’s just a wobble, but it’s a step in the right direction. One more step on my journey.

One wobbly step after another

Moving forward step by step

Never stopping ever onwards

Learning who I am

So the last few months have been a massive learning curve. From just thinking that I was struggling because of depression to where I am today.

I thought that my brain was just confused but after I started to worry over simple things.

I thought it was just the after effects of therapy.

But how wrong I was, as I looked back at my past. I noticed a recurring theme. Things started to make some sense.

After forty plus years and feeling so alone and different. Everything is starting to make sense. I’m learning to be me.

I feel that I’m starting to see this as a positive part of who I am.

I’m starting to advocate for myself and it’s so empowering.