Wednesday 9 May 2018

My lowest point

Anxiety is something I never knew I had until a few years ago and even though it was a self diagnosis, please let me reiterate it wasn't a case of oh I'm so worried all the time, it explained why I couldn't handle or deal with situations as someone without it should. I was struggling but coping, that was until last year where my mental health took a turn for the worse.

Anxiety is crippling and I discovered just how crippling it could be last year. My year started out ok, brilliant in fact as my boyfriend and I put an offer down on a place and it got accepted, but that's when the true worries began. On exactly the same day, my Grandad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and things seemed to spiral down from there. When we put an offer on the house, we said that we needed to be able to move in by a certain date as that was when our tenancy agreement ended and finding somewhere else to live between moves would have be a nightmare. Our landlady hadn't shown herself to be the nicest and it got to a point where we didn't feel like we could complain about anything as she treated it as a major hassle. I really didn't think after all the problems we had had with the house that she was going to let us stay a bit longer if we needed to, so as the months ticked by and we still were no nearer to an exchange date, plus a break in the chain, the more anxious I became. My Auntie's health also began to deteriorate and I felt like the world was closing in around me and there was nothing I could do to escape. 

Looking back now I know I was severely depressed. I was highly irritable and didn't take pleasure or enjoyment in things. I lost all motivation for my blog and reading which are my mains joys in life and just thought what was the point in anything. I was highly lacking in any form of energy and it was severely affecting my relationship with my other half. I even got to a stage where I contemplated ending it- as I write this it cuts me deep, I can't believe I got to a point in my life where I even thought about leaving my boyfriend, family and friends behind. I don't know who that person was. I went from getting excited and happy about the smallest thing to literally not wanting to be a part of this world anymore. When you're in that frame of mind you just can't see a way out. I thought I would never be happy again.
My anxiety was continuing to worsen and it was starting to prevent me from sleeping- I have never been a great sleeper but I would go for weeks of getting about 4 hours sleep a night, even on weekends. It was becoming so bad, I ended up going to the doctor about it and they prescribed me some pills to help me deal with my anxiety and pointed me in the direction of Time to Talk- a counselling service. I will be honest, at first I completely dismissed this as I thought I was being pathetic- I do not think anyone else that has counselling is this at all, this is just how I felt about myself and I also thought that there are people out there with much bigger problems than me so what was I worrying about. This was after the first visit to the doctors and although the pills helped initially with my sleep, my stress and worries were becoming so overwhelming, that I ended up going back and asking for stronger pills. This is where the doctor reiterated to me that I couldn't rely on these pills for ever and asked if I had got in contact with time to talk. I told him I thought I was being silly and over the top about my worries and he told me never to feel like that and that I was the third person he had spoken to that day with similar feelings to me. That was what prompted me to finally get in touch with Time to Talk.

I finally got in touch with Time to Talk via their website that very same day after going to the doctors. It wasn't long before I had a phone call from them. A super lovely lady called Helen spoke to me and basically asked me what my situation was in my life at the moment and what it was that was causing me stress and anxiety. From there they were able to determine what type of therapy would help me best and that was counselling and guided cognitive behavioral therapy. There was a bit of a waiting list but to help you through this, I had three weekly sessions for the interim, these were so helpful and during this time, my situation improved before I had even moved onto my counselling. I was set tasks each week to help me process ways to cope and deal with my anxiety levels and it just helped me to process everything a bit better. I ended up having 6 weeks of weekly counselling talks and it was one the best decisions I ever made getting in contact with Time to Talk. It really really helps having someone to talk to and never be afraid to.

What I have learnt massively from this is that it helps to talk. I shared how I was feeling with a couple of my friends and found out that one of them was at the same stage that I was with her anxiety and another friend who had been through it after an accident and I was so sad that I hadn't been there for her at the time. If you are feeling like you can't cope, please do talk to someone, I wish I had spoken to someone sooner, so I wouldn't have got to the horrendous stage I did get to.
Although things are better in my life at the moment, I know that my anxiety will always be there but if I do go through another major stressful time in my life, I am now in a place where I can deal with it a lot better.

If you are feeling low or like you can't cope, please speak to someone. No one will judge you and there are far more people in your situation or similar than you think. I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't finally opened up.

Below are some other places you can go to for help.

On Line Self Help Resources
Other Support Resources

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