One thing I have struggled with for most of my adult life, is depression and anxiety. It’s never been something that hits me all of a sudden, but creeps up slowly, leaving me wondering what the hell is going on, until it just clicks.
Some people describe depression as a big black dog, or a dark cloud. I think of it more as a swirling fog that gets thicker and thicker, but so slowly that you don’t even notice it at first. My first round of anti-depressants were prescribed when I was around 22. I think they helped – who knew? I was drinking/partying all the time, and just taking the pill every day, thinking it would be the magic answer.
I remember having freak outs in the supermarket, but putting them down to the weed I had recently smoked, or needing to get some more sleep, but when I look back at it now, it was more likely anxiety.
Yep anxiety. What was all along diagnosed as depression, was probably more along the lines of anxiety (which was diagnosed officially last year). I never had suicidal thoughts, I still had plenty of joyful moments, I enjoyed hanging out with friends and family – but one little thing would happen, and BAM head would start swirling, brain would go into overdrive, and I quickly figured out that the only way to ‘fix it’ was to go to sleep.
So I slept. A lot. Hell, I was now single, living back with my mum, working fucked up shifts as a Travel Agent. If I didn’t have to be at work, I would be asleep.
Things got a lot better when I moved to Canterbury and met my now husband. I had no job, and was ignoring all responsibility, so there wasn’t a lot to cause me much anxiety!
I had another bout of ‘depression’ while working for (what’s commonly known as) the Tenancy Tribunal. It was a call centre job that involved giving tenancy advice to landlords and tenants. I heard so many sob stories every day, and I just couldn’t turn them off at the end of the day. Hell, 6 years later I still wonder what the outcome was for some of the situations.
A change in job really helped my mental health, and I also signed up for weight watchers, and was exercising regularly – healthy body, healthy mind and all that.
Everything went well until I was pregnant with my second child. I had changed jobs again, and the anxiety had me HATING IT. I found out I was pregnant just 4 weeks into the job, so I had no idea if the job really was crap, or it was just me!
Fast forward through what felt like the longest pregnancy ever, and the subsequent 2 years of constant exhaustion, and I was feeling pretty blah.
I was now in a sales role (still am), and felt very overwhelmed by everything, but at the same time, felt like I wasn’t doing enough for anyone. I was constantly losing my shit at the kids, my heart would start racing for no apparent reason, I was constantly on edge waiting for something bad to happen and I just wanted sleep.
I texted my hubby (yep, I was too on edge to actually speak to someone) and told him I was concerned about my mental health. He had an easy answer – go to the doctor! So I did. And after tears, mental health quizzes, and a long talk with my doctor I was put on medication for anxiety.
I’d love to say it changed my life. To be honest it probably did, but the anxiety is still there sometimes. If I am having a stressful week at work, or the kids are being particularly shitty, or I have too much on my brain, I immediately start yawning. Yep, my natural reaction to anxiety is to go to sleep. Wishful thinking with 2 young kids in the house!
I’ve seen a few things online about rolling a sad person up in a blanket so they look like a sushi roll, or hiding with someone in a blanket fort if they are feeling down/overwhelmed – and these really resonate with me. To the point where I tell my hubby I need to be a burrito and he instantly knows what I mean!
I’m not sure what the point of this post is. A bit of a brain dump, a look through my eyes at depression/anxiety, maybe even a bit of education for people who have not dealt with it before. Who knows? But I feel better 🙂
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Talk soon xx