(Trigger Warning: This post deals with my current, personal journey with depression, self-esteem and eating issues. If you feel it may trigger your own similar feelings, I’ll not be offended if you carry on walking past this post.)
Its been a very long time since I wrote a personal post. I did rationalise it in my head as I’d entered a new chapter in my life and wanted to keep all the wonder and joy that was living with and being loved by The Bloke to myself, but I think it was actually something very different indeed. The last ten months of my life have been bittersweet and strange. On one hand, I’ve finally found the love of my life (ok, technically he found me) and I entered my fourth decade of life with a new desire to make the rest of my life as amazing, seeking new adventures and not being afraid to challenge how I view myself. Yet there is always a but. A big massive ‘don’t you dare get happy, the waves will come crashing, and the rain will pour, and down you will spiral’.
Loss is such a theme in my life. I lost my childhood by being all consumed with feeling inadequate and unworthy. I lost my teenage snogging years to fear and the wrong boy. I lost university and a proper career because oh so many reasons. I lost my dad, friends and potential lovers all along the way. I lost myself. I became the girl who thought she was no more than a flicker in the corner of people’s’ eyes and willing to become invisible, to blend in with the crowd. Stranded and drowning, with no idea of how to become how she wished to be.
Then I started this blog and because of it met many fantastic women who aren’t afraid to say a big fuck you to being conventional or how they’re expected to be. Being able to walk into a room and be the centre of attention for the right reasons, not merely the two-dimensional movie sidekick version of themselves. Women of all sizes, proud to claim their individuality. I realised I could either continue to be cast as the loyal best friend who aids the plot along in other people’s’ storylines or I could be the heroine, the one who gets all she wanted and more.
So I put myself out there….wore colour, stood tall, joined an online dating site, found the man of my dreams, started to become the sort of woman who wears bright lipstick and slinky dresses when she feels like it. Then one day I had a huge decision to make, to move to be with The Bloke and share my life completely with him. That was the best decision I have ever made in my life, and putting him top of my list but only when appropriate has given me more joy and happiness than I ever thought I could have.
But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t come at a price. I’m not the sort of person that does things like move away from everything and everyone she’s ever known. Trying to live two lives has been very hard indeed, and often I’ve felt trapped between two versions of myself – the one that is unhappy and quiet and the one that is joyous and really rather loud at times. Loss is my biggest fear, losing those that I love and I still have is something I’m petrified of, and by moving I opened that Pandora’s box of confidence issues. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this low before….this is definitely worst than the big meltdown of 2003. Oooh, I’ve just realised I have meltdowns in years ending in 3…spooky. Anywho, so as you may have gathered from previous posts my seizures are caused by deep psychological stress and anxiety. But on top of that, if I’m running on low or empty, in other words tired or hungry or exhausted, the seizures worsen which causes the causes to worsen and around we go. For a while I really wasnt sleeping, which isn’t like me at all. It got to the point I was just existing rather than living, the seizures having expanded into me hitting myself and berating myself, even with attempts to throw myself down the stairs.
I felt hopeless, and I even started to doubt why The Bloke loved me, why anyone would give to flying figs about me. My deep and profound loneliness has been eating away at me, causing me to isolate myself from friends, from this blog, from life and therefore fueling the feelings even more. It came to a head and I finally admitted defeat, holding my hands up to the fact I needed help faster than the NHS wellbeing service could provide. A prescription of anti–depressants which also serve as sleeping tablets followed by a few weeks of being off work for a little rest and recuperation and for a finale, finding a private counsellor to start work on all the issues I’ve got.
It’s like for some reason the world has served to remind me of every bad thought I’ve ever had, every bad thing I’ve ever experienced. The bottom line though is I don’t think I’m good enough to be counted amongst the rest of the world, that somehow I’m bad, and wrong, and damaged, and malfunctioning. The Bloke often reels off all the reasons he loves me in the hope it actually sinks into my brain, or my heart, or wherever the damage lays. Yet, I hear but do not believe. Yes, I’ve gained ten times more confidence in the last year than I have ever before, but the broken parts seem more broken than ever. I can’t seem to let myself not worry what people think, of how I’m seen or unseen. I feel like only my fingertips are clinging onto those I care about and I’m about to lose those that matter.
I’ve started work on all of this….going back into my childhood and trying to reframe what has gone or I thought had gone before. It’s a long journey before I’ll be able to consider myself healed or healing, but it feels like maybe this time I’ll crack this thing called confidence. Maybe. Perhaps.
To Be Continued….?