A new beginning
It is tough to know where to start, you might think the beginning is the sensible option but really I am not sure where the beginning is exactly. So I am going to start with today, Sunday. Sunday is a day for me, to spend time with myself and my most recent literary or television obsession (currently Scandal), to eat and to mentally prepare myself for the week ahead. That is something we all do right? Something that each of us need to keep our heads in the game during our work week ahead, but for me Sunday is the hardest day of the week. I don’t know where to go from this point or more accurately how to get to the point so please understand that the following is the best that I can do.
I have anxiety, and occasionally depression. I sometimes wake up and feel a knot churning in my stomach and vicious butterflies threatening to burst through my chest, for no reason at all I will open my eyes and be hit by a crippling range of overwhelming emotions, self-loathing, fear, embarrassment, hurt, hopelessness…there isn’t a limit on what I may feel. And it is then at this point that I want to give up on telling my story, because as mentioned only a moment ago I feel scared and embarrassed and I absolutely do not want any sympathy, because it is ingrained into me – by society, by disapproving friends or loved ones – that I lead a lovely life, full of opportunity and love and no abuse or violence what-so-ever, so why on earth should I dare to ever feel anxious or depressed? I wish to God that I didn’t feel this way and that I would never feel this way again, but the fact of the matter is that I do and I always will. Yes that is right, I think that I will always feel this way. I am not being defeatist or negative, I am not even being a realist, I just am.
The reason I am telling my story is for a wider reason, and i am talking directly to you dear reader because you are not alone. You are a person who has anxiety, or you are a person who supports someone with anxiety whether they are your husband, girlfriend, son, sister or employee; you are not exempt you either are or have a direct link to someone who has anxiety or depression. I want you to know unequivocally that you are not alone, because thinking of oneself as alone and without support is the number one issue that gives fuel to the stigma that is mental health, the second issue that gives fuel is denial of mental health as a legitimate illness. Then we move on to a separate issue altogether, the NHS and its representatives although valiantly trying their very best are marginally oversubscribed and under funded; but I am vastly underqualified to give an opinion on how it could be improved. Instead I want to try to give hope, whether you are single or in a relationship, have familial support or avoid at all costs talking to them about your mental state, please have hope.
We live in a society where it has become increasingly easy to be bogged down by expectation, expectation on how to look, how to think, how to act or react. Where there is mounting pressure and attached judgement about how much we earn, where we work, where we live. Where it has become increasingly common to be penalised for your level of education or depth of intelligence, level of experience, for your lack of commitment to politics or the environment. All the while all of the things that we are told and expected to conform to are becoming more unattainable, more expensive and generally out of reach and then society is surprised when the younger generations show symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Friends who have very kindly committed to my previous attempts at blogging will know that I have a tendency to give up the ghost as it were, but the reality is that the little voice in my head ends up putting too much pressure on myself, it tells me that my conjecture is ill advised and unappreciated. But seeing as this attempt is tackling the very issue that so often holds me back, I will try my utmost to not give up, more than any other time.
I am not an expert and I may only reach one person, but over an undefined course I am endeavouring to express snippets of my experiences in attempt to show you that you are not alone and that there is hope.