Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Living with that black cloud

This week I have decided to do a very honest blog post about my battle with Clinical Depression. This is something that I have been unsure about writing for a while now, I've been drafting it and deleting it for weeks but I wanted to give it a go and be 100% honest with you.


When I was 19 I was loving life. I had a good job, I'd just met the love of my life, we were planning to move into our first house and I was a very sociable person. When Dan and I were looking for our house we found a gorgeous little cottage in a small village in Hampshire. It was beautiful, very small and compact but just right for us. We had a lovely garden, nice neighbors, stunning views and my favorite...a log burner!! We instantly fell in love with it. We would spend many nights sat in front of the log burner watching films and enjoying our little home.

The first year in that house was perfect but after about a year I noticed I was struggling a bit. Getting out of bed was hard...now this was something I have always struggled with from a young age! My parents would have to drag me out of bed in the morning to get me up and out the door to school. But this was different, it wasn't that I was tired, I just didn't want to get up. I didn't want to talk to anyone and I didn't want to go outside, I didn't want to see anyone I just wanted to stay in. It was a strange feeling as I have always been an outgoing person. When I hit 18 you couldn't stop me from going out!!

Sorry the only photo I could find of the log burner was at Halloween!
The only way I can describe it is like a black cloud. I felt like there was this huge mist that followed me round and made me feel so low. It sounds so patronizing to say, but unless you have felt this way you have no idea how it feels. Most of the time I would just sit there, not doing anything, not taking anything in....just sit there. It was a lonely feeling and even writing this post and thinking about those dark days brings tears to my eyes. I persisted with it and continued to try and 'put a plaster' over my feelings. I went to see my doctor and after a few tests I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression.

Dan and I moved out of our lovely little cottage and moved back to the village where I grew up as a child. I think deep down I thought moving back may make me happy. It's were Lauren and I went to school, all our friends lived there and some of my happiest memories are of being in that village. But moving back didn't help if anything it made it worse, it wasn't the same village it used to be. Now I'm not saying it's a nasty place because it's far from that! But friends had moved on, most of the faces I would see I didn't know.

About 2 months after we moved into our new place we got Dave! I was overjoyed with the little munchkin, he gave me a reason to get up in the morning, he pulled me out of the house when I didn't want to go....sometimes litrually! Things seemed to get better.


After moving in and getting Dave we decided to celebrate by throwing a house warming party for all our friends, we had lots of family staying over at ours and all of a sudden that black cloud appeared above me. Looking back at the photos now you can see a smile on my face but inside I just wanted to scream. Even though I was surrounded by people I felt so lonely again. The day after the party I hit a massive low. We still had our family over so I put on a brave face and got through the weekend.


For the next year or so I continued to have low patches, I was seeing a cognitive therapist which helped a bit but at the beginning of 2012 I hit my all time low point. Things all got on top of me and I just didn't care anymore. I took 6 weeks off work and shut myself away. Those 6 weeks were the worst 6 weeks of my life. I had pushed everyone away, Dan, Dave, my family, Dan's family and my friends. I was a complete cow to live with. I'm not proud to say but I took to drinking quite a bit, at the time it seemed to make everything feel better but now looking back it just created more problems. I'll never forget the day that Dan turned to me and told me I needed help. It broke my heart to see him upset but it was the kick up the bum I needed. I booked myself in to see a new doctor the next morning and she was brilliant. Before I felt like my previous doctor had just given me some tablets and told me to get on with it. Whereas I got the feeling my new doctor really did want to help. I was back on my tablets and on the road to sorting things out. I went back to work part time and slowly by surely I got things back on track.

Now I'm not saying I'm completely cured, I still have my down days but I'm so much better at knowing when to hold my hands up and say 'I'm struggling.' I am a member of a great online forum for people with all types of depression and anxiety which I find really helps. It's great to be able to go on there and just vent to people that know exactly what I am talking about.


I know what you're thinking, 'why did I write this post?' Did you know 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year? I wrote this post because I'm not embarrassed about my illness, I used to be, but I'm not anymore. I know exactly what it's like to feel all alone, but without the support of my lovely family, Dan's family, friends, my doctor and Davey, I really don't think I would be here today. Sadly there are people that aren't as lucky as I am and have no one to turn to. I hope that one day we can break down the stigma that prevents people from getting help and seeking support so that they can get help with their mental illness.


Finally, I will forever be grateful to Dan for getting me through that dark period in my life. Sometimes things happen in life that bring you closer together and this was definitely one of them. As corny as it sounds I really am the luckiest girl in the world to have found him.
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10 comments

  1. I think it's so incredibly admirable that you are helping others through sharing your story! You go girl :) Beautifully written.

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    1. Thank you so much. I just hope that if there is someone out there, like I was that's struggling a bit, they can read this and know they aren't on their own. xx

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  2. This is so heartbreakingly honest Aimee, thanks for sharing. Your bravery will undoubtedly help others going through the same thing.
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. Thank you Michelle, that means a lot. If it can help just one person then it will be the best post I have ever written! :) xx

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  3. Such a brave post i felt so much better the first time i wrote about my anxiety *hugs* xx

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    1. Thank you Chloe that means a lot. xx

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  4. I had the same thing happen to me, but I never went to the doctor or got any medicine. It happened after I graduated from high school. I was supposed to start my normal classes, but when I was supposed to start my first day of classes. I didn't have any of my stuff I ordered, didn't have an aide for my classes, nor did I have my books either. I was allowed to take classes online. That's when I got very depressed, but I think it had been building for quite some time though. I was like that for four and a half months. That "black cloud" you were talking about, had the same thing but I wasn't drinking to help, I was letting my thoughts consume me and I had thought of suicide a couple of times. Everytime I was around family, I was like off on another world. I was lost and unhappy. In mid-November I was getting better, my nana became like my shrink for me & got me through. I still struggle with it every month to the point I'm almost scared that I'll go back into it. I've been doing good though! Thanks for writing this! :)

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    1. Thank you for being so honest. I hope that you are finding the help you need. If you would like I can send you the link to the online forum I use. It's such a great place to be able to go and talk to people that know exactly how you feel. It's great to hear that you have your Nana there to help you through it but if you ever need to talk then you can always contact me through twitter. @aimeephelan xx

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  5. Thank you for sharing this, so brave of you.
    Glad to hear you're doing better now, and Dave is gorgeous - I can definitely see how he'd help :D

    Jess xo

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