I’ve decided to take a bit of a leap of faith today, and talk to you about what happened to me four years ago. Why have I decided to do it now? Well, firstly we’re gonna blame Kaitlyn ( check her blog >here<) for a minute, because for some reason she gave me even more confidence that what I do here on this blog isn’t pointless for other people, and number two… I have FINALLY asked for help in terms of therapy, this time, help I WANT.
I was 500 miles away from my home town, in a relationship I thought was going to last forever. I got depressed there, mostly because as a single mum (despite being in a relationship, he wasn’t her father), it was incredibly hard to find and maintain friendships – moreso because the town we lived in was military based and neither of us were military – so I felt that barrier pretty hard. We’re talking 13 years ago now, which seems insane. Eventually, the relationship crumbled and lead to some pretty shitty things going on in terms of my daughter. I wrote about that once >Here< and my mental health declining further. I moved home and things just kept getting worse.
For a while I was just convinced I was lazy. Sometimes, I still am. I have to remind myself how far I’ve come to prevent those terrible thoughts about myself stopping me doing more – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Four years ago I started to just not leave the house. I was severely depressed, I’d had a bunch of therapy that I didn’t really want and felt forced into, and I was at a point where I was so ashamed of who I was, I really didn’t want anyone to look at me. Not the man in the cornershop, not a friend I’ve known since I was 12, not a random stranger on the street, not my family – No one. So I hibernated. How does one survive hibernating? Well, takeaways. Supermarket deliveries. A lot of sleep, a massive lack of self care and a spare room full of rubbish you can’t get out of the house to dispose of. This went on for TWO YEARS.
Looking back now, I’m absolutely disgusted with myself, but I can rationalize that I just wasn’t well. I’m still not well, but I’m coping better daily.
What changed things for me? Honestly, it was a weird mental block that totally reminded me of my childhood. I won’t go into it, it’s SUPER personal, but just know that for weeks I was sick and at some points in those weeks I thought I was going to die… and that was when I knew I didn’t want to. I kept imagining my family finally finding me in my gross flat, looking like some typical crazy hoarder. The only thing left for me was to reach out, so I did. I asked my Dad to take me to the hospital, and he was kind enough to know I needed help and took me. I cried the entire journey. I cried when I got there. I cried through talking to the doctor, and I cried when I got home and got into bed because I couldn’t deal anymore. HOWEVER… things started to change from that point.
I’m going to be a little detailed about my personal hygiene and just let you know that I can’t remember the last time I’d washed when I went to the hospital. I definitely hadn’t brushed my hair in at least 8 months, and I’m pretty sure I’d sat in the same t-shirt for 6 months, but step by step I combated those things. I shaved my head. My hair used to come down to my bum, but I literally whacked it all off – there was no way a brush was going to get through that mass of knots so the only option to me was to start over… and as I was still not regularly leaving the house, it didn’t seem like a bad idea to start over immediately (my hair now comes to my shoulders!). While I’d been unable to cope, my boiler for hot water had heat stopped working. Every time I DID wash, it was with a kettles and saucepans of boiled water. I’ve since fixed my boiler and you’ll be pleased to know I wash daily! I’ve even bought new clothes, and actually get dressed most mornings. I’m also stepping out and seeing friends, going shopping and visiting family. My daughter now stays with me every other weekend, and I’m trying to help her with her issues that have been bought on thanks to my inability to parent her. I’m eating three meals a day, and have absolutely gutted my tiny little flat. My daughter has a brand new bedroom that I put together with my own hands. I finally have closet space and a bed of my own that isn’t second hand… I’ve fitted new toilet seats, gotten storage outta the wazoo, cleaned walls, floors and fixtures until they’re (almost) sparkling. I’m in a REALLY good place… and I want it to get better still.
I mention Borderline Personality Disorder again, not because it’s a crutch (fuck you anyone who says that. You’re a wanker), but because there are situations where that explains – NOT EXCUSES- my behaviour. Patients with BPD do tend to be more susceptible to things like anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia… there’s many other things that BPD can cover, but those are the three that directly affected me (at the time). I have started to feel so much better about -everything- since I have accepted BPD as a part of me. It’s not what I consider a disability as such – because everyone has a brain that works differently to the next person. My brain is just doing the most to prevent me feeling good and right now, I’m winning that fight. After feeling like I didn’t belong and couldn’t ever function in society, I have this diagnosis that makes it all make sense. I have a reason, and a way to make things better now I know all the reasons why I should be flailing miserably, but instead of feeling like I’m failing because I can’t, I now know I can. I’m rewiring the bad patterns in my brain to make way for good ones… but that in itself is a battle and I don’t win every day.
I don’t want you thinking that I didn’t have people offering help. I did. I had family and friends trying to reach out to me, but a lot of the time I’d either cry talking to them on the phone, or ignore the phone completely. I couldn’t accept the help because I didn’t think I deserved it. I felt like I’d gotten myself in the mess and it was my responsibility to get it out. Let me tell you… ACCEPT the help. Ask for it. Sometimes, people aren’t going to be able to help you when you think you need them – but you’ll get through it, and that doesn’t mean that there’s no one there for you. More than anything, speak kindly to yourself. You are worth so much more than someone verbally beating yourself up – if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. Believe you can get better and be better, and you will.
Make it a beautiful day, Spoonies. You’re worth it. xoxo.