It’s a new year, but it’s not time for a new me. 2014 has been a complicated one, when I reflect on the place I was emotionally in January of 2014 it leaves me feeling slightly sick.
This time last year things were beginning to get very complicated for me – I struggled with issues for roughly four or five years, but October 2013 is when I think I started to struggle to hide how I was feeling. I remember being at work doing some marketing for an upcoming event and crying, shaking, and pretty much breaking down every time I tried to move or when I tried to apply myself to work. Fortunately nobody saw this – but it was destroying me.
I began having terrible dreams, and the feelings of despair, desperation and deep panic started dominating my life. Looking back now I have no idea how I managed to function – there was one point where I broke down in class, on the way home I decided to stop off in Tesco, I was in ‘autopilot,’ when I arrived in Tesco I had no idea what I was doing, what I wanted to do and was stupidly confused, it was awful.
Fast forward to January 2014 and I’d managed to push – squash, squeeze and ram – my feelings into a non-existent box, or hole or something – the place where I manage to hide most of my emotions – I guess we all do this, but for me I’d been doing this for far too long. I become very good at manipulating myself and others into thinking I was okay – so much so that I believed I was fine – I carried on getting on with my life (as you do.) It was in the middle of a two-week project, in which I was project manager that I had my first experience of panic attacks which really screwed me over. Reflecting now I’d had panic attacks before, but this one was different – it was 5am and it was awful. What made the situation suck even more was that I decided to carry on as if nothing had happened – I didn’t think I needed help. My concentration really started to suffer, and I became endlessly moody – yet I kept taking on more and more tasks without hinting to anyone that I was struggling, to be honest I don’t think I’d admitted to myself that I was struggling. Once the two week project was over we had to complete a report – I’m fairly sure it took me about four hours just to write one paragraph.
For my friends I think they thought I was just ridiculously stressed, but we all were – as final year in university is quite stressful haha.
In February 2014 I went to see Taylor Swift perform at the 02 Arena (London) with my sister – this was the first time I’d been home in a while and it was very odd. Music for me is pretty much the best thing in the world – I can’t attend a gig without wanting to be on the stage singing my heart out, or without wanting to sing along as loudly as possible; however when I was at Taylor’s concert I pretty much wanted to cry all the way through. The way home – waiting for the crowds to move away and into North Greenwich Underground station left me stupidly angry, and hating the world. I wanted to scream at everyone – especially the people that were having a good time – buzzkill aye?
It was the day after seeing Taylor Swift that I decided to get help – I love Taylor Swift, and I was so angry at myself for not being able to control my emotions that I realised I was struggling. I was struggling bad.
The road to recovery has included counselling, medication, mental health advisors and much more – and my symptoms became far more intense one I started to receive help (something which I will discuss another time.) What is terrifying is how you can lose all control, your mind can react in certain ways and it takes ridiculous amounts of strength and an incredible support system to pull you through.
Its been an incredible journey, and its not yet over – and getting help isn’t easy – I’ve experienced incredibly dark times since getting help – something which is hard to explain, and difficult to think about as I feel ridiculously stupid, but I’ve pulled through, and I’m finally beginning to see how strong I am. The past ten months or so have been hard, but ironically it was a Taylor Swift song that made me realise how far I’ve come – Clean – is an ace song and you should check it out.
2014 has been difficult, yet amazing – I hope 2015 continues to leave me breathless and in awe of this world.