If you guys have read one of my first posts, there was a list of things about me and there you could read that I struggle with depression, anxiety and self-harm. For those who personally know me this might seem like a shock because I don't always talk about it. It's something that I've been struggling with for a really long time. I started harming myself around the age of 11 and never ever did my parents notice. Don't blame them, they're great parents but I was someone who could easily hide it or wear something like bracelets or do it on my thighs.
I want to talk about this because I think it's something important and because more and more people are getting hurt and I want to help them. Since 13 Reasons Why a lot of people immediately had their opinion about it. They (13 Reasons Why) were promoting suicide and showing that particular scene is irresponsible. It's all bullshit. It's just reality. A lot of people are struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide thoughts,... We shouldn't be ashamed of ourselves, we shouldn't think that we are weak and never ever look for help, because that's what we need to do. We need to open up about ourselves, we need to talk to someone, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or just a friend. Never ever bottle up your feelings, trust me.
So back to being 11 years old: my friend and I were experimenting with self-harm and we actually did this because on the internet some role models of ours were doing it, so we had to do it too. When we first harmed ourselves, we didn't really know what to think of it, but that didn't stop us. We kept doing it and we always talked about it. After a while it felt like something good, something to transform the mental pain into physical pain. Now, 19 years old, I still struggle. There are times that I kind of plan in advance to do it. I picture where I'm going to do it and what way I can hide it. I know I sound sick, but I don't want to die. It's not that. Sometimes I feel hollow and it's something that helps me realise that I'm still human, that I'm still alive... It was hard for me when my grandma died in December and harming myself was something to make me feel alive again.
Now a little more about my depression and anxiety. I don't really know from what age I discovered that I felt depressed and had anxiety, but I think somewhere around 13-14 years. It might sound crazy that I'm still "not over it", but I think there's always been some part of me that could never be truly "happy". I don't know how to describe it or how to can say it, but that's how I feel. Don't get me wrong, I can feel very happy and I am happy when I'm with my boyfriend, but when he's not around, it feels like he has my happy part and I'm left with my depressed part. I can also be happy when I'm with my friends or family, but when I'm alone I feel lonely, depressed and I'm always overthinking.
I never really knew what this emptiness and overthinking was until I heard someone talking about it on YouTube or on a blog, I'm not sure but it was on the internet. When I heard/saw the words "depression" and "anxiety" I began googling it. And okay I hear you all thinking "ugh who searches on the internet for mental illness", but, in my opinion, looking for a mental illness or looking for a disease (like cancer symptoms,...) is something different. Mental illnesses are not that easy to label someone with instead of a disease such as cancer. With mental illnesses there are a lot of different symptoms and not everyone has every symptom. It's easier to look up feelings and ways of behaviour than symptoms of a disease.
I kind of knew what depression was but I never really knew that I had anxiety. So while googling I discovered a lot, such as that anxiety was one of the reasons why I could have sudden headaches, chest pains or abdominal pains. Why I could have perspiration or itchy skin. Why I was always overthinking, thinking about the worst things first and then the good things,... And the best part of it all: why I am so bad with social contact. I'm always nervous, it takes me a while to finally feel myself or feel good when I'm with someone. If someone approaches me, it's a lot easier for me than when I need to approach someone. When I need to approach someone, I start overthinking and getting really nervous and when someone approaches me, I don't have the time to overthink because I need to start talking immediately. It's hard for me to order something in a restaurant, I start getting nervous, getting sweaty and most of the time I don't know how to speak... (It's really hard to explain what anxiety is because it's so many things all at once, but this kind of explains it.)
So now you all know something about me that I've kept as a secret for such a long time. I'm not seeing a doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist and I'm not taking medications besides my birth control and some vitamins. I don't feel like seeing a doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist because I rather talk to someone I know than someone I don't know at all. I just know that I will never open up to a doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist or I would never tell them the whole story. But if you feel like talking to someone, you can always talk to me, one of your friends or a professional.
Remember: you're always someone's reason to smile! 💖