Story By Alisha
In response to: Heidi, I’m Losing My Shit
I asked Heidi to pass this on to you because I wanted you to know that there was someone out there who really does understand what you are going through and that you definitely aren’t “losing your shit”.
14 months ago, almost to the day, I was being taken to Sir Charles gardener hospital. I had tried to take my own life. I was very nearly successful. Though that could have been the day my life ended it turned into the day my life started again.
I am 34 years old and I am currently rebuilding my life, I am shaping a future that I know is going to be wonderful. But honestly, it hasn’t been easy, in fact some days it’s downright exhausting.
The day that my life started again I had been at work, I was going through the motions but I wasn’t really there. The doctors would later ask how I felt at the time, they didn’t seem to believe my answer, nothing, I felt absolutely nothing.
In fact, I felt nothing until my mother was sitting beside my hospital bed looking at me with tears in her eyes and pain etched on her face. In the beginning, I fought to rebuild my life for her, I didn’t care about me but I vowed to never be the cause of her pain again so I started with my daily mandatory therapy and I started taking the prescribed medication.
I used to have such a hang up about being on antidepressants, I used to tell myself that I shouldn’t NEED them, I should be strong enough to deal with anything. Why was it that everyone else seemed to handle their shit but I couldn’t? I had nothing to show for my life so far, I hadn’t accomplished anything. I was a loser, I was weak, I was a burden. What sort of person is scared of their own mind?
I tried being open with those closest to me about what I was going through but I could see on their faces that, though they genuinely cared, they didn’t get it. They couldn’t get it if they had never experienced it.
Being trapped in your own mind, your logical side screaming out for help but being drowned out by the noise the depressive thoughts make. Knowing you need help but not knowing how to get what you need. Fighting your own damn mind every minute of every day, it’s exhausting. I stopped eating, I wasn’t sleeping. On the outside I was going through the motions but I wasn’t me any more, I was just a robot mimicking the girl everyone thought I was.
Then I shut down, I was numb, not even the depressive thoughts were screaming at me any more. I became so detached that on that fateful day it was like I was watching someone else, there was nothing of me left and I was tired, so tired, I just wanted it all to stop.
When I went back to work after two weeks in hospital I was sure everyone knew what I had done, that they were all judging me for being weak, that they were angry that I had been away for so long, I felt like a burden to my partner and friends. But every day I talked to the doctors, they just let me talk, the therapist helped me a lot too. Like the doctors she just let me talk at first, even if I wasn’t really making sense.
Then I got given tools to help me sort through my muddled mind. I started writing in a journal to get all the noise out of my head, I went to free meditation classes to help me learn to stay in the present.
Each day I would go outside and sit in the sun. I continued to take the meds and I continued to see the doctors and therapist. Slowly I started to see that there were things in my life that weren’t bringing anything positive and I learnt that it wasn’t selfish to not want those things and people in my life.
It was hard, I hate confrontation but I cut people from my life who drained my energy. I started to surround myself with the things that made me smile. My family, my close friends, my dog. I learnt to say no to things I didn’t want to do.
I started looking after myself by eating better and walking every day. I found a hidden passion, I love to write and have started writing a book.
I still have bad days, heck I have bad weeks sometimes. It has been a bumpy road and it has been tough but I am getting stronger and every day my future looks a little brighter and I find the bad days that little bit easier. When I get scared of my mind, I reach out to my mum and ask for help. I let her anchor me when I can’t do it myself and I’ve learnt that, that’s OK! It doesn’t make me weak, it makes me brave because I’m willing to bare my soul.
I have now realised I don’t want to be the girl I used to be before my mental health declined, I want to be the 2.0 version. The new and improved model. I am starting to have faith that even through the darkness I will be able to fight my way back.
So I know you can do this, I know you can start rebuilding your 2.0 self, I know your future is going to be bright. You are not alone, you are not losing your shit, you are not weak or a burden.
You are a fighter, you are brave and you are starting the first day of your new chapter.
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, you will rise and rise again.
You’ve got this!
If this story has raised concerns for you or someone you know contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.