I’ve always had a wonderful life and I have always been lucky. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that things turn out the way you wanted them too.
After I moved to London in 2007 and fell in love with my other half I decided to stay and complete my degree in England. I would have loved to enjoy University the way my colleagues did but I never got into it. By then I felt like I already wanted a home and a routine not the University’s halls of residence and many nights drinking yourself silly. Don’t get me wrong I love a party just not the sort of party I was finding at University. Long story short I concentrated on my degree itself and after 3 long but enjoyable years I had completed and received a First Class Mathematics degree.
It was during my last year at University that things started to feel not alright and the first panic attacks begun.
With the economy feeling like it was about collapse around us I took up a job offer to become a Financial Analyst in a Family Office. I started the day after my exams with a huge smile on my face thinking – I am going to be OK! I have a degree, I have somewhere I call home, I’m in love and now I have a job – all seemed to be OK.
Although I didn’t like the sector I was in, I enjoyed the job itself. I had my own projects within 3 months and I was using my Maths to a max, which is what I wanted to do. Where it went wrong i’m not quite sure but things weren’t going right. My body and mind were slowly giving up on me.
Depression is not a thing that I have ever been embarrassed about or ashamed of – it’s just really really shit. Depression is such a solitary experience and if anyone tries to interfere it just seems to make you feel worse. It’s hard to explain to your friends the blackness and loneliness that you are feeling. It’s hard to be friends with someone depressed in all honesty but it is one of the kindest and most noble things you will do.
I feel completely and utterly hopeless and I spend too much of my time finding everything wrong with the world. It feels like a cruel punishment for an act you haven’t done which slowly erodes you. You keep telling yourself to snap out of it, be happy, smile but it doesn’t change the way you are feeling. It’s hurts, so much, and the horrid thing is you get used to it.
But depression is a serious medical illness, a chemical imbalance, not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed away. However if you would of told me this while I was lying in a ball in a dark room thinking I was going to die I would have told you to f*** off.
But I managed, I am managing. I started to see a wonderful therapist that I still see today and will do for as long as I want to share my troubles. I’m on antidepressants for the depression and tranquillisers for my anxiety attacks. Most importantly I actually want to look after myself.
It is such a slow process, and you get horrid ups and downs, but the good news is that there are some ups.
So aside from the meds and the therapy, which are without a doubt essential for me, I now concentrate on me.
I try to get enough sleep
I dance in the morning to my favourite music
I eat healthy (ish) and make sure to take my vitamins
I stay in bed for an extra 5 minutes in the morning just to stretch and breath
I surround myself with beautiful pictures
I wear pretty clothes and lipstick to make myself feel beautiful
I take the most indulgent lavender infused baths
Go to yoga class
I light candles all over the house
And most importantly, I put myself centre stage. It’s not over, I know it, but it’s better which is something you never think will happen.
I am now feeling ready for a new adventure, and it’s all begun with Cafe Cortado. I’m so excited to tell you about my plans and can’t wait to hear what you think of them.
Thank you for listening, X.