"I honestly started to think I'd never leave my house again, never sleep a wink or eat properly and I certainly never thought I'd love myself again."
I started to feel like I was drowning, like everything around me was being pulled out from under my feet. I started to feel like I was loosing control, it felt like an out of body experience; I felt like an alien to my own self, like I was watching from another’s eyes. I was terrified to leave the house, terrified to be near people, petrified of what was happening to my mind. I felt lonelier than ever before, even though I knew I had people who loved me around me.
I called my doctor's to book an appointment, fully convinced I was going crazy and this was it. I was trembling so much you could physically see it, unable to rely on oneself to explain what was going on I asked my boyfriend to come with me, waiting for my name to be called felt like an eternity had passed. Eventually my name was called, clutching onto my boyfriend's hand, shaking like a leaf I sat down and broke down into tears.
When I spoke I remember spluttering through sobs "I think I'm going crazy" I managed to hold my self together with my boyfriends help after a while to explain my feelings. I felt so unbearably vulnerable, alone and hollow. My doctor told me I wasn't going crazy and that it sounded like anxiety - but how could this be anxiety? I don't have anxiety. She signed me off work, talked me through potential triggers from what I'd explained and resasured me I'd done the right thing by seeking help. We discussed methods that may help me the following week; medication and CBT therapy.
I honestly started to think I'd never leave my house again, never sleep a wink or eat properly and I certainly never thought I'd love myself again. Having never been through anxiety before ¥ can tell you it was one of the scariest things, because everything you feel makes no sense, the brain overworks and analyses everything to be against you. I was convinced something bad was going to happen and my only safety blanket was my bed - duvet up to my ears. I felt all kinds of anger, towards myself, my thoughts, my worries, my brain and at anyone who didn't understand even though I didn't myself. I couldn't understand why doing "normal" things left me trembling, why I was so scared, I didn't even know exactly what I was scared of, but I was just genuinely petrified of everything. I felt like everyone hated me, my friends, family even the world.
It was like looking through frosted glass covered in water - I was drowning, but watching myself through the glass. I felt confused, inhuman and incredibly low, I felt off balance and the panic inside of me was unbearable. Some days I struggled to even breathe properly, no one understands unless they've been through it themselves. I was ashamed, embarrassed.
Everyday I felt myself fade a little more, with weekly visits to the doctor more sick notes kept coming. My doctor had suggested that when I feel ready maybe I should think of looking for a new job - at the time I thought she was mad, how could I possibly look for jobs in this state?
4 weeks went by like this, constant back and forth with the doctor until I was eventually assigned by online CBT therapist. I persisted with the help I was given, just hoping for a way out, to see improvement. I'd slowly begun leaving the house, only if with someone else beside me, but that was the first sign of improvement. Soon the closet people to me were noticing improvements, positive steps back to my old self. I started to leave the house with a little more confidence each time, I was able to be left sat in the car without straight away reaching for the locks, I was able to order my own food rather than someone doing it for me, I was starting to eat normally and day by day my sleep was improving.
One day my eldest sister phoned me, she'd seen a job pop up that might be of interest to me and had sent me the link. On the closing date I decided to go for this job, to apply for something that had inspired me the second I read more about the charity. I imagined myself working for them and I really felt this could be the perfect job for me, this was what I needed. I submitted the application form without any intrusive thoughts , I felt hopeful and I felt like a light had been switched on. I had already started to notice the difference in how I was feeling but this just topped it.
The next day I was invited for an interview, I couldn't believe my eyes, I read and re-read the email hundreds of times. Only now I realised a new switch had been flicked, determination, want - of course I was petrified but this time that's what drove me forwards, I prepped and prepped for the interview. After the interview I remember walking outside the building and just being so damn proud of myself, of how far I'd come, of the fact that only weeks earlier I was stuck inside my bed, the walls of my own house - trapped. I honestly felt on top of the world!
I can't believe I'm even typing this, but I GOT THE JOB - this is no ordinary job, this is the kind of job that sets my soul of fire (in the best way) its rewarding, powerful and life changing for those that need it the most. I'm going to be working alongside people who in a funny sort of way feel similar to me, who connect and are making positive changes in people's lives. These are people who I have so much respect and admiration for what they've done and achieved with pure determination.
Those past two months were some of the lowest I'd felt outside of grief, but I'm grateful for it - sounds stupid right? But I believe everything happens for a reason and without this hardship I wouldn't feel as good as I do right now. I wouldn't be starting a new job in 2 weeks time and so for that I'm grateful.
I learnt so much about myself, I figured out what I need in order to truly be happy by myself - I used to hate being alone so much I'd just try and sleep away the pain. My relationship feels stronger than ever; he never gave up on me like my anxiety would make me think. Instead he stood by me, helped build me up when I needed it, pushed me forwards and didn't push too hard. I love my life, I'm excited and raring to go, I'm hungrier than ever before and I'm determined to prove to my new employer that she's made the right choice by believing in me.
So if you're sat here today reading this, stuck in a rut or in a dark place, unsure why life's so hard; believe me you're feeling this for a reason. When you reach the light yourself is when you'll realise your true potential, you'll look back at the hardship and realise just how strong you are as an individual. Only when you're out, remember to be grateful, to appreciate every moment and lesson you've learnt. Things sometimes need to reach breaking point in order for you to build yourself right back up again and start afresh, unfortunately a perfect life doesn't exist - everyone has highs a lows.
Here's to turning 25 next month, with something to look forward to, here's to a brighter future and hard work and here's to my happy ending. Lets scream in the middle of a filed more often with happiness, tell yourself you deserve this more often and channel in the good energy, goddamn it believe in yourself.
- I now know no matter what job you are in you aren't ever paid enough to be threatened, mistreated .
I hope you've enjoyed this post, found it useful and took something away from this. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, it shows your support in doing so. Please note: these posts are personal to me, but I publish these posts in order to share my truth, to prove that life isn't perfect and we all live the good, the bad and the in between . You're never alone!
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