I’m Selina, I’m 28 years old, and about a month ago I had a mental breakdown…
Oh yeah. Like full-force crazy-scale one day (really, I was working from home crying in front of my laptop, blubbering and trying to tell the painter – who is a village local, that I often see when I walk Bailey – that he’d done a great job painting the kitchen) and the following day my brain became mash – yes, like the potato…
I couldn’t move, I didn’t want to. Everything hurt, and every time I stood up, I cried. I was completely alone at home, and the only reason I got up, was to make sure Bailey was fed and walked and looked after – as annoying as that dog is, he saved me. I felt so completely alone, and as though I was the only one to have ever experienced this, and that my inability to function would just disappoint everyone.
I thought I was crazy. I thought “this is it, I’ve officially lost it. I am incapable of doing anything. I am a shell”. I went to work on that Monday, told them that I thought I had depression, and made an appointment at my doctors.
In five minutes, my doctor told me I was depressed and needed drugs (Sertraline) and blood tests to rectify it, oh and therapy. Turns out, my doctor was full of shit, but I’ll go into that later.
So I informed work, I called a cognitive behavioural therapist and was asked to take sick leave. So I did. I went back to my doctor, told her I was asked to get signed off, and was subsequently signed off for three weeks. Which is where this journey of self-discovery and understanding began…
When you think you are crazy (a word I kept using to describe my… ‘problem’) and that your brain isn’t normal, you panic. You know that deep down, no matter how supportive people appear to be when you mention mental illness, they are afraid of it, and so, are afraid of you. This is simply because, most don’t know how to deal with it, and often, don’t want to understand either.
You find that those who have experienced it and come out the other side, are the ones who turn to you and remind you that through all of the bloody hard times, you’ll live… In short, mental health issues, whether it be depression or in my case extreme stress and anxiety, aren’t reacted well to – almost ever. This has to change.
It will begin to change the more we talk or write about it though. So, here is where I come in. I’m going to share my story. I am going to share my story, in the hope that it might just help you too. I was told to write, and do something I love to do. “It will help”.
I am going to tell you how this feels, what doctors said and what councellors concluded. How stress affects your body in ways you never thought it could, or had heard about but never considered could be true. How anxiety affects relationships, but also shows you the beauty and kindness of people you barely even know.
For me and my experience, anxiety will probably always be a part of me now. But I now know what fuelled it’s fire and am learning trigger points that set it off too.
If nothing else, this breakdown was a blessing and a gift. I am reevaluating my lifestyle, my work-life balance and what I believed to be ‘normal’ and good. I’m assessing how we as a society are conditioned to see success – monetarily, and very little else apparently – and realising that life should be filled with so much more.
In less than six months, I let a situation almost destroy me… but a Phoenix rises from ashes, right?