Mental Health

My Mental Health Story (For Huddle and Cuddle)

I recently saw a tweet from Sophie at One Unique asking for bloggers to take part in a mental health project and I just had to get involved. Sophie then emailed me explaining her campaign:

Set up by Sophie over at One Unique, Huddle and Cuddle is a campaign to help raise awareness of mental health issues by using the means of social media. Influencers have teamed up to help this campaign and to spread the word, allowing people to never feel alone by sharing their experiences with you. Huddle and Cuddle wants people to get involved by talking to people, whether it be an influencer, family member or a helpline about their thoughts and challenges they may come across. 
huddle and cuddle logoI’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now but I didn’t think I could because I’m not really educated on mental health or understand it. I also didn’t feel ready, I’m not sure I’m ready now but I just had to be involved in this campaign because it’s so important to raise awareness. So, all I can do is write my story and what has helped me through it.

In July 2014, there were a lot of changes happening in my life. I had just finished School and was about to start uni in the September which was an absolutely terrifying thing for me because I’m not a fan of change. The same time, my boyfriend at the time had broken up with me after 3 months, now, that may not seem like a long time but it literally came out of nowhere, he just text me one day and told me he was breaking up with me. As a result of that, I lost almost all of my friends because we had the same friends and they kept telling me ‘stay in touch’ and ‘text me more’ and I would but they wouldn’t reply. For the next 6 months, I felt myself getting sadder and sadder and in a bad mood most of the time when I was alone, but around my new uni friends and my family, I covered it up and was smiley and happy like I used to be. I didn’t want anyone to know there was something wrong with me.

In December of 2014, around Christmas time, I remember spending most of my time in my room in the dark and not wanting to see or speak to anyone so I avoided my family as much as possible. On New Years Day, every year myself, my mam, step dad, brother, auntie and uncle go to my grandparent’s house for a meal. This particular year, I really didn’t want to go because I felt so awful. On the drive over, I was trying so hard not to cry but as soon as we arrived I just burst into tears and I finally had to tell someone what was going on. I took my mam upstairs and told her ‘I’m sick of being sad all the time’ and I told her how long I had been feeling like this and I think she was quite shocked when I said 6 months. The first thing she asked me was ‘do you want to see someone, like a counsellor’ and I couldn’t believe that was the first thing she asked. I told her I didn’t and after that night, she never brought it up again.

For a little while, I felt a bit better now that I had finally told someone, it felt like a weight had been lifted off me but that feeling soon wore off and I was feeling depressed again. I never really thought it was real depression, I thought that it was just all in my head because it would come in waves like I would be super happy for a week and then I would crash back down for a while and it’s been like that ever since. I’ve tried speaking to a couple of my friends about it but I never really know how. 

Since that July in 2014 until now, I sometimes get what I call ‘bad thoughts’ about hurting myself or just feeling like I should just end it all but then I just think how selfish that is and I could never put my family through it. Recently, I’ve been thinking about all of this and I realised that I’d had thoughts of killing myself since I was about 15 but they were never that serious. My family are pretty critical of me and on Sundays when we go to my grandparent’s house for Sunday dinner, they used to often talk about how I should be working for my exams (which I did) and all that kind of thing, but they would also on a regular basis tell me I ‘need to lose some weight’. Now, I don’t disagree with that but I don’t think they realise how damaging that can be to a teenager. It used to upset me so much and made me feel I would never be good enough for them so on the drive home I would think ‘now, I’m not going to wear my seatbelt so then if we get in a crash I might die’ which, looking back now is pretty stupid but all the criticism just made me want to die.

Another thing I realised was that I had been suffering from depression a bit before July 2014, from about February 2013 until March 2014, I had a boyfriend before the one I mentioned above and we were together about 3 times in that 13 months. Every couple of months I would break up with him because I just wasn’t happy anymore and then we would keep speaking and get back together. Looking back, I realise that it wasn’t him I wasn’t happy with, I just wasn’t happy in general but I didn’t realise that it was maybe the beginning of my depression and it was really horrible what I was doing to him.

It’s been a few months now since I’ve been feeling depressed so I do think I’m starting to get better. The best way I’ve found of coping with my depression is by keeping myself busy and surrounding myself with the people I love. The friends I’ve made in uni have helped me so much, more than they even know by making me laugh every day and knowing they are there if I need them is just amazing.

This post was incredibly difficult for me to write and I am absolutely terrified for it to be published because I’ve never told more than maybe 3 people about this, let alone spoken about my experiences publicly. I really hope I can just help one person with this post and the best advice I could give anyone suffering from depression or any other form of mental health is don’t suffer alone. I know it’s a difficult thing to talk about but you will feel better not going through it alone.

If you want to read more posts on mental health for the Huddle and Cuddle campaign, you can visit these places:
www.huddleandcuddle.com (Website)
@huddleandcuddle (Twitter)
#huddleandcuddle

Thanks for reading, Em xo
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About Em

My name is Em and this is my little corner of the internet where I post my ramblings and opinions on the things that go on in my world.
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