I started writing when I was at my worst, I had to somehow get the thoughts that were twirling around in my head out and down onto paper. So many people told me that if I did, I would be able to think a little clearer. That I would be able to get to the root cause and actually start working on what the problem was. This three-part blog, was the first piece that I shared with Chica. It is from there, for a long time she beat me, till I finally agreed to put it out there in the world, and actually try and make a difference. I hope that you enjoy this piece and for those who have been, or are still in the same situation, you can identify with some of it. Because, it does get better, and when that time for you comes, enjoy it because you are so much stronger than you think. It doesn’t take a soldier to get through anxiety and depression it actually takes a superhero and you my friends will make it! That I can promise you.
It’s another sleepless night for the sad and depressed in London town. So far I have watched numerous make-up tutorials, ordered yet another shed load of make-up and grinding my teeth so hard that I’m starting to be left with stubs! It was all going to well, the alarm was set for six AM, my faced moisturised to within a inch of its life and I was settled down into my fluffy, soft marshmallow bed and nothing! No heavy eye lids, no sheep jumping across the bed and no snoozing sounds coming from the boudoir. Just this overwhelming sense of something that was just not right. Questions that turn in my head over and over, just three little letters “WHY”?
It starts so small, I sit there and ask myself “why did you choose to do that?”, and then it escalates to “why did they say that?” Then, before you know it, you are asking questions such as “why is Donald Trump in the White House? are they crazy?” You know there is no one there to answer your questions except yourself. You know you have all the answers that you need, except something has rocked your world so much that you now question your own judgement. That you no longer make sense, or you are just scared of the sense that your own answers will make.
I didn’t realise that whilst this battle has been going on in my own head, for some time, I was joined by two new friends. I know I have passed them in my life, and I may have even stayed for a quick conversation. When I met them previously, I knew something was off, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But something I did know, was that I didn’t want to stay in their company too long.
This time around, when they came back into my life, they came back as my best friends. They changed my view on the world, they even changed my view of who I am. They changed my relationships with others and before I even had a chance to look around me, it was just us three. Me, Anxiety and Depression.
My two new best friends, have their own voices, opinions and views on just about everything in my life. Before anyone asks, no I’m not schizophrenic, I’m just struggling. Anxiety and depression had become characters of their own, as without people realising, they gave them life. If I said “I’m having a bad day”, their response was “that will be your depression” or “I’m not feeling like going out today” they would look at me and say “that will be your anxiety”.
My two new friends are reliable and dependable like no other relationship I have had. They are there for me when I open my eyes, they keep me company when I can’t sleep at night, in-fact they never give me a moments peace. They give me the excuse to meet up with them any time I need them. Really, I think they are a bad influence and as friends, I would advise anyone to stay away from them.
However, at the moment we are caught up in a rather un-conventional menage et trois, each of my new friends grappling for my attention, often pulling me one way and then the other. Our relationship so far, is spent in a drug fuelled haze of pregabalin, sertraline and deep conversations. They often get jealous when others, like family and friends are around as they believe them to be too much of a positive influence. They make me aware of their feelings, when next I am alone and the creeping feeling of doubt comes over me. Sometimes forcing me to my bed for a very over dramatic Greta Garbo moment of “I want to be alone”.
The strange thing is, before this relationship started, I was like Wonder Woman. I could pretty much do, be and problem solve just about anything. I really should have applied for the crystal maze, as I was full of “solution based thinking”. I was like Cilla Black on Surprise Surprise, just a younger version, (in-fact I could be accused of stealing some of her sequinned jackets). I would hear “how do I do…” and my response would be “surprise, I have the answer!”. “Girl, I need a written report on the collections for A/W17 by three pm” and after a few ferocious taps of the key board and a few strong expresso’s my email would read “surprise, here you go, I have taken the liberty of putting your name at the bottom of it so you don’t have to worry about editing”.
Life was working at a full pace, I had a beautiful family, gorgeous best friends and a relationship that was very much “on the rocks”. I was running the world and I was loving every minute. I was thriving under the pressure and I loved the fact that everyone needed me. Really, it was me that was making everyone dependant, probably a bit of reverse psychology if I was honest. What I didn’t realise was, that in my wisdom or lack of it, I was making people need me, I was making situations so difficult that only I had the answer and in doing so only I could be the one to fix it.
I felt needed and relevant, I felt like I had a place and that I belonged because everything would crumble without me. I didn’t realise why I was doing it, now when I look back it was because I wanted so badly to be relevant in Champagne Charlies world. If I made everyone need me then I was relevant somewhere. He loved it because it kept me off his back as I was always so busy, he didn’t need to pay me that much attention.
But guess what? I still have my beautiful family, my gorgeous best friends and my wonderful extended family, and I’m not doing any of that anymore and the world is still turning. Shock horror, the winter olympics went ahead fine without me, Teresa May is sodding up the Brexit negotiations by herself and Prince Harry is planning his wedding without my input and I believe arrangements are going fine.
What people didn’t tell me when I was growing from a child to a woman is that sometimes life is damn tough. Now a days if some of my experiences were to happen, you would receive a email or a notification on your phone telling you “hey you, your Dad has prostate cancer and enjoy 10% off at your next shop in Marks and Spencer”. I would fall into tough situation after tough situation, thinking this has to be it, and each and every time I would get up dust myself off and start to get on a level play field and then the next disaster would happen and I would be back on the floor again rolling around in the dirt. My fault probably for wearing the wrong colour outfit, there goes anxiety again always doubting herself.
This piece I started writing, was supposed to be a funny reflection of someone suffering with anxiety and depression, and at the moment, sleep deprivation, as it is now three am in the morning. I see that depression has come out to put her two pence into the conversation, and making me out to be a victim and to feel sorry for myself. That is something that I am not, never have been and never will be. Even though these two friends of mine would paint me out to have had it so hard and that they are supporting me though this very tough time of recovery, I have a great life. I have love like no other, I have had experiences that most would only dream of and have achieved more than I thought possible. My life is good, and I know when I can train these two monkeys on my back it will be again.