This is a post that I am pretty scared about writing. I have been thinking about it for a while, however it's quite personal and something I am currently going through. I'm hoping it may help some people though and you can join me on my little journey.
I was always the happy, smiley child and still am, however for the past year and a half I have been struggling a lot. Depression isn't always caused by a big trigger or event. Mine started when I was worrying about a presentation I had to do at college. Throughout the summer holidays in 2012, I was becoming increasingly nervous and low because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went to my Doctor several times and she was and has been extremely helpful. The Doctor's were reluctant to put me on anti-depressants because I was only 17, however I was becoming worse so they popped me on St John's Wart - a herbal medicine which helps relieve low mood and anxiety.
I dropped out of college in February 2013 because I couldn't cope anymore. With how I was feeling, A-levels were too much for me and everyone agreed this was the best option. I had a Saturday job which I carried on doing, however this started becoming too much for me as well. I would cry pretty much everyday about it. I would cry Saturday mornings, during my lunch break and I had to try extremely hard not to cry on the shop floor. Then on Sundays, I would start crying thinking of the next Saturday and would cry everyday up to Saturday. I went on like this for a while and I left in August 2013.
During the week when I wasn't working, I would always kept myself busy through blogging and lots of walking. I had a little routine and a 2 hour route I would walk everyday. I think staying busy is very important. There were days I would wake up with a feeling of dread and couldn't face getting up, however I truly believe it helped to do things.
From August 2012 for about a year, I also had a slight eating disorder which made everything worse. I counted calories and they completely took over my life. I ate about 800 calories per day and would not even let myself go over by 1. If I ate something I considered bad, I would cry for ages and hate myself. I dropped in weight which caused my periods to stop for that whole year and I was generally unhealthy. I would not eat anything without reading the calories and adding them all up. I am definitely getting better with this now. I have put on over one stone which I am chuffed with. Sometimes I have a little slip up and don't eat a lot, however I can tell when I'm getting too obsessed with calories and immediately stop.
I started an apprenticeship in September 2013 which was the first time I was working everyday since college. I had picked up a lot during the 7 months since I left college and was starting to feel better. I was considering coming off my St Johns Wart because I felt so much happier. At the end of September my boyfriend went off to uni and then he became down. He was only there for 12 days because he struggled so much and during that time, he would Skype me being really upset, which caused me to be more down. It was a rollercoaster really. Ever since we started going out, I knew he was going to uni so was fully prepared for that. Then suddenly he was down and was home less then 2 weeks later. I started getting very low around this time and was prescribed anti-depressants. I was put on a low dose, however my dose has been increased once since then.
During February 2014, my Doctor signed me off work for about 3 weeks because of my depression. She seemed slightly concerned I was working full-time in my state. I went back once my sick note ran out, however struggled hugely so left. I handed in my resignation and my last day was 4th March 2014.
I am hoping things will start getting better. I filled out a depression form to start counselling. I have moderate anxiety and moderate/severe depression. Counselling is a 12 week wait which is really annoying, but my family and friends are all very supportive of me which is brilliant.
I have found talking to someone helps hugely. When I first told my parents how I felt, I immediately felt better because I had shared my feelings with them. Maybe they can't make it all better straight away, but I felt I had support. There is always someone to talk to, whether it be family, friends or a support line. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball all alone and hide, however for me at least, talking helps in the long-run.
Something that helps me is reading positive quotes. I have an album on my phone full of them and I read through some when I am feeling low. There are lots of holidays and fun trips planned this year with my family and boyfriend, so they give me something to focus on!
I hope this post may help some people, if you or anyone you know is going through something similar. This is a very personal thing for me to write about, however it's nice to feel like it may help someone and let you know there is help out there. I will keep you updated on how I get on if you would like.