Sometimes there isn’t a specific, clear cut reason for getting mentally ill. It just happens.
Yesterday I suffered my first ever panic attack. The attack finally set off a chain of events that should have happened sooner, if I had just been honest with myself.
Even in the state I’m currently in, I can look back over the months since Jack was born and see clear warning signs I was getting ill.
A constant need to be doing something, never wanting to just sit and be. Worrying about dying. Not enjoying the things I used to.
I am constantly trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation I’ve created in my mind as to what life should be like every day. I struggle to switch off, to get to sleep. Pushing myself to absolute exhaustion to distract myself from admitting I am ill.
It took my husband taking the reins after my attack, him calling the GP to finally get things moving in the right direction.
He had – over previous weeks – mentioned going back to speak to the counsellor I used to see in London as he’d seen the signs too. But, I was too good at hiding it and shamed to admit I was getting ill again so said ‘I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.’
Last week, I was kind to myself and booked that appointment with the counsellor. Unsurprisingly, I skirted round the issues and ended up feeling worse after the session. I wasn’t honest with her, I sugar coated things and didn’t pinpoint what was really going on. There’s only so much you can raise in an hour!
It opened a bottle of emotion that, in my state, I wasn’t able to process logically. I started to spiral the things that I’d just about managed to keep under control.
I’d obviously admitted to myself that I had a problem, because I’d reached out to my counsellor. But, at that point I wasn’t ready to reveal to anyone else what exactly the problem was.
So, all of last week was spent ruminating on what I’d revealed to myself that got me to the point of speaking with the counsellor. The next step was to fully admit to someone other than myself just what I was going through, what I really feel every day.
Unfortunately, the panic attack got me before I could get to that point.
No matter how many times my husband said go to the GP, I just didn’t want to do it. Silly little me. I felt embarrassed.
I’m a Mum now, everything is going so well, we’ve had an offer accepted on a house, I have a healthy baby, incredibly supportive husband, wonderfully attentive friends. So why do I feel so awful?
And that’s just it. Sometimes there isn’t a specific, clear cut reason for getting ill. It just happens.
If you don’t feel well, admit it. Talk to people. Someone will hear a cry for help. I promise.