Yes, the darkness that I am feeling is slowly getting worse. This happens every single day. Yet if I mention it to the people that know me, I’m so scared that people will roll their eyes and get pissed off with me. I have to fight to get through.
My illness has been with me many, many years. I think she decided to move into my head when I was a youngster. I developed OCD at a very young age. I had to do things in a set way and it always used to have to be for an even number of times, 2, 4, 6 etc. It would vary every single time. I would absolutely HAVE to do these things or I was convinced that something utterly awful would happen to my mum. (My therapist tells me this is a direct result of my childhood abuse. I was told my mum would be killed if I spoke out). So I had to do these things to keep her safe. If I couldn’t do it, the anxiety I would experience would be off the chart, and I would have to find a way to do it ASAP.
After I lost my mum, my OCD became worse. I had to do these things or I would suffer like my mother had suffered. If I could not do what I needed to do, my anxiety was worse than ever. I would exhibit signs of trichotilomania and dermatilomania, which became worse and worse. I had a little bald patch that I would have to cover up with hair bands.
I started drinking. I wanted something, anything to numb the pain. But it didn’t go. My self esteem was at an all time low and I was beginning to teeter on the brink of depression.
Then, at the age of 19, I met him. The one I (at the time) was convinced that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He was ten years older than me and I fell for him fast and hard. By the end of the first week, we were engaged and he had persuaded me to give up my flat and move in with him.
What followed was year after year of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. I’m not discussing that here, this is not the blog post for that. They happen when I feel brave enough to write them.
After I escaped, and moved back home, I started having flashbacks, anxiety/panic attacks and was generally a mess. I sat on how I felt and did nothing about it. Then one day I was working out and all of a sudden it hit me. I slid to the floor and burst into tears and they just would not stop.
I had a very close friend who persuaded me to call my doctor and make an appointment. When I saw him, he wrote me a prescription for antidepressants and also a referral to see a psychiatrist.
That referral took a long time to come through. When it did, it took a long time… a lot of sessions, for me to build up trust. When he sat me down he gave me a list of his diagnoses:
- Severe depression
- Bipolar disorder type 1
- Generalised anxiety/panic disorder
I didn’t see how I could start to overcome any of this. I was so scared of the future.
I have my days (like today) where my mood is low. But with the love and support of my sisters and my family, those dark days can be a little brighter.