So long 2013…

Well, here I am starting yet another blog to bore the world with! But this time I’m hoping to post regularly, so that by the end of 2014 I’ve got something solid to look back on and see the difference a year makes. It’s mostly going to consist of my journey to recovery (you’ll see why shortly); I wanted to document it all, so that even if at the time I don’t make sense of it, maybe to look back on it will help. Will give you a (hopefully) brief run down of the past year or two, as well as a bit of background about myself.

I’ve suffered with depression since I was 16 years old, and had episodes of it on and off over the years, varying in severity and length. Sometimes I’ve managed to get past them un-medicated, other times not so much. Have had counselling before, which at the time I thought was helping, however long term it hasn’t really. Yes, it dealt with what I thought were my main issues at the time, but to be where I am now shows that there’s something a lot deeper at the root of it all. So this brings me to the present day really… 

In a word, 2013 has sucked. There’s been a handful of good things, but mostly things haven’t been great for me at all. I won’t go into too many details because quite frankly it hurts to even think about, let alone write about; but it’s all down to the state of my mental health. It’s definitely been in better shape that’s for sure. I’m not quite sure what went wrong, or even when really, but I can roughly say it was around 2 years ago that things started to decline. At the time though it was never something that I intended to involve anyone else in. In my head I heard voices; first 1, then 2 and my imagination ran riot with it all. I got lost in this whole other world in my head; to me it felt 100% real, and to a point actual reality was just a blur or an existence that I lived day to day. I had no idea what was going on inside of my head, and the deeper I got the worse it became. I introduced these ‘people’ in my head to people very close to me; they were completely unaware of the fact that they weren’t real people at all, and that they were in fact talking to me each and every time. I managed to keep this ‘other life’ at the forefront of conversations and I guess you could say I acted out a lot of things in my head. Things that weren’t really happening to me, or anyone around me, but to me felt real enough to convince others that they were. I dragged more and more people into it, lying to them and pulling them into my false world. I have no idea why; none of it was ever intended to hurt anyone, but that’s what it led to. It was only ever supposed to stay within my head; I’ve been told by doctors etc that it’s like some form of escapism, to try and block out something that I’d rather not deal with. What that is for me I don’t yet know, but I’m hoping in time to unlock it and deal with it. As the days and months passed, I was struggling with it all. The constant lies, hiding behind these fake people, was starting to wear me down. Reality and imaginary was beginning to collide and I couldn’t cope with it any longer. This led to quite an epic breakdown and fall into depression around August; I literally broke down in tears at work, resulting in me being sent home and off I went to the doctors as an emergency. I was prescribed anti-depressants and signed off for a couple of weeks. This ended up being around 8 or 9 weeks off in the end; I thought I was feeling better, the medication seemed to be stabilising things and I began to cope with my ‘alternative life’ again. I returned to work, all be it on reduced hours, and on the outside everything was returning to normal. Or so I thought. A week or so after my return to work I started to fall apart again. I was constantly tired, not sleeping properly at all, and just really fed up with the daily grind of everything. The fake people were taking over again and I had to do something about it. I’m definitely not going into the details of the changes I made, but let’s just say they weren’t my best idea. It all began to unravel before my eyes; I was sussed out and confronted about it all by one person. I came clean to them, and the reality of what had been going on really hit me hard. I tried to handle it for a few days without saying anything to anyone else, but people had noticed that my mood was declining again and I was very tearful. It had hurt me to tell the truth, but I knew it was something that I had to do. 1 by 1 I then revealed it all to the others that I’d gotten wrapped up in it, and at first it felt like a huge relief that I no longer had to lie or be these other people. I told my husband everything, and he was (as always) amazing and said it was good that I was realising it all and that it would help with my recovery in the long run. 

As time has gone on, I’ve had some very down days; self harm has crept back into my daily struggles, and I now have more scars added to my collection. I’ve not cut though for around 6 weeks ish, not really been keeping track so much lately. There are often days when I’m really tempted, but my GP has given me strategies and distraction techniques which seem to be working so far. I’ve had a lot of overwhelming suicidal thoughts, and come close to ending it all a few times. I’ve been on and off the High Suicide Risk list a lot in the past few months (currently back on it now too). My medication was increased as well at some point along the way. I’ve been referred to a Psychiatrist for the first time ever in my life, and that scares me a lot. It makes me realise just how ill I am, and that without their help I’m not going to get better. I’ve got to have 12 weeks of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), as well as seeing the Psychiatrist and various other professionals no doubt. It’s going to be a long, tough journey, but I’ve got to get through it somehow to get my life back and find me again. I had to resign from my job in order to concentrate on my recovery 100%, as the pressure of trying to get back to work was holding me back and not helping at all. 

The 1 positive thing I can take with me into the new year (or rather leave behind in a way…), is my weight loss. 44.5lbs gone; Down from a size 20/22 to a 10/12; a healthy BMI and only a few pounds left to go to my target weight. Along with my recovery from the above, I’ll get there in the end. 

I’m going to draw a line under all of what’s happened in 2013, and go into 2014 with an open mind and hope for a better year. I hope to post here at least once a month, depending on how much there is to say, it may be once or twice a week. It’s one of my goals though to actually keep an active blog for at least a whole year! 

If you’ve made it this far I salute you, and thank you for reading. If you want to follow my journey to recovery then you’re very welcome. I’ll be 100% honest at all times (as much as possible, obviously some things will be kept to myself as I go through it all). 

I’ll explain the meaning behind my name on here in another post as it’s nearly the end of 2013 now, and I’m exhausted and wanting to relax with my husband. 

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2014 is my year to shine…… 

x Sara Phoenix x

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