Normally I don’t talk about too personal subjects on my blog, even though I have a public ‘’social media life’’ I still would like to keep somethings private. However, the subject I’m going to write about is close to my heart. In a good and a bad way.
During my childhood and teens, I lived a normal life, a typical girl who lived through the ups and downs that life threw at me. I felt and still feel blessed because it made me who I am. As I was growing up live kicked me hard and I desperately needed to set back. In 2013 my rock, my everything, my heart, my lovely mother got sick. She suffered majorly with her mental health and physical health. My world stopped, everything in my life stopped. My studies lacked my focus, my hobbies, my social contacts, literally everything. The only ‘’me time’’ I had was going to work for two hours during the workweek. Eventually even that felt oppressive.
Understandably the health of my mother became my priority. My family and me were focused on getting my mother to feel better, to become better. From doctor appointments to visiting the mental health clinic to visiting the hospital and regulating her medicines, that was our focus. Next to it came maintaining our household. Cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, my little brothers going to school, my father to work and me visiting my college classes depending on who can be home at that moment, so that my mother wouldn’t be alone. Or going only to my exams, which I even didn’t learn for. We all did everything on automatic pilot.
As you can guess, of course there would be a moment in time that my body is going to shut down. It was time to take a good look in my mirror. It was during my current study for Pedagogy that I realised: I need to stop. I started to promise myself that I need to work on myself! I started to work out, started to go out with my sister, grab a coffee with a friend, hang out with my family and do some shopping. You would think that it was a good thing, meanwhile my feelings about the whole situation started to eat me up. Overthinking, being and feeling annoyed about the little things, binge eating or not eating for hours, being irritated, crying without any reason and being angry about everything and everyone became my way of life. I was ignoring the source of my true emotions, literally. That resulted into tumbling at the edge of a burn out. I felt tired all the time! Mentally, physically, and emotionally. I felt gloomy and dejected.
In January 2018 I made an appointment with my doctor after I almost fainted in the middle of an aisle, when I was running for errands. I felt so dizzy that I felt like I was in a washing machine. If I didn’t hold on to the shopping shelf, I probably would kiss the floor. It was my wakeup call! My anxiety went through the roof, questions like: what’s wrong with me? What Happened? Why? Am I sick? I don’t feel good! My body is crushing down! Omg what is wrong! How sick am I! When I told my doctor what my symptoms were, I felt a bit reassurance. My journey to therapy begun.
I was the best decision I made in my life! I truly felt relieved, especially when I chose for group therapy. I met new people, talked, and heard their stories. It was a beautiful experience; it sounds scary to share your story with others. However, I felt understood and didn’t feel alone. My education during this time helped me a lot too. The classes about psychology and the role plays as professional and patient were an eye-opener! Step by step I felt good again. I felt more and more confident about myself. My life went as it should, I was better able to cope with my home situation. Therapy helped me so much that I started with it again just three weeks ago! This time individually; this time it is not about me being on the edge of insanity, it is about me being strong enough to talk about myself and not about my home situation. It is about me figuring out why I handle things my way. It is about getting to know myself even better.
The moral of this long story, seek professional help, any help. It is like the phrase: ‘’you can run but you can’t hide.’’ Once you face it, you’re going to feel such a big confidence in yourself, that you know the true meaning of your existence. When you read this blogpost, I hope that my story is going to be your first step into your journey of working on your mental health. You’re truly not alone!