Thursday, 6 February 2014

Time To Talk

Time Keeping
Today's post is inspired by Megan and Lyzi who wrote about Time To Change's campaign to get millions of people talking about mental health and self harm tonight. The aim is to end the stigma against mental health and to talk more openly about self harm which is a battle I've thought on this blog for a long time (click here to read my first post about my experiences with mental health). Megan and Lyzi both bravely shared their stories and due to recent events, I feel I should share mine too.

The past few months have been especially hard for me. I was desperately wishing to get my old life back after losing the boy I loved and considered to be my best friend, I felt alone, pathetic and I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I'd been off anti-depressants, which I'd been on for several years, just before Christmas and I felt strong, in control and happy. But over the Christmas break and circumstances lead to me falling to a low place I'd never been before. I've had some dark times but this felt final. I just didn't want to be here anymore and I did things I'm not proud of. I don't feel comfortable completely opening up here, but I do need to address the fact I cut my arms. 

I've self harmed before when I was younger and I'd promised myself I'd never go back there, but a few weeks ago it felt like the pain I could cause myself was the only control I had over the pain I was feeling. I felt so sad, all the time, and at least if I was hurting myself, I knew why I was sad, I knew I could stop it or start it. At least thats how I felt. I didn't tell anyone, but my flatmates saw. They forced me to talk to my parents who were, as they always are, understanding and helpful and I was convinced that going to the doctors was the best thing I could do in this situation. I hadn't realised how "bad" it was until I was sat in the doctors office, in consolable, unable to get the words out as the how I was feeling or why. Fortunately the nurse and doctor I saw were lovely, and gave me good advice, checked my arm to make sure it wasn't infected and they didn't judge me for what I'd done.

Neither did the internet. Unfortunately, I had filmed a video for my youtube channel and posted it without realising you can see the cuts on my arms in the clips. The first time I noticed was when the comments started pouring in about it. People were supportive and worried for me and I started feeling several different things- guilt, first and fore mostly. Were younger girls going to copy my example, or see it as an ok thing to do? Embarrassment- thousands of people had seen how low I was, and members of my family found out via the video, and determination- to move past the past few horrible months. At first I toyed with the idea of taking the video down, but I didn't want to hide the issue. Instead I addressed it in a comment- saying I didn't condone self harm, and that I, myself was getting help. 

I'm now back on anti-depressants and with my family and friends keeping a close eye on me, I feel like I can get through this. I still have days of extreme lows, I don't want to leave my room, I cry at random times, over seemingly nothing, I have incredibly low self image and feel undeserving of the love I have from friends and family, but its getting better. I write about my experiences in a journal, which helps me deal with my feelings- something I highly suggest to anyone unable to talk openly about their own feelings. 

Tonight there is a Twitter chat at 9pm GMT, using the hashtag #TimetoTalkChat, where, together, we can try to defeat mental health taboos. If you need to talk, you can always email me (thisdystopia13@googlemail.com), but I urge you to speak to a member of your family or a health care specialist also. Thank you for your continued support, internet.


Amy x
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