I would like to express how touched I was that so many of you took the time to read my blog post. It was overwhelming and unexpected and I thank you all. It meant something to know people wanted to hear me.
I didn’t expect there to be such a long hiatus, which just goes to show that there is a lot more to the healing process than you think. I’ve learned that things don’t always go as planned, people change and you change. You know what? It’s all for the better. It’s been a series of highs and lows since I last posted.
I plan on using this space to write whatever I feel like talking about, including topical things such as mental health issues. Mental health should be a topic which we are comfortable with because only by learning about it will we accept its prominence and help each other out. We are so caught up in social media, I think we forget about the real things that matter and count. A “like” is considered a form of support, and while we all love getting “likes” is it more about showing off how supported you are? Or does it actually have some sincerity attached? What are the deciding factors to whether we “like” something or not? Is it pity, admiration or just an automatic response?
I didn’t expect to take two steps forward, only to take three steps back. I let that wall down, and it came in like a flood. I became depressed like never before and it felt like everyone expected me to be healed and reborn. My anxiety started to affect me physically; uncontrollable shakes, irregular breathing, insomnia, etc. I couldn’t control it anymore. When things like this take effect, you see who is really there for you and who sees the change and helps you. It helps when others around you notice you’re suffering, that it’s not all in your head. The best thing you can do as a friend is be there, even when you don’t know what to say or do. The best thing you can do if you have a friend that is suffering is to not shut them out because it isn’t you they’re ignoring. The best thing you can do is not leave your friend behind, not expect them to change or pretend to be okay. We can all be avoidant creatures; we all have our own faults and problems, but we can’t leave each other behind. That is far more damaging, more than some people can understand or comprehend.
Asking for help is the first step. I went to my doctor and he referred me to a psychiatrist, who turned out to be the most pig headed, rude, and horrible doctor I had ever come across. He made me feel like I was fabricating my symptoms. I didn’t feel safe there at all. We all have the right to feel safe. I was horrified to think that this is our mental health system, but it makes sense why people don’t get the help they need. Some people might not give it a second chance like I did. The mental health care is disgraceful, and for the doctor to make me believe I was not “sad” enough by his standards is the very reason we have this uninitiated and negative culture towards mental health. You can’t rank what others experience. I’m glad to say he isn’t working there anymore, and rightly so.
After seeing another doctor, I was prescribed antidepressants. I felt uninhibited despite what people might see on the outside. I am not ashamed to say I’m on medication that helps me in this part of my life. Like I said previously, I am not diseased, I am not dying, but I am doing what I can to survive. There is a stigma around taking such medications and there shouldn’t be. Especially if you feel like it is a considerable difference between living and not living. I used to think medication was unnecessary and you could do anything you put your mind to with a combination of a healthy lifestyle and diet, but I’ve come to realise that every situation is different and there are an infinity of factors. Sometimes, you need an extra help, and that is okay.
Despite all of the negative affects it had on me to be open about the rape, I don’t regret it. You have to let the pain in and feel it. If you can’t find the words to express yourself, I believe you have to go it alone sometimes. All the friends, support systems, relationships help put the pieces together only so far, and sometimes the rest of pieces can only be put back together by you. We are always in such a rush to do this and do that, I’m particularly guilty for living in the fast lane because I was always trying to get to what I hoped would be a better part of life. Sometimes you have to accept that you’re in this alone and it is a slow process.
Only when you’re truly alone with yourself, will you be able to breathe in the pain and let it out. You’ll be able to face all those demons. It’ll be intimidating to feel the strange moment of peace. I don’t think we are familiar with that, with not feeling like you’re in a moderate state of chaos. It’s going to be overwhelming and you’re going to truly realise the damage and the time you need. You can't distract yourself forever.
So I’m taking this time because it’s okay not to be okay still.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.