Hi, Hello, Hey!
So I am hoping 2 things come from me sharing this story, 1. I help people who are currently in the position I was in then and 2. I use this as a healing experience.
This is a very long story/post so grab some snacks and a drink (maybe even a tissue because I’m crying already).
Ok so let’s get a bit of back story first, I have had anxiety for around 8 years, my anxiety manifests itself with panic attacks, social anxiety, intrusive thoughts and nightmares. I was put on medication when I first started having panic attacks 8 years ago but hated the way they reacted with me and made me feel so I stopped taking them almost immediately. I was also in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship for around 3 years (the abuse didn’t really escalated until we moved in together).
I had a number of smaller episodes during the years between that terrible relationship ending and getting pregnant so my anxiety has ever truly gone away but it does fluctuate and I have some great months and then random bad days/weeks here and there.
Then came Mia. I had major anxiety throughout my pregnancy because of many factors involving my anxiety pre-pregnancy just being amplified by pregnancy hormones. Once she arrived I quickly felt the effects of PPD and PPA and was told time and time again at health visitor appointments that I wasn’t stable enough for them to discharge me but I actually received little to no help at all with dealing with it.
I was constantly telling myself that the only reason I felt the way I did was because of hormones and I didn’t actually feel that way & my feelings weren’t valid but actually they were so real and so scary that I just kept it to myself and essentially hid the pain from the world. The only person who would have seen the pain is my partner but he had no idea the extent it had gotten to or how the hell he could have helped.
When Mia was around 14/15 months old my anxiety and depression took a terrifying turn and this effected my relationship directly, I thought my relationship was over just months after getting engaged and it hurt more than I can even describe.
During this time my head was an extremely scary place to be, I wasn’t healthy, I wasn’t ok and I knew it but I was scared. Let me take you through some of the thoughts that would run through my head almost hourly, I couldn’t escape these thoughts;
I am not worth anything.
Everyone would be better off if I wasn’t here.
What do I contribute that someone else couldn’t?
No one would miss you.
You can’t do anything right.
All you do is upset people.
All you do is moan and complain.
You’re so negative, you drain people.
No one wants to be around you, you’re a state.
So I ended up calling healthy minds which is an organisation that sets you up with counselling, they put you on a waiting list and also do a diagnosis interview over the phone which takes around 30-40 minutes something like that, they talk to you and get you to open up about what’s really going on and what you are really dealing with and I remember this entire conversation just crying. At the end they asked if I was a danger to anyone and I said no, they then asked if I was a danger to myself and honestly I couldn’t answer, she told me my silence answered for me.
Whilst on the waiting list for therapy things were still bad, me and my partner were still arguing daily, it was horrible to be home, neither of us wanted to be around the other, it was hostile, awkward, tense and we would barely speak, one day we had a tiff and it wasn’t even a full argument but my head switched to a place I had never been before which was ‘there is literally no point in you being here’ and although I knew that ‘here’ didn’t mean the house I decided to go for a walk by myself and because that thought terrified me to my very core I ended up calling Samaritans. The guy I spoke to spent the first 10-15 minutes just calming me down and telling me I was ok and I was safe, which I had no idea just how much I needed to hear that, he then went on to ask me some questions to prompt me to tell him what was going on and initially I go on a rant about my partner and blurted out everything I had built up over the weeks of arguments but then after speaking for a while longer I realised this whole situation had absolutely next to nothing to do with my partner and was the result of my ever deteriorating mental health.
I only called Samaritans once more after that and this day is still etched into my memory as the worst day of my life so far.
Once again me and my partner were still in this tense, awkward, hostile situation, we weren’t talking but I was trying at this point (I now understand why everything went down the way it did with both mine and his reactions to me trying to get us talking again but that can be a post for another day). I was at work and trying to crack on with my day but my mind was just not with it, I just wanted everything to be back to normal and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t happening. I was texting my partner and being ignored, my heart was racing all day and I just felt so awful, honestly just felt like a shell of a human, I wasn’t really there at all.
I called my partner to ask if he wanted to do something on the weekend and he said no (looking back I asked him to do something that even now, when we are better than we have ever been, he would still say no to haha) but for some reason this made me switch, I felt it the switch and when I think about that moment I can feel the switch all over again. I started crying, like absolutely balling my eyes out crying and I walk off site (yes I do realise this is completely unprofessional and luckily I had an amazing boss at the time that understood something was not right about me).
So I walked off site and my workplace is on an industrial estate and when you leave site you are on the main road that is extremely long. I started walking and practicing breathing exercises to calm myself down but I just couldn’t, it wasn’t working. I was talking to myself, trying to talk myself down but half way through a sentence it would switch to ‘why are you here?!’ ‘you don’t make anyone happy’ ‘you don’t bring anything to anyones life’ ‘you upset everyone’ ‘no one wants you’ ‘no one needs you’. I was crying so hard I couldn’t see, I believed these things I was telling myself, I 1000% believed them with all my heart and soul and I didn’t want to do it anymore, I walked onto the central reservation and closed my eyes and suddenly I just became so calm, I wasn’t hysterical anymore, I wasn’t shaking anymore, I wasn’t even thinking and honestly I remember this so vividly like I watched it in a film, and reliving it in my memory physically hurts my chest!
I had every intention of going that day, me and my partner were almost over, me and my mom had fallen out, my sister lives in another country and my dad was on holiday, I told myself that everyone would rally together to bring Mia up better than I ever could. I took my phone out my pocket to have one last look at Mia who was my screen saver at the time and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t leave her so I sat down right where I was and I called Samaritans again and explained everything but at this point I was back to hysterical crying. I honestly thank the woman on the other end of the phone for saving my life that day, she said something to me that I say to myself every time I get upset, every time me and my partner argue, every time Mia is being difficult for the day, she said ‘you don’t want your life to stop, you want the pain to stop’ and then went on to explain how I can make the pain stop, what I can do, how I can look at situations differently, how I can take a situation, flip it and understand it from someone else’s point of view and that is the advice I carry around and use daily!
I went back to work where I had a friend who was suffering with the exact same mindset and when he saw me he just hugged me for like 5 minutes, didn’t let go, just squeezed and by the end we were both crying and laughing at the same time. I told him everything and to this day he is only 1 of a few people who knew what happened that day. I shared all the advice I was given with him and he is doing amazingly well now too.
This isn’t a doom and gloom story, I came out the other end a much better person and I now sit back and understand situations, looking from every angle before arguing or getting involved in anything. I still have my lovely family, every family has their ups and downs but I wouldn’t actually change anything.
I need people to know and understand that it can get better and it does get better you just have to give yourself time. Seek help! https://www.samaritans.org/ or call them on 116 123 – Please donate if you can! Just £10 can keep the Samaritans hotline open for 3 minutes which was enough to save my life.
Thank you for reading if you made it all the way to the end I really appreciate you!