Friday, 19 October 2012

Let's start at the very beginning.

Scratch that. The beginning is not a good place to start. In fact it is the worst place to start because then I would  be dredging up memories which are long gone and which nobody cares about - including me.
We shall start here. Right here. Exactly where I am now. Which, in case you are wondering, is on the incredibly squidgy sofa in my flat. It is 8.30pm on a windy autumn day and I have decided to start a blog, the reasons for which I hope will become clear.
So you're probably wondering about the box thing right? In case you haven't heard of it Pandora's Box originates from Greek mythology and it was essentially a container for all the evil in the world like disease, malice, hatred, violence and all that. The story goes that Pandora was created to reap revenge upon the mortals, who had tricked Zeus and angered him. The God's sent Pandora to them, and one of the men fell in love with her and married her. Zeus then gave Pandora a box (well actually a greek jar) as a wedding gift but told her to never open it. Curiosity got the better of her and she eventually took a peek and all the evil inside escaped. She slammed it shut too late, leaving only the spirit of hope in the box.
My box wasn't a gift and I certainly do not want to open it. And to be honest I don't really know what's in it.
I created the box as a coping mechanism, sort of like when your room is messy so you shove everything in the wardrobe. And here is why.
In 2010 when I was 17 years old I was diagnosed with depression. At the time, I was aware that there was a problem but didn't tell anyone until it was really bad. My problems manifested themselves into what felt like a physical presence which followed me everywhere I went. It was like being studyed or tested and under constant threat. I could hear clicking in my ears and around the room and could not do day to day things or even leave the house. The anxiety was unbearable. What made it worse was the guilt. I felt like I was bringing everyone down and that I was a burden. When I finally told my sister we had to do the sit-down-and-talk-about-it thing with the full family to decide the best course of action. Of course it was off the doctors: the only solution for anything - apparently. Then I filled out a questionnaire. Rate from 1-5: do you feel sad/lonely? Duh. It all seems very odd to me. Let's find out what's going on in your mind by asking you a few short questions. Then your score comes out high and you have depression. That's it. After that I was referred on for some talking therapy. I liked it. I did find it helpful, but only at the time. I had missed a lot of school and had my AS levels coming up. So I did what any sensible student would do and I created my very own state-of-the-art coping mechanism: Pandora's Box. In go the problems, down goes the lid. Job done and back to school and I don't need my therapist anymore!
Well here I am two years later. And now the box is full. And I can't keep it shut.
To be fair to myself I did manage to get ABB in my A-levels and land a pretty decent university place too, but at the cost of my mental health.
The first year of university was hard. New place, new people and all that. But I made friends and I fitted in and everything was going well. Unfortunately I had a couple of episodes, but I still carried on and made it to the end of the year before everything fell through.
Jeremiah (that's what I named that 'thing' that 'follows' me) made a long awaited return and the box began to slip open, and I began to spiral downwards. After some more family discussions the best decision was made: to the doctor! Another questionnaire. Another high score. Another diagnosis of depression. This time round I got medication which I must admit I was somewhat relieved about because it would kick in before I was due back at university so my studying wouldn't be disrupted.
That didn't exactly work out as six weeks and numerous panic attacks later I felt exactly the same, if not worse. And university had started. So guess what I did? Went to the doctor and did another questionnaire! I bet you weren't expecting that. Yes, it seems you are depressed, I was told. Really? I would never have guessed! Increase in medication pescribed and on we go.
And here I am now. Still not feeling much better. Still being 'followed'. Still having panic attacks. I'm in a bit of a rut.
However, depsite all of my sarky comments and negativity, I am still here. Still living. Isn't that fascinating?
So basically, the box is a problem and it's definitely time to get rid of it. I want to change the way my mind works so I can cope with stuff; I want to deal with the stuff I never dealt with and I want to move on with my life and most importantly enjoy it. And on top of that I'm doing a degree. Is it possible to recover from a mental illness whilst living an everyday life?  Let's find out.

1 comment:

  1. "Live life to the full", take each day as it comes and remember you are loved to the moon and back x x x


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