How many times has somebody asked you, Are you ok? and your reply was I’m grand. But the reality was that you struggled to get out of bed that day or just felt like the world was crumbling around you.
Have you ever thought what if I told the truth? What if they could help me?
On Friday night I attended the MiMind event for bloggers in Opium. This was the first I attended but it was the second event that Aoife Keane has organised. It is to raise awareness for mental health and to get people talking. So here is my story.
In October 2008, I returned to work to when my daughter was 7 months old. At the time I was dropping her to creche at 7.15am and not collecting her until 6.45pm. That alone was hard. The travelling to work was hard to. After 4 weeks of being back to work full time I started to get headaches. Nothing worked to relieve the pain. After 3 weeks I actually just got use to the pain. I knew I was tired and missing my daughter.
We had a girls night out planned for Halloween and about 10 of us all dressed up and went out into Dublin City Centre. The next day I had a migraine but to be honest I put it down to the hangover. 4 days later the migraine was still there. Coming and going with no warning. I went to my GP. At the time it was put down to stress. Stress of being back to work, stress of having a 7 month old, stress of life I suppose.
That was a Tuesday. On Thursday night, I fell apart. I sobbed for hours. My now husband tried to console me, to try to understand. That Friday morning I went to my GP again. I broke down with her. I just cried and she let me. She listened to me. She put me on a light dosage of anti depressants. I didn’t understand why but she said I was suffering from depression. Depression from having my daughter and losing my mam the year previous.
5 weeks later, I was still taking my tablets but Christmas was coming fast. Too fast to stop it. Too fast to control the emotions in me. I reached out. I tried once. They didn’t understand what I was saying. My exact words were, “I miss my mam so much, I just want to be with her”. But I really meant, “I can’t live without my mam anymore, I want to go to her”. Looking back now, it wasn’t enough.
I went for dinner with old school friends. They talked for what seemed like days about their mams this, their mams that. I drank some wine, some more wine and then a lot of wine, beer and shots in a nightclub. My friend took me home. I was crying, sobbing all I wanted was to be with my mam. The next day I was admitted to hospital. I was in a hospital that I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t see my daughter.
I just wanted to be at home and all my wishing for my mam was gone. All I wanted was to be at home with my daughter and my family.
The next year is still a blur. I was so heavily medicated that I don’t remember much. I took sleeping tablets at night so I never heard my daughter for a year. I continued with that high dosage of mind numbing drugs for 2 years. In 2011, I started a job. On the form it asked to list all medication. I was ashamed to admit that at 28 I was on such strong tablets. I never took those tablets again.
I am still fighting my depression, my anxiety. Here we are in 2016 and there is still a stigma about mental health. I can’t give you my depression, my worries, my fears. The worst thing about depression is losing friends. I can worry for hours, days some times about how to write back to a text message. I am sure people think I am just rude. I wish that was the reason.
So please if you are not ok, PLEASE talk to someone.