After all this time, I never thought we'd be here.
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19th May 2011

Tell me something. How do you fix someone? Glue? Sticky tape? And if something has been smashed to bits…can it ever be the same again? I don’t think so. But I think you can get it back to being functioning again. I’ve battled depression and anxiety for a couple of years now and I know all about those broken and numb feelings that just make you feel awful. When I first came to the realisation that I had mental health problems I was so guilty of self-branding it was unreal. I even wrote “crazy” on my mirror at one point.

I think it was my way of punishing myself for all of the things I had put my friends through but it wasn’t cool at all. It was daft and a tad melodramatic. But because of the “crazy” incident, I went through a phase of being unable to look at myself in the mirror. This (unfortunately for my boyfriend at the time) meant that I soon went from being pretty and bubbly to being smelly and depressed.

Now I know everyone’s different when it comes to boyfriends/girlfriends etc. But personally, I found that having a boyfriend caused me nothing but feelings of guilt when I was trying to recover. He would want to come round and comfort me but all I really wanted was for him to leave me alone. And the last thing I felt like doing was fixing my hair and makeup and coating myself in perfume. So I ended it. And I don’t regret it at all. I think that when you first start trying to get your balance with mental illness, lots of people need time with themselves.

There was obviously a need for people around me though. I found comfort in my friends- those who should love you no matter what state you find yourself in- and of course in the person that knows me best. My mum. Now I know that this may not be relevant to you as some parents are not as understanding of mental illness and some of you may not have parents at all. But for me, that situation needed an expert on me. And she knows me better than I know myself.

I struggled a lot with wanting to kill myself (cheery I know) but the one thing that kept pulling me back was something that my mum told me when I was at the doctors one day, she said:
“Soph, if I told you I was going to kill myself. I know you would do everything you could do stop me from doing it. So why on earth are you so ready to give up on yourself?”
And hey, it worked for me. I don’t know if it’s for everyone but it’s the reason that I am here to write this today. I still have depression and anxiety but I have moulded them both so that they are more manageable for me. Mental illness isn’t exactly a walk in the park (as you know) but getting to know yourself and having meaningful conversations with those around you can make such a big difference to you. Try it for me.

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