You wouldn't believe how many times I have tried to write this over the last few weeks. But today I am determined to get it posted.
I wanted to write about how depression and anxiety affect my life. I always planned for my blog to include posts about mental health, as well as makeup etc. I just find it difficult to talk about. I'll be honest the thought of publishing this post for you to read terrifies me, but I really think this subject should be discussed more openly. I think some of you might be surprised how many people suffer from mental health problems, but those people might not talk about it for fear of being judged.
I've had depression for the last 15 years. However, it's been more under control the last 9 years due to medication. My anxiety started 7 years ago but has been very bad for the last two. Both depression and anxiety impact EVERY aspect of my life. Today I wanted to briefly tell you about it.
Friends and going out:
I missed out on the whole going out partying with friends thing once I'd left education, as this was when my depression was at it's worst. I really did use to resent my depression for this, but not so much now. What I do resent is the fact that when I arrange to meet friends for a LONG overdue cuppa, I cancel about 3 times before finally meeting them. The truth is I HATE meeting them. I leave it as long as possible before agreeing to meet up with them, not because I don't love them, but because I hate leaving the house. My house is my safety blanket. The thought of leaving my house terrifies me. In fact as an example, the other day I cancelled meeting my friend because as I was getting ready I got that anxious at the thought of going out, I was sick. I only leave the house if I have too.
However, this year I have tried to go out more. My husband and Mum are my second safety blanket, I usually don't go any where without them. Yet this year I have really pushed myself to try and go to a few local crafting nights on my own. I enjoyed them but I act so awkward around everyone and once I get home I analyse every conversation I've had, wondering if people thought I was weird, it's just too exhausting to do regularly.
Sometimes I sit on my bed, look out of the window and watch the world go by, I feel like I am wasting my life hiding away. But it's so god damn stressful going outside.
I am blessed with the most understanding and caring Husband imaginable. He has a lot to put up with: I mostly sleep part of the day due to insomnia, I barely go out any where -which must be very boring for him. My medication has decreased my sex drive and made me put on a lot of weight. I have zero energy and don't always manage to do the chores as often as I'd like. I am unable to go out to work. I can be snappy and unaffectionate. I occasionally have major depressive episodes and this can cause me to be suicidal or hurt myself (this doesn't happen as often anymore, perhaps once a year.) Not to mention the OCDs. As you can see it's a barrel of laughs living with me! Yet he never grumbles. I am incredibly lucky, I know that. I feel so guilty that my mental health affects his life too.
I cannot go out to work, but I do work from home as an illustrator for a small publishing house. Illustrating books really boosted my confidence and made me feel like I had achieved something, as I used to think I never would, however, it has its bad points. Sometimes I cannot make myself do the work. Instead, I just worry myself sick about it. The pressure of deadlines is sometimes too great, it makes me ill. When I can't come up with a good enough illustration I literally hate myself for it. It makes me feel like a talentless freak who can't get anything right. Recently I had to have a chat with my boss about lightening my workload as it was just all getting on top of me.
So there you go. That is three areas of my life that my depression and anxiety affect the most. I plan on doing more posts discussing mental health in the future as otherwise, this post would become waaay too long. (It kind of already is, I'm sorry!)
If you have written any blog posts about mental health, then I invite you to leave the link in the comments, so anyone reading this can find their way to them, as it might be of help.
Love, Roar Dinosaur!