Tuesday, 18 March 2014

It's Okay not to be Okay

Hey there.... Remember me? It's been a while... 4 months to be exact. I know I always seem to have plenty of reasons for why I haven't been around but this time quite simply I was sad. I have been for a while. A really long time if I'm honest, almost a year now. I don't always know why and luckily the feelings come and go but truthfully its been pretty hard. Why am I telling you this? There is a massive stigma around 'sadness'. It comes in varying degrees from the smallest tear to serious depression. We all feel it in some way at some point and yet people still don't always fully understand. Sometimes you can't just 'stop being sad', no matter how many times people tell you to. 

I have been lucky to have never suffered with depression but for me there was just a feeling that I couldn't shake. It felt a bit like a fog, and would just infiltrate every part of me without any warning. And even though it was affecting everything I did for some reason it just didn't seem acceptable to say 'I have a horrible feeling inside of me and it won't go away'. I didn't want to tell anyone and to anyone who encountered me on a daily basis I appeared completely fine but underneath I was struggling. For me it was when I drank that the cracks really started to show and the more I drank the sadder I became and so I would go out and drink more to feel better. The cycle was endless. The more it happened the more annoyed people became by me. I could feel my friends aggravation when they found me crying on a night out and every time I was told the same thing 'stop crying and have fun' but I just couldn't. That's not to say that my friends weren't helpful because the support they provided me with without even realising was amazing and just don't think they really understood what was/is happening. 

I think everyone has a turning point and mine came almost two months ago now in a meeting with my tutor. I had let myself become so overwhelmed that I couldn't remember even one sentence for my exams and I just didn't know what to do. I sat with my tutor for an hour trying to explain all the reasons I thought were to blame until I had over analysed the situation beyond belief and after a moment of silence he turned and said very calmly 'Rosie it sounds to me like there is something else going on here'. Then I started to cry. I felt like the biggest dick in history and felt so sorry for the poor man but it was that day that I finally accepted some things you can't deal with on your own. No matter how much you want to. And more than that, it's okay to feel sad. Just because you may feel like everyone else has bigger problems than you it doesn't make yours insignificant. Not if they are really affecting your day to day life. And so, with that in mind, I decided to take steps to finally deal with whatever it is that makes me feel this way.

Even two months on I can't say what it is that fundamentally makes me sad. A lot of different things can set me off and quite honestly I think its a mix of quite a few things. Those are things that are going to take me quite a lot of effort to really start to feel okay about, but I'm willing to put in the work. Now the happy periods are sometimes a little longer than the sad ones and some days I finally feel like I am making some form of progress. But as with all emotions a lot of the time it really is a case of 'one step forward, five steps back', I'm just hoping that one day I'll be able to reverse it and take five steps forward instead. 

I started off by asking why I was telling you this and for me it isn't a case of saying 'oh woe is me, life has been hard' because everyone has problems and it is wrong to assume that mine is are any harder or easier than anyone else's. Quite frankly I have no clue how other people truly feel or deal with their particular 'demons', no one does and it would be wrong for me to assume I did. More than that, life is hard and it would be stupid for me to think otherwise. I just wanted to make people realise that its okay to feel sad. You don't need to hide it and it's okay to ask for help. Don't let those feelings control you any more.

I wrote the majority of this post in the past tense because I have made the decision to move on and stop letting my sadness rule my life. I know its not that easy a lot of the time, it took me almost a year to reach that point and even now I'm really struggling. It's hard to admit you're not as strong as everyone thinks you are but realising that you have a problem and starting to talk to someone about it is the first step to helping yourself find a way out of it. So next time someone asks you if you're okay, be honest. Don't say what you think people want to hear. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Just know that there will be a light at the end, even if it doesn't seem like it right now.

And even if you aren't personally affected by any sort of negativity in your life remember a lot of people are struggling more than you realise. Just because you can't always see it doesn't mean it isn't there. Everyone is fighting some sort of battle of their own, so just be nice. You never know how your words or actions might affect someone. 

Rosie ♥

P.S. I don't know know if writing this will help me to get back into blogging but I really think, in the more selfish way, I needed to find an outlet to explain to myself what is going on, Whilst hopefully helping others realise that you don't have to have a diagnosed mental illness to have something like this really affect your life. I really do miss my little space on the internet and hopefully as I start to progress I'll finally be able to start writing again even if not quite as regularly as before.
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