Archives of Pain

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Comments on my (ongoing) mental illness recovery. This post is intended for me to get it off my chest and also to let anybody going through anything similar know they are not alone. Thanks for reading if you choose to do so. I will update as I can.
CW: anxiety, depression, anger, eating, death.
I first started to notice I felt, thought and reflected differently than others around the age of 14. It nicely coincided with my GCSE years, in a grammar school.

Through the help of a therapist I have now realised it will have really started at a much younger age, thus was totally out of my own control. I am not to blame. Nobody is to blame for things like this. I was a tomboy who belonged to a low income household. I can still remember other kids commenting on both of those things. Kids. My parents worked constantly and my sister didn’t live with me. Though it is something I really like, this meant I spent a lot of time alone. It fits my personality, but of course it had many downsides mentally.

Then came high school. I was unwillingly sent to a girls school. I essentially spent 7 years constantly comparing myself to all the girls I was surrounded by, a habit I still haven’t managed to shake off. I began to question me sexuality but was surrounded by people who constantly made remarks about gay people. My friends would laugh at my insecurities.

AT THIS STAGE I STOPPED WRITING FOR OVER A YEAR. I WAS TOO NERVOUS TO SHARE THE STORY. JANUARY 2018 I REALISED THERE’S NO BETTER CURE THAN SHARING. SO I CONTINUED MY STORY.

I gained some strange habits that I did not realise until many years later are signs of an eating disorder. I would always give my food away in school, I’d have to eat at home in case my parents asked questions. I would always offer the seat on the bus to school. Standing up burns calories. I had become convinced the way to become popular was to be skinnier.

I refused to get into make up because it would draw attention. I despised the idea of attention, and still do today. I can’t wear a skirt or a dress without tights, that is too revealing. People will see the vulgarity of me. My upper arms have to be covered as their fat is disproportionate to my body. My forehead is too big, my lips are too small, my jaw is wonky, my knees are weird. Things I have told myself for years. Why? I don’t know.

We are all our own worst enemy. It wasn’t until University I realised I needed to take the plunge and try and get over myself. It’s funny, anxiety is being obsessed with yourself yet you HATE yourself. My doctor suggested CBT, I was on a waiting list for half a year. During this time I was put on antidepressants, which I am still on now. I was started on Sertraline which made me bed bound for a week. I would vomit at the smell of food and get the shakes when I saw daylight.

After this I was given citalopram and have been on it ever since. Recently I don’t think it is working, but honestly I can’t be bothered to tell my doctor.

And then in December 2016 I was assigned a therapist. My therapist explained to me that my evidence for my family and friends hating me was actually evidence they care about me. It took months for me to realise but then I realised she probably is right. But is she?

Anxiety is constantly questioning everything in the universe. After I was discharged from therapy I regained some of my old habits. Yet, if I hadn’t regained them I probably wouldn’t have continued this post. Every cloud?

I hope every one of you who suffers from mental illness recognises the greatness in existing. We all have a great future ahead. Or, at least, it can’t be worst than the past that got us here in the first place.

End. January 2018.

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