Often with things like mental health people often say they had a turning point; an event that happened that made them reassess everything. Sometimes it could be the tiniest thing or sometimes a huge life changing event. Sometimes you hear people say that they had to hit the bottom before they could start getting back up again. Whatever it is, however it happens that thing that happens usually signify’s the point where a lot of people ask for help.
Mine happened the day I wrote a letter.
Anxiety has been a problem for me since becoming a Mummy and after having Little Man it took me a long time to push through it and start to feel better but I did and I did that without any medical help or talking therapies. After the trauma of my second pregnancy I was surprisingly alright for the first few months but my trigger was going back to work and my anxiety took me on a huge downward spiral after that. It bought with it feelings that I have never felt before and a real sense of loss. Loss of myself and of the life that I loved. Everything just stopped. Bar the basics of looking after the kids I just couldn’t manage anything else.
One day when my anxiety was extremely bad we were due at a family party. I fell apart before we left. I had awful physical symptoms from my anxiety which left me even more panicked and frightened and I couldn’t face it so my husband and the kids went without me. This had happened before but this time it felt different. My anxious thoughts weren’t just about something happening to me if I left the house but they were more based around the fact that I thought my family, my children would be better off without me. In my panicked state I wrote a letter saying that I was leaving because me and my anxiety would end up having such a negative effect on them that it would be better this way.
Looking back it was incredibly selfish but in my anxious state I honestly thought I was doing them a favour, that I was doing the right thing. I didn’t get very far even with all the horrible feelings swirling around me, I simply couldn’t leave my children. I knew that whatever else I was failing at at that moment I wasn’t failing at being their Mummy and their Mummy was the only one they wanted.
It all sounds so dramatic doesn’t it? But to me, this was real. This was my turning point, my big event, the point where I knew things needed to change. I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, I couldn’t counsel myself and I couldn’t medically treat myself.
A few days later I went to the Doctors. I went armed with an A4 sheet of notes about all the physical symptoms I was having. He barely read it, he didn’t need to. He knew what had happened to me only months before and he only had to look at the tears running down my face to know I was in trouble. He prescribed me anti-depressants and online CBT.
I can honestly say I have never looked back. I had to make other changes to my life too but this was the push I needed to sort everything. To sort me. No one else was going to be able to fix me, I had to. I was scared of taking the antidepressants and the first few weeks on them weren’t easy but now I feel so much better.
This wasn’t a quick fix and I still have days where my anxiety feels like it is getting the better of me but it is miles better than it was. Medication for mental health isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it worked for me.
Hitting rock bottom was horrific, not just for me but the people around me too but the point is I hit it and I had nowhere else to go other than up. That’s what I needed in the end.
If you are reading this and feeling the same as I did please know you are not alone and there is help out there waiting for you when your turning point comes.