TRIGGER WARNING!! THIS POST CONTAINS INFORMATION AND STORIES THAT REFER TO SELF HARM AND SUICIDE, IF THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU FIND TO BE A TRIGGER, PLEASE CLICK OFF THIS POST NOW.
DISCLAIMER The experience I am going to share with you is isolated to one person, specifically a doctor, This was a rare and very unfortunate incident, doctors do an amazing job so, this is not a blanket opinion of the entire NHS, whom do an incredible job and are now more than ever being pushed and stretched to their absolute limits. This is not an attack on the NHS, but disappointment in a person who works for them, the issue is with them and not the NHS. I hope that I have made that point very clear! The incident that took place was before covid. Also, I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training, if you are struggling with any issues that are mentioned in this post, please seek help and advice from a fully trained doctor. Please do not stop any medication or treatments without first seeking advice from a fully trained doctor. Please do not take this post as advice or a guide to treatment, because it absolutely is not!
I wanted to talk today about my experience with seeking help and support during my journey with anxiety and depression, this is not something I had ever planned to share purely for the backlash that I fear I am likely to receive, But I was inspired by a very special lady whom I follow on Instagram. Watching her stories reminded me of why I created this platform in the first place, to raise awareness, provide hope and support and to be a loud voice around a subject matter that is pretty quiet most of the time!
In this world that we live in we are constantly made to feel scared to share our personal experiences in case we say something wrong, something that might offend or upset others. I’m not saying that people should be allowed to run their mouths and be complete assholes to whomever they like, because that’s not ok, but what I am saying is that if we have a negative experience or are unsure of what we should do, have questions that we can’t find the answers to or just need some support, we should be able to speak up without the fear we will be judged, ridiculed, dismissed or hated on for what we have expressed.
My Anxiety if you’re not already aware from my previous blog posts is vast and has many triggers, so the fact that I even managed to get myself into a doctor’s surgery was quite honestly a miracle in its self! I had already by this point had calls from the crisis team and from a wonderful lady who really made me feel heard and understood, she took into account all my fears and worries and made me feel very safe. I had been prescribed anxiety medication. It had also been set up for me to attend CBT sessions once a week which was in a building located next to my doctor’s surgery. This was going to be a struggle for me, as by this point, I was barely leaving my home, rarely even my bedroom, only just about able to walk my children the short distance to their school, but that wasn’t even all the time, it was becoming less frequent every day that passed. All I wanted was to feel better to feel like myself again, to be a good mum and wife. In that moment I didn’t feel like I was any of those things, I felt broken, like a phone with a dead battery and no charger, un-useful and completely pointless.
Attending my first CBT appointment was terrifying, my body crippled with fear and my mind drowning in the anxiety! CBT is great and works really well for a lot of people, but for me the anxiety had gotten so severe, I wasn’t able to do the homework set for me, in fact by the end of the 4th session id given up hope all together, going was getting more and more difficult and now I wasn’t even doing the school run, I didn’t leave the house at all, in fact my bedroom was now the only room in the house I saw most days. The anxiety had triggered a very dark depression that initially I just referred to as low mood or feeling miserable because I felt trapped, but I remember a very significant moment that shifted my opinion very quickly and suddenly…
It was a spring day and I had bought some paint to paint my garden fence in order to fill the time and try and keep my mind busy and away from the anxiety, unfortunately for me distraction wasn’t a technique that worked very well, in fact it made my anxiety spiral. If I am feeling anxious I have to put all my focus in to it, I can’t have any distraction no background noise, I have to remain focused on the feeling and just try my best to bring it down… but I never could, it would always get so bad that leaving or avoiding the situation would be the only way I could stop it… anyway I digress, so I decided on that day I would leave my bedroom and go outside and paint the fence, I had woken feeling a little less anxious and I wanted to make the most of feeling a little more me. I had been painting the fence for some time when it suddenly felt like someone had flipped a switch and I started to have dark thoughts, thoughts of suicide, these were not thoughts I had ever had before. I had agreed that I would pick my children up from school that day as the anxiety hadn’t been feeling too bad on that particular day, mainly due to the fact I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything. The thoughts continued on my walk to school, and with every step I took the more intense the feeling got, every time a car went by, I had this deep urge inside of me to step in front of it. I was scared…I didn’t know what was going on. I managed to get my children from school and home and actually being around them made it less intense, they gave me another focus and that helped with the dark thoughts.
As the days and weeks went by so the suicidal thoughts were getting more and more. Anxiety had triggered depression and the depression would make me more anxious which in turn just made me more sad and more suicidal, I couldn’t get a grip on it, I was now so anxious and so depressed that my family were afraid to leave me alone, not getting out of bed just crying and sleeping, this was what my life had become. The only thing that kept me from ending it was the unconditional love I had for my children. It was at this point my family convinced me that I needed to go back to the doctors to get more help, and they did in the form anti-depressants, I was willing to try anything if it meant the thoughts I was having and the heavy sadness I was feeling would disappear! The medication definitely did something but not what I had hoped for, it made me feel sick at the thought of eating so I didn’t and it made me feel completely numb but I didn’t feel any less sad or depressed. What was different was that now when I thought about my children, I didn’t feel love, I didn’t feel joy, I didn’t feel like I wanted or needed to care for them, nurture them, to me they were just beings that existed alongside me in the house. I didn’t feel anything for them at all.
I no longer had a reason to stay anymore, the one thing that had kept me going all this time no longer mattered. Everyone around me could see how bad and how much worse things had got, I would call my mum at silly hours of the night because of how anxious and low I was, she would come and sit with me talking me back to some kind of sense again, once again I found myself needing to stop the treatment I was given and go back to the doctor for an alternative. My experience with all the professionals I had had contact with thus far had been amazing, and I had no reason to believe that my next appointment would be any different. I managed to get myself to the doctors and remember sitting in his office with my mum by my side, I was a mess! I explained what had been going on and the fact that nothing seemed to be working, my anxiety was getting worse and the depression was so bad that living another day seemed like hell and almost impossible. My mum helped to explain that the medication wasn’t right for me and that I couldn’t take it anymore, and asked if there was an alternative? What he said next was something that will live with me forever, I was expecting a plan B or let’s give this a try or here’s what I suggest an in my experience kind of response, but instead, he was standing in front of me looking down on me and simply said “you’re not going to the CBT sessions and can’t take your anti-depressants, so If you can’t help yourself then I can’t help you either”!! Sorry what?? He wasn’t prepared to do anything more to help me, a woman on the very edge clinging on for dear life and he wasn’t prepared to hold out even a finger to try and lift me back up, as far as he was concerned, we were done and that was that.
I was beside myself because in that very moment I was at my worst with anxiety and lowest with depression, the small ray of light in this deep dark hole I was in had been covered over, there was no longer a way out, no light, just pure darkness. It felt like I was being left to die. Now I’ve heard of tough love but this wasn’t that!
Finding a beaming ray of light in the darkness
That being said I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason and it was at this point I was forced to look elsewhere for help, somewhere off the beaten track and that’s when I found the thing that would go on to not only save my life but enhance my life in every way possible, this is when I found Curative Hypnotherapy.
We are all born different, we are all uniquely ourselves, therefor means we all respond and react to things as individuals. No two bodies or minds the same, which surely means there has to be an alternative? There just has to be!! No two people the same! So how is it expected that what works for one will work for all? Putting us into boxes and categories just isn’t going to suffice. We have to be open to the idea that somethings just don’t work for everyone and accept it as “normal”, we shouldn’t instead be made to feel like we are broken or have failed because we can’t conform or be “fixed” by the system that’s in place!
My point is that however, deep and dark the hole is that you find yourself in you are NOT broken beyond repair nor are you a failure, there is always a way out, even if you feel like you’ve exhausted every possible option, keep searching for the help that works for you, because it is out there!
And finally, never be afraid to ask for help, The act of having a conversation can make a huge difference.
Share a smile not a judgement