"...this isn't about me airing my dirty laundry because for 1) It’s not laundry day- I skipped it this week and have been rocking different bikini bottoms for the last four days"
The thought of writing something as deep as feeling lost and found is pretty daunting when generally the only things I post on my social media pages are silly sketch comedy videos that I've acted in or clips from cartoons that I've voiced. Not to mention inappropriate banter and a fair amount of naughty words (sorry mum and dad). So please bear with me while I work out how to write about a time that I completely lost myself and became mentally unwell. But don't get all miserable and bored on me just yet- I totally came out the other side like a wrinkly, red, new born giggling and screaming and ready for a new world!
Around 3 years ago I went through a very messy break up with 3 best friends who had been in my life between 10 and 20 years. There are far too many details to go into and this isn't about me airing my dirty laundry because for 1) It’s not laundry day- I skipped it this week and have been rocking different bikini bottoms for the last four days and 2) I've got a thousand-word limit.
Basically, things got horribly out of hand over a situation. There were right and wrong doings by all four of us. However, things broke me down so much that I became extremely unwell mentally. I went to the doctors for what I thought was the flu, little did I know it was much more serious than a snuffly nose and some aches and pains. I was diagnosed with depression, extreme anxiety and high stress.
"Not being able to sleep is probably the quickest route to insanity."
The situation had completely broken me and I was a mess. This was the first time in my almost 30 years that I wasn't able to make light of things like I usually would. I was so anxious that I couldn't sit still or breath properly, I could barely speak without crying and I couldn't be near my phone without having a panic attack over fear of hearing from the best friends. Might sound a little dramatic and maybe it was, but my world was turning upside down and anxiety and stress were taking over.
I like to think of myself as a positive, confident, happy person but at this time in my life, I was the complete opposite. My parents were so worried about me that they made me stay at their house while they cared for me. I remember sitting in their bath for 4 hours just staring at the wall until I became so wrinkly I looked worse than Benjamin Button after a 7 hour jacuzzi sesh.
I barely ate and hardly slept. I had nothing to give, not even a fake smile. I wasn't myself and it was really scary. I was completely lost."
It took me a solid 4 months to start feeling myself again. My parents, sister and boyfriend at the time were out of control amazing. They were there for me at the drop of a hat. They answered so many phone calls from a hysterical, broken, sobbing mess more times than I can count. They loved me, listened to me and calmed me. Without them (and a bunch of other gorgeous caring friends) there is no way I would have gotten through it. I also knew that it was for the best. For me, the break-up had been a long time coming but don't let that fool you into thinking it made things easier! I had a mantra in my head that was on repeat for months reminding me it was for the best and things would only get better.
"I'm in no way a hard ass now but I certainly have learnt to stick up for myself and know my worth."
The more time that passed the better I felt, it wasn't an overnight thing, it was a very slow healing process. It probably took me a full year to truly get back to me, I also saw a psychologist weekly which I hated but she certainly helped me just by listening and giving me tactics to deal with stress and anxiety and she gave me some pretty great sleeping tablets to get me through my sleepless nights. Not being able to sleep is probably the quickest route to insanity. I had nights where I literally didn't sleep a wink, I don't even think my eyes shut. I looked like a swollen foot when I 'woke up' but that's nothing compared to the shit fire that was going on inside my swollen foot head. No sleep and mental illness is a very dangerous cycle.
I'm a firm believer that break ups always make you stronger and that it did. I'm so proud of coming through the other side a tougher person, it helped me learn to trust and love myself. (still a work in progress though!) I've always been a people pleaser and have always put others before myself. I'm in no way a hard ass now but I certainly have learnt to stick up for myself and know my worth.
I'm surrounded by so many beautiful friends who adore and love me for the person I am and don't make me feel bad when I stuff up. Unconditional love is the most beautiful thing and I'm lucky enough to only have friendships based on this now. My unwell patch where I was lost was hands down the hardest thing I've ever been through but I would 100% go through it all again to have found myself and be happier than I ever have been on the other side."