My Heart, Your Home: November 2013   

Friday, 22 November 2013

I am woman

It has been quite some time since I lasted shared with you. I had decided that in order to recover my mental state of mind I needed to take a step away from the outside world and focus on myself with the people whom are closest to me. With this week being post natal depression awareness week, I thought that there is no better time than now to write again and share my journey. 

It has been a roller coaster ride, highs and lows, in life, in love, in emotions and in mind. I have had days where I truly have not recognised myself or my thoughts, days where the I am trying to survive the day by the second. The kind of days where I have broken down in tears, or have snapped and screamed at the most minute things. Panic attacks have taken hold of me for longer than any panic attack should last. Over the past several months I have spent more time on the bathroom floor, hiding behind a locked door than I care to remember. I have been unmanageable, unlikeable and impossible. 

I had begun to question everything I had ever known about my self. I struggled with the contradictive emotions I was feeling. How could I possibly be feeling so angry and so sad when I am actually living the happiest version of my life that I have ever lived? How is it possible to have two beautiful Daughters whom I love and adore with very last breath of my body and yet feel so trapped and desperate? 

It has been some extremely confusing months. It has been heartbreaking. It has been enlightening. It has been weakening and it has been strengthening. I have had some wonderful support from some beautiful friends. It has built up friendships in ways that I cannot begin to describe. People who have kindly and quietly been in the background allowing me to fall upon them if and when I ever needed them. Friends that have expected very little from me and understood that I have not been my usual self.

Yet, on the other hand, I have had perfect strangers expect the world from me and when I wasn't capable of delivering they put a mountain of pressure and guilt upon my shoulders. Telling me of their disappointment in me and my lack of giving. They actively chose to break me down, knowing full well that I was in a state of despair and have caused me to question the very essence of my being. I now avoid a place that used to pick me up but now just creates discomfort and panic. Their expectations and my failure to be the person that they wanted me to be has become a very recent hurdle in my recovery and one that I am finding very difficult to jump over.

It has taken me a long time to get to where I am, both negatively and positively. For months I was unaware of what it was that I was feeling, knowing that I wasn't feeling "right", that there was something not quite there. But it took me months to finally say the words out loud. To ask for help and even once I had said those words to Anthony, it continued to take time for me to actually seek the help.

Reaching out has been one of the most difficult and confronting things that I have ever done. In my eyes I felt as though I was admitting defeat, that I was failing. I am still learning that this is not the case and still often feel like I have let everyone down, mostly myself. I have had a life full of trials and tribulations. It has not been the most difficult life to have ever been lived, but it certainly hasn't been the easiest. There were times throughout my journey were I feel like I should have crumbled and yet I managed to stride through those moments. I feel as though I have always been strong and always held it together and often feel so disappointed in myself that now, when I have two dependant children, is the time that I have chosen to let it all go. 

Reaching out has also been the most rewarding thing that I have done for myself. Each fortnight I speak with one of the most abrupt, upfront and honest woman I have ever met. She is incredibly harsh and intellectually brilliant. With her I have cried, I have screamed, I have laughed. I have told her things Ive never said out loud and she has responded with things that I have both wanted to hear and hated to hear. From her, my panic attacks have become minimal. Through her I have found the strength to take a daily pill. With her I am surviving the hardest battle of my life. 

She has forced me to review my life, my entire life and see that there have been moments where I should have crumbled, yet I have strived. She is helping me to change my mindset, to believe that I am more than what I believe I am, I am more than just a girl with nothing to offer. She is teaching me the tools I need to become more than a bundle of nerves, more than a girl with anxiety, more than my low self esteem. Because of her I am learning to laugh again and feel again. Because of her, I have found the validation I needed, to feel the things I am feelings. I have finally felt like I am allowed to be sad, allowed to struggle. In her words, "this is shit, jess and it is a wonder to me that you do not have a personality disorder, be proud".

You know what is the most incredible thing? It has taken me to completely fall apart to learn that I am actually kind of incredible. I have survived a life that others may not have. I have strived to be better, I do yearn for self growth, I do fight to be a better version of myself each and every day. It took me to believe that I had no light, that I was in fact, a loser, to believe that I am actually so very much more than that. 

I am fighting and I am surviving and it is an incredible and scary and confronting and amazing journey that I am on. One day I get to wake up and I get to say that I survived the darkest days and on that day I get to live knowing that I am strong. I am wise. I am a survivor. I am free. I am woman.