I have just posted for the first time in 4 months on my Facebook.
This is what I posted:
Guys, it’s time to tell you all something. On the 13th July I was signed off work for 28 days with stress and anxiety. I have now returned back to work and it is all going well.
There was no one thing that led to my mental health breakdown, it was a few various factors, some work related, some out of work related. As the years have gone on my life has become smaller and smaller as my anxiety has become ever more all encompassing, to the point that I found it almost impossible to be in large crowds of people or to be around strangers.
I have let friendships with people I care about fall away from me as I became too anxious to talk or message them or even to respond to an event invitation. If at any point you have found my behaviour ‘odd’ over the last few years, well now you know why.
I am by my own admission an intensely private person, so you may wonder why I am posting this. I am doing this because there is a stigma around mental health difficulties. I would never judge someone who is mentally ill yet I almost hate myself for what happened and wish I could have been signed off work for something ‘normal’ like a broken leg.
Hiding my problems and hiding from people did not make the situation better, it made it infinitely worse, so if I have to have a few people on my timeline wonder what all this depressing stuff is in order to reach someone who may be struggling then so be it.
Mental health is a bitch. It will strike anyone. It can hit you when you are down or when you are happier than ever before. It can hit you if you have ‘problems’ or ‘no’ problems.
I know there may be some people out there who believe mental health is a liberal indulgence and I should just have a cup of tea and stop listening to so much Joy Division, but what happened to me was real, and if I have to cut through those people to reach someone who may be struggling then I am ok with that.
If you are struggling, talk to someone. I am probably better now than I have ever been before, but it had to get SO much worse before it got better. I feel I am stronger than ever, and if you are struggling I want you to know that it can and will pass and you will be ok. But talk to someone.
I want to thank all my friends and family who rallied around me and kept in contact, sending me messages, or things that they had seen that may help or calling me weekly. You made what was one of the lowest points of my life so much better.
One thing I can’t bare is people worrying about me, so I want to confirm that I am ok now, I am fine, I am even at some points great. But there is a chance in the future I may not be ‘fine’ in which case I may need support again. And I know I can count on you to be there for me.
I am hoping that what I wrote may help someone who might be struggling.
I don’t use Facebook. I have logged into it (the main site on my laptop) about 10 times this entire year. And that’s not me being cool and avoiding Facebook but just me being too busy and doing surveys and s*** like that.
I just felt that I am damn tired of hiding. I am tired of trying to be normal at all times and not let people now the truth.
I am a new Flo. I share.
Next I may tell more than 3 of my friends about this blog…