Breaking the Silence on My Mental Health

Trigger warnings for mentions of mild self-harm, slightly suicidal thoughts and very negative content. I want to warn you in advance; if you’re affected by any of these, I’ve left links at the end of this post where you can find support.

Yesterday, my friends from school – Wren and Red – sat me down in what they called an “intervention” and told me, in no uncertain terms, that my mental health was utter shit and that they were really worried about me. After having shut myself off from everyone for a while, I totally understand why: their “intervention” threw me a bit even though I was expecting it, so that I didn’t quite know how to express myself. Thinking about it all of last night and this morning, I realised that part of the reason is because I stopped writing on this blog. So, I’m breaking the silence (which I’ve been intending to do for ages) to bring you a mammoth post on how bad I’ve been feeling, with some things that you might find more hopeful at the end. Bare with me here because I need to get this all out in the healthiest way possible. I want to show you something real and to tell any of you going through the same things that you’re not alone.

Where to start? I feel like I haven’t talked about this for so long that I don’t know how to speak. I’d start at the beginning or the root causes but the problem is that things are so muddled in my head that I don’t know what those causes are. All I know is that I’m desperately sad, so let’s start with that.

Whereas a year and a half ago, I felt sad a fair bit but I had a lot of moments of happiness, now, I feel either sad or blank constantly. When I’m not sad, I’m worried for some reason, fired up with some kind of emotion that is only rarely positive. I feel empty as well; it’s like I’m trudging through mud and even wanting to move is a struggle sometimes. When I spoke to my head of year about it, she told me it was just normal teenage behaviour and made me dismiss what was happening but my friends made me realise that it’s not “normal” to feel this unhappy all the time. It’s not “normal” to feel overwhelmed to the point of screaming and tears and it’s in no way “usual” to feel as if you hate yourself, that everyone hates you and that you should just shut up. I can say it’s got worse: it wasn’t this bad before; either that or I just didn’t notice. I have a habit of dismissing my own feelings, lying to myself and then eventually figuring out that I’ve felt something I thought I hadn’t or that things were worse in my mind but I locked it all up. However, I’ve started to truly notice how I’ve been feeling and it’s quite worrying.

Along with this negativity, I’ve been having a lot of horrible thoughts as well; this is where the trigger warnings apply. In short, over the last few weeks I’ve wanted to disappear. I don’t want to actively die but I do wish I didn’t exist a lot of the time. I tried to figure out the reasons why and a lot of it links back to me feeling worthless, horrible and to a situation which has just exacerbated that entire hurricane of feeling (I’ll get onto that at some point). Anyhow, the thoughts of wishing I could disappear got so bad a week ago, shortly before I started school again, that I scratched at myself and only realised it was self-harm afterwards. As it’s a sensitive topic, I don’t want to go into too much detail as that’s unnecessary for this post; I just want to say that if you do this, don’t blame yourself or call yourself disgusting: it’s not a healthy thing to do but it’s not your fault if you do it. I got so upset by this that I was unable to cope and shut myself down. I hardly ever talk about it; it’s just something that I don’t often acknowledge and I’m sorry if that negatively affected anyone. The urge to do that again, along with the urge to just not move and to wish myself gone so that nobody would notice me, is fading but it is still there.

When the average student says, “I’m so behind in my work!” often it isn’t that bad. I wish I was joking when I said that I’m so incredibly behind that when I try to tackle the mountain of work I have, I don’t do it. That’s a contributing factor to the reasons I feel unhappy about myself; I’ve taken some steps to solving it, like talking to teachers, and I blame myself for being lazy. I’ve realised that’s not it, or only a tiny bit: I have a severe lack of motivation and a lot of unprocessed emotions, situations and worrying thoughts so that doing work became a struggle. It’s got so overwhelming now that I don’t understand how to cope. I’ve left it very very late and that’s part of the problem. If I could flip a switch and just do the work, I would; I theoretically know how to do all of it but when I sit down and try, nothing happens. Then, I get frustrated, panicked and angry; I feel like a failure; I feel like a horrific person and sometimes, as if I’m lazy and no good to anyone. I can’t just think positively about it all because I feel miserable all the fucking time and it makes me even worse. Attempting to explain this to family is difficult as they don’t believe quite how bad it is, expecting to pick myself up immediately.

Two weeks ago, I went to Barcelona with a charity for VI people and whilst it was an amazing trip, I had the worst breakdown I’ve ever had on my friend who I call Rapunzel. It’s about something I don’t feel comfortable going into at the moment because I haven’t sorted it out, either in my own head or with the people involved, but the breakdown was so bad that I opened up about wanting to die, how awful I felt and on every single day of that trip, I was in emotional pain of some sort. Rapunzel’s the type of person who didn’t mind it when I cried on her and shook so hard I couldn’t stand up. I can’t pin the blame on people; it was just a culmination of circumstances, miscommunication and confusion that led to my emotional state: all of this I haven’t spoken about to many people save for Rapunzel and those who were with me when I was directly faced with it all. Luckily though, Barcelona was wonderful and I had a great time overall. Saying that, I think it partly contributed to how outwardly unhappy I seem (people noticed unfortunately when we were in the country as I had a few moments where my mask slipped and I was unable to function much). Things resulting from it have made me feel severely insecure: I keep on thinking I’m pathetic and I think people have all given up on me. Although things are confusing and I have no idea where I stand with people, they aren’t hopeless because I can fix things but I don’t quite know how to start it.

To try and deal with some of my wild emotions which were slowly being pushed onto myself, I booked a counselling appointment on Saturday. There, I skimmed over how I was feeling: I let the counsellor know everything but there wasn’t enough time to go into detail. I was terrified; I tried to let as much out as I could, referring to the box I talked about in this post to explain how I was feeling. Although it didn’t help because I need regular sessions to get some concrete progress, it didn’t feel like, when I came out, I wanted to cease to be alive. I know that’s brutal honesty but I want to be as truthful as I can be. I needed to let out years’ worth of terror and confused emotion to the counsellor which is only, now, just coming through on my blog because I’ve told you guys quite a lot but recently, I felt like I’ve been unable to post about some things because of how personal they are.

I don’t want to overload myself too much right now. I also don’t want to fill this blog with negative thinking but currently, I see no other way of sorting out at least some of the thoughts in my head. It’s hard to explain but I don’t often know how I feel because there are too many thoughts rushing around for me to process; I also get the feeling sometimes that I’m a non-person and that I’m a bit disconnected from everything. It’s horrible. When I write on this blog, it reminds me a bit of who I am because I forget and even now, I ask myself if these words are really how I feel or if I’m just, well, lying to myself. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more concise but rambling sentences are the only things I can write with any coherency.

Most days, I have to concentrate on getting through without having a mental breakdown, without utterly giving up on speaking or engaging with anything. Whenever I think about it, I get panicked and believe that I’m making things up, that everything is fine and then I start to feel like what I called a “non-person” earlier. It’s so hard to dissect what I’m feeling and I’m trying my best to solve that with things like counselling but I’m so afraid that I’m just going to become the shell of a person. When I consider that, I feel freezing.

There are too many things in my head, from dealing with feelings to coping with family to feeling lonely for no reason. Explaining it in one post is way too much; I tried to do it in counselling and got so upset that I couldn’t actually force any words out. I’m calling myself dramatic when I say this but it now goes far beyond simple “I’m sad” because when I thought the simple sadness, I hadn’t realised that there were a shitload of other issues. People expect me to be fine so I’ve shoved up a wall in my own mind to it; it’s only now, where I’m visibly not coping at school and getting upset because of that, that I kind of have to face the facts and quit calling myself attention-seeking for every little thing.

At some point, over the next few days or weeks, I’ll be talking about all of this in greater detail. Barcelona deserves an entire post of its own but I’m not willing to do that right now; too many things have happened and posting about it all would be so disrespectful to the people involved, not to mention disrespectful to myself because my thoughts are still hectic about it. For now, I’m going to leave this post as it is, in it’s wild and painful waves of thought. I don’t know how to do it otherwise; I don’t know how to structure my ideas to make sense any more but I’ve given it my best go.

If you’re feeling a little like me, here are some websites and support networks that can help. These are just for the UK but I might be creating a page on my blog for other countries too, if that’s something you’d find useful.

The Samaritans who you can talk to at any time; you can call them on 116123

Mind which is a mental health charity

The Mental Health Foundation

BetterHelp – an online counselling service

Don’t suffer in silence. I’ve done that enough and in a phrase, it’s fucking me up. I’m sick of going from day to day in a haze: I want to live my life but I have to get through this first.

From Elm 🙂

95 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence on My Mental Health

  1. It must have been very hard to post this, I’m so proud of you for opening up and I’m sorry you have been feeling like this💛 I’m always here if you want to talk or if you want help of any kind. I think it’s important to sort out your mental health first and take it slowly w the work, explain it to your teachers in some way so they won’t put pressure on you.

    I know how you feel about feeling low, I’ve been feeling low too and it can be so hard to deal w 💛💛 xoxo

    • Thank you for that. Without fail, you’ve always supported me and I appreciate that so so much. I’ll try and explain to my teachers at some point; it’s just difficult because everybody expects me to do well and to have everything under control when I’m so far from that that I don’t really understand what control is any more. Thank you for everything, Larissa XX

  2. It’s honestly so brave of you to be so open and honest about these kinds of things, it’s so important that people are able to have these kinds of conversations and that mental health issues stop being brushed under the carpet. It never seems it, but it will eventually get better, even if you have to struggle through some pretty rough days (bit of a cliche but it’s very true). I hope with all my heart that you feel better soon, as usual, I’m always here if you need anyone to talk to 💗 *trigger warning (I think)* in terms of the self harming, please please please don’t go down that road, I promise you it will never be worth it and there are so many other ways to deal with how your feeling 💜

    • Thank you ❤ You're so right. TW / / I haven't self-harmed in a while and everytime I want to I have to physically restrain myself if it gets too bad. Thank you for helping and being here always. I'm here for you whenever you need – your words make me happy because you're so incredibly kind and always have been xx

  3. Hi.
    I just want to really say that I’ve felt every single word. I’m going through the exact same thing, and think you explained it better than I ever could.
    Can I just say, even though you may or may have not noticed it, but you have really good friends. My friends would have just left me to be as closed off as I wanted even though it wouldn’t have helped. Sometimes, I do try to convey on post. But I’m not really as popular on this site, so it feels like my words are going nowhere, which doesn’t help.
    I admire you for the fact that you’re trying. That you took the courage to try.
    I seriously hope you get through it.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through very similar or the same thing to me; it’s horrible to go through. Don’t bottle your thoughts up – let them out even it’s it’s just to yourself. The audience of a blog doesn’t matter – what does matter is how it will feel when you’re able to release those emotions onto somewhere that might potentially be able to help you. Good luck with everything; I’m always here if you need to talk to anyone because I know how it feels XX

  4. Elm,
    first of all, *infinite virtual hugs*. you are so brave to have put this out there and acknowledge what you are going through. i totally get what you mean, and i totally understand. please remember that you will get through this. when they first told me that, i thought that it was just sh*t, but now, i know that it’s true. also remember that your health is always your first priority; physical and mental. everything else comes later. cherish and give yourself more credit; Elm, you are kind, inspiring, and beautiful inside and out. everyone has their own struggles, and that’s totally ok and part of life. this will make you stronger, i promise. i know what the hard days feel like; sometimes i just want to hide and disappear for awhile, and when come out when i feel better, because i just don’t want anyone else to see my struggles. you are definitely not alone, as you will never be. i ❤ you and look up to you, and i'm always here ❤ 🙂 being a teen is hard, but remember: nothing will last forever ❤ xx

    • God, I hope you’re right – and I know you are; it’ll just take me time to realise that in my heart. Thank you. Thank you for expressing all the things I want to be, to feel, in one comment – you’re so articulate and comforting and I admire that. Thank you for showing me that things do improve. I ❤ you so much and you've just made my day that little bit better by being here, by taking time out of your day to say those things to me xx

  5. Hey hun xx
    I know exactly how this feels. I’ve been through this for a couple of years and only recently found a way out. I used to have a list of things I’d never do to myself, back when I was really depressed. I then broke all of them.. :/ Self harm was one. It does get better though, feel free to talk to me x

  6. You are so brave and I know you don’t feel it in yourself right now, but you have immense strength. I have suffered with depression for most of my life and I know how debilitating it can be, but I want to tell you that your level of self awareness puts you on the road to healing. You are seeking help and expressing your feelings and all of that is so good for you and for your overall wellbeing. Keep talking about it and keep seeking help; I know that you are going to get through this.

    • God, I hope so. I hate feeling like this with no resolution, where I feel as if I have no purpose. Your words make me hope for the future a little and I’m so grateful. Thanks for sharing a little of your experience – it’s comforting 🙂

      • I am glad if I can offer even a little comfort to you; I am in your corner and here if you need to vent or scream or cry. I have been around a long time and worn the cloak you are wearing; I have felt the burden of it drop away and I know you will too. It can be difficulty to be a person who feels things as deeply as you do, but it has a flip side that is pure joy and I know you will feel that as profoundly as you now feel the pain. You are not alone.

      • Thank you so so much – and neither are you. We get through this strange yet somehow wonderful journey of life and we do our best to smile about it 🙂

  7. I’ve experienced so much of what you described in this post and I just want to say that you are so incredibly brave and amazing for posting it. You are not worthless, pathetic, or irrelevant. You are one of the BEST bloggers I know and your writing, be it happy or deep, always brightens up my day even for just that 5 minutes where I get to sit down and read your posts. I really do hope that you can overcome this time in your life because I know that you are so strong and that you can get through this. Glad to have you back Elm 🙂

    • And I’m so so glad to have you commenting. You are seriously amazing and inspirational to me because you take the time to cheer people up and let them remember what they mean to the world. I still feel very very unwell and awful but people like you make it less horrendous. I love you a lot and you just brightened up my day xxx

  8. All I’m going to say is that even though we’ve never met, you have truly meant so much to me. You were my first proper blogging friend and you messaged me to see if I was okay which even friends in my ‘real’ life don’t do for me sometimes. I would love to meet you one day, it would be awesome to meet someone who really changed how I thought about myself and making me feel better with just a notifcation on twitter 🙂 xxx

    • Meeting you would be a dream come true for me because you have let me feel more positive when all I wanted to do was disappear. Never forget your worth, Astrid, because people adore you and you’ve changed people’s lives by being their friend. Thank you for everything, for being yourself and genuine and for understanding people like you do. I’ll always, always be grateful to you xxx

    • I’m so glad I could let you feel that you’re less alone. It’s so important to feel like that. I hope that you’re okay or as okay as you Camby 🙂 well done for taking a break because you’re putting yourself first X

  9. I’m not a regular blogger and don’t even follow you but I came across this post and oh god it communicated with me in many ways. I’m older now and in a much better place than I was 3 years ago (although I’m still not great) and I’ve been through and still go through a lot of the feelings you’ve mentioned here. *trigger warning* please don’t harm yourself, it’s probably the biggest regret I have. The scars bring horrible memories and the pain it causes the people around you isn’t worth it. Please message me and we could speak more because I know just what you’re going through and some things that might help a bit. My snapchat is emilyrigby21. Don’t hesitate to add me if you need to talk to a stranger who won’t be judging you

    • Honestly I could cry right now. Thank you so much for saying this 🙂 it’s so difficult and – trigger warning – I’ve not harmed myself in quite a while but I still get urges when I get really upset. I’m going to add your Snapchat but it’ll be under my real name. To me, that doesn’t matter because you show me that you are a caring person and I really appreciate that. Thank you xxx

  10. Elm, I know this is late, but its because I relate to so much of what you said. Everything makes perfect sense to me. I’ve been where you are, and I’m trying not to go back to that place. It’s a long, hard road, but you’ll get through it. You will be okay. I promise. I send love and hugs to you. Stay strong love.
    -Dani ❤

  11. Elm, you are so strong for opening out about this difficult topic and sharing your thoughts. Mental illness is just life-sucking, and simply being vulnerable can be such a light for those struggling right now. Thinking of you.

  12. I think it is amazing and so brave of you to post this! Living with mental illness feels impossible most days, but with time and a different perspective, some days are better. It can be really hard to turn off the negative voice in your head sometimes, but when you get that moment of clarity it really is worth waiting for. Hoping you’re feeling better, and you’re having some good days. 🙂

  13. this is so raw and so beautiful. breaking the silence is the first step, when we can get out of our heads then it doesn’t seem as impossible to deal with. it sounds like you have a support system around you, lean into them and let them help you. you got this.

    • Ohh I hope so. I forget that sometimes. When your mental health is bad, it’s so easy to forget. Thanks for the encouragement, you’re great 😊

  14. Thank you 🙂 Your articleis very encouraging and inspiring.can i share with you an imprtant article How to take care of myself in all respects Self-care

    Self-care
    In a world whose pace accelerates day by day, and the responsibilities of the individual are constantly increased, it happens that one forgets one of the most important things that he has to maintain, namely the self or the self, there is no value for any individual activity that the person performs if the result of this activity is loss of self . What can success in work or study mean if the cost of this success is a person’s physical or psychological health? And how do things have value in themselves if their owner is selfless? From here we can say that self-care and self-interest is a priority that advances the list of other life priorities.https://makemoneyyonline.com/take-care-respects/

  15. The honesty and courage in this post makes it a very powerful one. Everyone will feel something when they read your words in this post. Thank you for sharing as it’s always so important to share and spread awareness. You’ve come a long way and are the perfect example of inspiration. xx

  16. You are doing a great thing here! Whether you believe it or not, it takes a lot of confidence to open yourself up and post something like this. I don’t know you, but I am proud of you. In my studies, I have found a profound connection between physical health and mental health. A question I wish we knew the answer for: Is it the issues in mental health that cause physical symptoms? Or vice versa? Regardless, I pray for your speedy healing, and thank you for posting this.

  17. I just started to blog myself and in doing so came across your story. The fact you’ve written something so intense down, shared it, opened yourself up to something not many can is very inspiring. Mental health as it is more talked about still isn’t well excepted in most places, yet millions suffer. I truly believe people such as yourself, writing and speaking out can help and bring others to a point where they understand and know they arnt alone. Best of luck in all you do.

    • Thank you very much. I believe that talking about it is the first step to being able to deal with it in any capacity. It’s so important to break that awful stigma and to show people that it’s WORTH talking about xx

  18. Hi Elm i just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone. I think many of us have difficulties with how to deal with our life. I tend have been through massive struggles and no support. I think my best way to clear my head from the negative thoughts is writing. My blog is my writings, i tend to hold everything in until i write. I hope you continue to write out your thoughts and let us relate. stay strong, dont ever quit. thelifebehindblindeyes.com if you want to look at my small poems and relate please feel free.

  19. This is so very relatable and I truly understand how you’re feeling, I suffer from depression and anxiety/panic attacks so just know that you are not alone.
    Loved and appreciated your honesty and openness. Best wishes to you xx

    • Honestly, thank you so much and thank you for sharing your experience! It can be extremely difficult, especially when you feel alone and so I really appreciate you saying that 🙂 💖

  20. This is so inspirational! Huge congratulations for sharing your story and opening up, and I sincerely hope you receive help and can get back to living your life. Always remember you’re beautiful and strong and everything will be okay soon. Stay strong! X

    • That’s made me feel so reassured and I really appreciate it. There are often times when I feel very alone and very unsure of everything, yet people like you are helping me to have more faith in the power of my words XX

  21. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story! You are such an inspiration! You will continue to inspire others to be vulnerable and tell their story. I just started doing the same thing in my blog https://blackerbsj.wordpress.com/
    Check it out and let me know what you think!

  22. Hi Elm,
    First off i would like to say thanks and well done. Its really brave to post your deep emotions like you have. Feel free to look at my blog which see my post my feelings from A year ago. It’s called a year ago today but you catch my drift.
    Either way i wish you the best and great happiness.
    Barry

    • Honestly thank you so much. I had a look at your blog and I love the concept of it because I’m the kind of person that looks back on the past and analyses my feelings from then. Thank you!!

  23. Very inspirational post, and I am glad to hear of anybody being able to fight off these terrible feelings, to make it through yet another day. I would appreciate it if anyone suffering from dissociative disorders/anxiety/depression has time to have a look at my blog, as I’m hoping to help as many people as possible by writing about my own experiences – https://dpdisorder.wordpress.com/

    • This is amazing – thank you so much. I admire people like you who seek to help others, especially those with illnesses rarely talked about. Thank you xx

  24. Although this is my first time reading any of your content, I have to tell you that this really hit home for me. Trust me in that you’re not alone. I believe that it’s same to assume that I have several years on you, so – should you ever need to talk to someone who is a bit older and experienced in this stuff – feel free to reach out. Remember that you’re not alone.

    • Ahhh honestly, thanks for that. It means a lot to know that people are here, above all those who have experienced a lot. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness xx

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