April 5, 2017

Mental Health Story


hello, this is a little insight into my mental health from 2015 till now.

I’ve always been a dreamer, In the year of 2015 my life seemed to be going great! I was getting paid for small art projects, jogging consistently, eating healthy (a newbie vegan), I loved catching up with many friends and I had recently fallen in love. My dreams had included running an art business with my twin sister, studying business online and becoming a graphic designer. These dreams and more were proudly displayed upon my vision board that illustrated every detail of my amazing, exciting and beautiful “dream life”. At the time, many of my dreams seemed to be coming true. Especially since 2014 had been an amazing transformative year. However, during 2015 I lost my positive momentum. I started placing unrealistic pressure on myself and slowly all my good habits of 2014 began to fade away. Its only through hindsight that I can look back and see my slow descent into being overly stressed and becoming increasingly depressed.

Eventually, everything fell apart just two weeks before I was meant to be flying out to France (around July, 2015) to meet my boyfriend. Instead of boarding a plane, I had a mental breakdown. The breakdown which the doctors later labelled as a “manic episode” lasted a few days. During that time, I couldn’t eat or sleep, my mind would not stop racing. This resulted in me professing a bunch of craziness to my friends and family. After I said and did a lot of weird stuff (I remember everything even though I was legit mentally ill), My family was forced to call an ambulance and I was taken to hospital. In the emergency room, I freaked out and they induced me to sleep, I ended up waking up in the mental hospital. Fun times…

I won’t go into details about my actions or my thoughts at the time, just know that being mentally unstable is a freaking scary experience. I remained in the mental ward for just two weeks and then was let out. I was still not in my usual sane state of mind and after a short amount of time at home I couldn’t handle it. I was experiencing a level of anxiety that I’d never known before. I still felt “crazy” and I truly didn’t feel safe in my own home. So, I chose to go back into the mental health ward.

After my second stint in the “looney bin”, I moved in with my mum, I was still suffering from weird thoughts but they slowly faded with time. Anyways, I spent the next 6 months getting dosed up on strong medication (Bipolar meds/anti-depressants), I felt empty, broken and worthless. I lost all my faith and self-belief. All my drive, passion, happiness had been wiped away. All I wanted to do was go back in time, and wake up from this nightmare. I gained weight so quickly, I tried to jog but medication left me in a zombie state. I soon gave up on my body and I ballooned.

Six months went by, I isolated myself as much as possible, I had no personality, I was a lifeless zombie and it turns out the doctors had messed up my dosage. I had been taking more than was ideal. Anyways, I finally managed to go back to work for just one day a week. To be honest this was a massive step for me at the time. Since gaining weight I have had many people presume or ask if I was pregnant. Moving on, I was off my medications within a year and I also ended my monthly mental health meetings. A couple of months after this, I felt genuine joy for the first time since my manic episode. I remember laughing for the first time after a whole year of suffering clinical depression. I was so happy that I had trully laughed that I burst into tears.

Mental illness is no joke, to me it seems to be this invisible force that invaded my mind and shattered my life. I didn’t think recovery would take this long but the hard bit is over!! Whoo! Now that I’m feeling really good I’d like to thank all my family, friends and my work mates. I’m so grateful for all your support, so thank you.

This year, 2017, I’m starting to move forward. I cannot go back to how I was before my break down. I have experienced so much, but then again, we’re all going through something. Hopefully, our experiences, both the good and the bad, allow us to grow an develop into an even better people. For now, I’ll happily continue leading my “insane” life!

Thanks for reading, Amber



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