anxiety depression mental health

The most honest post I’ve ever written…

I’m going home tomorrow. It’s not a holiday. No I didn’t get the chance to have a holiday in many other countries other than Berlin and Edinburgh last year, those were holidays. This is not. It’s home. It’s home for a thousand different reasons. I grew up there, I lived most of my life there, my best friends and family are there. The people I probably need the most right now, but I can’t be around  because of distance live there. Because I refuse to give up, I refuse to do the easy thing, move back home to have my support network, so I can stop trying and free fall into this black hole. Which is the easiest solution when you are struggling.

I need to go home every now and then to stay sane. I need to remind myself that there are people who love me for who I am, people I don’t have to pretend I’m happy in front of them, because they know me too well. People who’ll give me a hug when I need it, because they know when I need it. People who will re-assure me and make me feel good about myself. As much as you can try and re-assure yourself, you still need that from other human beings, no matter what.

For a while now I’m not feeling well. I can’t put my finger on it (it’s not because my best friend went away, although of course I miss her), but I know I’m not happy. I’m not unhappy, but I’m not happy, not most of the time. I feel stuck. I feel trapped. Trapped in this vicious circle. The less I do, the worse I feel and the worse I feel the less I do. And I don’t know how to get unstuck.  And sometimes however hard I try by making jokes, making people laugh, making a fool of myself (if only people knew that some of the things they say to me in jest actually hit home), I can’t hide it. It’s getting harder and harder to hide. I know some of you noticed and you often ask me if I’m OK. Which I find very sweet and touching. Thank you for caring.

And is getting worse. Some of my friends, I haven’t seen for months (I love you and miss you all, I really do) because I find it easier not to get out and not try. I know people give up on you after a while but I find it easier to just be by myself. Things I used to enjoy I find hard to do, like singing with my colleagues and friends or driving.

I feel I lost my magic marbles and I’m not even sure where to look for them.

I still manage to go to work, although I struggle some days. But at least I haven’t given up completely. Work is one of the very few things that actually keep me sane (most of the time). And that’s why when I worried about my job a while ago, I knew I had to be re-assured that I’m not going to lose it, that I’m not going to lose one of my last life jackets. I’m so lucky I work with some amazing people who keep me going.

It’s so difficult, I don’t think people realise how difficult it is to pretend you are OK when you are not. I don’t think people realise how hard it is for me to make any decision, even simple ones like what to have for dinner, how hard it is to get out of the house, to interact with other human beings, how even the smallest thing like losing a tooth can affect me hugely. I don’t think they realise how my confidence has hit rock bottom, because I manage to hide it well most of the time by overcompensating.

But then what to do? I do not want people to worry and feel sorry for me. So I put my fake smile on and get on with it as best as I can.

I can’t self diagnose but I know where all the signs lead to. They all lead to the big black dog.  I know I need to do something about it before is too late. But is bloody hard. Is even harder when you live on your own, and the people who know you the best and can really help you without asking, because asking for help is not easy, are a thousand miles away. And I don’t want to worry them. And I don’t want to move back either.

I’m not giving up, not just yet.  I learned a lot, especially the last couple of years.I’m scared and I worry about myself and about my family, no matter how much I try not to. But when you struggle, you struggle, no matter how aware you are of the irrationality of it all. Acknowledging your thoughts are wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you can fix them in an instant.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. But I know not many will admit they do. Sending you all my love and I hope we all make it to the other side.

So there, is all out in the open now. And I already feel better for sharing.

I’m saddened and a bit scared with the terrorist attack in London, but  I’m happy  I’m going home tomorrow to see my loved ones, be surrounded by my favourite people, enjoy the sunshine and be happy for a week, until reality hits me in the face. I hope this break will give me the push I need. Or not. Only time will show.

I love you all x

Eleni

PS I want to thank Donna, Suzanne, Sarah, Helen, Louise, Jamie, Chris and Andy, thank you, you know why.

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