I’m always torn when I write a blog post like this. Half of me thinks it’s terribly self-indulgent but then the other half thinks that maybe by being honest, it will hopefully help someone. So here goes…
Last month, I couldn’t get out of bed. I’d been up all night crying, the kind of crying where you can’t catch your breath and your face turns a weird kind of purple colour because you’ve been at it so long. Every time I finally fell asleep I was either confronted with a nightmare about being trapped in a house with an abusive family (where I grew up) or I’d wake up moments later not really knowing where I was. I was having a bit of a ‘moment’, something that has been happening more and more frequently over the last few years.
In an almost poetic turn of events, all of this went down on the eve of RUOK day, a day dedicated to mental illness and suicide prevention awareness. And mates, I was certainly not OK.
I grew up in a pretty abusive house and my mum walked out on our family almost seven years ago but for some reason, I’ve seemed to just be able to get on with everything and not really have it affect me day to day.
Except for the last 18 months or so, cue: borderline nervous breakdown… cute!
I think the worst part of it all (apart from the purple face and midnight hyperventilation parties) is that everything in my life is going preeeeetty well. So why am I feeling so low, and well, if we want to get all technical here, depressed as fuck lately?
I’m no psychologist, but I think I may have worked out the answer. As I do a mental checklist, I seem to have or at least am on the road to having everything I’ve ever really wanted.
Job I like: check
Cool apartment: check
Money in the bank: check
Friends friends friends: check
Lovely boyfriend with a moderately oversized head: double check.
So why do I feel like I’m falling apart a little bit? As I reflect on the last seven or so years of my life, or even before, it was filled with extreme stress and chaotic situations. Living in a shitty family home, having to move schools and lose my friends, trying to get through uni, losing Mum, working working working, because living out of home when you’re studying is expensive! Living in dodgy share houses and breaking up with every boy in Melbourne all kind of distracted me from all of the, again, technical terms only, ‘yucky stuff‘ that happened in our family when I was younger. And since life has settled back to being lovely and calm it seems to have allowed the since ‘undealt with feelings’ to come in and rob me of my beauty sleep/ skin complexion.
So as we reflect on mental health awareness week and our society thinks more about mental illness and how, if we’re being really honest, it affects every.single.one.of.us at some point or another in our lives. I guess it pays to take a look at people around you who look like it might be all smooth sailing because in my personal experience, it seems when everything couldn’t be better that it really does all start to fall apart.