Sometimes you have to reach rock bottom before you can come back up
A SpunOutter shares their story of recovering from a mental illness
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I want to tell anybody who is in a difficult time right now that no matter what, it does get better!"
My story is one that started around the end of August last year. I was starting Fifth year after doing Transition Year and the difference was kind of difficult to handle, let alone the fact that I was beginning to feel down within myself. I had always had these periods in my life, I would be fine for a while and then I would hit a slope and start to feel down. I was so used to not talking to anybody about it and trying to put it in the back of my head that I was doing it without even thinking about it.
Pretty soon anything people would say to me would make me instantly upset. I felt worse and worse each day, I finally hit the point where I need to speak to somebody, there was a counsellor in our school so I went to speak to her. She felt it would be a good idea to refer me to Jigsaw Offaly in Tullamore. Jigsaw referred me to the Young Adult Mental Health services in Portlaoise. I went for my first assessment in October of last year. I wish I could say that straight away things started to improve but they didn't. Things got so much worse before they got better.
In December of last year I (regrettably) tried to take my own life. My depression and anxiety had left me house-bound, there were many days where I struggled to get out of bed but I luckily had amazing family and I was surrounded by friends who helped me even when I refused to help myself. I had stopped going to school for a few months.
"I hit rock bottom and when you hit that place the only way you can go is back up"
In January, my doctor in Portlaoise told me I had BPD, that was when it hit me; my mood swings, depression and anxiety were all because of a small chemical imbalance in my brain. It was never my fault and the reason I could never deal with my emotions was because I had never fully learned what they were. I had to re-teach myself how to name and deal with my emotions.
After I had tried to end my life, I really began recovery. Truth is that I had hit rock bottom and when you hit that place the only way you can go is back up. I slowly began to spend more time with family and friends and I also started back at school slowly. I began to feel happier again, everything was slowly starting to piece back together and I have never actually felt as happy as I do now.
Of course I still have my bad days and my good days, I still deal daily with anxiety and panic attacks, but my life has improved since I decided that it was time to talk to someone. l have a goal in life and that is to tell anybody who is in a difficult time right now that no matter what, it does get better. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better but when it gets better if feels so good, and you can look back and be proud of what you have done.
We all have difficulties in life, never feel like yours is not good enough. If you are finding things hard, talk to someone, there is always someone out there who wants to help.