By Amiey Westwood
As a young girl, I always experienced anxiety but when I was young there was no awareness about it at all.
There was also no such thing as mental health problems full stop, so I grew up thinking that over-thinking and being an overly anxious person (panic attacks and avoiding certain situations) was just normal.
Fast forward to May 2018, I assumed that I was fine but looking back, I struggled so much when I was at university. A lot of things contributed to this, a bad relationship was one and living a fast-paced lifestyle that I wasn’t used to was another. These both made things a lot worse for me.
Deep down I was experiencing anxiety and depression. It was just a time bomb waiting to explode, yet to me, I was fine and completely oblivious to the fact that I was experiencing severely poor mental health problems.
The end of my degree, May 2018, was when things started to get worse. I moved back home with no job. I was getting loads of job interviews but I’d talk myself out of it because I felt that I wasn’t good enough and would just end up having a panic attack instead.
This ended up with me being in a cycle of not being able to get anywhere, not being able to achieve the things that I wanted to achieve, whilst everyone around me was doing so well.
Then there was me, achieving nothing and letting my anxiety win. During this time, I was also in a quite a bad relationship. I am not going to blame the person I was with and I still think that the guy I was with is a good person.
However, loving the wrong person was so painful to me. Things that happened in the relationship slowly made me lose all my self- confidence. I spent so long trying to make something work, that was just was not meant to be.
Everything slowly made me into a bitter and depressed person with such a negative outlook on life. I literally hated the person that I had become. I hated myself because I felt like I was not good enough for the person I was with and for everyone around me.
Fast forward to November 2019. I was experiencing a terrible break up and I just could not accept what had happened.
Heartbreak was always such a big trigger for me, but this felt so much worse. I had also just left a job that was good for me. I had managed to get a good job working in a school but I ended up giving it up because of poor mental health.
I was constantly drinking and having breakdowns in front of all my friends. At this point I did not care what happened to me and I literally did not care about anything. I spent the whole of December and January feeling so suicidal and I did not see the point in life no more. January 2020 was probably one of the worst months of my life.
Fast forward to May 2020. After lots of talks with the charity Samaritan’s, having therapy sessions and having started taking anti-depressants, things are slowly becoming better. I have also had treatment for an anxiety disorder and depression.
I’m also starting a masters degree in September in clinical applications of psychology, as I am so passionate about helping people who are experiencing mental health issues.
I’ve also now secured a good job, working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
For once I feel confident enough to pursue my dream career. I have so many people around me that love and care about me. I can officially say that I feel happy for the first time in years.
The important lesson to take from my story is this: things do get better, don’t ever give up, even if you feel like there is no other option. Even if you hit rock bottom, things get better. I promise.
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