I’ve worked my whole life, from the day I turned sixteen, I’ve had a job and I’ve worked every day since, even when I was at university, I worked full-time hours, non stop, making money, meeting new people, trying new things, trying to get all the hours I could just so I could afford nice things and pay my bills. But now I don’t. I haven’t worked for around two months now, I’m nearly three months behind on all my bills and falling deeper into a massive hole of debt all at the cost of my mental health.
I’m not your average twenty-four year old, I’ve been through things most people (hopefully) never will. Since I turned eighteen my life just started to spiral out of control. With a lot of baggage from my childhood that have only recently came to light, I became a professional at sweeping things under the carpet and carrying on. My best friend, Emmah, passed away just before the end of sixth form. She suffered with cystic fibrosis her whole life and after eighteen years of fighting she had finally had enough. After she died I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it, I lost my licence to drink driving a few months later. Her death seemed to have a nasty effect on our friend group and a few months later I got beat up by people who I considered to be my best friends. They followed me home and beat me to a pulp, all over a boy and Emmah’s death, ridiculous. I had to travel to Liverpool the next day to start university, all with a broken nose, two black eyes, and zero confidence. Nothing ever came of them assaulting me and they got away with it. I struggled to make friends at university because I was so scared of friendship and opening up to people. I felt ashamed of who I was and how my life was turning out. But I survived, like I always have. My number one survival technique was to continue to keep pushing any bad feelings or thoughts under the carpet and it worked for a long time.
The same people who beat me up the first time, attacked me again when I came home from university for a short break. I hadn’t seen them in over a year so there was still a lot of bad blood there. One of them followed me into the side bar and grabbed my hair. This time I stuck up for myself and ended up going through a three-year court case which ended in me having an assault charge. I’ll never forget the smug look on her face when I pleaded guilty to assault. I plead guilty because I couldn’t face a trail and I was constantly being threatened with prison, I wanted it to be over so I done it. It’s something I’ll always regret, I had the evidence that I was innocent and purely acting out in self-defence but I had had enough. I got a slap on the wrist and nothing more, thankfully because of my character references and the history I had with the girls worked in my favour. I still have a criminal record though, which is shit. But I believe in karma and I believe it will come.
After all the drama and intensity of the court case I continued to brush everything away, because it worked for me. I graduated university with a 2:1 and took myself of travelling. I remember standing on a beach in Cambodia and feeling so overwhelmed with sadness, the water was so clear and you could see the different colours of blue, the sand was white and the beers were cheap, how could I be sad? I travelled for around six to seven months and seen so many beautiful places, from the kangaroos running wild in Australia to the millions of motor bikes in Vietnam, the endless Pad Thai’s and street food in Thailand, watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia but I was still so sad.
I thought, ‘I must be homesick, there’s no other explanation’ so I went home. I seen my family, my dogs, I got a job in the bank, I felt like I was back on track, but the sadness never left. Around this time last year I had my break down, I took three weeks of work and I didn’t think I would ever work again. I started medication and after a few weeks I began to feel ‘better’, I mean I felt numb but I didn’t feel sad anymore. I stopped crying all the time and my anxiety wasn’t as intense. So that’s good right? Or so I thought.
A few months passed and the sadness began to creep back, my anxiety was through the roof and I developed this deep burning rage of anger because I was so frustrated. It got to the stage that I had to leave my job, a job where I had recently been promoted, a place where I had amazing friends, made decent money, and seemed to be happy. But one day it all just stopped, my panic attacks were that intense that I couldn’t get myself out of them, no one could and they went on for hours. I began to become extremely suicidal and it was all that I thought about, it completely clouded my thoughts. I would sit and cry for hours because I didn’t want to die but it seemed like the only right thing to do. I couldn’t stop self harming myself but not my cutting my wrists or body, I picked my head to the point that my fingers were covered in blood and I would be in so much pain but I couldn’t stop, I still can’t. I decided to move back home with my mum and I had to explain to her how I was feeling, she didn’t take it very well and her initial reaction was anger. How could her daughter want to end her life? But after a few weeks she came around and she’s been amazing ever since, she wants to learn and understand and that’s more than I could ever ask for. I got my medication upped to a higher dosage but unfortunately it’s still not what I need.
Everyday I wake up and pray that the last few years have just been a bad dream but it’s my life and I’m working on it. I’m currently waiting to see a physiotherapist in December, so I’m hopeful that I’ll eventually get the help that I need. This wasn’t where I was going with this but it’s were I’ve ended up. I know this is just a blip in my life that I’ll hopefully be able to look back and see how far I’ve come. But right now I’m taking it day by day because that’s all I can do right now. My bills can wait, a job can wait, because my life and staying alive is more important to me right now.
If your feeling in any way similar to the way I do, please reach out, people care, life is hard but you are harder. Just breathe and take each day as it comes, the good and the bad. It’s just a blip. Only a blip.