I did it. Today, 20th October 2016, was the day I changed my life for good.
For those who don’t know, I suffer with anxiety and depression (which you can read about here). This morning I had an appointment with the Mental Health Team at university, which I booked several weeks ago. This was a huge step for me because I have never managed to seek help before, despite suffering from MHI for the majority of my life.
I can’t even begin to put into words, how nervous I was this morning. I puked several times and probably shouldn’t have driven myself there. I almost had an anxiety attack in the waiting room, but managed to calm myself down just in time. As soon as I walked into her office, I burst into tears before she had even said anything. Partly due to nerves, but mostly relief.
She was lovely, really understanding and so helpful. She asked loads of stuff, which I found so hard to talk about, but I knew she had to know. She told me that she was seeing severe symptoms of general and social anxiety disorder, as well as panic disorder and depression.
It was weird. I knew I had mental health issues. But when you give it a name. A disorder. When a professional says that you have mental health issues. It’s suddenly very real.
I told her that I have been trying to ring the doctors for about 2 years now. But every time I pick up the phone, I just can’t physically do it.
Without even asking about my availability, she spun around and called the doctors for me.
I was so shocked. But I think it’s what I needed. I needed someone to do it, to force me to go.
Monday 24th October 2016, at 09:50
I’m not sure how I’m feeling at the moment. I’m relieved, but also TERRIFIED. It’s a weird feeling. She was saying how she couldn’t believe I’ve come this far on my own. How it was a miracle that I achieved a First at university last year, with only 40% attendance. She was telling me how amazing I was, for a good half an hour. How clever I must be. I was very embarrassed, but I’d never thought of it like that. I’d never looked at all the good things I achieved.
We chatted for just over an hour and that’s the first time I’ve told anyone (other than my boyfriend and the #TalkMH gang on Twitter).
I am so so glad I did it and I urge anyone else who suffers, when they are ready, to get help. It’s not just you, you’re not alone. I was her third meeting of the day and it was only 10am.
I know I’ve got a long journey ahead of me, but this is the beginning of the end and I have never been prouder.