|An honest and personal post from this girl you see before you.|
In my teens I was an outgoing person, I spoke my mind and never shied away from voicing my opinion when I thought someone was in the wrong. I was the thinnest I had ever been, went to the gym everyday even if it was for just twenty minutes, I walked miles on end and enjoyed every minute of it. I had my first ever boyfriend, was always out and about and I was happy. I didn't notice anything was wrong or that my personality was changing, I just thought I was becoming more reserved, part of growing up I thought - oh how I wrong I was.
In January 2012 I quit my job, a decision I chose to make after a series of events which devastated my world and made me not want to be around people anymore. I used to stay in Jacek's apartment all day watching reruns of old television shows and films and my only task in life was to have a dinner ready for him when he came home from work, I thought my life was great, looking back now I know different...
I became pregnant in May 2012, I was 22 and I felt like everyone judged me. I thought I would lose all my friends and was terrified of being alone, sadly I already was apart from Jacek who I saw everyday. Days would go by when I wouldn't even interact with anyone else other than Jacek. I lived like a hermit and withdrew myself from society. I didn't feel the need to leave the house, even popping down to post office under Jacek's apartment seemed like a massive journey for me. If I did have to go out I would cover up, go out at times when I knew not many people would be around - early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and I didn't tell anyone about my pregnancy until I was seven months along. Looking back I guess I felt as though I should be ashamed of my pregnancy, after all I was unmarried and 22, I couldn't have imagined my friends becoming pregnant at that age and I thought no one would understand. I have one picture of me whilst I was pregnant and my face isn't even in it, I am so sad about this fact. I'm sad that I felt as though I should be ashamed of my beautiful baby boy who was planned and wanted from the beginning and this is something which makes me incredibly sad. People's opinions about my pregnancy and relationship situation were so hurtful and made me incredibly angry, which I discussed in my post Putting the Cart Before the Horse - a phrase which I'm sure a lot of other younger mothers have heard.
After giving birth to my son I withdrew even more from society, something which I didn't think was possible. I removed people from my life who I felt thought negatively about me. I was scared to leave the house with my son on my own, my beautiful high pram sat neglected in the living room, used only for rocking him to sleep - such a terrible waste. In March 2013 I found some solace in the online community when I began this blog. I felt welcomed by certain individuals, sadly most have them have given up blogging now, and I felt as though I had a little space in the world to air my thoughts and communicate with people of similar interests all from the comfort of my own home, blogging has been my sanctuary and saviour since that time.
I suffered with post-natal depression after having my son. It is the worst thing I have ever been through and I wouldn't wish those feeling of loneliness, uselessness and sadness for reasons you don't even know on anyone. I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy - what was there to be depressed about? I wouldn't open the curtains in the house, I just wanted to shut myself away from the world outside and be safe inside with my baby boy, I would only leave the house when someone was with me, which was very inconvenient indeed. I lost friends during this time, anytime they wanted to meet I would make up an excuse not to, not because I didn't want to see them but because I just couldn't even contemplate leaving the house, especially if it was to go out at night. They didn't understand and to be honest I couldn't really explain because I didn't (and still don't to an extent) know why I was feeling this way. It was as if a giant wall came up in my mind anytime I thought of going out, it's the only way I can explain it and no ones seems to understand this analogy. It's quite funny looking back now as people always commented on how positive I was about life, I guess I became a fantastic actress with my pretend smile and fake laugh...
As my son got older I realised I needed to make a big change and push myself to interact with people and start going for walks. He's such a social little thing and in some ways I feel as though he's saved me from slipping deeper into isolation, he spurs me on to change how I think and actually socialise with people. I made friends with two mothers in my area whose sons are of a similar age to my son, I can't even tell you the difference it made to me having friends who were mothers also. They understood me and knew how hard life could be with a baby in tow, it was refreshing to have their company to say the least.
Having my miscarriage in February 2014 set me back again. Once again I felt myself withdrawing from the world and in the weeks that followed I had feelings of abandonment from Jacek working all the time, not speaking with my family members and I felt as though I had no one but my son. I felt so alone, let down and in dispair. I don't know how I got through that time but thankfully I did and in the months that followed I tried making differences to my life and in particular my appearance. I began a weight loss journey and stuck with it for three months, I did really well and was so proud of myself for the first time in a long time. I felt the best I had done in years and it was great, however, in the autumn I began conversing again with someone from my past and it made me feel horrible. I compared my life to theirs and how great their life and future seemed in comparison to mine, it put me in turmoil and although I pretended everything was fine it really wasn't. I just wanted to run away from everything and everyone, it was at this point that I knew I had to change for good.
As the new year approached I made the decision that I had to change and I'm very proud to say I have. I went into 2015 with a positive mindset, a mindset which has stayed throughout January. In December I began seeing someone for my anxiety issues and just this week they told me that it seems as if I've "turned a corner", words which I've been wanting to hear for a long time now. The things I've accomplished in this month may seem like the smallest, everyday things for most of you reading out there but for me it was like climbing mountains. I now go out on my own without panicking or planning my route days in advance. I drive my car again without being terrified of crashing and am able to go places on my own and speak to people without feeling like an absolute idiot. February has been a very strange month in terms of how I'm feeling. My mood has been a bit down but I think it may be due to the events of last year and how they're still imprinted on my mind.
I wrote this post so that I can look back if things ever go badly again and realise that I never want to feel that helpless and alone ever again in my life. I want to be able to read the words "turned a corner" and remember all the differences having a positive mindset have made to my life. I still have a long way to go before I can say I am a truly happy and confident person but I'm getting there.
To anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression or both remember that it does get better but that you have to try and get out from that dark cloud yourself, no one else can make you appreciate the sunshine again when all you're longing for is the rain...