This week, I spoke to Sophie Howard aka Books and Beauty, who also featured on my Day in the Life series on Sunday. Here’s Sophie’s post.
“What have you got to be depressed about? You have a nice family, a lovely home, a good job, plenty of friends and a boyfriend. You don’t need to be depressed about anything.”
This is something I hear on a regular basis, from friends, family and acquaintances when they find out I have depression and anxiety.
I often think “what do I have to be depressed about?” But that’s the thing with depression; you don’t have to have something to be depressed about. And I hate that cliche that is attached to it.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2011.
I was 19 years old, had no job, dropped out of university, had no money and moved into a grotty flat two long bus rides away from my parents with my first boyfriend.
I hated my life at that point and when I look back on it and think about it now it makes me feel sick.
I was stuck in the flat all day, on my own and left to clean up the mess my boyfriend and two other housemates made. One day, it got to a really bad point.
After that point, I moved back home to my parents for a few months and left my boyfriend at the flat.
Things were getting better as I started university and I found myself a temporary Christmas job, but I still didn’t feel ready to move back to the flat. Every time I tried to go back, I ended up having a panic attack or my boyfriend would have to drive me back home because I couldn’t stop crying and wishing I was at home; my respite, my place of comfort and happiness.
Fast forward to 2014 and things went downhill again.
Me and my boyfriend had moved into a new house on our own and a little Chinchilla called Whiskers. I was doing well at university and getting ready to finish my final year, had a part time job just a few minutes from my home and plenty of friends.
On the surface things looked fine from the perspective of others, but I knew deep down things weren’t right.
In May 2014, my time at university was up and I found myself working stupid hours, hardly leaving the house, tidying up after my boyfriend and despite working so many hours, having absolutely no money as it all went on bills and food.
I fell out of love with my boyfriend and was so unhappy. I knew I needed to leave the relationship, move home and try and become independent, but when you’ve been in a relationship for nearly five years, it’s harder than you think.
One night I bit the bullet and spoke to my boyfriend.
I ended it there and then, said I would be moving back home but would continue to pay my half of the bills until our contract was up.
For the first time in a long time, I was happy.
I had so many friends at work, went out loads during the week and was single for the first time in five years and, to put it bluntly, had a lot of fun!
So, it’s January 2016. Where are things with me now?
They’re alright. I’m still on anti-depressants and have anxiety more frequently.
I have a degree, a good job, still live at home with my parents so have reasonable amounts of my wage for myself, spend time with my friends and have a new boyfriend.
I can’t help feeling the way I do and some days, like today, all I want to do is sleep, cry and curl up in bed.
Most of my depression and anxiety come from extremely low self confidence.
I’ve always had low self confidence and I hate myself; the way I look, my personality.
I really struggle with this on a daily basis and I am constantly putting myself down and looking at everything in a negative way.
I know I need to change this because it’s not good for myself or my relationships.
Whenever I have a bad day, I wish I could remember to think that it does get better.
After a bad day, the next day will be fine and I’ll wonder why I ever felt the way I did the day before.
But, it’s OKAY to feel how you do.
We’re humans and we should never be told how to feel and we should never be told to change ourselves to make others feel better.
We are who we are, depression or not.