World Mental Health Day

hi everyone,

i wasn’t going to post today. i wasn’t going to write. i was going to let the day pass and share this another time, perhaps when i was better. however, having seen so many of my friends (both real life and online), family and even celebrities, post about World Mental Health Day i feel like it would be insincere of me not to post.

as many of you know, mental health is something that is very close to my heart (and head). i posted before about my mental health battles, about dealing with anxiety and depression. i have been very vocal about not being ashamed of my sometimes chaotic mind. So, with that in mind, i have something to tell you.

i, michaela, am battling depression once again. third times the charm, ay.

when did I know it had come back, when did i suspect something was wrong again? that i needed help? well, it hit me like a sack of shit last week but the symptoms had been there for a while; i just ignored them, or rather blamed them on exhaustion from having worked continuously since may with no break, pulling at least 50hr work weeks.

so what finally made me admit that i wasn’t well and that i need a helping hand? it was number of things and they all came to head last week. i’ll tell you.

this next part some people may find difficult to read and so i apologise in advance if you makes you feel uncomfortable.

september 23rd. i was in montrose, ca visiting friends.  i took the following picture and uploaded it to my socials

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nothing weird about that, most people enjoy a quick selfie. the difference is, most people don’t follow posting a selfie on facebook with thoughts of “if i jumped off the balcony would it be high enough to kill me?” i pondered that for a good 5 minutes. then my friend Mark came along and distracted me enough for that thought to leave my mind. i slept more than normal on that holiday too – which is common sign of depression – but again i blamed it on exhaustion, all those long hours i’d done were catching up with me. or were they? Mark and my friends fed me up good and proper the whole holiday – i’d been going days without eating properly (eating too much/ loss of appetite – another sign of depression) before – but again i was just too busy to eat. i mean, a bag of popcorn and a breakfast bar is a normal amount of food to eat in a 48 hour period, right?

when i got home i was still exhausted, but blamed it on jetlag. getting up in the morning was harder than ever and i was extremely emotional but, hey, i had my period so it must have been that.

tuesday i was off. i shared my worries with one of my oldest friends, denise. i spent a couple of hours with her, her little one and the dog. it’ll do me good to get out the house, i thought. i thought i’d been ok but, turns out, i hadn’t. she told me on friday that she could tell i “wasn’t right”.

i was starting late on wednesday, it took me an hour to get out of bed. the negative thoughts had crept back in but again, i brushed it off. it took all the strength i had to get in the shower, i managed through and got out the shower but that’s where my energy left me. my sister had to pick me up off the floor. she had to help me get dressed. she had to dry my hair for me, all whilst i sat there in a daze. dentist happened and then i was away to work. i got to the train station and stood crying on the platform. i knew there was something wrong with me, i could barely keep my head up. my thoughts were along these lines… how long would i feel the pain if i stepped in the path of a train? do people ever survive being hit by a train? it would be over in seconds, i’m sure. the aim was not to die, the aim was to end the confusion. the aim was to clear the fog that had clouded my mind. the aim was peace.

i realise that this may seem dramatic to you. hell, it does to me. but it’s my truth and i won’t lie about it. i can’t sugar coat anything because to do that would be pointless.

clearly, as i am sat here writing this, i did not step in front of a train. i had a set of people around me that listened, that knew me well enough to make me get help. i shared that train thought with one of my best friends because, through all the fog, i had a small moment of clarity, i knew telling someone would help. and it did. once i had told her, the fog cleared slightly.

whilst this was happening my sisters had been talking, and my eldest sister called me and told me she was booking me doctors appointment – she got me one for the next day.

i went to the doctor. i’m getting help. this time around i have opted for no anti depressants, although i have some waiting for me if i change my mind. this time around i am trying counselling. i need to understand my triggers.

i had to cancel my trip to india to get better which broke my heart. my doctor deemed me too ‘high risk’ to travel so far with no treatment, so soon after diagnosis, “it’s definitely not advisable, michaela. india will always be there”.

i never thought i would be back at a point where i was having to tell people i was ill in this way again.  all i can ask at this time from those that are closest to me is their patience, please be patient with me. some days i will be ok. others i won’t. today was a good day – for the first time in 4 days i found the energy to get out of bed and shower (depression is not glamorous), it took everything out of me – my hair was knot city so that was a chore in itself. i also ask you to not edit yourselves around me – make jokes, talk to me like normal; i don’t need special treatment. i’m still me!!

i also need to say thank you. thank you to my sisters for looking out for me, my parents. thank you to diane who talked me down from that moment on the platform, who messaged me each morning and night to make sure i was safe. to denise, for checking in on me each day, for giving me an evening of distraction on friday – i felt normal for an evening, for putting food in front of me (even if i only ate half a plate), to my little sophia for being honest and saying that you didn’t know what to say but that you just wanted me better. to steph, you always know what to say, even when i don’t believe the nice things you say to me, you still say them. to the taylors, yesterday was a bad day but you took the time to find images and youtube videos of my favourite things to make me smile. it worked. rachel, for reminding me that it is all temporary, that there is no right or wrong way to live life and that i will get there eventually. byng, mark, ken, tom, rhirhi, mariana, emma, katie… anyone who has taken 5 minutes to just see how i am recently. thank you. i even have to shout out my boss because he was amazing when i told him – i’m very lucky to have a boss that doesn’t think less of me because of it – i know from other friends that this is, unfortunately, very rare.

i know you don’t all understand it, i don’t either sometimes but i am trying.

i’m learning to understand it. i’m learning how to keep trying. i’m learning to remind myself that i have survived 100% of my worse times and that no matter how many moments seem unbearable the darkness is temporary. i’m not afraid to put the work in to get better.

because that’s all i want.

to be better.

xoxo micks

 

p.s if anyone, no matter how well i know you, ever needs someone to talk to, if you ever feel this way, know you are not alone. i am here.

50 things to ask if you want to know who someone really is.

I was on the train on my way home today catching up on the many articles and blog posts that I read and save on my phone to read when I actually have 5 minutes to stop – which is normally always the train ride to or from work.

Today I was reading some that I’d saved a while back that were published on Thought Catalog. Since I discovered it a while back Thought Catalog has been one of my favourite sites to lose a few hours to on my commutes from Sussex to Surrey and back.

 

One of the articles I read today was called “50 things to ask a girl if you want to know who she really is” It was interesting reading what the author (Nicole Tarkoff) thought these questions were. To be honest I think they are good questions to ask anyone, not just girls. Some of the questions were pretty obvious questions you would ask someone that you were intimate with, be it physically or emotionally. Some were ones that got me going “oooh that’s an interesting one, I’d never think to ask that.” I really enjoyed her questions and so I thought I would use this post to answer those questions. I post a lot of my opinions and thoughts on things, some of which aren’t easy things for me to write about and share so I thought I’d do this too. I promise these will be honest answers.

 

Here goes…

 

  1. What is the one thing that has happened to you that has made you a stronger person?

 

There are a couple that spring to mind but I would choose suffering from, and beating, depression completely alone when I was 21. I was in complete denial that I had anything wrong with myself – even on those days I couldn’t physically get out of bed because of the illness. It took many tears, and many hours of listening to music and writing incoherent thoughts down but I did it. No doctors, no therapists, no drugs (not that there is anything wrong with that, obvs) but I realised how mentally strong I can be. How much I can take and what I can bounce back from, alone. The last year of uni hit me like a sack of shit and the depression stemmed from that, at least that’s what I believe. When I finally came out the other side I realised that I was stronger than I thought. I remember saying to Jade once whilst we were on our way back to our RV Park in Memphis ‘I’m not quite sure how I survived the last year of uni, you know’ and her response? “ You’re strong. Stronger than you think”.

 

  1. What is the one thing that has happened to you in life that made you feel weak?

 

I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel weak at least once a week, be it emotionally, mentally or physically. The weakest I have ever felt was when my Grandad died. I still remember the hours leading up to it, and I still remember where I was when I got that call telling me to get the hospital. I still remember my mum telling me that my cousin Amy was flying over from Austria where she lives and thinking to myself, this really is it. I remember thinking I wasn’t ready or strong enough to do life without Grandad. I remember making that phone call to my sisters and my dad at 2:25 and 2:32am to tell them Grandad had gone. I still remember sitting on the floor of a corridor in East Surrey hospital after I had hung up to them and crying. It took me a long time to get up off of that floor; I have never felt weaker than I did in that moment.

 

  1. Where is the one place you feel most like yourself?

 

Anywhere I am around my favourite people.

 

  1. Where is your favourite place to escape to?

 

Where I live it is the fields over the back of my house, where the farmers are. It’s peaceful to go there and have a think. If I am able to go further afield it is either down to Weymouth to see Di or over to Montrose to see the Rosenkranz/Betke/Lashaways.

 

  1. Who do you think has had the largest influence on who you are today?

 

Diane.

 

  1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

 

Physically, my face because it’s a bit odd that and I wouldn’t say no to an athletic body shape (enormous boobs ain’t all they’re cracked up to be, folks)

If we were talking non-physical it would be the constant state of confusion/indecisiveness I find myself in.

 

  1. If you had one day left to live, what would you do first?

 

Talk to all my favourites and thank them and to make sure they know that no matter how much they drive me nuts that I love them.

 

  1. What decade do you feel you most belong in?

 

Sixties.

 

  1. Who are you closest to in your family? Why?

 

My sisters. They are the first ones I go to in my family when I have a problem. I don’t share my problems with many people but I do (sometimes) with these players. We can talk and over share about most things, they make me laugh and piss me off in equal measures and I genuinely enjoy spending time with them when I’m in the mood to socialize, obvs.

 

  1. Who is the one person in the world that knows you best?

 

I have a few best friends that know me pretty well but again I’d have to say Diane.

 

  1. What is your favourite quality about your best friend?

 

Depends which one you’re asking about.

Rachel – Her sense of adventure and her fearlessness of trying something new.

Sophie – her honesty. She’ll tell me straight away that I’m being a twat. We all need someone that does that.

Jade – her kindness. Nothing is too much bother for her.

Diane: her wisdom. She knows so much about so much

Mark: His ability to make me laugh all day, everyday. No matter how much I’m hurting, or he is for that matter.

 

  1. When you were younger what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

 

Either a teacher or a veterinarian.

 

  1. If you could identify with one fictional character (from a book, show or movie) who would it be?

 

Peter Pan (lol) or Merida in ‘Brave’.

 

  1. Do you easily accept compliments? Or do you hate them?

 

Nope. I’ve even blogged about it. I just feel uncomfortable.

 

  1. Is your favourite attribute about yourself physical or non-physical?

 

Non physical

 

  1. What is your favourite physical attribute about yourself?

 

Err… I like being short? Does that count?

 

  1. What is your favourite non-physical attribute about yourself?

 

My positivity. On the whole I am a glass half full kinda gal and I prefer being that way.

 

  1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

 

Nope.

 

  1. Do you believe in soul mates?

 

Nope.

 

  1. How seriously do you take horoscopes?

 

I believe the traits behind the zodiac signs but horoscopes are just too wishy-washy.

 

  1. Have you ever been in love? How many times?

 

Once.

 

  1. What makes you fall in love with someone?

 

No one thing ‘makes’ you fall in love. It’s a combination and it varies.

 

  1. What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you venerable?

 

Vulnerability is being left open to attack, being left in fear or unable to cope with or without something. My favourites being in danger, or ill or having problems I can’t fix or magic away leaves me vulnerable.

 

  1. What is the one thing you want to ask a man but are too scared to?

 

There isn’t anything I’m too scared to ask them. Not that I can think of right now anyway.

 

  1. If you were a man for a day what is the first thing you’d do?

 

Pee. I want to know what it feels like to pee standing up

 

 

  1. What do you find the most attractive about each sex?

 

Women – their gracefulness and femininity neither are qualities I possess unfortunately.

 

Men – their confidence and masculinity.

 

  1. What’s the one thing you’d love to learn more about?

 

My family tree.

 

  1. What is something you’ve never done but always wanted to do?

 

Jump out a plane

 

  1. Why haven’t you done it yet?

 

Just have never got around to it. Life has got in the way.

 

  1. If money didn’t matter what would be your dream job?

 

Either working with disadvantaged children, possibly in an orphanage OR a radio host because music and talking are two of my favourite things. Ha.

 

  1. If you had off from work today, what would you do?

 

Sleep. Write. Decorate. Sleep.

 

  1. What was the last thing that made you cry?

 

My regional manager being nice to me (lol) and my work favourites being nice to me and making the decision to leave so much harder.

 

  1. What was the last thing that made you laugh?

 

My mum. Just her being her.

 

  1. What is your favourite memory?

 

Christmas eves growing up at church with my aunt and cousins and Grandad we’d all walk back to my aunts and have a little Christmas gathering.

 

  1. What’s the last thing that REALLY embarrassed you?

 

Redhill station. Thought I saw my mate walking towards me. Starting shouting every name at her and waving like a loon even though logic told me it was impossible that it could be her. Woman walks over and is all like “I don’t know you…” I laughed it off but BURN

 

  1. What is your biggest fear?

 

That I am not enough.

 

 

  1. Do you have any regrets? What is your biggest one?

 

I don’t believe in them.

 

  1. Have you ever broken a law? If you haven’t what is one you’d love to break?

 

I’m sorry but who didn’t steal some pick n mix sweets from Woolworths back in the day?

 

  1. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

 

I’m pretty boring. So nothing.

 

  1. Would you have a conversation with a stranger?

 

I do most days on the train.

 

  1. Would you tell a stranger if they have toilet paper hanging from their shoe? Or their dress tucked into their underwear?

 

 

Yes. Why wouldn’t you? It’s mean if you don’t!

 

  1. What’s your favourite joke?

 

Right now? Donald Trump running for president.

 

  1. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

 

Dog. ALL DAY.

 

  1. If you could be any animal would you be?

 

Most people would expect me to say penguin but man they have a hard life so I think either a bird, an elephant or a dog.

 

  1. What’s one book/show/book you’re embarrassed to admit you enjoy?

 

I don’t think I’m embarrassed by any of my choices to be honest. I love my musical collection : )

 

  1. How do you think your parents would describe you as a child?

 

Shy, quiet, peacemaker.

 

  1. If you could go back to any age or time in your life, what age or time would it be?

 

Easy. 2010. Valencia + Glastonbury. Epic year.

 

  1. What is something you believe in that not everyone else does?

 

Life after death, spirits and tarot cards that kind of stuff.

 

  1. What is one thing you would say that makes you unique from other people?

 

Pass. You’d have to ask someone else. I don’t think I’m unique.

 

  1. What is the one thing you feel your life is missing?

 

ADVENTURE.

 

 

Whoa. That was a long ting. I got about half way through and wanted to stop because I got distracted but I persevered. Yay me. So there you have it. Maybe you know me a little better, maybe you don’t. If there is anything else you want to know, just ask. I’d love to hear some of your answers for these questions… go for ittttt

 

Xoxo

 

Micks