I wasn’t sure if I should continue writing this blog. I had a sit down over the last few weeks and had a think of how I want my life to look like, how did it look before, and where I am currently with it. Short answer? Unknown.
At the beginning of November I have deactivated all of my social media accounts, simply as an experiment to see how do I feel about not being online. It’s been over a month now, and surprisingly I am busier than ever before. My days are longer, I don’t spend time scrolling through all those perfect pictures, I don’t feel bad about myself, and most importantly, I have time to discover who I am, not imagining who I wish to be.
My life before? Full of naivety, ignorance, immaturity, foolishness and laziness. When I say ‘a life before’ I mean years between 1987 -2020. All of my 33 years of existence. I feel like it’s been not a rollercoaster, but some sort of a spawn of the devil. Brick and stones thrown at my face were like a feather compared to reality of what I actually went through. In all of this madness though, there was a hope. Hope that one day I will see this world in a completely different light.
I had huge amount of anger in me. My communication skills were not existing. I either was quiet, building emotions like a volcano, or exploding at every opportunity I had. I thought that, because there was so much negativity and unfairness in my life, I deserve to have everything. That I deserve love, respect, money, happiness, peace. That life owed me that and all this should be given to me for free, as a reward for being so ‘brave’ every day. After all, I went through depression twice, right? That’s a big ‘sacrifice’ already. It didn’t cross my mind back then that life isn’t necessarily fair, but I am alive, and this is the biggest gift I could have been given. And that I should be feeling grateful, and not pitiful. Looking back now at myself, what I feel is embarrassment of how pathetic I was. I was suicidal, felt unloved by my family, was bullied at school, had no friends, was gossiped about and was addicted to shopping. But I had no right to feel selfish. What I needed was help, professional help. Not another social media account. Not another ‘assurance’ that I am beautiful, skinny, or funny.
You know the drill, you hang onto one negative thought and you end up with picking your appearance and intelligence, believing you are the most ugly, the fattest, most stupid person on the planet. And so, you know, you believe your life is so bad, that you deserve all the good things right? Ironically you also make sure people around you feel bad for you too. And so when I was still on social media, my mind was controlled by other users like bloggers, magazines, travellers, influencers, celebrities etc. And you might argue that any other person you know isn’t affected by it, and social media aren’t dangerous, but for someone like me, who wasn’t believing in herself, scrolling through fabulous portraits of people who could afford beautiful houses, holidays, designer stuff, plastic surgeons, etc., it just wasn’t healthy. I had to stop right now or I faced losing my own life to social media addiction.
So I cut the cord. At the end of 2020, one of the most bizarre year of them all, and perhaps I should have done it sooner, but it took the most scary year with a global pandemic to happen, for me to finally feel something. In this weird year, I felt for the first time what does it feel like being on antidepressants. I avoided them for so long, yet they have saved my life. And I have talked about them before, and what effect they have on me, but as a quick reminder – they make your mind not to overthink, not to be anxious, petrified, scared. They made me not to be angry. Because I stopped feeling angry, I started to communicate better. I laugh so much more now. I do have odd days when I feel lower than usual, and I guess it’s down to my female hormones flying around once a month, but I generally feel peaceful and calm. And so this is how Sertraline tablets (my medication) work on me. I just thought I will quickly say a few words on them, not sure if you have seen my previous posts about antidepressants.
This year, as probably most of you too, I worked from home. I actually haven’t stopped working from home since the end of March, and of course it’s weird not to be seeing/talking to others, but I have been feeling so grateful for this opportunity. As tragic as this pandemic is, I feel extremely humble that myself, my partner and our families are safe and healthy. I feel very emotional when I think of all those who lost their lives to Covid or are still battling it through, have been left without a job or a possibility to see their loved ones. It breaks my heart and I just want to cry. But this experience has allowed me to reflect on my own life. What does it matter to me the most? What do I want from life? Is it money? Beautiful clothes? Hundreds of fake and unsupportive friends? Well-paid job? Likes below my pictures on social media? It turned out to my surprise, what made me happy the most is the happiness of others. When I cook and see a smile on my partner’s face and I know he likes it. When I take my dog for a walk in the park, and he is so grateful he just snuggles afterwards all day to me. When I call my parents in Poland, and they are happy to hear my voice. When I write a post, and don’t look at the stats, but rather pour my heart out to say how I feel. When I don’t feel pressure on how I look, because as per instagram, more like you have – better you are. Being locked at home throughout almost an entire year, I started to feel free, for the first time. And that genuinely made me happy and peaceful.
It’s almost ironic, that someone like me, who was selfish all of her life can find happiness in doing stuff for others. It’s a weird feeling, but kind of rewarding. I feel good when I go to sleep and I feel good when I wake up the next day. I am thanking social media deactivation and antidepressants for that, but I also can’t help but wonder if perhaps it’s also me who has grown. Maybe I just reached a point in life when I got too tired to be squeezing into brackets where I just don’t fit. Perhaps I have finally discovered who I am and if someone doesn’t like it, or doesn’t accept it – well, you know where is the door. I simply don’t care anymore. I am just going to do my own thing and live.
One of the last thing I wanted to say, is that still there are some glitches in my life, I am not going to sugar coat it, for example not writing enough posts here, and I do feel bad about this, but I do want to make a difference.
I am not writing this blog to gain anything. I simply want to share my own experience, my views and my thoughts on mental health, how does it feel to be living with anxiety, antidepressants and low days, so it can be useful to others who are perhaps too shy to talk about their own feelings. I do want people to see the light at the end of their dark tunnels and believe me when I say that they can get out of this. I’ve been there, done that, and I know what you are going through.
If I could recommend the first steps to take when you experience depression: Talk to someone. Ask your GP doctor for antidepressants. Take time off social media. Focus on small tasks, e.g. cook yourself a dinner from scratch. Go for a walk without your phone. Watch mindless Tv programme, like Friends or Bing Bang Theory, something that will not make you feel angry/upset or anxious. Drink a glass of warm water with fresh lemon as soon as you wake up. Focus on one sound at the time, like a bird singing outside. Try to isolate those sounds, and just focus on one, do not let other thoughts interfere with what you are focusing on. Buy a colouring book for adults and colour it for an hour a day – it helps release the stress. Read a book (I am currently reading: ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama). Just do one thing at the time, but don’t pressure yourself.
I think what matters the most is that you keep going and don’t give up on yourself. You deserve to be on this world, and don’t you forget that. You aren’t alone.
I wanted to stop writing this blog for various reasons, but I feel like I haven’t finished yet. I have more thoughts to share and it’s of the places in which I feel safe. I like this blog. I don’t want to close this chapter just yet.
So I guess see you very soon,