At 18 years old I should be going out with friends and celebrating completing the Leaving Cert. How nice that would actually be. If only I had friends. In my little village people love gossip they love controversy but they don’t love “crazy,” that’s me, I’m the crazy girl.
This “crazy” began in October 2014 I was in fifth year and I was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder. A definition of anxiety being “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” My definition of anxiety is hell.
In November 2014 I began therapy. Every Wednesday at two my mother and I would head an hour away to have me sit in a room in Middleton and talk about my “feelings.” This is definitely not what happened. First I had to take a test that was sent to some people in America so they could diagnose me with my exact type of anxiety, yes this was helpful it helped me to realise something was actually wrong and it was possible to get help but this man was not helping. By December I was scratching my wrist with a sewing needle. Small enough my parents wouldn’t see, but effective enough I wouldn’t feel the mental anguish I was feeling. Eventually I was found out and my parents were distraught that was the first time I saw them truly in pain when they looked at me. We left my therapist and started with a new one recommended by my principal. This man was different he was calm and he didn’t write down every single word I said, actually over a year later and he still has only wrote down things that were necessary. He was helping, he is helping and I’m getting there. I hope.
Things were looking up towards the end of fifth year and I had told my friends about my anxiety, they seemed really accepting and I thought everything was fine. That was until sixth year began. From day one I could not stay in school for a whole day, my anxiety had sky rocketed and everyone was noticing I was different. I wasn’t bubbly and chatty, I didn’t want to get involved with anything I just wanted to be at home in bed. This feeling was not helped by my teachers there were lovely remarks passed about “certain people” missing too much school and thinking they would still pass there Leaving Cert. They didn’t know that in that moment all I wanted to do was get through the day as fast as possible. They did know what I was going through and that’s what hurt. Everyone saw this drastic change but nobody wanted to stop and ask “are you ok?” Instead the easier method of keep your head down and ignore it was used and that hurts. It made me and my parents along with the help of my therapist, doctor and principal begin the process of getting me in to home school for the remainder six months of the school year. And so the downfall began.
At the start of home school things were fine I’d get to Friday and meet up with my friends and it was like I was never missing. The me I had lost was coming back and I was sleeping again, I was singing and playing my guitar and I was cracking jokes (even though most weren’t funny). I had ambition I began to learn to drive and to be more independent and everyone embraced it until I learned one tiny thing. The word no. I had always been a people pleaser since I entered secondary school its how I had taught myself to get by without conflict but I learnt that I had to begin having conflict with people who would put me down so I could leave the conflict inside of me go. This to others was not acceptable and I would be told.
It began with silly little arguments with my friends and just escalated and escalated until the inevitable happened a volcano erupted among us. The mediator had to decided to stop taking all the things that were thrown in her face and let her “friends” know they were hurting her. It didn’t work and others had to get involved I would get into more detail but it isn’t only my story to tell and no one has wanted to know about my side so far. The minority always loses and in this case this is me.
Its been a month since I have completed my Leaving Cert and the only times I have left my house were for a driving lesson, therapy or family outing. I can’t attend my own debs due to fear I cant talk to people my own age because their opinion is soon changed to look at me as the #smallchubbywithbraces who causes shit and is always crying little do they know they are the reason behind my tears. This is what mental health does to people it doesn’t just make them just be sad and a little uneasy. It DESTROYS you. It makes you question your value, your worth, your pride, yourself. It makes you think. Overthink. All night. All you are left with, is you, yourself, and a very dark place. I hope that one day I leave this dark place and things will be different and I will look at this time in my life as the little turbulence I had to face in my journey of life but as for now. Only time will tell.