It was as I was sat on the cold slate flooring of my parent’s bathroom at 2 in the morning, throwing up stomach acid into the toilet that my mind finally said to myself – What has my life come too?
I’m shaking, crying, my mum is stood behind me, rubbing my back and trying to feed me water so the acid doesn’t burn my throat.
Am I drunk? No.
At six o’clock the evening before I took a pill prescribed to me by a doctor to control my anxiety and my depression. Her advise had been, ‘these might make you a little nauseous, stick with it.’ Two hours after taking the little white pill, I became confused and borderline delusional. I don’t really remember my mum getting me into PJ’s and setting me up a bed on her sofa. Apparently, I’d asked her to put David Attenborough on so I could watch the fish and told her I had to sleep on my right side or my stomach would flip over. What I do remember, is waking up and stumbling to the bathroom where I would stay, cold, miserable and very sick for the next hour.
My reasoning for taking this pill was quite simple. My anxiety was taking over my life. I was having multiple panic attacks every day over seemingly nothing. I have a stressful job but I love it and it didn’t seem to be this that was causing me so much anxiety. It was living and the thought of living that scared me. And to admit that to myself was even scarier, because where do you go from there?
I held on as long as I could, but the breaking point was when I was told a girl I had known in my university days had killed herself. Despite barely really knowing her, the knowledge of her death haunted me. The panic attacks got worse and I knew I needed help. And logically, you go to a doctor when you’re sick right?
But when I was sat, feeling more miserable than ever and more sick than I had ever felt in my life, I knew I would never go back to a doctor to discuss my mental health again. Not a GP anyway. I felt like I was literally being poisoned and her advice to just keep taking it angered me. How did she expect me to carry on like this?
So I stopped taking the pills with a promise to myself that I would not put poison in my body again. I felt like my body was rotting from the inside and with how I was treating it, was it any surprise? So I vowed to do better, to treat my body with respect. Medicine had failed me, so now I am going to try to heal my mind by first healing my body.
After having a workplace injury in my teens, my spinal nerves have been permanently damaged and my back is in constant need of physio. My PCOS has caused me great deals of pain, both physical and mental as it causes cramps, facial hair growth, weight gain and depression. All of these factors, in turn, have caused me to deal with self-harm, eating disorders, social anxiety, agoraphobia and cluster headaches (also known as suicide headaches).
I have reached a point in my life where I cannot carry on ‘just surviving’, something needs to change to that I can start properly living again. It is time to get my shit together.