I was 16 when they first diagnosed me with depression. I thought it was just a label with no meaning behind it. I had no idea that it actually meant something. I had no idea that I did, in fact, suffer from it. In my confused mind, I naively thought I had the moods of every other teenager. That was until, seven years later, I tried to take my own life.
I am now 24 years old, and for the past eight years I've suffered with depression that bad it's pretty much taken over my whole life. For quite some time however, there's only been a handful of those closest to me that were aware of my suffering. To everyone else, I put a mask on and pretended that everything was great, because depression is something that no one can see. It's not physical. You don't walk around with a dark cloud above your head that people notice when you walk into a room. But maybe if it was physical, there would be so much more understanding surrounding it. People would see that you were in fact hurt, and most of all, broken.
For myself, depression was something I carried around with me everyday. Every. Single. Day. No matter how much I attempted to 'leave it at home', which by the way is merely impossible, it still followed me around waiting for any moment to jump into my head and fight. Fight with my emotions, my memories, my thoughts. It would do anything in its power to make sure my mind was so messed up I couldn't lead a normal life.
But that's when it happened.
I witnessed something so unbelievably tragic, the image of it was at the forefront of my mind every second of every day for months. Every time I blinked I could see it.
That's when my depression came to an all time low. I was suffering from PTSD. I had nothing. Nothing in my life would ever be good again. It would be better if I simply, wasn't here.
After months and years of counselling within the NHS, private therapy, my very own crisis team, so much medication that if you shook me I would probably rattle, I am finally getting myself back to normal, whatever normal is.
During this time however, I wanted to shout out my story. One; so I could relate to other individuals that were suffering with the same thing. Two; so people could see that it does in fact get better. Three; because I found that writing out my thoughts and feelings helped to rearrange my mind.
I found that there was no safe platform where I could simply write MY story and other people could listen. With no names and no comments. Just me, writing how I felt.
That's why I set up Mind Of Our Own, an anonymous space where you get the chance to share YOUR story with others.