This Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, and I guess I’ve been deciding whether or not I wanted to share my Mental Health Journey with so many!
I have thought long and hard about this and decided it can only be a good thing to show that you can hit rock bottom and you can come back from it, though when I went through it – I tried so hard to keep it from people around me.
Looking back I probably have had a touch of depression going right back into my teenage years and then another spat around the time I was due to get married, I think then I put it down to stress, or I blamed my hormones, it was at this time, I tried medication which I think helped, but I remember not staying on it long as there was such a stigma attached to mental health that I think being a newly wed, buying and decorating a new house I put all of that behind me, I remember being really conscious that after having Maisy, that I didn’t want to show any signs of it coming back or even to allow it too, I had survived a horrendous birth with her – so I think I was just so grateful we were both alive that life was ok.
It was in 2010, three years after the birth of Ruby my second child, that my life took a downward spiral, to most I acted and looked like the same Kirsty.
Kirsty – Kevs wife (he’s been by my side through thick and thin), Kirsty – Maisy and Ruby’s Mummmy, Kirsty – Deputy Manager of a thriving Nursey Pre – School, Kirsty daughter to Guy and Mary (my absolute rocks throughout this time, and always). Kirsty – Michaels sister (poor boy lol).
I was trying to be all of those Kirsty’s and not show that inside I wasn’t coping, now if you have been kind enough to follow my blog you will know that Ruby was/is a poorly child, she took up a lot of my time and a lot of my focus, it was around this time that she received her diagnosis, this was such a relief to me because I had been so strong for so long pushing for someone to listen to me, though the diagnosis took the pressure off of me – it also left me exhausted, washed out and really really low, it had drained all life out of me.
I put on a brave front or what I thought was a brave front did everything as normal, running a home, looking after my family, working and still doing social things. So many people will have a pre conceived image of someone with Mental Health issues, that we could be unwashed,unkept, we don’t leave our beds, we neglect those around us – and this simply isn’t the case.
Depression comes at you in so many various ways, it is more than just feeling sadness all the time, symptoms vary in type, duration, number and severity – you can feel sadness, lack of enjoyment, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, tiredness, change in eating habits, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, sucidal thoughts.
I know how it is to feel all of this, and no I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, Each day would be as if I were on autopilot – get up, sort the children, go to work, cry with my mum before work started (we worked together), I would cry because I felt so sad, so tired, and like the whole world hated me, then work the day, then children, tea, be with Kevin.
I am the first to admit, I was a nightmare to live with, if you were close to me watch out, my emotions were mixed, sad, happy, grumpy, irrational at this point I was still in denial that anything was wrong, so yes I would cry to Mum, she would constantly tell me that she thought I was unwell and maybe I needed to see a Doctor, to which she would of probably got a short, sharp reply.
I did not have Mental Health issues – I was just tired (well that’s what I was constantly telling myself )until …
We went away to Cornwall only for a couple of days – Kev, the girls and my parents – I remember it as clear as day (sadly).
I had lost weight both my Parents and Kev were worried, My moods were up and down, more down but I remember us having a lovely few days the girls were happy, when I felt really low I only really wanted Kev or my parents, so this was perfect to me – I was always normal for my girls never shunning them and always giving love and affection to them – showing the world I wasn’t ill I was still a good Mum, no matter how unwell I felt in my mind I had to be a good Mummy as they deserved nothing less.
My parents had to leave a day early than us, and what’s the big deal in this? I would see them the next day as we lived next door so why was it breaking my heart? Why did I sob so hard on my Mum that I thought my heart would break, I literally didn’t want to let her go..it was because I had hit rock bottom – the lack of hope had become inescapable – all I could see was blackness.
Kev said we needed to go for a walk to blow away the cobwebs, it was a nice day, my parents had gone, so off we went it was a coastal walk, the girls chattering away – I was blessed I had a man who adored me, and two beautiful children, but in the moments that happened next I could not see that – all I could see or feel was that the world would be a better place without me.
I would hope no one ever has to feel that – I’m sorry if this upsets you for what I am about to write – some will say how selfish was she – how could she even think that – people who think like that are so selfish – by all means think what you like, but I was in a dark place I couldn’t see a way out of..
With Kev and the girls some way behind I walked towards the cliff edge, I then stood looking down at waves crashing onto the rocks and I thought if I just take one step out, I will not have to feel like this pain, this sadness, no one will have to put up with this disappointment of a person – I felt like I had let every one down, I was so dispondant to life.
Kevin took my hand – maybe he read my mind – and he led me away, he held me as sobs wracked through my body, there and then I promised to see a Doctor the very next day, and to admit to my Parents that they were right.
I have heard people say when someone has taken their own life – that it’s incrediably selfish but until you have been in that situation, where all you see is blackness and despair I would ask that we don’t judge. But I can also say that mental health problems make you incredibly self-absorbed (and I mean that in a non-value laden way, you literally become caught up in your own head and your own world and there is less space for others).
I can only imagine the hurt, the pain, the devastation that is caused by such an action such as taking your own life – but as that person who feels the world is better off without you, you are totally blinded by these overwhelming emotions that are in overdrive and you only have one focus.
My heart goes out to those families left behind, hearts breaking for their loss – never ever would I condone such an action, all that I mean is we must take the time to look at the bigger picture.
So after agreeing that I would visit the Doctor to get help, in my mind – I thought the road to recovery would be smoother than the path I had taken to get there.
How wrong could I be……
To be continued