By Melissa Pallant
I have been battling with anxiety and depression for 4 and a half years. I am an average 22 year old with a good job, great friends and from the outside you would not think I battle this illness.
The first time I started showing signs of anxiety was with my lack of confidence and self esteem as a child. I used to get bullied for my appearance a lot at school as no-one wanted to get to know me for me which has had a knock on effect 10 years down the line.
When I was 2 years old my dad left and I had no contact with him for 12 years. He was an abusive man with a filthy drug habit. He got back into contact with me when I was 14 and nothing had changed. He blamed me for his behaviour which knocked my confidence even more. So in one stage of my life I was suffering two types of bullying. In the end I had to stop all contact again.
I started to change my image and gain a bit more confidence to stand up to the bullies at school, when I left and went up to college it made me realise no one cared what I looked like, they wanted to get to know me for me.
I then turned into this beautiful confident young woman that did not care what anyone thought about her, but that soon all changed when I met my ex partner.
I was with my ex for 2 years and we lived together and also worked together. Things were good at first but then the relationship started to take a turn for the worst. I am not going to go into details about what happened as some people might find it too much, but he was a very tactile person. By the end of the 2 years he had broken me down physically and mentally with abuse, mind games and cheating. In the end I was that rock bottom I had to leave and attempt to start my life over again.
This was 2 and a half years ago and still I am struggling to rebuild myself with how much he had broken me. It took me 2 years to feel that I could be romantically involved with someone again.
I suddenly felt like a new woman, so happy, so confident, beaming, glowing like a ray of sunshine was shining over me but then 7 months down the line he randomly ended it with no explanation and cutting all contact with. And just like that I was back to square one feeling as low as ever, I then was made aware that he had been seeing another girl behind my back and he had left me for her and I was absolutely distraught. At this point I didn’t see the point and had dark thoughts, thoughts I had never had before.
I now know I have a long battle ahead, just like many other people and know it is easier to go ahead with a mass of support from people who go through the same thing, I know deep down he isn’t worth me taking my own life and I now feel I should embrace my mental health and turn it into a positive thing so someone can love my illness and me with it.
I also want people to feel that they can reach out to me if they feel the same as it is a lot better to know you’re not alone in this, hence why I have written this blog. I have tried to keep it as vague as possible but I hope people have taken the time to read my story and to know it is okay not to be okay, no one is alone!