Mum, moody, messy, manic. Retired musician and aspiring writer.
From dark, sordid, private journaling, this website became my greatest recovery asset for major depression and anxiety, and the eating disorder and self harm behaviours I used to mask them.
I imploded like a smashed egg, and from within I've found a fledgling bird, ready to spread its wings and fly.
I hope within these pages, you find a moment of connection, truth, revelation and understanding. This is my story. Perhaps it's yours too.
It's 35 days since I touched down on terra firma. Jet lag's done and dusted, the big adventure receding into once upon a time status, and I'm settled back into normality - taking for granted the luxuries of my pillow, my car, and our pristine drinking water. Yet for most of those 35 days, my mental health has been really shit.
There are moments - hours, days - when I feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Not nervousness. Not stress. Not worry. Not even depression. Just anxiety, with all its accompanying physical misery. Five years ago I didn't have anxiety at all - so I believed. I certainly didn't seem to experience the effects of anxiety. In fact I didn't really experience emotions at all. Which is why, I realise, that girl is never coming back.
Contrary to a vaguely popular (and really fucking irritating) belief, anxiety is not stress or worry - although stressing and worrying are part of anxiety. And it is most certainly not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's something you have - like chicken pox. Although thankfully chicken pox is a once (perhaps twice) in a lifetime affair. Anxiety on the other hand, can be a daily curse. Forever. And just like chicken pox, it needs to be managed.
My inclination is to run and hide and bury my head - old habits die hard. But if there is one thing I have achieved this year, it's to stop using eating disorder and self-harm behaviours to numb my emotions. They are becoming non-options. That's not to say I don't think about it, miss it, want it, and feel tempted to slip. I'm moving closer and closer to accepting they're no longer an option for dealing with life.
During the last week I had a rapid escalation in suicidal ideation. As each day became more exhausting than the last, the desire to succumb to eternal sedation was overwhelming. I sobbed my little heart out in a manner I can't recall doing for a long, long time. I could have reached out to any one at any moment in time, but when I desperately yearn death, the last thing I can do is tell anybody. Telling means acquiescing to living and I have to be ready for that. But more significantly, telling someone means burdening them once again with sadness and worry.