Written by Special Guest - Katherine
I have struggled with depression for around three or four years now. Whilst it has been very tough at times, I am now, thankfully, on the road to recovery. When it comes to hearing stories about depression or learning about it, it is very rare to get stories from people who have suffered or a suffering with it. This is why I think it is very important for people to speak up and tell someone how they feel it will change there life like it has changed mine.
I think for me it started with not feeling good enough and feeling worthless. Along with dealing with depression I also have recovered from an eating disorder. I was bulimic. I would purge after most big meals I had and if I could, I would avoid eating all together. This made me so unhappy. At the time I never really knew what depression was or meant. The word depressed gets thrown around so much by people who most probably don't know the true meaning to how depression can really after someones life.
If you ask anyone, they will tell you I was always a shy individual, I wouldn't raise my hand in class and I would get so anxious to ask for help in a shop. All my teachers, at every parents evening, would say the same thing; ‘she's very quiet’ or ‘she just needs to speak up a bit and ask for help if she's stuck’. This anxiousness continued all throughout my secondary school life including when I was doing my a levels.
I never told anyone what I was going through in case they didn't understand. I would put on a smile and be happy around my friends but in reality I felt empty and worthless. In my last year of a-levels my life changed for the better. I was at rock bottom and a good friend of mine could see that. She told me to go and speak to someone but I didn't feel like anyone would understand. Eventually I emailed one of my teachers who I trusted and knew would do what was the best for me (although at the time I didn't think it was). He spoke to my head of year who then called my mum. At the time I was so angry, I felt like I had been betrayed. But let me tell you, looking back, I am so thankful that he did. I would still be where I was feeling empty and alone. He changed my life.
Whilst living with depression is still a daily struggle, you do get better, I promise. It takes time but it will happen. I am currently on the road to recovery and whilst I still have those odd down days, having someone who knows what you are going through is so important and being able to just say to them how you feel really helps, especially someone close to you, even though at the time you think they are just saying it, they do honestly mean every single word they say. You just have to trust them.
I cannot emphasise enough to anyone reading this; if you suffer with any mental health issue whether it be depression or an eating disorder or anything, make sure you tell someone. It will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulder. Just tell someone; a teacher, a friend, a family member, or even a chatline. It will make you feel wanted and will make you realise that someone does understand. Even if you think someone close to you is struggling with something or hiding something then please talk to them about it. The sooner that happens the sooner they can be feeling better and worthy.
I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way. Without them I would not be the confident girl I am today. Things do get better. Everything will be so good so soon, just hang in there. Im going to leave you all with my favourite quote; be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.
Mental health is such an important topic and needs to be more known. Please speak out. It could change someones life, or even your own.