I feel like I need to give a little more context now, a little back story. As I start to write this post, I have very little idea how it’s going to come out, I’m more than a little curious frankly. I’ll try and make this as succinct as possible.
Some years ago my grandma died, and then my mum died. I was with them both and while this was a real privilege and I wouldn’t change it for anything, it was tough on me mentally. I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress disorder, which went untreated, as I busied myself convincing the world I was fine.
I was not fine.
Two years down the line I was about as unfine as it is possible to be and it was about to get worse.
A and I met when my mum was pretty sick. He walked into a crappy situation and became my life preserver, keeping my head above water after mum died. He covered for me – with family, friends, at work, everywhere – as I basically became a highly functioning, depressive agoraphobic. To those of you out there who knew me at the time, Ha! fooled you! I became very good at wearing a mask.
Then one day, or over the process of many months A realised that the person he fell in love with no longer existed, she had turned to colourless dust, who only wore a smile for the outside world.
Now, everyone knows that break ups are hideous, people say stuff and do stuff that are really, really awful. As this blog is only one opinion, my opinion, I’m going to leave it there on this.
In short, we broke up.
I fell off the cliff then, the cliff that I had been edging towards for three long years and it was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me. Because somebody caught me, lots of somebodies actually.
I started to be honest with myself and others. I started getting professional help. I allowed my family to see I wasn’t fine. I trusted that my friends would still like me if I didn’t have a smile plastered on. I accepted help, as opposed to using one person as a crutch. I started saying yes to things instead of no. I actually started driving – some 8 years after passing my test. I started to exercise for the first time since school! I grew up and began to find my happy, all by myself.
And then somehow, somewhere along the way, A and I found our way back to each other.
What I’m trying to say is that by the end of 2013 I was mentally and physically as fit and healthy as I’d ever been. Which is either incredibly ironic or wonderfully serendipitous, depending on the time of day I reflect on it. I also have an amazingly strong family unit – headed up by my superhero Dad, a rockstar boyfriend and just about the bestest group of friends / support network it is possible to have. And they all know the real me, not some warped fraction of a person.
I feel lucky I had the 2013 I had because it made handling the news I was about to get easier. Had I got this diagnosis a year ago, you sure as hell wouldn’t be reading a blog about it.