Becky is one of the amazing people that I know! I am super chuffed we have a blog from her for you.
The first time I remember struggling with my mental health was when my parents divorced. I was seven years old, and couldn’t understand why I felt sad all the time. Throughout my childhood, people were constantly telling me to stop being so miserable, to just have fun playing with the other kids, but I couldn’t force myself to smile.
When I was fourteen, I discovered self-harm. I used it as a way to vent my frustration, to punish myself when I felt ashamed or guilty, and to create a feeling that I was in control of my life. My parents found that difficult to understand, and accused me of attention-seeking – which just made me better at hiding my problems.
As I got older, I started to self-medicate my depression and anxiety with alcohol and risk-taking behaviour. I attended a number of courses of counselling, but nothing seemed to help. The only thing that actually started to turn the tide was meeting someone who had similar experiences to me, who was further along in their recovery. It was a revelation to talk to someone that understood what I was going through, who was able to genuinely say, “I know how you feel, and I promise you it gets better.”
I started to be more open about my mental health, and talking about it made it feel like less of a burden. Over the past three years, I’ve been working on it steadily – improving my diet and exercise, getting into yoga and other calming techniques, and cutting toxic people and jobs out of my life. Although I still have good days and bad days, I’m so lucky to say that I now have a fantastic support network, a home and job that make me truly happy, and the mental strength and resilience to weather the bad days without self-destructing.