April 4, 2013

I'm not sure why I took this photo. Maybe I just wanted to ask myself what the fuck was happening to me? I felt hopeless and full of self-loathing which was a new and scary feeling for me, not to mention physically I was lethargic and pimply and aching and crying in the toilets for ‘no reason’.

I didn't realise it was depression for a while, maybe months. Eventually a friend noticed I wasn't okay and told me about Headspace, a youth counselling service here in Australia. I booked in to talk with a psychologist for the first time. I was nervous but she was nice, she listened to me, she took my mental health seriously, gave me practical resources every fortnight and reminded me that I don’t have to feel this way forever.

I told a few close friends and kind teachers what was going on. Some of them had been through depression themselves which made me feel less alone. Depression is an isolating illness, so reaching out to people I trusted was not just helpful but essential to riding out the storm in my brain and finding a way out.

I tried to get some fresh air every day, to go for a walk or see a friend. Sometimes having a shower and going back to bed was all I had in me. I tried to ask for help even if I felt embarrassed or unworthy or confused about what I actually needed. I tried to be patient and kind to myself, because it takes time to heal.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts (or have noticed a friend who might be) please do chat to someone at Headspace or Beyond Blue — they’re nice! And they’re here for you. If you live elsewhere in the world, TWLOHA has a list of people you can talk to in your local area or on the phone.

Can I say it one more time? It does get better. You're not alone in this. Needing to ask for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Reaching out to a friend or making an appointment to talk to someone is a really brave and self-aware thing to do.

Sending you love and thinking of you.

Lisa x
This is a 2013 post from my old blog.

I want to leave it here for anyone who might be struggling to cope with life right now. You don’t have to do this alone and there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help.