Hi my name is Aleisha, I am 22 and this is my story of my battle with mental health, how I got there and how I’m getting better. I would like to thank Nicola for this opportunity she has asked me to share my story I am nothing special but just hoping that anyone who reads this can get something from it.
When I was younger
Growing up my life was good I had good parents, good home, good school but sometimes things weren’t as they seemed. I remember my childhood being a happy one with times of sadness nothing overly extreme!
I remember things changing a little when my younger sister came along but I never blame her for anything she was always a blessing! I had a great relationship with my dad especially everyone always said I was definitely a daddy’s girl! But as I got older things started to change we clashed on so many things (pretty much everything) it just felt like there was this constant battle between us that felt so horrible! In the end we barely spoke and he and my mum split up! After that everything seemed to change we started speaking more and more and rebuilding our bond!
School was literally the worst place for me and I was so glad when I left!! I started at my secondary school knowing absolutely nobody and pretty much drifted through the first year! I wasn’t one of those skinny little girls once I got to secondary school but I was by no means overweight! Yet no matter how hard I tried people noticed I for that reason everyday was hell! I’d get comments made, things posted on social media, notes passed to me and straight in my face comments! (Fat, fatty, pretending and earthquake was happening when I walked past them, people moving way out of the way when I moved etc) I brushed it off for the first year ignoring it but it slowly ate away at me and my mind! I decided that id had enough I thought that if I acted stupid or played up then people would laugh with me instead of at me so that’s what I did. Much to my parents dismay I gradually moved down to the bottom level of classes and was barely even in my lessons, I become disruptive and angry so angry!! I found some friends my best friends in fact but that still didn’t change anything the names were still said. Eventually I started looking at myself differently finding my own flaws that had previously been pointed out to me then I did the one thing that was the worst thing I could ever have done! I started eating less and less to the point where I wouldn’t eat breakfast or lunch and I would tell my mum I wasn’t that hungry so I would end up having the smallest dinner . During the summer of 2010 I left school for the holidays and came back a completely different person. I dyed my hair brown, lost 4 dress sizes and felt great! I remember sitting and thinking “wow this has clearly worked right let’s keep it up!” so I did but then my friends found out and my mum found out and the school made me sit with the guidance counsellor and eat my lunch for about a month until my best friend convinced her not to! I got better and ate more but kept it under control! As school started coming to an end my behaviour got worse and I eventually got kicked out just before the end I find that funny because I was for the stupidest reason! Anyway the comments stopped and I went to college where youre surrounded by so many different types of people nobody takes any notice!
My first BF
When I was 15 I met a boy, I thought he was perfect and we got together. For the first 2 months I hid my relationship from my parents as he was older than me not by much but enough for them not to be overjoyed. Everything was fine for the first year or so and then things started to change he started acting differently towards me, getting angry by the slightest things, telling me to change what I was wearing because it would bring too much attention, he bought me a phone which naive me thought was great but now I know that it was purely to track my calls etc. But yet I still stayed with him! He started to work away more and I had this horrible gut feeling so I went onto his Facebook (yes I know I shouldn’t have but a girls gotta do what she has to do) I found messages between him and his ex talking about when they would see each other next and more! I read through a total of 6 months of messages in one night and was heartbroken! I decided when he got back that I would just break it off with him! But when he got back he dumped me! For some reason even though I knew what I knew I still cried so much… the next day I had to pick my stuff up from his and I confronted him about it and he straight up denied it! That’s when I knew I had a lucky escape.
Depression and Anxiety
After 2 failed relationships, a new job and a lifetime of not facing up to my feelings and emotions. I started to struggle I noticed that I was so unhappy a lot of the time I hid myself away from it all! Eventually it all got too much I went into a shop on an ordinary day doing the same thing I’d done a million time over but this time it felt harder, I began losing the feeling in my legs and arms, my heart started to race, I started to panic, left the shop immediately and sat in the car. The next day I couldn’t leave the house at all I was so afraid of it happening again but I didn’t even know what it was! My mum got me to go to the doctor and he confirmed that it was a panic attack caused by anxiety… the doctor talked to me and we came to the outcome that it was all the years or bullying, doubting myself, hidden feelings and bottling up my emotions that had done this to me so he talked me through my options and I started to take anti depressants for the first time. I did not like how they made me feel to begin with but kept taking them… I felt worse for some reason and hid myself from the world even more. Once my time was up and I had to go back to work things got easier I continued to take the meds and worked and felt back to ‘normal’ I started to date and met my current bf who is my absolute world! But then things started changing again and I didn’t know why! It got worse this time I left my job and just sat around the house terrified to go outside. For 7 months I hid away! Somehow my bf stayed with me and supported every action I made, tear I cried and no matter how many days out I backed out of last minute he was still here! And I am so beyond thankful for that!
Things are so much better now… I have a new job working with amazing people; I go out so much more, date nights, family days out, shopping!! I am so proud of myself and love everyone for the support they have given me for so long!
Yes I am still on my medication (a higher dose) but that’s okay we all need a little help sometimes! Advice I would give to somebody in the same position as me is to keep going never give up no matter how many times you feel like it (there’s a few), accept help, accept that you’re not by yourself through this. Everything will be okay trust me!