Desperate, lonely, worthless and inferior. That’s how I’d describe me at my lowest. The moment I could no longer cope was when I started my job. I felt like a failure, always criticising myself. It was tiring and I was always sad. I cried a lot. That’s when I went to my GP.
At first, it seemed like she didn’t take me seriously. I was told I just needed some rest, but that wasn’t enough. After some time, I was referred to a psychologist and then a psychiatrist, who started me on treatment. All in all, it took around two years for a diagnosis.
After 18 months I wanted to stop the medication, so I did. But I didn’t realise how badly this would affect me. It got to the point where I was suicidal. I didn’t actually plan anything but I was convinced it would be better to go because I felt my life had no value to anyone. The only reason I didn’t kill myself was because my father was away on holiday at the time. I didn’t want to ruin his trip.
I knew I had to see the psychiatrist again. He restarted my treatment and, luckily, everything went back to normal. I keep my pills in this oval box. It’s gold with flowers on it. Quite frumpy, really. But I used to play with it as a child so it has good connotations for me.
I still had bad days but I’d find a way through them. In fact, frequent trips to the garden centre became a big part of my life. I love being surrounded by nature and having the time to reflect. Flowers in particular bring me calm and help remind me that everything’s going to be OK.
Today I’m happier. I take care of myself a lot, and working and living my life the way I want is something I need to keep doing. Depression is hard and negative and it does not bring joy, but I’m proud to say I found help and support to get me through it.