As we grow up we have many best friends, it's something that's forever changing. We get to 15-16 and things start to settle, you begin to see people for who they really are and the friendships you have become stronger. Yet, there is never a guarantee that these people, who you love with every part of you, will stay in your life forever. And it hurts, it's heartbreakingly painful. Sometimes it's over silly things that you will come to realise over time, never really mattered. But sometimes you lose people through the big, heavy deep things and when you come out the other end, you'll wish that your friendship had weathered the storm.
I lost one of my very best friends, in the midst of my fight with depression. Now, I'm not going to sit here and spill out all the details of what happened because I would never do that to them, even though I'm 99% sure they've never seen the blog. It wasn't simply all down to the fact that I was in a deep darkness that the people who loved me most couldn't pull me out of. Many things happened that are personal but depression was the catalyst.
Depression steals so many things away from you. Your happiness, confidence, energy, laughter and much more. But I never thought it would take away someone who meant the world to me. It's not their fault, but it also isn't mine. Even though I am still ridden with guilt to this day about how things came to an abrupt end with us. I am learning that I can't forever blame myself for a chemical imbalance, that I tried my damn best to overcome. The depression wasn't the finale straw that resulted in me losing this person, but it was the beginning. And oftentimes, what starts the hurt and distancing, is the very thing that ends it.
Part of me will never get over the loss of this person. I don't think you can ever grieve the loss of a person who is still out there living their life, without you in it. They were without a doubt like my right hand and lifted me up through everything. However, with hindsight and perspective (two fabulous things that never occur in the moment), I can see how my anxiety was the flame that never stopped burning. I was in need of constant reassurance, anxiety consumed many of my relationships. I was constantly paranoid and as much as I tried my very best to control it, I rarely could.
At the time, I blamed myself for everything that went wrong, I was convinced that I should have been able to stop the anxiety and depression from seeping into friendships and causing problems. After all, it was in MY head not anyone else's and I fully believed I had control over it, but that's not how mental illness works. It works the way it wants to, not the way we want it to. I still struggle to not blame myself, in moments where I relive things, I see everything I did wrong but nothing they did.
My mental illnesses were to blame- not me. Although my suffering was/is painful for everyone, it's tenfold for me. I have been on both sides, the one living in it and the one watching it from the sidelines. As much as it is painful to watch someone you love hurting, being the one to suffer is excruciatingly painful, it's feeling nothing and then all of a sudden feeling everything at once. I exhausted myself day in and day out trying to be the person that was there for everyone and even though I succeeded in that, it ran me into the ground. I thrived off people needing me. I still do. But now, I don't compromise my mental health for it.
When it happened, I was in an extremely bad place and depression made me believe that losing this person was the end of the world. It convinced me that losing this person meant everyone else would walk away too. It certainly felt like it and I didn't see myself ever making my way back after that. Nearly a year later, those few weeks feel like a lifetime ago. I feel like a different person, with a whole new mentality about the suffering I experienced and equally, the suffering I caused. Thinking of them still makes my heart ache slightly but it doesn't make me cry anymore and occasionally seeing this person doesn't send me into a despair like it used to.
I will never be able to show this person how far I've come or thank them for all they did for me. But mostly I'll never get to say how I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not believing you when you said it would get better, because it has. I'm sorry that I couldn't believe you when you said you weren't angry with me, because I now realise how my anxiety made me perceive things differently. I'm sorry that you had to see me at my worst, I can only imagine the pain it caused you. I'm sorry for many things but mostly I'm sorry that depression took me away from being the person you had grown to love. Although those two words don't always mean much, I say them with the utmost power that they can possibly contain.
Life gets messy and things happen that hurt like hell, but we move on. Despite all the heartache and pain we feel in the moment, we forge ahead. I never thought I would make it out of my depression, just like I thought I could never live without this person, but I've done both. They've both made me stronger and although I wish neither of those things had ever happened, they've made me a better person. We can only take what life throws at us and make the most of it. Things happen even when we try our absolute hardest because I think life always seems to know what's best. In a few years, I think I'll be able to see why life took that person out of my life and whilst I can't quite understand it yet, I have peace knowing that they're happy.
The most valuable lesson that I learnt from losing this person is that I can't love people beyond their capacity to love me back. I love fiercely and I need to feel that intensity back, I can't pour out all of my love into people and hurt myself in the process. It takes time for this to sink in, (it took me months) but once it does, your outlook on many things will change. I see my worth a whole lot more than I ever did before. And I am worthy of many things, even when I am in the deepest, darkest depths of depression.
P.S- Annoyingly cliche quotes used to break up the never ending babbling that seemed to happen in this post, sorry not sorry :)
I cried in the shower today. Full on tears rolling down my cheeks and big gasping, hideous sounding breathes. The type of cry that somehow always looks much more glamorous in movies than it ever does in real life. I was tired- no that word isn't strong enough, I was absolutely exhausted. Exhausted from work, from being happy and being "put together". I'm not sad today or depressed, but I'm not happy either. I'm in that in-between mood, wavering back between big cheesy smiles and long stares at the wall. Like my mind can't really decide what it wants to feel. I finished work and drove to the shop to grab some lunch for tomorrow. The rain was pouring and I had some relatively upbeat music on, I parked and just sat there. Sitting in my car during the rain has always had this calming, comforting affect on me. I realised, sitting there whilst cars drove by and people running around that today I was not okay. And that, that is so perfectly okay, too.
I recently received a diagnosis for my chronic pain (post up soon, I promise!). I finally got answers to pain that has been there longer than I can remember. It's been a quiet, sobering few days trying to figure out what I'm feeling. My body has long known there was something wrong and perhaps, deep within my heart, I knew too. I don't cry much, or at least not at my own battles- mainly at the unnecessary amount of character deaths on Grey's Anatomy but alas, tears finally came flowing today. Maybe it's the heaviness of the last few days or maybe, it's because today was simply a crap day. There's no shame in admitting that there doesn't always have to be a reason for our tears or for our crappy days, Sometimes, days are just hard from the minute we wake up to the minute we go back to sleep. Today, was a hard day from the moment I ached my way out of bed till now.
I didn't feel the heaviness of my day till I listened to some music that was more fitting to my mood and sat in the bath with the water running down on me. I let myself feel whatever it was the I was feeling, and I'm still not quite sure what that was. However, it helped. I feel better and back to feeling somewhat put together. And hey whether that's just an illusion my mind is playing on me till the storm hits, I'll take it. I'll soak in the fact that today, I was able to feel. I didn't hide the pain from myself. I felt what I needed to feel. And that, for me is a huge achievement. I cried without having it unleash this ocean of unshed tears. I let my guard down, cried and got back up. Some days, I simply can't get back up but today I did.
It's okay to not have it together every minute of every day. That's not achievable or admirable and it most certainly isn't mental health. We fight, we try, we lose, we hurt and we cry. Life can be so incredibly painful without trying to keep every emotion inside. Today, I cried. And that's okay. And tomorrow I will get up and try for a better, happier day. I hope that if you've cried today whether it be in the shower, your car or tucked up in bed, you know that it's okay!
This week marks 1 year since I got the emergency help I needed. It's been 1 year since I made a decision that has and will impact me for the rest of my life. It's been 1 year since I gave up then spent the next 6 months fighting like hell to make it through each day. One day, when the burden of that day and the following weeks isn't so heavy on my heart and those around me, I will share my experience but today, today I want to take in the enormity of surviving this year.
A year that has been filled with tears, an endless amount of battles, therapy sessions, doctors appointments, strength and somehow laughter. One can never fully appreciate ones own strength until the world you're living in collapses, yet you rise up. I was up standing on my own two feet and the next minute, I fell. Deep into a pit of darkness, anger and pain. The outside world seemed like a foreign object that I couldn't touch. It took me forever to climb out of that darkness.
But I'm here, one year on thanking my lucky stars that I made it and to celebrate that, I've decided to do a 25km (15 miles) walk for the charity Mind. Now, I'm not going to lie when I say I'm absolutely sh*tting myself that I'm not going to manage and have to crawl over the finish line. However the fact that I survived moments that I really can't put into words, I'm going to have hope that it'll be alright. 15 miles doesn't sound like a lot to many people but to me it is a huge distance. Even 5 miles for someone with chronic pain feels like a mission yet I'm going to embrace this for what it is. A celebration (I mean, I'll need to eat lots of cake along the way to call it that) of overcoming a heck of a year and proving to myself that I am strong enough to do this.
My mum and 3 of her amazing friends have decided to do it with me....because let's be honest, I have the motivation of a sloth at the best of times. I'm excited, nervous and happy that I'm in a place that I can do this mentally. Physically is a whole different story (and blog post) but I'm going to train slowly and LISTEN to my body.
I'm attaching the link to our justgiving page but am in no means asking for any donations from blog readers. I am sharing this because I want to show you that it gets better. If you are in the darkness, know that you will be able to fight your way out. If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever be able to walk 15 miles, the answer would be a straight up NO. But now, a year on I have it in me to do this or at the very least try.
Wish me luck. I will most certainly need it, but luckily my mum is a pro walker and will kick my butt out of bed for some practice walks. I will post regular updates on the blog's Facebook page and as always, thank you thank you for all your support. I am devoted to making a difference in mental health and this walk, is one step to doing that.
Hey there, I'm Jasmine, your average 23 year old working in childcare and living in England. Maybe Tomorrow follows my journey living with mental health issues and multiple chronic health conditions, all whilst trying to have some fun along the way.
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