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AskAlex #22

A very personal one this week. I remember when I began AskAlex, I held off from answering a personal question. However, as this feature has evolved I feel more comfortable in revealing a little bit more about my deeper self. So today is going to be fairly tough, not too happy and if you’re uncomfortable reading it, then stop!

If you’ve ever had a mental breakdown, what was it like and what happened?

It’s pretty difficult for me to describe. Indeed, this is a very recent thing and in fact, I feel like I am still going through it. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel fully recovered because it certainly has changed me. The best way I can describe it is an all-consuming black cloud that mists up your mind and blocks any rational, real thoughts and feelings, which strikes whenever and however aggressively it wants.

Before I arrived back from uni, I was a pretty chilled and happy girl. Indeed, before uni and during uni, on the whole I was laid-back and loving my life. However, after graduating I fell on hard times. Suddenly I had no money, I was living under my parents’ roof and rules and I felt so trapped and useless. Low self-esteem is something I’ve always suffered from and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. Yes, I have a wonderful boyfriend who tells me how beautiful I am daily but through years of not having those words said to me, it’s difficult to build that confident self-image up.

Anxiety is possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It’s like a little demon that sits in my head and whispers negative thoughts about almost everything that life throws at me. No matter how hard I try to suppress it and calm it down, the next day it will be back again stronger than before. I know it’s common for anxiety to lead to depression and it’s so easy to see why. I’ll be pretty open about the fact that I often cry when on my own about ridiculous things and I’ll have a period of a few days sometimes when I simply can’t concentrate on anything but my own miserable, dark thoughts.

I won’t lie -it sometimes makes me think of death and I feel like life is simply too hard for me to go through but I just have to remember that things will eventually get better. I know how irritating that phrase is to someone with anxiety but I’m pretty sure I’d be dead by now if I didn’t keep it in my head. It is tough, of course it is, but I refuse to let it beat me.

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