I don’t know if you’ve read my article The Nervous Journey Through Anxiety & Depression but it might be an idea for you to read it first before reading this, otherwise you’ll be like “what on Earth is this nutter on about?” so yeah, might be good for you to read that. Once you have, come back and then we can continue. Oh, and the point of this article is not for people to be sympathetic to me, but to prove that just because you have a problem, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
I last told you how I’ve broken through my shell, how I’m getting better, etc. After writing that things were still okay… but then September rolled in.
In September I started year 11. I found that pretty stressful just in itself, but on top of entering a new school year I also felt that the medication I was on was starting to wear out. I’d been on it for three years, and had been told this can sometimes happen when your body becomes used to a certain medication. Apparently this is more common with teenagers.
I started getting upset and anxious again and, to make matters worse, the teachers in school were cracking the whip. I was so stressed and upset and panicky, I ended up getting three detentions in one day. That week I had a breakdown again, not as bad as the last one, but it was bad enough to stop me from going to school for three months.
Missing school for three months obviously had an impact on my education. In November, I was put on a list to work with the school’s key worker, Catherine. Immediately, when I knew she was from school, I thought “Oh no, a teacher, I’m going to be in trouble.” Wrong. Cath came up to visit me at home to introduce herself. For the next few weeks, she came to visit me at home, bringing up some school work for me to try and complete in my own time.
During this time I was seeing my psychologist to see what to do about my medication. He started me on a new prescription (which I cannot spell or pronounce. Seriously, they should make these names easier to say). The change over from one medication to another was irritating. My mood swings were everywhere. On my first day I freaked my mother out: I’m not the type of person to run about for nothing, but I was like a lunatic! I was running down up and down everywhere. My mother said it was like I was on speed or something (for the record, no, I wasn’t on speed. Drugs like that are bad, people, stay away from them) so I had to cut down my medication and build up to it as apparently it was too much for me to take in.
Obviously, not being in school meant not seeing friends and less socialising. I’d already spent two years trying to patch my social life back together, so I was at risk at ruining it all again. My family agreed that I could still go and be involved with Wicid and CLIC because it wasn’t ideal for me to be cooped up in the house.
With Wicid and CLIC, I’m a completely different person than when in school. I can actually be myself, whereas in school I’m shy, quiet and constantly counting down the minutes till I can go home. Winning CLICer of the Year during the whole breakdown period really boosted my confidence (thanks, for whoever nominated and voted for me, I love you so much) and it made me realise my social life was still okay.
Right, let’s fast forward to now. After working with Cath, I’ve built up to be able to attend school three days a week in the school library, along with another pupil who has suffered something similar to me. I’ll hopefully be completing my core GCSEs and I’ve completed all my English Controlled Assignments, which is a good sign.
I have had to make a big decision during all of this. My original plans after year 11 were to go to Sixth Form to study English, Media and Drama, but being on a restricted timetable means I’ve had to drop my chosen subjects so I can’t do Drama and probably not Media. Since school has had such a big impact with my anxiety (note: I am not saying it’s a bad school. It’s a good school, but a very big and strict school. Something a person like me finds hard to handle) so I have made the decision to apply for college for this September. I’ve had the full support of my family, friends and Cath, which I’m very happy about.
I’m not as bad as I was after my first breakdown. For an example, someone made a hate account on Twitter about me. Now, if this happened back in 2009, I would have cried my eyes out and refused to leave the house. Now, I’ve realised that the person behind that account is clearly dealing with a problem of their own to want to target me. I feel sorry for them and I want them to know that there is help out there. (Thanks to everyone who stuck up for me, by the way, it means a lot.)
I’m still not 100% better and I never will be. I’ve realised that I’ll always have Cyclothemia and my anxiety will always be there, it’ll just die down.
It’s upsetting to know I’ll always have this dragging around with me and I always think about what will happen in the future with it and if I’ll ever have another breakdown. But I know now that just because I have this, doesn’t mean I’ll end up not doing anything. I’m still studying for my GCSEs and I’m feeling very confident about starting a new chapter in my life and attending college in September.
I’d like to thank (again) everyone who has supported me. My friends, my family, CLIC, Wicid, my psychologist and special thanks to Cath. Without her help and support, I wouldn’t be completing my exams or even considering going back to school at all. And remember what I said before if you’re suffering: you don’t have to suffer, especially not alone. There is someone out there. You just need to be willing to let them help you. Trust me, it’s worth it.
PS: If you’re suffering and feel like you need to hear from someone that it’ll be okay, watch Stay Strong on MTV. Superstar, Demi Lovato also suffers with bipolar and had a breakdown with anxiety and depression, too. Stay Strong is a documentary about her breakdown and what happened, etc. Even if you’re not her biggest fan, I recommend you watch it, it proves that even celebrities have their difficulties.