It’s Pride month – which should be every month and I’m very proud to be who I am but that’s not the subject here. The subject is mental health and due to our extreme circumstances, this has hit the spotlight more and more.

I am proud to say that, 102 days ago I called a family doctor and told her my symptoms – my life was unmanageable and I was completely dogged by anxiety – I was mostly white-knuckling it with the use of white wine and my favourite little yellow pills (Elev8).

It came to a head over my birthday weekend and, the following weekend, my girlfriend had to remind me what had happened, I was so exhausted and unwell (people get sick sure but I’d definitely driven myself into the ground). Listening to what happened and not being able to remember any of it made me panic. Of course, this just increased my anxiety because I was convinced that I had behaved badly, etc …. on and on I beat myself up which is very useful behaviour for someone with anxiety but let’s not bring common sense here.

I got a script for Cipralex and took it! The first night of taking said pills was a breeze – not!

I convinced myself I was numb, picked a fight with Skye, and swore off the tablets (let me add I started on 5mg and now take only 10mg which I was told is a ‘homeopathic dose’!)

Admitting I needed ‘help’ in the form of pills made me finally feel like something was really wrong with me. The next morning Skye looked at me, head in hands, and I sheepishly said I really was going to give this a go because rock bottom wasn’t really that much fun – for anyone! Skye suggested I keep a drug diary and I did – which is how I know it’s 100 days today.

It was and still is such an interesting and personal experience, apart from this public share – but bear with me. I’m not stopping here. Anxiety has its roots somewhere so I’m looking for those roots so I can, once again, manage my life without the help of my ‘little white pills’.

The reason I’m telling you this story is that I think we undermine what we’re living through, I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to be OK. I think we’re happy to help others but often not ourselves. I think we’re conditioned to push on through and put on a brave face – I’m the first for showing up, no matter what, but we do NO favours to anyone by pretending.

The gaps in my thoughts Cipralex provides have allowed me to face so many things in a calm and quiet fashion, I have more confidence, I’m more productive, calmer (I still have anxiety – it’s not a magic potion!), more focussed, and lighter (not in weight terms – I’ll get that off) but from where I am this is a great pushing up from the point.

It’s not for everyone and I’m not trying to bring everyone over to ‘my dark side’ (wink wink) I just wanted to say that if you’re waving not drowning then reach out and ask for help.

Be proud of who you are – however that manifests and whatever you have to do to be you. Tell your story, tell it ALL, they will understand, or not, either way, it will be fine.

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