52 Weeks of Gratitude: A Challenge I’ve Overcome

We face challenges every day. Some days even getting out of bed can be a challenge, going to work, troubleshooting things life throws at you. You know the kind of thing. When it came to looking at a challenge I’ve overcome there were a few that sprung to mind, but I guess the main one has been my depression and anxiety.

As a child I started showing signs of depression just before my parents split up. I would have been about 7 or 8. I had selective mutism, I wouldn’t mix with other people at school and couldn’t play with people – I don’t remember much about it now. I do remember I was allowed to take my toys to school! Throughout my teenage years, I had periods of highs and lows, but who doesn’t. At 17 I had a cry for help, where I took an overdose, throughout university I was on anti-depressants and then through my 20s and 30’s again I’ve been off and on different medications.

I suffer from GAD (general anxiety and depression), for the last few years I come out of the dark tunnel I was in. I have a huge black area of my life that simply can’t remember much of. I do remember hallucinating when I started on Fluoxetine, there were spiders on the ceiling coming towards me. I’ve never hallucinated before, and I never want to hallucinate again. I then came off Fluoxetine and started on Citalopram, a drug I’ve pretty much fallen in love with. Anti-depressants have a way of numbing people in various ways, but luckily this one seems to suit me.

Whilst, at present, my depression is at bay, my anxiety still seems to cause disruption to my daily life. Instead of getting on with things I have tendencies to procrastinate, unless it’s something that needs doing like going to work. If I fancy popping to the shops then I have to prepare myself, things like how I’m going to get there, what time should I go, what I need to buy and how I’ll get home. I have to work things out before I do them.

You see, with all this, I lack spontaneity just going with the flow…I can be spontaneous but it’s also a challenge. I had a period of CBT through IAPT at my GP’s, through this I was able to work out issues and try and work out what triggered the anxiety and now to stop them becoming panic attacks. It was hard work but I managed it.  I now find that I’m using these skills and techniques more in my daily life to help with challenges, I’m also starting to use mindfulness techniques. I have a Pinterest Board full of hints and tips that I add to when I see something that may be of help.

The support of my GP, family and friends has helped me no end, it still does. I’ve overcome my depression and now I’m tackling my anxieties, but all I really want is to be me, is that too much to ask?

What is the greatest challenge you’ve overcome? I’d love to hear about them.



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