Trigger Warning: Topics on depression, anxiety and disorderd eating
Throughout my life, I had prided myself on being the sort of person who “had her sh*t together”. I was always the one whose plans had a plan, a problem solver who could fix almost anything. And the few times in my short life that I fell, I quickly picked myself up, trying my hardest to solve my issues on my own before involving others.
My motto was always “fix everything first”, and then “fall apart later”, choosing to give myself as little time as possible to process anything, before strategising a game plan for whatever curveball life had thrown my way. And as time went on, I got better at “fixing”, to a point where I would focus all of my energy there, and never allow myself the moments to grieve and be messy. Not falling apart was good, right? It meant I wasn’t a “hot mess”, right? That I was a capable adult who was able to prioritise logic over emotion… right?
And so after a year of pandemic retrenchments, countless job switches, multiple house moves, the disillusionment of some long-term relationships AND an extremely stressful job I hated, my mind was done fixing. With too many things overwhelming me, my body had decided enough was enough. “If you’re not going to schedule a break, I’m just going to schedule one for you at the most inconvenient time. Hah, serves you right, brain!”
And so away my body went. Overwhelmed by stress, I started crying multiple times a day at the most inopportune moments. During a work call (thankfully the camera was turned off) or even if someone innocently asked me if I was doing ok. Some nights I would just sit in front of my mirror, staring at myself, tears streaming down my face and the inability to recognise the person looking back. *Alexa, play “Torn’ by Natalie Imbruglia*
When the crying went on consistently for an entire month, that’s when a friend of mine suggested I talk to someone. And even then I felt like my feelings weren’t valid. I could get out of bed, my hygiene was in order, and I had just hit some milestones at work — how could I be depressed?
And so after another teary session, I booked myself an appointment with a psychologist and was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and an adjustment disorder.