Hi all! Today I’m posting something different and very close to heart.
A girl I went to school with, recently sent me a message on Facebook, expressing her love for my blog due to its honesty and humour. Alongside this, she also mentioned that she was inspired by my blog to start her own.
I spent at least 2 of the 5 school days with Hannah. Myself, much like many other people in our year level knew that Hannah suffered from depression and anxiety as she never tried to hide it. She was a quiet girl at school, that was, until you got to know her. She has a very quirky personality and a beautiful soul.
Due to her anxiety and depression, she never came to the high school parties. But I clearly remember in Year 12, Hannah being at the Grammar Downlands After Party. She came up to me and told me straight away that it was her first big party and her first time drinking alcohol, and that she was having the best time.
I saw her Mum later in the night as she was one of the supervisors, and we spoke about how excited Hannah was. Her Mum told me that Hannah had really moved forward in her relationship with depression and anxiety. This was obviously evident, and everyone noticed. I know I wasn’t the only one that was proud of her.
It wasn’t until a week ago, that I knew of Hannah’s latest battle; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She posted the following on Facebook for everyone she knew to see.
“Alright, there is something I need to get off my chest. It may make you uncomfortable, but for once in my life, I don’t care. It needs to be said. Also, to family members, this is a language warning – some of what I describe cannot be quantified by the average vocabulary.
If you know me, family, friend, teacher, co-worker, or even just a random neighbour, then you know that I suffer from anxiety and depression. That is the way it should be, as there is no need to hide or be ashamed of mental illness, just as much as there is no shame in having any physical illness. But there is something else, a recently emerged but ever present aspect to my mental condition.
The first time I heard about OCD was in Grade 6, when I was 10 going on 11. On first seeing the character Emma Pillsbury, played excellently by Jayma Mays, I clearly remember thinking to myself “Why does she do that? If that were me, I would just stop it.” Oh to be young and naïve.
OCD is a fucking bitch. No, it is worse. If I wasn’t so opposed to the term, I would call it the c-word. It has broken my heart, my soul, and at one point my will to live. I cannot drink, shower, make food, eat or even just sit down like a normal person.
To be quite frank, OCD has turned me into an inconsiderate dick. I am personally mortified and humiliated by the actions my OCD forces me to do all day, every day. It started out as small routines that helped me cope with my anxiety and depression, but these routines latched onto something deep within me, and together they have spiralled out of control.
I have been caught in repeating routines for minutes at a time. I have been trapped in routines until I can’t speak, until I can’t breathe, until my muscles ache, until I endanger the health and safety of myself and others. This sounds bad, but I can’t truly describe my experience. I can only say that it is immensely worse than anyone can tell you.
It is thanks to pure determination, support, and medication, that I have been able get through the bad times and finally control my condition and reduce my routines and habits. In the past 6 weeks or so, after beginning a new medication, I have reduced my routines by up to 2/3s. This is a huge victory, as I thought I would hold tight onto my routines until the day I die.
Also, before you judge me for being on medication for my mental health (3 in fact – 1 each for anxiety, depression and OCD), just know that this medication brought me back from the point of no return. It helped save my fucking life, for which I am eternally thankful.
Mine is a battle that is not won, nor will it ever be over. I will keep fighting my battle, as we all should.”
After I read the post I was in awe of its brutal honestly, and the support that I knew she had coming. Straight away I knew I wanted to feature this post on my blog, as I knew many of my regular readers would love it just as much as I do.
If this post interested you and you wanted to read more of Hannah’s posts to get to know her better and follow her through her journey, please check out her blog:
Hannah, I am so so proud of you x