For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from low self-esteem, lack of confidence and general sadness that comes in waves. For years, I felt like I was the world’s biggest failure, but I guess this was partly due to the fact I was often compared to others and felt years behind them. I didn’t get the grades expected of me, I didn’t get into the university of my choice and I unfortunately, could never stick to one hobby or skill. Essentially, I felt like a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’.

Success often seemed like it was unattainable for me in this life and I never felt good enough; for myself, for anyone else, but most importantly, for my family. For a few years, I used to have ‘burn days’ where I’d listen to sad music and just sob in my room. To this day, I don’t think my parents are aware I did this. Most nights were spent crying in my room till I eventually fell asleep and sometimes, though it disappoints me to say it, I resorted to self-harm.

In 2012, this all changed. After facing some personal challenges in my life and ending up in a city for all the wrong reasons, life became a lot tougher. Simple things like getting on a train to come home to London from Cardiff or going out with friends, became a challenge. I struggled to attend lectures, meet deadlines and just went into a phase of meltdown. It was then that I sought help. Originally, I went to the doctors with the aim of getting a referral to a hypnotherapist as I thought this would cure me instantly. However, what transpired, was that I was suffering from very severe depression with a combination of anxiety. The doctor explained that what I was feeling was not because I was dealing with irrational fears, but a deeper-seated problem in the form of poor mental health. This diagnosis changed my life and naturally, my family’s.

In a time where mental health was taboo, my parents were besides themselves with helplessness. Admittedly, during my childhood, I gave my parents a lot of firsts. But this one really rocked the boat. Thankfully, they stood by me through thick and thin, watched me drop out of University after being diagnosed with adult ADHD as well as dyspraxia, dealt with my panic attacks, cared for me and took me to see various specialists to help me feel better. Without them, their love, support and patience, I wouldn’t be here writing this today.

If you’ve ever experienced any form of poor mental health, you will know that diseases of the mind are not easily cured. However, they can be managed with the right combination of medical attention, a deeper understanding of how the disease affects you as an individual, a reasonable amount of acceptance and a whole lot of self-love. Over the years, I have worked extremely hard to tackle this monster head on. Whilst I have often succeeded, the times I have fallen short seem to stick in my head more because it’s in those moments, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and found innovative ways to cope. One thing is certain however, and it’s that even in those moments of extreme darkness and desperation, I’ve never given up the battle. Partly, because I know that all the effort will pay off in the long run, but also, like many others, whilst it feels like I want to leave the Earth, there is a tiny part of me that flutters with hope. Hope that one day things will seem brighter, hope that I will make it through my worst moments, hope that everything does indeed happen for a reason and hope that whatever doesn’t kill me, will only make me stronger beyond comprehension. I also know that whilst it sometimes doesn’t feel like anyone would miss me if I died, I’m often reminded that I am loved, cherished and adored. It’s hard to see it in those moments, and believe me when I say I understand, but whoever you are and wherever you are, if you are reading this, know that you are loved too. Escape is never the answer and there is someone out there who would notice your absence. Why end your life, when you can live the life of your dreams?

Over the next few days, months and possibly even years, I want to share my journey with you in the hope that my thoughts, experiences and tips will help you on your path also, because I strongly believe that through darkness, comes light. Always. You are only as strong as you believe you are and with hard work, perseverance, hope as well as faith, I have no doubt that your story can turn into a positive one like many before us. I firmly believe that us warriors must stick together and the more we can be open, honest and authentic with each other about our struggles as well as how we truly feel, the more progress we will make.

Spread your wings and soar,

The Confused Butterfly

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are intended for educational purposes only. Nothing found on this site should be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it a substitute for therapy. Therefore, please seek the advice of a Doctor or Mental Health Practitioner if you have any concerns about your wellbeing. These views are personal to me and are in no way a representation of other individuals or organisations.

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