“No man is an Island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less…
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
(John Donne, 1572-1631)
Coulda fooled me 18 months ago. I took pride in being an island. I wanted to be a self-governed island in complete isolation. A rogue island nation, population: ME.
“What? Need help? Me? Nah…”
“Why? Do you think I’m incapable? Not strong enough? Less than? I don’t need help, thankyouverymuch.”
I was on the fast-track to a crushing burn-out only I didn’t know it yet.
Strung out, worn down, angry, resentful, a shell of my true self. I was in tears daily, shouting at Isla, screaming at Sparky. Barely getting by.
Then, things got really bad. I got very dark. Started talking to myself. HATING myself. I won’t lie – the thought of leaving everyone behind crossed my mind more than once. The thought of something more tragic was there too. Barely though.
One day I found myself staring in the mirror saying, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you,” over and over again. And a tiny voice spoke up and said, “Hey, you know this isn’t normal, don’t you?”
That night, I did the hardest thing imaginable. I asked Sparky for help. Thank God.
The next day was the beginning of the uphill battle to save my sanity. (Seriously.) Diagnosed with post natal depression, the process was: Doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, medication. Rinse. Repeat. Even now.
Why Am I Telling You This?
Truth be known, I am terrified to tell you this. It is raw and close and brutal. And you may judge me for it.
But the lessons I learned over the past year and a half are what have led me to where I am today – a place of contentment, joy, purpose, love, acceptance and happiness – and that is absolutely worth sharing. Even if it prompts one other person to ask for help.
The Most Important Lesson?
No matter what your story, your stage in life, your struggles, your support network:
Ask for help when you need it.
Don’t be too proud. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t put up with battling along by yourself. People care about you. People are there to help. Let them.
I care about you. If I can help, let me. Tell me what you’re battling with, because sometimes simply sharing what’s on your mind lightens the weight you carry. (Via email if you would prefer!) xx