Not too long ago, I came across an organisation on Twitter called The Blurt Foundation, which was formed to help those who suffer with depression, and support those who know or live with someone who has depression and would like to know more about it.
Although Blurt is still working on its website, the team there has already established a very prominent presence on Twitter, tackling the mental health stigma by encouraging people to #blurtitout if they’re having a bit of a tough time, or show #thereislight by sharing positive stories of how they’re feeling more upbeat than they have been previously.
The fantastic work that The Blurt Foundation has begun doing inspired me to ‘blurt it out’ and share a little of my recent experience, which I am more than happy to do if it goes some way to fighting the suffocating stigma that comes with depression and anxiety.
Although I don’t agree with the stigma surrounding mental health issues, I’ve always tried, in the past, to ignore any signs of depression or anxiety that I have experienced myself. I have a fantastic relationship with my parents but on one occasion when I was younger, I felt at my wits end and broke down in tears in front of them in an attempt to reach out, to which my mum looked at me sternly and told me to ‘snap out of it’. So I tried to keep my issues to myself.
Over the past year and a half, things gradually started to become quite emotionally tough for me. Throughout this time, my life has been filled with some amazing people and experiences that I wouldn’t change for the world, but there were also quite a few changes taking place that I was surprised to find I was struggling to deal with emotionally, leaving me with bouts of anxiety, crippling self-doubt and sadness, all of which were becoming too frequent to ignore. The constant track of worried, insecure thoughts looping round and round in my head made it difficult to concentrate on anything else and I’d desperately keep on trying to fight it until I broke down in tears, exhausted.
Things came to a head earlier this year when I became so tired of the emotional cycle I had fallen into and feared that it push away those I hold so dear in my life if I let it continue, so I sought help and began taking steps towards getting myself back on track.
And things have definitely improved since then. My anxiety and low mood have both subsided massively, leaving me with room to think clearly once again. Above all, I have a much more reinforced sense of self and I am far happier. The past year and a half has been a personal learning curve and from it, I have learned that I’m stronger than I think, I now realise all my good qualities and I value myself as a person, so I no longer believe I deserve to put up with such internal angst.
Life is always going to be filled with ups and downs because that’s just life, but I’m determined from now on not to let anxiety and depression take such a hold of my life again and make me question who I am as a person. And if I ever hit a really tough time again, I won’t be ashamed to just blurt it out because there’s always a supportive ear listening.
You can find The Blurt Foundation on Twitter – @BlurtAlerts.