For those who haven’t noticed, these couple of months I haven’t been blogging and posting reviews as much as I used to when I first started this blog. Not because I haven’t watched any films or read any books, on the contrary there are quite a few waiting to be reviewed since pretty much April. But these months have gone really bad and I wanted to take this chance and let you know what’s been going on. I was determined not to share my personal experiences in here but now I believe that some of you may find comfort in my words, or maybe something that you are about to read will ring a bell for someone close to you, and you’ll make a difference in their lives. And that’s a lot more important than privacy.
I have been fighting with severe anxiety disorder and social anxiety since pretty much 2013. Meaning that for the last three years I regularly experience anxiety and panic attacks when I’m outside with friends, on the bus, at work, sometimes even at home. When things became really ugly (back in 2014) I ended up in the hospital and, after that, I was diagnosed with depression for the first time. I knew something was wrong from the very beginning and I wanted to seek professional help, but my close ones wouldn’t understand. Friends and family were both confused on why would I feel this way, when there was no apparent reason to. Was I just spoiled? Was I ungrateful that even if there was nothing missing from my life, still had those feelings? So not only was I baffled and scared, unable to understand what’s happening, I then started feeling guilty for not being strong enough.
I didn’t get the help I much needed and continued living with my disorders, always putting a brave face and trying my best not to let anyone know how I felt. What did I do to get through? I reorganised my whole life around my anxiety: beginning by quitting substances that could lead to an attack (such as coffee and alcohol) I continued by quitting pretty much everything: I would walk instead of using any means of transport, I gave up my hobbies, travelling and, ultimately, this year I stopped going out unless it was absolutely necessary. I would dig anything that upset me deep in my soul and I wouldn’t talk to anyone about my feelings, any more. I became a shell, honestly forgot who I am.
I lost myself.
Back in December 2015, after a really bad panic attack, I finally made the right decision and asked for help. Around the same time I started my blog: since I wouldn’t go out at least I could share some of my thoughts on things I love and feel a little bit less lonely and alone. Due to the overcrowding of Greek hospitals, I had to wait until March to get an appointment and started therapy just two months ago.
This has been the best decision I have ever made.
The process of therapy is so not an easy one. A lot of buried thoughts and feelings have come to surface and I now have to actually deal with them. These two months I’m trying so hard to face my reality and I’m not always succeeding in it. I get my ups and downs and the downs have been really bad ones, because deep down I keep blaming myself for losing so much precious time. But I now know what I have to do, and I’m doing it, one step at a time.
So, for anyone who made it to the end, thank you. And if you’re seeing yourself, a relative or a friend in any of the above, please please get the help you need.
I promise you won’t regret it.