I am Nat.
From the age of 13 I have been battling to find a way to Live.
The first visible sign of my mental health troubles came in the form of Anorexia, though looking back now , there were clear signs that all was not well years before the eating disorder’s manifestation.
Anxiety and depression are not easy things to identify in yourself when you are 7 years old. Childhood worries and fears are so easily rationalised by the fact that you are a child – vivid imagination, over sensitivity, life inexperience – all reasons I used to explain away the distressing thoughts I suffered from. And the thing is, it could have been down to all those things, but the thoughts weren’t shared, so the thoughts weren’t dealt with and so the thoughts grew, and grew and grew – a bit like the peach on James’ tree which grew until it was too much for the tree’s branches to bear and it fell off the tree, spiralled off down the hill, out of control, gaining speed all the time until it hit the water, at great impact – and for me, that’s when I starved myself. And since then, it’s been years of exploring and sharing those troublesome thoughts – seeking ways to, to, to… well, what? Manage them? Heal them? ‘ Get over ‘ them? I’ll let you know when I have the answer.
Mental illness is so very complicated and attempts to treat it also, understandably so. Depression, anxiety and eating disorders generally turn up for a reason, even if you are unaware of that reason at the time. So, then it happens that, not only do you need to find your way through whatever life events brought you to such a place, you have the added burden of navigating your way through the mental affliction you now find inhabiting your mind, body and soul.
I do have moments of clarity, often forced ones, brought about through necessity, but they do exist.
I have 2 wondrous boys who are my everything ( corny and cliched as this sounds, it is my reality ). I get out of bed for them, I put on a smile for them, I endeavour never to stop finding a way to live for them and to teach them, through my hurt, how troubles don’t need to be the end of you.
I also have a husband. A lesser man would have left me by now. A greater man I could never hope to meet.
You can read more about what this blog is intended to be in my first post ‘ The Journey that is Depression ‘ and hopefully it will become clear through my writing what I am trying to convey. My posts will, more often than not, have been written in my darker moments of turmoil and distress – when I am alone; trying to fathom what my life has become; or housebound through exhaustion and low mood.
I have set myself no rules, obligations or outcomes – other then embarking on my writing from a place of honesty and uncensored reality.
I refuse to let mental illness define who I am, or become my by all and end all, but I will not be ashamed of it, nor keep it quiet. Most importantly, I will not resign myself to a life dominated and hindered by it. 24 years in and still fighting.