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'Everyone has their story and like thousands of others mine has been far from easy....'

For as long as I can remember Depression has controlled my life . “think happy thoughts” people say. If only it was that easy.

To me depression is so much more than my own thoughts, it is a physical numbness that I struggle to  shift.

To me depression is so much more than my own thoughts, it is a physical numbness that I struggle to  shift.

Im 41 years old now and looking back depression has had a tight hold of me from an early age . Around the age of 13 was the first time I can  remember feeling numb. I would lay in bed for days not able to face the outside world, feeling sad and hopeless with no energy with no aspirations or interests in life. 

I knew I was different and I felt different .

It was at the age of 15 that I met my first boyfriend and that was the start of a downhill spiral for my mental health .

Every negative thought and feeling I had he magnified, it was at this point that I tried to take my own life. 

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and so on and so on I swallowed the pills one by one until I blacked out . I didn’t want to die !!! I wanted to be out of my own head and thoughts , thats what I was trying to escape . 

I was trying to escape the physical violence and emotional torture that he put me through . 

Im sure as I write and share some parts of my journey that people will be able to relate to what I share, say and have felt. Depression for me has been a journey not a destination. It is only through experience and age that I have learnt and had to cope , day by day , step by step . 

As a young lady I spent 7 years in an abusive relationship which resulted in being beaten on a regular basis , it was at times extreme so much so he left me in the middle of a busy road after yet another alcohol infused attack . The injuries were all to often and the worst part is I didn’t realise how dangerous he was. I felt worthless, empty and didn’t believe I deserved any better, I had zero self worth . He was my biggest fear yet my biggest obsession and this is where my mental health and behaviour changed even more . 

I was diagnosed with OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I developed an un-healthy infatuation for him and would often track his car and movements. My behaviour was now alarming and erratic.

I was now becoming the angry and aggressive person . I was fighting back and with that I made bad choices and in the end was arrested . 

At 18 my son was born . The most amazing moment of my life yet shadowed by abuse still . A month after his birth I was diagnosed with Post Natal depression and it hit me hard . That horrible feeling of numbness, sadness, extremely low mood , not wanting to make contact with anyone at all , so I stayed in the house on my own , young lonely and vulnerable and the only money I had to survive his dad made me work for in un-pleasant ways . I was still a child myself in so many ways and I was frightened very frightened and fear and obsessive thoughts kicked back in especially living alone. My obsession had now turned to my home being safe and I could not sleep as I repeatedly checked all the doors and windows in my home . I was exhausted. All I wanted to do in the day was sleep the day away. 

Life will always present its ups and downs and by us all sharing our struggles we are normalising not being ok is ok !!!

Everyone has their story and like thousands of others mine has been far  from easy .

From domestic abuse to near death experiences, to being held at knife point, car chases to an operation that put me in intensive care I have had more than enough trauma in my life to write a book, but what I will say is that with each trauma my gratitude and appreciation for life is what keeps me strong. 

At the age of 23 I met my now ex-husband and had my beautiful daughter and life seemed better than ever and my mental health had definitely improved and a lot of my previous struggles felt like a thing of the past. Or so I thought .

Until he made me homeless twice , each time I had to re-build my life but it seemed now alcohol was my only way of surviving . Trying to sleep through the nights in a hostel whilst I could hear violence between families above me . 

Four long years of accusations and him tarnishing my character in court took its toll and I spent the best part of 4 months in hospital . In a state of trauma and heightened anxiety , I think my body was telling me that I had suffered enough.

You would have thought I would be resistant to pain by now however the most painful parts of my life so far had only just started .

When you have been through so much people assume you can handle what life throws your way . I do believe experiences can make you stronger but that doesn’t mean we should have to can carry it !!..

Im thinking by this point “please give me a break “

During my divorce my ex tried to take our daughter away and he blackmailed me that he would do so if I was awarded any money in the divorce process .

I cried myself to sleep most nights for nearly two years . I may not have achieved much else in my life but my children was one thing I did get right.

I prayed every night “please not my children”

To this day the nightmares and fear are another contributing factor to me being diagnosed with PTSD- Complex  Post traumatic Stress.

I was told by the Dr that I was carrying so many traumas from my past and I just couldn’t take any more but sadly life had other ideas set to break me completely .

Mental health issues are draining , being constantly fearful ,low and the feeling of hopelessness so much so for me that I have often been admitted to hospital with exhaustion. 

20.10.2020 was the day my life completely crashed and broke in front of my eyes as I held my best friends hand and helplessly held her as she took her last breath at the age of 38 ………………….nothing I had ever been through could of prepared me for the pain I have to live with since that day .

In life its who we have and not what we have that matters , you see all that I have shared with you my best friend Sara never left my side and I can guarantee without her I wouldn’t be here now .

To share with you finally what I know and have learnt is that however tough it gets , life is truly a gift !!! 

Im living with grief now but its also made me grateful for life and the ability to see the beauty in it and perhaps I never saw that before . 

There is something beautiful in each day but some days you just have to look a bit harder . 

We all have a purpose and are all worthy so my advice is to always look up never down and say thank you for life and if its to much to carry alone then be brave enough to reach out !!!!!

Thank you to Zoe for letting me share parts of my journey and struggles with my mental health issues..

Love and blessings 

Chez ….x    


If you feel that you are experiencing any of what Chez has spoken about please seek help from your nearest GP. There are also other sources which provide help and advice for example: 

Samaritans 116123

NHS 111

Mind 0300 123 3011

Rethink 0300 5000 927

Support Line 01708 765200

Also if you feel that you have an experience with regards to mental health that you believe others could relate to then please get in touch.

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