It was during my final year of sixth form when what I now know to be depression took a hold of me for almost a year. I was stupidly good at pretending to be happy so nobody guessed, not even my closest friends. The best and worst moments came during school break times. I would head down the long creaky staircase, through an old corridor and into the girls loos. I would sit on top of the toilet with the loo seat down and quietly cry. This allowed all the emptiness and sadness I was feeling to disperse. Albeit momentarily.

I remember that I would make sure that my feet were tucked up on top of the loo seat so that no one knew I was there and would go instantly quiet if the door swung open. Dark thoughts would rush through my mind when I was alone. Once or twice I did think that there was no point. What’s ironic is that I seemed to be the one that made people laugh and the friend that people talked to when they felt low or had problems. Outwardly I seemed confident, relatively popular and always happy. On the inside, I felt the complete opposite. Pretending was the toughest part I guess.

I do count myself extremely lucky because my Mum would be there to talk endlessly to me about how I was feeling. She sat up so many nights with me. We talked until 3am more times than I care to remember. I may not have had professional counselling but talking to her and letting it out helped. I also turned to things that I loved to do, which seemed to lift me up and out of what seemed like a very deep black hole and touch wood I have never looked back.

Writing this is hard to do as I wanted to leave it buried, but talking saved me. So, if you’re not feeling like you, be kind to yourself and talk to someone you can trust. It’s the first step. It will help.

Get Support

If you need help with depression, then it’s worth checking out some of the resources below to understand where you might be able to get support:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/