Mental health: how my diagnosis led me to blogging

Mental health: how my diagnosis led me to blogging

I’m a strong believer in the notion that the more we talk about mental health, and the more that people become aware of how important it is, the better things will be for all of us. On that basis, here’s my story.

When people talk about mental health, they often refer to an inner voice that is constantly belittling them.

I think everyone has two voices inside them. I refer to mine as the cheerleader and the bully. If you have a mental health illness, the cheerleader’s voice becomes a whisper, and the bully is cranked up to full volume. That’s all you can hear – “nobody likes you”, “you’re useless”, “you’re going to fail.” It’s impossible to hear anything else.

For a very long time, I’ve had low self-esteem. Sometimes, I’ve been able to recognise that I’m good at something, but never believed I’m good enough at it. When I was younger, I loved to write. Teachers would sing my praises, and one even suggested I should write a book, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t possibly pursue that because I wasn’t good enough at it, and nobody would care what I had to say. I have attempted blogging in the past and always abandoned it, for the exact same reason.

Lately, this feeling started to creep into everything. I started to believe that even the people who love me didn’t care what I had to say. I was boring. This led to an increasing feeling of anxiety. I didn’t want to leave the house or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to get in people’s way. Basically, I didn’t want to annoy people. In fact, I didn’t want to be here at all anymore. It was too much. I was being crushed under the weight of my own thoughts.

One night, I burst into tears and told my boyfriend how I had been feeling. We had just returned from visiting my family, and I announced that I didn’t think they liked me anymore. He told me that I was being ridiculous, and I knew that he was right. I like to think that the cheerleader and my boyfriend spoke at the same time, and between them, they made just enough noise to get through to me. I’ve always had doubts about myself and my abilities, but I’ve always been sure that my family love me. My boyfriend suggested that I go and speak to a doctor, so that’s what I did.

Around three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with double trouble: depression and anxiety.

I was prescribed anti-depressants, which I think are now starting to kick in. Guess what? The cheerleader’s voice is getting louder now. She’s telling me I am good at writing, and that I should share that with other people because someone will care what I have to say. The bully is still lurking, occasionally filling me with doubt, but there’s more balance now. It’s because of this balance that I’ve been able to start this blog, and that I believe I’ll be able to stick with it.

I don’t think that I’ve been depressed for my entire life, but I do believe that, eventually, low self-esteem crossed the line into depression. That’s when the bully became deafening. “In revolt” is being in the process of rebelling. I’d like to think that’s what I’m doing against the bully inside my head, hence the name of this blog. The simple act of sharing my writing publicly is an act of defiance. Everything I share here is one more act of rebellion against that voice that tells me I can’t.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to live life with the bully at full volume. When I hear stories of people being bullied, it horrifies me, and that’s human nature. Yet, so many of us let ourselves be bullied by that voice inside our head. If it’s starting to get too loud and too much, there’s help out there to turn it down. Speak to your GP. Find an organisation near you that can help.

Let your cheerleader be heard again and see where it takes you.

Why I started blogging

The Cheerleader Vs The Bully Life With Mental Illness
I wouldn't have a blog if I hadn't hit rock bottom: how mental illness helped me discover a new love

17 Comments

  1. 24th April 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Really good post Ruth. I can relate to a lot of what you have mentioned here & the idea of a cheerleader & a bully is spot on. Although you’ve experienced difficulties you come across with such a positive spin on things & I admire that.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      24th April 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind reply! Sorry to hear that you’ve experienced similar things, though. Hope you’re finding ways to stay positive, too.

  2. 24th April 2018 / 10:46 pm

    I can totally relate and I’m so glad you sought treatment and are finding it helpful. It can be so hard to hear the good when the nasty is shouting so damn loud. I find writing such a positive outlet. I’m planning a post about it myself (journal keeping to be specific). I love writing and I think I’m decent at it too and when you struggle with those demons mentally, it’s important to find an outlet.

    I hope you keep making progress. Try to remember to be kind to yourself! Looking forward to what else you will be posting x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      25th April 2018 / 7:58 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      For what it’s worth, I’ve read a couple of your posts and enjoy your writing, so keep up the good work. I’ll keep an eye out for your post about it. Looking forward to reading it. x

      • 30th April 2018 / 2:20 pm

        Thank you ♥️ I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my stuff and that’s really nice to hear. I have been going through those blogger doubt feels recently and I’m finally pulling myself out the slump so it’s extra nice to hear positive feedback. I look forward to your future posts

  3. 25th April 2018 / 2:41 pm

    Love this post! I suffer both Anxiety & Depression too, so I know exactly what you mean. Im glad you started this blog, you’re really good at writing, and its not often Ill sit here and read through an entire post of someone I don’t know! Love your blog already! Chin up, listen to the cheerleader. You’re amazing! xx

    http://zoe-ware.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      25th April 2018 / 3:31 pm

      That is so sweet, thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to read it – your comment has absolutely made my day. x

  4. 30th April 2018 / 4:03 pm

    I was diagnosed with depression in November and struggle a lot with it. I’ve always been a determined, hard working and bubbly person so to have that taken away has been very hard!

    Thank you so much for your honesty in this post! Big love!!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th April 2018 / 4:22 pm

      It’s such a difficult thing to deal with. Please know that you’re always welcome to reach out to me if you need to talk about anything! It’s important to know you’re not alone with it.

      Lots of love! x

  5. 6th May 2018 / 11:11 pm

    Love the idea of revolt against your inner bully. Have you read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson? Great book on the same vein.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      7th May 2018 / 11:11 am

      I haven’t, but I’ve just done a quick Google and it sounds like something I definitely need to read. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. 11th June 2018 / 10:54 am

    Love the story behind the name. I like the image of the cheerleader vs. bully. I’ve been using a similar image to explain my anxiety to my boyfriend: it’s like there’s two voices but only one microphone.

    Love xoxo

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      11th June 2018 / 11:19 am

      Thank you. That’s a good way of explaining it, too! I think it’s the easiest way for people who haven’t experienced it themselves. x

  7. 30th July 2018 / 12:20 am

    Ruth, thank you for sharing your story with the world. It is really important to shed light in these issues. You do a fantastic job of explaining things that I’ve had trouble putting my voice to.

  8. 21st October 2018 / 1:49 pm

    I cannot love this post enough!

    It’s put out there in such an easy to understand and beautiful way. 🙂

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