I’m an extrovert, outgoing, an extrovert even. I also get really sad, and have hidden myself away on those occasions so that others don’t see. I’m not embarrassed, it’s more that I don’t feel like I’m of service to others when I feel this way. Somewhere along the way my brain became wired like this, where I felt that unless I was happy (genuine or not) I had little to offer. That’s what I want to explore in this blog; negative mental health is isolating and hiding it is even more so.
My name is Caislin (call me Cash) and I’m 25. I work primarily as a DJ, but also volunteer at the comedy trust following my participation in the Comedy Course for beginners in 2015. I’ve found two things in my life; 1) depression isolates and 2) not feeling as though you can disclose your true feelings means you naturally lean on something else, something which offers you a superficial comfort that doesn’t truly exist. For me, that is food. My negative mental health manifests itself in a hidden person eating minstrels, who really needs to wash their sheets. Anyone who has lived with me will know this to be true.
I’ve always known it was a negative cycle but it’s been my biggest struggle to try and combat it. I’m doing well at the moment, but it is something I live with everyday. I question every bite and assess what is driving it; genuine appetite or some emotional negativity I haven’t been able to express. I want to continue on this upward trajectory as I see its obvious benefits; for me the relationship between food, mental well-being and sociability is intrinsically linked.
I’ve been reluctant to admit I’ve suffered with depression, and even more so to go down a medication-based route. I’ve found that a holistic approach serves me better and I’m proud to say I’ve had a lot of therapy. It’s been necessary to deal with my past, particularly losing my mum almost five years ago. After that, food became an even bigger anchor as I had lost mine. Now, however, I feel strong enough to be my own anchor. This is in no doubt attributable to the increased awareness and understanding of mental health. For that I’m grateful.
It is also due to the increased interest I’ve taken in my own physical health; the gym has proven itself a place of sanctuary. I’d highly recommend it!
So please, remember; you have something to offer no matter how you’re feeling, a negative crutch won’t get you anywhere and finally, wash your sheets once a week.
This has been weird to write, not least because it’s almost 1am, my room smells like chilli and I’m not famed for my emotional openness.
However, it’s extremely important to be frank about how we struggle, so to that end it’s been hugely cathartic. Thanks for taking the time to read – Cash x