Silent Poison I: Behind the Smoke

Mental health… A concept that completely flew over my head growing up. “I don’t know how people end up in that state”, “surely they have people around them to talk to?” This pretty much summed up my outlook on mental health – naivety at its finest. It wasn’t until I entered the mythical world known as University where the trials really began…

If someone asked me to describe my second year experience with any song lyric I would have to give a big big shout out to Popcaan. Weed really became my best friend. What started of as curiosity turned into an unhealthy situationship. Very early on in second year I began to deteriorate. Work load was beginning to pile up, personal problems were popping up and stress levels were rapidly increasing. Smoking was my short term easy fix solution. “Yo g you about, tryna grab a 3.5” a phrase that became all too regular and was the actual fuel to the fire that I thought I was keeping under control. In actual fact shit wasn’t getting any better. Things spiralled out of control as the year went on.

Motivation was dun out ere and I become and expert in the art of ghosting. I thought it was a phase and in the back of my mind I knew I believed I would get back on track; I emphasise “in the back of my mind” because In reality that was becoming a far distant possibility. At the time my mind was so all over the place that I didn’t realise I was in the midst of a deep depressive state. So my mornings were set up went like this: another day will pass by, the curtains drawn shut, the PS4 switched on and the room fills with smoke as the spliff gets sparked. At this point I needed help!!

I can’t stress to you enough the importance of family and friends. During my depressive episodes I turned away from the comfort of my close ones. I could be in my bed midday in absolute darkness with my mind all over the place, whilst telling my family “everything is fine” or “uni is going well”. At times I could hear people coming into the house so I’d fix my room up a bit slap on smile and brave a couple hours of pretending to be happy. This isn’t to say you should be a party pooper and be openly miserable all the time. The problem was I had to much pride to open up and tell my peoples what was really going on because I didn’t want anyone to see me in the state I was in.

Realising you need help is one thing at least you are not in denial, but actively working towards getting better Is another thing all together. My ambition and drive was on a minimal, I had no structure and my head space still felt noisy. I was stuck in a cycle of stress out, smoke up then sleep. Internally I had given up on uni and I had officially hit rock bottom.

How did I end up here?!! How did I go from the joyous always smiling, always laughing lad to absolutely not wanting to see a single face. Questions I pondered day in and day out. Questions that only added to the confusion and condemnation in my mind. My confidence was shaken and I wasn’t feeling like me.

Let’s fast forward to the present day. Some days still do get sticky, but I’m thankfully in a much better space. I would love to encourage that if you are of faith and your mental health has effected you spiritually then go back to exploring and practising your faith!!! Through out my second year I rarely touched church or practiced my faith full heartedly and that had me seeking a void through something other than God. Being back in that environment and working on my spiritual life has given me strength to fight through episodes.

Speaking to your peoples is massive a stress relief. It’s easy to feel as if no one will understand or that you are being a burden, but find someone you trust and speak to them. Talking is therapeutic, and getting things off your chest will help clear your mind.

Much love,

The RealTalk Team

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