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Hellooooo.

Welcome to aislinn-dowling.com! Here you will find posts about me, an Irish girl living in Sydney, who, for some reason, has decided to start sharing style ideas and other random bits and bobs in the hope that someone might find them helpful/entertaining.

Depression

Depression

Hiiiiiii. So, as you have read from the title, this blog is just a tad different to my usual ones but one of my friends said I should think about posting about more serious topics, not just about clothes and all the rest. I agreed with her and I’ve had this idea in my head for ages but was just wondering if I wanted or was ready to be this vulnerable with god knows who or how many people that are reading it. 

It also is so scary for me to talk about because nobody other than my best friend and my ex-boyfriend know about it so before posting this or if I do post this at all I’ll have to send a text to my parents to give them a heads up and I’m sure my other best friends will be quite surprised when they read it too. It sounds very dramatic now the way I’m going on about it that nobody knows as if it’s this big secret I have, but it’s only for these two reasons. One being that I’m not great with talking about feelings unless it’s over text/typing. I cringe trying to verbalize my personal feelings face to face but can write them all down in a text no problem. My second reason is probably my main reason and I always thought if I told anyone that they would look at me differently or possibly treat me differently. That part is probably more aimed at my family not as much my friends (although it’s now aimed at everyone that’s reading this right now). I felt like if I told my parents that, even on the days/weeks/months that I’m absolutely fine, they would constantly be asking me if I’m okay and always worrying and I didn’t and, obviously still, don’t want that. Because, in all seriousness, most of the time I am fine and I’m fine right now but, there have been a lot of times since I was maybe 16 or so, I’m not really sure, that I’ve felt very depressed, unhappy, like a big bag of shit - whatever you want to call it.  

There have been a few times that I’ve felt very bad and have been on the verge of ringing my mom in tears and saying help me please, can you fix it. I was at the stage, in those moments, where I felt like I was hitting my rock bottom that I couldn’t keep hitting this low and then thinking it’s fine and going back to the same head space a few weeks or months later. It was starting to feel like I was going around in circles of feeling low, slowly coming out of it, then feeling like I'm okay and I’m normal again but it would just keep coming back and the same circle of emotions would eventually go around again. I never did call my mom in those instances because I really just didn’t want to put that worry on my parents but I always had one person. I don’t know what I would have done without whichever one out of the two that knew and I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to have at least one person knowing how you are feeling or what you’re going through because if I didn’t I would have gone insane by now. The more I think about that being one of my reasons the more I think it’s even more of a reason for me to post this. If my own friends or family had that mindset, I’d be so annoyed at them for thinking they couldn’t or wouldn’t talk to me because of that. If I heard a friend of mine say that they didn’t want to say anything for that reason I’d give them a clip across the ear for being stupid but of course I’ve never taken my own advice (until now). If anything, I think a lot of people will be relieved to hear it as they probably, at some stage in their lives, have felt the same way.  

One of the reasons that gave me the push to actually write about this was because one day recently when I was hungover with my friends, we were doing the usual chatting shit and having random conversations. One of the conversations anyway, after hours of shite talk, was we were saying our favourite thing we liked about each other (so cringe) and they all said the same thing about me - that I’m a very positive person and I’m always happy. Aside from walking away with a swelled head I also felt guilty because in my head I was like god, you have no idea!! I thought how crazy it was that they think that of me but little do they know how absolutely unhappy I have been at times that I cannot stop crying or get myself out of the bed. You’re probably reading this thinking why in the name of god is she announcing this to the world and a part of me is thinking the same but I suppose it’s because over the last few years I’ve realized it is so much more common in people than I thought but it’s just rarely talked about. 

There would be days when I’d be absolutely sobbing from the minute I open my eyes in the morning with no definite reason, thinking I’m going insane trying to find a reason for feeling this down. There’s no other way to describe it other than just feeling like every bit of happiness has been sucked right out of me. For me, on my worst days, it might last for a full day or a few hours and then there are the general days where I’m just generally not feeling great but they’re more bearable than the others. When I eventually find the energy or the will to talk to my friend I get some bit of my sanity back and realize I’m not the only one or I’m not going crazy. Not being the only one doesn’t all of a sudden make me feel happy again but it does certainly help the process a bit. I just feel like hearing people describing me as positive they must think there’s no way I’d ever feel as down as I do but I honestly wouldn’t wish my down days on my worst enemy. 

Having distractions definitely helps me, for example, if I have to go to work then I’m forced to have to get up and deal with it and by the end of the day there’s a high chance that I will feel a lot better after spending the day with sound people. I’ve actually been very lucky in that I’ve loved 99% of the people I've worked with over the years so they naturally would help occupy my mind for the day. It’s the days that I’m off and if a bad day happens to come on those days and I have no plans then I’m just left to my stupid mind going ninety and not helping myself. Keeping yourself busy is key and surrounding yourself with good, positive people isn’t going to magically make it all go away because you have to deal with your head yourself but it definitely helps so much.  

Your own mind is the craziest little thing and sometimes I wish I could just turn the stupid thing off or at least put it on silent!! I hope that by just being honest that someone else might gain a bit of clarity and realize they are not going insane, that they are not the only one and having at least one person to talk to will one hundred percent help you feel better. Not all the way better but a little bit is better than nothing.  

For me, I know it’s not something that you can cure or that will go away. I just have to deal with it and know that it will probably come and go for the rest of my life but I just have to try and not let it take over me when it does come around. It’s obviously an option to go on anti-depressants and they might work for some people but that’s just not a route I would personally take for myself. Mainly because it’s not a constant thing, it doesn’t completely control my life like it does others and I don’t want to become reliant on a pill. Another reason is that I believe your mental health is not a quick fix and a pill is not going to change your thought process and happiness it’s up to you to try and improve on those things yourself over time.  

I really hope this is not coming across as a ‘woe is me’ type of post because that’s absolutely not what this is about - it’s more of a ‘we all feel shit at times can we all just be a bit more upfront about it’ post more than anything. I hope that I haven’t just spilled a private issue to the world for no reason whatsoever. It’s an aim to be helpful and this has taken a lot of metaphorical lady balls to write this so I’m really hoping nobody looks at me differently after all this hahah! If you’re feeling depressed please talk to someone or if you’re like me and you hate talking about things face to face, just write it all down in a message and send a text, even message me I don’t care but please get whatever you are feeling off your chest to someone. I really hope that this influences even one person that’s feeling like shit to have a chat with their friend or family member because since writing this post weeks ago (it’s been in my drafts for a while) I have actually sent it to my parents to read and it genuinely feels like a weight off my shoulders.  

Thank you for reading! 

Ash xx 

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