From a very young age I knew my thoughts and how I saw the world wasn't how everyone else did. Maybe that's because how I was treated? I used to go into primary school and get bullied by three girls, who for some reason liked making my life hell. It had a profound effect on my self confidence and self esteem as a child. This was all before I even started to realise I was going to be an adult one day. I went from being a little girl who was scared of everyone and believed she wasn't worth anything and no body liked her to a depressed, suicidal teenager who was starting to understand what was going on the the family home.
My childhood home was full of mental health issues with a side of hate. My mother struggled with drugs for a long time, she was in love with my father who wasn't in love with her and would regularly use her as a punch bag when he couldn't have a drink. She was hopelessly trying to raise four children with no support from anyone, social services stepping in only to tell her that she might loose the one thing that is keeping her alive. At a very young age we realised that my youngest brother had a high level of ADHD and would become suicidal after he would have a episode. So who was I to tell anyone at home that I was feeling depressed & suicidal with all of that going on around me? Especially when I truly believed from a very young age that nobody really wanted me around.
Fast forward a few years, I've learned that if I become super happy and super bubbly all the time then nobody will ask if I am okay, everyone will just assume that I must be fine because I am the life of every party, I never turn a night out down and I'd rarely be myself. Of course this was just a horrible, fake mask to hide what I truly felt inside, dead. This was slowly killing me inside but I became a master of hiding how I felt and ignoring my thoughts.
Then it all changed. My life completely changed as I knew it.
PSTD came into my life and brought up all of my old thought. Suicide, depression, anxiety and self hate.
I was at home on a normal day, getting ready to go out. At midday there was a knock on the door. I asked who it was and no body answered. I answered the door anyway, I felt an almighty force hit my face and I crumbled to the floor. It wasn't until I was in a very awkward position on the sofa that I realised I was being held in my home by people who wanted something from me that I didn't have. I still can't talk about what else happened that day, simpler because it hurts to much. After about two hours, even though it felt like two years, they finally left. Instantly I felt like my life had changed. All the fake self confidence and self worth I had built up around me had just been stolen. I was broken. I felt violated, venerable and just how I felt when I was back at primary school. What made it worse is I was by myself.
From that moment on I spun into a black hole. Not eating, not socialising and just not looking after myself. I felt like I couldn't hide the years of depression behind a happy face anymore because those men had stolen that from me. I went from a healthy 12 stone to a unhappy seven stone in a matter of months.
I needed to find an outlet to help me find who I was again. I tried everything. Nothing was working. I didn't believe I was worth people's time and I didn't believe anyone could love me.
After a few years I started writing anonymously for a mental health blog site so I could get all the thoughts that was in my head out of my head. I never in my wildest dreams thought that anything would come of it. The ladies who run the site contacted me one day and said "Poppy, the BBC are looking for people with metal health for a new doc. We think you'd be perfect!"
So, I went for it. Two weeks a later I got the call to say they wanted me on board. Sounds like everything is starting to go well right? wrong. This stressed me out beyond belief, 2 weeks before filming started I tried to take my own life. I was fighting with myself, how will people see me? Will they like me?
Filming started and I automatically felt accepted. I automatically felt like this was where I was meant to be. Mind Over Marathon saved my life. It has taken me places that I never wanted to revisit. It's crazy that a TV documentary can make you love yourself again and make you see your worth but it has. It helped me trust people again and allow myself to make new friends. I've had the confidence to tell people when I'm feeling low or when I just want a shoulder to cry on.
Mind Over Marathon set is a challenge to run the London marathon.
I can proudly say... I overcome the odds and managed to ignore the bad thoughts and completed the London marathon!
I can say that today, my mental health and what's happened to me does not define me. I am Poppy, I have seen and been though stuff that nobody should but I've come out the other side with a smile on my face and sense of pride.
Thoughts come and go, you've just got to learn to love yourself.
Poppy featured in the BBC One documentary Mind Over Marathon - now on BBC iPlayer.