Time to talk...

The Thursday just gone marked a very important day for me in terms of my mental health! It marked my last anti-depressant pill (for now I hope)...

This time last year I was in a very dark place, an emotional wreck. Didn’t know what I wanted, didn’t know why I was crying every day - even over crazy things like my CEREAL at breakfast! I’m not really a crier so this was abnormal for me. I didn’t know why my sleeping pattern was messy, my mind was overly busy but at the same time blank. I thought I just needed a break from London, it had never even crossed my mind that I might be depressed - until one morning (after moving home from London) mum and dad said: “I think it might be a good idea if you went to the doctors love”. How could I be depressed? I’d always, always been the strong one, helping others and just getting on with it! Naaaah, not me? Surely? It took a little convincing for me to give in and go! (give in, GIVE IN, I know, it sounds ridiculous)

So, the doctor's appointment happened...naturally I cried the whole way through it, trying to explain why I was down, not having a clue at the same time. I’m not great at explaining my feelings when it comes down to it, quite a closed book. I left with a prescription for some antidepressants and a heavy heart. Even at this point I STILL hadn’t come to terms with the fact that I was depressed, I still refused to accept it. I couldn’t even say the sentence “I am depressed”, I referred to depression as “IT”! I felt like I had to research ‘it’, read about ‘it’, learn about what was actually mechanically going on in my brain besides crazy thoughts and emotions.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks into my pills. Slightly more accepting of the whole situation at this point. My sleep was still weird & my dreams were even weirder. However, I started to make the best music I’d ever made, I was journaling every day, reading, I was meditating like nobody’s business, it was fantastic - I felt organised, disciplined, almost a new person (in the mornings), like something had taken over me - yet I still spent most of the rest my days led in front of the telly unable to do anything but watch tv series’, mind blank. 

This went on for about 3 months and then my discipline and organisation started to deteriorate which pissed me right off because I couldn’t understand why it was happening - little didn’t I know that it was the pills really kicking in and my normal self-starting to reappear, slowly. I had been using all of the routine stuff as a cover/sort of coping mechanisms. 

I couldn’t drink much AT ALL, when I started taking the pills, my tolerance went out the window and I was more of a loopy drunk than usual (which, if you know me, is pretty insane already). I started to cook wonderful food and really fell in love with health, fitness & all round wellbeing. Not to mention Herbalife Nutrition! Forever grateful 💕

This year hasn’t come without its fair share of hardships... One of the first to come (last to leave) side effects of Fluoxetine is the loss of love and affection. This hit me the hardest because I’m naturally a very loving person. I fell out of love. I then stopped making the best music every day too, it sort of fizzled out, wasn’t enjoying it. Depression also makes you very selfish, another hard thing to deal with, although also a healing mechanism in my opinion. 

READ: 'When the professionals let you down'

It’s been a journey and a half with myself to get to where I am now. I still need to practise self-love, there is still a lot of room for improvement however, I am now back into the routine I was in at my lowest - except this time I have chosen to be in it. Meditation, journaling, reading, exercising, healthy nutrition, making music (and enjoying it), creating, growing. Growing is a process; figuring out who your true, authentic self is, is a process; loving yourself is a process and I’ve learnt that until I truly love myself, it is impossible for me to wholly love someone else as well. Sad, but very true. 

If you’re still reading this, thank you. If you are low, I hope it comforts you to know that you are not alone. Please know there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will grow, you will learn to deal & live with it, you will learn to accept it, you will learn to love yourself. You have NO reason to be embarrassed about depression, nor be scared to talk about it. You don’t have to say sorry. You do have people around you that love you, even when you don’t. I am thankful & grateful every day for the people that have been around me, however big or little, this past year. Wouldn’t be where I am without all of you. I am grateful to people like my brother and all the others working their arses off to spread awareness about mental health. It’s taken me just over a year to talk about it all, even though I’ve been encouraged too many times, now felt like the time. There is no longer a stigma for me. I know for many there still is. When you’re ready, I hope you find the time to talk too.

Lots of love, Char.



Charlotte Hodgson is a Maison de Choup Contributor and the brand 'Maison de Choup' itself is in fact named after her; 'House of Charlotte'. A dedication of how close herself and George are. 

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