About 2 months ago I was at the lowest I have ever been in my life. 2014 had been a year that started with such promise, until a series of events occurred that turned my life upside down. I honestly believe that at my lowest point, I was clinically depressed.
The first 'event' that occurred was a slip on the stairs in the middle of March. Although brushed off as nothing at the time, this fall would bring me the most despair I have ever felt in my life.
This fall lead to a condition called coccydynia, the scientific term for persisting tail bone pain. It took me over 3 months to get correctly diagnosed with this condition, as the physiotherapist I was seeing at the time believed the fall had aggravated existing back problems, not caused a new injury. How horribly wrong he was.
During these 3 months I was working as a 'Registry Officer' at the High Court in Wellington. Although 'Registry Officer' sounds impressive, it is just a fancy name for a data entry clerk. My role was to plug in the information for probate applicants and then update the application status. The application would either be granted, minuted, or be put in hold until more information had been received. Although this sounds quite complex, in honesty it was the most repetitive, boring, mundane task I have ever had to do in my life. Once you got use to things, an application would take about 4 minutes to complete and a grant/minute/request for more info would take 1-2minutes. Me and the two others I was working with would literally pump through 100s of these things everyday. This extremely boring task was not helped by the fact that after sitting for about 30min-1hour I would feel an unrelenting, stinging pain in my tailbone. Some days I would be sitting for up to 5 hours. This time was so hard because deep down I knew that something was wrong, but the specialist I was seeing did not agree.
I would later get diagnosed correctly in July. I was told that 'I probably fractured my tailbone' when I slipped on the stairs and landed on. The physician explained that every time I would sit down, pressure was being applied to a broken bone, which explained the chronic pain. She also explained that even if I didn't fracture my tailbone, inflammation in the coccyx (tailbone) can be extremely hard to get rid of (due to the fact that every time you sit down pressure is applied on your coccyx). I was given a soft cushion to sit on and prescribed more prescription drugs for pain. I was told things should get better in 6 weeks. How wrong she was. The pain was about to get much worse.
As time went by simple things, that I have always taken for granted, such as catching the bus, sitting down to eat lunch or going to the cinema became painful and uncomfortable. Basically, anything that involved sitting would be an unpleasant experience for me. During this time I would gradually reduce my hours at work from 20 to 10 to eventually quitting and having no employment at all. I was taking pain killers every day. At my worst, if I was not sitting on my soft cushion, I would experience discomfort within 5 minutes. This horrible experience continued till mid November.
Throughout these 9 months I saw 2 physiotherapist, a GP, 2 orthopaedic surgeons an osteopath and an acupuncturist. In total that is 7 specialists. Despite all their knowledge and experience, they were unable to help me. I was in a worse condition (both physically and mentally) after 9 months than I was the day after my accident. It was so disheartening.
Other things happened during this time that only added to the pain. A surgery I needed for my lower back, got unexpectedly declined from ACC. I was put on the public waiting list as I did not have private insurance. The cost to pay for it privately was $25000. My parents are so unbelievably supportive, that they were going to find the money to pay for the operation if need be. Thankfully this was not needed.
As a result of all of the stress in my life, I came down with shingles (adult version of chicken pox). From memory this occurred around mid June. It was about one week before my first end of trimester exam started. The discomfort was so great the doctors granted me impaired performance and I had the option of not even sitting my final exams. I sat them anyway.
The final event was having to let go of an amazing opportunity I had been granted (due to my physical condition I withdrew). A paid internship with the audit team at the Deloitte accounting firm. I was so gutted as this was one of the only things in life I have ever really worked hard for to get. It was going to set me up forever. The opportunities would be endless. But circumstances I couldn't control would not let me do it. I hit rock bottom.
I was so down, at times I would literally stay in bed in a dark room for entire days. I would put on a brave face. Pretend everything was fine. But when no one was around I would cry. A few people knew of my troubles. None knew the extent.
Things really didn't start to change for me until I watched an amazing YouTube clip that my mother sent to me. Watching this 1 hour clip did more for me than what the combined work of all the specialists did. This was the start of my recovery.
I can honestly say that I am in a better place now than I have ever been. I believe everything that happened this year happened for a reason. And I am stronger for it. And I want to use these experiences to help others who are battling depression, sickness or any other condition at all that bothers them.
If you are reading this and do have problems in life that you want to take care of, I encourage you to watch the YouTube clip that I watched. You may find it a bit heavy at first, but give it a true chance before you make a decision on how you feel about it. It did wonders for me.
Here's the link