It’s OK not to be OK
Hello! My name’s Beth; I’m 24, I’m a streamer on Twitch.tv and I live with depression and anxiety.
I talk about my mental health issues all the time, both to people I know and to people who watch my videos. Believe it or not, a lot of the people on Youtube/ Twitch struggle with their mental health. We might always seem happy, energetic and confident, but just as much as we feel sunshine, we feel rain too.
I was diagnosed officially with severe depression last summer, I’d had a really bad year and then in May I broke up with my boyfriend and moved back in with my parents. I then lost my Grandma in the July. My heart was broken. It felt like I was losing the people who I thought would always be there and who loved me, and I felt so alone. I started to hurt myself. It got so bad that I had to take time off work because I looked so hurt. The people around me love me and care about me so much that they convinced me I needed to admit I wasn’t okay and go to the doctors. So I did.
My GP appointment
I was so scared, I remember that appointment. I was wearing baggy black clothes, I had bandages on my arms, greasy hair and I wasn’t wearing any make up. I could barely even lift my head up, I spent the appointment looking at my hands as I spoke. I was honest with the doctor about how I felt, I’d been bottling up so much pain for so long and pretending that everything was okay that as I spoke to her I felt like a huge weight was being lifted, just in admitting that I wasn’t okay. I felt like I didn’t need to pretend any more. What made it even more of a relief was that the doctor told me I wasn’t okay. She prescribed me medication and from that day, I felt like I had given myself permission to live with depression, instead of trying to pretend that it isn’t there.
I promise you, living with mental health issues is far easier than pretending they’re not there. By being open about my mental health, people don’t expect me to be okay. When they see that I’m being quiet and not being myself, they make sure that I’m okay rather than being annoyed at me for being ‘moody’.
Last October, I started streaming on Twitch. I love video games and wanted an outlet to be me while doing what I love. So I set up twitch.tv/bethanyannlily and I love the community. Like I said earlier, I’m not alone. So many people in the streaming community struggle with mental health, and we are all there for each other.
I try to make my channel as welcoming and friendly as possible, because I know all too well that people are fighting inner-battles that no one else can see. I speak very openly about my mental health in my videos, because if I hadn’t had the courage to speak openly to the doctor in the first place, I don’t know what would have happened to me. All I know is that speaking out saved me.
So, Twitch continues to be my outlet. I recently had a really bad couple of months with my depression, so I’ve decided that I’m going to turn it into something good. On Sunday 30th September 12 midday – midnight I will be streaming for 12 hours on my channel and raising money for Leeds Mind and for Cruse Bereavement Care. If you want to learn more about the charities and the fundraising campaign then please head to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bethanyannlily
It’s not easy living with depression, but by raising money and awareness I feel like I can turn it into a positive.
Sometimes finding the right people to listen isn’t always easy, but I promise that there are people out there to listen to you. It took me a long time to find the right people to help me. If you are struggling, then I recommend these resources:
- Cruse Bereavement Care (if you have lost somebody and are struggling to deal with it, then Cruse can give you free counselling sessions)
And finally, just know that you are worth fighting for.