I want to be as honest and open about myself in this post. I have been scratching the surface about fitness and wellness in my posts so far, but I've decided that I want to share the ugly side of myself as well - a flip side of myself that isn't about all the cheery, food-loving and body positive stuff I share on social media, especially Instagram.

I can't recall a time in my life that I was truly happy. I believe my depression kicked in after a traumatic childhood experience, but only became full blown when I was in my mid-teen years. I went through self-harm all the way up till my young adult life, before I sought professional help. Unfortunately, the cost was taking a toll on me (as I was still studying) and I had to stop going after less than a year. I handled my depression with whatever coping tools I'd learned during therapy, together with keeping myself occupied with friends, work, my then-relationship, etc. But I knew deep down, I was struggling.

I had developed anxiety as well, and I coped with my low self-esteem and self-hatred by being overly social. What do I mean by that? Well, I was unfaithful to my partner. And even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, I just couldn't help myself. It wasn't even about the physical aspect of cheating; I knew it was the attention and approval that I was chasing, especially with the opposite sex, as I never had a dominant father figure growing up, coupled with my childhood trauma. I kept telling myself 'never again', but I had no idea how to reconcile my past with my present and close that chapter of my life. That happened at the end of 2014, closing the door to a 5-year relationship.

I fell in love in 2015, but alas, here I am now, freshly single again, after slightly more than a week ago, when my ex decided he had no interest in trying to make things work when he found out I kissed someone else. That was the defining moment for me, that made me sit up and realise I've been losing everything and everyone that's meant the world to me because I'm so broken. As a result, I've gone back to therapy to pick up where I left off, and am back on anti-depressants (unfortunately) to help me cope.

The difference this time is I'm going through all this alone, without friends, without a partner, without family support. Without anyone to turn to when I have bad days, I am genuinely afraid of what might happen when I put me in my own hands. So, this is my hugest test to date, being strong for myself when it's the only choice I have.

But having this time to myself has made me realise that I lost not just a partner, but what could've been my family as well.

And that is the one, single fact I cannot let go of.

I now get flashbacks of all sorts, from the trauma, to last moments shared with my ex, last words exchanged, to possible self-harm scenarios. Yesterday was a terrible day; I could do nothing more than lie on the couch all day and drift in and out of naps because my emotions and senses ranged from dull sadness to minor panic episodes. I felt like I was literally losing my mind.

So this is me now. If I could have a do-over on my relationship, I would take it in a heartbeat. I took everything I had good in my life for granted, and I made excuses for not seeking help earlier. Now, I live with the consequences of being alone and having to battle this solo, all while unemployed.

I do want to say this to Pete, though:

I am so sorry. So sorry I couldn't be everything you wanted. My love for you and pup was pure and true; don't ever think my actions affected how I felt about the both of you. But I was not well, and I wasn't taking responsibility for my mental illness. Getting over the guilt of what I did to ruin our relationship isn't something that's going to come easy, and is definitely something I don't take lightly. I miss our friendship and not having you to tell me that things will get better is extremely hard. But like I told you before, I utterly admire your articulate, self-assured person, and I've always been proud of that about you, since the day we first met. It was one of the reasons I fell for you, being in the presence of someone who was everything I could never be. Because of everything you are, I'm doing this. Thank you for everything.

This is my lowest point in life thus far, and it is all my doing.

So, why am I sharing and (probably) rambling on about this to you? Because I want to take ownership of my mistakes and every outcome that it's brought upon me. And I want to tell anyone who reads this that is going through a similar struggle, that you aren't alone. There will be unbearable days, there will be slightly happier days, but you need to keep going. You have to allow yourself the chance to find that glimmer of hope, even if you don't believe it'll ever come. I hope my story gives someone out there that little bit of push, even if we're strangers. Keep faith, and stay safe.

Published by Siti Zawani Abdul Ghani