Once a mental illness comes into your life, it becomes a lifelong companion. Some days are better than others, most days are better than the darkest ones, but there’s still light and shade.
Recovery is a life long road. It doesn’t stop or go away.
Spoiler alert, you will have bad days even when you get better.
You’ll slip into old habits and binge or starve yourself, over exercise, not get out of bed, cancel your plans or have a panic attack again.
Then you’ll be fine again and be confused as to how and why it happened at all.
It doesn’t make you weak for doing so, it’s natural. You’re human.
I’ve been doing pretty well, despite the odd down day here and there, for a few years now. Then I began to drop and in January I crashed to a low point, which took several weeks to shift after my break up.
I spiralled down into a dark place. Mentally I was somewhere I hadn’t been for a long time. I felt helpless, alone and I struggled to see the light at the end of it all. Then I self harmed – something I haven’t done in years. It didn’t solve anything and I ended up feeling worse. But I didn’t know what else to do.
I couldn’t see a way out, but I knew that if I clung on for dear life it would pass. It had before and it would again.
Feelings come in waves and you have to ride out the bad ones for the good ones to wash it away.
Then, it did. One day I went a whole day without crying, then a week.
Considering most things make me cry – a good book, a great TV-show or an excellent advert (usually with an old person or dog) – that was pretty good going for me.
Sadly it wasn’t magic, and it wasn’t instant.
I’d experienced depression before, as I discussed in my post yesterday, so I knew what I had to do to begin to break through and make peace with how I was feeling.
I also had amazing support from my friends and family. They all went over and above to remind me I was loved and most importantly not alone, which definitely helped me come back to a happier place.
There’s just no quick fix.
It takes time and sometimes it’s faster than other times, sometimes you think you’re better and then realise, nope, nothing has changed.
Everything you felt is there still while you’ve been dealing with something else and now it’s rearing its head again.
Mental Health like physical health is something you always have, but it’s not something you will always suffer with. You just have to keep fighting as you will come through the other side of it in time.
They say that nothing worth having comes easy and while that’s pissing annoying, I think it’s probably true.
The hard times make the good ones better. Struggle and suffering is horrific, it’s the worst part of life, but you’re stronger afterwards for it to then be stronger for whatever life throws at you next.
Tomorrow I will be sharing top tips to feeling better on a bad day from lots of lovely people.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues get in touch with: