Take The Time To Look Backwards

Now then! It’s been a while since I’ve posted but seen as today I’m attending Navigo Cares AGM and recently elected as one of there Community Representatives, thought I’d look back at what’s very nearly a year now since I left Harrison House.

During recovery we set a lot of goals for the future, never really looking back at what we’ve overcome (well I does anyways) looking back and thinking how I was and some seeing how I was – here’s a tough thing to do… self praise, urge! But I’m so fucking (sorry mum) proud!

I’m not gonna bore you with all the details over the year – It was a cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…

No, like I said I won’t bore ya (well, try not to) but since leaving Harrison House (crisis accommodation) – moved in with my parents and I’m still there, thought it’d be 3 months max! (One of those stupid future goals!) That can be the thing with future goals too, if you don’t hit them it can have negative effects on your mental health.

Over the last year and a bit I’ve gone from wanting to be dead, trying to be dead, and on more than one occasion too! The trying has stopped but wanting comes and goes like a cunt! (Again, sorry mum but it is!)

I’ve hid away (at one point, think I didn’t really leave my room for a month, never mind the house) to standing in Grimsby Town Centre with Gary Pollard from the fantastic @MenTellHealth and the gazebo drumming up awareness for mens mental health and the Speak Easy I run on behalf of mentell at Riverhead Coffee, Grimsby (every first Thursday of the month).

It has been journey and I’ve definitely been “finding myself” so to speak, always been opened minded now I’m very open minded (trying not to say spiritual! Haha) but yes, I think the yoga/meditation/mindfulness has been not only fantastic for my mental health but the people I’ve met in the process too.

That’s another thing I’ve wrote previous posts about it – the peeps I’ve found through the twitter world have been a huge part of my recovery.

I’ve got so many things coming back to me thinking about where I’ve come from that I could go on for a long time on many different tangents so I’ll wrap this up.

Having said all that, unfortunately the best I can describe the last year and a bit and that is…hell. And that is why I’m at the Navigo Care AGM today and also why I wanted to become a Community Member (and more in the future). Like I said, I’ve been on a journey, I’ve found myself, I can’t and won’t sit by and let others feel how I felt, sitting in terrified silence because it’s taboo or frowned upon to feel like they do. It’s a fucking illness killing far to many people. It’s okay not to be okay. Lets make mental health a normal conversation/everyday question.

Take care all and thank you to everybody who has helped me over this time.

Peace and love

 

Recovery 

Now then ! Myself and the fantastic @roach_az chavezanxiety  joined up and shared each others approach to recovery. Recovery is possible, it may take time and there will be set backs, even I have to remind myself that from time to time (with lots of help). Hope you enjoy, I could definitely relate to this…

What do you do when you have a set back during recovery? Well I guess that depends on how much of a setback we are talking about. I recently had a rather large setback to my recovery. So much so that I was/am having a hard time moving forward. I almost feel like I am back at the beginning again. I cant think straight and I want to give up. I am so mad at myself that I can’t stand being near me.
So how do I move forward? The first thing is I have to do is forgive myself . Period. Myself or anyone else reading this will not be able to move forward unless they accept their own apology. You have to forgive yourself. This is hard for me to do because I am the master of self loathing. I blame myself for everything and have a hard time letting stuff go. This of course of very self destructive and is a reason I am in a depression right now. Well mostly its my anxiety and panic but the depression is like the whip cream and cherry on top of my mental health sundae.
People often try and put a time table on recovery. It doesn’t work like that. The best you can do is try and get a little better each day. Even if the improvement is small, take that victory and celebrate it. Also realize that someday you will go backwards. Think of it like cancer, if its in remission its still there and can come back at any time. This is the concept that people have the hardest time with. Mental health doesn’t care that you have a timetable set up and want to be healed by September. Understanding this was hard for me and my family struggles with it to this day. The people closest to me watch me struggle with my good days and my bad. I worry that one day they will have to find me because I have given up or grown tired of the struggle.
That also leads into my last topic for this article. Recovery doesn’t get rid of the dark thoughts. They are still there, the enemy at the gate knocking to get in. Recovery just teaches you how to deal with those thoughts. I have them everyday, its a dark part of me that no one really knows. No one wants to talk about it because its uncomfortable. Well its uncomfortable to me as well, its my life I’m thinking of ending!

#recovery 

Recovery3 weeks ago to the day as I write this, I tweeted something along the lines of – That’s Moo (daughter) back to her mum. Normally puts me in a downward spiral. Not this week. Bring it (#somethingorother)

That’s 3 weeks of feeling good/happy/positive. Yes, there has been the odd sleepless night or down day but nothing and I mean nothing to like how I have been in the past. And if I’m being honest and I am because that’s a part of recovery – it’s scary. I’ve spent more than enough time wishing to be ‘normal’ again and here I am at 3 weeks of happiness but in the back of my head…impending doom! But why? Why should I sit around with a umbrella waiting for it to rain!?

But here’s the catch to recovery – you know you can have good days and the fact you know the signs/signals/triggers doesn’t alter the fact that there’s a high chance you won’t feel like this for too long. This is where a big part of my recovery comes into action; my mind-set

This has been one of, if not the hardest part of my recovery. Changing a mind-set that had been moulded over 30 years then attacked for the last 2 years by depression. You make so many assumptions when you’re in the midst of depression; everything is negative. Its cliché but true that you don’t see a way out of this constant living hell that living with depression is; these feelings can last for days/weeks/months.

This is tough for me to write because it is new to me with this new mind-set of mine but again its part of recovery and recovery isn’t easy – self-praise!! Who likes bigging themselves up? Definitely not me, that’s for sure. But you’ve got to look back at the things you’ve overcome, when you thought ( cliché alert) There was no light at the end of tunnel and see where you’re at now; and feel proud. You’ve smashed it, you’ve come this far, now bring on the next obstacle. You’re stronger than you think you are.  

Now, getting to this point in my recovery has been a long hard road (clichés all over the shop!) and I’m under no illusions there’s further to go yet and it’s taken a lot of help and persistence from mental health professionals, family, friends, twitter friends!, myself (bigging myself up) and I best give a shout out to my new meds. Changed from Sertraline to Mirtazapine.

If you’re anything like me and on twitter, which itself has been a huge part of my recovery; being able to ‘meet’ so many amazing and inspiring people, you come across many other stories and hear people have fallen out of touch with friends due to this illness, which has made me thankful to have friends like mine because during your recovery it’s important to keep talking and I’ll always have an ear that’ll listen but as well as my old friends I’ve also made new friends, some cyber friends, some real life friends, both help my recovery. Big part of my recovery is mindfulness/meditation and yoga and a big part of the changing of my mind-set. I don’t want to sound like a warped cult member but I’m totally sold on this and think it should take some part of a school curriculum. I wish I didn’t start till 35.

I mention it takes hard work in recovery and I take a 45min – 1 hour walk everyday sometimes 2 if I feel I need it, I use that time to compose myself, take a bit of time to sort my thoughts out and plan my attack on whatever’s in front of me. Some people may be thinking – hard work!!? Going on a walk!! But a ‘normal person’ could not be arsed and not bother with a walk today and everything’s fine, if I miss a walk it can turn into “wish I wasn’t here”. The minds a wonderful thing! So I take my walks come rain, wind or shine.

So here I am feeling good for 3 weeks now, showering regularly, doing lots of cooking and baking (always a sign I’m feeling good), keeping on top of house work – if you can wake up to a tidy room/house it gives a boost for the day (well it does me), going on my walks, practising my mindfulness/meditation and yoga and pushing myself more and more. Currently running for a Community Representative position at my local health organisation, Navigo. They looked after me for a period last year and are still very supportive in my recovery so the least I can do is help others try to see (cliché alert) there is light at the end of the tunnel and for this position I had to do some public speaking and that is so far out of my comfort zone but I was so unhappy with my life I tried to take it and I definitely don’t want to think like that again so if doing things like this which ultimately make me feel better and give me a purpose it’s what I’m going to keep doing. This may well be easy for me to say at this point of recovery but there is help, there is a way out, good thoughts can overcome the negatives ones, it may take some time, keep fighting 🙏🏼

Take care, all the best 

Peace and love