I was rushed to the doctor, and then I hid in a flat on my own for weeks. Each time I tried to leave it, I found I couldn't. Each time I tried to speak to someone, I found I couldn't. Everything seemed to crumble, until the only thing I was left with in the dark was me. The problem was, I hated me. The only way was up.
As I reflect on the two years, it would be easy to still think of the things I miss out on due to my illnesses. I could think about the salary I don't earn, the nights out I can no longer enjoy, the phone calls I can no longer bring myself to make.
I could think about the days when I can't see anything other than a cloud of grey, and when I am convinced that people are only in my life due to some sort of perverse Truman Story obligation.
I could think about the 7 attempts it has taken to get my meds right, each one with weeks of a gruelling "limbo" as I knew I had to give it time and allow it to get worse before it could get better. Each time when it didn't get better I would have to start again, embarking on another downward path that may or may not be "the right way".
I could reflect on my 4 different courses of therapy (three different sorts!) or on the several ‘friends' I have lost.
I could let myself flash back to hearing phrases from people I thought I could trust, such as “I’ve had other friends with mental health problems and they’ve not acted like you” and “you’re just using this as an excuse“.
Excuse my french, but FUCK THAT! Instead, today I have been focusing on the brighter side...
Since I imploded I have:
- Met some truly phenomenal people, who believe more in me than I do myself; and have helped me to develop a faith in life and people that I never dared trust in before.
- Discovered a creative streak that I had repressed since I left primary school.
- Turned to writing to try to express the plethora of nonsensical thoughts in my mind.
- Developed my new creative side into being a fully functioning business, which grows along side me, and also allows me to focus on my recovery.
- Had my baking critiqued (positively!) by Michel Roux Jnr, and my writing endorsed by Stephen Fry.
- Raised almost £1000 for Mind
What felt like the end for me, has turned in to the end of a life I would never wish to go back to, and the beginning of a new me. A less perfect me.
Now I am:
- A me who still hides under a blanket some days, unable to even venture out to shower, but that is ok.
- A me who enjoys accepting where I am each day while I practice yoga and still can’t touch my toes, instead of a me who beats myself up each day for not being fit enough on a cross trainer.
- A me who forgives and learns, instead of holding grudges and wallowing in denial.
- A me who understands that when I thought I had control I was actually being controlled. Previously I would plan as much as I could – to the next minute, day and even year. Now I am fine about the fact I can barely plan anything as I know that any moment I could slip into a “bad patch”.
- A me who has learned to be open. I used to think vulnerability would make me needy, now I have no choice but to be vulnerable - and my relationships have deepened drastically.
I don’t know what will happen over the next two years, but I do know that what I previously thought was the end turned out to be completely the opposite.
To quote from one of my favourite songs:
Thank you for reading my various blogs, and here’s to the ones that are still lurking and haven’t been written yet.
BuBakes is committed to reducing the stigma attached to Mental Health, and personally donates 25p for every order received to MIND. This is kindly matched by three generous supporters, meaning a £1 donation is made per order. If you would like to find out more about MIND, or make a donation you can do so here.