After spamming the life out of everyone before Christmas with my constant ramblings, this is my first post of 2018. Quite a few people have messaged and emailed me asking when I’d be posting again, which was really nice. Jokes – nobody noticed. It has taken a really important message regarding mental health recovery to prompt me to write again.
Mental Health Recovery – Gaining a Superpower
Since my last post I’ve returned to work. After being off for three and a half months it’d be reasonable to expect the return to be pretty difficult. In keeping with my last post about recovery though, I can honestly say it’s been a breeze. On my first day back I got up, got ready, said goodbye to Nina and the kids and went to the train station. I didn’t once think about what was coming up, let alone worry about it. On my second train I remember having a moment where I realised that I was nearly at work and I was conscious that it didn’t scare me at all. It was such a fantastic feeling.
It’s really hard to explain in words the gravity of my change in health. For the past month I’ve been so awake, alert and present. When I’ve been having conversations I’ve been actually engaging rather than wishing them over. When playing with Jack and Lucy I’ve caught myself really enjoying myself and it’s the best feeling in the world. I’ve been suggesting days out with Nina and the kids and actively taking part in family activities. Two months ago I couldn’t even stay awake for a full day.
I’ve been trying to think of the best way to explain it to somebody who hasn’t suffered from anxiety or depression. Every time I try I just think it sounds really unremarkable. “So what, he can go to the shops, I do that every day” kinda thing.
Just try and imagine suddenly being given, at the age of 33, a superpower. This superpower makes you stronger, more confident, fills you with creativity and gives you a sense of fearlessness. Now you’re close.
Mental Health Recovery is Possible
More importantly I’d like this article to speak to those of you who are suffering with mental health illnesses. What I want to say to you is that it really CAN get better. Don’t settle for feeling “OK” or “Fine”. Don’t stop striving for more and believing that you can come out the other side. I’m not a mental health expert, I’m not trying to sell an online course, book or remedy. I’m a normal, run of the mill family man with problems and passions the same as you.
Whenever I read about metal health recovery, overcoming anxiety and depression I always felt that it was a crock of shit. Idealistic cliches that make pretty looking Instagram quotes and not a lot else. To be honest I almost feel embarrassed now because when I talk about my recovery I sound like a walking book of cliches. My journey has been a tough one, I’m not going to lie. It had to get pretty dark for me before it got better. It’s almost as though I needed to experience bad times so that when I came through them I’d appreciate how wonderful my life really is.
Please, all of you, keep talking, keep believing that you can find an improved state of well-being and keep reminding yourself how well you are doing everyday.