These days I have zero tolerance for pussy-footing around and beating about the bush. I haven’t got the energy for faffing or stroking egos. If something needs doing or saying I just do it or say it – never knowingly unkindly though. It’s just that I have to conserve my physical and mental energy for my family and my recovery. I can’t be doing with drama of any kind.
Just as ‘no’ is a powerful word when used wisely, so is ‘yes’. I know I need to edge out of my comfort zone, so I do it every once in a while. I don’t do it alone though. I always make sure I’ve got support on hand.
I’m trying to be realistic about my recovery. It’s been a year since I became ill, and although I’m much, much, much better I know I’m not completely well. I’m still healing. I don’t know when (if) I’ll be able to stop taking medication. I don’t know when I’ll stop being so easily exhausted. I don’t know when I’ll be able to say I’m totally well. Just taking it one day at a time.
I’m much more aware of my triggers and warning signs these days. Hopefully, that means I’ll be more mindful of my mental state and be able to avoid relapse.
Mental illness can rock you to the core. It can strip you of everything you think you are. One of the things I learned at recovery college is that our identity is rooted in our values. Throughout all this my values never changed. Even though I did crazy things, I was still motivated by love for my family. I didn’t really change … it was the way my brain processed things that changed and that changed my behaviour. I’m still me.
I’m very blessed to have so many people in my life – family, friends, church – who understand me and my mental illness. Not once has anyone criticised me or told me to pull myself together. I wouldn’t have got through this without them.
I track all the habits I want to get into and maintain in my bullet journal. That way I never forget or let things slip. I can’t tell you how glad I am I found bullet journaling!
Life gets busy and messy and complicated, but I’m trying to keep things simple these days. I’ve cut back on a lot of commitments and am focusing on my priorities and passions. For the first time in a long time, I feel as if I’m going with the grain of who I am, rather than against it.
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my life since I left hospital. It’s not only helped me see what I need to do to look after my mental health but it’s also shown me that I need to do it slowly and one step at a time.
I have always needed lots of quiet in my life, but I haven’t always been able to find it. I’m lucky that, due to my current life circumstances, I’m able to find quiet time and it’s really helping me cope with the noisy times.