Recovery is not a Straight Road

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it is going to be worth it.”

I began this blog with the intention of being honest and of documenting my experience of living with severe Mental Illness in a frank, truthful and transparent way. Recovery from any illness is not a straight road. Far from it in fact. And what would be the usefulness of this blog if I continually painted a rose tinted picture of recovery? Though I have no intention of writing negative and triggering posts, it is inevitable that not every one of my posts will be brimming with positivity. So I apologise in that respect. What I will try and do, and what I am teaching myself to do each day, is to find light when there is darkness in the hope to inspire others to do the same.

So here goes.  I feel stuck. I do not feel positive today. In fact, the crippling nature of Depression is simply making me want to hide under my bed sheets and sleep for 100 years. I do not have the fight in me today. I do not have the mental energy to fight this war in my head. I simply feel like giving up. Because it is not just some days I battle. It is every day. Every day I have to make the choice to get up and fight for my life back. Unfortunately, Depression does not make that easy. It can be very determined.

Depression often feels like you have no control. The fog descends before you have even opened your eyes and bang, you are hit by the most debilitating yet familiar feeling in the world. Having battled Major Depressive Disorder for 8 years, I am used to it. That is why it is familiar. It is almost like my default emotion. If you have never suffered with Depression, (I would beg you to count your lucky stars), I often say it is as if my good days are other peoples bad days. You are stripped of the ability to feel anything remotely good or positive. You are bombarded with negative thoughts in your head which are constant and relentless, and all of which can range from ‘you are useless’ to ‘you deserve to die’. This is the reality of Depression and there is no sugar coating it. Your ability to feel happiness, joy or fun is crushed and you are left with nothing but this dark cloud that you cannot for the life of you shake off.

So yes, I am struggling. Food has not been easy this past week to put it lightly. Anorexia and Depression appear to have become the best of friends and when both are strong I struggle to keep focused on recovery. It seems almost easier to let them take over and allow them to fill my mind with destructive thoughts to which I feel powerless. Anorexia tells me I do not deserve nourishment, Depression tells me this is because I am worthless. Coupled together, it feels like two against one. Which lets be honest here, has never been fair.

But guess what? It’s OK to have bad days. It is normal to struggle and have days where you feel like it is all too much. And I know that. I know that that is what I would tell anyone else in my situation but applying it to myself is hard today. YET I have to remember who is in charge here. I am. Not Depression. Not Anorexia. Not anyone/anything else. Jenny is. I guess the important thing is to try and not wallow in the overwhelming blackness, which is something I am really bad for. I admire those who suffer with depression and manage it really well. The funny thing is I am not self pitying, I just tell myself I can’t a lot. I can’t shower, I can’t get dressed, I can’t eat today. Why? Because it is too hard, It is just too much. But where does that leave me? Answer: in an even worse place than if I had made myself do those things in the first place.

Sometimes you cannot sit in the dark and just hope the light will go on. Chances are it will not. So today I got up and I got dressed and considering how low I have felt today I am considering this an achievement, however small. Despite this I still feel mentally drained, but I am still determined to make it through. I once promised myself I would not give up. No matter how hard it got. So I’ll sleep tonight simply praying that tomorrow will be a little brighter and determined to fight that little bit harder.

xx

p.s 1 in 10 of us will suffer with depression at some point in our lives. As I have explained, It is not a case of just ‘being sad’, it is a serious and recognised illness for which there is medication and therapy. Please if you are suffering. Seek help. Do not be embarrassed. You deserve to get better, do not suffer in silence .<3

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