“It is the courage to continue that counts”
So I’ve been rather quiet these last few weeks and the truth is I’m not doing well. On the 18th of February I had to come back into hospital, and in all honestly I feel ashamed to admit that. I feel I should be doing better and able to cope on my own in the community. I wasn’t going to blog about this admission but I’m tired of being embarrassed. When I started this blog I decided I was going to be open and honest. And this is the reality of Mental Illness. Recovery is not a straight line by any means. It is full of hurdles and twists and turns. Sometimes it can feel like you are running in circles. Other times you can feel like there is a 10 foot wall blocking your way. But I have to remember relapses happen and it doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It just means I have to find the determination in me to get back up and try again.
It is scary how quickly things can change for me. How I can be doing OK one minute and the next feel as though I am being propelled back into the suffocating darkness. These last few weeks have been some of the worst I’ve ever known, I have been all over the place and experienced every possible emotion. I’ve felt lost. I’ve felt stuck. I’ve felt trapped in a body I hate with a mind that has declared war on itself. These past few days I’ve just deteriorated. I’ve given up and seem to have hit my own self destruct button. And actually the harsh reality is that there is only so much people can do. People can support me as much as they can, they can try and help, but ultimately I have to be the one to change. I have to be the one to decide to fight again. I have to be the one to pull myself out of this hole. And that terrifies me.
But today something changed in me. I got a wake up call from my psychiatrist who just looked me straight in the eyes and said “where is this going Jenny”…and I just broke down. Because I don’t know where it is going, I just know its not forwards and I cannot continue like this. So I’ve decided it’s time to take control again. I feel like I’m at a cross roads. I can continue down this self destructive path which is so horrible yet so familiar. Or I can take a leap of faith and start fighting my way back up. That road is much harder to take because first I have to believe in myself. I have to believe I am worthy of help. I have to believe that I can recover. But most of all I have to believe that I have the inner strength to keep going.
You see in recovery you don’t have another option. Sometimes being strong is all you can do. It is all you have. It is all you can hold on to. We fight because we have an instinct of survival. We live for other people when we cannot live for ourselves. We keep holding onto that tiny slither of hope that tomorrow can be better, can be brighter. And today, for the first time in weeks I felt that hope inside of me. Hope that maybe, just maybe, I can do this. And I can come out the other side, fighting.