“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Through my journey with mental illness I have met some amazing people. It may be hard to believe that you could ever make friends for life in a psychiatric hospital. But I have. These are girls that have supported me through the darkest of times. Who have laughed with me until I’ve cried. Who have seen me at my very worst and held me while I have been distraught. They have been with me through a journey that some of you can only imagine. It is one filled with pain, torture and anguish. Yet in those dark times we have smiled and held each other’s hand as we have made our way through the storm. They have picked me up each time I have fallen. They have dusted me off, collected the pieces and helped me put myself back together. And I have done the same for them. I have held them while they have cried. Talked to them for hours. And convinced them to keep fighting. We have had to be so strong. We have had to fight so hard, but we made it through.
While inpatient we wound up the nurses, shared take aways and watched films. We tried to make the most of a bad situation. So we found ways to have fun. One girl and I bought plastic bows and arrows and spent the day shooting at the nurses. We also bought plastic swords and played in the garden.
Friends can be found in the most unlikely of places. True friends stick by each other through the good and the bad. I am lucky that I have met some of the most genuine, kind, caring and lovely people through Mental Illness. They are my rocks. I know I can always count on them. They have carried me through some dark places and I will always be eternally grateful.
However there are others who, while not suffering from Mental Illnesses, have been with me through everything. I have the most understanding and compassionate school and university friends. They have never once judged me or been put off by my Illnesses. They have done a fantastic job supporting me in any way they can. If I have needed help, they have been there. If I have needed a shoulder to cry on they have been there too. And if I just needed a night out to get away from everything they have done that too. I am incredibly lucky to have such fabulous friends.
But sadly many people suffering from Mental Illness do not have that luxury. Many have no-one and have to suffer in silence. Others feel unable to open up and talk to those closest to them. It is sad that anyone would be in that situation. The first step is trust. If you are struggling, opening up to someone you trust might really help. People can be amazing and with a good support network recovery from Mental Illness is possible.