THIS TOO SHALL PASS
Updated: Jun 27
I have not written here for such a long time, but I really want to share my story for anyone who is in so deep they feel they will never get out, for anyone who has woken up every day wishing they hadn’t, for those feeling broken, I’ve been there and it’s tough but as cliched as the saying is ... this too shall pass....
I was so sick and in pain for such a long time that I didn’t know what it felt like to be me anymore, I was so lost I thought I was loosing my mind, I was behaving in ways I didn't recognise, neither did the people around me! It’s easy to see when we are on the other side how it effected us, but when in it! This shit is real! My feelings of complete uselessness were overwhelming! I‘m still working on those, a day at a time. I felt like I’d failed in every possible way, it’s safe to say I was not my biggest fan. I hated myself and was medicating in any way I could find. Today is not like that.... and it doesn’t have to be for anyone.
My relapse into depression, anxiety and addiction is the worst I have ever experienced and I never want to go back. ‘How dark it is before the dawn’ they say and ain’t that true. With a mixture of emotional and personnel upheaval, family illness. moving to a new country with scared children, there was the perfect storm for my breakdown.... however, thanks to the people around me, friends and others in recovery who dragged my ass kicking and screaming to a treatment centre (ensuring I have the full LA experience haha) where I spent 28 days clawing my way back to sanity.... once there it was like a light bulb went on, I surrendered, I let go of everything I had done, realising I could not change the past but only move forward and what a relief that was. Rehab is not a place we dream of going to as a kid! It’s not in the ideal life plan haha! But I received the help I needed and met people who have changed my life and who I will love forever, it also gives you time and space to heal, recover physically, mentally and emotionally my life is great today and I’m full of gratitude, not everyday! I’m not Doris Day! but mostly, I really hope my story can help at least one person, if you are in that place please don’t suffer alone, nothing is so bad it can’t be turned around, I’ve been at the jumping off place and to think I would have missed it all....reach out ...
Currently there is a lot of talk in the U.K. about suicide, my experience (and that’s all it is) is nobody really knows how others are doing, what’s going on for others. We are very good at putting on a face for people. What I do know is it wasn’t one thing that made me struggle it was a collection of events and circumstances. Although friends and family can help in the end only you can make the change towards getting well. This can seem impossible whilst in it. But asking for help, then following the advice of others who only want the best for you (even when you don’t agree!) will eventually be your saving grace.
Meanwhile here’s my top dos and don’t for early recovery, things I did to get well, I’ve also included some links that might be helpful. First and foremost remember you are not alone and you will probably come out of these time’s realising you are stronger than you ever thought!
Get medical help if you need it, addiction and mental health issues are like any other illnesses there are people who can advise you how to safely recover.
Shame, guilt, remorse, regret... ditch them, they do not serve you or the people around you. Of course we all feel these things but you can’t change the past. Shoulda, woulda, coulda never helped anyone. We all make mistakes especially during these times but dwelling on them will not make you well.
Let people love you until you can love yourself (or even like yourself) again! Lean on those that support you in whatever form they come. You can pay them back in the long run, asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness and will get you in a better place so much quicker. I was too ashamed to ask for help and wasted a lot of time. I have met people who saved my life and I will aways love them. Support for me came from people I’d never met. Don’t get me wrong friends and family helped me.... but the bonds of identification run deep.
Exercise, this is the most important part of my physical recovery. I exercise every day, no matter what, it boosts my dopamine levels (which are lacking in people with depression and alcoholics) helps release serotonin and boosts those feel good endorphins. Plus it gets you up and out! I had lost my fitness so it was a long road back, it wasn’t easy but it was a massive achievement. Make sure you find something you love, this will be more motivating. I spend an hour on the treadmill walking on a high incline! its bloody hard but this gives me space to meditate (I'm not too good at sitting still), listen to music and podcasts.
Do not feel guilty about cutting out things that no longer serve you, my mental well being and recovery is number 1 without it I cannot have any quality or maybe any life! You will know what you need in your world, you will feel it in your gut and trust those feelings.
Take and follow advice! If I have a big decision or even small! I ask people in my life for advice. I try to be honest with close friends about how I’m feeling at all time’s.
Help others, this is the key for me, when I’m not feeling great I will reach out to someone and ask how they are doing? Stops me thinking about myself! which I do way too much off!!
Eat well but don’t obsess, I have done a bunch of research into nutrition and mental health so today I try to avoid things I know can effect my overall welling. there is a lot of evidence to link gut and mental health. But don’t stress a little of what you love it definitely needed.
Find your recovery, I attend AA and work the 12 Step Programme to deal with my addiction, the love and support I find in those rooms are vital to my recovery but there are other ways to recover you have to decide with suits you, but don’t do it alone.
Sunshine!! or at least the outdoors, theres also lots of life hacks that are good for mental health but that’s another blog, try and get as much as you can, get outdoors, walk places, exercise outside! it all helps.
I have a vivid memory of a day in the treatment centre, I couldn’t believe what had happened to me, I was scared, alone and discouraged I missed my children and was afraid of never feeling well again, but within time I could see hope, I connected with my recovery again. It was still hot outside in October, I sat in the sunshine and although I’d been so very careless with my life in the previous months I realised I was saved.... I was worth saving. That I still had something to give. We all do.
The most important thing I’ve learnt is if I act with dignity and grace people will treat me with kindness and respect and I feel happier... it’s a simple rule to live by.... but it ain’t always easy.