Five years and one day ago my life changed forever.
It was petty and stupid, the chain of events that lead to what happened that night. I’d been depressed for about a month, I didn’t know what was happening to me and I reached breaking point. I tried to get help, no-one knew what to do and said the worst things that they could have said. I tried to take my own life, I failed.
From that day on my life changed, I can think of other times that have changed everything for me but that’s the big one. I can’t believe that I’m sitting here, five years and one day later writing about it calmly and casually.
My life has changed completely. It wasn’t an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination, I had to do a lot of things that I didn’t want to do, I had to wait, to grit my teeth, to make some serious mistakes and then pick myself back up again time after time.
I’m not trying to say that it’s all over, that I’ve won the game, I’m just trying to say that things can get better.
Mental illness can’t be ‘cured’, but it does get better. There are periods of my life when I struggle, and periods where I feel on top of the world. That’s normal for anyone, mentally ill or not.
In the last five years I’ve come further than I ever thought I could. When you’re depressed you can’t really think about the future, so I can’t tell you how things have panned out compared to how I expected them to… to be perfectly honest I didn’t expect to be alive right now.
I couldn’t imagine surviving five years feeling how I felt, every day felt like forever. I just wanted to die, over and over again I just wanted to die.
I’ve spent five years taking baby steps, building something for myself. I think that we don’t often look back and congratulate ourselves on a job well done- I mean, what’s the point in being successful if you never enjoy it?
The first year was the hardest, I struggled for a long time with self harm and went through a lot of therapy in order to try and get a handle on my problems. I became intimately acquainted with the mental health services. I was very, very depressed.
The second year was when my depression eased off but hallucinations and delusions began to take over. I kept on with the counselling but rapidly became sceptical. I continued to self harm, we moved twice in this year (which I actually think did me good.) I finished my compulsory education and started sixth form.
The third year was a good year, I made lots of friends and began to find an identity for myself. I was a reckless teenager for a while, I struggled with low mood and a few bubbling hallucinations that leapt up from time to time but otherwise I managed to get a handle on them.
The fourth year was the most dramatic. I cut all ties with the mental health services, my friend committed suicide, I got into drama, I had an awful low, my Auntie died, I finished school and got a dead-end job, I had a crazy, rebellious summer, I started my acting course.
The fifth year was when I finally went on anti-depressants, underwent a gruelling acting course, learnt who I didn’t want to be, had a career crisis, met my amazing partner and came off anti-depressants.
Recovery is possible; a bright, happy future IS possible.
’til next time,