While everyday should be World Mental Health Day, sometimes life just gets in the way, time passes by and we lose track of what’s important. We’re all guilty of neglecting our mental health to prioritize our job, our family, our friends, our relationships or even perfect strangers. While this is all very admirable, the saying still stands true; you are no good to someone else, if you’re not first good to yourself.
My struggles with mental illness are no secret. I have suffered over the years with Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, Anorexia and Binge eating. I have tried to kill myself on more than one occasion, I have permanent scars on my forearms and my body is still suffering repercussions from starvation. I have been in recovery for 5 years now and what a rollercoaster ride it has been. In 2013 I was at rock bottom.
All the pain I was hiding finally surfaced and my journey into recovery began. With a lot of hard work and support from a few incredible souls, I rebuilt myself over the next 3 years and in 2016 I was truly happy for the first time in my life. Then last year I suffered a huge relapse that very nearly defeated me. I landed myself in hospital swearing suicide as my only option. It’s hard to explain quite how pointless existence came to be, and yet, 18 months later here I am again, training, healing and growing to become the best version of me I can possibly be at this time.
I would not say I am healthy and I am certainly not happy. I still have an extremely toxic relationship with food. I still look in the mirror and all I can see is UGLY. I still hide behind a smile. I still push people away. I still lay in my bed for hours thinking of nothing and everything all at once. I still tear at my skin & pull at my hair, and yes, most of the time I do still believe I would be better off dead.
However, I am improving. I am bettering myself and the life that I live. I have learnt to let go of people who hurt and take advantage of me. I have learnt to be selfish once in a while. I have learnt to stand up for myself. I have learnt to take responsibility for my actions when I hurt people during a depressive episode. I have learnt to ask for help. I have learnt how to say ‘no’ to those self destructive voices in my head. I am getting more sleep. I am learning to recognize unhealthy behaviors and I am starting to appreciate my achievements.
This world mental health day I am proud to say that on June 25th 2018, this gal officially hit 1 year self harm free mark!!!!!!
That is 365 full fat days without taking a blade to my skin and that number has only been going up and up since then! The last 2 years have been the hardest years of my life and yet I would not take them back for the world. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The people who come and go in your life, the knockbacks you face, the choices you make and the paths you follow.
While I am so proud to see so many people openly sharing their experiences with mental health today without shame, it is also rather bittersweet. Mental illness affects far too many of us and we need to do something about it. I am currently trying to raise £2000 for the mental health charity; Mind and to do so I will be trekking across the Sahara Desert in just a months time. To donate simply visit my just giving page (https://justgiving.com/fundraising/ahmcharity)- even a small donation makes a huge difference!
If anyone is struggling wit dark thoughts, please know my DM’s are always open. I will always have a listening ear to those in need no matter who you are; dear friend or complete stranger. It’s 2018 people, mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of!🧠🗣 #timetotalk #recoverywarrior #mentalillness