I never planned to write too much on my blog about mental health – a small mention within a post about my experiences with anxiety here and there, but nothing in depth, nothing dedicated entirely to the subject. My anxiety and depression, however, has got increasingly worse over the last two years, to the point where I struggled to recognise myself in comparison to the person I was back in 2016.
At the beginning of March, I got signed off work and handed my first ever prescription for insomnia, depression and anxiety. I have, every day since, popped Citalopram, Phenegram and Bedranol. While thankful for a diagnosis, and the mild relief that the tablets have brought to my life, I don’t want to become defined by a diagnosis and I don’t want to let my current situation blind me of all the good things that are also happening at this time. I’m aware that my current situation is temporary, and that I will not always feel the way that I do, and I wanted to take a step forward myself in an attempt to not miss or ignore all the positive in my life. I am thankful, fortunate, and physically healthy, even if I am not always happy at the moment.
I realised that often, we can become so caught up – because of mental health, because of physical health, because of work or educational commitments or whatever else may be a distraction – that we often overlook some of the positive things that are also happening in our lives, and while we might not take them for granted as such, we may not express our gratitude as much as we would at other times or should. I wanted to not only recognise those positives, but acknowledge them openly and remind myself – both now, and when future-me feels awful.
I am thankful for my gorgeous nephews who have provided me with so much more happiness than they will probably ever realise, and I am thankful for my sister and brother-in-law whose jokes have made me laugh at times when I felt like I hadn’t laughed in forever. During the months when I felt like I was beginning to spiral, I found solace in my sister’s pregnancy, and the excitement of a new baby nephew spurred me on and he was, as cliche as it may sound, the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Watching him grow over the past few weeks, and the thought of being around to watch him grow more, has been a source of strength and motivation that I didn’t realise at the time I needed. My sister’s thanks and her recognition of me as an ‘amazing auntie’ has made me extremely proud.
I am thankful for my friends, both those who have supported me in person, as well as those online who have unknowingly provided me with support. I’ve seen my best friend more in the last few weeks than I have in the last year – I’ve loved having her back in my life, and I’m determined to make more time for her and our friendship! She is funny, and fabulous, and hilarious, and I love her dearly. I also really appreciate my fellow bloggers – those that have messaged me to ask if I was okay, those that have written posts about their own mental health that have made me feel less alone and alienated, and those that have answered any questions about medication or mental health in general I may have had. At times of feeling totally alone, I have always found someone, somewhere in the world that has assured me that I am not.
I am thankful for the time I currently have to enjoy the things I love, like music and blogging. I made the decision to not return to my job after being signed off, and while I’ve spent a lot of time with friends and family, I’ve also had more time to listen to music and blog, both passions that I had neglected. Music has always been something that I have loved, and I have rediscovered my love for so many bands recently. I’ve also had more time to read blogs, take part in chats, and write, all areas that I have felt I haven’t had enough energy for in the few months prior to being signed off. I’ve found that reading posts has reminded me that the world is still turning and life is continuing, even when I’ve felt like it was falling apart. I’ve fallen in love with my hobbies again, and while I know I’ll have to return to work soon enough, I’m enjoying my ‘me’ time and ensuring that I’m better before I rush into anything.
I wrote this post with a smile on my face and a smile in my heart. I wanted to show, both to myself and others, that there is still positivity in my life, and for that, I am thankful – that even when things are tough and my mental health sucks, there is still positivity in my life, and if you feel this way at the moment, that life does get better and it is great.
I would love for this to be a tag and for you to write your own post on the things that you’re thankful for before tagging others to do the same, so to anyone that would like to write about it, and specifically, Alice, Abbey, Lily, Katy and Gemma – what are you thankful for in your life?