A few weeks ago, I was sat scrolling through Twitter and I started to feel insanely sad. The January Blues were in full swing, suker punching everyone and anyone in the gut.
Everywhere I turned, people were struggling with their mental health or emotions, with popular tweets being ‘I just want to feel better’ and ‘when does it stop?’ After a couple of minutes scrolling, I had this overwhelming urge to wrap my arms around each and every person, trying to make them feel better – feel safer – I even wrote this tweet (which gave me the idea for this post).
I’ve been there. For years I suffered with how I was feeling in silence, and then some more where I was suffering out loud with people who loved me. It was completely pants and words will never be able to explain how it made me feel in my head, but I wouldn’t change it.
So, when will you feel better? Let me tell you.
Dear friends, mental health fighters, strangers and lovers,
Any form of mental health sucks. There are no words to explain what it’s like in your head, or the experience it takes you on, but, I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but the journey will be worth it – I promise.
Sadly, feeling better doesn’t just happen over night, a week or even a month. It takes years to fully recover from the stress and trauma having a mental illness puts on you. Sure, the length of time is different for everyone, but the steps you take to get there are just the same.
But, I promise you this:
One day you will wake up and not feel the crushing of your emotions or feelings on your chest.
One day you won’t even think about how negative you’re feeling or how sad you’ve become, because it won’t be there anymore.
One day you will be stronger, after learning from the experiences these feelings gave you and be better than ever before, ready to fight anything that comes your way.
There used to be times when I begged, screamed and shouted into thin air to feel better. There was nothing I wanted more but, one day, I realised it just wasn’t going to happen this way. I needed to accept how I felt, deal with my emotions and triggers, as well as finding a way to cope. I got the help I needed (which will probably be different for everyone reading this letter) and stopped fighting with how I felt. In many ways, I embraced it.
It took me 10 years to complete my journey; for me to feel content with the life I’d built, accept the things that had happened to me and to realise that I was better than it all. But, I wouldn’t change them for anything – if anything, I feel slightly sorry for those who don’t go through it (though I would never wish it on anyone). It made me who I am – a damn site better person – and made me realise I should never take life too seriously. From my experiences, I’ve learnt more lessons than most will in a life time and, I’m sure my bestie will agree, my attitude to life is definitely unique.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way saying every day is like a walk in the park. I still get up and hate life, have bad mental health days or just wish I didn’t have to get out of bed but there are more ‘good days’ in between.
I only say all of this because, to me, trying to find and complete the road for recovery is a little bit like trying to fall in love – the more you look for it, beg for it, wish for it, the less likely you are to find it. As the popular saying goes, it finds you when you least expect it. The moment you stop looking for it – you embrace how you’re feeling and accept the love around you – that’s when it will slap you in the face like a cold winter’s morning.
That’s the day your life will change.
You can do it.
You will do it.
Stay strong and above all else,