Looking back on recovery

This morning, the magical ‘facebook memories’ reminded me of A Good Day. I think it’s safe to call it Recovery Day no. 1.

mental health recovery

Last week,  I spoke to Conor about how surprised, how happy, I was that the week beginning 8th March just… passed me by. I just… forgot about its significance.

You see, that week last year was one of hospitals and numbness, of heartbreak and loss. It was the lowest time of my entire life and I was convinced that it would forever be some kind of ‘sadiversary’.

Well. I GUESS NOT. I just completely forgot about it. I did not have a ‘sad week’ where I reflected on my horrible past and what I’d lost. I just had a regular week where I may or may not have been sad at some points in it. What matters is that it means I’m letting go. Letting go of holding onto unnecessary pain, of basking in victimness and of deciding that I Must Be Sad Because Bad Things Happened. NO!

Wallowing is the literal worst

I’m not discounting the importance of remembering dates: times you put aside to grieve, to remember somebody, or just reflect on some past trauma. I think sometimes sadiversaries can be therapeutic and important outlets.

HOWEVER, that said – I am not on board with purposeful wallowing, which I have been very guilty of. Purposeful wallowing reminds me of a certain person I knew last year: we will call him… Bill. So, Bill had a few awful Septembers in his life. He pre-warned me that September would just be HELLISH for both him and our relationship. I was super understanding, and said I’d be there. What transpired, however, was the months leading up to September being pretty Hellish, because of some reason or another, and then by the time September hit I was way too emotionally battered to even think about being supportive to somebody who, by this point I had realised, enjoyed reveling in his own anger and sadness. Somebody who then projected them onto others. I saw how this kind of attitude destroyed any sliver of kindness Bill had, and I’ve seen it eat away at others, and experienced it myself, knowing full well that I could have pulled myself out of it.*

Recovery is a super squiggly line

And by no means has ‘recovery’ been perfect. I managed to get myself into a nightmarish relationship straight afterwards, was further emotionally traumatised by Will.. uhh I mean Bill, and ended up quitting my whole life in Oxford. But, at no point since Recovery Day no.1 did I reach the lowest ever again. Why?

Because I knew I could fucking handle it.

Yeah, I had dips. I have dips. I do have times when I seriously think “being dead is better than being alive” – it’s terrifying in hindsight and it’s terrifying knowing I’ll probably feel like that again. It’s the nature of my personality and of my instabilities. But, hopefully, because of my homemade CAT techniques and my writing, my sharing, and, most of all, because of my friends and family, I’ll never end up in a hospital bed ever again.

Also. Never underestimate the power of a haircut.

*This is definitely not about people who fall into ‘wallowing’ depressive spirals, nor telling people who suffer from mental illnesses to just ‘not think about’, because if I thought it was that easy to switch off from depression or other health issues, I would be a pretty insensitive dickhead.

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