In honour of World Mental Health Day, I’ve decided to take some time out from my notes to treat my own mental health to some writing about something that isn’t Veterinary related. So if you don’t want to read about my current mental health status I suggest you close this post now.
I have always been very proactive about talking about mental health, even way before my own took over my whole life (zxs – cat just stood on the keyboard). Some people believe that talking about mental health frequently doesn’t actually help anyone. Everyone has different experiences and different coping mechanisms, but for me without people talking about their own experiences and also being able to access other people’s stories online, I’d probably be dead.
Mental health has so many faces and a lot of them you can’t pick out of a crowd. I have so many heads I have to put on to get through various different situations and can hide a bad day from pretty much anyone. You never know how someone is truly feeling, so please be kind to people. It costs absolutely nothing and is so valuable.
Over the last 6 years I have been to every corner of my own mind and through depths of hell I didn’t even know existed. My life changed forever when I was raped. One of the hardest things to deal with is losing your entire life as you know it. It’s like moving to a foreign country without ever being asked if you want to go. I haven’t slept properly for 6 years, I doubt my own thoughts every day and I have intrusive thoughts so crippling I feel like I’m drowning sometimes. I constantly blame myself and go over what happened every single day. It doesn’t get easier. Yesterday I had to go to the doctors and had to be examined which started a panic attack as it brought back a horrific set of memories. I’m hoping one day it won’t affect every single part of my life and I can get through aspects of life without tears. But at the moment I’m just trying to prioritise my responsibilities and try to block it out to get me through vet school.
I was talking to my favourite Northerner last night on the way home from a gig, and we started talking about going back to tell your younger self things. And it made me think about not only what I would say to myself, but also if I would change anything. I know this sounds silly as it is something that is never going to happen, but it helps to think of how things have changed your life and how you’ve got through it. Well it helps me anyway. Despite everything, if I had the power I don’t think I’d stop what happened from happening. Which surprised me and probably wouldn’t have been the case if you’d have asked me 18 months ago. I would not wish that on anyone no matter how much I hated them and we all know I hate quite a few people. In legal terms it is secondary to murder, at times I have wished it was murder instead.
Life would be so different without that one moment in time existing, but I don’t think my life would contain the people it does now without it. And I am surrounded by so many amazing humans. It’s a bit like looking back at past boyfriends and wanting to invert at some of the choices you’ve made. But I wouldn’t not go out with them if I was given my time again, because I learnt so much about myself and what I want in life by going though those relationships. My life is no where close to being where I want it to be. In terms of recovery I’m probably about 25% there. I fear I will never be anywhere near 100% but right now in the long run, I’d take 70% recovered.
Despite feeling like I’m going to have a mental breakdown every day, I’ve realised actually, I am as strong as hell. And I haven’t realised that until now. It is amazing what you can get through when you’re forced to. Some days I struggle to feed myself and just surviving the day is all I do. But I’ve survived 2287 days so far, 2287?!! (looking that up made me feel even prouder). That also means 2287 nights without proper sleep, but we’re going for the positive right now. My life is currently like an episode of Jerry Springer and you wouldn’t even believe me if I told you what I am currently dealing with. But I’m here, even if that is only 25% at the moment.
I’m off to eat Nutella out of the jar and cuddle the cat.