‘And just as the Phoenix rose from the ashes, she too will rise. Returning from the flames, clothed in nothing but her strength, more beautiful than ever before’
– Shannen Heartzs
First of all I feel the need to say that is the first ‘selfie’ I have taken in months!. It isn’t arty, it wasn’t taken for ‘likes’ , it was taken in my nieces bedroom two minutes before I was due to go for lunch. I felt good. The sun was shining, I had caught a tan, I had my new dress on, and for the first time in a long time I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw, so this is a ‘we’re making progress’ selfie , therefore, I thought it quite apt to use in this blog.
I have done a lot of soul-searching since my last couple of blogs. I genuinely felt broken, like I had ran out of steam, ran out of ideas. I was scared, worried and felt a deep sense of injustice, unfairness, bitterness, regret. I was in a truly awful place.
So I took some time out. Time out from everything, reading, writing, social media. I had a couple of good long chats with a friend of mine who is a very good problem solver! And started to really look at how I could piece all of this back together and find a way not only to be able to move forward but to do so with a level of happiness.
It has been said to me many times, it is only when you are at absolute rock bottom can you start to really rebuild and climb. My problem was I felt like I was climbing continuously and always ending up back at rock bottom, running more and more out of steam each time.
I was getting caught up in thoughts of, why me? and why so much of everything all at once? I deserve a break, I deserve something good to happen, something out of the blue, you know, like you hear happening for so many other people, but of course I was working on that basis that good things happen to good people, and I think we all know, that just isn’t the way the world works.
The main problem has been that after nearly two years I still haven’t reached any acceptance of my circumstances. I still feel like a fish out of water and I have refused to accept on any level that where I am living is my home. Of course it is my home in the sense that I was born here and my family live here, but for 95% of my adult life somewhere else has been my home, somewhere that I did not choose to leave but was forced to leave due to threats and intimidation from an abusive evil minded bully, (an integral part of why this journey has been so traumatic, and something that I will expand on in time).
However, since writing my last blogs, I have started to feel a shift of energy. A few things have happened. I have been able to take some time out, re-arrange a few things in my life, have a bit of fun in my personal life, and of course the big thing that has helped with this focus is taking the major decision to commit to go back to studying and pursue a career in Journalism.
I now have a plan, which is something I didn’t have before, something to focus on, a timescale, a ticket to a new future that effectively could be anywhere in the world and that has really helped to focus my mind on the journey ahead. I am feeling much more positive and excited about what doors may open up ahead of me rather than standing at the ones that are temporarily closed and feeling sad.
I have started to see how lucky I am now, being able to start again with no baggage. Having the freedom to pursue my dreams with absolutely nothing and no one standing in my way. It was pointed out to me recently that for someone my age it is a very unique position to be in, and I should start to view it as a positive rather than a negative, so I have, and since I have started to think that way and really believe it, rather than feeling trapped and suffocated about not being where I want to be right now, I have started to feel a sense of freedom, and I don’t mean the faux freedom that we get from being able to go on expensive holidays or buy the car and clothes we want, it’s a much deeper connection to the sense of opportunity that awaits me. I get to start a whole new life in the middle of my life, and when you put it like that, thats pretty amazing!.
It’s such a scary thought to think how I felt a few weeks ago compared to how I feel now. I feel much lighter and much more lifted. I am not naive enough to think that this is it now, that I am recovered, but I feel further down the road than I ever have, something feels different and that is good enough for now.
It is absolutely true that depression lies, but it is so hard to believe that when you are in the thick of it. A friend said to me just yesterday, that they cannot imagine what it must be like to not want to get out of bed and to just want the day to go away, and two years ago I would have said exactly the same to someone. It would have been something that I couldn’t have visualised either, but now I can.
One of the positive things that I can take from depression is that I am now much more in tune and appreciative of my feelings. Feelings I once took for granted, feeling alive, feeling content, joyful, if I am being totally honest, anything above and beyond total misery and hopelessness is now recognisable and that feels such a privilege.
I cannot tell you how different my mindset is at the time of writing this blog , compared to what it was like when I made my post on the 1st July, so I am here to give you just another gentle reminder to hang on in there. You are worth it. It will get better.
Lots of love as always,