Sunday, 9 June 2019

Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT)... Thank You

I got myself into a little bit of a panic today because I saw something online about suicide and I realised that it was the first time all day I had thought about dying; something that just a year ago would consume my mind throughout the majority of the day, all day, every day. I thought again and although the thought does appear in my mind every so often, it isn't anything compared to what it used to be and the urges to act on the thoughts are almost rare. I took some time to think of everything that has happened over the past year, over all of the stresses and dramas that I would never have dreamed of being able to deal with, big things that I didn't even know I was capable of thinking about, let alone living through them with absolutely no harming myself in any way whatsoever and I just panicked. 

I'm not entirely sure why I panicked but I think its because I got the realisation that my life is no longer based on my mental health whereas for the past five, six, however many years, everything that I have done has been surrounding my mental health, absolutely everything. My mental health played a role in everything I did. I'd worry about going to work, I wouldn't be able to cope with education, I couldn't go out and do things I wanted to because I felt anxious. My family were anxious to leave me alone, they were constantly worried about me, they'd sort through my medication, they'd always be by my side in A&E, waiting to be sewn back together, wondering where it all went wrong and what they could do to help. Suddenly, that isn't my life anymore, I'm ok, I'm stable, I'm not harming myself, I'm not crying, I'm not a risk and I'm managing. It's as though I went from rock bottom to stable with no climb in the middle, from one extreme straight to the other and now I'm ok, what is ok? All that I have ever known is how to be poorly me and how to cope the best that I can but now what do I do? I don't know what type of person I am 'well', I don't know who that person is and I certainly don't know how to be her. 

It's been a year since I was discharged from Mental Health Services and I am doing ok. I haven't had a single visit to the hospital or even the doctors. I've distracted myself all the way through the past year, taking it one day at a time, step by step. I just don't know how I got here. It could be that I was on the wrong medication and that they were changing my hormones or it could be that I decided that I wanted a change, and I went and got my education, or even a mix of both. It could be that I just got sick of being unwell and just did absolutely everything in my power to prevent a relapse and to move forward with my life. It could be the structure that came with college or even the good grades building my confidence within education back up. It could have been anything. 

But despite all of the good, I still sometimes miss the bad, which does come with a slight panic. I miss knowing who I was as a person and not having an identify crisis every week, I miss being able to recognise my emotions instead of pushing them aside, I miss being able to vent my heart out and have a good cry but I wouldn't go back, I couldn't do it to myself because I wouldn't be sure that I'd survive.

It's just the strangest feeling when you have that moment of realisation that despite their still being bad, your life is ok, you're somewhat content and you have a future to start living. It's ironic really, it is always the future that terrifies us the most but it is also the future that can help us, time does heal pain after all. 

I honestly think that my life and my mindset has changed so much because of being discharged from mental health services. I was so angry and so upset because I didn't know how to cope without support, and I certainly wasn't ready to be discharged but I was so angry that I wanted to prove them wrong, I wanted to prove that I didn't need them and that I could cope better without them and that is exactly what I have done. I may have not chosen the best ways of dealing with my emotions over the past year, but I certainly haven't given into urges or had to get back in contact with services. Determination is an odd thing, it has drawn me into the darkest of situations yet it has pulled me out of the toughest and although I did this by myself, I also have the Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust to thank, for forcing me out of their shambled services and for allowing me to have space and time to focus on me and more importantly, to prove them all wrong so again, thank-you NSFT, thank-you for your service that is so poorly wrong, that people are better without you.

So, the reality is, I don't really understand myself what has changed over the past year, but I am ok, I really am this time and the only components that I believe to have some sort of impact on this was deciding to do something with my life, getting a structure and routine back and my absolutely angels of a family and friends, without you, I wouldn't have made it, and that's the truth. 

I don't know what the next chapter will hold, and it's no guarantee that I will still feel ok in a week, let alone for the rest of my life but for now, I am ok and that is the most important thing, I would even go as far to say that I am 'well', which I sometimes feel like I shouldn't say because as horrendous as it was, being unwell was me and I don't want people to get the impression that I am cured because that is certainly not the case, I'm not sure if you ever do fully recover from mental health conditions that have crippled you for years, but you can certainly make drastic improvements, and you can live a normal life, you just need to believe in yourself and be determined to make a difference to your own wellbeing. I also feel guilty for stating that I am doing ok, because sometimes, there can be nothing worse than seeing other people managing whilst you're struggling but if I can be ok, then so can you, we all can. Who knows what the next chapter will be, but whatever it is, good or bad, I am sure that I'll find a way to cope and I will keep you updated along the way.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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