Hey Folks! A lot has been going on, hence the lack of posts recently, but I promise I'm still here! I'm now incredibly fortunate to be trusted to manage my team of rock star recovery workers, and they never cease to amaze me with the difference they make to people's lives every single day. I now officially don't work Fridays.... and boy does that make me want to high five random strangers on the street! 3 day weekends every week?! YES PLEASE! It's a dream come true, and this time last year, I could not have imagined that I would have bounced back so quickly, from my own mental health struggles.
The picture above is a print of a quote that sits on the wall above my desk at home, and it's got me through some tough times. A lot was happening in my life this time last year, and most of it was unimaginably awful. Battling severe depression, leaving my career, losing friends, and losing my Grandad, watching him go downhill so quickly. Money worries, anxiety about the future, insomnia and zero motivation kept me in a hole that I was actually getting used to, and believed that I would stay in for the rest of my life. This time last year, I was just about ready to give up on all my dreams and hopes.
Fast forward to now, and in the space of 1 year, I've bounced back and now feel better than I had done for years before I fell down that hole. I wish I could tell you all the different things I did to get here, to give other people a 'blue print' of how to get better from depression and become happy and successful again, but there wasn't a magic light bulb moment, or a plan. The truth is, I just kept waking up every day, and kept on going. If I had to say three things that helped me the most it would be 'talking to family', 'finding a purpose each day' and 'going easy on myself'. Back then was not a time to be forcing myself to the gym, or being on a diet, or cramming my empty weeks with plans and chores. Yes I gained weight, yes I spent a lot of days on the sofa in my pajamas, and yes I stopped doing things I once enjoyed. In hindsight, it was clearly a needed time of rest and reflection. Sometimes my only purpose in a day was to wake up and load the dishwasher; but it was still a purpose. My 'chores' eventually turned into creativity, and I started brainstorming business ideas, creating a website for an interior styling business I was convinced I could make work, which turned into an idea to start my own wellbeing and life coaching business, which turned into this blog. I had a lot of time to think...and with that came inspiration from crazy ideas that I thought would make me happier. None of those business ideas would have worked for me, but it got me back to an important place; hope. And with that hope came motivation, and with the motivation came action...and here I am now.
We're all different, and our recovery from mental health issues will always be different, but I think there is one thing that has to happen for anyone to move forward, and that is to have 'hope'. Even if your dreams are perhaps a tad far fetched, or out of reach right now, don't stop thinking about them and brainstorming ways to make them happen. They might never work, but that hope and that purpose will get you going, and you will move forward, and you will find a happy life again. That process looks different for every one, but coming from my experience, on both sides of mental health recovery, you have to keep some hope in something.
So it's my first Friday off work, and I've been to the gym, done a bit of shopping, and written this. I'm about to get in the bath and take some time to myself to acknowledge how much I've achieved in the last year. I HOPE you take some time to do the same this weekend.
We'd love to hear your own recovery stories from mental health issues and how you got through the dark days. Please get in touch.