I’ve been going through all my historical posts and streamlining the categories and tags, there’s still a way to go as I spend a lot of time reading what I’ve written. There are many posts that I could revisit and share with you, and maybe I will over time, but to start with let’s take another look back on This time last year…
The below post was written almost 4 months ago, shortly after publishing Kaleidoscopic Beauty and here I am having now published my second collection of poetry and still rocking my mental health recovery.
Yes, I’ve had low points triggered by life events/stress but at every low point I knew what I had to do to look after me, e.g. stepping back from responsibilities and commitments, and I always made sure to remember the MH mantra that ‘things will get better’. I even survived the long school summer holidays!
I’m also managing my life of minimal activity rather well… as a person who uses exercise as a coping mechanism/avoidance strategy not being able to exercise is a huge risk factor. However, being focused on my business has meant that apart from feeling a bit fed up at not being able to get out I’m managing the loss of physical activity and has resulted in I am the Stars in the Sky being published ahead of deadline.
I will not become complacent though as November brings the start of my cancer anniversaries and annual check ups, November-December-January have been emotionally tough over the past few years but whatever emotions are brought up I’ll do my best to remember another MH mantra that ‘this fear is not today’s fear’ and focus on the present moment.
Peace and serenity, K xx
7th July 2018
It’s hard to believe that the past year has spanned the lowest times of my life and hit some incredible highs as well.
One year ago my mental health was at crisis point, the anti depressants didn’t seem to be making any difference, I felt trapped, hopeless and helpless to change anything for the better. There was no glimmer of sun on my horizon, just dark clouds and shadows. I am indebted to my wonderful husband who stuck by me all the way and did everything in his power to support me through the worst of it.
But since last summer so much has changed; the five months of therapy, which helped me to understand that my response to past trauma is typical for those with PTSD and that the way I approach life has also been shaped by trauma. I have, to a certain extent, dropped my need for perfectionism and control. I understand that some things are out of my control and that it’s ok, and that I will manage whatever obstacles come my way. Therapy was the beginning of my recovery.
And then there’s running, and blogging…
Running gives me head space and freedom alongside a sense of achievement and the infamous runner’s high. Blogging allows me to share some of the stuff that lurks within my mind, to mentally process my thoughts, to rationalise that depression causes these thoughts, feelings, reactions, not me.
And poetry… where do I start with poetry. I still find it incredible that I can write poetry. With poetry I can express the true depths of emotion without question or explanation, it provides a release, an escape from self-criticism and blame. In writing I feel at peace with my emotions, I can accept them for what they are and know that they will pass.
I’m also finally on the right meds, after two and a half years of trial and error, the combination of venlafaxine and mirtazapine seems to be working well. My mood is good, my sleep is adequate, my motivation is improving, my anxiety is minimal.
I have learnt that I am important, I know that self-care is crucial and that my health (physical and emotional) is worth looking after.
Life is not perfect, but is anyone’s? I still have problems with memory, word recall, planning and organisation but on the whole life is good.
One year ago my future was uncertain.
Today, well today, the world is there for the taking.