Three years ago today, I was discharged from hospital after a 10 month stay. I was excited, lonely, nervous, proud, but mostly scared. I was scared for the next few weeks, let alone for the next couple of years.The first year home mostly consisted of anxiety. I was anxious about everything. Food, body image, public transport, friends, seeing distant family- I actually can’t think of one thing that didn’t make me anxious.

The second year was different. I started to volunteer in a charity shop and this not only gave my days structure, it gave me customer service skills, social skills, and confidence. It was was also something to put on my CV so when I was ready to apply for jobs, I had some experience. After volunteering there for a few months, I added another voluntary job in and I was suddenly busy all the time. I also learnt to drive during this year which gave me a lot more freedom and I was excited at the idea of getting a car (which would open up more job opportunities). 

That bring me to the last year, and really the most crucial year in my recovery. It started off with me getting my first part time job as well as doing my two voluntary jobs. I eventually stopped both of those due to the charity shop closing and the other position didn’t fit in with my part time job anymore. So I went through the summer working part time, seeing friends and family and gained so much confidence and independence. That brings me to December- I got a part time job through my sister and I absolutely love it. It has turned out to be more full time than part time (my contracted hours are still only part time which is great because I always have the option to reduce my overtime if I’m struggling and/or need a break), I’ve made friends with pretty much everyone I work with, already have spoken about the prospect of progressing higher in the company (my colleagues have all expressed they’d like me to do this as well, as they all like me which is lovely), I have a regular steady income and I’m getting my first car in two weeks. Life’s very different to even a year ago, let alone three. 

I always find that I ever truly recognise how different my life is now until I write posts like these. I use this blog as a place to document my progress over time. There’s nothing more satisfying than looking back at a post I wrote six months or two years ago and seeing the difference compared to the posts I am currently writing. No one in my ‘real’ life knows about this blog, it is purely for myself and anyone who may stumble upon it. 

History

When you have a history of mental health issues, how much do you disclose?

I started a new job in December and I really enjoy it. It’s very social, I’ve made a lot of new friends already and there’s also someone I’m talking to and interested in. My only thing is, I have a history that’s not ‘typical’. I spent 10 months in adolescent units in 2013/13 when I was 16/17. I’m now 20 and honestly, it doesn’t affect me much anymore. I don’t think about it much and although I’m still in contact with people I met there (I actually met my best friend in hospital and we barely ever talk about it!) it really isn’t a massive part of my life- to me, it was just a chapter. 

But I know that questions are going to come up eventually. If someone really digs deep on my social media (I’m talking scrolling back a couple of years on Instagram or Facebook which people do surprisingly often), they can find things that easily point towards what my situation was. I know the easy solution would be to delete the posts or pictures or whatever, but I don’t want to. Now, and in years to come, I can look back and compare my life then to now and I like that. There’s nothing extremely personal on there anyway, just vague things that someone with half a brain cell could piece together that I had some form of mental illness. And anyway, I’m not ashamed. I’m just aware that everyone I meet doesn’t need to know my life story. 

It’s quite a gossipy environment so I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t tell my coworkers/friends unless we become friends outside of work and it seems appropriate. There has to be a level of trust that they won’t spread it around the department. But what about the guy I like? Say we go out, I mention things about my past and he’s either scared off or we just don’t work out, and then he tells other people? That’s something I have no control over. I want to live my life without being nervous my personal life and medial history will be laid out for everyone to see but how do I do that?

If I decide I won’t tell someone until we are fairly serious or are good friends, won’t they feel like I’ve been lying to them when I finally do tell them? 

I hope this makes sense, I’m literally just rambling thoughts and have no energy to proof read. If anyone actually manages to read this shit, please offer up some advice. I would definitely appreciate it. 

A big week

Yesterday, E and I booked our flights and hotel for Iceland! We are going in October and I’m beyond excited. We have decided to book a tour (or two) a month aka each time we get paid and I can’t wait to properly plan all the details now it’s set in stone that we are going! 

And today… I bought a car! Well, kind of. I’m leasing a new car (3 year lease- insurance, servicing included in one monthly payment) and today I put down my diposit so the order is officially in! I’ll get it in 6 weeks max. I can’t believe I’ll finally have a car of my own! And in just a few weeks. 

I’m so so happy with life right now. I’m working a lot which means I am so tired (all the time!) but I don’t even care, I am so pleased with my life at the moment. 

It’s only a month into the year and I have already achieved (or am on my way to achieving) majority of my goals. I thought I’d post a little update. 

1. I have been discharged from mental health services! It’s been almost 4 years since this whole journey started and I’m so happy to put an end to that chapter. I’ll never forget it but I’m happy that it’s behind me.

2. I am booking my first proper holiday in 2 weeks! E and I are going to Iceland in October! I cannot wait. 

3. I started a new job in December so before I even posted the goals the goal was achieved! 

4. I’ve met a ton of new people at my new job and am loving it! 

5. I have lost a stone since starting my new job. It’s extremely active which means I have lost weight without actively trying (and also improving my fitness at the same time). 

All that is left is a car! Which I am in the process of looking into. I just need to compare prices as there are a few options. When I’ve got my car, I might make some new goals as I’ll still have a decent amount of 2017 left. 

23/1/17- the day my heart broke in two

I can honestly say that I’ve never understood when someone complains of a broken heart, but as of today I do. My heart aches to even be typing these words.

For eight and a half years you have been my best friend, sister, side kick, companion, and baby. My heart broke today as we said our goodbyes but I am so happy you are at peace and no longer in any pain. I told you I’d never leave you and I was there until the end, my love. 

I remember thinking that we were doing a great thing, rescuing a dog, but it wasn’t you that was blessed, it was us- without a doubt. You brought so much love, joy, and laughter to our little family and I will love you forever. 

I can only hope that I will lucky enough to see you again, piggle, so until then- sleep tight xx 

January

January has flown by and a lot has happened already. I started my second part time job in December so have been working two jobs for about 6 weeks now. I am absolutely loving it though and the extra income isn’t bad either! I’ve already managed to add a fair amount to my savings. 

E and I have planned our October holiday too, we are officially going to Iceland! We have worked out the figures and it’s going to be quite expensive (we want to do a lot in a short space of time and Iceland is pricey!). I got my holiday from work confirmed today, so just waiting on E’s to be confirmed then we can book away! We’ve decided we definitely want to do the ‘inside the volcano’ tour, self drive the Golden Circle, visit the blue lagoon, go ice caving, hopefully see the Northern Lights (but we know it’s never guaranteed) and of course, sightsee around Reykjavik. If anyone has any tips or things you would recommend doing in Iceland in October, feel free to let me know!

I took the leap and joined a gym too but I haven’t quite made it through the doors yet. Oops! My plan had been to go after I finish work but by the time I’ve finished, I’m knackered and the last thing on my mind is working out. I do about 10,000-14,000 steps on average during a shift and I get up at 3am to start at 4am so I’m thinking that might be enough exercise for now. The gym membership might be going in the bin.

January has mostly been great but the only downfall is, my little dog Tilly’s health has rapidly declined. She has tumour on her spine and hasn’t got long left. She is my little best friend, and has been for 8 years. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do without her. 

Goals for 2017

I can’t believe that it’s already time to write this post. I feel like I say this every year now but 2016 has flown by in the blink of an eye. It’s been an eventful year (I got my first job, passed my driving test) but I’m looking forward to wiping the slate clean in 2017. 

So here we go. I don’t have a lot of goals for 2017 but the first couple are quiet significant..

-get my first car

-start a new job

-get discharged from MH services (due to happen in January)

-go on holiday (my best friend + I are planning to go to Iceland!)

-branch out and meet new people

-improve my fitness and continue to eat healthily