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.