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.
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.
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.
Like, really hard. I don’t know where I’ll be in a week let alone a year so how am I meant to plan for my future? I’m at the point in my life where I want a proper career, a partner, and a good social life but I have none of those things. And I have no idea how to change that.
I hate myself. I want to go to the middle of nowhere and scream until my lungs burst. I want to tell the truth when I’m asked ‘how are you?’ and not lie every. single. time. I want to ignore every email, text, and call. I want to move somewhere where I know nobody and recreate myself.
I feel so alone. My family are great but they love me because they are related to me. I have a couple of friends but no one who I see often or who lives near enough to see on a whim. My life consists of sleeping, eating, going to work, and mental health appointments. I have no hobbies, I have no interests. I’m a shell of a person.
When people I haven’t seen for a while ask what’s new, I have no idea what to say. What’s new? Nothing other than the fact I kinda wanna jump in front of a car. Not a great conversation starter.
“Maybe some people aren’t meant to be saved” and maybe I’m one of them.
I don’t know why I feel the need to post this but I do. I’ve been doing relatively well for about two months but today, although busy, I’ve noticed things slipping- I don’t know if it’s because my cousins leave tomorrow and I won’t see them for a month (I’m so busy when they are here and I absolutely adore them) or if I’m falling backwards again. I really don’t know. I don’t usually post anything ‘spur of the moment’ or without thinking about it beforehand so this is different and very current. I’m sure there will be updates to follow. I just want to either be ‘ok’ or ‘not ok’ and not stuck in between.
My sister leaves in five days for five months. She’s travelling around Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, and various other places. I’m happy for her, I know the job she’s in isn’t somewhere she envisions herself staying long term and she’s going to have the time of her life, but I can’t help but envy her.
My sister, my perfect sister, who I’ve always admired and tried to be like (always failing) is living her life and isn’t dictated by mental illness like I am. Sometimes I wonder, why me? We were raised together, four years apart with our brother between us, by the same parents. We grew up around the same people, went to the same schools, and even some of the same clubs. When she finished high school (she completed her GCSE’s and A levels with great grades) went to Uni for four years, kept up a weekend job throughout which then became fulltime after she graduated. Compare that to me. The younger sister whose CFS and first suicide attempt dragged her from school at about 13/14. I got four GCSE’s and as of right now, have never attempted A level’s. I was the one that had to try and convince a college to let me start my course whilst in hospital and send them my work via the unit teacher only to be told that they didn’t think I was capable and to come back the next year (didn’t happen). Could our lives have gone in two more opposite directions? Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister, I really do. There was a long period of time in which she was my only friend and she remains one of my best friends but how is it possible that two sisters who in some ways are so alike (we both love reality tv, cheese, our dogs, and would stand up for one another against anyone) be so different?
I’m not looking for an answer. I don’t need to hear about how everyone is different and that even though we are sisters, we aren’t psychologically the same. I know all of this and I’ve most likely heard it before but it doesn’t stop the pang of jealousy (ouch, admitting that hurts) I feel when I compare our lives.
Sis, if you ever read this, I know it’s not your fault just like it’s not mine. I love you. X