In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week I wanted to write a post as I’ve been slacking again, apologies! Like I’ve said before, I find it so much easier to write when things aren’t totally hunky dory. This blog is such an outlet for my feelings and thoughts that sometimes I struggle to talk about face to face.
These last few months have brought upon a mixture of emotions. I recently passed my driving test which was the biggest relief! I’m a pretty impatient learner, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get the hang of things instantly which of course isn’t realistic. Therefore, learning to drive was sometimes quite frustrating. But it was also such a good thing for me to do in order to push myself. I was continuously put in situations that brought Ben out of the woodwork – even just for a fleeting moment. But it proved to me time and time again that despite him lurking in the background, I can still achieve things that I set my mind to. My aim when I began learning was to pass before I turned 24. Mission accomplished! And it felt so good to smash that goal.
I think its always such an empowering reminder to someone who suffers with mental illness that these achievements can be made. I remember a time when I genuinely believed I’d never even begin learning to drive, let alone actually pass my test and be considered legally in control of a vehicle! It always seemed like the concept of being able to do it was a million miles away from something I could achieve.
I look back at my life a year ago, and I was blissfully happy with a supportive partner, amazing friends and family. Yet I was still having the internal battle with Ben almost daily. That doesn’t mean that those people in my life weren’t helping me; in fact the total opposite. They were doing everything I needed them to do at that period in my life – accepting me. Accepting that sometimes I just couldn’t cope, and that was okay, because I’d try again another day and then another day after that.
Fast forward to 365 days later and I feel so different. No longer in a partnership, but still with the unfaltering support of those closest to me. The ending of my relationship isn’t what brought me strength to tackle Ben, neither was time. It was a decision I made, the same decision I made when I was 21 when Ben reappeared. I didn’t want my anxiety to rule my life. I never have. And despite going through some awful times where I believed Ben really was winning, there was still a small part of me that hoped I’d come out the other side.
And the grass is so much greener over here.