Its always important to be accountable for our own actions; to recognise both flaws and positive traits in ourselves; to realise when we’ve messed up, but also when we’ve succeeded. Self-reflection is vital to personal growth and can help us become more empathetic towards others and confident in our own abilities.

The last few weeks have been a medley of emotions. I have felt proud, excited and disappointed. In both myself and others. I can’t change how other people act, but I do have control over myself and my reactions: that is something I need to remember.

There have been situations recently that, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have played a part in. There have been actions by me that are against what I believe in and agree with. But sometimes we don’t always get it right; we make mistakes and our moral compass can be muddled. Its what we do afterwards that matters and the lessons we can learn. I have struggled with my own mind and opinion of myself after this self reflection. I am very self-critical, especially when I’m hurting inside. I convince myself that when things go wrong; its my fault. But in truth, I need to cut myself some slack. People aren’t perfect: nor do I ever want to strive for that. What I do want, is to stay true to myself and as long as I understand the reasons behind my actions then that’s all I need. I will always stand up for what I think is right and have faith that everything happens for a reason. Hurt and disappointment don’t last forever.

A couple of months ago I made the big decision to change jobs; for various reasons and at a time in my life where I felt settled and ready for new challenges. Despite this choice being made during a stable period in my life, doesn’t mean that it didn’t set off the red flag to Ben. It definitely did. But luckily, because I have become so in tune with my own mind and triggers, I could prepare a little. I knew that this type of change would bring anxiety – I was leaving a job I’d been in for three and a half years: before Ben made his reappearance. I was leaving a routine and setting that I was comfortable with and knew like the back of my hand. I was leaving people who had played such a big part of my recovery.

With Ben, everything needs to stay the same because predictability = stability. Some people may call that boring; but to Ben it is safe. It is balancing on the fine line between contentment and pure fear of the unknown. Sometimes it is easier for me to continue this routine-filled life for the sake of my sanity. But other times, my life needs challenge and I need to take a break from the comfort zone. And the euphoria that comes hand in hand with handling life despite the obstacles, is irreplaceable.

This new job has been such an important move for me. I have been so lucky with my new colleagues, they have been welcoming and supportive from day dot. They are not a replacement for my old team; but simply more people who have made my life easier and happier. This has helped me settle into my role so much quicker than I ever predicted.

When I initially started, I made the decision to go back onto my medication in order to feel more relaxed and calm whilst finding my feet. My medication are beta blockers that I can take as and when I need them; this works for me and even just having the option of this can quell building anxiety within me. I am now into my third week here, and I no longer take my tablets for work; I used them for just under two weeks and only in the mornings. I didn’t feel the need to resort to another tablet during the day as once in the working environment I felt settled and at ease. To people who don’t know me personally, this won’t mean much. But to me and those who have worked closely with me during my recovery, this is a huge step. I am proud of how I have handled this big change in my life; especially as personally there have been obstacles in the background that have added to my anxiety. I feel so much more aware of Ben and his ‘needs’. And I feel so much more able to challenge him and his overwhelming voice inside my head.

I feel so much more in control. And there’s no better feeling than that.

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