Dear Everybody, Somebody, Nobody,
Just about when I was about my lowest, I wrote one of these letters about my depression. I remember crying through the whole of writing it, I remember how it felt to post it and yet, now, we're here - over a year on from that original open letter, and at one of the high points of my life - or at least definitely my adult life. This last year has completely thrown me off course, taken me further from the person that I thought I was than I ever imagined being - and yet, I still feel as though I'm more myself now than I have been in a really long time.
Mental illness has been a huge learning curve for me. It's trapped me inside my own head and given me nothing except space to think - space to develop, grow and become a stronger person. And, I have done; I have grown up, become the kind of woman that survived, learned the importance of taking care of myself and the importance of nurturing my mind and my health. I've learned that nothing is more important than your opinion of yourself - nothing is more important than my resilience, my ability to continue living even when it was the last thing that I might want to do at the time.
Recovery has been a long, hard road - and it's ongoing. The end is nowhere in sight. I'm not cured, but I'm sleeping, getting up, going out, eating when I should, taking my tablets, seeing my doctor, and keeping myself safe. I am not recovered, and honestly maybe I'll never be - but I'm recovering, and I'm healing - and I'll take it; because I'll take anything over nothing, any semblance of recovery over the heavy weight of the lack of hope that lay on my shoulders last year. I am strong, worthy and confident, and maybe not excessively so, but it still feels a lot like a miracle - like the start of a life that I never thought that I'd have.
I still have days that seem impossible - days when I hate myself and I feel triggered and I wonder how on Earth I got through all the days that came before - and yet even when I feel like that, my gut has come to realise that we can still do this. I am not recovered, but I am strides ahead of where I was this time last year - I'm a better sister, daughter, best friend and cousin.
So, I may never recover, and I will always live with some aspects of depression and generalised anxiety disorder; but, I will survive it, and I know that now.