These past few months have been rough. I’ve struggled A LOT.
Fortunately, I am currently in the best place (mentally) I have been in a long time. Since April, my outlook has totally changed. I’ve truly been living my best life. However, I am still finding ~life~ challenging. The year is over half-way done, and still only half-way there in terms of getting my act together again!
My previous posts have sung the praises of my medication, but I have actually stopped taking meds for my mental illness. Whilst this has had positive implications (I’m able to cope with life, woo) it’s unfortunately made my insomnia a lot worse.
I’ve learnt the hard way that I can’t do it all. I’ve felt crushed to learn to respect my ‘spoonie’ life, to realise I have to stop ‘biting off more than I can chew’, and that there’s some things I simply cannot do.
I am so lucky in that I have received a lot of support from the staff at my university. My subject director held an intervention with me to discuss how best they can support me, and highlighted to me that I “need to ask for help”.
I’ve been making a martyr of myself in an attempt to ‘do it all by myself’. She showed me there’s no reason I shouldn’t ask for help, and that by striving to be ‘independent’, I’ve caused myself difficulties I did not need to.
In light of this, I am applying for PIP, to try ease the pressures I face. This is a very scary reality for me, regardless of the outcome. I will either qualify for PIP, and because of the stupid stigma my stupid pride will take a knock, or I won’t, and I will keep struggling on, physically, emotionally, and financially, (which is unfortunately where a lot of the health problems I face stem from in the first place!).
She also highlighted to me that the rather difficult situations I have found myself in late 2017/early 2018 take a lot to recover from. Many things in my life have been put on a “backburner” whilst I prioritised recovery. Some days getting out of the flat and down to the local shop to get some food was a huge feat. And that’s okay! Some horrible things happened that ripped me down to my absolute rock bottom but it’s meant I have had to rebuild myself. I’m stronger and better than I’ve ever been before, but instead of trying to ‘do it all’ I’ve been gentle with myself. I’ve taken things ‘one at a time’ to avoid getting overwhelmed. Each new thing I pick up needs to be carefully added into my life, instead of me running around, spinning too many ‘plates’ until they all crash and fall because I burn out (basically what happened for me to end up at ‘rock bottom’). Someone very dear to me who has come into my life recently has shown me I can “do more by doing less”, by committing myself more fully to one or two things, instead of spreading myself thin by trying to do it all. They encourage me to listen to my heart and follow my dreams, and I am very grateful to have them in my life.
I was granted a three week extension on my university deadlines, and was able to utilise that to finish my first year. Admittedly, I did not get ‘good’ grades, but I passed and I am working with my tutors to develop a support system and ‘plan of action’ to ensure I can tackle Year 2 without the problems I have faced in Year 1.
I feel that a weight has been lifted now I no longer have to tackle looming assessment deadlines. I have not allowed myself to despair over my somewhat disappointing grades, but instead, I’ve celebrated the relief the year is over and that I have actually passed! I have a beautiful summer stretched ahead of me; I am taking this time to set down the paving stones that will help me better access university when I return in September.
I have also learnt to ‘make time for myself’, so over summer, I will be attempting to practice better self-care habits to avoid future burnouts/breakdowns/bad situations.
I am also currently luxuriating in my free time, spending it with new friends and old. One of my favourite things about currently rebuilding myself is the opportunities it has presented me to begin fostering new friendships, and to spend time with old friends. I haven’t had the time to spend with friends prior to finishing university (expect for those who attend university with me, who I could see during my ‘breaks’ from studying). I feel very lucky now to have the opportunity to see friends over summer, but also very lucky I have friends who have understood that I have needed to ‘disappear’. In the past few weeks, I have been able to see 2 of my best friends who I haven’t seen since January. This has done me a world of good, and I am so so grateful to Euan and Liv for understanding that I quite literally haven’t had the time to see them. I’m so grateful too that they can understand that merely ‘keeping going’ can suck up so much time that trying to ‘make an effort’ is a mammoth task.
I have dragged myself out of hell over the past few months. I have had some horrible things happen to me (which I won’t detail on my blog) but they have shown me my strength, and to have self-respect. I have learnt to re-prioritise my life, but that doesn’t happen overnight. Slowly, I have been “getting my sh*t together”, and I’m very hopeful about how the future looks.
Recovery is bloody hard, but I’m made of tough stuff.
On my way back to the light ❤