Since my first symptoms of mental ill-health almost 5 years ago, I have been to many a dark place courtesy of my mind. These periods of my life are things that I think about reguarly, especially as some of them still impact my day-to-day life even all these years later. Sometimes this can be a positive reminder of where I have been and emerged from, but sometimes it can be fuel to the fire of hopelessless that I still feel from time to time, as though, even after all this time and intervention, nothing has really changed.
But, as difficult as it is to realise, I have matured and developed a real in-depth knowledge of my condition and ways which have helped me and others who suffer from the same.
The biggest thing that kick-started an improvement of my mental health was the realisation that I am ultimately responsible for my decisions. My decisions to make attempts at my life or self harm which landed me in hospital and put a strain on all of my relationships and had an effect on those who I care about and those who care about me.
This realisation made me accountable for my unwillingness to fight my urges, my unwillingness to seek professional help and my unwillingness to accept the fact that I was doing serious damage to myself.
Taking responsibility for my mental health was hard, it was always to easy to blame my condition for my actions, but taking responsibility for myself, my safety and my actions initiated the biggest improvement in my mental health to date. It also made me realise that I do still have some control, when quite often it felt like didn’t.
It was not a miracle cure, and I still struggle immensely to resist my urges and intrusive thoughts but ultimately it is up to me what I do, maybe not how I feel, but definitely how I act on those feelings.
It’s also not something that was easy to do, and in fact, even a couple years later, it’s not something that I’ve perfected, but I am learning.
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