It’s lovely to welcome March in today as I always find Feb particularly challenging. I’ve been highly focused on #selfcare since last June but it all went out the window last month – eating better, sleeping better, writing, drawing, talking, being mindful, radical acceptance and all the other things I’ve poured energy into as part of my recovery just stopped for the month. I suppose I stopped being willing and my wilfullness returned. New month, important awareness day, fresh white blank sheet laid out in front of me and receiving this card a few days ago reminds me it’s time to accept the shit month, forgive myself and forge forwards. I wrote this card to myself on my birthday and then forgot about it – 6 days later I was stupid – I can’t remember a couple of days – for which I’m grateful. This Tues the card dropped through my letter box. I read it and wept -released what I’d held in for 2 weeks. It’s funny how quickly your thought process can change in a matter of days and I’m glad I got to read this letter. A letter written to myself on a day my brain was on my side.
There are moments in life that define you. Sometimes they are brief seconds and sometimes they are longer lasting. Sometimes those moments stay yours and yours alone, for weeks, months, years or even for all time. I’m sick of holding those defining moments in. Many I have divulged in dribs and drabs or huge bursts over this past year, some I’m not yet ready to explore. One thing I’ve learnt is that keeping them internally locked just decays you inside. No matter how much you don’t want to share wether due to pain, grief, shame or fear of hurting another or how you might be viewed by others, those defining moments are part of who you are. The power of some moments aren’t always apparent straight away or even for years and others their power smacks you immediately in the face.
One of the later for me, was my recent stay in a psychiatric ward. The funny thing about one of these is the stay itself can be traumatic, defining, hopeful and hopeless all at the same time. I’m not quite ready to divulge all of my experiences here yet but this article from others via the mighty hit home on so many levels and says things I I’m not ready to just yet:
The following points all resonate strongly with me: 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 31, 33, 34, 37, 39, 40, 44, 48, 49 & 50
Some of them are contradictions but hey mental illness often is a huge array of contradictions as is recovery and life in general itself. This one sums up my experience best of all:
38. “It’s lonely, scary, unfamiliar, depressing. But as much as I hated being there, it saved my life. I was more scared to leave the place than I was to arrive. Leaving meant I was being trusted not to hurt myself, but I still had a huge journey before I was on the way to recovery.”
And this one just can’t be said enough:
19. “As a mental health therapist experienced in the field, I can say that there is a serious lack of funding for inpatient hospitals (as well as other mental health facilities), and sadly the people who suffer are the patients. Too many places are understaffed or staffed with under qualified people. If this is important to you I urge you to become involved in your community.”