So it recently came to my attention that I haven’t posted on my little blog for almost a year- how hideously neglectful of me! Creating and curating this page has been invaluable in regards to understanding and dealing with my mental health issues, and while I have only 100 or so followers, every single one of you means the world to me. You’ve embraced and encouraged my writing, shared with me your own tales of woe, and inspired me to do better. In fact, that’s precisely the reason for my lack of updates; I’ve been busy trying to better myself.
I decided that I needed to do something with my life and that 30 years old actually wasn’t too late to start, so I enrolled in uni. Thanks to credits from a diploma I completed awhile ago, I was able to condense a 4 year degree into 2, and I’m now on track to attaining my bachelors in Applied Social Science by the end of this year (insert praise hands emoji).
I feel this the appropriate forum to acknowledge the fact that I have been doing this while still working full time, 40 hours a week, as a department manager at a busy retail store. Additionally, I’ve been volunteering fortnightly with the Red Cross for around a year now, with a program that provides social support for isolated members of the elderly community. I’ve maintained my relationship, moved into a beautiful house, and continued to raise my cats during this time. In spite of my tight schedule and limited study time, I’ve achieved high distinctions at uni and have a current GPA of 6. But most importantly- I’ve accomplished all this, ALL OF IT, 100% medication free. Not an antidepressant, anti-anxiety or antipsychotic in sight! And, even more surprisingly, I’ve been COPING. Not always well, mind you, but coping nonetheless.
This all may sound incredibly boastful, and that’s the point, it’s supposed to. When I first started this blog 4 years ago, I was a wreck! In the throes of a mental health crisis, dealing with a devastating breakup, and feeling like the only way I could get through a day was to be medicated to the eyeballs. I truly believed I was a lost cause. Unlovable, unworthy, pathetic. Doomed to live out my life in a mental hellscape of my own creation.
So I AM boasting about all the good shit I’m doing with my life, because you know what? If even one person out there stumbles across this page, and it so happens to be at a time where they’re feeling like giving up, I want them to know that there IS hope, even for the hopeless! I think there’s a My Chemical Romance song by that name, but please don’t hold that against me. Emo trope or not, it’s true, I’m living proof of it.
I’m far from perfect, or “cured”. I still have BPD, but it no longer controls or defines me. I still have the occasional bout of depression, but I find a reason to get out of bed nonetheless. I still get the odd anxiety attack, but with the help of my friends and support network, I get through it, and move on. I no longer cut, and I don’t self-destruct. Sure, I’m still broke, smoke too much weed, and have trouble navigating social situations. But it’s all good. I’m finding peace with my shortcomings.
So take your meds, if they help you get through the day. Numb yourself out if you need to. But don’t you fucking give up on living, my friend. Talk to people. Be painfully honest. Fall apart openly! Cry in public! It really doesn’t matter. Life’s not fucking easy, and you don’t have to be ashamed for not coping. You’ll get your shit together when you’re meant to and when you’re able to.
I wish I could have told myself these things at my lowest points! I wish I had known that it was ok to be not ok. That there’s a certain beauty in hitting rock bottom, and being allowed the chance to rebuild. That life moves in cycles, in ebbs and flows, and sometimes you will despair, but sometimes you will rejoice. Sometimes there is darkness, and sometimes, there is light. But the darkness can’t, and won’t, consume your days forever. In the famous words of Leonard Cohen, “there’s a crack in eveything. That’s how the light gets in.”