The road long travelled
Posted by Chris.stacey2004
31st May 2014

I was actually ill with my mental health problems from about the age of 15. But like many people it wasn't until later on in life that I actually became diagnosed, and my diagnose' was with Schizoaffective disorder. Simplified it means someone who suffers from symptoms of both Bipolar and Schizophrenia. Getting a diagnose' was actually very helpful in making sense of years of ill mental health problems.

So about Christmas 2009 after we had just got married and passing my Bsc hons degree I was working roughly 14-16 hour days for weeks at a diy store (manic episodes where in full swing). I broke down in tears at home in front of my wife one Saturday. I couldnt speak, words were garbled I felt massively depressed. I coudnt remember lots of things, my memory recall was awful (and at the best of times still is!).

After a visit by the crisis team on several occasions, seeing the local community psychiatric Prof. And nurse for a few years and talking to people from Sane, I was finally feeling the most stable I have ever done after stabilising on Quetiapine, Lithium and Agomelatine. I finally in February joined the local hospital pharmacy team full time, my first full time job in about 4.5 years I decided that I would give something back to those who had been part of a larger group of charities and NGO's who helped me recover by doing my first 5k run which I completed in 36mins. Sane have been amazing. There's was a lot more work and healing then I've mentioned, highs and lows feeling guilty with what I've put my wife and family through. But then again guilt is a massive part of condition.

I completed my run felt like I was going to die and throw up. But it's a milestone, a marker, a mental stand in which I have said I'm going to control the condition, it will NOT control me. But I will always have reoccurring episodes, mental health recovery is a everlasting marathon, not a series of sprint races. Part of succeeding is overcoming the realisation that you will stumble, bruise, bang your head then rolling with the punches pick yourself back up let the marks heal and get back on the track.

My favourite saying sums up my road long travelled;

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue which counts". Winston Churchill.

My final say is that on my journey there have been a lot of people and organisations that have been there for me, especially my wife, I've also got to mention that I started going to Church and they have been great in helping me put 1 foot in front of the other, it being lively and charismatic helped invigorate me and having faith in a personal God who can relate in suffering and belief that this live is transient gives me hope in a truly new start one day.

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