Recovery: Accessing the tools to help
I didn’t think I’d make it to 30. In February, I’ll be turning 34. For years on end, thoughts flooded my head. Horrible thoughts, like:
‘You won’t ever recover from depression. It’s impossible.’
‘You’re just a burden.’
‘You won’t survive another day, let alone another year.’
Whenever I’d think about recovery, I’d inwardly scoff at the idea. It was like I was trapped in an invisible cage that nobody could see. It was like I was living within the boundaries of an electric fence.
I started to reflect on my childhood. My family are incredible, they always have been. But they didn’t know the turmoil I was facing. The bullying at school. When I think about senior school, all I can describe it as is a five year prison sentence. I was just a kid, an innocent kid. Why was I being punished in this way? What had I done to deserve this bullying? It wasn’t my fault I wore braces because my teeth stuck out a bit. But yet I’d look in the mirror and feel responsible for my flaws.
As an adult, I entered into several relationships with abusive partners. It dawned on me, finally, that I was in relationships with people who’d previously been bullies at their respective schools. I’d been seeking validation and acceptance in these toxic relationships.
Eventually, I went to my GP, who listened and arranged that I receive help from a counsellor to start with, then a clinical psychologist, and eventually, a support worker who was to take me out once a week to show me that the world wasn’t this big, scary place I’d envisioned after years of being around bullies.
Something started to shift and it felt like a miracle. I wanted to work on my art again. My passions came back. My zest for life returned. I’d become a stronger version of myself – the strongest I’ve ever been. I was cynical about seeking help, but if I can recover from the low depths I’d sank to emotionally, so can anybody. So can you.
Be brave. Reach out. Be confident that you can beat or at least become the master of your negative thoughts. I’d wish you luck – but you don’t need it. You have all the tools you need to fight off your problems. Maybe, like me, a psychologist might help you to access these tools and use them.
All the best.