Living with a mental health condition can sometimes be a funny thing. One minute you feel on top of the world, you can go for long periods of relative stability, you begin to think that maybe you have finally beaten the illness, then you wake up the next day and for no reason you feel so bad that it takes all of your energy just to get out of bed. It feels like you are surrounded by black clouds, or even like you have been strapped into an Iron Maiden and the door is slowly shutting. When you relapse like this it is important to remind yourself that it is temporary, that if you stay focussed and positive then the storm will pass, and you will begin to feel better again. If you have a goal in life, then this can be a powerful tool in your long-term recovery. One of my favourite quotes was written by Sylvester Stallone for Rocky Balboa, “Its not about how hard you get hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Although it was written for a film to be said by a fictional character it is still a good quote.
The inspiration for this blog is my own twenty-five struggle with two mental health conditions. Although I have not been told by a Doctor that I have Depression and Social Anxiety I have spent the last nine years on different medications and been in and out of different talking therapies. For me the most frustrating thing is not having a specific diagnosis, I know that I have mental illness, I just don’t know which one.
Some people reading this might be surprised. When I’m at work I come across as a happy go lucky person. Being Mike the Fitness Instructor is easy. I have worked as a Fitness Instructor for fourteen years and I know I am good at it. Being Michael is much more difficult, especially when I look at where I should have been on my life plan by my age compared to where I actually am. I may not be where I should be yet, however it will not stop me from achieving my goals in life. It will simply take a bit longer.
Like all previous relapses this current one will not beat me. I will come back stronger and wiser.