Living with chronic pain is not fun, but there is medication that can help take the edge off. Living with anxiety is not fun, but there is medication that can help that and my mental health has benefited.
What neither of the medications can do is change the way you think about the things that have happened in the past. Whilst I try my best not to dwell on the things that have occurred sometimes the feeling becomes overwhelming and I can’t stop myself. It almost feels like I’ve hopped in a Tardis and gone right back to the split second where I felt the pain or sadness. I don’t just remember dates, I remember feelings, the weather, the time, I remember it all but that doesn’t make me crazy.
My very first childhood memory involves the police coming around, I was just 18 months old but right now (just a month away from 27) I can describe the whole evening in exact detail, right down to what the two police officers looked like. I remember one carried me out, and I remember exactly what everyone else in the room was doing. I also remember waking up in my nans bed at 3:47am. I was 18 months old, but I have never told this story differently and do you know why? It is because it is real and I remember it like it happened yesterday.
Over the last few years I have worked hard to get over all the events that happened between Dec 13- April 2014. It involved lots of police, lots of stress and lots of paranoia but what it ultimately led to was me choosing family over my exams at uni… walking out of one exam and in that split second missing out on the chance to graduate with my friends. My last term of undergrad was spent listening to everyone talk about their plans for graduation and the future and I knew I wouldn’t be with them yet I still had to make my way through the work and I graduated. I graduated with a 2:2 but the determination to keep going no-matter what and whilst a 2:1 and above might have been better grades I wouldn’t remove my strength ever. I don’t regret any of it anymore because I probably wouldn’t be here writing this if it hadn’t happened.
I ended up in a very dark hole, quite frankly my life was a mess. Right now, I am listening to the Spotify playlist I made during that time and it really shines a light a lot into how I was thinking but listening to it today doesn’t make me sad or doesn’t make me instantly feel anxious and it is how I know how far forward I have come and how I know I have so much to be proud of today. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get triggered, I do…the timehop app, walking a certain place, storylines in soaps (Stevens phone hacking in Eastenders for example!), and songs all have the potential to trigger a thought, feeling, flashback but I’ve learnt to cope.
Going back to university…
2 years ago, going back to university would have seemed impossible, there was no way I could have gone back to a place that held so many mixed emotions for me. I was saving the funds for my masters and I probably could have financially started sooner than I did (Jan or Sep 16) but I kept putting it off until emotionally I was ready and in January 2017 I was. That doesn’t mean it was easy, at times I really struggled but the more I was back there the better I felt. Going back really healed some wounds.
The grades I achieved last semester as prove of that. Being in a better headspace has helped but I am always aware that I make sure that my mental health remains protected. I try my best not to dwell but not beat myself up if I need to take myself away for an hour or two and have a good old sulk because that day in January 2014 bloody well sucked and mucked up my life.
It’s all about being balanced!