Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Grateful

It's only Wednesday and already I can argue that I've had a pretty interesting week so far:

- Achieving a 2:1 in my first University assignment
- Realising that a lot of 'friends' never actually cared about me in the first place and that I need to move on.
- Finding out that my brand new course of CBT is starting up just TWO roads away from where I currently live.
- Just receiving generally nice comments this week - sometimes from complete strangers.

Hey, it's not a life-changing week by any means, but when you struggle with a mental health problem, it takes the smallest things to make the biggest difference. To find out that I've achieved a 2:1 on my first University assignment gives me confidence that I don't usually have to know that I can push myself a lot further than this and achieve higher, better, and be stronger. Likewise, CBT, gives me that opportunity to grow and develop, minimise some of these awful thoughts that control me day by day. And having appointments so close to where I live is going to be of SO much benefit to my anxiety and I'm so happy and pleased that the NHS have finally catered to my needs in that respect.

I've also had some lovely messages this week - one from a friend of a friend who just so happens to read this blog (which I never knew about before). Another, who reminded me who my real friends were/and wern't - and reminded me what it is I am here for and to do. And quite simply, messages like that motivate me to keep writing here. I reached 100 followers this week and almost 33,000 hits and as much as I try not to concern myself too much with the quantity of my readers and more with the quality of my writing, it's still rather insane to believe that over 33,000 of you (and more in the near future) will have stumbled across my blog and perused your eyes over my sometimes rather pathetic words.
 
So I'm feeling mostly grateful this week. Grateful for:
- My perfect boyfriend
- My supportive University lecturers who I can't thank enough for their understanding
- The fact that I have access to treatment in two days - grateful for the NHS
- My University classmates, for our endless coffee/Waterstones breaks/chats and smiles
- Having a job where I am relatively respected enough to be given so much responsibility
- Good literature
- My trip to Canterbury this last week, to visit old friends and to meet inspiring people
- My mental illness (es), which would never have made me the same person that I am today.

And I'm not going to pretend to be one of those people who says she lives life grateful for ALL of these things each and everyday. Sometimes, my illness makes it difficult to recognise that these people, this degree, friends, are actually in my life at all and it makes me want to give up. Depression often clouds my vision. Into my present, and into my future. But it's important sometimes to have a little reflection over the small things, being silly with friends during lecture breaks, changings of the seasons, gingerbread lattes with those adorable Christmas cups from Costa (yes, they are a thing!) and being in love (which is actually quite a big thing, I know).

I'm at a stage right now where I still feel defined by my illness. I'm more likely to want to introduce myself as someone with a mental health problem, than someone who studies a English Literature BA. Because people could hound me for ages about how great it is that I've returned to studying and how much I've achieved, but in reality I haven't achieved too much yet. I've walked across a stepping stone upon receiving my first assignment back and on receiving feedback I hope it will be a learning curve. Yet my reflections on myself and everything around me seem still very much shaped by my mental health problem and when you've lived like that for such a long time, it can be incredibly difficult to undo, which is where I hope and pray that the CBT will really help me. I know that one day mental illness will take a back seat and I can be the hopeful aspiring student again. Things like this take time, they don't come easy.

But when you feel up to it, like I did this evening (mostly inspired by watching some of Carrie Fletchers YouTube videos, thank you Carrie), I just had a little think and got my fingertips writing and here I am, it was one of those times where I needed to recognise what I had around me and what I need to fight for. Recovery is one, and to live my dreams are another. Who knows if they'll happen but I'll try and make a pretty good damn bash at it.

I'm going to leave you now with some inspiring words of wisdom from the great YouTuber Carrie Fletcher - who has helped me loads tonight.


I hope that in the comments you can all write some things you are grateful for.

Have a great week, everyone!

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