At it’s worst, whatever form it takes, mental illness can make it feel like you can’t possibly survive the day. Breathing stops being a simple, unconscious act and becomes a wearying labour. Getting out of bed feels like being dumped at Everest Base Camp with no warning and being told to climb to the top. Barefoot. Actually going about your day, getting dressed, going to work, making food, interacting with people all become utterly impossible. You may as well have been asked to make a rocket out of a bag of lettuce and fly it to Mars. And then you’re faced with the realisation that if by some miracle you DO manage to survive the day, there’s another one to survive tomorrow. And then another. And then another. Before you know it you’re lost in a negative thought spiral and, as they say, it’s turtle’s all the way down.
But the thing is, you ARE a survivor. The very fact that you are here, reading this now if proof that you have survived literally everything life has thrown at you! And that’s amazing. Because life can be damn hard some days. So hold onto that fact. You are a survivor. You are an expert survivor.
Never forget that your capacity to survive has got you this far. There is always hope in tomorrow. You are here and you are wonderful. You are part of an incredible universe and your place in it is just as important as the moons and the stars and the planets. You are life itself: a walking talking miracle. There will be rough days. There will be not so rough days. There will be bloody terrible days and bloody brilliant days and they are all part of your journey. The destination is not important. Your are travelling in time and space and you are magic.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.
The Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org
Young Minds: http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide): https://www.papyrus-uk.org
Self Harm UK: https://www.selfharm.co.uk
Time to Change: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness: http://www.rethink.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://www.afsp.org
Please do not struggle alone.