***Trigger warning: depression, anxiety, suicide, self harm, mental health***

If you're a relative, or a close friend of mine, this will probably be a tough post to read. Or maybe it'll be tough for everyone. But this is my story. And I'm finally ready to share.

In April last year, I was signed off from work with my chronic illness, PoTS. My health had deteriorated rapidly, and leaving the house for a few minutes was a task in itself. With me becoming bed bound most days, and the manager of where I worked being less than sympathetic and turning into a vile bully in an attempt to get rid of me, my mental health started it's descent.

It was around mid-April that I made the decision that I didn't want to do this anymore. "This" meaning life. I turned off my emotions. I went and chopped all my hair off (this was a huge thing for me, I never touch my hair) - only to still feel nothing. It was at this point that I ordered razor blades online. It was at this point that I started to write letters to my loved ones for when the time came. If there's one thing I am, it's organised.

I was finding little enjoyment from anything in life. Social media was a toxic drug to me. But at the time, it was my only friend. I would dip in and out of pro-suicide groups; reassuring myself it was the right choice to make. During this time, I was self-harming everyday. Something my body had become well-accustomed to over the years. I'd say I was shocked at the lack of compassion from friends, but honestly? Even families struggle to understand how desperately lonely and painful it is to live with a chronic illness. I wanted control. Self-harm gave me that. It had done for 8 years. Since my chronic illness began.

That's not to say I didn't have good patches. Of course I did. Weeks would pass sometimes where I wouldn't pick up my weapon of self-destruction; nor did I think of it. But April was different.

As April turned into May, I sat in the bath ready to leave. The letters were spread on my bed; the razor blade in my hand. I laid there for hours. Until I made the decision to try one last time. Because surely life was more than this. I wrapped myself in a towel and hid away all evidence of what I had been so close to doing.

I decided to lose myself the best way I knew how: reading. The book I picked up was After the Fire. I remember posting back in December that this book had saved me from dropping out of the book blogging world; it did a lot more than that. I delved head first into the community and found things to aspire towards; things I could acheive. At the time, I was watching The Following, where I discovered Sam Underwood. He was doing a show in Edinburgh later that year - about mental health. Although anxiety ridden, and ill - I booked tickets to see him. I would be there in August, no matter what.

I connected with Sam online and ended up interviewing him about the show; an achievement I will always hold close to my heart. The deeper I got into the bookish community, the clearer the fog in my mind became. My desperation turned to determination.

On 8th July (11 months today!), I did a 24 Hour Readathon for charity. So many amazing authors were involved, and it was at that moment I realised I was getting better. That I hadn't self harmed for weeks. That life was worth living again. I slowly started going to bookish events, and meeting people who changed my life (looking at you, Liv). In April 2018, I won 2 book blogging awards and even did 2 panels (check that out here). What a crazy year it's been.

By no means is my mental health perfect now. My anxiety is still a struggle every day. But the bad days are fewer. I'm stronger. I'm a fighter. Who knows when the fight will end?

And here I am today. In recovery.

PS. I got to Sam in Edinburgh. Just like I said I would. I had one of the best, carefree nights of my life. He has since sent me a video message to congratulate me on getting better.

PPS. He performed a song called Recovery - Frank Turner. You may want to check that out.

1 comment

  1. Recovery of the theme and fitness for the paths. The improvement of the write my assignment for me is hatched for the goals. Reformism theme for the struggle for the approval of the patent right for the injunctions for the team.