Last night Mr B read me a blogpost I had written about 3 years ago. He wanted to remind of how far I can come.
Hearing those words made me think about about all the little things that have helped in my recovery. It also made me wonder what would I say to my 25 year old self, drowning in the darkness. Would that girl listen to me? Or would she ignore me? Would she even believe me?
I know there are many people out there who are struggling with the black dog. The black dog tells you that you will never get better, that no-one cares, that there is no point in trying. But I want to tell you that the black dog is lying. His voice is strong, loud, and all consuming, but he's not telling you the truth.
In any kind of recovery, whether it be physical or mental, there is the age old saying that 'time is the greatest healer'. But when you have been struggling for so long, you cannot begin to imagine that this might be true. It seems like a cheesy line from a film, or a book, some kind of fantasy that doesnt sit anywhere in your own reality.
I never believed that time was a healer. I dismissed it as a fantasy.
However, looking back over the past 4 years, I can say that time has been a healer. The many days, months and years that have gone by, have all contributed to my recovery. It didnt seem like it at the time. It seemed like an endless stretch of days full of numbing pain, but gradually, little by little, things changed, and the wounds in my mind began to heal.
Some people are against taking medication, I'm not one of them, but I remember the time when I was so fed up with my anti-depressants not working, that I began to lose my faith in them too.
When it comes to medication, I think the important thing to remember is that there are so many different kinds of anti-depressants, and it is your doctors job to find the right one for you. It took my doctors and psychiatrists over 12 months to find the right drug for me, and I had got to a point when I had nothing to lose. I said to myself, "well I may as well give it a try, whats the worst that can happen." I had to force myself to take a chance, a leap of faith, and luckily, it worked.
I think it was in the film Shawshank Redemption when Red says to Andy Dufrane, "Hope is a dangerous thing." Well Red, you are wrong my friend. Oh so wrong. For hope is the only thing.
Hope keeps us afloat. It keeps us from sinking into the darkness.
Without hope I would not be here.
Hope is the light inside our soul that begs us to keep living.
Hope tells us not to give up.
Hope is tomorrow.
Hope is the voice in your head that can shout louder than the black dog, you just have to tune in.
Hope allows us to believe.
Please hold on.