Matt Smith, from Grimsby gives us an insight into his sudden streak of happiness
Three weeks ago to the day as I write this, I tweeted this:
That’s three weeks of feeling good/happy/positive. Yes, there has been the odd sleepless night or down day but nothing, and I mean nothing to like how I have been in the past. And if I’m being honest, and I am because that’s a part of recovery, it’s scary. I’ve spent more than enough time wishing to be ‘normal’ again and here I am at 3 weeks of happiness but in the back of my head…impending doom! But why? Why should I sit around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain?!
But here’s the catch to recovery – you know you can have good days and the fact you know the signs/signals/triggers doesn’t alter the fact that there’s a high chance you won’t feel like this for too long. This is where a big part of my recovery comes into action; my mind-set.
This has been one of, if not the hardest part of my recovery. Changing a mind-set that had been moulded over 30 years then attacked for the last 2 years by depression. You make so many assumptions when you’re in the midst of depression; everything is negative. Its cliché but true that you don’t see a way out of this constant living hell that living with depression is; these feelings can last for days/weeks/months.
This is tough for me to write because it is new to me with this new mind-set of mine but again it’s part of recovery and recovery isn’t easy – self-praise!! Who likes bigging themselves up? Definitely not me, that’s for sure. But you’ve got to look back at the things you’ve overcome, when you thought (cliché alert) there was no light at the end of tunnel and see where you’re at now; and feel proud. You’ve smashed it, you’ve come this far, now bring on the next obstacle. You’re stronger than you think you are.
A big part of my recovery is mindfulness/meditation and yoga and a big part of the changing of my mind-set.
Now, getting to this point in my recovery has been a long hard road (clichés all over the shop!) and I’m under no illusions there’s further to go yet and it’s taken a lot of help and persistence from mental health professionals, family, friends, twitter friends!, myself (bigging myself up), and I best give a shout out to my new meds. Changed from Sertraline to Mirtazapine.
If you’re anything like me and on Twitter, which itself has been a huge part of my recovery; being able to ‘meet’ so many amazing and inspiring people, you come across many other stories and hear people have fallen out of touch with friends due to this illness, which has made me thankful to have friends like mine because during your recovery it’s important to keep talking. I’ll always have an ear that’ll listen but as well as my old friends I’ve also made new friends, some cyber-friends, some real life friends, both help my recovery. A big part of my recovery is mindfulness/meditation and yoga and a big part of the changing of my mind-set. I don’t want to sound like a warped cult member but I’m totally sold on this and think it should take some part of a school curriculum. I wish I didn’t wait to start it until 35.
I mention it takes hard work in recovery and I take a 45 min – 1 hour walk everyday, sometimes 2 walks if I feel I need it. I use that time to compose myself, take a bit of time to sort my thoughts out and plan my attack on whatever’s in front of me. Some people may be thinking – hard work?!! Going on a walk?!! But a ‘normal person’ could not be arsed and not bother with a walk today and everything’s fine, if I miss a walk it can turn into “wish I wasn’t here”. The mind’s a wonderful thing! So I take my walks come rain, wind or shine.
So here I am feeling good for 3 weeks now, showering regularly, doing lots of cooking and baking (always a sign I’m feeling good), keeping on top of house work – if you can wake up to a tidy room/house it gives a boost for the day (well it does me), going on my walks, practising my mindfulness/meditation and yoga and pushing myself more and more. Currently running for a Community Representative position at my local health organisation, Navigo. They looked after me for a period last year and are still very supportive in my recovery so the least I can do is help others try to see (cliché alert) there is light at the end of the tunnel and for this position I had to do some public speaking, which is so far out of my comfort zone. But I was so unhappy with my life I tried to take it and I definitely don’t want to think like that again so if doing things like this, which ultimately make me feel better and give me a purpose, it’s what I’m going to keep doing. This may well be easy for me to say at this point of recovery but there is help, there is a way out, good thoughts can overcome the negatives ones, it may take some time, keep fighting.