I wake up cold – but sweating. I’d had nightmares again. My heart felt heavy in my chest, my limbs felt entirely useless. Every time I stood up I thought I was going to fall, and my brain was blank and numb.
I hate this, I hate feeling like I’m getting somewhere with my health, and then one morning it completely takes me by surprise and pulls me back in. I contemplated not going to work but decided against it. Having to call through to reception and request to speak to my manager and explain over the phone why I won’t be in is terrifying. It’s so difficult to explain mental illness to a company that doesn’t understand it. I’d be in a hell of a lot of trouble when I went back the next day. I didn’t want that, so I’ll put the mask on for today, and convince everyone that I’m all right.
Some days I’ll get up and feel like I can do anything; I feel like I’ve got a great day and a great life ahead of me and I’m motivated and inspired and generally content. I feel cured and free and capable. But other days I can be the total opposite, and it leaves me feeling empty, hopeless, and completely drained. There’s no telling what mood I’ll wake up in, and there’s no guarantee that mood will stick around all day.
Recovery isn’t linear (how I wish it was), and I’m still going to have dark days along the way. Even after learning all the mindfulness techniques, finishing 11 months of counselling, and getting into the habit of writing everything down in a journal – none of that will fix me overnight. My anxiety or depression could strike me at any moment, even when I’ve been enjoying life so much and I feel like nothing could bring me down. There’s no telling when it could take hold of me next. I just have to remember all the ways I can fight it, and continue on my journey of recovery.