As I allow my memories to come and go. I imagine them floating away like clouds in the sky. Somedays I do not know how I manage to sit with the memories, the anxiety, the fear, without my world falling apart.
In the past, I was fearful of remembering and experiencing flashbacks. It felt an internal battle that I would never win. My memories are not only about the abuse that happened boarding school but what I witnessed in hospital. In particular, one memory about a young man who had tried to end his life. He was sitting in a wheelchair with a blue cast on his left leg looking at the blaring television. I came in and sat on the other side of the room, he looked directing at me. His eyes conveyed a multitude of pain and terror. If a person’s eyes could speak, they were saying, ‘I am ready to go’. As I left to go bed, walking down the soulless corridors to my room. I went to sleep and the next morning he had passed away.
I never knew the circumstance of how he passed away but I think it was complications with his injury. I remember vividly his parents coming and being utterly devastated. Even though I never spoke or knew him personally, we connected for a moment and sometimes words are not needed. I often think about him at this time of year, hoping that he is in a better place and his family are safe and well.
In previous blogs, I have explained how the difficult and destructive hospital was for me. By remembering those memories and seeing how far I have come through, those challenging years. I am thankful for being alive and well. I would have never expected to have witnessed these things or endured those moments of pain. But, instead of looking into the darkness, I am trying to see the beauty in life. This does not mean that I am not aware of the pain and suffering around but instead of looking at the darkness, I am choosing to see the light.
For many years I was on this path to self-destruction. I didn’t trust anyone, not even my family. I felt as though the healthcare professionals and psychologists with doing more harm than good. Even when I would communicate my thoughts and feelings, it felt as though they were dismissed or unheard. Subsequently, this made me go into myself and fuelled the trauma in my mind.
However, I have found communication is so important, even when I do not know how to express myself or whether people can understand directly what I am struggling with at that time, it is being able to get it off my chest. By releasing that we all have bad days whether or not you struggle with mental health problems.
Some days I can barely get out of bed because I’m so so physically and mentally tired. In the past, the reasons I have relapsed is that I continuously push myself to succeed and please everyone. I have found stability in accepting that life is not a race. I have stopped comparing myself to others and know acceptance that life has many different paths which continuously changing direction. Life is not a race. Life is precious and fragile all at the same time. But, I will not let me past command my future.
I never thought it would have been possible to find some peace from what’s happened but I’m stronger than before. I will continue to share my story with others, even if it seems that nobody is listening or change isn’t happening, one day it will. My aim is to share my story to hopefully to help one person and for them to know that they are not alone. There is hope in life and you can recover. I hope in the near future that the stigma surrounding mental health is gone and there are adequate support and funding in place to help anyone struggling with mental health.