Today is my 30th Birthday and I wanted to mark the occasion with a bit of a personal post. I haven’t posted here before about my own past struggles with mental health illness – but those of you that have attended my workshops, or know me personally, will know that it is usually something I’m pretty open about. I believe that we should talk freely about mental health in just the same way we do about physical health.
So today as I turn 30 I reflect backwards to my last ‘milestone’ Birthday of 21; at which point in time my life was uncertain and many professionals doubted my ability to ‘recover’. If you read my medical records I was never supposed to make it, to survive, to live. Yet in that place of darkness there were people in my life that were little glimmers of light, and that never gave up on me.
I fought hard to become well. I fell down many times, but I got back up. I wanted to prove recovery was possible by achieving it. And I did. Against the odds and expectations, I became well, and not just ‘okay’, or ‘managing’ but actually happy, healthy and well. In fact I’m the happiest and healthiest I have ever been – and I am proud to say it!
The years that have passed since my 21st Birthday have at times been difficult – because as we all know, life can be difficult – but there is an undercurrent of hope, and possibility. I know recovery is achievable because I have reached it – and if I can achieve it then I believe that with the right support many, many others can achieve it also. All it takes is a little belief, a lot of courage and a good dose of patience. Okay, so perhaps that makes it sound more simple than it is, but IT IS POSSIBLE!
I am now honoured to help many others on their own unique journeys to emotionally healthier and happier places by educating professionals to have knowledge, understanding and most importantly hope. I get to use my illness to create something positive.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported my journey; whether you have been my therapist or friend, or an attendee on a workshop, or a client who has allowed me to share in their journey to recovery – and here’s to another 30 years!