Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. My mental health is something that I have struggled with since I was a child, and so this is something I feel incredibly passionate about.
I’d like to share with you something that I wrote just over 2 years ago on an old WordPress blog. My life has changed a lot since, mostly for the better, but the thoughts behind this writing still remain.
So many people talk about the calm before the storm. Some use hindsight as a way to pinpoint the exact turning point; the point at which everything went wrong. Some get that gut feeling which tells them that it’s just too good to be true, and they find themselves anticipating the hurdle.
For me, that hurdle is a roadblock, an abyss. Something so unpassable that it’s impossible to avoid.
For me, the Storm is always inevitable.
It’s the thing that so often holds me back from letting go and being truly happy. It’s the thing that prevents me from finding true joy in things. Some will most likely say that’s just an excuse not to try…well maybe it is. If it’s an excuse, it is something that is so deeply ingrained in me that I cannot seem to let it go.
I was 15 when I got diagnosed with severe depression. 2005. I used to have such highs, such happy times, and then come down with a crash. I learnt to look out for it…to fear the highs, to fear the happiness. After all, what good would euphoria bring?
I began to dread the Calm; to avoid it. After all, without the Calm, there was no Storm.
As the years went on, it was something I was able to shake…somewhat. I no longer tried to avoid the happiness, although it did often still hold me back from doing some of the things I loved.
These days, I am left with apprehension. As soon as I realise just how happy I am, just how much of a good time I am having, I start to worry. Maybe that’s what triggers it now. Maybe it’s the worry, the stress about the Storm, that brings on the Storm itself.
Sometimes, I forget. I forget the inevitable until it arrives and slaps me round the face. Those are the worst Storms.
They also tend to be the best Calms. Why? Because I actually let myself experience them. I allow myself that time to be happy.