Welcome to MENTAL

A collection of stories ON mental health experiences

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“I got out of bed today."

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I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for almost ten years, but was only diagnosed about five years ago. I spent four years in my room, in my bed, debilitated by my illness before that. 

Once I was diagnosed my life started to move forward again. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be here today. I dropped out of high school due to my illness at fifteen, and thought my future options were limited - I never thought I’d get the chance to go to university. But here I am, five years later in my second year of my degree in English and Media. I am living proof that if you reach out, hold onto hope and believe in yourself, you can do things you never thought you could; you can choose to stay alive and live a life you love. I still go through ups and downs, but with the combination of therapy, medication and my awareness of how my darkness creeps up on me, I do my best to stay mentally healthy. The most important thing I’ve learned is to take life day by day and hold onto the little things that make you happy, they are what keep you going.

I’d like to share a poem I wrote several years ago about taking small steps to get better, and how each step forward should be acknowledged on your journey through recovery.

 

I got out of bed today

That may be all I did but

It’s a step past yesterday

 

I ate a whole meal today

It may be less than most

But I never thought I’d get this far

Past my ghosts

 

I thought I was pretty today

Standing in front of the mirror

For the first time

I saw my real face

 

I felt something in my chest today

Like I was coming back to life

After all the endless dark nights

 

I walked out the door today

Felt the wind on my face

The sun’s warm embrace

Took the steps along the path

As I let go of my past

 

I smiled today

At a stranger walking by

I felt my fears start to subside

 

I made it through today

And I can face tomorrow

Because I know I’ll be okay.

 

“It is a harrowing, debilitating, and lifelong illness but it is an illness where there is always hope.”

"I call it a dark horse."