Well 2015, it’s been a year of ups and downs with my mental health journey. I’ve won sometimes, I lost other times but you haven’t beaten me and you won’t.
I started the year on a high. I loved my social work course and I was doing well. I wasn’t feeling that anxious and my OCD was “okay”.
Come March, my mental health problems were letting their mouths go again and giving me silly thoughts. I was having second thoughts about carrying on with my degree. They were giving me horrible thoughts about placement and I decided to get help from disability support. Something they made me do.
I tussled with my thoughts and wanted to change to a sociology degree. After all I enjoyed the subject when I did it on my social work degree and I was good at it. I am good at it. But the stigma said “no” and they won, this time.
I then asked to be put onto the journalism course. This was what I wanted. I wouldn’t let my mental health problems win this time. By this time it was May and I carried on with the rest of my social work course so I could finish it.
I finished it and I got a first. That was my two fingers up to my mental health problems.
But the battle was just beginning. Now I needed to prove that I had mental health problems. I needed to prove that they weren’t fake and that what was in my head was real. Well the thoughts aren’t rational, but you know what I mean!
I had to find out what mental health problems I had and it was one of the hardest parts of my journey. I had to go to the doctors and tell him about my symptoms. The first time I went didn’t go to well – a lot of stigma.
The second time went much better. But I had to wait for a letter to say that I could go onto the journalism course. To prove that I was “fit to practice”. It scared me.
The process had taken five months up to this point and I was sick of being in limbo. It was a hard summer for me but I battled my mental health on my internship and I felt proud.
July came with some anxiety but I got my diagnosis of anxiety related OCD (social anxiety, health anxiety and OCD).
I found out in August that I’d gotten onto the journalism course after a long…wait. Hurrah! I’d won this time and I was going to continue winning.
Health anxiety has taken it’s toll on me from September but I didn’t let it beat me and I haven’t since. It’s still there but it won’t win. Ever.
In December I was told that people have seen a change in me. I look “brighter” and “happier” and it’s showing in the way I walk and talk apparently too!
My mental health has improved this year with a few dips along the road. But they haven’t beaten me. I’m still fighting. I will keep fighting into 2016. Onwards and upwards in my recovery journey!