A huge part of getting better for me is about building a life worth living. I used to be pretty much house bound. I would spend days on end inside my home and being outside in the fresh air was a novelty. I had no friends, no hobbies, there really was nothing to my life other than my illness and for that reason I had no motivation to be alive let alone commit to getting better. Having a mere existence was not a small chunk of my life, it was years and years of loneliness, isolation and nothingness. It was not something I ever envisaged changing but it did.
I can honestly say that this year I have lived more than I ever have before. I am still unwell but I am building a life worth living and it all happened on the day I appeared on BBC Breakfast and fell back in love with life again. That day I realised that I was more than an illness and that I do have talents. I began to participate in life more and grasp the opportunities I wanted rather than allowing my illness to make excuses and keep me locked away in my home.
For a very long time I wanted to die and I truly believed that was all that was left for me but I cannot explain how grateful I am now for those people that saved my life when I didn’t have the capacity to save myself. I found myself writing my life plan the other day. I used to be so scared of growing up but now it is written in black and white. I know where I want to live, the type of house I want, the career I am aiming for and I want children and a dog called Toast.
Building a life worth living used to be a difficult concept because I tried to live my life to please certain people but it wasn’t through love, it was through fear. We are given one life and a lesson I have learnt recently is that life is about what you make it and it is not selfish to do the things that you want to do, that is healthy. I know that a life worth living does not mean that mental illness magically disappears because unfortunately the two do not correlate. However, mental illness tends to steal a lot of things from it’s victim and acts like a blindfold so whilst building a life worth living is not a cure, it can certainly help to take those parts of your life back that the illness stole. Building a life worth living gives me hope, excitement and enjoyment and it builds up positive experiences that I never imagined that I would have, even just going to a nail bar with a friend. Now I have a reason to fight the suicidal thoughts my illness throws at me because I know who I am and I know that I want to be alive.