It’s been two weeks since I decided to share my blog with everyone, and it’s taken a while to be able to think of the words which I need to write in order to thank the people who have given me such incredible support not just during these past two weeks, but in the days, weeks and months that predate this – the people who have made me reaching this point possible.
Way back in December, when I started to write things down, I wrote something for my friends. It was a way of easing me into this, something that would be relatively easy to write, but I never hit the ominous blue ‘Publish’ button everybody else with a WordPress site will be all too familiar with (I’ve written quite a bit now and it’s still slightly terrifying clicking that button). I didn’t publish it because I knew there were going to be more to say, that it wasn’t really the right time to be thanking people because I was still in such a bad head space I didn’t know when I’d be out of it. I wasn’t in recovery, and recovery wasn’t even a word I could contemplate at that point.
But I’m out of that headspace now, so I can start to finally say thank you properly.
What I wrote started like this:
I want to say thank you. Thank you for being you, because without you I wouldn’t be here. I know you have your own things that you need to deal with, your own issues that affect your life, but I need to say thank you for still being there for me, even when there are definitely more fun things we could be doing than crying about our problems on a bedroom floor.
You’ve helped me realise that life isn’t perfect, that I’m not the only one going through this. That those feelings I have aren’t completely illogical and that it’s okay for me to not be okay. You’ve sat with me for hours whilst I ramble on illogically, trying to make sense of my thoughts whilst not telling me how silly I sound. You’ve squeezed my hand when nobody’s looking to tell me it’s okay, you’ve hugged me when you can tell I’m feeling down but don’t want to bother you. You’ve said that if I need you you’re there, even though we barely know each other yet, and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you for asking me how I really am when I pull a face when you ask “How’s it going?”, for nodding understandingly and offering me a shoulder to cry on when it’s getting too much, and for sending me random Buzzfeed articles because you know it will make me smile.
You’re there without even needing to be sat next to me. You’re a text, Facebook message, or a Skype call away. You know all my ‘secrets’ which are slowly becoming less secret, and when I tell you how I feel you say “It’s okay, I’m here”. No words will really be able to express to you just how important you are in my life, and whilst I may not tell you everything, that doesn’t mean it’s because I don’t think you’ll understand. It’s just there are some things that are difficult, some things which I struggle to admit to more than one person. To quote the ultimate cliché, it’s not you, it’s me.
But since I wrote this there’s far, far more I need to say.
I need to say thank you for your understanding. It’s been utterly overwhelming. The things people have said to me, messages I’ve received, every single one has brought a tear to my eye. Because of you, I haven’t regretted my decision to be open about all of this for one second. There’s never been a point where I wish I could take it all back.
But it’s also the understanding leading up to sharing this that I need to thank people for. Without it, I wouldn’t be getting better, I wouldn’t be able to hold my hands up and say “yeah, I’m having a tough time, but it’s going to be okay.” You let me rant and rave about the good and the bad and never turn around and say that I’m being unreasonable or that I’m wrong to feel a certain way. For the first time, I feel accepted for being me.
I’ve leant so much about so may people in the past two weeks. I’ve heard about other people who are experiencing mental health issues, people who know what it’s like to support someone in my position, people who just want to say that they support me and will be there if I need them. Each and every one of you are incredible, brave people, and I’m very thankful to have you in my life.
I also need to thank the people out there who I know who have been blogging about their experiences, not just of mental health, but of the things they face in their lives. You’re honesty is inspiring; it’s why I’ve started to be able to write things down and recover.
So many people have said that they wish they’d known what was going on, that they feel they should have been there for me but weren’t. But the truth is that you have been there for me. Sure, you didn’t know that things were this bad, you didn’t know how badly my mental health had declined, but you did the most important thing possible – you were there. You were the one reason for me to keep fighting, the one good thing in my life that the fog didn’t affect. You gave me those brief moments of happiness which have been vital for keeping me going without even knowing you were doing it.
You’ve done so much without even realising it.
The last thing I wrote in December was this:
I want you to know that I’m here for you too. When life is going badly, don’t feel like you’re alone. Because we’re in this together. All of us. We won’t deal with things in the same way; some of us will be able to talk and talk for hours about how we’re feelings, whilst some of us will barely be able to say the words. If you want to talk about it, then I’m here. If you don’t want to talk about it, then I’m still here. But whatever you say, however you feel, you are not alone.
So thank you for being there; thank you for being you. Without you I wouldn’t be able to sit here and write about what’s happening in my head; I wouldn’t be able to go out and tell people that I need help. If it weren’t for you I’d be hiding away from the world, unable to see any reason to get out of bed.
The final thing I want to say though is this: thank you for taking away my fear. For so long I’ve been scared to talk, scared of the reactions, scared of whether or not I’d ever get better. Because of the support I’ve received in the past two weeks, I’m not scared any more. I want to talk. I’m not scared of the questions any more (if you want to ask me things I’m more than happy to answer) and I’m not scared to tell people about my mental health.
Because I know that there’s a sea of support out there. I know that because of you, and for that I will be eternally grateful.