Do you remember earlier this year I said I was writing a book? Well, I did. It has taken longer than expected, and it’s not finished, but it’s written. All the words are on the page. Two different people have read it (thanks Mackenzie and Spadge), and I’m in the process of making changes and edits.
And while the book focuses on my mental health journey during my recent relapse, the recovery process hasn’t been discussed. Because the truth is, recovery is taking a lot longer this time around. Going back on medication, actually seeing a therapist, finding my voice and sifting through the crap in my head to make sense of what it is that I want and need.
Nevertheless, the book will one day be complete. It’s an integral part of the recovery process for me this time around. So, before I change all the words here are a couple of excerpts from the book above that you might be able to resonate with yourself.
[This] is what you would call burnout. At 23-years-old I’d hit burnout. Isn’t this something high powered career people have? Oh wait, I had a career, maybe not high powered but it was high pressure.
In those two weeks, I became nocturnal. I’d sleep all day and be awake all night. Because I was fearful and anxious that a) work would contact me in the day needing me for something; b) I wouldn’t sleep through the night, or sleep at all, because I’d wake up with sleep paralysis and night sweats like I had done for months; and c) I didn’t want to be awake when everyone else was. That was the first week of burnout. The tank was empty, and the reserve tank was out of juice too.
It’s a hard battle to slog out on your own. While you are personally responsible for your recovery process, it’s lonely to do it alone. I appreciate it’s hard to build that village, especially when all you want to do is shut people out and deal with things on your own.
You need a support system. People to pick you up when you’re at your lowest. People to celebrate you when you’re at your best. Understanding, compassion, and patience are all things you need. You need a lot of things. But you won’t admit it.
The thought of being in a big public gym now scares me. Crowds and my mental health do not get along. And one of the main problems with city center gyms is a lot of people workout before work – like I used to. Contending with a hundred plus people first thing in the morning is too much stress. In my old life, my gym had five people to contend with at the crack of dawn.
I avoid dating and relationships like the plague. I hate the term ‘relationship.’ Commitment petrifies me. Expectations and pressure from someone make me want to run in the opposite direction. The upheaval of change is too much to cope with mentally when things don’t work out. I’m more of an old school traditionalist who believes in taking things slow and seeing how things work out. But I know realistically that’s not something I can do if I want marriage and kids and to share a life with someone. So, dating for me may have left me battered and bruised, but there’s a lesson in each relationship to be learned.