Honestly, I’ve been a little bit all over the place. Mentally, emotionally and physically. So I took a step back, at first, because I had to and then I just needed time to focus on me. Which is okay. It’s amazing how many people, myself including, feel like saying no to things or taking the time to heal and focus on yourself is a bad thing. I know that I thrive better under pressure, which is super weird because the thought of being in a situation with a lot of pressure gives me heart palpitation, but if I’m suddenly thrown into a high pressure situation I usually thrive.
It’s the immediacy of it, I think, that I like. My brain doesn’t have time to worry or stress or really process what happening because its immediate, it’s happening right now and you just gotta buck up and sort whatever needs sorting. It’s also one of the reasons that I like to keep busy, because it doesn’t give my brain a chance to process what’s really going on or how I’m really feeling. I just like to be constantly doing something, and while I’m doing it, I’ll be thinking about the next thing that needs to be done, always working one step ahead in my head.
But sometimes we, namely I, need to learn when to stop, when to slow down and listen to what your body, and sometimes even the people around you, are saying. I didn’t and my body decided it’d had enough, physically took to attacking itself just to get me to admit something was wrong. I was still stubborn about it, like I always am, waiting 6 days to go to the doctors and they were amazed I was still standing. I spent the next 11 days after that in hospital, the first 3 of which, I don’t even really remember but if my mums reactions were anything to go by, it was pretty scary for a bit. And while 11 days doesn’t seem like an amazingly long time, I swear to you time passes so much slower in hospital.
At the end of it, I was back on a course of steroids with the prospect of a lot of new medication in the future, more scans and tests, new consultants and nurses. It was a lot. And it made me realise that I needed to allow myself time to heal, to let my body try and fix itself as much as it could before I really got back up and carried on swinging. A week and a half after I got out of hospital I had a butt tonne of University work I had to finish so that I could finally graduate. Which I lived for because there was that good ol’ pressured feeling back and I worked and worked and kicked its butt considering.
Then nothing. I had no uni work, no job, basically no social life, I hardly left the house. I very quickly slipped from being the busiest I’d ever been to not having the physical or mental energy to move from my bed. I’d been down before, but this was bad. There’s a lot I blame on the meds, the insomnia, the heightened anxiety, the mood swing, the weight gain, the hair loss, all of this and more helped bury me into the deep hole that I couldn’t even contemplate climbing out of. So I didn’t. For a really long time.
Skip all the dramatic stuff and what am I really trying to say? Well, in a nutshell I realised it gets better. Not straight away and it isn’t easy, but it does get better. Eventually. I got a little job, nothing fancy, just at the weekend in the local supermarket but it was good. Then I got another job, nothing permanent just during the week for a couple of months, doing the thing I love and sure it meant working seven days a week but that was okay, I could do that for a while if it meant my passion was being pursued. I started therapy, started learning the tools that would making living with anxiety that little bit easier. I went to visit my favourite people in my favourite city a few weekends ago and it did amazing things for my soul. I brought tickets to my first Supernatural con next May which has led me to meet a whole new family that honestly get me through most tough days. I found the desire to sit at my laptop and write something I was proud to call my own.
Taking time out doesn’t make you weak. It allows you the time to heal and reevaluate the things that really deserve to take up space in your life. Every one has bad times but that should never be reason enough to stop fighting. Take the time to stop and really take in what’s happening in your life, remove the negatives and embrace what makes you truly happy and make that the brightest light in your life. It might not be easy, but then again, nothing worth fighting for ever is, and life, I think, is worth fighting for.