I won’t break.

I’m taking a few moments out to write this as reassurance to myself really, and to anyone else going through some difficult times.

I’ve spent 6 years of my life fighting mental illness. 6 years. That’s 1/5 of my life battling something I don’t fully understand nor did I ask for. In that time I’ve apologised, cracked, broken, won, challenged, defeated, lost and have bruised. Also in that time, I’ve wished to no longer be here to avoid the suffering.

I spent weeks confined to my home and work, because the thought of even going to a corner shop crippled my whole body with fear. I’ve spent days terrified while fighting anxious thoughts of irrational behaviours and outcomes. I’ve spent sleepless hours tossing and turning wondering how I’m ever going to survive this.

6 years later, and I’m a stronger me. I’m able to live with the anxiety, stand up to the fears and allow my mental illness to show me just how amazing life can really be when even the smallest things make us feel incredible.

After 6 years, I don’t want to disappear, I want to live. I want to be here to help people and support my friends and family as they support me. I want to be 100% myself because that’s the best version of me, and I want to see life for all it has to offer.

After 6 years, I know now who I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be happy, I’m meant to be a son to my mum who’s currently struggling. I’m meant to be a partner to my girlfriend, who has to endure uncomfortable treatment in order to give us a family we both want so bad. I’m meant to be a sibling to my brother who’s off to the US this week to chase his dreams, and support him as he lives his life openly as gay. I’m meant to be an uncle to my beautiful niece, who’s growing up and realising life isn’t as rosey as it was when she was 4 or 5. I’m meant to be a friend to all those around me who need the same support that they so kindly offer to me.

I’m meant to be a voice for mental health because I’m strong enough to stand up to the people who don’t want me to be that voice.

For this reason, I will spend my life ensuring that I’m coping, making adjustments where needed to keep me on the right track, ensuring I’m comfortable, happy, stable and able to be the person I’m meant to be.

I won’t break.

*Thank you to my online friend  – she knows who she is – who’s had the worst 12 months and is currently going through a difficult time. Thank you for holding me up this week, and all the other weeks. Thank you for being a non-judgemental ear through our fertility and IVF treatment and I hope more than anything we both come out of this dark patch stronger than ever, because that’s who we’re meant to be.

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