After taking a break over the holidays, the emerging blogger series is back. It’s aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience. It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community. Details are at the bottom of the post if you’re interested in participating.
This post is by Violet of Shrink(ing) Violet.
The turning of the calendar does not start a new story and so it continues
I’ve never really enjoyed new year celebrations. I’ve always seen them as a prompt to reflect on the past year and generally I’ve found reasons to be sombre. I’ve either not achieved my goals or I’ve struggled with my mental health. I long to be reflecting on what a waste the year has been. All those years I looked back and thought it had been difficult. No year has ever come close to the tragedy and upheaval of this one.
This year I left my husband (with just a suitcase and my daughter), was homeless, penniless, jobless and hopeless. I’ve battled for custody, divorce and finances I’m owed. I’ve moved house, built a home from nothing, gained a job and lost a job. I’ve cried myself to sleep countless lonely nights berating myself for leaving my husband and having to share my daughter. I’ve felt my heart crush as he told me he loved another a mere 4 months after we separated from a 14 year relationship.
I’ve had the panic of my father being in ICU abroad and packing my passport, money and a pair of knickers in a backpack and rushing out the door to the airport. I’ve never been spontaneous in my life. I held his hand as he lay unconscious and prayed until it hurt my brain. I rallied every believer I could to pray for my dad. I learnt medical jargon and deciphered poorly translated Spanish. I returned to Spain to see my dad (now awake) with little money, meaning I had to arrive in Spain at 10pm and find my way by bus, tram and GoogleMaps. I felt hope drain from my body as I sat and heard the nurse say there was nothing they could do for him. I stood strong and firm for my mother while I was breaking inside. I held my father’s hand and watched as he died, willing God to save him, to save us. I held my family together during the repatriation, funeral and cremation of my father. I spoke a eulogy at my father’s funeral and supported my family as we poured his ashes into a tiny hole in the ground.
By August, my mind couldn’t take anymore. I felt so overwhelmed by the monstrosity of the year that I decided enough was enough. I took an overdose, I harmed myself. I remembered my daughter and I phoned for help. I saw first hand the response from emergency services and how badly they were failing people with mental health issues. I recovered and tried to get better.
By November, the stress piled on and the depression was still there. I was at breaking point once again. This time, I sought help before I did anything to harm myself. I engaged with services. I acknowledged the abuse my uncle put me through as a child.
To say this year has been traumatic would be an understatement. I am not the same person who started this year. I’m surprised I’ve survived. My heart has broken so many times that it’s just a shattered shadow of its former self, held together with string.
Although this year has been the hardest ever, I have learnt alot from it. I’ve learnt that in order to live a more fulfilling life, I have to be true to myself. I am not okay, and that’s okay. I am not a positive person, that’s okay too. I’ve found out who really has my back. I know which people will be there for me in times of need. Strangers have offered me money and jobs and support. I’ve found what career path I want to follow and I’ve strived to make it happen, by going to college and doing placement. I have people who love me unconditionally and they keep me stuck here, in this hell on earth and although I often hate that fact, I’m always thankful for it when I’m out the other side. I have a new appreciation for what tough times look like and I have learnt that I am far stronger than I thought.
The ringing in of the new year won’t change anything. My dad will still be dead, my uncle will still have abused me, my husband will still be a narcissist and I will still have to share my daughter. I’ll still have the stresses of divorce and finances, of college and job searching. But I will also still have those I hold dear, I’ll still have support when I ask for it, help when I need it and hope when I search for it.
I am eternally grateful to every single person who has held me up this year when I felt falling was my only option. New year doesn’t mean a thing about life, it’s just the turn of a calendar page.
Keeping on keeping on – Violet x
Visit Violet at her blog Shrink(ing) Violet.
Thanks so much Violet for participating in the emerging blogger series!
You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series directory.
Do you want to be the next emerging blogger?
- personal blog focused primarily on mental health and illness
- relatively new blogger, with WordPress following <100 preferred
Interested? If you fit the criteria above:
- email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com
- let me know the topic you’d like to write about and include your blog name/URL