‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’

(Dare you to say that without singing it)

TW: Suicide, self-harm, depression.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

You made it through, look how strong you are?

You’ve got to be strong!

I wanted to write a ‘well me’ vs ‘unwell me’ and how our perspective is altered depending on the day and how our mental health has decided to act on that day, but to be honest, sometimes the line can be so blurred between what is well and what is unwell that I’m trying just to accept it all as ‘me’.

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. This song came on shuffle (I may or may not have been listening to ‘sad songs’, who is judging). I got to thinking that there are times when I get so tired of hearing how strongggg I’ll be and how much I’ll learnnnn from it. Sometimes I just want to tell people to shut up and actually, can it just kill me? Because..I’m literally tired of hearing it.

Why do I always have to be going through something that will help me grow as a person? Why can’t it just be a bit easy some of the time? I, of course, logically know all the answers to these and I will keep working incredibly hard to remind myself of them BUT sometimes, it just Feels. Too. Much.

I know I have ‘moved on’ from moments where I wouldn’t be able to process these particularly low days, most times this would lead to self-harm. A release. An attempt try and find some relief to the pain or an answer / way out. As much as I believe I wouldn’t take steps like this again, it can be incredibly tough.

Sometimes you can do all the good things and still feel like they’re not working. I have eaten my green vegetables, told myself what I love about me, gone for a walk and I still feel like I would like my life to end (but here we still are so, they are working right?).

Sometimes I can hear myself shouting NOTHING MAKES IT BETTER OK. Then I take a moment and I’m like ok, here you are though..alive and breathing so your point is invalid mr/miss depression.

I think the part of recovery that we can neglect to remind ourselves is that recovery is just that, recovering. What is it that makes us feel like its ok to be so hard on ourselves? I wish I knew the answer. What I do know the answer to is that, I can say that the days I am nice to myself, outweigh the mean days so..I’m ok with that for now.

I also think that I try and condition myself to believing I am not allowed to feel this low, like it’s a failure, like the million steps I  have taken forward are suddenly dispersed and non-existent. Again, ‘logically’ I know this isn’t true but depression has no logic. It’s an anomaly. Something I work to minimise, shrink and give it a right but it’s everything but logical.

It can make you believe that the day out the month where you called in sick, hysterically cried on the bus (listening to sad-songs playlist) invalidates all the ‘strong’ things you have done. At the same time, it is completely exhausting to feel like you never get a break and whilst people believe they are being supportive by telling you to be strong actually, you need to be told it’s ok to not be ok. Ok.

What doesn’t kill you definitely does improve said strength, nonetheless, you don’t have to feel like your tip top on top of the world fab all the time because the biggest / hardest lesson I learnt was not listening and pretending. Pretending to not feel what every cell in your body is telling you is ultimately going to be far more exhausting then feeling tired at reminding yourself you are in fact, a fantastic person.

Being dishonest about my emotions didn’t protect me, it certainly didn’t protect those around me and whether I vocalised it or not, it didn’t remove the shame I felt for feeling suicidal / wanting to harm myself. So I now give myself two options, feel this way in secret, allow it to brew, isolate, breeedddd like mould or, I can feel this way but not hide it. Try my best to accept it. Write it. Say it. Sing it. I AM NOT OK TODAY AND THAT IS OK. Ok.

This day doesn’t override who I am, my achievements or everything great about me. So as much as I can feel like its too much and I’m tired af and if one more person calls me strong I am going to pull my ears of, there is a part of me that knows it, agrees with it and will be thankful for it (in a day or two, couple more wheel ups of Christina Aguleria – Fighter).

Anyway, the purpose of this blog was to 1. Help me process how I was feeling post intense v upsetting therapy 2. Help reduce the stigma around feeling like we aren’t coping 3. Creating space where you can tell yourself today, its ok not to be ok.

Also, I have begun trying to stop saying ‘I’m depressed’ and using ‘I have depression’ it sounds the same but actually it’s not the same. I have depression and I am not depressed 100% of the time, does that make sense to anyone but me? I am Charlotte + depression, not depressed + me. I am way more than a mental illness, regardless of what extra shitty days want ye to feel.

Enough of cliches but to end, if you feel like it would be helpful to have someone to talk, hit up the resources page of the blog. Reach out anonymously on here if you want to. Just do whatever feels right for you, including singing Kelly Clarkson in the mirror and drinking a large red wine and writing a rambling blog post.

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