Life After Mental Illness

This is me now and my life after mental illness was very different, when I was unwell I always said I just want to be like I used to be, but the truth of the matter is that I never went back to who I was. I became a new version of me. A very different version of me.

I became someone who’s eyes were open, I had a new understanding of what it felt like to be alive. To see things, to feel things and to hear things.

I heard songs I’d been listening to for years and realised they had lyrics and meaning. I would stand and listen to the birds singing, I know birds always sing but I’d almost been deaf to it.

I saw the moon and stars in a way I’d never seen them before. They shone and I was alive to see them. For me the contrast between dark and light finally had meaning.

The sun felt warm, the snow felt cold, and I could feel the rain on my skin.

I was alive and I, for sadly probably the first time in my whole life appreciated things like I never had done before.

I saw the beauty in each person, smiling and laughing felt like the most amazing feeling ever. I started to make friends again and I got a job in a hotel as a Saturday girl. I was finally building up my life again one gentle and very appreciative step at a time.

The little job in the hotel really helped me get back on my feet, I gained confidence and I started a new life. Within a couple of months, I started working in the hotel full time, I was then promoted to duty manager, then assistant manager and finally operations manager.

In 2010 in a beautiful ceremony at Chatsworth house I won Derbyshire and the Peak districts young manager of the year award. I was so proud of myself, I was so proud that I had gone from knocking on death door to proving myself in life, to no one else other than me.

There wasn’t much else I could do within the hotel and I began to lack the enthusiasm I needed to continue accepting being spoken to like crap from chefs.

I took voluntary redundancy, because it was my time to put my own experience to good use. I had spent 5 years recovering. I had spent 5 years ensuring I was healthy and well balanced and so I put myself through training to become a clinical and medical hypnotherapist.

I was scared of the training because I’m dyslexic, I was scared of the reading and writing and that I wouldn’t be able to do it. However, the interesting thing is, because I was so utterly interested in everything I learnt I did really well. I surprised myself, but I guess I’d spent all those years at school studying subjects I had no interest in so, I thought I’d be the same.

It’s amazing what happens when you study a subject you’re interested in. They should implement this into schools and then perhaps the children wouldn’t be so stressed.

So, 7 years has now passed and I’m a specialist in the recovery from mental illness. I’ve trained and trained and have never stopped learning. You can’t stop learning as a therapist, because you can't ever know everything. I will die not knowing everything, but at least I can say I knew everything I could.

I have spent 7 years saving lives, guiding people to find their own self-worth and guiding them out of mental illness.

Sometimes we need reminding how special and how wanted we are. It’s easy to forget in a world where we are encouraged to be like someone else. In a world where we aren’t encouraged to make mistakes and know that it’s ok, a world where you’re never made to feel enough.

But let me tell you this, you are enough, you are good enough for anything, and you don’t need to suffer. You are beautiful and wanted and if you’re suffering, you can get better.

If you are feeling in anyway like I did or similar or different, don’t suffer, please reach out and get help. Please understand your worth, you are worth receiving help, you are worth feeling good.

I’ve shared with you my story, so, you can see how desperately low I got, you can see the pain I went through but you can also see that I recovered. You can too. You are worth it and you are enough, you always have been, you always will be.

Charlotte x

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