In my last blog post I wrote about my experience with a nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. Given how serious that piece was, I feel a bit strange about posting photos of me in a floaty dress, surrounded by spring blossom. I suppose it’s good to balance the darkness with something light.
In the aftermath of serious mental illness, I’ve learnt to appreciate the times when I’m relatively well. Of course, nothing is ever perfect and taking care of my mental health is a constant task. Sometimes it becomes exhausting and it’s tempting to revert to my flawed coping mechanisms. But if I stop doing the things I need to do to stay well, I’ll be in trouble in no time at all. Exercise, diet and therapy keep me ticking over, but I also have to remind myself that my thoughts are not necessarily accurate. I have a tendency to be either over optimistic or to belittle myself, depending on where I might be on the bipolar spectrum. I’ve learnt that I can’t always trust either of those voices and I need to come back to the centre, where I am hopefully realistic and present in the moment. In fact, being present is the most healthy and productive place I can be.