Does determination prevent illness at Christmas?

 

I can’t believe Christmas is only a few days away.

 

I mean, I’ve had to endure 8 and a half hours of Christmas songs at work each day since October but now that actual Christmas is here it feels bizarre. Now it’s no secret I’m recently open about my mental health struggles and I’m not the most consistent blogger but I’m pretty proud of myself. I have took up blogging, started my own website and worked a full time job all in the festive season – but that isn’t what I’m proud of.

 

I’ve recently been fighting a relapse. I saw something triggering and as a result have had to have contact with my doctor again. I have had to fight intrusive thoughts every day, fight past negative emotion and a whirlwind of insecurity. In fact typing these words feels like there’s an army in my stomach, anxiety’s army, and this is why I’m proud of myself. I don’t want to jinx anything but I think I’m coming through the other side and it’s been a tough battle.

 

Then again, it always is. I’ve lived this battle my whole life and it doesn’t get any easier which is strange. I mean with many other things perseverance means it gets easier, take the gym for example. At first going to the gym is a pain in the arse, like seriously a pain. The effort it takes to put down your scotch eggs and move off the sofa deserves an award in itself, and then you have to move so much your sweating like mad and questioning whether you’re going to throw up.

 

If you can keep at it however, it starts to get easier, you start to see muscles where before was rolls and you start to feel better about yourself. Your determination and hard work is rewarded by a fitter and healthier you. Another example is education, perseverance pays off and after revision, studying and hard work you’re often rewarded with a deeper knowledge. You gain a higher academic ability and the reward is great. 

 

I personally feel that mental illness doesn’t fit this bill. Now don’t get me wrong, after years of CBT therapy I have been rewarded with an improved insight into my illness. I can spot potential triggers and signs of relapse which is great. The problem is however no matter how hard I may battle, no matter how academically prepared I may feel I can’t control when I fall poorly. This is the frustrating bit, after battling such a cruel illness all my life you’d think I’d be a pro, but that’s the thing about mental illness. It’s an illness.

 

In my personal experience once I fall poorly I can control it as much as I could control having the flu. I  do all I can to prevent falling ill again but once I am poorly that’s it. All I can then do is fight to keep going each day until I feel stronger. And that guys, that’s why I’m proud of myself, and I don’t often say that. So I may be a slightly crappy blogger, I may have my flaws and my insecurities, but I’m fighting them, despite the fight it never gets any easier. I’ve been fighting them at a time of year where there is immense pressure to be jolly.

 

Oh that and I’m joining the gym again in January, let’s hope I have the determination! Ha! Merry Christmas everyone, be kind to yourselves. It’s not always the season of feeling jolly and that’s OK. Remember it’s the time for loved ones, remember its okay to talk 

 

xxx

 

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