Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
Week three of mental health awareness month started off with working on essays. As many of you know I am also a psychology student hoping to one day be a mental health therapist. So this week started with working on final essays and in true form I decided to change my hair colour instead. Procrastination at it’s best. So now I am no longer blonde but instead a sultry brunette. I set off mental health awareness month with one goal in mind and that is to start building on my confidence and I have worked hard the first week, however week two I was ill and in bed. So this week I got up, dressed up and turned up.
I may not feel completely healthy again, but I’m building on my confidence and through this process I have come to realise how far I have come, but also how much work I still have to do. Over the past few months I have never thought of how much of myself I have lost in such great detail. Although my house has been my safe place it has also held me prisoner. I have been a prisoner in my own home at my own doing.
I chose to stay in because at times it is so much easier than facing the world with a fake smile. But I have for so many months been my own oppressor. I have stopped myself from doing the things I love and enjoy most, and in turn I have lost not just my confidence, but also my independence. I know very well that my mental health is what stopped me, but even in my recovery I still chose to Imprison myself because it became so much easier than facing the world head on, and easier to accept that I have lost my independence and have become so reliant on those closest to me. I have been chained to them and my home and my desire to go out and be me again was lost. I have become complacent in my recovery.
My intentions were to finish all my essays before our family holiday, however with being sick it was just impossible for me to complete 3 big essays in one week. Instead I have completed one, the other is half done and one still to start. We drove a 500 mile journey from Scotland to Dover then boarded a p&o ferry to Calais in France. The journey was long, but scenic. This holiday is very different to previous holidays. We’ve always stayed in 5 star hotels, but this time we decided to go camping in France. Well not the traditional camping of staying in a tent. I’m not ready for that kind of camping yet. We are renting a cabin with so many amenities and it is conveniently located just outside Paris. It’s a far cry from the hotels with butlers and room service we are used to, but the kids love it here and it is so peaceful and relaxing. Just what I needed. Being away has helped me forget about my anxiety.
I am in a strange country where they speak a language I do not understand, but I feel so at ease. Maybe it is because I am away from my normal surroundings or maybe it’s simply because I know I am on holiday. Whatever the reason may be I am so happy that for the first time in months I feel at ease around a bunch of strangers, communicating freely with them and I am feeling so relaxed in this moment. Being away from my own prison is just what I needed. I am away from my comfort zone and it feels as if my life has just begun.
I feel an indescribable sense of calmness. The noises in my head has been silenced and that, I think, is all due to being far away from my comfort zone, my home, my neighbourhood. The fear of judgement doesn’t exist here because I know that none of these people know me or the struggles I have been through. Although I am not 100 % myself, or rather the self I’d like to be again, I am still able to have a great time and block out the wars raging in my head. It’s as if a seize fire has been called and all parties agreed. My only wish is that this current peace treaty would last a life time, but I know at some point the anxiety will return. I may sound negative saying it, but I’m not nonsensical, I know it will return, I just hope that with every experience I will get stronger and better equipped to deal with it when my peace are disturbed again. I also hope that when the wars in my head do erupt again, that I will be able to find my way back to the peace I am experiencing right now!