I started Resurfacing and Rewriting as a way to (hopefully) help other people who have mental health problems through sharing my own experiences. As I blogged, I realised how important it was for me to have goals and to work towards them, even if my progress was slow and nonlinear. Put simply, if my life was going to be worth living, I knew I would need to chase my dreams.
I have anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder. For a long time, my mental health took over my life and I believed I would never be able to do anything worthwhile. If things improved enough for me to begin to hope, disappointment usually followed. I watched my friends do normal things like go to university, move out of their parents’ homes and find good jobs, while I was left behind. I truly believed my life was over.
Eventually, things improved and I began to feel better. Nothing miraculous happened and there are still a lot of things I’m unable to do, but I can do more than I once thought possible. Life is still difficult and working around mental illness is challenging, but I’m trying to create a life worth living.
Mental illness has stolen a lot of time from me, so now I’m determined to do what I can and strive to achieve my goals. I still have days when I don’t want to carry on, but they are less frequent than they were in the past and I have many more good days. My strategy is to try and focus on the positive aspects of my life and what I can do, instead of dwelling on the negatives.
Over the past ten years, I have managed to achieve goals I once thought ere impossible: These include:
- Completing a four-day trek to Machu Picchu
- Getting a BA in Film Studies and an MA in Creative Writing
- Passing my driving test
- Doing a tandem skydive
- Running (well, mostly!) a half marathon
I still get stressed, frustrated and despondent, but whenever I wish things were different, I try to remind myself that fifteen years ago, the life I lead today would have been a dream.
Here are some blog posts which sum up my approach to life:
Edit Your Life captures the ethos of Resurfacing and Rewriting — transforming your life into the story you want it to be.
You Need to Chase Your Dreams is about seeking opportunities for yourself and taking action, instead of waiting and hoping for something to come along.
Mental Illness Is Not a Weakness asks how you can reframe your experience of mental illness to examine what it has taught you.
How to Talk About Your Mental Illness gives practical advice on how you can join the dialogue on mental health.
Make Kindness Your Superpower is a plea to spread more kindness and compassion throughout the world.
Why Everybody Needs to Talk about Mental Health explains why mental health isn’t just about mental illness.
Doing What Works for You is a reminder that you need to manage your mental health in the best way for you, rather than being over-influenced by what other people tell you to do.
How to Be You is about getting to know yourself, which can be difficult when mental illness has taken over you life for a long time.
Learning to Be Well is about coping with the fluctuations of your mental health.
Rewriting the Rules helps you identify what rules you have created which hold you back in life — and how you can challenge them to live life on your own terms.