When I was 25 I had my first nervous breakdown, writes Kate Hull Rodgers.
I was given a multitude of diagnosis, a cocktail of medication and I was chained to a bed in a mental institution.
I was in hospital and I didn’t know how to get out.
I began to think of myself as ill.
My filter through which I saw the world, was a negative one.
I began to believe that the only future I had was one filled with doctors and social workers. And, you know what – I liked it.
I got so much attention, everyone was trying to help me.
I came to believe that ‘sick is a warm safe place’.
Being ill, having poor mental health, became my way of life.
But thankfully, things began to change.
After about a year of being institutionalised I had a revelation.
If I didn’t do something heroic, I was going to spend the rest of my life being mentally ill.
It was a huge decision to be well.
I had to dig so deep inside myself just to face the future.
But this is where it begins – to be well I had to want to be well.
It sounds obvious, but having wellness and positivity as my mindset was the beginning to well being.
Having made this decision I was now on the road to recovery and recovery is a journey.
The first step is crucial.
Decide to be well. I was able to build all the good habits, self help and rituals around that.
But if I had not decided to be fundamentally well, then all the doctors, lawyers, family members and friends couldn’t help me.
It sounds easy – to be well, act well. But it is actually the hardest decision to make.
What decided it for me is that I got sick of being sick
I came to realise being well is a lot more fun than being ill.
The biggest difference I noticed was that I was now alone.
As I began to heal, my support systems faded away.
Friends stopped calling, family stopped checking up on me, doctors stopped making appointments.
I even had saboteurs who tried to derail my journey.
The road to wellness was a lonely one.
Only a few people in my circle cheered me on and I held them close, they were precious.
So if 2019 is the year you have decided to improve your mental health, then make that first decision.
Decide that you are going to be well.
Everything will start to fall into place.