A Call to Arms

Mental health awareness week whatever.

Whenever it is, there is only one way to get through mental illness, and that is to fight. There will be people reading this thinking ‘oh it’s not me – I’m too ill/not worth enough/not ill enough to fight’.

I mean you.

And if you’re thinking any one of those things, then I particularly mean you.

Wherever you are; whoever you are; whatever you have done previously; however long you have been fighting, it is not too late: it is never too late.

Yes. It’s bloody scary.

Yes. It’s painful.

Yes. It might seem like the wrong decision.

But it’s not. Because the only other choice is to live with the mental illness for the rest of your forever.

And you don’t have to do that.

You don’t have time to do that.

So, whoever you are and wherever you are, change things now. If it’s not a mealtime, or a snack time, you are allowed to go and get a chocolate bar out of the cupboard; heck, you are allowed to cook yourself a whole bag of chips if you want.

If you haven’t left the house for two months, this is your chance. Take a deep breath and walk to the end of your road; go to the cinema; take a book to somewhere where the coffee is better than the at-home-instant you’re used to.

If you are stuck in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions, you need to break that cycle. Do something the opposite way round and sit with it for as long as you can manage. I might be some anonymous stranger on the internet, but I can promise you that nothing bad will happen. Well, it might, but it won’t be your fault, and you couldn’t have prevented it anyway, no matter what the thoughts in your head are telling you.

And, for goodness sake, don’t tell yourself that you will do it tomorrow; or next week; or that you’re recovering from whatever demons are writhing inside by avoiding the issue. If you have anorexia, you can’t leave it behind by making it welcome. If you have OCD, you can’t vanquish it whilst still giving into its (bloody unreasonable) demands. If you’re ruled by Anxiety, you can’t avoid and conquer.

And – for goodness sake – please do not fall into the trap that you are different or special, or that I do not understand your pain. Those thoughts belong to whatever is poisoning you. Nobody is too different or special, or too anything, to evade the notion that recovery is possible. Probable, even.

Because the only way out is through. And the only way through is the difficult way.

If you don’t start now, when are you going to start?

When are you going to allow yourself back in?

Now is as good a time as any. In fact, it is better, because it’s not in the slippery fingers of procrastination and false promises that wain with time.

I believe in you. You are not lost, or too far gone, or not worth it. You are worth just as much as every other person on this planet.

You are worth fighting for; you are worth saving.

And the only person who can save you is yourself.

You must be your own sunrise.

Please join the fight.

I promise you, you won’t regret it.

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