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Things have changed...

When you are in the moment it feels like it is going to last forever. It feels like you are drowning and that there is no hope. Nothing changes overnight. There is no light bulb moment- or at least very rarely. I never had an overnight change. Nothing massive happened. My mental state changes daily, hourly and sometimes by the minute! Happiness isn’t somewhere you reach. It took me a long time to understand that. I thought that eventually if I just worked hard enough, I would make it. That isn’t how life works. Life is a rollercoaster of emotions and that is completely normal. In fact, it would be really boring if we had the same emotion every day! To enjoy the highs, we have to experience the lows and that is okay. Day to day I don’t feel like I have come that far, there are still so many daily struggles but when I look back, I am a completely different person to two years ago. This is not where I thought I would be in my early twenties, but as much as fifteen-year-old me would be mortified, I am genuinely proud of where I am. I am unapologetically me. When I began recovery, I thought I was going back to who I was before mental illness but I didn’t know who that was? I was still a child and to be honest my difficulties started so young I didn’t really have any identity. This made the idea of getting better really scary, not only was I leaving my safety blanket of my illness I was getting rid of my whole identity. However, the beauty in this was I got to start over again. I got to create ‘Hannah’, not a ‘Hannah’ influenced by others, by societal pressures or what I thought I should be. The authentic, true ‘Hannah’. Again, this isn’t an overnight process, I am still navigating it and as with happiness isn’t not a destination but a journey. I got to discover different passions and hobbies, my own sense of fashion and what makes me feel happy. I stopped basing what I liked on what I thought I should like, on the image I wanted to give across to others. This is really tricky; it’s wired into us as a societal species to camouflage into what is around us. There is so much expectation on conformity and what success looks like. Even if not explicit we are bombarded with what we are meant to be doing at each age. I remind myself that my path through life has been different to others- not to everyone but some. Our paths through this life are unique and therefore cannot be comparable to anyone else’s. The ‘stuff’ I have been through is traumatic, I’ve been through things which are horrendous and felt ways that are unimaginable. But I am not defined by this, my story isn’t just what has happened to me. For a long time, my past, my illnesses were my identity. They were all I had. But the book is moving on, those chapters are not forgotten but closed. I am not the only person who has been wronged in this world- the world can be such an evil place. However, around this there can be kindness and beauty within what we have. Keep holding on, you can find your own peace. It may not look like what you thought it would but that’s the excitement in it.

Lots of love

Hannah x


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