Through the years I’ve had many mental health crises. I’ve been on the brink of ending it all, of no longer wanting to fight, of no longer wanting to exist. Although I owe the NHS a great deal, they’ve also let me down when I’ve been at my most desperate. But there are people in my life who have been there, every time. It hasn’t always been easy for people to support me. I’ve upset family and friends during mania, and been rude and irritable when depressed. They’ve supported me without hesitation and I want to thank them.
To my husband, and his calming, caring persona. Never have I met someone with such unending patience and compassion. You’ve pulled me through in moments when I’ve felt like my whole universe was shrinking away into nothing. You’ve been a solid, grounding presence for the past 10 years. You’ve taught me so much about myself and I adore you for your kindness, geekiness and general silliness.
To my Mum, and her profoundly caring nature. For always being there when I need her most. For learning and educating herself about Bipolar and psychosis. For her understanding that I can’t always be ‘fixed’ but that she can help in her own practical way.
To my Dad, and his unwavering support of me. For showing me I’m stronger than I believe. For showing me I am resilient, intelligent and passionate. For showing me that family are the people that care for you and support you unconditionally.
To my brothers’ and their matter of fact attitude to mental illness. They always seem to just get it. I don’t feel the need to explain myself. I don’t feel judged by them. They see it for what it is; an illness I can’t control.
To all my family, for letting me talk when I need to. For accepting me. For listening without judgement or fear. For detaching mental illness from who I really am.
To my friends who accept me for who I am. That haven’t distanced themselves after I was diagnosed. That have stuck by me, and offer support when I struggle, and celebrate when I achieve.
To my online friends who notice when I’m quiet. Who notice when I’m having a difficult time. Who are there to talk to when I need support.
To everyone that reached in to support me, rather than waiting for me to reach out. Thank you. You’ve saved me from myself countless times.