Improving My Mental Health

Warning: Descriptions of Suicide

Five years ago when i was the age of thirty i made a decision that i didn’t want to live anymore, i wanted to die. I had a supportive family and a group of caring and understanding friends but i couldn’t help feeling distressed, depressed and unhappy.

I wouldn’t have ever considered confiding and confessing to anyone about the way i was feeling. I was disconnected from the world, confused and all mixed up about the negatively i was feeling and experiencing and what and who i valued the most. All the different emotions and thoughts were spinning through my mind and the easiest and simplest option seemed to be to take my own life.

I decided that i wanted to kill myself, one September evening, i left a letter in my house. The following morning, i woke up heartbroken, disappointed and disheartened that i was alive but i certainly and seriously wasn’t well at all.

My mental health was not good at all. However, my attitude and approach to the following day was oh well, life has to go on. I tried to see that waking up the next day was obviously some sort of sign that killing myself wasn’t a good idea and perhaps there is a reason for living.

I carried on working very hard at college, I got excepted into university and experienced the worst stress of my life due to frightening and chronic changes in my seizure activity patterns. Luckily for me, the stress never caused me to dip back into feeling depressed well not initially at least and I was able to just keep going.

Now, i am able to be a lot more reflective, productive and positive. I can acknowledge when I’m feeling low or if I know I’m going to slip back into old habits. I’m fortunate and privileged enough to be able to have established relationships with my fellow volunteers,staff members and my volunteering co ordinator within Epilepsy Connections, the voluntary organisation which i have been involved with for over a year now and they are all extremely supportive, compassionate and encouraging.

The most important thing is that I’m able to be a lot more open and express how I am feeling.

I often use social media to express the importance of talking about mental health and experiences and feelings living with epilepsy, i find the platform a good way of releasing my thoughts and feelings.

I know some people experiencing depression who can’t even get out of bed in the morning and while I can relate to how they might be feeling, I have to express some gratitude to being able to say I’m getting better and have such a brilliant support network of friends, family and colleagues.

I take each day as it comes and I’m able to deal with my mental health in a way that I never thought I would be able to. I have a range of strategies that I use to help me get through feeling low and for the first time in years I’m happy and motivated to keep getting better. Life is truly beautiful and amazing. 💜💜💜💜

Steven Connelly

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