28th June

Hey folks,

Today has been a bit all over the place really! This morning we were up far too early for a Sunday, for the car show. Which turned out to be complete and utter rubbish! To start with, the crew we were supposed to convoy down with, all shot off so we hadn’t a clue where we were going and got completely lost! Then when we eventually found the place, it started to rain, there was naff all else going on, and we just mooched around for an hour to two before deciding enough was enough, and came home. I’m so very tired, after being woken at 6am by the alarm! Am planning on a nap after I’m done blogging!

When we got home we had some lunch, and then I got to do my most favourite thing, workout! Oh how I missed it yesterday! I missed being pushed to my limits by my PT, and missed the fun and laughter we have at my sessions. Cannot wait to smash it next week!! Back to the gym tomorrow for shoulders, chest and biceps, with my workout buddy! She’s back with me, yay! She’s been on holiday for a week, then off the gym for a further week as she was busy, so it’s been a long time since we worked out together! It’ll be good to catch up too.

I’m feeling quite reflective today to be honest; am amazed at how far I’ve come in the past couple of years. Considering where I was back in August 2013. It’s been a long haul, and hasn’t been without it’s difficulties for sure. But I’ve battled through the worst times, conquered the demons within my head and made the most of the good times. Right now, I’m feeling really good, happy and content with life. Of course a lottery win would be the icing on the cake, haha, but for now, I’m making the best of what I’ve got. You don’t realise how lucky you really are in life, until you really sit down and think about what you have. Like I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my cupboards and clothes on my back. I may not have a job yet, but I can’t, or rather shouldn’t, complain. I’ve got a lot more than some others have, and I am grateful for the life that I do have. I’ve got a wonderful, loving husband, who supports me no matter what; I’ve got fantastic friends and a family who loves me. To be honest, I’ve got quite a bright future ahead of me, and I’m looking forward to every moment.

I can remember a time when I didn’t even want to see the next hour of my day, let alone weeks, months or years. It was a very dark place, and one I never want to return to that’s for sure. To feel that low and worthless, was quite simply awful. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, pushing me further and further into the ground. I didn’t want to get up each morning, and then when I did I would just shut myself away at home. I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone, and I hated my own company too. I felt stuck in a black hole of nothingness, and I honestly never thought I’d get out of it. It felt like I’d been robbed of my life, my spark, my soul even.

But, day by day, with the love and support of all my friends and family, and the great medical care I received from the mental health team and my GP, I finally started to get better. Every day I took the small steps to my recovery, and getting my life back. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and each day I focused on it as it grew and grew. Of course there were days where that light would fade and feel oh so far away again. I faced countless setbacks and hurdles, but not once did I give up. I never gave in to the suicidal thoughts that plagued me day in, day out. Something inside of me was coming back to life – my strength. Each day I dug deeper and deeper, and pulled on that strength, until I started to feel more in control. You don’t realise how strong you really are, until being strong is the only choice you have.

For anyone reading this right now who may be struggling, I’ll offer you one piece of advice right now – NEVER GIVE UP. No matter how hard things may seem, there is life after mental illness. I’m living proof of that. It may not feel like it right now, trust me I know that feeling; but there truly is and one day you’ll look back like I am, and be proud of yourself for fighting through it. I’m definitely proud of myself; I’ve overcome so much and won some fierce battles with my own mind. Yes, I do get down days still, but they’re few and far between now, and I can handle them much better too. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and I think that has come from hitting rock bottom. It gave me the foundation to build myself back up again. Something solid to stand upon, and work on myself, rebuilding myself bit by bit. It was a slow and often painful experience, but I’m so so glad that I stuck with it and kept on fighting. I’m glad that I never gave up. Please never give up folks, trust me, it’s worth fighting through each and every day, no matter what. Yes it will be hard, nothing worth having ever comes easily. But you’ll get there, and be glad that you have done so.

If you’d said to me almost 2 years ago, that I would be where I’m at now in life, I’d never have believed you. But here I am, telling my story to the world every single day. I hope I help people by sharing my story, it’s my aim to motivate, inspire and encourage others to keep strong and get through the difficulties we all face. It’s totally worth it.

Now, I’m planning a future that I never imagined I could have; one as a Personal Trainer. No matter what it takes, even if I have to work my socks off to pay for my course, I will do it. I’m so determined and focused on my goal. Admittedly I’m holding out the hope of getting my student loan to make it a simple thing, but I have my back up plan if that doesn’t go through. My forms and birth certificate should reach the student finance company tomorrow morning, so by the end of this week I should know one way or the other. My course advisor said as soon as the finance company has made their decision, if it’s an acceptance for a loan, I can start my course! I feel really nervous but also excited. Nervous in case they say no, and excited for if they say yes and I can get going straight away. It’s going to be hard work, but I’m dedicated and motivated to put in the time and effort and get myself qualified. Watch this space folks, I’ll keep you posted!

Right, I think I’ve waffled on enough for today! Well over 1,000 words for the first time in a while! So, I shall leave it there folks! I’m still working up the courage to do a Vlog one day soon too!

Thanks for reading as always, take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

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