Brooke blogs on how important it was for to have one person she could turn to throughout her recovery.
I’ve always considered myself very lucky in my recovery. I have been blessed time, and time again with some of the most profound relationships in my lifetime having been with professionals.
I’m all too aware that some people have not had the same amount of help that I have had, at times this has left with tremendous amounts of guilt.
But what I want to do is share the message that even if your experience hasn’t been the same, there are people out there (that often go unseen) that will put their all in to helping you recover. As an example, I would like to share just one of these with you.
"As soon as I met H, her kind and gentle nature surrounded me. It could have been all too easy for me to dislike her."
I didn’t like seeing these things in a person, as I saw them as a representation of all the things I hated about myself,which I believed were the reason so many people had hurt me in my life.
I wanted everyone around me to be seemingly invincible, just like I wanted to be myself. Having this serenity around me, did not fit in with that. Oh, but it was just what I needed.
When I met H I had recently left CAHMS and handed over to adult services.
This was a difficult transition for me, it felt like overnight I had gone from being a child to an adult. I coped with this in destructive ways, including addiction, self-harm and other reckless behaviours.
In fact when I first met H, I had a plan to end my life. In my mind I’d finally get what I thought about day and night. To die. To be free from the pain.
"At this point I honestly thought I would never be free from my monsters and the darkness that I felt had surrounded me."
But, there was something in me that was drawn to this woman and her words. I may have even trusted her then, although I would never have allowed myself believe so.
Eventually, I was sectioned and admitted to hospital again albeit not on that day.
"I don’t really remember much in that time, but I do remember H."
She continued to come and see me in the inpatient ward. She did not have to do that. But, she chose to and I will never ever forget that she did that for me.
Our relationship did not end there. After two years as an inpatient in a secure ward, it was my time to leave. When I left, she was my therapist once more and this made it easier than I could have imagined.
This was a troublesome time in my life, my grandad was ill, and was going to die. I was about to lose the most fundamental person in my world. Whilst I pushed everyone around me (particularly H) further away, the one person I wanted to keep close, slipped away.
When he died, I almost instantaneously decided to take an overdose. It didn’t work. I remember waking up in the hospital. I remember the drips, the doctors, the nurses and I also remember how I felt. Absolutely distraught that I had to experience one more day without my grandad.
I was incredibly ill and could have died. but I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t scared. Instead I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. A feeling I had never nor have I ever since felt.
"Some people see suicide attempts as ‘a cry for
help’. But I genuinely and sincerely wanted to die."
H was a great support during this time and after my physical health improved I continued to have appointments to see her every week.
Sometimes I would come up with another theory as to why she hated me or I hated her which would result in me not attending. But things slowly got better. I gradually started to open up, she soon became my greatest confidant, and she still is, I’ll never be able to say the things I did to her, to anyone else.
A few short months afterwards, Just as I started to make progress, I was raped.
"This was a horrific time in my life. It was such a soul crushing experience. How was this ever going to be okay?"
It could have easily set me back down the path I was headed before I got the help I needed.
But it was ok... It was okay because I had people that cared for me more than I thought I deserved and they supported me every step of the way.
Through the feelings of dirtiness and disgust, the terror, the self-blame, the police investigation, the court trail, the hundreds of times I wanted to give up, she was ALWAYS there. At the trail she was right there with me and made me believe I could face one of the scariest things I have had to do in my life.
And so despite this I continued to thrive in my recovery, slowly but surely. It was another year and a bit until it was time for us to say our ‘goodbye’.
You never really know how to let go of someone so important to you, even if you have done it numerous times before. But somehow you just do. We joked that I was the chick, and it was time for her to push me off the cliff.
"H showed me that I did deserve someone who would never just leave and that was the most fundamental part of my recovery."
When I met H I didn’t see a way out, I thought I would always be controlled my past. She helped me realise that I could be strong, whilst at the same time being caring, kind and gentle. She was my example.
This is me saying that even if you have lost all hope. You can still find someone who can help you to restore and build you up to be the person you were supposed to be. Who can help you undo the soiled bandages, reach in and help you heal the wounds; so that you no-longer have to cover up with the destructive tools you’ve used to survive for so long.
(H thank you for being just what I needed, even if I didn’t know it at the time).
Read about Information and support
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Choose one of the options below to find out more.
Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.