Picking up the Pieces

A story submitted by Siobhan, 27.

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Surgery- physically removing a problem.
Recovery afterwards- you are informed by the Dr’s how you will physically recover.

The real aftermath is not the physical pain nor the discomfort. But the ongoing mental onslaught that you are too weak to deal with. Surgery number however many I have had. Each one cutting deeper into myself. My vulnerable raw core has been moved, manipulated and prodded at by Dr’s. I can feel the mood swings come go as if controlled by a switch somewhere. The extreme anger at everything taking over you. My 20’s have been a constant repeating of telling everyone that despite surgery I am doing fine. The lie eats at you after a while. Eventually you break. Eventually everything you’ve hidden away from or tried to ignore hit you in the face. I have had to lose friends, jobs, dreams and my hopes because I keep having to go back to be cut open again and again. How many more can I take?

4 years on, I am facing the feelings at last. The battle isn’t over, but I am going on. I will be fine, I will be better than fine. This is the time to step away from social isolation. Ignoring my peers on social media and their picture perfect lives. Going from on the floor in tears to getting up and dancing at the sound of music. The social pressure of where others feel I should be in my life will not weigh me down anymore. I will not continue to compare myself to others. I will not be beaten down by my own head. I will win in the end.

"If you could ask for anything from one person who you believe could make a difference to mental health in your community, who would you ask and what would you ask for?"

I would ask the general public to stop for a second and check in with one person they know who may seem very strong on the outside. Sometimes the bravest faces are hiding the toughest battles.

Useful Services

Samaritans offer a free listening service for anyone who is struggling to cope. There is no age restriction, and you don't have to give them any personal details if you don't want to. You can call them free in the UK on 116 123.

Mindfulness is a useful technique for dealing with anxiety in your day-to-day life. It helps you to stay present in the moment and not retreat into your own mind, where anxiety can take over. Find out more about mindfulness from Mindfulness Scotland.

Habitica is an app which can help you keep on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. By setting and completing small tasks, you can unlock rewards, upgrades and even pets! Mental health challenges can often impact your daily routine, and having a rewarding way of keeping track of your successes can be very helpful.

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