Q: What would you say to someone who is currently going through their darkest step
in a battle with mental health?
A: I would always say that no matter how severe it feels, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone’s journey to this ‘light’ is different and there is no fixed or proper way to reach it. Some people get there with no relapses, and some experience several relapses. Your journey is unique to you, and somewhere inside you there will be the strength to complete that journey. Recovery isn’t about getting better, being cured, or whatever you want to call it. Recovery is about getting to a better stage than before, getting to a stage where you feel you’ve made progression.
I would always encourage them to talk to whomever they are comfortable with, and if they don’t have any friends, family, or acquaintances that they can reach out to, there are services such as the Samaritans which they can talk to. There is nothing worse than holding in your emotions, and as hard and daunting as it sounds, talking to someone helps you alleviate the pressure your emotions are making you feel.
At times when they feel unsafe, I would encourage them to surround themselves with others. This doesn’t necessarily mean talk to them about how they are feeling, but just to be surrounded by someone else for security and safety.
I personally have hit rock bottom, and suffered my own mental health difficulties. I can empathise with them on how it feels to be in that deep dark place. It can be absolutely exhausting, seem like nothing will get better, and the overwhelming feeling of doom and feeling stuck can get so loud. All I can say is that, from my personal experiences, it does get better. It can and will get better, it just sometimes takes time.
I know that I believe in them. Keep going.