I’m well at the moment, but I was thinking about my last relapse and I wanted to offer some hope & understanding to others.

I’ve deliberately tried not to talk too much about my own diagnoses because I really wanted this project to be about finding a common ground- finding what connects us rather than what divides us.

But whatever mental health condition you’re currently suffering a relapse from, I can tell you that many of us understand what a desperate & frightening place it is to be in.

A bad relapse just feels completely soul destroying, like everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in your recovery has been pointless all along.

I know I have also felt ashamed & like a failure.

Of course this is just how it feels, not how it really is.

Every time I come back, I come back stronger, which I know means not a lot at the time, but it’s true. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m an introvert & the least likely person ever to have suddenly started talking about my mental health, let alone in public. But my last relapse challenged me on so many different levels I actually came out of it more focussed, determined & resilient than ever before. I can honestly say it brought me to a place where I finally for the first time in my life no longer care what other people think of me, which is so incredibly liberating I almost feel grateful.

The road to recovery is individual & unique to all of us, and is of course wiggly not linear. I read a good analogy that it’s like a game of snakes & ladders, no matter how many times you slide back down you never go back to square one.

So to anyone who feels alone & trapped in themselves right now, please just keep fighting, keep going, it’s the only choice we have apart from the other one. You can do it, you’re worth it and together we’ve got this.