This is the first time I've opened up fully about my experiences with my own personal battle with mental health. It's really hard to do but I'm hoping it can help others and give hope that you can get through difficult times and learn to start living again and to hopefully give hope to people that are struggling.
My journey started nearly 13 year ago,I met my ex boyfriend who turned out to be violent and controlling. Looking back ,I should have walked away sooner but hindsight is a wonderful thing right? I spent nearly 2 year with this man and in that time i was mentally and physically abused and made to feel worthless and not good enough .I was at an all time low and at absolute rock bottom. This man hit me in front of my then 10 year old son, that was when something flickered inside me and when he had left the house i found the strength and i put his things outside and had the locks changed ,on that same day i walked into the doctors and collapsed, that was the point i was diagnosed with clinical depression , anxiety and i was having panic attacks on a regular basis. This is also where the self harm started , i guess it was a release from the self hatred i had after been told i was fat, ugly and worthless.
During this time I was also having trouble with my neck which turns out is a herniated disc that is resting on my spinal cord. I was told that if it presses any more i’d end up in a wheelchair, luckily to this day, it's not got any worse. In 2015 after a bad few years and my mum's cancer diagnosis I had a mental breakdown.
I started a course of cognitive behavioural therapy which got me out of a hole I was in and I was luckily in a better place .
After having hip problems for a few year ,I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a bit of a set back but I thought everything would be ok, how wrong was I? I ended up having to walk on crutches which was a huge setback, I was in constant pain and my mental health deteriorated massively . In May 2016 I was given a hip replacement and for a while it felt like i was getting my life back, unfortunately my other hip deteriorated quicker than we envisaged .I was yet again on crutches and not very mobile, and back to square 1 with my mental health .
I had my second hip replacement. 3 weeks after I was back at the gym, 12 week after I was climbing Scammonden steps and just 16 weeks after ,I climbed mount Snowden in Wales! I then started walking , which I now love and it's been a massive part of my mental and physical recovery journey, I walk for miles a day and it's where I'm happiest . Exercise really does help with your mood ! January of this year I came off antidepressants after taking them for nearly 13 year and that was the best feeling ever!
I'm now in a really good place mentally , fitter than i’ve been in a long time and enjoying life again. I'm running 2 businesses that I love , and i was recently given the opportunity to help others who are struggling as part of Unmasked, that i’m more than grateful for .
I’ve been at the lowest of low and i’ve come out of the other side , there's always hope and i’m proof of that ! Things can, and do, get better . Thank you for listening to my story.
I hope it helps just one person to realise that "things aren't difficult forever".
Much love to you all, Alison xx