After a very up and down few weeks, I’m back!
The Isle of Man is an amazing place and I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to live and work there over the last year. I’ll always go back and the island will always have a special place in my heart as it’s the place that helped me turn my life around. Without that experience there’s a very good chance I’d be in rehab now because my life was spiralling out of control at a rapid speed. It was never going to be for good and I always knew that from the moment I got there but I just needed some time away from everyone and everything to think things through and re-evaluate what I actually want out of my life. I’m feeling happier and more content with myself than I’ve ever been. I’ve always had issues with anxiety, depression, confidence, self-worth and this was all ‘helped’ with alcohol. Over the last six months all those issues I had have faded and I’m finally dealing with things and managing these real feelings like I always should have been … until last month …
I started to struggle in the new year. Whether this was because I’d just had an amazing sober Christmas with my family or not I don’t know but I was regularly feeling down. Not depressed, just down, fed up and lonely. Although I’m very sociable and you usually can’t shut me up I’m the complete opposite when I’m feeling crap, unless I’m analysing the shit out of something, then I’m a complete nightmare. My friends Louise and Joe know this very well! I love you two. Anyway, like I said I’m not great at talking about my feelings when I’m feeling rubbish. I will eventually but it takes time. I was reading an article the other day about how important it is to talk about mental health and that in 2015 there were 6,639 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. 6,639 in a single year that thought the only way out was to end their own life. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. How many of those people could still be here if they managed to find the words “I’m feeling crap and need help”? I’m always banging on about this on social media because I know how important it is to find the strength to ask a friend or family member for help. You don’t even need to ask really. You just need to tell them you’re feeling crap and they’ll probably take the conversation from there and away you go! It’s happened to me nearly every single time. “I’m really struggling” … burst into tears and it all flows out. Believe me, it’s exactly what I need and I’m like a completely different person 20 minutes later. So basically what I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to go to the doctors straight away or seek professional help, just talk to a mate and you never know, getting it all off your chest and talking for a couple of hours explaining what’s going on in your head may just do the trick and it’s quite likely they’ve got something similar going on as well!
Right, back to me living on the rock. I’d been trying to decide how long I needed to stay on the island. I had a lovely home and I’d been told my contract was being extended for anther 6 months in October so, happy days! That meant I was there until at least April 2019. I was chuffed to bits with that news and felt really secure in the knowledge that I could continue my recovery without money problems and everything else that comes with being out of work until I felt I was ready to come home. Then May 2018 came and I started to feel really weird, unsettled, lonely, and craving time with my family and friends. I love my own company but when you don’t have many people around, it can be really difficult. There’s a lot to be said for having friends and family living around the corner, whether you see them or not. At least you know they are there and you don’t have to jump on a plane or boat to visit. I do have amazing friends and family and they are always at the end of the phone, I know that and feel very lucky to have them. I spent a lot of May and June travelling back and forth at the weekends because I really dreaded them so that meant just getting through the week at work, keeping myself busy at night then I could go home to the comfort of my family. I felt miserable a lot of the time I was there but it was still easier than being alone. The plan was to continue with this until my contract ended in October and then I would come home. Some days I would feel great and settled with my decision and others I was all over the place and couldn’t wait to get on the next plane. It was the most bizarre situation because I loved living on the island, I really got on with the people I worked with, I miss seeing them and all and those special places that I’ll always go back to but I just couldn’t feel happy there anymore. I decided it was all too much and I needed to be back home for good so I gave my employer’s a month’s notice in July and I just needed to get through the next few weeks. I’m gonna struggle to put into words how difficult this was. Depression is one of the worst feelings ever but anxiety really is something else. When I’m unsettled and not really sure where my life is going, I get anxious. I need a plan you see. I need a plan so I know where I’m going in life and have something to aim for. After being at rock bottom I know how precious life is and I don’t want to waste another minute of mine. I want to travel, explore, fall in love again and maybe one day raise a family. I’m 40 next year (in case I haven’t mentioned it to you!) so I need to get cracking as it won’t all happen unless I make it happen. I couldn’t handle it all by this time and to cut a long story short I ended up desperately calling my amazing friends in Sheffield and asked them if I could go and stay with them. You know who you are and I’ll never be able to thank you both enough. You absolutely saved me that day and I will always be grateful. The next day I was on the boat with all my belongings stuffed in about 20 Tesco carrier bags! Talk about doing a runner! Thankfully my employers were very understanding and agreed that being with loved ones was exactly what I needed.
Fast forward a month and I’m on top of the world! I’m living in Rossendale again, I’ve got a great job which I’m loving, I’ve got my social life back and I’m catching up with friends I haven’t seen for ages. I’m blogging again, my anxiety and depression is gone for now (I know it’ll be back), I’m 291 days sober with absolutely no desire to drink alcohol ever again and back into my fitness, living my best life … 🙂
I really hope this helps someone. If I can do this, anyone can.
Thanks for reading.