Finding "me time" was something my counsellor kept asking me in the 30 plus sessions we had. I'd agree and promise myself to make time, just as I advise other activists to do in order they look after themselves.
It's still a challenge finding time, it's hard turning off, but now I know my limitations and the risks if I don't.
The other week I woke up and experienced a strange feeling. It's hard to explain but I felt free, what was it that made feel this? I suddenly realised it had been a while since I had thoughts of self harm. I hadn't noticed, the nearest similar feeling is when you are grieving and suddenly you realise the pain is less and you feel guilty. I'm probably not explaining myself, but for a while it was liberating.
Negative feelings and thoughts are not only depressing they drain energy and attack your ability to remain positive. It has been a struggle I've battled for many years but at least now I feel I'm more honest about myself.
Today I was checking some emails and it was a year ago I when had my mental health breakdown.
A year of my life, what a lot has happened.
Since I first went public about my mental health I've spoken to so many people who have disclosed their own personal demons. We talk compare notes, discuss treatments such as counselling and medication. The more I talk to others the more I'm convinced the well know phrase "1 in 4 " people experience mental health problems is probably more like "2 in 4".
Stigma, is still a big concern, whilst I was aware of it for others it wasn't until I went public that I experienced some pretty nasty and prejudicial comments from people I'd not expect. But that is life, my friends and comrades in DPAC expose on a daily basis the level of hate crime and institutional discrimination in the workplace and our communities.
Challenging prejudice is part of my daily life and it looks like it's getting worse. Austerity is still being promoted. It's brutality will continue to unleashed unless we all manage to sort ourselves out.
I do have hope and belief that with hard work and an end to sectarianism grassroots can mobilise a sustainable opposition to Austerity.
My next personal challenge is medication. I want to come off it, I hate taking the stuff, but I know I'll have to prepare a plan. This is a big deal for me, so I want to get it right.
To my friends and comrades don't worry about me. I keeping busy, learning each day how to cope and how to better deal with those powerful negative self harming thoughts when they do come in waves.
Anyway enough of that, it's depot Wednesday another early start.
Wishing you all good mental health