The Things Turning 26 Made Me Think About [MY BIRTHDAY]


Turning twenty six kind of caught me by surprise...
Obviously I dont mean that I forgot it was going to happen! It was just that I was hit with the realisation that it would be completely normal for me to start thinking about - and talking about - time frames (not sure if that's the best way to phrase it) for a lot of the important milestones in life: a house, marriage, and babies!

I think that a huge factor in making this such a shock, was the amount of time - years; I've spent, being convinced that I had no future because there were so many times when I'd do something that could, potentially, make it impossible.  

All of these professionals; Psychologists, DBT therapists, Occupational Therapists, Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs), and pretty much every member of staff whilst being an inpatient with Cygnet; would be asking me to think of goals. They'd have this generic 
form that demanded five short-term goals and three long-term, how they could be achieved, and by when I would like to have achieved them. Of course I understood that the purpose in doing this was to give you motivation on days when you felt hopeless; but, realising that for me, at that point in my life, 'short-term' meant however many hours were left in the day; and 'long-term' was within a week, it made me feel even less hopeful
My life was like that for such a long time that finally being able to say 'in the next few months I'd like to...' or 'in a years time I'd like to...' was overwhelming! This might sound strange to some of you, but; accepting that you have a future... It's - not hard... But... It's not how some people might imagine that straight away it's like 'yay! This is so good!' I feel like this is an aspect of mental health recovery that you might never think of or consider unless you're told or you experience it; because, in all honesty, it threw me off a little bit. It made me embarrassed; feeling that I now had to almost play catch-up with my friends. Those I'd studied my A Levels alongside were on the verge of becoming fully qualified Lawyers [the career path I'd planned to take] and those who'd gone on to do an apprenticeship were now permanent and full-time employees. And if I wanted to stick to the whole 'Law-route' thing then I'd need to re-sit all of my A Levels before I could even start considering University. 

It made me angry too. I felt that I'd wasted the past five years of my life [the length of time from my first suicide attempt to being discharged from Cygnet] being sat in a Hospital, having to be looked after, and spending hours on end learning coping strategies that came automatically to everyone else. 
When I tried to rationalise this, telling myself that it wasn't my fault that I'd reacted the way I had, to what had been done to me, I just got angry at the person who'd done it. But I've learnt that as preferable as it is to be angry at others rather than yourself; to hold any kind of anger at all, isn't good for you. So I focused on the fact that, yes; for many years it felt like my life was the way it was because of him. But now? I am where I am because of me. And because of the many incredible people who have helped me get here.

Even still, I didn't believe there was a chance that I'd ever meet 'The One.' I accepted that my trauma had changed my thoughts, my attitude, and my opinions on; not just romantic relationships in general, but also, on all aspects of one. I was convinced that I'd never have babies because I would never be able (mentally) to do what you have to, to have those babies. And if I couldn't do that then I could never have a romantic relationship. And if I never had that, then I would never get married.

But now? I have R.
And I have a sparkly ring on my ring finger.
And we have savings for the home we'd like to have in a years time.
And we have a preliminary/ideal date to get married in 2019.
And we want two children. And I want them before I'm 33 (within the next 7 years).

I'm 26.
I'm alive.
*deep breath*

I have a future.


To read my posts from my last three Birthdays: 




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