January 2022, learning to ask for help and being brave.

I have mixed feelings about January 2022, there’s the old me thinking about getting fit, losing some weight, and becoming the healthiest version of myself. A cheery and ‘go-for-it’ kind of inner voice, which I wouldn’t want to be without. I’ve started Dry January and I know I’ll stick to it. My wine, chocolate, and Netflix consumption over the festive period had become a cocktail of anesthesia, and I know it’s time to turn the page and take tentative steps into the new year.

But there is a less robust part of me too, the one which woke up this morning after fitful sleep, shaky and unsure of my future and not entirely sure of myself, faced with the glaring onset of a New Year. I haven’t left the house today so far, and have missed that lovely window of morning sunshine, perfect for a new year’s run. But I am managing to be kind to myself, after all, I am tired.

After almost two years of a Pandemic, I’ve been lucky in that I didn’t fall seriously ill with Covid or develop Long-Covid, but I have retreated. Without giving away too much I’ll just say, it’s time to try again, be brave, and be myself, and take some steps forward. For this, I need some scaffolding around me and some people on my side.

I don’t know if it’s a sense of pride and a feeling that I should have this life thing sorted by now, or, the difficult and counterproductive experiences I have had with Mental Health Services in the past when I was far more vulnerable, but somehow I’d lost the ability to reach out for help without even knowing it. I thought I should be able to do it all myself and I’d lost trust in others.

I’d had therapy, some helpful and some really not so helpful. I should be okay yeah?

What has helped is that at the end of last year, I did speak to a new GP and I asked for help, spurred on by a friend. Different help. This time I was able to express and articulate myself more easily, and I was lucky to speak with people who were insightful and empathic, and what’s important is that I didn’t feel like a ‘service-user, ‘ this time I felt like a human being. It’s provided me with a little bit of comfort and hope that once the cogs of 2022 start turning, I’ll have some people to talk to. I won’t be alone as I try and navigate the challenges ahead.

Okay – about that run! And then maybe Netflix later 🙂

My message is, if there is one, to not give up. And it’s okay to go steady.