There was a moment of my life, not that long ago, where I found that I had become a shell. Many years of repressed trauma and the stressed of blossoming into adult life, or falling head first like I did, had left me feeling less than human. I had become so ill that I had no purpose, no dream and I didn’t think that my future held much for me at all.
So, it all feels so strange when I look back on these memories as the woman that I have become today. I can still feel that pain and hurt as if it had never gone, and yet, my life has completely done a 180 and I have never been prouder of myself – I made it. Here’s my story.
Then and Now
I have not found the cure for my mental illness and nor have I found the chalice of happiness. I am not 100% well on most days and like many others around the globe, I can find it still so hard to leave bed or the house but should success be warranted on money, popularity and ‘cures’? I think not.
You see, I’ve not had an easy life and I never really thought that I would make it into my 20’s, yet here I am and I am smiling every day at this newfound life. Things that I swore I would never have or deserve, I have found. I have learnt to really live and embrace this life that I have been given, which, I suppose I refused to do back when things were hard.
So here I am, in my 22nd year of my life, I am an extremely ordinary human being but I have allowed myself to have the chance to discover what it is that makes me extraordinary. Things like moving out, getting married and getting a dog are all things that I have done and are more than wonderful experiences but these milestones again are no measure for success.
Celebrating All Things Big & Small
What makes me feel proud of me, is that I am doing what I love and remembering that I matter in this world. If I have a dream, like my writing and mental health advocacy, I will chase it. If I want to go on an adventure, I will pack my things and explore rather than listen to those voices in my head. Essentially, each day is precious to me and I spend it as best as I can, I work on myself as a person and make sure that my life is something worth each moment when it comes to an end.
Not that long ago, I finally finished my college education with good enough grades to attend university next year, yet 3 years ago I had admitted defeat and was certain I was not smart enough to do any of those things. I remember when I wanted to write a book but I felt like no one would care, yet here I am with two self-published books and the ability to say that my books have helped people and saved lives.
I am a writer, a poet and a mental health advocate. I have a passion for the world, animals and people. I feel bliss in each moment that I can make a person’s day better or give back whatever I can to this world that has been so patient with me. So, what I am saying here is, I once believed I had no purpose, no dream and no skills, I was just a being breathing oxygen that I did not deserve – which was never at all the truth.
So believe me when I say that I can relate to feeling like life just isn’t worth it but I can also say that if you fight, if you allow yourself to matter, if you keep trying, you will find so much beauty on the other side – it can get better.
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Charlotte Underwood is a 22 year old from Norfolk UK. She is a growing mental health advocate on twitter, writer and blogger. She has a passion for words and helping others and continues to do her best to make the world a better place.