Life is short and scary, but we have to keep moving forward

I have lived with mental ill health most of my life and at times l have really struggled. Back in 2017 my whole world crumbled around me as my mental health became really bad to the point where I just didn’t want to be here, l had lost my job and was in a lot of debt and was struggling to make ends meet. I started receiving support from penumbra supported living service in West Lothian.

In September 2018 I started therapy it lasted for 5 months and at times l really struggled but getting everything l wanted to say out in a safe place was really helpful for me but then had to leave and l didn’t know what to do with myself. It took a couple of months to accept things but I eventually did and the anger I had inside me subsided.

Things gradually got a bit more stable and l started going to a craft group, l didn’t say very much for weeks and months, but l have gradually grown to trust the members in the group and l have some small conversations from time to time, l am still very quiet at times but that’s okay as that’s just part of me.

I also went along to a singing group where l sang in front of everyone which was a big achievement for me and I felt really proud.

I made a decision to stop smoking as it was eating away at my money, so l decided to get myself a vape which is a lot cheaper. I have been putting some money away that l would have spent on cigarettes and started to save and l managed to get things for my house with it.One of the big things I have really struggled with is keeping on top of my housework and l became very overwhelmed by it at times, but with a little encouragement l am proud to say my house is starting to look like a home and place l can feel safe in.

At the start of 2020 l felt it was time to take the next step and look at trying to get back into work, I have recently been in touch with Start Scotland which help people who may have barriers preventing them getting into work. l have recently had a welcome session with them and it was all really positive. I’m also looking into volunteering with Samaritans.

Living with mental ill health is hard and exhausting but with the right people and support behind you to encourage and reinforce that you are doing well makes all the difference. I’m not saying the next part of my journey is going to be easy and l’m sure there are going to be lots of bumps along the way, but I really want to have a go and make a better life for myself a life that I can be proud of.

If you are reading this l hope it inspires you to take that next step forward in your journey and what you want to do with your life. Life is short and scary but we have to keep moving forward and making the best out of the time with have on this earth.

Yes living with mental ill health is awful and draining at times, but things can improve and get better all you have to do is find the courage within yourself to take that first step.

Thank you, Luellen, for sharing your story. 

If you would like to share your own recovery journey and experiences, please contact us on communications@penumbra.org.uk