Ten years ago today I received the keys to a new flat after being registered Homeless for eight months.
I was working closely with the mental health team at that time since being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder the previous year. I was heavily medicated with anti psychotics and life and the way I dealt with it is a world away from how I live now.
My life had been hampered with mental health problems, alcohol abuse and self harming behaviours, issues stemming from sexual abuse as a young child. I lived with guilt, fear and depression that at times I could run away from but it always eventually caught up with me to pull me back under. They were issues I wouldn’t discuss until my late thirties and am now still addressing.
It’s hard to believe that now I now live in my own home with a loving wife and four amazing daughters. Mentally well and dealing with life and it’s pressures very differently. Without escaping through drink or drugs or other distractions.
My past is for the most fragmented memories of sickness and traumatic events. I have this last year worked with a counsellor to try and unravel my past experiences in the hope of being able to understand myself more. To just talk to someone about those experiences was beneficial.
I am currently awaiting an appointment to see a specialist counsellor who deals with men with a history of sexual trauma. I’m well enough, and strong enough now to deal with my past without all the negative emotions that are tied to it.
My advise to anyone suffering as I once did would be never be afraid to talk to someone. There’s no shame in it. If your life is spiralling and you are struggling to maintain a stable life because of past trauma you have every right to seek help. I’m so glad I had the willingness to do so. I also found a solution to stress using a free meditation exercise. The link is below.
A lot has happened over the last ten years, from meeting Stacey and buying a home together, to the unexpected arrival of our trio. But if there has been one consistent thread through it all it has been the willingness to improve myself and never to go backwards – too far.
There are times I stumble, and times I make great strides, but one thing is certain. Like the falling of the leaves in Autumn, change is inevitable. And as I continue to shed the emotions surrounding my past there is always a new chapter ahead. One I can choose to live in without fear, and one where I am free to grow and be the best version of me I can be.
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