When you are diagnosed with a mental health condition you may well be given medication to aid your recovery or to help you to cope with day to day life.
It is however, a double edged sword.
I take three separate tablets each day.
Every time I reach for it, something goes through my head.
It acts as a reminder that I need these to stay healthy for my children. It acts as a reminder that taking them may not work or may not work forever. It acts as a reminder that I have a condition that will never go away.
Am I scared that I may get ill again? Of course I am. I am absolutely terrified. I am a single mother and I am the only person who looks after my children. I have to be well for them.
Each time I reach for my medication I remember this fact.
I still have periods where I am low. I still have periods when I need to access the mental health team. But I am essentially well in comparison to how I was around the birth of my children.
Taking my medication is essential to my mental well-being and I am happy to do anything to maintain my mental health in order for me to be the best Mum that I can be.
Recovery to better mental health takes work. It isn't a case of getting better and that is it forever. It is often a case of working to maintain that equilibrium on a day to day basis.
Sometimes it is a case of two steps forward and one step back but life is essentially good.
Does my future seem bleak? Of course not. My future is excellent. I have learnt to live with the awareness that I will always have a weakness in my mental health but I am now able to access the medication and support that I need when things get bad.
If you are currently in a bad place, it will get better but you need to find that strength within yourself to aid your recovery.
Medication is one third of the remedy, mental health teams or counselling may be the other third but you are the last third of the pie that will make you better.
If I can do it, so can you.
My midwife once gave me some excellent advice. Don't look at the long term future, just look at what you are doing right now. Take baby steps. Perhaps in ten minutes you will have a cup of tea and feed your baby and then you will watch your favourite program on the television. Don't worry about this evening, don't even worry about what will happen this afternoon, just focus on the now.
You can do this.