Taking time out during recovery

It’s been rather refreshing having some time away from focusing on my recovery. Last week I attended a conference in Belgium, therefore I didn’t have my weekly EMDR (psychology) session, and I was able to focus on work rather than constantly having my mind remind me of everything that sucks about me. Of course, my health was still something that was on my mind (literally, ha) – but it was nice to spend a larger percentage of time focusing on work, rather than the other way round – which, lately it’s felt that I’ve focused a lot on my mental health, so it was really really refreshing taking a trip to Belgium – even if it was for work. (In fact, I’m so glad it was for work, as I had an incredible time, and learnt SO MUCH!)

I was a little apprehensive about going away, as I had been feeling quite low, and experiencing some rather un-fun ‘flashback’ type thoughts – dissociation? However, it’s undeniable that as I’ve been having treatment my mood has been affected – when I focus on my health (my mental health) I often get overwhelmed, and struggle a lot more than when I have something (i.e: a trip to Belgium) to distract me. I think it’s natural to enjoy being distracted from any health condition – the problem is, I went from being incredibly low, to feeling as though everything was 100% a-okay, which… isn’t all that bad – I guess I was just fearful of everything ‘crashing’ back down, or at least I was aware of how much  I wanted this euphoric feeling to last.

I had such a fantastic time in Belgium, and I think it’s actually helped me develop both on a professional and personal level. I was able to remind myself of the importance of discovering new things and new places, I was able to remind myself that it is possible to ‘lose your mind’ in positive ways – I ‘lost’ my mental illness, even if it was just for a brief moment, and it was bloody brilliant. Ten billion points to work, and ten billion points to Belgium.

Belgium
Belgium – Ella Robson

It seems weird to say that I can ‘take time away from my recovery’, but that was how it felt. Maybe I didn’t take time away, as of course my mental health was still a priority, however, I had space to not tackle my mental health head on – I didn’t have meetings with any professionals, and I was able to really enjoy myself, without the rawness and painful emotions that are triggered once I’ve had a therapy session. Of course, naturally when I returned from Belgium I found things a little difficult – I didn’t have a chance to ease myself back into my natural working pattern – I had to dive straight back into the deep end – which led to a lot of anxiety, but I’m figuring it out ha!

I haven’t yet had a psychology session – I actually have one in an hour and a half, I’m just using this time to reflect on things before my session! I had an MRI/MRA/MRV scan of my head/brain this morning at hospital (stressful and weird) so my session with my psychologist has been pushed back to this afternoon. I’ve had a lot of time to get anxious about today, and not a lot of time to allow myself to ‘think’ and ‘calm’ myself, as I’ve had a lot of work to get on with – so… we’ll see how today goes!

As I’ve reached the point of rambling I’m gunna end this post just by reiterating how refreshing it is to take some time away from focusing solely on your mental health. I have tools such as writing, singing, colouring, walking and all that which allow me to distract myself, and look after myself, however – doing something new and adventurous is apparently incredibly beneficial to my recovery! (Wahey).

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