SLIDER

SUMMER WHITTAKER


'When you can tell your story and it doesn't make you cry, you know you are healing.'

- unknown.

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LOOKING BACK | 2016



Last year I started this journey of self discovery, as you typically do on a Sunday night when you can't sleep. My initial plan was to search for a purpose, reason and explanation to the person I had become. Why? Because I was basically sick beyond belief to think that my mental health issues had become a part of my personality. I wanted to completely eradicate that thought.

Throughout 2016, I suffered with severe depression, PTSD and a developing anxiety that would then trigger panic attacks and memories. I was basically stuck in a circle of self pity and a mindset I never want to look back on. As I started to write down my emotions, memories and thoughts each day, I remember writing, 'this is just who I have become'. Was it balls. This wasn't me. Yes I suffered and let's face it, I sometimes still do, but I knew I had to knock down this disbelief to the fact that I can and will change.

I went through stages. Writing down all emotions, triggers, worries, fears, all of the things which held me down. Spending more time to myself, initially it was to try and love myself but that was harder than I thought. Making small changes to ensure I could get out of bed that morning with no tears. Letting go of the people who caused me upset. All of these things I felt I handled well. Then my biggest of all, coming off all medication.

It might sound daft to some, 'Summer, why come off the pills if you can't even handle yourself?' The truth, I didn't want to be seen taking these, I couldn't even look myself in the mirror after popping them. I hated them and I knew I could be strong enough to power through. Imagine it like taking natural remedies instead of paracetamol.

I've changed a lot looking back to the beginning of 2016 and the new chapter of 2017. As I'm meeting new people and having to explain little segments of my life, I'm being thrown some lovely kind words which I once would have batted away. Now, I am embracing them. This is my next step on my journey of self discovery, finding lovely words to say to myself. The first word, strong.
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