Just a quick warning: this post is a little more serious than my usual posts. I will return to my usual tragic LG posts soon but for now, this ones more of an update on my mental health journey so far. Thanks for reading!

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On the edge of Autumn, I’m slightly relieved summer is over. I know it’s the opposite to what most people are feeling this time of year, but I’m ready to move on from one of the most difficult periods in my life so far.

Next week, I’m moving to London for my ‘next chapter’. I think I’ve done the new chapter thing about 5 times in the past few years, in the hope that this is when everything is all going to come together and life will be a bit simpler from then onwards.

The last few months have been anything but simple. I’ve had almost 3 months off work after resigning from my job. I moved out of my beloved flat in Surrey that I worked really hard to make into a real home. I moved back in with my Dad and have been receiving treatment from the early intervention service in Blackpool after a breakdown mid June. My independence was fully stripped back and I’ve been building up to normal life ever since.

I’ll be honest, this is one of the things I’ve been most scared to write about. Probably because I still don’t fully understand everything that happened and why. I had an episode of Psychosis which is essentially a temporary state of perceiving things differently. In my case, I experienced delusions and hallucinations.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been pretty confident in my diagnosis of my mental health for a few years now. I’d got to know my triggers, managed to put most situations in perspective and understood how my ups and down worked. I even had halved my medication with my doctors permission. I was exercising, eating well, socialising – all the things I’d struggled with previously. Therefore, this episode really threw my confidence and everything I’d come to learn about myself, making me question literally everything.

So what was the cause? Well, many things actually – many things that were going on were beyond my control. I found myself in an incredibly toxic environment that infiltrated my thoughts and I found myself having to reset my moods most days. Some causes resulted in consequences of  fear, stress and life moving faster than I could keep up with.

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Psychosis tends to last between 3 and 30 days, and so when I finally came out of it I was incredibly confused. I was naturally more depressed and agitated as to why this had happened to me.

Luckily, my family worked with me and we developed a game called ‘real or no real’. When I’d begin to remember things, I’d ask them if it was real or not. It helped me to piece together some of the truths of the month of June and some of fibs my brain had manifested.

I spoke to my best friend a couple of weeks ago who kept in touch with me every single day during the episode, even when she was on holiday. I told her how embarrassed I was about how it had happened, how sure I was of what I had seen and how hard it has been to comprehend actual reality.

She kept me in check and reminded me to stop being silly. Unfortunately, my brain defaulted to a place so it could cope with the external factors around me and get me to where I am now – in recovery.

It would be against everything I have ever believed in and stood for if I wasn’t to share this experience with you, my wonderful readers. I think half the reason of doing ‘real or no real’ with my family was because I still want believe in a world led by honesty and transparency. As hard as it is to face the truth sometimes, it’s the only way I’ll ever get my head around my mental health and learn to cope with it

My diagnosis hasn’t changed, I am still susceptible to depression and anxiety but I’m fortunate that this horrible episode will hopefully only be a one off.

It may have felt a few weeks ago that I’m starting all over again, but I’ve come to realise that I’m just re-building – the foundations of me are all still there. I’m still me.

Keep fighting, keep checking in on yourselves, your friends and family and keep being you.

Love always,

Lauren x

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