​It’s pretty easy to get complacent about things, a fact that could not have been more evident in events pertaining to a number of factors majorly impacting me. A fortnight ago the structure of my support network changed dramatically and drastically.

I am reeling from the changes and trying to accept the reasons and timing of this change. I am also reflecting on my progress from when I  found my support network. This was never a permanent arrangement and the only permanent relationship I have in my life is with my husband.  I’ve been supportive and a cog in the network for months now and I feel much better for it, but the nature of the disorder I have makes my progress look trifling. Fear of not being able to support others because I may be too unwell is frightening for me.

In my personal opinion, therapy doesn’t change the core person but gives us basic tools to manage the thoughts and feelings that lie beneath. I am afraid to have too high an expectation and find myself disappointed when progress doesn’t seem to be occurring in line with my expectations. After all, expectations have been instrumental in my illness.

So far it’s early days in learning to cope in what feels like a new system, but I now feel excited and optimistic about the future, as things have just felt better for me mentally this year, as a result of some heavy emotional intelligence awareness and exercise. Just like emotions in daily life seem non-negotiable, I have to learn to pick the healthiest reaction to what I am feeling. For example I experienced some acute anxiety when I was stuck in traffic for two hours on the M42 on my way back from Tamworth. I could have had a total melt down, complained, blamed everyone else and made the matter worse for myself resulting in looking and feeling extremely silly or I could have taken a breath, realised we’re all in the same glut of traffic and slowly carried on. Being bombastic never helps and I dont want to be that person or around that person ever again.

I know I have come a long way, but I think I also have a long way to go. Whether this occurs in the current status quo or elsewhere remains to be seen, however, change is a test of the process and remaining balanced whilst this happens is a universal theme we all deal with. Never have I felt more anxious or optimistic. An impossibly confusing set of emotions to experience.

In a reflex reaction, or serendipitously, I have recently enrolled (voluntarily) for online University and further learning courses as well as swimming lessons. The online courses tap into the academic part of me, which has always existed but has been repressed by self-doubt and an overtly negative and pessimistic outlook. I’m enjoying the course but have no idea of my percentage scores in tests and assessments.

The swimming lessons are once a week in the evenings and will require me to drive after dark too and from my local leisure centre. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single reason not to attend as the benefits would far outweigh any objection I could raise. It’s an opportunity to learn, improve and challenge myself, which although frightening, makes me feel alive and enhances my experience of here and now. I get a chance to enjoy myself without worrying about if I’m good enough.No doubt I will record my experience of swimming following reflection, but for now I’m hoping the experience will be a positive one for all who attend.