Being well is all the little things that have changed.
It’s not being afraid to be out after dark. It’s meeting friends for drinks impulsively on a Saturday night, spending the night talking over cocktails and then going back to their flat for a game of Cards Against Humanity. It’s falling into bed at 2am, alone and happy, and falling asleep without even thinking about it.
It’s not waking up before my alarm. It’s snoozing my alarm like anyone else. It’s not staying up all night because I’m too anxious to sleep. It’s not being afraid of what will happen in my head when I turn the lights out. It’s full and restful sleeps, more often than not.
It’s having a part-time job and full-time study and friends and hobbies. It’s being able to focus on all those things, being unafraid to take them all on. It’s getting up every day ready to tackle the things I have to do.
It’s going out every night in a week, after work or class or whatever else I had on in the day.
It’s driving to Whangarei on my own.
It’s getting on a plane to Melbourne.
It’s not being afraid to be alone in the flat.
It’s smiling and laughing all the time, and honestly; it’s not having to fake happiness or force myself to be in big social situations.
Being well is also the big things that have changed; changes I would have found unfathomable two years ago.
It’s knowing I’m a strong person, and being comfortable with who I am. It’s not hating my body and my mind every waking second. It’s liking the person I have become. It’s trusting myself. It’s relying on myself. It’s being my own support person.
It’s knowing that I can make it through the bad days. It’s still having bad days, and panic attacks, but handling them so much better than I used to. It’s knowing I may never be fully free of my disorder. It’s being okay with that.
It’s not having to rely on alcohol, or on other people, to make it through stressful times. It’s knowing healthier, self-sufficient ways to calm myself down.
It’s the complete disconnect I feel when I remember the self-destructive thoughts I used to have.
It’s being able to see a future for myself, to have plans and ambitions. It’s thinking in terms of months or even years. It’s no longer struggling just to make it through the next 24 hours. It’s no longer only being able to think one day at a time.
It’s not taking any of this for granted. Having been where I was, I will always appreciate the wellness I have now.