A Journey For Mind: A Challenge Complete.

On the 17th of June I began an optimistic journey. I’d set myself a challenge to walk one and a half million steps in ninety days for a charity close to my heart – Mind. I’d been used to walking, often setting upon long hikes to spend time in nature, but this was different. To do my once-a-week hike almost every day for ninety days was quite the challenge I had set myself… and after my first week of doing it, I was feeling it.

There’s a mental barrier we have to break through when setting upon any physical challenge. The body can only comfortably do what it’s used to, but pushing through this barrier is how we improve endurance and strength. It takes willpower to push through, and that I have in abundance. I remember likening this barrier to how I was feeling while recovering from PTSD. There was a barrier there that took me a while to break through.

“I can’t do this.”

“There’s no hope”  

“If I feel like I can’t do it, I should give up, right?”

Thoughts the majority of us have had while doing something challenging. The mind leans to the negative, often to protect us from the feeling of failure. Quit while you’re ahead – I believe the saying is. But what happens when you ignore these thoughts? What happens when you realise that you are capable? Greatness truly is on the other side of that barrier – it’s in the challenge and in those things that we’re afraid to do.

I broke through that barrier the same way that I did with PTSD – I focused and charged at it headfirst. I leant into the pain and pushed myself further. These things are easy to do when the cause is great enough. I had to recover from my mental illness, because it got to a point where there was no other option. I had to do it for those that loved me. As such, that’s how I carried on walking. The cause was greater than the strain on my body, which I would only endure and become stronger. The money I would raise would help those that once felt like me, and that was a cause greater than any.

I got off to a strong start with one of my favourite walks, Greenham Common. The bunker scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was actually filmed there, Millennium Falcon and everything!

Day two, I met a knight, just on his morning stroll in chainmail armour. Of course, I had to spark up a conversion and try on his gauntlet.

I spent much time at the local castle ruins and writing poetry while wandering the forests. 

I saw many a sunset on evening walks, releasing how serene and beautiful this world truly is.

And to finish my epic journey, I completed the challenge on the cliffs of Cornwall, while also visiting Tintagel castle, the birthplace of King Arthur.

My final result of the challenge-

Total steps walked: 1,501,172 / 1,500,000.

Total raised for Mind: £282 / my target of £200.

And that concludes my journey for Mind, and it certainly was a journey. I’m proud of myself for what I achieved. I know the money that I raised will go toward helping people that are struggling in the way I once did, and for that, I am grateful. Mind also helped me in a time that I was in need of guidance. If it wasn’t for them, I may have never got the help that I needed to recover. It’s in those moments that we’re at our lowest that we need someone to reach out to. It’s in those moments that sometimes it’s difficult to talk to those we know, and so we don’t receive the support we need – that’s why organisations like Mind are so important. They provide that first step to recovery and raise awareness to make these services more accessible.

For more information on Mind, check out their website: https://www.mind.org.uk

And you can see more about the challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mychaoticmind

Walking for Mind – Update 1.

Walking for @mind –

Day 14 of 90.

I have managed to walk a total 250,954 steps in 14 days… Two weeks into the challenge, and I’m still going strong.
I’m so close to hitting my sponsor target already, which is incredible to me. Huge thank you to everyone that’s donated, thus far. All money goes directly to Mind, and is probably helping somebody right now.

Lee Vockins is fundraising for Mind (justgiving.com)

Why I’m supporting Mind – “We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect,” is their mission statement. I don’t think there’s much more that needs to be said. The majority of us, throughout our lives, will experience a problem with mental health, whether it’s directly or through a loved one. It’s unfortunately part of being human, and that’s an important thing to remember.

There’s still a huge amount of stigma and ignorance surrounding the subject. This toxic positivity and “smile and carry on” attitude is harming generations. It’s stopping people get the help and support they need.

We need to raise as much awareness as possible, and let those people know that there’s hope. There’s help out there. They need to know that they won’t be judged or let down, because speaking from experience, that’s a very real fear. Mind could be that first step to someone’s recovery – that’s why I’m supporting them.

   

Total steps walked: 250,954 / 1,500,000

Money raised: £162 (+£20 to add) out of a goal of £200.  

Walking for Mind – Day 0

Walking 1.5m steps in 90 days for Mind

I decided to start my challenge early, because I was both very eager and wanted to get some extra steps in. Being me, I went big for my first walk, achieving 25.13km and the first 30049 steps of the challenge… only 1,469,951 to go. 😆

I’ll be doing an update on my progress every Thursday. Thank you so much Nicola Lowe Author for your very kind donation. 😊

All donations go directly to a cause that’s very close to my heart, so if you would consider sponsoring, I will be forever grateful.

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mychaoticmind

And I found these flowers! So glad I took my camera with me.

#mind #charity #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness

Walking For Mind.

So I’m about to take on this challenge. Most of you over here know about my struggles with mental illness and my recovery. I actually started my blog because of it. It’s been a journey, but I’m here, and I’m well.

Mind were the catalyst of my recovery, so what I am about to set out to do, is a cause that’s close to my heart.

I hope you’ll follow me on this journey and my progress, whether you can sponsor or not. I’ll appreciate any support and encouragement.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate contact me. 😊

Lee Vockins is fundraising for Mind (justgiving.com)


Thank you.

Facing A Fear: A Hello From Me.

So, I faced a huge fear of mine yesterday. I put my face and voice on camera, to say hello to my Twitter following. I was nervous. I was awkward. But, I pushed myself, because pushing myself out of those comfort zones is what it’s going to take to achieve my dreams. I will practice. I will get better. I will face every fear until I am where I want to be.

Here it is. It’s me. Unedited and awkward. Saying hello to you all.

I’ll run and hide now.

What I learned from this; I always expect the worse from people, when really, I am part of a very supportive community. I had such lovely comments on this video, over on Twitter. I have always been incredibly self conscious of my voice and afraid of people not being able to understand what I’m saying. Yet, most of the comments were compliments on my voice. It just goes to show that our self interpretation isn’t always that accurate.

Also, I am very capable of stepping out of that comfort zone. I felt incredible for doing so. I will be doing more of this in the future, because I oddly enjoyed the process.

I felt that this was important to blog about, because it is truly in the fear that we grow. Lean in to that anxiety. Face that fall. Your dreams are there, waiting for you to grasp them.

5 Things that You May Not Know About Me.

I’ve been here for a while now. There’s a fair few of you following my ramblings, so for that, I want to say a big thank you. When I began my journey here, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but then I guess I didn’t have much confidence in my ability. You have all given me the confidence I need to write and ramble here.

That brings me to the point of today’s post. I like to be open here, and for you all to know who I am. I like to think that perhaps you’ll find something useful, or something to gain inspiration or motivation from. So, here are 5 things that you may not know about me:

  • Probably one of the main reasons that I started this blog was for a distraction. I used to struggle with my mind to a point of being unable to cope. This was mostly due to ten years of PTSD. I blogged my recovery progress, although compared to my writing ability today, it’s not very well written. This became a place for me to vent and grow comfortable with sharing my struggles. I have to say, it absolutely worked. I am free of all those things that stopped me from being me.
  • Adding to my struggles with mental health, I have OCD. It’s easy to manage these days, but one thing you may have noticed in my fiction is a theme of “four”. Four is the number of times that I compulsively check something. Locking doors and checking doorhandles is the worst. My mind doesn’t seem to believe something is done, until it’s checked four times. This can obviously make writing a long process… and somehow, those spelling mistakes still creep through.
  • I’m vegan. This is a fairly new journey for me, but I thought I’d add it here, for people that purely follow my blog. I became vegan around six months ago, mainly because of personal beliefs, but am also amazed at how different I am feeling physically and mentally. I also love cooking, so that added challenge of making my favourite meals vegan has been an enjoyable process. I’ve also developed a better eating routine and a meal plan that free’s up a load of my time. It’s really been a huge and positive change for me. My weight stays optimal. I have loads of energy. I can think clearly. I’m calmer, and as a result, I can handle anxiety more easily. Good nutrition is a powerful thing.  
  • Whilst growing up, I had always wanted to be a guitarist in a band (I had long black hair and everything). I got my first guitar when I was sixteen, and have played on and off ever since. I can play to a decent level. My idol was Matt Heafy from Trivium, and the first song I learned to play was Like Light to the Flies. I also wrote songs and lyrics. This is probably where my creativity started, and it was another distraction for my mental health issues. Playing guitar, especially an electric, is a great release for anger and frustration, and teaches focus. I even got a letter published in Total Guitar magazine, during my teens. That was certainly a highlight of my angsty youth.
  •  I had learning difficulties when I was young. I was very slow to read and developed my writing ability later in life than most. I had never been diagnosed with dyslexia, but I needed a lot of extra help. Even at thirteen, I was yet to read a book. I remember it being frustrating times, and of course, I was singled out because of it. Believe it or not, but breaking out of the struggle all came down to teaching myself. The first book I read was Troy by Adele Geras, then I went on to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R Tolkein. I skipped school to read these, and went to the library instead… I was also quite a rebellious and stubborn teen, but it worked out for me… and trust me, I haven’t changed much.

Hope you found this post somewhat interesting. It’s still crazy to me that people follow my work and read my craziness. I love and appreciate you all.

(Also, if you haven’t had a look at my other project site yet, it’s right here: http://www.redefined-media.com.)

The Power in Being Single.

This is a very different type of post from me, I know, but one that I feel is important for me to write. This is my first Valentines day being single in a very long time. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, even though I haven’t been in a steady relationship for a while now.

In a word, I’m happy. I have been happy for a while now. There are benefits to a single life that I hadn’t foreseen. I feel that I have more freedom. I can do things in own time. I don’t have to worry or put certain pressures on myself. I can enjoy being alone without feeling guilty. I can enjoy long walks without worrying about limitations or write for hours without interruptions. There’s a lot of power in being alone, and learning to be happy with being alone. There’s a strength in not needing anyone around you.   

I’ve always felt trapped. I guess it can be argued that it was the relationships I was in, perhaps? Was it the result of becoming stagnant or complacent? I easily get restless. I’m agitated when I get too close. I’m prone to self-sabotage, especially when something feels too good to be real. I guess it can be said that I haven’t found the right one, but then what does that mean? What would the significance be when I am already happy with what I have?  

I was afraid of being alone at first, and I think it is that same fear that keeps so many people bound in toxic relationships. That’s probably why I’m writing this, just in case anyone needs to hear it. There’s a happy ending here. There’s no shame in that fear, we’re social creatures after all. We need people and contact and love, but trust me when I say that sometimes, from some of the people in our lives, it’s not worth it. Some people hold you back. Some people can put you down, without you realising. Some people aren’t worth your time or energy or love.

My most prominent realisation from being single; there are now fewer people in my life that I need to concern myself with. The result is having more energy and love for my passions. I have more energy and love for those people around me, my family and friends, and I can put my all into my goals. And I don’t have to worry if the other person in my life doesn’t agree with something that I want to do, or dislikes the people that I want to spend time with. It’s not that I have ever felt controlled – I haven’t. I have just forgone that extra cognition of “is this okay?”.

And now, with this new strength, I am content with whatever the future will bring. I am not afraid of being alone, so I will not seek for that one person. I already have that one love in my life, and that person is me. If someone would one day stumble upon me, then I will take my time to know their soul… because that is all that truly matters. I know my soul now, and it craves for nothing other than happiness. I have learned that I can be content in my existence and I can be happy in being perfectly imperfect. I have learned the power in being single.      

2021 Goal Setting.

Last year was shit, right? It was crazy and unpredictable. It was chaotic and stressful. It was the kind of year that I want to forget… mostly. You see, it wasn’t just the events of 2020 that I need to learn from, it was the mistakes I made when I got caught up in the chaos. And I did learn a lot. The lockdown gave me time to stop and think. It gave me time to reflect and learn about myself.  

I’d like to say that I spent last year writing and planning, but unfortunately, I didn’t. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing, and eventually, through all the chaos, I did. Perhaps 2021 won’t be much different, but it will be for me. I have a new perspective that I cannot be shaken from. This isn’t a “new year, new me” post, because it’s taken more than a brief time of reflection to get to this state of mind… this has been about 10 years in the making.

They say not to reveal what you’re working until it’s done, as outside energy can influence progress. I say that it’s outside energy that allows me to work hard at everything I do. So, I want to tell you a bit about what I’m doing this year, what I’m hoping to achieve, and how you can join me.

What I’m doing this year.

Importantly, I’m still writing– I still write a lot. Although I have begun to write in a wider range of formats, like reviews and articles, I’m still writing creatively. I have been working on three projects that I am really excited about, one of which will be released this year (see below). I am still working on The Hunter rewrite, but it has evolved into something bigger than I first anticipated and I need it to be perfect before it is released. You’ll also notice that I have removed all of my short stories from here; this is because I am working on editing them all up to my current level of ability and will be releasing them in the form of a collection.

A Saga from Within: Beneath the Ice, Beyond Us– I’ve been playing around with ideas for this for what seems like forever, but have finally cracked where I wanted to take it. This is a fiction piece that will be released as a novella. Although fiction, it’s a story that has come from somewhere within me that needed to be expressed. Here’s a sneak peek:

“The end of them arrived in snow,

blankets of cold white covering sheets of ice.

An infinite aurora encapsulated in glittering void.

Green and blue, black and the purest of white, this place is beautiful,

but it is a beauty that will remain so long after they have gone.

  Feeble, they are, but knowing.

Knowing, but unseeing, blind of their truth.

Gods of energy, weak, in tombs of flesh, hungry only for earthly gain.

I see a light in them, but it fades.

It fades beneath belief and ego,

it wavers in the face of the constructed.”

I’m studying to be a life coach– I feel like I have a responsibility to pass on what I have learned through my journey of mental health recovery, and so life coaching feels like the right path for me to take. I’ve gained a substantial amount of knowledge in the past 10 years or so, in the fields of psychology and philosophy. I’ve taken up spiritual practices and used other holistic methods. I have struggled, but I have conquered, and it was thanks to a combination of all of these elements. I want to pass all of this on to others that may be struggling. I believe that I can help others find their purpose, the way that I have, and help them conquer anything that may be preventing them from reaching their potential. I need a reason for going through what I did, and I think that I have found it. I finish my studies this year and will be setting up my practice in the near future.

Within: The Four Sides of Us– I’m working on a self-help book, that incorporates everything that I have learned from my own experience, education, and routine of self-care. My recovery was aided through a combination of psychology, philosophy, and spirituality, and so this book will combine those into an approachable practice. I personally believe that there is a connection between the subjects. My thesis is that there are four sides of our psyche that we should harness, or be aware of, and within that is an ultimate answer to finding balance, happiness and potential. As you can probably guess, my heart and soul are going into this book. I’m hoping to release this book as I set up my life coaching practice.

Further studying– And I’m not stopping there! I plan on furthering my studies by taking a course in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), the same therapy that began my recovery and helped me greatly. After this, with my practice set up, I will carry on studying in different fields of psychology. I will forever be in pursuit of the knowledge I need to help others, and I’m looking forward to the challenge it will provide. This is a subject close to my heart. A purpose that I will dedicate myself to.  

ReDefined Media– I’m joining forces with two fellow writers to release a new website! ReDefined Media will cover a diverse range of topics, from news and reviews, to the supernatural and fiction. Our aim is to create a place where writers can contribute, using their own voice, without the need to pander to rules and mainstream views. It will be a place for real expression, opinion, and creativity. We have so many ideas with this! There will be monthly competitions, podcasts, live streams, and charity events. Keep an eye out for a post on this soon; ReDefined Media is incoming.

( Actually, at the time of posting this, ReDefined Media is live! It’s something that I’m still working on, but if you’d like to check it out and show me some love over there, please do… http://www.redefined-media.com . )

And I think that just about does it. These are my goals for 2021, and with everything I am, I will achieve them. I haven’t felt this focused or determined in a long time. I feel like I have a direction now, and a means to achieve everything that I need to. I’ve wanted to follow a path that leads to helping people, and with this, I feel like I can. It’s been a while since I have felt this confident in what I am doing, and it’s thanks to the support that I receive from everyone that surrounds me. I can feel in my soul that 2021 is going to be the start of something great… I hope you’ll follow me in this journey, just like so many of you have so far. I’m here for you, the same way that you have been here for me.

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My chaotic mind- Self-care and 2020.

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I speak a lot about how well and motivated I am at the moment, but I don’t think I’ve ever truly broken down the facts of how I got to this vastly improved state of mind and general being. I will do that right here, and hope you find it useful, but first let me take you back to where I was. I’ve always struggled with my mental health, depression and anxiety being the longest remaining difficulties that I’ve had to endure. Then just over eleven years ago, an incident triggered PTSD and OCD within me. I was on and off a number of medications and therapies to help cope, but nothing really stuck… that was until two years ago. Something in me ignited, and I pushed to better myself and get help. It was then, and only then, that the therapy stuck with me and worked. I think we all have those moments though, eventually. Those moments where the universe tells us to get the fuck up and do something. Along with therapy, and enforced by therapy, I took it upon myself to make improvements to my everyday life. These made a significant difference and got me to where I am today. Here is what I practised and dedicated myself to, in order to improve;

Exercise– I cannot stress how important exercise is to your state of mind. I think it’s a common misconception that the physical cannot help the mental, but from experience, I can confirm that it can. The body is a thing that needs to be trained and exercised just as much as the mind. I began training my body with a simple set of weights (that I picked up cheaply) and have used them for about six years. This was alongside a routine set of exercises (sit ups, press-ups, air boxing) and walking everywhere possible. Getting enough exercise is easy, and the costs some people relate to it are just an excuse. You need to push yourself sometimes, but it’s worth it. Do what you can. I have never been at the fitness level I’m at now, and it feels amazing.

Be around nature– Nature has always helped me in a way that I struggle to explain. I am always drawn to it when I feel lost or unhappy. It’s the air. The beauty. The colour. The life. The mystery. The absolute magic of this world, or the closest to it we will ever perceive. Maybe a part of it is the way that humanity has come to live. We aren’t supposed to be surrounded by all of this concrete and material possession. We are just creatures, after all. We are supposed to be around nature, and that is why it calls to us sometimes. Take a walk among the trees. Stare deeply into the ocean. Look up to the stars. This world is incredible and full of inspiration, you just need to start seeing it.

Meditation– Meditation was key to my recovery. It allowed me to search deep within myself and discover the issues with my thought processes. It allowed me to come to terms with the negative and enforce the positive. It gave me direction. Many people think that meditation is just about clearing the mind, but an empty mind is the result of practiced meditation. You must first let every thought in and focus on what you want to do with that thought. We are absolutely in control of our minds and what they do, we just need to keep them in check sometimes. It takes practice, but the effort can make a huge impact.

Writing– Writing has always helped me. I’ve written things down for as long as I can remember, from thoughts and feelings, to ideas and dreams. It helps me to visualise my thoughts and put them down in a way that I can return to them when I need to. A thought, especially a negative one, can initially be daunting. So daunting that we don’t know how to deal with it when it emerges. I think it’s these moments that writing has helped me the most. I often put these thoughts down in the form of fiction, but that is the way that I have trained myself to cope. My creativity has always been my solace and sanctuary.

Reading– Reading is the ultimate distraction for many of us. By focusing on words, we can lose ourselves from reality and exercise those brilliant minds of ours. My two main passions in life have always been fiction and knowledge… through countless books, I have my ultimate escape always at hand. Through books we can lose ourselves and what’s around us, even if it’s just for a moment, but sometimes a moment to escape is all we need.

Make time for yourself– Always make time for yourself when you need it. Life is busy and we are always on the move, but realistically, we can’t keep it up. We need time to recharge and re-energise. We are beings of limited fuel and energy, remember that. Take a walk among nature. See a friend. Talk to a family member. Be alone. Do something you absolutely love more than anything. Have all of the YOU time you need.

Learn to speak up and ask for help when you’re struggling– One of my biggest flaws in life has always been bottling up my thoughts and feelings. Even with a therapy that focused on this, I’m still guilty of it now… but I’m getting better at it. I think many of us need to learn that we are not as alone as we sometimes feel. We need to learn that it’s okay to show weakness, because in learning to show and target that vulnerability, we can learn to become stronger. We need to ultimately learn that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s modern society that is to blame for this imposed suppression of feeling and the ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach. Social media loaded with false smile and fake life. Emotion turned into emoji. We all have issues, we are just now more afraid than ever to expose them. This is something we need to break out of, and we can learn to… as with everything, it just takes practice.

So, there it is; things that I practised to learn more about myself and take a step closer to becoming a happier me. That would have been the end of this written form of thought, would it have been a week ago, but alas, fate would have it be more. The beginning of my year would have my heart unexpectedly broken. I feel that this is completely relevant to this piece, so will delve more into my thoughts to add a current state of mind.

I’m okay. It was cold and sudden, but I’m okay. It wasn’t the start to the year that I had expected, but I guess it was something that had to be. Everything happens for a reason, or so everybody keeps telling me… and perhaps they are right. I have been here before… more times than I’ll care to admit, but evidence of experience tells me that everything will be okay. Maybe I’m supposed to hurt, in order to learn. Maybe I’m supposed to be alone, in order to excel. It feels weird at the moment. Different. Not ultimately bad, just different. I’m keeping myself distracted with everything that I’ve mentioned here, and it is helping immensely. My practices have helped me through much worse, and for that, and the people that have helped enforce them, I am ever grateful. From evidence, I know that I am stronger and more resilient than I feel right now. I am okay, but will be better… perhaps better than ever before.

New year, new energy

“New year. New Energy. I have never felt like this. I have never felt such an abundance of determination. I have never felt so powerful. The creature within me stirs, my wolf spirit has returned. Last year I achieved everything that I needed to. I achieved focus. I achieved fitness. I defeated my demons. I am now ready for anything this universe can throw at me. This year I thrive and revel in the chaos.”

I posted that the day before it happened. I guess the universe was giving me what I needed to endure… and strangely, the idea for this article came at exactly the right moment too. This life really is strange. It works in ways that we cannot comprehend or fathom. Everything truly does happen for a reason. Life is an ebb and flow of the good and the bad, the dark and the light, we need only go with it… there is always a reason.

My Chaotic Mind- Back To My Old Self.

(Trigger Warning: This post contains mention of mental illness. If you think that you may be triggered by such topics, please do not read on. But, please know that, it’s okay to not be okay. I’m here if you need to talk. Contact me at Authorleea@outlook.com)

Something strange is happening with me recently.

I have lost, but I have gained.

I am busy, yet feel I have more time.

I feel like I stand taller, but haven’t grown.

I am far more active, yet feel I have more energy.

I feel stronger.

Faster.

Wiser.

I feel determined and capable.

It is strange, but it is much welcomed.

I think the these feelings are odd because I haven’t experienced them in a long time. They were hidden somewhere beneath thick skin and inside a hollowed chest. Somewhere dark and secure, but somewhere within, all the same. I feel different. I am me, but different. I am truer to both the person that I want to be and person that I feel I am supposed to be.

I guess I should tune out of my writer brain for a moment to say hey to you all, and maybe explain exactly what this is about. Those of you that have followed my blog for while know of my struggles with my mental wellbeing. In fact, I blogged about my experience with therapy right here. I like to be open about what I went through, in a hope to aid those going through the same thing. Well, this month marks a year of completing therapy. I guess this post is a follow up from that, to let you all know how I’m doing now. As you can probably tell, I’m doing great. As you can probably gather from the title, I feel back to my old self. But what exactly was my old self?

Before my struggles, I felt everything that I feel now. Confident. Strong. Happy. It’s freeing to be able to say that I feel those things again. Back then, around ten years ago, I could lead and inspire. I could speak without feeling self conscious. I could be among crowds of people without feeling the need to hide the true me. All these things were taken away from me after my PTSD, anxiety and depression was triggered. But that was then, it is the now that matters. They are gone. I labelled my struggles as demons and monsters, and like all demons and monsters in every good tale, they have been slain. Every moment was a battle. It was long and arduous, but in the end, I stand victorious. I won the war within my mind.

I’ve been busy recently. Really busy. In addition to working on numerous writing projects, I started a new job about six months ago. It was a job that I took in order to test and build upon my newly reformed confidence and ability. It was uncomfortable at first. It was a challenge to not crawl back into old coping mechanisms, but I didn’t. “You’ve faced worst. You’ve faced the edge of darkness and still came out victorious. You’ve got this.” I kept telling myself. I was right. I had faced worse. And you know what, only six months on into my new job, and I’m up for promotion. I am to lead and inspire as I did before. I am back to where I was before, but I am far more than I had ever anticipated. It took ten years to get here, but I’m finally here, and that’s what matters.

It’s crazy to think of how damaged I felt when I walked into the therapist’s office, in comparison to how I feel know. It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come and what I’ve had to endure, but I have come this far and I have endured. I guess the message that I want to convey here is, no matter how bad things seem, they can get better. No matter how scary the recovery process might seem, you can endure, and you can become everything that you want to be. Decide for yourself exactly who you want to be, and make that your goal. Fight for it… and don’t stop fighting until you have it in your grasp.

– Lee A. Vockins.