Demons, memories and choices

by Charlotte Fantelli

It's not how you feel it's what you do with it that counts!

I was touched this week by the blog post Calendar by Vet. Knowsley, especially as this week marked one of the hardest days of the year for me.

I pride myself on being strong, capable and forward focussed, yet every year around that day a black, black mist descends reminding me there are still chains binding me to memories I just can't seem to 100% break free from.

A simple date on the calendar, one more day to add to the 4,748 others since that night, why the heck should I still lie in the dark tossing, turning, unable to sleep with nothing but memories of yesteryear?

Maybe it is the chill in the air, the crispness of the nights, the smell of the autumn breeze, the still quiet atmosphere of cold nights drawing in, or any of the other subtle little reminders stuck in my subconscious mind never quite letting me be free from memory.

Well, on a very positive note, the black dog that briefly visited me for a few days (simply to remind me it is there) gave me the opportunity to react in a more mature way, another year on from the event. 

Each anniversary I know where I was and what I did. The first anniversary was marked by me wanting to exact revenge, the second by a phone call, another call marked the third. Self harm, and sadness, coupled with fast driving and smashing things up lead the bill in the following years.

But now I am a mum. I am a wife. I have a whole present and future in my hands. I have more to lose than ever I had before. I have to make sure that my burning urges for self destruct are acknowledged but not succumbed to.

No fast cars, no self harm, no punches thrown. 

One solitary tear rolled my cheek and hit the pillow. 

I was grumpy. I was sensitive. I took things a bit too personally and snapped at those closest to me.

But then the 20th of October came, the sun came up. My family still beside me and 4,749 days had now passed since that night and I was still alive, still strong and sure as hell not going to give up now.

So if you are feeling this too, I just want to say: YES there will be bad days, YES you will go through anger, frustration and pain, you will act up, be awkward and difficult, but accept that the sun will rise tomorrow and you will be a day further away from it.

IT IS YOUR CHOICE where you will be and what you will be doing as that sun rises.

Choose well.

Time IS a healer, just maybe not as quick as we'd like sometimes!

Charlotte x

Comments

Charlotte

I just wanted to write publicly what I said to you earlier today ... your recovery from GAD and OCD and severe life traumas, becoming happily married with a much-loved son, your flair as a writer and editor, your success as a businesswoman, your kindness, your attitude to life, your forward optimism -- you are an absolutely AMAZING person and so INSPIRATIONAL and I am so proud to know you personally.

I have been deeply worried about you the past couple of days and I can't pretend I haven't. But knowing how strong your family is and how much you care about everyone in your life has really touched me -- to know that you now have, as you say, the maturity not to self-destruct -- the capacity you have for healing is truly remarkable. Yes I have been through severe life traumas of my own but nobody I have ever known has shown such determination to recover and lead a new life, not free from the past, because it was so traumatic, but able to move on except during trigger times and to help others each day through a growing range of Mental Healthy initiatives. You are so kind to everyone around you Charlotte too.

I am so, so very proud of you and your wellbeing means so much to me. Take care of yourself,

Ian

:-) As always you are too kind. Many people go through much trauma, I am just blessed I can share my recovery and learning with you guys.

Please don't worry about me, like anyone (with or without my history) I have good days and bad days. Just very pleased I have the wonderful life and support now that mean my bad days are fewer and not as intense as they once were.

Take great care of yourself, you are another one who could do with taking their own advice :)

Once again another inspiring post. Thank you for your honesty and openness to say you are not perfect, so many people who have come out the other side act as if it never happened which is unrealistic and makes the rest of us feel we are wring to still have bad days. Thank you x x x

Thank you so much for saying so. I think it is important to be honest, with others, but more importantly with ourselves. I know I am inspired not by those who claim perfection, but more from those who accept their flaws and achieve their goals regardless.

Thank you very much for sharing x

Beautifully put, we all feel anger, pain, grief, it's what we do with those emotions that really count... Inspiring
Dear Charlotte, I watched the Ruby Wax program on iplayer today, and wanted to say how brave and moving your contribution was. I know Mark Williams through attending his seminars and have attended one of Ruby Wax's talks, and you may remember we have spoken when I wrote an article on Anger Management for you at Uncovered magazine! Anyway, I am not much of a blogger, and really just wanted to say, great, well done!! Best and good luck in all your ventures John Landaw

Thank you so much. Was a trying journey but one that I am ultimately very proud of, was a very well made film :)

I'm struggling a bit with this article..I think its because I have chronic depression so I know that the sun isn't going to rise tomorrow but it might in a week or so and then I will go through this again the week after and it will feel once again like the WORST depressive episode ever. Its the predictability that really frustrates me. just not a strong person..I don't know. I feel lost and overwhelmed. Loved Ruby Wax's Mad Confessions..watched it twice ! Hope you are proud of yourself :) The most uplifting programme I've watched in ages. Thank you

Hi, thanks for your feedback, i'm sorry this piece didn't hit the spot for you. Mental Illness is dark and all-consuming and sometimes us bloggers can be accused of being too uplifting, but I hope to try and strike a balance. Thanks for the feedback on Ruby show, it was a really very well madebit of telly and i think Ruby did very well.

Best wishes,
Charlotte

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