I've got to say that I love my life right now. I have so many incredible and supportive people around me; I am in the last year of my medical degree; I have two dogs that I adore; I love writing my blog and being creative; I've had an amazing summer of travelling; and life is just generally fun right now.
But that doesn't mean that life is great every day. The majority of my days are really good, and I enjoy life to its fullest, but sometimes the teeniest bit of doubt creeps in. The smallest part of my mind is still stuck in a depression. The black dog has gone, but a little puppy sometimes follows me around, nipping at my heels and reminding me of how low my mood can occasionally get. The darkness doesn't always completely disappear.
I think it's important to remember that mental health is a life-long issue, and I guess people will always be in recovery from it, although they may be recovered for many years at a time. I think the mind sometimes goes back to its default setting of becoming depressed/anxious in a stressful situation, and that is very hard to change, although I am really trying. Now if I start getting negative thoughts, I question them much more and don't believe my mind as much as I used to.
I am really fortunate to have come out the other side of my depression, and I feel so happy and proud of myself for achieving it. But sometimes the days or nights are hard, especially as I've been so tired and not sleeping recently, and it comes as something of a shock when I feel ill again.
But I'm always pushing forwards and I never want to give up - the happiness that I feel most of the time now was almost worth the struggle of my depression, and I'm so lucky to have such a great life. It really is the smallest things in life that make the most difference.
Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don't give up.