Mental health: Night and day

An update on how I’m doing, a year into this mental health journey. There is always hope. You can turn it all around. Day can (and more than likely will) always follow night.

“No matter how dark the night. No matter how dark the mood. No matter how dark the moment. The sun will return.”

I want to return to, reiterate and amplify the message of the above words, from The sun will return. No matter how dark things might seem, no matter how desperate, no matter how hopeless… you can turn it all around.

You can make your way back to the light. The path will likely be long. But the path exists. The path awaits you.

Once you acknowledge that you have a mental health issue and take the first step towards treating it, you will be amazed at the forces that come to your aid. So many souls have been this way before you, and so many more will come after you.

I want to talk about my experience with mental health issues, in the hope that it might be of even some tiny help to just one soul who might find themselves where I was.

A year ago, I found myself at the start of an unexpected mental health journey.* The feelings of stress and anxiety that I had frequently through my adult life spiralled out of control. I had always somehow been able to cope. Until I found that I couldn’t cope. My life felt plunged into churning chaos. As I wrote at the time (in Into the infinity of thoughts):

“I am dealing with the acute effects of stress and anxiety right now. For various reasons, the past few months have been a difficult time for me. The mind a storm at sea. Sleep patterns disrupted. Waking in the dead of night with surging adrenaline. I have experienced such symptoms for short periods in the past, but have somehow felt as if I was able to cope. This time has been different. A growing feeling of everything slipping out of control.”

For the first time in my life, I sought professional help for my mental health. This was not an easy step for me to take. But I am so glad that I took this step. It is one of the best decisions I ever made.

My doctor diagnosed me with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. I was prescribed antidepressants and – a few months later – heart medication.

Like night and day


Since then, my progress through this mental health journey has not been a straight line in a single direction. Perhaps no-one’s is. Rather, there have been bad times and good times. Seeming breakthroughs – wonderful moments of renewal – followed in short order by stumbles, setbacks and long stretches of little to no change or improvement.

But a year into this journey, I feel as if I am at last making real progress.

Early in March 2023, I had a scheduled review of my prescription medication with my doctor, almost dead on the 12-month anniversary of starting on this mental health journey. Describing to the doctor how I feel now compared to how I was then, I found myself using the phrase “it feels like night and day”.

I feel so much better now. I feel like myself again. I feel as if the life force, the glint in the eye, has been restored. I feel as though I can cope again.

My doctor seemed satisfied with my progress. They advised that I can begin gradually to reduce my dosage of the medication that I have been prescribed. This has to be done in baby steps. Their precise words were that “we need to move the pieces on the chess board very slowly”.

This is the best outcome that I could possibly have wished for. By writing such positive words, I almost feel as though I am tempting fate, jeopardising my prospects of recovery. However, I resolved in the earliest days of this mental health journey to be as open and honest as I can in the words that I write here, in the hope that they might be of some tiny use to even one soul out there. That means giving equal weight to the positive and negative aspects of this mental health journey.

There is always hope


I do not know where or how things will go from here.

But I do know that looking back to where I was a year ago, the difference is like that between night and day.

While I was in the doctor’s waiting room, I thought back to exactly where I was, exactly one year prior. It was upsetting to revisit those times, to relive those moments of acute and sustained crisis. I cannot believe how different things feel today.

As I wrote in The sun will return:

“I want anyone and everyone who might feel that they are struggling with a mental health issue (or who might know someone who is), that they are not alone.

“You are not alone. You are never alone. Others have been this way before you, and still more will follow you down this path. If you ask for help, you will be amazed at the forces that come to your aid. Please do not suffer alone or in silence. The help you need is likely there for you.”

There is always hope. You can turn it all around. Day can (and more than likely will) always follow night.

May you be nothing but kind today, to others and to yourself.

May today be nothing but kind to you and yours.


  • Mental health (NHS) Information and support for your mental health from the NHS.
  • Information and support (Mind) Resources from Mind, the UK mental health charity.
  • NAMI Homefront (NAMI) Online resources from US charity NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • SANE Australia Visit the site of this “national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues”.


* I  have written about my ongoing mental health journey in the following posts: Into the infinity of thoughtsRenewal; and No words?Mental health first responseGlorifyIn our darkest hours; and At the heart of thingsNo feeling is finalRelax harder.; and Anxiety: Your own worst enemyAll these moments; and Mental health: Six things I’ve learnt in 2022Coping?; The sun will return; and Gratitude.


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