The day I woke up

I’m a broken recovering person. Sometimes I smile when really all I feel are tears. Sometimes I laugh when all I want to do is scream. Sometimes though I smile because I am happy. Sometimes I want to drink, and self harm, but I know there is more to life then giving into addiction. Sometimes I want to be 'normal' though I am still on a quest to work out what 'normal' really is. 

I have retrograde amnesia. I lost the whole of my first 26 years to memory loss …. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know my family, I didn’t know my friends. I knew nothing. I can only discribe my situation as like 'walking up'.

July 22nd 2010, I got out of bed and went about my usually daily business. That morning I was a 26 year old christian women. I had been involved with my church for a few years, youth leader, drummer, involved with evanglism and church mission out reach, as well as someone who suffered with depression, self harming, suicidal thoughts and feelings and alcoholism. My church leaders had alwas supported me and helped me through. 
 
That day, everything changed. I was attacked that afternoon, and as a result, I live with retrograde amnesia. I forgot everything up to that time. I didn't know who I was, I didn't know who God was, I didn't know my mum or dad, my friends, the youth group, how to drum or what the bible was. I had no idea what I was, where I was. All I knew was i was alone and afraid. 

I soon learnt though that addiction is very real, and even though I forgot what alcohol was, even though I was horrifed at the sight of the self harm scars of my arms, I soon learnt that as soon as I took 1 drink, my addiction became real again. 

Amnesia – Depression – Suicide – Self harm  – Alcoholism - are all the 'issues' I live with. Daily sometimes I find myself struggling with things. How to handle emotions, how to treat others when I am angry, how to not drink or self harm, when all I want is too do it. 

I have experienced some of the BAD in life and still do. I live with depression, I live with only 3 years of memory but in it all I have learnt some very imporant things.

God will never, never forget you. Never. No matter what is happening in your life - God is there. He will not leave you, he will always be there no matter what. Mental illness does not stop God loving you, nor does it mean that God will not help you. No matter how much you try to run away from issues, facing them and dealing with them is the best way forward.

Three years down the line, I am now training to be a counsellor, as well as publishing my first book; The day I woke up. This is the story of the first ten months of my life after I lost m memory. More imporantly, I am now reaching out to all those who feel they can’t ‘live’ …. that feel they have had enough … that feel like they are trapped, forgotten, lost, alone and abused! No – one has to stay feeling that way. No-one
Katherine Thompson, 20/06/2013