By blog user, posted on 5th January 2013
In Stephen Fry’s TV documentary on his struggle with bipolar disorder (The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive) that was aired a few years ago, he spoke openly about the devastating impact of his illness including a time when he walked out of a West End play he was starring in and went missing for a week while close to suicide, sparking fears for his safety. He travelled to Belgium before eventually returning to London.
Fortunately I didn’t end up going missing, but a bad period of depression similarly took me to a place where I couldn’t see a way forward and the suicidal thoughts felt like a huge burden that I didn’t want to inflict on anyone else. I couldn’t really make sense of how I was feeling. It all felt too difficult to bear and I wanted desperately to escape and to be well again.
I decided on a whim to travel to the South coast without telling anyone at the time, and picked a spot on a map that looked easy enough to travel to. I didn’t know anything about Lymington and hadn’t been there before, but for some reason it stood out to me. So the next morning I took the train for the 2 and a half hour journey and sat back and watched the world go by.
Lymington is a pretty little town on the coast, the streets lined with cobbles, and the smell of crisp sea air. I realised when I got there that I had no idea if the centre was near the train station and which direction to walk in, but I quite liked that sense of adventure..
I spent the morning exploring the town and getting my bearings and then went for a walk by the marina, which eventually took me along a coastal path, through a nature reserve with a beautiful view of the Isle of Wight in the distance.
I couldn’t have picked a better day, with the warm sun glistening on the water. I ended up walking for miles! I almost made it to Hurst castle in Keyhaven, before needing to turn back to make sure I didn’t miss the last train home.
By the time I arrived back I was exhausted. I slept well that night – it was the first time I’d slept well in weeks!