It’s my birthdaaaay! (well it was yesterday).. and if you can’t tell from the title of this post, I am now 23 years old. Something I am finding very difficult to comprehend lately is how fast time is going by, so to think that I’m now 23 years on this planet is pretty bizzare to me. It honestly scares me quite a bit but it is also completely inevitable so I’m just going to have to suck it up, right?
I’m writing this post for a few reasons with one being that I feel like my birthday’s are always an apt time to sit back and re-evaluate the year that has just gone by while also planning for the year to come. A lot can change in a year and when I look back that’s clear to see but one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that I still have a lot of work to do, regarding my own mental health. With it being World Metal Health Week I thought now would be a suitable time to write this post and I suppose, just have a much needed chat about mental health.
I’m not even sure where to begin with this post or what exactly to say but I do know it’s important that I do say something. I have spoken about my struggles with my mental health in the past and if you’re an OG reader you may recall some of those chats. I guess I began to shy away from being so open about my personal health because I felt like I couldn’t really offer any guidance as I still struggle with it and I can’t offer a solution to anyone, which made me think, “Well what’s the point of me chatting about it when I can’t even help myself?”. For those of you that don’t know I have had to deal with depression which thankfully hasn’t crept up on me in quite some time, I also have re-occurring anxiety. The reason I’m telling you what mental health issues I have is that I simply want these topics to be more talked about, to not be a big deal to talk about, I want mental health conversations to be normalised. I know this is much easier said than done because, I, myself find it extremely difficult to talk about my issues but if we don’t at least try, we’ll never get there.
Mental Health issues are so so common and we will all be affected by them in some form or other throughout our lives so why do we still struggle to speak about them? For me personally, I’ve never been good at speaking about my feelings and this is still something I struggle with massively. I’m not even sure why but I guess I feel a bit ‘stupid’ saying how exactly I feel out loud which is ridiculous and I have the upmost admiration for people that can say exactly how they are feeling out loud, we all need to be more like these people! So if you take at least one thing from this post, let it be that you try to push yourself to say how your’e really feeling out loud to whoever it may be. We all need to talk more honestly and we all need to stop hiding. The way you’re feeling is not stupid, irrelevant, a burden or whatever negative thing you may feel it is. Your feelings are relevant, important and NEED TO BE TALKED ABOUT. A little tip I can offer if you feel like you can’t talk about it, is to write it down. I am so much better at writing down how I feel rather than saying it out loud so maybe this could help you too?
You are not alone and this is another reason I wanted to write this post. I know seeing other people open up about their struggles makes me feel that bit less alone so I do hope you can take that from this post. As I said, so many of us experience mental health issues so you’re never ever alone. You will always find someone to talk to, you will always find someone who cares about you and you will always find someone who loves you – please please please don’t ever forget that.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, going through Mental Health struggles can feel like actual hell. It can feel like it’s never going to end and that it will never get better.. but TRUST ME.. it can get better, it definitely can. Of course, you may have bad days again but it is totally possible that it will get better and that you won’t feel hopeless, you won’t feel alone and you won’t feel that horrendous pain that mental health struggles can bring. So how can it get better? I’ve mentioned it already and I’m sure you’ve heard it hundreds of times, but you must TALK TO SOMEONE, that is the first and most crucial step in dealing with your struggles. Be it a family member, friend, partner, internet friend, your GP, a helpline.. there is always going to be someone to talk to. I know myself that I’ve seen some pretty bad stories about some GP’s not dealing with mental health issues in the way they should but after my personal experience of opening up to my GP, I would certainly recommend that route if it’s something that you feel you can do. I’ll never forget the feeling of a massive weight being lifted off my shoulders after that first GP visit, that feeling will never leave me and completely proved that opening up does absolutely help.
There are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding mental health issues and we all know of them. Things such as people accusing mental health sufferers of being attention seeking, being lazy etc. etc., we’ve all heard them but what I say to those misconceptions is ‘don’tjudge what you don’t understand’. Another thing that I do feel that still has quite a stigma attached to it, are mental health medications, there are so many people that judge the taking of these medications but why?! If someone had a heart condition for example, and they had to take medication for this everyday in order to stay alive..I’d find it very hard to find someone to judge that negatively but if someone suffered with depression and had to take anti-depressants to keep them going even keep them alive in a lot of cases..I’d probably find it a lot easier to come across someone who’d judge this negatively. Mental Health Medication keeps people alive just like medication for physical illnesses, please understand this if you don’t already.
Not everybody goes down the medication route and not every mental health sufferer needs to go down this route and that’s fine too. Unfortunately, there is no straight forward solution to make a mental health issue go away so that’s why I’d highly recommend seeing a medical professional that can offer you some aids that may help you. There can be a lot of trial and error in finding the best solution for mental health patients as everyone’s mind is so different, but if you are looking for what works best for you, please don’t give up on that search. You WILL find what works for you.
So onto what I meant by the title of this blog post.. ‘What I Want to be at 23’. I’ve been thinking about this for some time but I feel like this post is the beginning.. I want to make my blog more than what it is. I want it to be a place that doesn’t just offer what it is offering at the moment, I want it to include more mental health chats and make mental health chats regular and normal. I want to add more of what I’m passionate about, and while I’m totally in love with everything fashion and travel, I want my blog to be something that you can take from, I guess what I’m trying to say is.. I want to help in whatever way I can and have lots of ideas that will be coming up over the next while which include topics that educate us on making the world a better place. Now I certainly don’t expect to change the world but even if just one person takes something from these posts, that could help to make a difference for the best. So I do really hope that you took something positive from this post, whatever it may be..
You may be wondering what the pictures I have included have to do with this chat. I was going through a low time recently and tried to think of what could help, I love taking pictures and this love has really grown the last while, I love being creative and can’t draw for my life so playing around with pictures and writing are two of my favourite things to do. When I’m being creative, that is what I focus on, I zone out and just focus on these passions of mine. I decided to try some self portraits as it’s a style of photography that I really adore and I found through doing this, that it helped me be that bit more comfortable with being me. I loved playing with the lighting and shadows and it really helped me get back on track to be honest. I guess that’s another tip I have if you are struggling with you mental health.. remember what you love doing and do it.