Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Let's Talk About | Mental Health


I've been toying with the idea for a while now about doing a sort of Blog series on here, and as today is World Mental Health day, I thought there's no better time to give it a go. These 'Let's Talk About...' posts will hopefully relate to a number of different people out there - whether it's talking about Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Body Image, Depression, Blogging, Work etc. and help people to realise they're not alone.

Some of these posts will touch on my personal experience with different topics, how I have overcome them, or how they still affect me now. I am in no way saying that what I feel or believe is how everyone else does - we all perceive the world in different ways and that's what makes us unique.

If you are new to my blog, you might not know about my history with mental health. It's not something I like to openly talk about, but it is something that I have mentioned on here in the past. Last year I wrote this post about my anxiety at the time, and although things have changed, for better and worse, no two days are the same.

Mental Health as a whole is still quite a taboo subject, and although more and more people are admitting to being a sufferer (celebrities included) there is still so much that can be done to encourage people to take the steps they need. World Mental Health Day is a good start to raise awareness for people suffering in silence to get the help they deserve.

Since finishing Uni, I've found that a lot of people in the world of work shy away from talking about Mental Health because its seen as a difficult topic to approach: I've had managers who really didn't get it, team members who knew exactly what I was going through, colleagues who spoke openly to me about it and others that had no idea. All in all I've had a mixed bag of experiences.

To me, anxiety really is a funny one. It can creep up on you when you least expect it, or can be there day in and day out, which can be completely overwhelming and exhausting. Sometimes things make it better, and sometimes things make it worse. It can encompass you as a whole making you feel like you can't escape, yet make you feel so empty inside.

Like I said, it's odd.

I've found that during my adult life my anxiety has been very up and down, not for any particular reason, but I almost feel as though because I have so many distractions - my job, my blog, my friends, my family, my relationship etc - I shouldn't have the time to feel anxious, yet I still do.

These last few months I have had a really bad time with anxiety attacks through what has happened in my personal life, and that has made me feel quite trapped in a vicious cycle of up and down emotions. Maybe if you met me now, you would never think I was an anxiety sufferer; perhaps thats a good thing? but it is something that I deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes it stops me from doing things; other times it gives me the kick I need to break out of my comfort zone... but it is always lurking there.

A lot of people I know aren't aware of the fact that I suffer from mental health issues (unless you have been reading my blog for over a year) which can sometimes make me feel as though they don't know the real me, the full package (but thats probably me overthinking it). I know in my day to day life I can be full of energy and raring to go, but other times I just want to stay away from everyone, which is the side a lot of people probably aren't aware of.

I've heard a lot of times that life is too short to feeling anxious, and in a way I do believe that's true especially if it stops you from living your life to the fullest. I won't lie and say that I live every day by that rule, but I know in my heart of hearts that there are people out there who are willing to help me and listen when I need them the most, pick me up when I'm down and I find real comfort in that. Some of my closest friends suffer with anxiety, and some don't, yet I know I could turn to any one of them for support and they would never judge.

I don't feel as though my life will ever be free of anxiety, and that's something that I've come to terms with (I'm sure a lot of people would agree) but I'm a firm believer that you should never suffer alone - life is hard enough as it is!

One thing I will say is although is there is no magic cure, and I can't click my fingers and make it go away, don't ever think your problems are meaningless; and don't be afraid to open up.



Where to find help & answers;

Anxiety UK
Mind
NHS
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