What do I have to be unhappy about? The truth is, I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you but right now, it seems impossible. There is no reason, I mean, I am sure, there probably, maybe, is, but then again, maybe not. I do not feel myself, I feel off, distant and I guess, sad. Continue reading “Oh no, it’s international day of happiness & I am not happy.”
So, next week I turn twenty-five and as I am sure most twenty-five year olds will agree, this comes with many feelings, or perhaps this is just me? The ‘this is not where I should be’, ‘what have I accomplished?’, ‘who am I?’. The usual ‘could have, should have, would have’.. so, in a slightly, dramatic attempt to make myself feel better, here is a list of twenty-five things that I have learnt in twenty-five years. Kind of, almost, talking to myself in this post, a younger self, who thought she had it all planned out. Paths change. I may not be where I dreamt of being but I am here and I have learnt somethings along my way.
Starting with a few from my five year old self, you are scared of clowns, snow-white will not always be you favourite princess and flower crowns will always be fashionable.
Eighteen months ago, I sat on the train on my way to my first Time to Change young champions training. I was a complete mixture of nerves and excitement, not knowing how my life was about to change.
I was one, amongst eighty young people, each as passionate, each truly inspiring and also each about to change and grow in ways we never could have imagined. Continue reading “Time to Change Young Champion.”
On the 11th of March, each year, I write some sort of ‘reflection’ post, I do this for myself, it helps. It helps me to look back at the date I went into hospital, not solely out of strength and progress but out of feelings, that even now, I find difficult to address. Perhaps out of pain and upset but also out of fear, fear of what others will think.
In previous years, my writing has only spoke of the good, the feeling of achievement and pride but this post is going to be a little different. As time goes on, I become stronger and as I am sure you know, writing, talking and sharing is also something that helps. This is where I am at right now.
I know it may seem by being a mental health blogger and campaigner, often sharing my experiences of an eating disorder with others, that I have come to peace with my past, my mind and for the post part, I have, but some days, it still hurts. After reading many posts during eating disorder awareness week and sharing feelings of upsetting content with others, I do talk about moments I find upsetting in this post. Continue reading “I am not there, I am here.”
Making choices is something that I have been looking at over the last few months, sometimes without even realising myself doing so. It is something that appears in most of our daily lives. More often than not making a choice that suits us or another better, and sometimes, not always, coming with consequences or regret. That aside, I am coming to realise that making a choice, does not always have to be thought through, that sometimes we just have to go with what feels right, at that particular time.
Of course, there are many topics and wanders if you like, within ‘making choices’. For me, I am currently wandering the choices I make involving my health. Making choices or in my case more like compromises between my physical and mental health. Choices that unfortunately come with consequences.
In context, this weekend, I needed to be outside, the sun was shinning, images of snowdrops were beginning to fill my social media and as always Archies eyes told me he needed adventure.
Friday morning, saw my first glimpse of blue sky, with that I made a choice to go walking, putting my todo list aside and embracing the choice without second thought. My mother and I went for a beautiful walk, Archie ran through woodlands (his favourite), we listened to the birds, walked through muddy puddles and I saw the first signs of Spring.
I felt mindful, refreshed and grateful. These feelings stayed with me and Saturday we were blessed with another day of blue sky, which of course, made me want increase these feelings, and explore a little more and so I did. A choice that came with a little more thought, as I weighed up the benefits over the consequences, choosing to better my mental health over the chances of physical pain.
Overthinking aside, my mother and I decided to walk a little higher and see the sun set, we walked and like I wanted, my feelings increased. Both mindfulness and gratitude at their peaks, leaving me feeling truly fulfilled and content.
Whilst walking down, my knee twinged, followed by other parts of my body, the sharp reminder of those consequences appeared. The feelings of presence and gratitude, overruled this moment of regret and I mentally made a belated compromise to walk the mountain, I will have a few days in pain.
This is were I am, the few days (I wishfully say to myself) in pain, I accept it. I accept that I will probably always have to make these choices and compromises, or at least for now. This is okay because although I do not get to do all I love, all of the time, I still get to do it.
I guess this is much like other health choices I have to make, to eat gluten, I would be in pain, therefore I do not eat gluten, the gluten is not worth the pain but the mountain, that most definitely is.
I do not really know where I was going with this impromptu post but I felt the need to share this I guess lesson in choices? Or perhaps just another rambling thought.
Wishing you well,
Time to talk day spoke to me, in many ways but one way in particular. In seeing and hearing each and every person who is open about their mental health, and not just mental health but physical too.
I receive messages of administration, inspired by my ‘bravery’ for talking but I do not.
I do not talk about my struggles with health, not until I find some sort of answer or conclusion, a lesson, something I wish to help another.
I do not want to portray an image that only looks positive, sure I go through something, I learn by it and I share that but whilst doing so I continue to try and paint a picture of my life without pain.
Although in many ways I speak, I stand up to judgement, stigma and discrimination or the fear of, but in many ways I do not. The fear of not being accepted by something that is out of my control, whether mind or body, is still here.
I know there is more to me than this but I want to write through the pain I feel without fear of judgement. Allowing my words to be a comfort to others, in the way others talk are a comfort to me. When I relate to someone’s experience, I feel less alone, less ashamed and less fearful.
I guess, like the majority of my wonders through small steps I will get there. This week has not been a good week, I do not have an answer but that is okay, it is okay to not be okay.
Social media and blogging can mask a persons pain, this can lead to unrealistic comparison, I do not want to be apart of that. I want my blog and social media channels to be a safe place, encouraging more honesty and following in the footsteps of those who are truly inspiring.
Thanking each person who talks, you make a difference.
Whilst saying this I still believe in “Everyday may not be good but there is good in everyday.”- Alice Morse Earle, in looking or trying to look at the bright side. A note to self, every week may not be mindful but there are mindful moments in every week.
Non of which truly explain or portray the wonders of my mind, my thoughts and my life. Please remind yourself that a life on social media is only a small, teeny, tiny part of a life, whether it be somebody who you follow or your own.
I spent some much needed time offline this weekend, as always, I found it refreshing, yet no matter how refreshed I feel now, I know how easy it is to slip into the constant notifications and posting. Another note to self, spend more time offline.
This week I bought a ukulele, not because I am cool or even the slightest little bit musical but because my bones hurt so much I am starting to struggle to grip things, opening jars is becoming hard and I drop things too. So, of course, I bought a ukulele incase it gets worse and before I will ever know if I can play the ukulele, or not. Probably or not, but it is worth a try, right? It gets me offline too, win win. – A somewhat more honest, less embarrassed or feared addition to the post.
Thank you for reading,
With Time to Talk Day, one week tomorrow (Thursday the 1st of February), I wanted to share with you one of the many reasons why talking is important. I found this post quite difficult to write, as I share how I felt during one of the most difficult parts of my journey. Continue reading “Time to Talk Day 2018,”
With Valentine’s Day approaching, seeing the shops filled with love hearts, I was surprised that my first thought was ‘what shall I do for myself’. I actually questioned where this came from and I feel both proud and still surprised that the answer is, self-love.
This post is a long one but one I hope will share the importance of having conversations about mental health in schools.
After reading a few gentle and much needed reminders of the impact of comparison, the pressure to be something, someone or somewhere, other than who and where I am, I did a little further searching and reflecting. I guess the up to the down, or perhaps, just a little difference of outlook on my twenty-seventeen.
Of course, looking back or not, resolutions or not, as long as you are thinking of your health and are looking after your mind, do what you need to do. For me, this is writing, so, this post is not written to help anybody else but me.
I know full well a year on Instagram is no full reality but with a memory like mine it becomes quite the tool when looking back at a whole year. This post is going to focus on the positives of the year, that does not go to say the negatives were not there. I guess, it is just my way of seeing beyond the ‘grey smudge’ I mentioned in my previous post.
January saw me truly engage in self-care, a task that did not come easy to me but has undoubtably become easier throughout the year. The start of the year saw me join the B-eat dream team and although my time was somewhat short I feel truly blessed to have been there in the beginning. To have met the wonderful people behind such life changing work and to learn further about how to support others is something that I will always be grateful for.
February soon came and we had some early lambs, if you have been following me for a very long time (are you still there?) you will know the meaning behind seeing the first of the spring time lambs and each year it fills me with gratitude. Work and studies both continued, as did my self-care and I began to enjoy the outdoors and all nature presented.
March brought with it both ups and downs but also many opportunities for me to grow and learn. There came a difficult lesson in prioritising, in having to make choices and allowing myself to admit I cannot do it all. With these lessons came the belief, ‘one door closes, another opens’, the opening door being a teenage ambition finally beginning to seem reachable. March brought, beautiful skies, Spring like walks, twenty-four years celebrated and many feelings of peace.
April was a lighter felt month, with deadlines worked to, essays all handed in and that relief of feeling, done. A whole adventure ahead of me, one that had never seemed reachable before, now so close.
The feeling of lightness continued as I went into May feeling more excited than ever. Both excited for adventure and excitement for my future, one I hope will make some kind of mark. With my work at Time to Change becoming more and more, a feeling of achievement, as though, I can and will make a difference.
June came quickly, after all it was the month I was most excited about (did I say I was excited?). Of course, it was not all excitement as I began to worry about all kinds of things. The start of the month felt as though it was filled with organising, packing and goodbyes, as if I was going for three years instead of three months but I embraced it and somehow managed to keep calm. I think after wanting to do Camp America for years (and I mean years!) non of it felt real, even once I had arrived.
June, July, August and September were completely filled with so many experiences I could go on and on, in fact I do over in my New York posts. The most wonder though is not in what I saw, the challenges I faced, what I learnt or how I grew, it is in the friendships I made.
Coming home to September and October began with a reminder of what home is, not in the food we had missed or in the comfort of our beds, although both much appreciated, it was, and is, in family. This was lovely, but knowing full well how restless I am, I knew it would not last long and so my career searching began. Without bringing the negatives to the full front of this post, it was difficult but I threw myself into other work, work to keep busy and thanks to Time to Change, I got through.
November saw my graduation, a day that I will forever remember, another day that seemed unreachable for years, finally here. I felt as though I was ticking each empty box on my forgotten to do list, one that illness had taken away for too long, all these things I was finally achieving. With this achievement came a huge amount of motivation to continue, to make things happen.
Put like this, the year has gone quickly, it felt that way too. December came with opportunities to fulfil my motivation and to make things happen. I started my project with Fixers, one that has just began and one I am most excited for. Another huge thank you to Time to Change for giving me the opportunity to speak at the ‘inclusion on stage 2017’ conference in Berlin, a chance to reduce stigma and share my experiences, globally, words cannot express my gratitude.
Throughout the year I have learnt more about myself than I ever could have imagined, I say this every year but it is true. I guess, even four years down the line, I continue to grow. I question if recovery ever ends or if, because of illness I see more into my personal development, without sounding like a self assigned essay. I have so many wonders, a list that keeps on growing and with it a path, my path, that is completely and utterly unpredictable.
The unpredictability of life used to be something that completely terrified me, now? It fills me with a rush of excitement. I look at the new year and have no idea what to expect but, as I type this, I feel ready.
If you have read this, or any of my posts this year, I thank you and wish you well.