I’m so much stronger than I ever realised, and for that I am grateful

You never know if you’ll pick fight or flight in a stressful situation until you’re landed in one. You won’t know what your body and mind can endure until it’s faced with its limits. You cannot recognise your strength until that’s all you have.

But what if you don’t pick one, what if you embrace the fight AND flight? What if the flight is actually your fight?

The best way of battling through the trauma or stress could be to take a step back, to let go of what’s messing with your mind. It’ll be a draining experience for you to dance in and yet you’ll only be stronger for it.

Over the last six months, I’ve realised how strong I can be. I am a completely different girl than I was back in summer. Sad girl summer was taken to new heights before I could shed the darkness into a fresh, breathable space.

I’m not at peace with everything about me. I have my flaws, my insecurities but I know my boundaries. I know what to avoid, I can see the harm that was placed to block my way. I can see it as clear as the Tenerife sea (hello Ed baby still a tune) and I know now that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined.

Every year I would count the days, wondering if I’d make it. What would push me over the edge this time? What would break me into the shards I had been left with so many times before?

Yet now, as I piece myself back together I can see a whole new woman forming. The “sit back and take it” attitude is slowly diminishing with a new glimpse of IDGAF, it’s quite nice really.

The world doesn’t seem so haunted once you can see the positives that lie before you.

It’s a scary place, and I know I’ll get knocked down again – but it won’t be by the same hand twice.

I’m grateful for the darkness, as it means I can really enjoy the daylight and that in itself is beautiful.

She chose herself and suddenly the game changed.

It’s True, The Festive Period Plays On My Depression – And Tips for Getting Through the Holidays

After the madness and magic of Christmas and New Year are over, we slump into January with a hefty bag of blues on our backs. It’s something that happens every year, we wait for it and tolerate it until we can finally start to enjoy the year about mid March. The depression becomes our shadow until the spring nights start to appear. It’s only then we seem to be able to embrace the new year.

I mean I get it: the festivities are over, we’re all back at work, it’s dark and dreary outside, we’re all skint and payday can’t come quick enough, we’re now just fed up of the same shitty weather with the same shitty feeling that smacks us every year.

This time of year plays havoc on my mental health, but then so does spring due to family loss and exams, and the pressures of having that perfect summer body is sitting on the wall of the school playground for me thereafter.

But there’s this need to get our lives all figured out in January when the reality is things fall into place over time. You can’t completely change your life within a day so why add further stress to the mood you’re already feeling?

I don’t have the answer, I wish I did. Christmas is one of my most favourite times of the year and yet every year I feel a sense of dread as I see the end of year approach like a train into the station, with no idea how to control the meaningless darkness that takes over at the most random points of my day.

I cried when we put up the Christmas tree this year. The days before I was off college with anxiety and that feeling of dread and emptiness. I sat, eyes glazed like black ice, painting Christmas scenes for two days. I haven’t painted in almost four years, yet it was the only thing that took my mind off the searing pain in my chest.

I couldn’t bring myself to see my friends and yet wonder why I’m feeling lonely. That feeling of not belonging oozes into my life every year at Christmas.

Then my birthday comes four days later, the excitement and the wish to banish it from existence blends into one mess as I try make the most of a day I hate. Is it from not having many friends at school?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the time scale I put on each year – will my mental health allow me to become another year older?

It’s grim. It’s torture. It’s not fair. I’ve been my biggest bully and worst critic for as long as I can remember.

So why isn’t it relief in January?

Because we’re taught about January Blues and to be sad it’s no longer the most wonderful time of the year. When honestly, this time of year is the hardest on so many of us. I know I’m not the only one to feel this dread and I know there’s people who struggle even more than I do – by a hell of a mile.

The pressures of Christmas and New Year have a negative affect on so many. We need to change that, below I’ve listed some points to remember this Christmas.

  • You don’t need to drink or go out partying if you don’t want too.
  • Only be around people who lift your mental health.
  • Take time for you. If you need 10 minutes away from the guests, the party, the conversation, then take yourself away and calm yourself.
  • Money isn’t everything. It’s the thought that counts, no one will thank you for taking one for the team and getting yourself into debt to please people with food or presents or days out.
  • SLEEP.
  • Keep your calming hobbies going – do you mediate in the morning? Keep it up. Do you paint? Keep the canvases close. Need an escape? Keep a book in your bag incase it’s all too much.
  • You are your own priority.
  • Talk to someone, don’t suffer in silence and worry you’ll ruin Christmas. I’d rather sob with the family and know they’re okay than have them sit miserable and too scared to speak up.
  • PJ’s days are encouraged.
  • Chocolate is also encouraged.
  • Don’t give up your personal pleasures because you’re too busy sorting everyone else out, get that bubble bath and glass of wine sorted.
  • Keep in touch with loved ones. Even if it’s a text every couple of days, don’t isolate yourself when you feel low.
  • Go somewhere where there’s people. If you’re by yourself this Christmas, hit the local pub, hall or restaurant where others are also looking for company. Is there a club on? Go, meet people!
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND MIND. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, drained, upset or stressed. Listen and take time to calm yourself.

Much love x

I’m Suicidal But I Do Not Want To Die – TW

Mental health is a hard thing to deal with for anyone. It shows your worst, most vulnerable and confused sides. It makes you do and say things you never thought you would. It makes you push people away and cling onto them at the same time. It makes you doubt you – who you are, your capabilities, your strengths and talents, your whole demeanour is suddenly up in turmoil. It’s a hard thing to cope with every single day and so many want an out. I want an out.

Because the thing is,

I am suicidal but I do not want to die.

It makes me sad – the idea and hope that people could care for me but it’ll only show once it’s too late. I sometimes wonder, who’d turn up to my funeral? I assume my best friends would but what about the guy from my old college class, the girl I had a heart to heart with on a night out, the guy I slept with, what about the people I was friends with and now walk past in the street?

The problem with feeling like this is you have to deal with thoughts that you’d wish on no one. You have to go about your normal life while your brain asks if that ex your not over would care, what would your friends say? Would your parents be surprised if you just made it all go away? What if it was at someone else’s hands rather than your own? An accident? No one could blame you then. You just sit there, feel the world go past you and wonder, even when you don’t want it to happen.

Or maybe to an extent you do. Maybe it’s like you deserve it, maybe then you’ll be worth something, you’ll matter. You’ll matter even more because you’ll survive it. You’ll be the person who almost died and miraculously made it through. You’ll get better and the world will in turn accept you. You’ll accept you.

But instead nothing happens. You don’t feel anymore worthy than you did yesterday. And that in itself is a battle. You have to continue to fight while no one notices, hardly anyone checks in because like everyone, they assume you’re just out there living life. But is this a life?

I’m not so sure, a life with suicidal ideation makes normal day to day, run of the mill tasks strenuous. I wonder what it’s like, to not feel this way. It’s all I’ve known since I was 13 – it’s not always constant but it’s always there, like a haze at the back of mind until the fog takes over.

But I want the fog to disappear. I want to see the sun and feel the fresh air again, that typical girl-running-through-a-field happiness is something I crave. That sense of freedom, like I could do anything. I really do want the fog to disappear. I just don’t know how.

I think the problem is we push ourselves so hard to be our best versions, we naturally want people to like us, we try to please others and in turn we lose our own happiness by trying to create it for others. What would happen if we lost our toxic friends, the job that makes us miserable? Would it be so wrong for us to take Mental Health days? Why is it so hard for people to accept that our brain can be damaged? If we fall, everyone runs to make sure we’re okay. If its a broken leg, everyone wants to sign our cast. If we have cancer, people visit the hospital. But a chemical imbalance? It’s for attention, or its us just being pathetic. How do you beat a society that would rather make you work with tears rolling down your cheeks than one that tells us it is in fact okay to not be okay.

Because it is. I am not okay – and that in itself is okay.

If you’re experiencing anything like what I have written then please feel free to message me, also try to reach out to a loved one or a doctor. You are not alone in this.

The Loss of Hope

My mind is foggy, distant, a suffocation.

My eyes are tired, heavy, two glazed shells.

My emotions are anger, fear and the loss of hope.

I’m sat in a world that is too fast for me, the never ending, never stopping pace is something I can’t keep up with. I feel myself losing grip on my life, my sanity. I try to keep going and enjoy my nine-to-five, my drunk weekends, my Netflix marathons yet every waking moment I have a dagger pain in my chest that leaves me with the inability to breathe comfortably. My head feels too full of air with no way to extract it. My limbs and muscles ache and pull me down all while I feel the hatred for life grow. Not life as a whole, but just my own.

I imagine a beautiful life but it’s hard to see it when the people you believe would be in it are no longer, I imagine an excelling career when I have no prospects, I see a family, invites to events, glamorous outfits and perfect locks yet all the time I gaze into it, I feel it slip away further and further, into the depths of nothing.

I don’t want to be like this but I wonder, how much longer will I last? How long can I go before the crumbling creates an avalanche? How bad do I have to feel to be on the receiving end of support? How do I ask? How do I explain a mind that does not work?

Or is it a life of war on myself, will it forever be a constant fight to not step out in front of a speeding car? Will it be a constant fear that I end up in hospital, either at my own hand or someone else’s? Do I need to forever live with the fear of someone leaving me? Watching me? Taunting me? Will I always be terrified of those around me, as well as myself? Will there ever be a point in this life where I feel content? Comfortable? God forbid, even happy?

I’m not sure how to fix this, I’m not sure that I want too. I’m not ready for the failure or the famous disappointed-but-not-surprised glint in my peers eyes as they realise there is no saving me? That this is me. That this is all I am.

Is there more to life than this feeling of empty sadness? Or are some people just not built for this world? I don’t know. I used to think everyone was here because they were able to handle the fierceness of this life and yet I wonder, am I? Am I fierce enough, brave enough? Is my spirit fiery enough to fight through my broken soul? Am I the light in anyone’s life?

More importantly, could I be the light in my own?