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It's OK Not to be OK; Mental Health

"How many times do you have to fall before you fly?"

If you are a sufferer of mental health then I'm sure there's many times you have asked yourself this question.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. Some days are easier than others and some days you don't know how you're going to face the world.

It's something that never fully goes away but it is something that you can conquer and learn to manage over time.

At times I've let it completely control every aspect of my life.

There's been many a day were I haven't got out of bed or I've gotten fully ready and just about to leave the house, then broke down, gone back upstairs, washed my makeup off and gone back to bed. Because it felt like my "safe place".

Sound like you?

Over the years I've discussed this with countless people and I've had so many different opinions.

People who haven't suffered or don't have any friends or family that have suffered do not understand it unfortunately, it's totally down to a lack of understanding.

I have spoken to so many though who do experience some sort of mental health problem and it comes in so many different variants.

Every day really is a conscious struggle and I know this is the case for so many.

It takes a strong person to get up every day, get ready and get on with life, especially when you have these dark lingering demons sitting on your shoulders.

Sometimes you feel like the world is collapsing beneath you. You feel like no one cares. You feel like you're not good enough and nothing is ever going to get better.

You feel lonely but you want to be alone.

You feel like you want to be out with your friends but you also don't want to see anyone at all.

You feel empty and scared and sad for no reason.

You feel empty and scared and sad for SO many reasons.

You dwell in your own thoughts and create scenarios in your head.

You feel like you are useless.

You feel like you have noone.

You feel alone.

You feel paranoia and that everyone hates you.

You wish you didn't have to be here to deal with this.

How can you ever get through this?

With the right support system you WILL get through those dark days and you can and will feel better.

I know this because there was a time in my own life where I hit the absolute lowest. I missed out on so so many years of my youth.

I didn't leave the house for large periods of time. I said no to absolutely everything.

I left jobs.

I lost friends.

I became absolutely secluded from the world and everything in it.

Again, does this sound like you?

Well I'm here to tell you that you can get through this. I can't promise you that you won't get bad days like this from time to time but if you work on self love, self care, self esteem and positivity then things will get better and those demons will start to fade.

My top 3 tips?

Talk, write, walk.

Sounds easy that doesn't it?

These three steps have helped me MASSIVELY and are a huge factor in how I deal with my mental health day to day.

Talking to someone like a friend, partner or therapist really helps to take all of the demons out of your own thoughts and put them back out into the world. I almost feel like I'm taking the rubbish out and leaving a clean empty space inside my mind. It gives you a great sense of relief.

Talking about your thoughts and feelings helps you to understand why and the best way to overcome them. Otherwise they do take over and that's why you can't deal with anything.

I have always wanted to be a blogger but I always told myself "You're not good enough" and "Stop being daft, YOU could never do that".

Why not though?

Talking about it helped me realise I am just a person like anyone else and there was absolutely no reason why I couldn't go for it.

So I did.

Sounds simple, right?

You are capable of SO much. You just need to believe in yourself more and give yourself a chance.

Talking about your mental health is a major step in overcoming or managing it properly. So if that's you then please take that step today, you won't regret it.

Writing acts in the same way.

I was so lucky that my sister was a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT), she was my guardian angel and helped me so much, even though I know it was difficult for her to hear, she helped me conquer.

So alongside speaking over the phone, she got me to write every day about how I was feeling.

She'd get me to write myself a plan for each day. Small steps to anyone else. But a goal for each day.

"Monday I'll set an alarm for 7am, get up, get ready and make breakfast."

Again, sounds so simple doesn't it?

For someone with a mental health problem, a simple task like that isn't always so simple.

But gradually each day I set my goals and one by one I achieved them until I made it to..

"Walk down the street"

"Look for a job"

"Go to the interview"

..and finally got myself back into work and back into a routine.

Writing does wonders, so please try it today and if you are brave enough to see a doctor or therapist then please ask them about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, because it honestly helped me so much!

Click here for more information - CBT.

And finally, walking! Especially outdoors if you can, is my number 1 form of therapy. It always makes me feel better and helps me to see more clearly and to breathe.

When you go for a walk, try to go to a big park with lots of greenery or a beach, with the calming sea.

It's nice to walk your dog, go with a friend or put your earphones in and do it alone.

Our natural environment acts as a calming backdrop to life, with all the distracting visuals of trees, the sea and wildlife. It makes you see the world in a different light, calms you down and brings out the happy endorphins in you.

In fact, any form of exercise is proven to bring out happy endorphins and makes you feel better, it's just walking in the outdoors is my personal preference.

One thing you should always remember is that you're not alone. There are so many people who feel some form of what you are feeling and it is completely normal. Just remember these feelings are temporary and things will get better, it just takes time and a bit of work.

Do not ever be ashamed or embarrassed either because you are only human, you are completely normal and it's ok to not be ok. Sometimes we just need a bit of help and support to get us through it, to see and think more clearly. 

So please do go get that help so that it can be managed and you can start living again :)

Feel free to send me an email, I will always respond with the best advice I can.

You can email me here.

"If you believe in yourself, anything is possible"

Some useful contacts:
Anxiety UK
Infoline: 03444 775 774
Admin Enquiries: 0161 226 7727
Text Service: 07537 416905

Depression Alliance

Tel: 020 8519 2122

No Panic
Helpline: 0844 967 4848
Youth Helpline: 0330 606 1174
Crisis Number: 01952 680835
Office Number: 01952 680460

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