I'm drowning

Drowning is an all too familiar feeling, not of water but of the mind. When severe anxiety and depression battles turn into weeks and months, it can feel like there will never be a way out and there will never be any way of finding happiness again. Every time you try to swim to get air to breathe and you feel the relief, you are only to be pushed back under by a wave and soon enough you feel like you don't have the energy to stay afloat any more. My most recent episode of this was the depression I felt at the first few months of my second year at university and I just couldn't seem to get out of it. Time was the only thing that lifted it. I just felt myself dragging my body through everyday life and every time I tried to do something that might help, a tonne of bricks just fell onto my back. It becomes tiring when all you do is try to get out of the hole in the ground and try and make yourself better. It is so draining and exhausting.

After a long episode, I managed to get out of it. It just lifted gradually and I know for some this may not be the case. As some people like to put it 'it's like feeling the wind on your face for the first time'. And this is true. Slowly you feel yourself coming back and regaining happiness slowly. It may be a rocky start, but you get there eventually. 

As time has moved on, the shorter my episodes have tended to become and I'm hoping that you too can battle this also. You may be drowning, but remember you do have the strength to keep swimming.

Amy xx


To give something back to you, my supportive readers, I have decided to do a (small) giveaway here on my blog!

My giveaway is open to all UK residents. I've tried to make the prizes something that everybody wouldn't mind winning! There will be only one winner who will be picked at random. The full list of prizes with pictures will be revealed soon and will include:

  • A product from lush
  • A small 'happy' notebook
  • A mindfulness colouring book with colouring pencils
  • A range of prizes from 'Giftboxz'
(Other prizes may or may not be added!)

Mini smiley diary

To enter, you must (all links are clickable!):
Entries close on February 29th 2016. 

Good luck,
Amy Xx

Please note: I retain the right to change any aspect of this competition including any of the prizes :)

Be proud of yourself

Too often than not we always seem to find a way of putting ourselves down. We're never as good as the next person and we're never going to do something. Sound familiar?

I find myself doing this more often than I should do and it's something I have done throughout my life. I have always compared and been hard on myself if I am not keeping up with others. I rarely take time to look at my achievements. However, it's time that this part of me changed and perhaps that you also need to look at this too. It does us no good being so hard on ourselves and leaves us feeling as if we are nothing in regards to the life that people lead around us.

However, if you spend time looking at yourself, then you'll soon see all of the battles you have won and all of the things you have achieved. I suppose mental illness isn't always a journey people tend to consider when looking at achievements. It's always the next big job or the next marriage, but hell it should be because battling mental illness is one of the strongest things you can do. Just because it's rarely spoken about, doesn't make it any less.

Not being able to leave my house, to now being at university, not being able to go to school but getting grades to get to university, battling the panic attacks, the depression, the demons and suicidal thoughts every single day is a huge achievement. It's time to realise the strength you have for battling death, for fighting through the horrific fear, for breathing, for doing things that people take for granted, for saving others with your help and for surviving. I can't put into words the great achievements you and I may have conquered in our journey, but they may even be greater than those around us. 

Be proud of you.

Amy Xx

Taking a trip to the sea

For my anniversary, we had a weekend trip away to an lovely seaside resort. This kind of environment is my perfect place and where I feel at home. There's something calming and joyful about the sea, the quirky shops and dogs running along the beach with the sun on your skin and the sea breeze.

Not only was this weekend lovely, but it made me stop and think. Just as the weekend was a break, there was also one in my mind. I felt that it reminded me of the happiness I have when I'm at home and the memories I have as a child. It also made me take a step back and realise how engrossed we can get in everyday life and that we can forget the most important things - those people who we love. A lot of the time, I feel we take them for granted and at the end of it all, these are the people who are going to mean everything to us, not an ornament on a side table. Things that once seemed to be the be all and end all, might in fact not be at all and there may be ways around it. It somehow, made me feel a lot better mentally, which was such a relief as I had been struggling a bit at the time. 

Taking some time out now and then is a good way to reflect and it's important so we can reclaim some perspective on our lives.

Amy Xx

Creeping around the corner

Depression is disease, one which is unpredictable and that's not the worst of it, but is what I'm going to focus on now.

You could be having a fairly good day in regards to your mental health, but depression can slowly creep around the corner. You don't know when and may not know why. As each half an hour passes, the harder it is to swim, the heavier the bricks are getting and the darker the atmosphere is becoming. As time passes, you are aware of it's presence but try to do what you can to fight it off and to keep going, but sometimes the bricks can break your back and you can't swim any more. This is the depression that creeps. This is the depression that is unexpected. This is the depression that makes it difficult to lift the hair-dryer to dry your hair, or to turn your clothes the right way round to get dressed.

It can come as quickly as it goes and you can make it through. We cannot be scared and be stopped by what it throws at us, but we can battle it. 

Amy xx

Self preservation

First off, happy new year! Now is the time to make promises to ourselves that we won't keep. Well...me! This time of the year for some can be difficult, which is understandable and this is why it is important to know to look after ourselves. Even though Christmas time is the best time of year for me, there are other times when it all gets too much and I need to look after myself.

The recovery from mental illness is never smooth, unfortunately. And if you're anything like me, which I am sure many of you are, you will have days where anxiety and depression are weighing down on you like a tonne of bricks making it debilitating to even move. Even on days like this, if I notice I have even the slightest bit of energy, I will try to be productive (if this is even at all possible) and I will keep trying to push myself to not allow myself to fail as I think it as. Of course, this is not the case and I am not failing, I am just having a bad day like anyone else in their journey. But, the problem with me is that I don't know when to stop and rest. When I am physically ill, I want to keep doing things and the same with my mental health. But, what it important to remember is that by giving yourself time to rest, you are giving yourself the best chance at a speedy recovery, rather than pushing yourself and making yourself worse. Having a bad day is not a failure and no matter how hard it is, these are things that we have to try and accept. It is okay to feel this way. You are not going back to the beginning.

Amy Xx