The real me

I've been blogging about my mental illness journey for over three years now. I have discussed not only some areas of my personal life, but tips and advice to help others through their journey.

I feel I am generally upbeat whilst sharing the truth of what living with mental illness is really like. However, I do feel that sometimes I don't share the extent of my mental health with you all as my blog is a place of support and comfort. However, I am human and I do get bad days just like you.

I have been battling my mental illness from about the age of 8, and it hasn't been easy. I'm sure like the rest of you reading this you have also felt this way - I have had suicidal thoughts, attempts, been depressed and had crippling anxiety and I know I'm not alone. I'm not going to say that all of my journey has produced positives either. It has been the hardest and most challenging thing to deal with in my life so far and many a time I have run out of energy and hope to carry on. I have had days of crying and self-harm, and staying in bed and not seeing the point in anything. I'll be honest in saying that, my mental illness can and has been like hell and I know I'm not the only one.

I never tend to mention this because I feel it doesn't always help others to hear the rawness of the situation. But I am a person who deals with mental illness on a daily basis, and to this day and at the age of 21, I still battle anxiety and depression. Perhaps not to the scale I used to, but of course circumstances and situations can trigger it off. I am still dealing with it every day, and I haven't completely recovered yet, but I am getting there.

I am human just like you and I am still here. I have been through it, and I am still alive and so can  you. I am just another person battling their mental illness to help others and I know that you have the strength to keep going.

I hope this hasn't been too much for you all as I know it's quite different!

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Some extra reading?

I thought I'd take this week as an opportunity for you to read my other work on mental illness besides my own blog. 

The link below will send you to a link that contains all of my guest posts and work including writing for Mind charity, Time to Change and Relate charity. You can read all of these, here. 

I hope you all enjoy.

See you all next week!

Best Wishes, 
Amy Xx

Coming back from the brink

How many times have you been depressed for so long that you don't remember what it's like to be happy? But when you do finally start to feel better I find so many questions and thoughts running through my head.

"Life really is beautiful!"

"I missed out on so much"

"I'm waisting my time"

"Was it all in my head?"

"Could I have recovered quicker?"

I want to reassure you that these thoughts and questions are completely normal. I often feel guilt for what I believe my depression does to me, but I know that what I am dealing with is an illness and it is completely real. And I am not alone! 1 in 3 people are dealing with mental illness in any one year, which is at the end of the day, a third of the population. You're not alone in feeling the way you do and thinking this way. At the end of the day, this is something that I have to cope with and I cannot just make it disappear and the sooner I realise this, the better I can find ways to deal with it and to recover quickly. The depression and anxiety I have faced, have taught many things, alongside the trauma it causes. What I was once told, is that anxiety and depression does not rob you. You can do it. I strongly believe that although some people don't experience mental illness to the extent that perhaps you and I do, it doesn't mean others aren't struggling in other ways. It gives you strength if anything, whether it's nasty or nice, to keep moving forward.

As always, coming back from the brink shows great strength. It may not be fair, or easy, but you can do it. 

Best Wishes, 
Amy Xx

Public Anxiety

Anxiety behind closed doors and in front of others are on two different ends of the scale. Behind closed doors you can hide what you're feeling from others without the worry of how other people are going to react. But in public it's very raw and everyone can see and there is nowhere to hide.

The other day I was out for a friend's birthday and overwhelming anxiety came over me all of a sudden. I have no idea why, but with 16 people being there, there wasn't really a way of being too discreet, so people wouldn't ask. My usual route is to step outside and away from the situation that triggered it, and that's what I did.

Although it did make me feel better to be away from the situation, some of my friends did see the extent of my anxiety, and I'll be honest, I hate it when people see me like that. Although I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, I can't help but wonder about what people are thinking, and whether they'll see me in a different light. I feel like I kick myself for the way I feel and I know I shouldn't. I think it's because I have always been seen as the strong one, and the one that can be relied on and yet, people have seen me in a different light. But, turning it on its head, dealing with anxiety and depression is a strength in itself and if there are people who see you like a weakness, it's not worth using your time to be with them, because you're better than that. Eventually I said to myself that tomorrow is another day, and it's time to move on rather than getting myself in a rut.

Anxiety and other mental illnesses are unpredictable, so they may occur both in public and private. But let me remind you to surround yourself with supportive people and to not be ashamed. It's normal have feelings of guilt and anger, but at the end of the day this is a part of you that you are working on and it isn't something that you can just brush under the carpet. It is something that may happen and that's okay. Don't feel guilty for you.

Best wishes,
Amy Xx