Blossoming Minds

Blossoming Minds Mental Health Photo

Mental Health. Let’s talk about it.

Quick side note. It’s kind of sad that I have to write this sort of thing, but just a little disclaimer to say I’m not seeking for sympathy or attention. I WANT to be another blogger talking about this, because it needs to be spoken about. How do we kill the stigma of mental health otherwise, ey? I’m a blogger with a mental health condition, just like anyone could have in any profession. We need to raise the conversation of mental health without feeling like we’re striving for attention because the truth is, we aren’t. This is when it becomes toxic. It makes people feel like they can’t speak out because if they do, they’ll get told they’re seeking for sympathy or attention. 

I’m coming on here to write a blog about mental health to start a conversation. To be more open with the world as I feel like we tend to shy away from that when it comes to our mental state. I want to be as open about my mental health as I would be with discussing a fractured ankle if someone asks. This is not a “sympathy post” nor is this a way of “seeking attention” this is me, a 21 year old girl, talking about what she’s going through to hopefully show others they are not alone, they can speak out and feel like mental health is just a normal conversation, because it is. Right. Rant over, let’s get into it shall we?

So, where have I been, you ask? That’s what I’ve been asking myself lately. It’s hard to talk about mental health when you feel like you’ve lost yourself, especially when you’ve been up and down for many years.

But here I am, using every inch of energy I have inside me to write this to hopefully help you and also myself. I’ve never talked about anything this deep or close to my heart before, so bare with me.

Blossoming Minds Key Close up for Mental Health

Now, I’m not going to sit here telling you everything that’s gone on in my childhood, my teenage years or even what’s going on currently as to be honest, we’d be here for forever and a day, and I’ll be putting Penguin book publishers out of business by the time I’ve finished with my million and one stories. But what I want to get out of this blog is to help you if you’re going through a bad time, whether that be realising the effects of depression and the fact it’s not forever or even just realising you’re not alone.

Something that may surprise you all, is that I’ve been diagnosed with depression since I was 17 years old. One of my many “talents” is being able to look extremely happy on the outside when in fact, I can be quite the opposite on the inside. So if you are an old school friend that may read this, you might be shocked as I’ve always been known as the loud, happy, bubbly one that made everyone laugh but although that is me at heart, I’ve learnt overtime that it’s also a coping mechanism. 

Sometimes, you may question your coping mechanisms if you’re constantly putting on this personality to hide your true feelings, it can make you wonder if this happy person you’re portraying is even you at all. The answer is always yes. In fact, you have to remember that you being able to make others happy is such a huge positive, it shows happiness still exists in your life. You just have to train it to come naturally and crucially accept that we all have low days, even extreme low days and hey, guess what? That’s ok. Keep making people feel what often times you don’t, happy. Accept it and know that one day you will be happy too.

We create this assumption in our heads that we need to feel 100% ALL of the time otherwise we’re not human but that’s not true at all. Wallow in your ice cream, cry if you need too, we all need to be less afraid of sadness. That’s something I’ve realised over these past few months, that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it but I’m trying to get better. You see, any time I feel sad, I just panic. I freak out, my brain gets worse throughout the day and the black dog gets bigger. So, my advice would be to try and embrace the feeling of sadness. As silly as that may sound. Listen to sad songs, put your favourite film on that makes you weep, everything takes time.

And the good thing is, there’s no time frame in life. You don’t have to have everything together, everyone has their own timeline, people move through life at different speeds and just because someone may be a little faster than you, doesn’t mean they’re any better than you. How boring would it be if we all did the exact same things at the same time, where’s the fun in that? I want to attend my friend’s wedding at the age of 50, I want to congratulate my aunty getting her first degree at 65, I want to help my friend move into her first house at 30, I want to help my brothers new career change at 82, there’s NO time frame. Noone has their life together all of the time, we just try and make it look that way to others, I have no idea why. Maybe it’s just a human thing?

Blossom Tree for Mental Health

Positive thinking is something I really believe is a game changer when it comes to managing depression. I’m not great at it yet, but I’m trying. It’s all about stopping your brain when a negative thought enters, breathing for a second and thinking hard about how you can change that thought to be positive. Like here I am telling you I don’t have my life together one bit. I’ve got no job at the moment due to a nightmare of an apprenticeship (that’s a story for another day), I’m the lowest I’ve ever been and I don’t have a clue how to achieve my dream job. But what I do know is, I’ll find a new job and I’ll get better, as the good thing about hitting rock bottom is the only way is up.

One thing I know when looking for help is that waiting lists are a joke. Please don’t feel discouraged or lose hope though, you will get seen to eventually. In the meantime, seek out help from others. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, a neighbour, someone who acts like your nana but isn’t, just someone you feel comfortable to talk to. There are also great organisations that want to help you, like Mind and Samaritans.

Being open can be extremely difficult as you never quite know how to start the conversation and you may feel like your reasoning for feeling sad is silly, inadequate or not a good enough reason but it is. Even if your reason for feeling sad today is because your favourite jumper is in the wash and you wanted to wear it, your reason is valid and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for feeling that way. We all have our days.

Your doctor is going to be really important to get you better (Shock, believe it or not sometimes an apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away) so make sure you’re with a doctor who is helpful and supports you. I actually changed doctors so that I felt more comfortable and you should too if you feel the same way. This led to me being able to conquer my worries and begin treatment on antidepressants.

Antidepressants can be daunting. But they shouldn’t be. It took me 3 years to be convinced to try them, mainly because I was worried I could become reliant on them and never truly get better. But that isn’t the case at all. With the help of my doctor, I’ve been helped to realise that treating depression without antidepressants is like treating a broken leg without a crutch. It’s just going to be more painful and take longer. Just like with a broken leg, they won’t remove the cast and send you on your way, there’s physio and treatment to make sure the leg is fully functional and can support itself without the need for a crutch. They do the exact same thing with antidepressants. Now my experience so far has been ok. The medication takes the edge off some days and has actually given me enough energy to write this blog. However, its a trial and error situation which is why your doctor is so important in your journey to better mental health. Accept you need help and your days will get brighter.

Even though I’m not in the best frame of mind, I’m still trying to push myself to do things like this, as I’ve realised after taking some time out that focusing on my photography and blog keeps my brain busy. So hopefully, if you’re not feeling great, seeing me trying to push myself might motivate you to do something you enjoy too.

Blossoming Minds hand on blossom for Mental Health

Just like flowers, our brains can blossom and they can wilt. I read that depression can shrink our brain. I know… crazy, right? I like to think that it shrinks just like flower blossoms would without water, which causes us to become forgetful and irritable.  When I thought of it like this, it made me feel a lot more at ease as I thought, “well, it’ll grow back again!” and it will.

So how do we water our own brain and get it to grow, like blossom does in Spring? Well, I’m still trying to figure that one out but here’s a few things I’ve learnt so far that may help you too.

  • Time. Time is a massive healer, whether it’s taking time out for yourself and working on you or even just taking time to accept your feelings and making little changes to feel better. You’ve got to remember, time can heal physical wounds just as quick as it can with your brain.                                                                                                                 
  • Opening up to friends and family. I know it’s easier said than done but opening up to friends and family could help and trust me, I have family members who were less than understanding at first but help them understand it more if they are a little difficult, you may be amazed at what you can change!
  • Do things that make you happy! So, personally for me, music and dance play a big part in my life, it’s what makes me the happiest which is why I’ve somehow convinced my best friend of 21 years to join dance with me. My therapist recommended doing something that I can look forward to every week so this is me trying haha!
  • Keep yourself busy. Although having time to unwind, re-evaluate and become more self aware is hugely important. After some time, I realised all the sitting around was making me worse. So whether it’s reading a book, learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby, it’s important to keep your mind busy the minute you feel ready to get back on the bandwagon again.
  • Block negativity out of your life. I know it’s hard to do but even just little things. For me, I’ve learnt to not go out with people that don’t value my happiness as much as theirs or listen to sad news. What joy is that going to bring in my life? So it’s all about knowing your worth and that these little changes can benefit you a hell of a lot.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, you are you for a reason. There’s no one else quite like you. They may have the same t-shirt as you but they’re not you. Social media plays a big part in this as it’s hard not to compare sometimes when we live in such a digital world and we’re surrounded by highlight reels but you’ve got to remember, social media is like a digital scrapbook. Everyone’s sharing photos they want to look back on, they’re not sharing their bad times because who would wanna look back on that? And psst, you can unfollow the accounts that don’t make you happy, with just one click!

There is so much more I can say about mental health, so this definitely won’t be the last time I talk about it. I can’t stress enough that I’m still not 100%. In this current time, I’m still seeking help from a therapist who is helping me see the world a little brighter, but obviously some weeks are better than others. I hope this blog finds you well and I truly hope this has even given you a little insight into knowing you’re not alone.

Always remember…

Be selfishly you and love yourself for it.

All the love,

Your friend, Becca x

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31 Comments

  1. Alexander Henderson
    15/06/2019 / 9:17 am

    I’m so proud of you! You’re so inspiring and amazing! I’m sure this will help many people!

    • 15/06/2019 / 5:37 pm

      Thank you for loving me, thank you for supporting me and thank you for being there. You have no idea how grateful I am. I truly hope it helps someone out there who’s struggling, but I couldn’t of got to the stage of posting this without you. Forever loving you xx

      • Alexander Henderson
        15/06/2019 / 5:50 pm

        You don’t have to thank me! I do know how grateful you are. You’re incredible! Thank you for talking about this xx

  2. Pipp
    15/06/2019 / 4:31 pm

    Such an amazing read, this will definitely be so beneficial to so many people! Thank you for letting everyone into such a personal part of your beautiful life ♥️✨ Sending all my love to you always Xxx

    • 15/06/2019 / 5:42 pm

      AWWW. Well, aren’t you just the most laaavley human ever. Thank you so much, this blog comment alone means so much, nevermind the constant support you give me. Sending all my love to you always also Xxx

  3. Kate
    15/06/2019 / 5:37 pm

    What a good read. It’s already so inspiring to see how far you’ve come, and I know you’ll carry on going and going until you get to where you want to be. ❤️

    You’ve got this!
    Love ya!xxxx

    • 15/06/2019 / 6:04 pm

      AHHH. You make my heart ache!!! Thank you so much for reading it and being the kindest soul. & hey, WE got this. Always here for you and love ya lots! ❤️ Xxxx

  4. 15/06/2019 / 6:12 pm

    You said this perfectly, Becca. Beautifully written <3 I'm so proud of you and this actually made me feel better about how I've been feeling recently!

    From your bestest internet friend everrrrr,
    Sophie xxx

    • 15/06/2019 / 6:27 pm

      SOPHHHH. I can’t cope with you sometimes, I swear. You’re just the sweetest thing. So glad I helped you feel better and equally as glad that Instagram brought us together.

      Love from your bestest internet friend everrr, Becca xxx

  5. Carla
    15/06/2019 / 6:15 pm

    Thank you for this. Couldn’t have come at a better time.

    • 15/06/2019 / 6:24 pm

      You are more than welcome. Thank you for giving my blog the time of day, means the absolute world! As much as it can be hard to believe right now, your days will get brighter. Stay strong xx

  6. J
    15/06/2019 / 8:40 pm

    This was a great read! Thanks Becca, more people need to read this!

    • 15/06/2019 / 9:18 pm

      Eee, thanks so much! Appreciate ALL the loving & I hope more people do read it as it needs to be talked about more openly x

  7. 15/06/2019 / 8:48 pm

    Aww my beautiful friend!!
    This is such a brave and heartwarming post!
    I’m so proud of how far you have come and how strong you have been! Discussing your own experiences can be daunting but you’ve done amazing and I love how real you are about mental health and I agree what you say about waiting lists! More needs to be done about them so that they shouldn’t have to wait as long as it currently is!
    I’m so proud of you and I’ll continue to be by your side helping you get better whenever you need it!
    Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts with us on the blog! You’re doing amazing!

    Lots of love!

    Claire xxx
    https://eclairscares.blogspot.com/

    • 24/06/2019 / 2:52 pm

      AWW, my beautiful friend! Thank you so much for even reading this, it means the world.

      You’re SO proud of me??? I’m so proud of you as I know you’ve equally suffered with mental health. And you’re so right, talking about your own experiences can be daunting, I cried, I sweated ALL day once it was posted. HAHA! But after a flood of private messages off people saying I’ve helped them, it makes me thankful that I did post this in the end. As after all, we need to get rid of the stigma once and for all.

      Yeah, I’m so glad you understand. I couldn’t agree more with that, something definitely needs to be done about waiting lists, especially for people who are in a very vulnerable position and need urgent help.

      Also, are you trying to make me cry missy?! This comment is making me BEAM with delight. I’ll always be by your side too, helping you get better equally, whenever you need it. You know where I am when you need to rant, vent, chat, laugh, whatever. I’m here for you always angel. So glad Instagram brought us together, I appreciate you so much!

      You’re more than welcome, thank you for reading my story and sharing your thoughts on my blog. You’re just as amazing, if not more.

      Love you with all my heart xxx

  8. 15/06/2019 / 11:50 pm

    I am so beyond proud of you! This is never an easy thing to talk about but helping to end the stigma and start a conversation – YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB GIRLY! I am so happy you are making steps to make yourself happier and letting yourself heal. Life is a wave and definitely goes up and down, but being honest is a great way to keep going. We are all here to love you and support you. You have so much to offer this world and I can’t wait to see what is to come for you <3 xxxx

    • 24/06/2019 / 3:17 pm

      STEPHYYYY. My heart can’t handle this message, you’re the kindest human alive!!!

      First things first, thank you for taking time out of your day to read this, you’re amazing & that’s so true, mental health is never an easy thing to talk about but I’m just so beyond grateful you’ve popped on here to join the conversation of it.

      Life is a wave? Oh, don’t we know it hahaha! You speak some home truths right there, I wanted this blog to be a space of realism. To show people that no one is 100% all of the time and it’s ok if we aren’t as that’s real life. None of this “my life’s perfect” on social media fiasco!

      It’s people like you that make me realise posting this was all worth it, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will make you prouder, you just wait and see.

      Sending you all the virtual hugs <3 xxxx

  9. Renato
    17/06/2019 / 10:02 am

    These are pretty good tips, sunshine. And yeah, just try to block out the bad stuff.

    I don’t know how much it can help you, but my mother used to watch a lot of Weenie the Pooh, she said that it helped her feel at peace, just stories without crazy conflicts and violence, just some nice calm stories of playing around with friends. Now she’s into K-pop {lol}, but she says she also feels better after watching the K-pop boys do some fun absurd stuff.

    Aaaaaaaand pretty nice pictures, sun. They feel very peaceful. ( ´ ▽ ` )

    • 24/06/2019 / 3:25 pm

      Thank you so much, that means a lot!

      And OOO, I like your mam’s thinking, Winnie The Pooh is definitely a good ol’ favourite!

      Funny you should say that as I’ve recently subscribed to a yearly subscription of “The Happy Newspaper” not sure if you’ve heard of it before? But it’s basically a newspaper that celebrates all that’s good in the world and it’s helped me have more of a positive perspective on this world when it feels like it’s crumbling down on you from time to time! So, tell her I recommend it a lot 🙂

      Hope you & your mam have a wonderful week & sending all my love x

  10. Ali
    17/06/2019 / 5:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Sending love.

  11. Ritavations
    20/06/2019 / 12:16 pm

    So beautifully expressed, Becca. Thank you for so thoughtfully sharing what so many are feeling. ❤️

    • 24/06/2019 / 3:31 pm

      EEE Rita! That means a lot, especially coming from you. Thank you so much, you laaavley lady!

      All my love ❤️

  12. Claire - Your Eden Fragrances
    20/06/2019 / 7:38 pm

    Some great coping mechanisms here, I suffer with my hormones and motivational you tube clips on my journey to work are a god send!
    Thanks for sharing x

    • 24/06/2019 / 3:54 pm

      Aww, thanks so much! Sorry to hear you suffer with your hormones but what a great way to focus on the positives!

      I’ve listened to the odd few motivational speakers myself and Gary Vee (or gazza) as I like to call him is definitely up there as one of my FAVS. If you haven’t checked him out, I’d really recommend it!

      So glad to hear you’ve found something that helps you. Keep fighting, you beauty.

      & Thanks for commenting x

  13. 23/06/2019 / 2:05 pm

    These photos are stunning girl. Keep it up 🙂

    • 24/06/2019 / 3:56 pm

      Why thank you, this is FAR too kind!

      You’re bloomin’ stunning yourself 🙂

      Sending lotsaaaa love your way xx

  14. 23/06/2019 / 2:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing. What I have learned over the years that mental illness really does start from your own head and has nothing to so with external forces though could be triggered from an external event. Thank you for sharing your tips.

    • 24/06/2019 / 4:13 pm

      You’re more than welcome, thank you for commenting.

      I couldn’t agree more with that, you make a valid point! I’ve learnt that too, it’s a long process to keep on top of your mental health but everything takes time.

      Lots of love & hugs x

  15. Jordan
    24/06/2019 / 3:08 pm

    perfect words, perfect message. proud.

    • 24/06/2019 / 4:18 pm

      Perfect? MY MY MY.

      That’s too kind.. I’ve never had a blog labelled as “perfect” before so you are my 1st!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, means more than you’ll ever know.

      Lots n’ lots of love x

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