Lovelies! I sincerely hope you have your beverage of choice at hand; a cup of tea, maybe an Earl Grey or perhaps a hot chocolate with marshmallows as it’s now beginning to feel cosy and autumnal.
Now whenever I take any kind of break from blogging, even if it’s just for a week I tend to apologise profusely and will sit at home wondering why I didn’t post that week… However today is a day close to a lot of our hearts (especially at the moment), World Mental Health Day. The truth is m’dears lately my absence has been due to my fluctuating mental health and I’m not embarrassed to say it; I’ve always tried to do my best not to bring the dreaded C word into the sanctuary that is my website but I think it’s absolutely fair to say that there’s a lot going on in people’s lives right now brought on by this, including my own.
Back in 2018, when my mental health truly began to affect my life “It’s ok, not to be ok” were words that I felt I needed to hear on a daily basis. Having someone to hold my hand and look me in the eye (whenever I could muster the strength to give someone eye contact, that is) tell me that it’s absolutely ok to feel the way I do and to know my feelings were valid, this may seem so simple to do and say these things and it is! When your mind feels like mush and is constantly going through so much turmoil, I can say hand on heart that it’s the littlest things that can honestly have the biggest impact on someone who is deeply struggling.
But no matter what you might be battling through, you never have to apologise and especially right now, in this moment. It’s ok.
Carrie Fisher (someone I’ve idolised for a very long time) never once shied away from the fact she suffered with mental health issues, she wore it proudly like a t-shirt and I always found this immensely courageous. It made me feel like I have never have to be ashamed or apologise, that I have struggles now and have had major struggles in the past. When you go through something that affects your mental health the way it does it’s truly life changing and it will always be a part of your story.
I had to learn and accept that my anxiety does not define who I am and allow it to be a part of the person I wanted to become, but to try and not give it the opportunity to take over my life anymore.
For me, reading Carrie Fisher’s extraordinary book Wishful Drinking was one of the most cathartic experiences I’d ever had reading an autobiography, when I’d initially read it back in 2015 it hadn’t really hit me that for most of my life I’d already been face to face with a series of mental health issues. But when things eventually came to a head for me a few years later I was brought back to that book and her immense words. In some of my darkest days, if I wasn’t brave enough to speak out to anyone I knew I could pop into that book and talk to Carrie. She was there. To quote one of her many immortal lines she tells us, “In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls”, yes Carrie it does! I eventually got to tell her just before she passed exactly what this book means to me and how her words made such an impression; that even the thought of not getting out of bed or showering was ok, because at some point in this journey I would get through what I’m going through and it would be ok.
Darling people, if you know someone who is struggling please just be your lovely caring self and offer your support. Don’t think too hard about what to say to them; if you have no idea what to say and I understand it’s difficult being on this side of things too just message them and offer to talk, or even call them and please respect their boundaries. If it’s yourself that’s struggling and you’re reading this, I know that it’s extremely hard to reach out initially about how your feeling and it can all feel like a bit of a blur or an outer body experience, but please reach out to someone around you or contact your GP for a chat.
You are loved.
My messages are always wide open, I’m here to talk and I’m with you. It’s going to be ok.