At pretty much every event I put on through The Happiness Bootcamp project, I get asked one thing. “Why do you talk so openly about your experiences/anxiety?”. There is always one simple answer I can give to this. So that it gives others the confidence to talk about theirs.
I’ve not always been open about my experiences of mental health, for the majority of my childhood/teenage years I was extremely quiet about it. I kept it secret from my family and friends and thought the best way to deal with it was to struggle in silence. I believed nobody else felt the same way as I did, let alone anybody understanding what it felt like to be trapped within my own mind and body. But I was so wrong.
I spent years thinking I was crazy, not normal, I felt a complete failure. I felt like I was separate to everyone, like I didn’t even belong.
The day I told my parents about the awful thoughts I was having was heart breaking yet a weight off my shoulders. For me I was lucky they understood and helped me get onto my feet through different forms of therapy.
Now, I share my story openly and with confidence that if I speak out about my struggles and my ongoing mental health issues then maybe it will inspire someone else to do so too. I’m not saying stand up on stage and shout (hey if you want too, please invite me!) but speak to a friend, a family member, a teacher, a counsellor, a doctor, me, just anybody. Speak to online chats with Childline, The Samaritans or even Mind, just SPEAK.
No matter how scared you are, how difficult the situation may be or how you may feel, I promise people want to listen to you. You are able to come through the darkest of tunnels and see a beautiful light on the other side. One little sentence or cry for help is all it takes to allow yourself to heal, to begin a new journey of self love. It will never be a straight an easy ride but I can promise that if you pick yourself up and keep going, the world will become a beautiful place.
You have so much to give, so much to see and so much to do. You are amazing, beautiful and worth every second on this planet. You can get through this, you are never alone.
I believe in you.
It is time to talk.
All my love,
MENTAL HEALTH WEBISTES TO HELP YOU TALK:
Big White Wall: An Anonymous website where you can speak to a counsellor 24/7. https://www.bigwhitewall.com/v2/landingUK.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f
MIND: Speak to a mental health advisor, attend events or even join therapy groups. https://www.mind.org.uk/
The Samaritans: Speak free and anonymously to an online or over the phone advisor for a chat or urgent help when you need it. https://www.samaritans.org/
Student Minds: If you are a student, you are not alone. Join your local student minds and attend workshops, events and meet other peers also feeling the same way as you. http://www.studentminds.org.uk/