Thursday 11 May 2017

A Little Bit of Truth || Mental Health Awareness Month

As you can probably tell from the ominous title and the non-descript photo, this is going to be a rambly, personal post. Welcome. One of my favourites to write but definitely my least favourite to publish; I've never been the bravest fish in the sea.
It bugs me how social media can make life look a lot more shiny that it actually is, and I'm well aware that the nature of my posts portray my everyday life as a series of new lipsticks and planned instagram shots. In reality, those moments exist, but they're a tiny fraction of my life and it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, all the time (particularly when you live in the North). In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I'd write a little something real, a little something true. There's been an ache within me lately to transition mental health writing onto this blog, so I guess we'll start here. With me. And hopefully, it might help.
Christmas was a tough time, I'm just going to blurt that out and hope for the best. Putting things in writing often clarifies them for me, and the truth is, I was extremely close to not going back to University. For those close to me that might read this, I don't think you'll ever understand just how close. As a girl who spent most of high school thinking about university and how I couldn't wait to be surrounded by likeminded people, finding it to be tough was a little bit heart breaking. When I chose my accommodation, I was immediately drawn to self-catered. I'm a picky eater, meat isn't always my best friend, and it just made sense. Until it didn't. During significant periods of my teenage life, food has been my most difficult, toxic relationship. I've had the heartbreak of a manipulative boyfriend, but nothing compares to the manipulation you can force upon yourself. And pushing myself into a new situation, completely in control of my own eating habits, brought some pretty ugly thoughts back to the surface. There's nothing quite like sobbing on the kitchen floor at 9pm because of a bowl of pasta. It's hard to understand, I know. But Mental Health Awareness Month is here, so let's all try, shall we?
It's extremely easy to deny mental illness; to push it away and try to "be brave". For a long time, I blamed my food issues on other things. And its true, low points in my life in other areas, do bring out the worst in my mind. Addressing the issue head on, however, has been a huge part of the last few months. Going back and sitting alone in my uni bedroom on that first day of semester two was, I think, probably the bravest thing I've ever done. Bouncing back from a shatter of confidence is not an ideal situation to deal with, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And I know that dropping out would have been my biggest regret in the long run. Now, when I look back at the December/January period, I don't even recognise the girl crying on the kitchen floor, and thinking of how much I nearly gave up scares me. Things aren't perfect (is perfect even real?) but putting yourself on the right track is just as important as reaching the end of it.
Don't get me wrong, I still have bad days/weeks, and despite the fact that I'm an extremely happy/excitable person, I still lie in bed at night and deal with a lot of thoughts. And that's okay. I'm prepared to get there, and I realise now that I'm never alone, even if those close to me struggle to understand what my mind conjures up when I least expect it. If you're reading this online confession, and thinking, hey, this sounds familiar, you aren't alone either. Tell someone, anyone. A doctor, a friend, maybe even start with your cat. Talking helps, I promise.
These past few months have not been easy, but they've taught me a lot about my own strength. *Cue Whitney Houston* I might be small, but I am mighty. And believe me, you can be too.


  1. I really, really enjoyed this post Em - I'm so glad that you are able to talk about this in such an eloquent way. Keep fighting and keep smiling - you're doing amazingly and the fact that you had the courage to write this blog post shows it :)

    Hannah xx

  2. Thank you so much for the support Hannah, I really appreciate that :)


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