Gooood morning folks! Now, if you follow me or my blog you’ll know I am super open about my mental health problems and I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, ending the stigma and educating people on the symptoms and options for mental health problems. I don’t think you can ever talk about mental health too much, there’s always someone willing to learn or who needs to learn. I found The Mental Health tag on Anxiously, Me blog and instantly wanted to do it myself. Please go and check out Anxiously Me’s post here as well.
Every single one of us goes through times when things are completely and utterly crap. It might just be the odd day here and there; you’ve stood in dog poo on your way to work, then the trains are delayed, then your lunch has spilt in your bag that sorta thing. It might be a week where everything keeps piling up or a longer period of time when things are particularly difficult; you’re not getting on with your partner, tensions are high at home, a pet is ill or you’re facing money problems. Whatever the reason things are crap for you for, it’s not unusual that we feel completely out of kilter during these times in our lives. Like the world is continuing to turn but slightly to the left and we no longer feel in rhythm with it.
In order to get to the main chunk of this post, we’re going to have to embark on a little story time. So grab a cuppa, a bar of choccie, a pizza, a roast dinner – whatever your vice is and join me in story time with Jenny on why you shouldn’t feel bad for expressing your emotions on social media.
This ain’t gonna be a fun post so if you’re not into that sorta thing then I’ll save you the trouble and recommend finding another blog to read and I’ll also quickly mention that this post is going to feature talk on self-image, self-confidence (or there lack of) and body dysmorphia so trigger warnings for any of those topics for anyone who is affected by them and would rather not read on, that’s cool, anyway, let’s get this over with.
The world has been taken by storm with the new season, “13 Reasons Why” which was released on Netflix earlier this month. Based on the book by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is about Hannah, who has committed suicide and has left behind tape recordings for her old friend, Clay, with the 13 reasons why she did it. In these tapes, she opens up to Clay about what was going on in her life, the people that have wronged her and the events which ultimately led up to her taking her own life. But it’s not all as it seems as these tapes have a far more profound effect on not just Clay but a whole group of kids from their school. Sounds good right? Sounds gripping and shocking? It is. It’s also the most important show I’ve ever watched in my life.
I recently wrote a post on why I love therapy. But I’ve not always loved it. My first private therapy session was agony. I was super ill that day, I had a rotten cold, I’d been asleep practically all day and I woke up around 2 hours before I was due to leave and I felt really dizzy. I also couldn’t eat anything because I was so nervous and it was in the middle of summer and was boiling hot. So all around, a perfect cocktail for your very first therapy session with a brand new therapist. I have never felt nerves like that before, I literally couldn’t function. But coming out of that session an hour later, I felt like an entirely new person. Nervous? Me? Not a chance.
The longer I’ve been on social media, the more I’ve seen people open up and be honest about mental health. And that’s fantastic. And I’ve also seen people be more open about therapy and counselling for mental health conditions. I’ve had counselling and therapy and I’m a huge advocate for it too and it really pains me to hear that people don’t use it, for a variety of reasons, when they could potentially benefit so much. Obviously I’m not a professional but I want to talk about my personal relationship with therapy and why you absolutely shouldn’t be put off by it.
I am all for self-care. Despite the fact it’s deemed a by-product of our generation and sense of entitlement, I can’t help but think, ‘why shouldn’t we be entitled to look after ourselves the best we can?’ And even, on occasion, before we look after anybody else. We are our own biggest commitment after all and we’re the only person in the entire world that we are stuck with forever so for that reason, I believe in self-care and its importance. But what I’ve been thinking about more and more recently is the actual self care “routines” we are often bombarded with which are sure to make us feel better and increase our mental wellbeing.
It’s a nice afternoon; you’re sitting on your bed, in your comfiest clothes and your fluffiest socks, doing some blogging or some online shopping or watching your favourite YouTubers. The dog is laying at your feet, sleeping peacefully, not making a sound but you can feel the weight of him against your leg and it’s a welcome comfort, knowing he’s there. You’re sipping on possibly the best cup of tea you’ve ever made yourself – way to go! And munching on your favourite snack; an apple pie or a bar of chocolate or maybe, because it’s that time of year, an Easter egg.
Christmas was a time to ‘eat drink and be merry!’. New Year was also a time to drink to the future – and to the past – to new starts and new memories. But what if, like me, you don’t drink? (Alcohol I’m talking about here, not just liquid in general. If that was the case, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this blog post). Before Christmas, I took my frustrations to Twitter (as we so often do these days) and the reactions and replies I received prompted and inspired this blog post and I wanted to think and talk about alcohol. Why I don’t drink it, why it’s okay not to drink it and why oh why some people look at you like you’ve got 3 heads when you tell them that actually, it’s Christmas and I’m still not going to have a drink.