Hey! I’ve not written on here in a couple months, because I’ve not had the time to sit down and think about what to write, or how to get my thoughts across. However, friends and family have been asking me if I’m going to continue to write on here – which was actually nice to hear, as I wasn’t aware that anyone actually read what I’ve been writing!
I just read through my first post on here, which I wrote 4 months ago. It’s quite jarring to read through, as much of what I thought, felt and experienced at that time in my life was extremely cynical and hopeless. I’ve actually blocked a lot of it out because I truly cannot identify with the person that I was less than half a year ago. I can very confidently say that I am doing very well in terms of recovery, and my approach towards myself and my life is so much more optimistic and reasonable.
The quick turnover in the space of 4 months may give the impression that recovery has been easy for me – which couldn’t be further from the truth. As mentioned before, the time surrounding my breakdown has been majorly blocked out by my brain, because I wanted to forget how horrible I really felt. Over summer, I’ve worked on my mental health more than I ever have in my entire life – which I saying something, as I have had about 5 different therapists in my life. Frustratingly, I can’t list the different tips and tricks that I followed in order to get better, because there is no real method as such. Just a lot of determination and heaps of patience, because time is the most important part of it all. I only really have a handful of etheral, arty farty, yoga-y sounding tips and methods which have helped me.
- Remaining hopeful, but also grateful. I had to remain hopeful that things would get better and that I could overcome the depression. However, I also had to be grateful for what I already had, as a key aspect of depression is the fact that you’re discontent and unhappy with your current life. Gratitude for me wasn’t about thanking the Lord every day for a roof over my head or blessing my Yorkshire Water supply. My method of gratitude was looking at my life in the here and now, and appreciating that I have everything in my disposal to make the best of my life.
- A social media purge. It’s no shock that social media plays a massive role in the onset of mental health problems, and depression is so easily exasperated by comparison and exposure to other people’s seemingly perfect lifestyles. I unfollowed or muted all the Instagram accounts that made me feel crap about myself, which helped me so much. In this instance, being selfish is the most important part. Ultimately, the people who you follow are a curated selection of lifestyles you’re choosing to hyper expose yourself to. Therefore, unfollowing (or muting) your acquaintances or work friends, or influencers may seem like you are betraying them, but if seeing their seemingly lavish lifestyles makes you feel a bit shitty, then unfollow them! Unless you’re 12 years old, then they shouldn’t really care about their following “ratios” and you shouldn’t really care about whether they will unfollow you back.
- Deleting Twitter. Following on from the previous point this one is very simple, and again, massively improved my mental health. Whilst Instagram is blamed for a lot of mental health problems, I actually find that Twitter is the bigger culprit, as the general premise of Twitter seems to be a highly negative and pointless environment. As someone who has had a Twitter account for longer than a driving license, and would have once considered my tweets to be a personality trait, it seemed weird a first to not religiously check the bluebird every morning. But my life is so much better without it. Previously, after a minor inconvenience, I would weet about it and be investing more time and energy into something which could have easily been moved on from. Now, when I’m feeling a bit shit, I either just let the emotions happen, or a physically talk to someone about it. No more #relatable #edgy tweets.
- Reading books and listening to podcasts. Some self-help books, but also just general non-fiction books have really helped me to get a better understanding of life and different perspectives. Going for a run or a walk whilst listening to a podcast sounds like the hobby of a 45-year-old middle-class man, yet I am a 20-year-old student who enjoys it just as much as a night out. A few of my favorite books this summer have been Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Notes On a Nervous Planet by Matt Haigh, Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haigh and Recovery by Russell Brand. At the moment my top podcasts are BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks with Katie Thistleton and The Fit & Fearless Podcast.
In terms of my lifestyle, after leaving my nursing degree at The University of Nottingham, I felt lost and confused in regards to my future. I have always been passionate about learning and education, and I knew deep down that I am extremely capable of securing a good degree and a good future, just not in nursing. Therefore I bit the bullet and applied for a degree which I have wanted to do since the end of high school – Broadcast Journalism. I could go on for hours about how integral this change has been for me because I am genuinely excited to be studying something which I have been interested in for well over 10 years, but never allowed myself to pursue it, out of fears of failure or judgment.
I am aware I am getting to the point where I’ve been typing for so long and I’m losing track of what the point of this blog post is, so I’ll start to wrap it up now. There have been so many changes in my life recently, but also a lot of consistency in terms of finding healthy coping mechanisms and dealing with challenges in a way which benefits me, rather than pleases others. I am very much still a work in progress, and I know that I have to be careful because depression is sneaky and can crop up out of nowhere. But right now, I am making the right steps. I have a lot to look forward to, and a lot to be proud of, and I really do think it gets better.
Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to talk about in future posts!
Thank you for reading,