Hello again to everyone reading this! It has been a while since I last posted on here however, I like to think I am now back to the land of mental stability, although some people may still disagree with me on that one…the past 12 months or so have been filled with new highs and lows, as well as new life challenges, experiences, life lessons and new goals to achieve.
It has been a while since I last properly wrote on my blog, as my life has been a bit of an adventurous disaster, but I have gained new friends, re-connected with old ones and faced mental challenges that I am now ready to talk about, so I’m going to take this opportunity to reintroduce myself to those who may not have seen this side of me.
I’m originally from a small place called Atherton, which is just outside of Manchester in the UK. I grew up in a loving working class household, with even more of a loving family. Family time was probably the most important time throughout my childhood. We spent evenings together watching TV soaps and entertainment shows, Christmas days, birthdays and all other special days were celebrated together, we always went away on school holidays to different places in the UK and over the world. I am extremely lucky to have the family that I do.
I did well in school, I wasn’t a star student and my grades were pretty average but I got through primary, high school and college without too many phone calls and letters being sent to my mum from teachers (I did have one letter sent home from the police, but that’s a different story…). I moved away from home when I was 16 to go and live at college to study horse management and care for 2 years, I started to work at the age of 17 and once I finished college I continued to work and I have lived away from home ever since!
I had many friends growing up, I was a social person, I was known as the party animal, the kind one, the one that always laughs and the smiley one. The chances of me saying no to a night out dancing were very slim, pretty much always down to go to a beer garden, I was there for those who needed someone and I’d always be up for an spontaneous adventure.
When you look at my life that way, I’d say it’s pretty normal I guess, but my drive, motivation and passion for mental health has come from the experiences I have gone through in my life.
At the age of 6 I experienced a trauma which is when the PTSD and anxiety started. I never told anyone about it as I didn’t really understand what happened myself (in some ways I still don’t really understand it now). The trauma had many different impacts on me, but due to my age and the lack of understanding about traumas/mental health back then, I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t stop to think and wonder why I was getting flashbacks, why I felt fear and disgust, why I would be so tired all the time and why I would fine it so hard to come out of my shell, I guess I just assumed that that was what life was, and that was normal. This trauma went on un-resolved and then at the age of 12 my dad died from a sudden heart attack. Unfortunately this happened when my mum and I were at home, so the PTSD I already had escalated to a whole new level and the depression came with it.
Between the ages of 12-15 years old, I attempted suicide, self-harmed, relied on alcohol and by the time I was 16 I suppressed all of it and carried on as normal. Once I had finished high school I moved away from my hometown and went to live at a college in Cheshire. Here I met my ex-boyfriend and we were together for around 3 years. Looking at it now, the relationship was truly awful and it has left me traumatised. Throughout the relationship the abuse was mostly mental and emotional, he would use manipulation techniques daily, tap into my fears and insecurities, use me for almost everything, isolate me from my friends and control me in every way that he could. Once I gained the courage to leave, I went on a self-destructive rage for around 2 years after the relationship ended, which then resulted in me having a major mental breakdown and admitting to my mum that I needed professional help, because I just couldn’t carry on feeling and living the way that I was.
I went to my GP, I started online therapy, anti-depressants and after about 2 months of online therapy, I started CBT. After 8 months of CBT I processed the childhood traumas and was living a happier life, then in August 2018 I moved out to Australia where I still am to this day.
I remained single for around 4 and a half years after my previous relationship. I knew the relationship impacted me, however when I was going through CBT, my main focuses were on processing what felt like my current issues. I’ll admit that I did lie to my therapist when she asked me how I was feeling about my previous relationship, I tried to convince her that I had processed it all and I think at the time, I was just trying to convince myself that. It wasn’t until a new relationship started to form last year, I began to realise that my relationship issues were definitely unresolved and they could become a problem in this current relationship. I remained open to him about the fact that I had those issues, and I couldn’t have asked for a more patient person to have right there, but as the relationship went on my anxiety got worse and I couldn’t really understand why. I then went through a rough patch during August-December and around Christmas I took myself to the doctors and broke down basically begging for help. He linked me up with an online therapist and I was put on anti-depressants again. I took the anti-depressants for about a week before taking myself off them as they made me feel worse, however I carried on with the online therapy which has reaped so many benefits for me.
During this lot of therapy I have worked through my rough patch and come to discover how horribly toxic my previous relationship was, and how much it has impacted my mental state since, in some ways, discovering this has been a lot harder than processing my traumas. I’m still going through therapy now, but compared to how I was a couple of months ago, I am doing so so much better. I have my good and bad days for sure, but on those bad days it’s slowly becoming less hard to pick myself up again and brush myself off.
I’ve mentioned before that my writing is a true expression of myself, and I guess I am now writing this as so many people over the past year have asked me how I am, how I’ve been doing and genuinely have been worried about me, but sometimes I just don’t know what to say. I haven’t been okay, and it feels as though I’ve spent the majority of the past 12 months crying, and I haven’t felt this confused, lost and lonely in many years so it has been terrifying for the most part, but I am now actually getting better, I have bad days now not bad weeks/months and those days don’t happen as often as they once did. I think this new life change and new journey has been a hell of a lot harder than what I anticipated but I’m fucking getting through it. Sometimes I have no fucking idea how but I am, and I’ve got to remind myself how proud I am of me, because trust me when I say, no one will understand your personal struggles as well as you do, but that also means no one will support your personal developments as much as you will do. I know how hard it is to find something positive to say about yourself, but you’ve got to remain your biggest fan, for own sake.
Thank you to everyone, to those who are in my life and to those reading this, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it honestly means the world to me.
I look forward to writing to you all again soon,
Sending so much love,