• Nikki J

Mental Health Awareness

I wanted to write a post for Mental Health Awareness week, then I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough time to get it written and published during this week. I then had a realisation and thought are you freaking kidding me?! I’m putting pressure on myself and causing myself anxiety about a post for mental health week, which completely defeats the object of this post. So I decided to just write it and if it gets posted in time for this week that’s great but if not it is still important to talk about all year round.

Mental health has affected probably every single person in the world in one way or another. Whether you know someone that is dealing with it or you are battling with it yourself every day, mental health is everywhere and it is so scary and sad to think that so many people still feel they can’t speak out. Don't get me wrong I don't shout it from the roof tops but it is important to speak to someone.

We hear and see the phrase ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ absolutely everywhere but I completely understand that it doesn’t always help everyone, but it is so true. Once you really start to understand that you aren’t alone, I personally feel that a small weight is lifted off your shoulders.

I have always had a little bit of anxiety ever since I can remember but it was so small I never really thought it was anxiety at the time. I am actually having anxiety about writing about having anxiety and stressing about how people will react. I'm stressing about stressing, what even is this life?! Sometimes I feel like I can conquer the world, other days I don't want to conquer shit.

When I lost my dad in 2015 my anxiety hit an all time high. Everywhere I went I just felt so exposed and vulnerable. What if something happened and my dad wasn’t there to protect me? What if people knew my dad wasn’t around anymore and used that to their advantage? It was such a weird feeling and one I still have today.

Since my dad has been gone I feel anxious about something every single day and I start to feel the build up in my chest and start to panic. I have actually noticed recently that I have been avoiding doing certain things because I am scared and it just hit me that I don’t want to live my life being scared to go and do things. I have so many goals in life, personal and career wise and I don’t want my own thoughts to stop me achieving everything I want.

Anxiety is an absolute bitch, and I completely understand it comes in many different forms and affects people in different ways. Sometimes even the smallest of things can trigger it. As I have become older I have started to care less about what people think, I’m living my life for me and any negativity can do one, but sometimes I feel it creeping back in and usually with such stupid things. The amount of times I have commented on an Instagram post and panicked that I have said the wrong thing or have read it wrong and I’m going to end up looking like a dick. I understand how ridiculous this is but I just can’t help it. I worry so much about looking stupid that I just wish I didn’t even bother commenting in the first place. One of my biggest fears and one that makes my anxiety go crazy is if I am in a new place and I can't find my way somewhere. I have a big fear of wondering around looking stupid. I also panic when I go somewhere that's full of people, but only if it's in a small environment. Being somewhere like London or New York which literally has millions of people doesn't phase me at all. I absolutely love it. But if I walk in to a busy restaurant I am in a mega panic of feeling exposed until I sit at the table, it's so strange.

I have started to notice what are my thoughts and what thoughts are being triggered by anxiety, which is helping me realise that it isn’t me and I am only over thinking a situation or nervous about going somewhere because of it, it’s normal and it is completely fine. I also speak to my mum and my best friend about it and it has helped dramatically.

I completely understand that it isn’t always that easy for some people but trust me when I say if you talk to someone about it you will feel instantly a little better, which can only be a good thing right?! There is always someone there to talk to whether its someone you know or a stranger.

Social media is the absolutely best thing and worst thing. It inspires me every day but if you aren’t feeling great it can make you feel so rubbish about yourself and where your life is. I’ve said this so many times to myself and other people; no one is putting their fails or rubbish days on social media. We are literally just posting our best lives, and that image of our best lives has probably taken several takes and some editing before it sees the light of day on social media. Never ever forget that no one’s lives are perfect no matter how much they try to make out it is for the sake of everyone else.

There are so many different types of mental health issues and it absolutely breaks my heart that so many people feel they can’t talk to anyone about their struggles, trust me when I say there are so many people that care about you. Talk to anyone, talk to me even if I don’t know you I will be there to listen and help in any way I can. I promise you there is someone that cares and loves you more than you will ever know. Trust those around you, give them more credit and open up.

I recently read something online comparing the reaction to someone who sadly took their life and someone that is having these feelings, and it was saying that people tend to stay away from those that are depressed and having mental health issues. How ridiculous is that?! We need to be there for anyone we know that is going through a tough time. Smile at a stranger in the street or say hi because sometimes that can be their decider if their life is worth living. Show every single person that their life is worth so much and the world is such a better place with them in it.

If you are reading this and going through a tough time at the moment, please reach out to someone I beg you. You are not alone. You are worth it and the world needs you in it.

Useful Contacts:

Mind: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

Samaritans: 116 123


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