Friday, 20 May 2016

Let's All Have A Casual Chat: Mental Health Awareness Week

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between the 16th-22nd of May. The theme is relationships, which affects everybody in one way or another. As I'm extremely passionate about anything in relation to mental health, I felt as though it was only right to post something to show my support and share my thoughts on a topic that really does mean a lot to me.

In my opinion, the relationships that we have with other people, particularly those around us can really impact the state of our mental health. If we are surrounded by positive, supportive people, who always give us their time and unconditional love, then it's likely that their attitudes will reflect onto us, therefore making us feel the same way that they do. However, if we are surrounded by negative, hateful people, who constantly wallow in self-pity and pessimistic thoughts, then it's much more likely that this will rub off onto us and we will then become depressed, anxious, suicidal or in general, mentally unwell.

I know that relationships can be very hard to build and maintain. Arguments can start so easily nowadays over such petty things, which is honestly such a shame. The thing is, I don't think anybody gets a kick out of arguing with someone they love and care about. We all say things we don't mean sometimes. We all have to deal with a range of different emotions and if we are particularly tired that day or if various things have already gone wrong, it can easily lead to one minor thing happening, which will just make you snap at the person you least wanted to. It's something that we all experience from time to time - myself included. Sometimes, if you're feeling a bit rubbish, it can seem like the ideal thing to just go into your room, bury yourself under the covers, stick your headphones in and devour a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream all in one go (I'm currently eating some of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavour. as I'm typing this.. It's my fave!). Believe me when I say I've felt like that far too many times for me to count on both hands - but, you can't go through life feeling this way! It really is too short and too precious. Of course, you are entitled to hide away from the world sometimes, if you're having a particularly dark day. Of course, you are allowed to scream into your pillow so loudly that it's enough to deafen everyone living in your street. Of course, you are allowed to feel all of those negative emotions. Those are all perfectly normal things that we all experience. You are not alone.

You may feel like the world is against you, but I can assure you, that's far from the truth.
The people that you surround yourself with should be those you genuinely want in your life. If someone is constantly putting you down or harming you in some way that is making you unhappy, then you need to revaluate why exactly they are there in the first place. You shouldn't spend your time with nasty people, who don't even deserve to be in your life if they are going to make you feel so bad about yourself.

If you don't feel like there are many people in your life, who actually do appreciate you, then take a step back and think about who has been there when nobody else was. Think about family and friends. I understand that some of you may not get along with certain family members or you may not have that many friends, but neither do I! However, having said that, I'm eternally grateful for those people that I do have in my life. Sometimes, it can be healthy to spend some time alone, so you don't get too used to relying on others quite so heavily. This doesn't mean that you can't ask for help when you may need it. We all need a shoulder to cry on sometimes. It doesn't mean that you're weak. It just means that you may need some extra support. Allow yourself to receive advice and attention when you're feeling down. Let yourself be listened to and loved.
Don't be afraid to speak up. Mental health can be such a frightening thing to deal with, but you don't have to deal with it on your own. There are people there who want to help you and be there for you. You don't need to bottle up your feelings. If you are open and honest, then you will hopefully stop feeling this way within time. Be brave, always. The first few steps are the most difficult.

I do find it difficult to maintain relationships myself and I also find it difficult to accept when I need support sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for speaking to people about my problems, as I do really appreciate it when my friends give me advice, but at the same time, I do often feel as though I'm bothering them. The truth is, you're usually not at all. Your loved ones just want you to be happy. When you struggle with your mental health, it can be so challenging to accept help and you can often feel as though you're a burden or as though people just won't have time to listen to you and support you. You don't deserve to feel this way. No one deserves to feel this way. No matter how many arguments you have with those that you care about the most, they will still always be there. You will feel 1000 times better once you have spoken up and accepted that you're finding things tough. It doesn't mean you're weak. It doesn't mean you're helpless. It doesn't mean you're pathetic. It means you're human and you just need a hand to hold to help you back on the right track.

I know I'm only a 15 year old girl on the other side of the screen to you, but I am here to help. I am always here to help any of you who may need it. Whenever I write these more personal posts, I always worry that people may think I'm just rambling on about a load of rubbish, but I genuinely do mean every word I say. I know what it's like to feel depressed. I know what it's like to feel as though harming yourself is the only option. I know what it's like to feel as though you want your life to end. I understand -  believe me, I do. Even if you want to send me an email or a private message, so that I can help you prepare what to say to someone close to you about this topic, then that's absolutely fine. You're more than welcome to reach out to me for that! I just want you all to be safe and surrounded by those who bring out the best in you. Focus on building up and making the most of those relationships. Forget about little arguments. They are irrelevant. Spread the love!

I love you all very much and I can assure you that you massively help me in terms of my mental health. If I can help even one person through this post, then it will be worthwhile. Don't be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.

*Whenever we begin to feel as if we can no longer go on, hope whispers in our ear to remind us that we are strong*
Lots of love always,

Jade xo


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