Not to sound narcissistic, but I know that my lifestyle is pretty appealing.
I travel a lot, I have a wide network of friends, a fantastic bond with my family. This blog is going to document some wonderful experiences that I’ve had, but before we start I wanted to take a moment to be real with you.
I have struggled with mental health for as long as I can remember. As a child I was always different, found it easier to be around adults than peers. I knew there was something fundamentally wrong about me, and other children picked up on it too. ‘Attention seeker’ ‘Cry baby’. For years of growing up I was told to stop being so sensitive, to snap out of it. I was pushed out of friendship groups by adolescents that couldn’t cope with my intensity, thought it was to be avoided like the plague.
I am extremely sensitive, easy to hurt. My close friends will recognise that glazed look over my eyes when I withdraw, and other times I feel so much that I sob and deeply hurt without understanding why. It’s like my emotions don’t run smoothly through a normal stream, but I get droughts and flash floods which can be equally overwhelming.
I can’t explain exactly what I go through. It changes on a day to day basis, and I’m not sure how to express such intimate experiences through words. Most importantly, I have some exceptional people in my life. Both family and friends have been a lifeline to me. They remind me of my worth when I forget how to see it myself and wipe away countless tears and snotty noses without needing it all to be explained. They don’t understand me, neither do I. But we’ve chipped away a day at a time and here I am, still kicking. (Thanks guys, you’re really fucking great.)
Sometimes I experience a sadness so deep and painful it is completely debilitating. I have been lucky enough to put a middle finger up to that pain and travel the world. In this blog I’m going to share some of those experiences, but I don’t want anyone who is suffering at the moment to read these stories and feel daunted.
The point of this ramble is that things aren’t as rosy as they seem. I’m not just talking about me here either. Throughout years of counselling, medication, curling up in blankets with a broken heart with university flat mates and clutching my sister’s hand in the street, I have learned that it is ok to suffer. Not just ok, it should be celebrated. The same condition that can bring me to a grinding halt and make tasks like putting on my clothes seem like a challenge has also brought me creativity, empathy, a deep connection to nature and most importantly has shown me the strength of so many wonderful people in my life.
I come across as the most confident and carefree girl. I am, some days. Some days it’s me against the world and I can do it all. But for anyone reading my blog or seeing photos of me travelling the world, or clutching my beautiful friends in nightclubs. It isn’t always easy. Social media can make you feel very isolated and inadequate. All of us suffer sometimes, you need to remember that the image projected by people on facebook and Instagram is misleadingly streamlined. It doesn’t show you that X was worried about her thigh gap that day, or Y feels completely alone sometimes. In a world where everyone seems to be nailing it, your own insecurities can take root and spread like weeds. Hold on in there, finding things easy is NOT the same as being strong.