World Mental Health Day 2020

World Mental Health Day.

Every day is mental health day, man.

Thinking back, I was an absolute write-off last year. Honestly. Couldn’t perceive the idea of getting through a day, nevermind looking beyond that. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember and experiences with depression for most of my life. You would think that this would make it easier to cope with a “low spell” but actually, when you’re there, it’s still debilitating and as scary as if you’re facing it afresh.

I talk about mental health super candidly ALL the time. I even brought it up within 5 mins of a job interview last year! Every day is a fight for me and I know it is for so many others, so I take solace in sharing and being open because I’ve seen firsthand the effects of NOT talking. I used to be that proud person who couldn’t say no, or say I wasn’t okay. Fuck that macho bullshit.

Mental health is normal. Stress is normal. Anxiety is normal. Not being okay is normal. Asking for help is normal. Needing help is normal.

Starting and sustaining these conversations is the difference between life and death, in some cases. I’m here and willing to talk, but more importantly, I’m here to listen💜

This year’s pandemic and all the limitations it has enforced have only emphasised how important mental health is. I’ve said this countless times but mental health doesn’t discriminate: EVERYBODY is susceptible to stress and ill health, so it’s about time society implemented changes to acknowledge this and support those most vulnerable, those who rely on invaluable services just to function in a basic capacity.

Resources are stretched and they need funding! Stigmatisations prevail and they need abolishing! Carers and professionals need respite and the recognition they deserve!

I can only hope that when COVID-19 is eventually eliminated as a threat, we take some valuable lessons from this period of time and move forward as a more compassionate collective.

Peace and love. I wouldn’t be here without all the peace and love my family and friends have given me. We’re doing this life thing together so peace and love to whoever is reading this💜✌🏽🙏🏾

LIFE UPDATE: the woes of roller-coaster mental health

A whole year on from the breakdown of a lifetime (the Great Depression) and I’m still dealing with night sweats/terrors, agoraphobia, social anxiety and spontaneously bursting into tears when I’m overwhelmed (often). The pandemic has only amplified the negatives: I’ve found myself feeling like I’m regressing back to my worst form, and I’ve been neglecting my self-care routine as punishment🙃☠️

Over this last week, I’ve found my relationship with food changing again and also noticed that my stress-related IBS has flared up, which I think has been quite triggering.

I’ve been brutal to myself and had a lot of intense, dark thoughts (they descend pretty quickly when I’m “down”) and all I know is that this has to stop! I need to listen to my body/brain and make serious changes for the sake of my mental and physical health💪🏽🙏🏾

Change #1: See friends more often (including those Latvians and honorary Canadians abroad, via video call).

I’ve seen my friends maybe 2-3 times over the last year, and I think life has genuinely been so much tougher because of this. I’ve lived with these ride or dies and experienced the weirdest of adventures with them, so being away from them has been challenging…

I am super stoked with myself for making the journey out of the house yesterday, despite all the tremors and general breathlessness. I am so grateful for Tom, who is the ultimate hypebeast and has supported me, as well as pushed me, to tackle this hurdle for what it is. Merely a hurdle!

Had such an awesome time with old friends and new friends, and felt at ease in a way that was totally unprecedented given the state I’ve been in over the last few days. I love you guys and can’t thank you enough for all your support and kindness, especially since I’ve been off the grid for so long. Here’s to seeing you way more and for better times ahead💜