LIFE UPDATE: Pushing through the limits of mental health

Been a big girl this week, leaving the house more, smashing interviews, venturing out to unfamiliar lands on trains and reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in ages. I honestly couldn’t be more chuffed with me sen🙈🎉

Just a note: stubborn anxieties and agoraphobia are NOT life sentences, as I have learned recently. They’re challenging and can demand all your physical/mental energy to the point of exhaustion, but they CAN be overcome. Every little victory is a reminder that you CAN be better and that your expectations can be exceeded.

This pandemic has tested our collective asses with its social distancing demands. It has removed us from the routine of our “normal” lives and shaken foundations we’ve spent years building. The restrictions easing recently have only exacerbated anxieties for some.

One thing I’ve tried to keep in mind over the last week is that behind our masks, we’re all struggling with something. As much as anxiety makes me feel like the “only one” or the “black sheep” when my teeth are chattering at the bus stop or my palms are clammy, the reality is that all of us are dealing with our own versions of adapting to the world again, and some people are just more talented with their abilities to hide this.

Every time I’ve met eyes with a stranger over the last week, I’ve imagined that they’re in a similar boat to me and instantly I’ve felt less alone and stronger for the knowledge that we’re all just doing our best and there’s nothing wrong with struggling or having a bad day💜🙏🏾

2 years on: the Great Depression

On 7th May, 2 years ago, I handed in my Masters thesis. I was super stoked and relieved, plus excited to crack on with trying to function like a proper human being again.

What actually happened was that I had 4 days of relative chill before the biggest mental breakdown of my entire life, in a swanky bar with Rebecca Deluce in the middle of Copenhagen, which resulted in me being really, really ill for a while instead…

This photo is bittersweet because I literally had no idea at the time that things were going to get hella lairy imminently: I thought I was already at rock bottom! Looking back, I can say that I’m truly super proud of myself for getting through one of the most challenging periods of my life so far. Plus, my mates and fam are absolutely solid and I wish everybody going through a tough time had that kind of support behind them. Wouldn’t be here without it.

So: life is like a box of chocolates, folks! Sometimes you think you’ve picked up a praline and you take a bite to find it’s orange, instead. It’s really, really sad but remember you can always pick up another choccy straight after and hope that one’s better.

P. S. this photo is the first in the folder I made of images from when I was poorly, remind me to take a look at those photos when/if I think about penning a PhD proposal in a few years’ time…