Well hi there,
It has been quite awhile, has it not?
Just over a year to be exact.
Over the past year, my life has shaped and transformed drastically. I completed my first year of University, making many friends and connections for life, whilst taking that colossal step in living independently in halls; a seemingly impossible task to someone with severe anxiety/depression. But I did it, and I have no regrets in doing so.
My first year of being an English Literature undergraduate went incredibly well, and as I write this, it shall be a month until I move into my student house with the wonderful souls of light that are my housemates, venturing into the second year of our courses alongside each other. The step of starting medication for my mental health began back in April, and for me personally, it was a good decision that has allowed me to finally feel strong enough to manage my anxiety and fears that have had the possibility to suffocate my mind on a daily basis since a young age. Medication is not an answer for everyone, and all those who have been following me over the past few years shall be aware of all the other ways of healing that I have attempted. Albeit, medication alongside therapy has come to be the best combination for me- I feel that my life is changing in ways that I would never have expected, in a positive manner at that.
My mental health advocacy has stepped up a gear…Okay, maybe about several gears?! Not only have I been involving myself with many mental health projects and campaigns, both in and outside of University, but recently, I was one of few young people who were chosen by Time To Change to be a young champion for this exceptionally large movement over the next 18 months. I cannot reiterate enough how many diverse and amazing opportunities this role is going to give me and I am bloody well going to embrace it. If this gives you any indication about how passionate about this role I am, I even travelled to Manchester and stayed there for the weekend with other Young Champions, receiving my training and connecting with many other amazing individuals- And that is before I even meet the other half of the cohort in a few month’s time! I would never of been able to do this a few months previously.
Life is something of a colourful sunrise for me currently and I am blessed to have found myself with an amazing and supportive social circle with people from all walks of life. However, we all know that mental illness is not something that disappears, and I would be lying if I said that my mental health is not a bitch. I am sure that the mental health community will agree with me when I say that it can be easier to hide behind a smile and a well dressed façade sometimes instead of being true to ourselves and others
The difference now, compared to when I last was active on this blog, is that I am managing far better and each day I am learning how to balance Uni, work, volunteering and socialising.
In this new era of my blog, I welcome you all to join me in not only my ventures as a mental health advocate, but more importantly, I hope that my blog will act as a reminder that regardless of your mental health diagnosis, life can be beautiful, even when your mind is fighting against you. You shall see the positives and negatives of living with a mental health diagnosis- What is the point in sugar coating our struggles, especially when mental health awareness is needed more than never in the fight against stigma and discrimination??
Identities are made up of many fractions within a human being, and believe me when I say this, you are NOT defined by your mental health. Life and existence are far more complicated and wonderful alike than first perceived.