10 painful but true facts when dealing with a mental illness

This won't come as a shock to most people that read my blog, but if you're new then firstly hello and secondly, yes, recently I've found myself becoming very public about my mental health issues and not being too embarrassed to tweet my day to day emotions or speak up when I'm having a bad day.

It dawned on me just how much I've been holding back. Either too embarrassed to mention or too scared of worrying other people but here is what I think EVERYBODY should know. It doesn't matter whether it's you directly affected by a mental health illness, somebody you know or if you've had no experience of it at all!

This list is purely based on my own thoughts, feelings and experience with my mental health, not anybody else's.

1. When we push you away or distance ourselves from you, it REALLY means we need you. 

I have first-hand experience with this one and I know it can be a little confusing and at times extremely frustrating for the person who just wants to help. But for me, I find this almost gives me some sort of protection. If I don't allow people to get close to me then well surely I can't get hurt, but nope that's wrong in so many ways. We only end up hurting ourselves more and the people we love.

2. We don't mean to cancel plans, drop out last minute or let you down. 

Another thing I am scoring top marks in! I can arrange something weeks even months in advance and be totally up for it, but if that day comes around and I wake up feeling like the world is crumbling down around me I'll probably hide in my bed for the rest of that day feeling guilty for letting somebody down but have anxiety so bad I couldn't possibly get out of my front door.

3. Hearing somebody say 'cheer up', 'what have you got to be depressed about?' or 'stop being so boring/sad all the time' is the WORST thing to say. 

This is incredibly insulting, hurtful and well just rude. You can't see a mental health illness, so yeah you might not mean any harm from it but seriously, it really fucks us up.

4. Being around people that are full of life 24/7 is exhausting at times. 

Okay, so this one sounds a little harsh and you're probably thinking but surely it's good to have positive people around you? Yes, of course it is! I love it but I also find it hard at times to keep up and act in the same manner, because let's face it, who wants to be the "boring, sad one all the time" huh?

5. It hurts when you stop inviting us out places, just because we say no sometimes. 

This one sucks. If you invite us out 10 times and we say no each time, still ask us again the 11th time! That might just be the day where everything is going right, whereas the 10 times before wasn't.

6. Visible obvious self-harming scars do not need to be stared at, whispered about or judged.

Yep, seriously this happens. Not to me may I add, but somebody I know. Again this may not intentionally be done in a malicious way but we notice, we know they are there and we can't hide them forever.

7. Being 'good' or 'happy' for a period of time does not mean we're suddenly free from our mental illness, so no we wasn't 'faking it'. 

This simply means today's going well and we hope more than anything it stays that way for as long as possible, but ultimately we know tomorrow could be completely different so bear with us.

8. Some days just making it out of bed and showering can be an accomplishment! 

Let's just say when it gets bad, it's bad.

9. It can be a constant battle with wanting to get better, but also not wanting to open up to others in fear of being judged or treated differently. 

Support is everything in somebodies recovery.

10. Being the 'outsider'. 

Yep, it happens. Nobody wants to be the person everybody walks on eggshells around in fear of upsetting you. If you know somebody with a mental health illness, act how you always have with them, we're still the same, we promise.

It's time to encourage more people to talk about mental health! Thanks for reading.

The 3 S's

What are the 3 S's? They are sexuality, society and stigma. Something that I've wanted to do a blog post on for a while now but just never really got round to it.

I wholeheartedly believe that sexuality is fluid. Others may disagree but for me it's a subject that could be debated for years and years as everybody is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs on the subject. I find it so incredibly hard to justify the fact that we are only supposed to love the opposite gender and that anything besides this is 'abnormal' because of course it isn't. I came out as a lesbian 2 years ago now and although I am proud to be part of the LGBT community, it doesn't stop me from wondering why I ever needed to come out in the first place. After years of confusion and not knowing who I was, what I wanted I finally decided to speak out and say this is who I am you can either take it or leave it. As I've got a little older I've started to doubt myself, not my sexuality but why we put so much pressure on ourselves to have a 'label', ask yourself is that for you or for others? Is it so we can stand up and state whether we are straight, gay, trans, bi ect? I know I don't put a label on my sexuality for myself, I do it for others but I don't want to anymore. I don't need to explain to anybody what gender I like or who I want to be with. I believe that as human beings we are going to love who we love. Whether that's the same sex or the opposite, IT DOES NOT MATTER!!

We need to stop putting pressure on the fact that you must fit in a specific box and once you're in it you can never get out again. You can be whoever you want to be and nobody should ever question that. So you've always thought you were straight and suddenly you meet someone of the same gender and you feel and think things you've never thought before, but for the sake of society, whether that be friends, family and so on you don't act on those feelings because you are straight, no bullshit you are just human and you could have potentially just pushed somebody aside who is great for you because you are too worried about what others think and you're straight. Luckily we are living in a more accepting and diverse world but there is still a long way to go, there are still people being killed for their sexuality, kids bullied for being 'different' and it's all so wrong. I hope the next generation of kids and the generation after are told its okay if you like both male and female, you don't have to explain that to anybody and you most definitely don't have to put a label on it for others. 

I used to think labels were so important, especially when I first came out. I immediately wanted to fit into a specific category, almost so I knew my place which is so stupid. I even done a blog post on lesbian labels but have since deleted it because I hated what I had written and no longer thought those things. I will always stand by my thoughts on sexuality being fluid, labels are made for society and that stigma is something still very real and present in our world today but no matter what be who you really want to be and love who you love without fear.