Products of Our Environment

So as the title states – I’m gonna be sharing my own story about my younger life and growing up with a history of mental illness in my family.

Now, I’m not sure whether it’s purely coincidental, whether it’s hereditary or whether being in an environment where mental illness was prevalent was a norm for me as a child and perhaps made me more susceptible to becoming mentally unwell.

Does mental illness flow through my veins, beat in my heart and thrive off my healthy mind?

A woman very dear to me has struggled with inner demons for as long as I can remember. I was about 9 when I first began to notice that something wasn’t quite right. She’d spend days in bed, she wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t even wash. With hind sight and personal experience I can now see that she was in an incredibly deep rooted depression.

It didn’t last days, or weeks… it lasted years.

I began to notice these traits in myself a number of years ago which was a very scary thing for me. I didn’t want to have a halted life because my mind would throw a fit every once in a while.

I decided to push on through, to finish studying Forensic Science, to get an unconditional offer at the university I wanted to study at – although I dropped out! I’ve worked in the Mental Health field and am now heading into working for the Ministry of Justice.

It’s ok to be abnormal, I wouldn’t have thrived as much if I was never unwell or had never battled with addiction.

If I could meet my 9 year old self, I would tell her that she would be okay. That her mum would win the uphill struggle. I’m now 21 and have almost set myself up for life.

This is the year everything changes!

If Kiwi can cope, so can you!



You Don’t Need To Be Perfect

As I was sat in a scorching hot bubble bath this evening while singing horrendously along to a Real Friends playlist. A new song that I had never heard from them started playing. The second I heard the lyrics, it made me think about a lot of stuff.

“I’ve been neglecting who I am, that’s just who I was back then. Don’t need to be perfect, just happy.”

For a moment, I started having major flashbacks on how hard I have been on myself for the last few years. In particular, the last 12 months.

I was beaten down by myself daily, I would tell myself that I was worthless and that I wasn’t worthy of being loved by anyone. Even when I was alone, I was never really alone. I had lost all hope in everything and everyone. I wasn’t living, I was merely surviving. I was constantly haunted in my own mind.

Trying to move forward after being diagnosed with mental illnesses is something that most people don’t think is possible.

The truth is that you won’t ever move on from it, it’ll always be a part of you. That’s okay though – there’s a massive stigma attached to the concept of invisible illnesses. The whole ‘seeing is believing’ saying is utter nonsense.

We’re allowed to be messed up, we’re allowed to make mistakes. That doesn’t mean that how far you or I have come has been completely undone.

Emotions and feelings – positive or negative – are part of our everyday lives. These are completely natural and unchangeable. The thing that a lot of people don’t understand is the difference between allowing emotions in and then the actions caused because of the emotion.

I can be absolutely livid if I want to be, that’s normal! The thing that needs to be thought about are the actions that come afterwards and the consequences from those actions.

There is not and will never be a guide on how to live the perfect life. Everyone needs to figure out which route they’re going to take on their own journeys through life. People will change their routes several times before they’re on the one best for them.

Don’t be heavy-footed, looking down at the ground through life. Take a few minutes out of each day and think about the things you want most in life. Get your arse on the route that will get you there and never look back.

I used to spend so much time waiting for the future to arrive that I got lost and forgot to enjoy my life as it was – regardless of how shit it was.

You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be happy.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.