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!
On a lighter note from my previous post, I thought I would share my thoughts on what I think the fundamentals to living the happiest life you can are.
1. Love Yourself
By love yourself, I don’t mean belittle others around you. Just be confident in your own skin, it takes months if not years to finally become content within yourself. The main way I’ve managed to achieve this is by letting go of my negative thoughts. Negative thoughts only circulate around in your head making you start to believe them. If you find yourself with such thoughts, distract yourself with your favourite album or talk to a friend about them. After all, they are only thoughts and with practice you can learn to minimise them.
2. Let Things Go
Had an argument with your girlfriend/boyfriend? Fallen out with your bestfriend? Are things at home a bit tense? You need to understand that conflict is a natural thing and no one REALLY wants to keep a grudge against someone. If things are still heated after a row, take 10 minutes to calm down. Make yourself a drink; I always make myself a coffee. Sit outside and think about everything that’s been said. Were you justified with everything you said or were some things said uncalled for? If appropriate, talk to the person you had the argument with and get it sorted out as soon as possible. Don’t harbour bad feelings for someone longer than needed.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself
Do you find yourself comparing everything you do with people around you? I used to experience this on a daily basis… there were three main things I hated about myself; the fact that I don’t have defined facial shape, the fact that I have smaller breasts compared to a lot of women and that my ribs stick out a stupid amount. I’ve learnt to love these characteristics I have. Also, always remember that something you have that you may not like. Someone would give anything to have!
4. Strive For Your Life Goals
I’ve recently decided to on a whim start applying for jobs in Science. I’ve always been so enthusiatic about it and have loved learning the most intricate of details to do with it. I, as well as many others have been deterred from applying for their dream jobs due to lack of experience or not having a University degree. Well fuck that! I’ve landed two job interviews for the NHS in the past week and have already been offered one of the jobs! Do not give up on your dream!
If Kiwi can cope, so can you.