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Thursday, 10 September 2015


So seeing as though today is R U OK DAY?  I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get topical about a topic that is pretty much taboo.
Mental Health.  Already I hear the shudders coming from most of you reading this, possibly with a ' do we have to ' thought. The fact of the matter is, the reason we have days specifically to ask if someone is 'OK' is because of the alarming statistics of suicide and mental health related issues that get swept under the rug on a daily basis, creating a much larger problem that doesn't seem to be going away. 

Did you know that Suicide is the largest cause of death for 15-44 year olds ?   Suicide. Not cancer, not alcohol, drugs or car accidents. But Someone feeling the need to end their lives due to mental health issues predominantly. 

I know its a heavy subject, but being a person who has been through a family member taking their own life, I do feel seriously passionate about the subject of mental health and raising the awareness and making it something that is spoken about and not shy'd away from.
I have spoken openly before about being a slightly anxious person at times, and as I get older and am faced with different prospects and circumstances in this thing we call 'life' I definitely don't feel a sense of my anxiety decreasing, but more so popping in every now and then to give me a big slap across the head to make sure I am aware it's lurking there ready to make me feel shit at any given moment.

Anxiety is a hard one to explain and if you don't suffer it i'm sure the whole 'get over it and just be happy ' has maybe crossed your mind when people describe it , but I can tell you from experience, it aint fun.  I get it sometimes as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and it can last an hour, a day or even weeks, and a lot of the time I have little understanding of why I feel that way . Generally its a large sense of worry and over thinking small situations, which then get much larger and you feel like you are constantly on the verge of tears for no apparent reason. I put it down sometimes to just having PMS but that can generally be cured with a block of chocolate and some Sex and the City episodes. Anxiety unfortunately doesn't work like that and your usual feel good's don't seem to touch the sides. 
People look at me generally as a happy go lucky 'bubbly' human being that would never have a dull moment. But I can tell you, my anxiety, it comes in large waves that fill my head with problems that sometimes don't really exist, a lack in appetite, and a feeling of dread and guilt for feeling so ridiculous, because " first world problems right?"  It's a real awful one to try and explain but the stats for people having it a increasing and anyone who suffers know that it comes in varied shades, colours and quantities ( I like to relate it to a huge storm cloud with a different type of storm each time. ….  that's the creative in me ha) 

I am absolutely not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me, but more raise a topic that I feel a lot of people may be suffering but suffer in silence as they feel stupid or that they may be 'over-reacting' but these are the issues that create a snowball effect into something larger like depression and then a big black cloud of other problems that nobody wants to face or deal with.

I come from a history of depression within my bloodline, and as I am aware of this, I feel like it's the smart and intelligent thing to be on top of it and be open to the fact that it's ok to seek help if you get anxiety or panic attacks and deal with it head on and not let it get out of control and turn into anything worse. We all lead stressful lives.   Money worries, relationships, living arrangements, family dramas the list goes on, and sometimes it really can feel like just too much . 

So what are you meant to do about it ?  Hit the pub? Go for a run?  Seek professional advice? I guess there isn't really one answer but what I think I am trying to get at, is that if you get to a point where your worrying and your stress levels or tight chest or whatever you have that overwhelms you and your general 'feel good' tactics don't work, seek help. Professional help.  Not from a parent or a friend, but from a person qualified to understand your mind and what you are going through because believe me, from the experience I have had and how I have seen  suicide and depression tear apart lives, whats the harm in giving it a go? It can only help, and if you don't like it at least you took a step in an amazingly positive direction. Bottling up emotions and worries leads to over thinking and being alone with your thoughts, and for some humans too much to take. 
Nobody should feel alone.

I can completely understand how everything can get 'too much.' It happens to the best of us, but what about those days where the dreaded cloud comes over your head and you just want to get in your car and drive for the hills never to look back.   Sound familiar?   Some of the best advice I have been given is to write things down.  When these overwhelming feelings come on, get on your laptop or pull out your diary and just write. Your thoughts, feelings emotions, and you will be surprised at how incredibly light you feel after, dropping these thoughts somewhere other than your head.  I urge you to do it now.  Even if you are feeling fabulous on top of the world ( it's actually what I am doing right now ) it's a fantastic exercise that is meditative and when you look back in  a few days and realise what you were feeling a lot of the time it's surprising to think you even had a lot of those thoughts, generally because you keep them so far down you don't even remember writing them. It's very much checking in on yourself and having your own back, helping you to feel better every single day so you can tackle everything you need to with happiness, confidence and a sense of worth and self love. 

So my big question to you right now is…. R U OK?   R U really ?   

I'm not trying to be anyones counsellor or self help guru over here, just someone who has access to a platform to write and share my thoughts and feelings, and whom feels very passionate about making others feel good and not alone.   
The subject of mental health is a tricky one but it needs to be spoken about LOUDLY and much more often and we all need to look out for one another to stop these alarming numbers of suicide and depression.

So i'll ask again . 
 R U OK?   
Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the same thing.  If you don't feel ok, It's ok to speak up, seek help and even if it is just confiding in a friend or a work colleague or the dude who serves your coffee…just start the conversation. 
There will be people who listen and to get it out is better than blocking it all up to explode.  
Make sure you ask your loved ones friends and strangers if they are ok,  ask them today, tomorrow, the next day and any other time you feel someone may be a little off..  You never know what someone is going through and if that question will change their day or even their life. Having someone ask, is someone caring, and it starts up a conversation that could be life changing .  

Head to 

 to read more on R U OK DAY and where to seek help if you need or anyone else yo know may need it.   

Spread the love and the concern and lets talk about it . 
Let's start a conversation that could save someones life. 



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