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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

As most of you know I'm very passionate about talking anything mental; anxiety, worries, dark thoughts, weird thoughts, funny thoughts, our auto pilot, our mental habits, mindfulness, awareness, emotions and more... I love it and find it all very interesting.

This is due to having years of experience with my own anxiety, overthinking, panic attacks and depression.

Its crazy to look back on your life and witness what you've been through and how you're here right now in this place.

There is so much support and guidance now compared to when i first went to the doctors with a panic attack, it was summer 2011. They thought i had vertigo, they thought i was physically suffering because i was complaining about a tight chest, pins and needles, shortness of breath, feeling faint, headaches and sickness.

I was told after visiting hospital and lots of visits to the doctors that i had anxiety and this makes you have panic attacks, it was a huge label stuck on my head and i didn't know what to do.

It made me feel 100x worse. I then worried about worrying. I was anxious about being anxious. I was panicking about having a panic attack. Good times.

I hid my panic and fear, i hid when i was anxious, i was constantly scared, i would cry in my room by myself so nobody saw that i was suffering. Every day was a mental struggle; i used to wake up and pray 'please don't be anxious today' but its as if that turned a switch on and i was then automatically anxious. By this i mean, I felt sick, my head would be pounding, id feel dizzy, paranoid and would struggle breathing.

It then became part of me and id get used to hiding this and wouldn't dare tell anyone that i was constantly scared. I used to play out scenarios in my head thinking 'what if i had a panic attack now?' this then made me feel worse and every day was a battle.

A lot happened that made my anxiety worse, a lot happened that i look back and realise i could have taken control over that if i wasn't for feeling vulnerable and lost, but you can't beat yourself up for that.

I used to say to myself 'everything will be okay' constantly over and over again.

I got to a point where i would crave the panic attack because it took the edge off, it released some anxiety, it helped me focus on something else, it would absolutely exhaust me and drain me but releasing it meant the thoughts would stop for a little while and I'd be able to rest ...until it crept up again.

I had a panic attack at work. I remember it. That day it led a colleague to talk to me and share their story of their own personal struggles, I was so shocked, I thought it was only me and that i was crazy.

He then showed me a type of therapy that can help with anxiety. First time I'd heard of this, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I think it was 2014.

I then started opening up about what was happening in my head. I opened up to a few close friends, I opened up to my sisters more.

Over the years I have witnessed Mental Health become more and more of a subject for people to talk about, within work, within your friendship groups, families and to strangers.

It's not an embarrassment, its not a weakness, its not a taboo subject.

Yes there is still a lot we can do. Its still very difficult to open up if you're in the middle of something. Social media still has a lot of work to do with protecting the younger generation.

There is a lot we can look forward to; Mindfulness and Yoga in schools, Im very passionate about our next generate getting support, Mental Health first aiders in work places, Wellbeing and Health specialists in work places, Online apps and courses to teach us how to bring some calm into our lives, mental health awareness on Social Media platforms to put a message out there that you are not alone and you can get support.

This weeks theme is 'KINDNESS'

Perfect theme for what we're all going through right now and it should be taken into the 'new normal' that our lives will be after this.

Start your kindness with yourself, give yourself some compassion and kindness, see how it feels...extend it to close loved ones, family and friends.

Then share this out to work colleagues, friends, distant friends, old friends, share this out to people you pass in the street.

Share your kindness in your heart out to people you don't know, people all over the country.

People all over the world.

Lets be genuinely kind to one another.

Take some time out of your day to show others kindness.

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