Today is mental health awareness day. I look back at a tough period of time and I would like to use this post to remind everyone to be kind, as you never know what battle the person in front of you is fighting. It costs nothing.

The beach in Santa Monica – beautiful for most but for me, it represents my downfall in 2018. Standing here a year later and being able to face my failures both personally and professionally has been an intense but therapeutic experience .

Santa Monica
Santa Monica

In 2018 I felt everything in my life, personally and professionally was just collapsing around me. A sand castle washed away by the waves, me rebuilding it rapidly after each wave, just for it to disappear again. Feeling helpless, hopeless and ultimately exhausted of a battle I could never win. We all know sand castles aren’t forever:)

It gets better, it took me 14 months to get there. I’m one of those people who want everything to happen here and now and yet I couldn’t heal. Day after day, I got more broken instead of being better. I was super harsh on myself, as I’m my toughest critic.

14 months later, I’m ready to face my downfalls and forgive myself for all the mistakes I have made. Forgive the people who took advantage of my vulnerability. I’m ready to move on. Because I realised that instead of being my own toughest critic, it is time to become my biggest supporter.

I wanted to share my gratitude for the people who stood behind me, the kindness I received from strangers I had never met. The people who had a kind word to say to me, although they had no obligation to do so.

I also wanted to apologise for my silence the last many months, having scattered posts and just not being really there. Healing sometimes takes you on unknown paths. I’m sorry for all the events I have missed and all the messages and emails I haven’t answered. I needed to take this time one day at a time, to get to where I’m today.

I have started writing many times, I have 100s of un-posted posts lined up in my drafts on Instagram. I wanted to write but words just could not come, which made me even more upset as writing has always been the place I found peace. The whole point of my online presence is  showing the beauty but also the real stories behind things. I couldn’t get myself to post because it wasn’t real. I wasn’t ready to share the heartbreak, the betrayal, the pain, the changes that were a whirlwind around me and the fact that I was struggling to cope with-life. Everything I created felt flat. Someone even messaged me on Instagram some time ago, to tell me my posts did not look or sound like me any more.

I’m writing this on my phone in notes, while standing on the beautiful Santa Monica beach at dawn. Today I see its beauty. It’s the first time words have come back to me and the desire to pick up a camera in months. I feel it’s poetic in a sense, writing this at dawn, as I finally see dawn.

Social media and the internet give us the ability to share a message. I want to use this to share mine:

it’s ok not to be ok,

it’s ok to take your time to heal,

it’s ok not to talk about it

and it’s ok to talk about it,

it’s ok to choose you

and it’s ok to leave certain things behind,

it’s ok to take time to get to know yourself again,

it’s ok to ask for help,

it’s ok to have good days,

it’s ok to have bad days,

it’s ok to feel,

it’s ok to cry,

it’s ok to want to fix things,

it’s ok to do nothing,

it’s ok to feel whatever it’s you are feeling

and it’s ok to walk your own, personal path,

it’s ok to be you,

IT’S OK

Person reading this, you got you, give yourself some credit for all the silent battles you are fighting. Love yourself, you deserve it, you are worthy of it.

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention. You can learn more about mental health and how to get involved here

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