I have finally begun to understand how Phil Connors felt in Groundhog Day, trapped in the same acidic loop, repeating the same day over and over. Whenever I watched that film I always wondered what it would be like to experience the same day on repeat and now that curiosity has become a reality. One thing I have struggled with more than ever during this pandemic is my increasing level of anxiety and I feel that Mental health Awareness week couldn’t have fallen at a better time. Now more than ever is a time when people are suffering in silence, isolated away from friends, family, colleagues and that lack of social interaction is taking its toll on everyone.
As it is Mental Health Awareness week, work asked me to write about my experience with mental health and it got me thinking about the theme of ‘Kindness’. I spent a long time being very unkind to myself and I am finally in a place where I can appreciate the strength and beauty of both my body and my mind. That isn’t to say that I don’t still have some dark days, as most of us do but it is now about how I handle my bad days and acknowledge that I feel a certain way rather than running away from it.
The definition of kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I think it is relatively easy to be all three of these things when you mentally feel considerate towards yourself. The moment that you lose that sense of kindness to your mental health and well being is the moment that your mind becomes your prison cell and for some people, it isn’t so easy to break free.
From the moment that you are born into this world you begin to learn. From birth to death, the one person you learn more about than anyone is yourself. You understand your wants, needs, and desires better than anyone else on this planet and when your brain needs to get better you have to take the time out to nurture its needs. If you are feeling sad, anxious, afraid, alone, desperate, broken, trapped, scared, the list could go on…but the point I am trying to make is you are allowed to feel like that. Global pandemic or not, you are allowed to feel however the fuck you want.
I think the most important part of my previous sentence is the word ‘you‘. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Three simple letters that we all spend years developing and growing so that we can become someone we are proud of and that we want to be. You are someone that is worth fighting for and deserves to feel all the happiness, love and kindness that the world has to offer. Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions because they are what have built you up into the warrior you are today. Without feeling those things you wouldn’t be the courageous person you are now and with every battle you have faced it has allowed you to carve out a future of endless possibilities to explore.
I am sorry if your experience of life has been similar to mine so far because I understand how difficult it can be to live with a mental illness. My inner demons: Anorexia, Anxiety, Body Dysmorphia, and Depression make a grueling bunch. I used to live in fear and shame, punishing my body for the pain I was experiencing in my head. My body will bear the scars of that pain for the rest of my life but I will continue to share my story so that I can help others out there know that they are not alone. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, allow yourself to feel those emotions. Don’t run away from how they make you feel and instead acknowledge that your feelings are valid. I still have bad days but that doesn’t mean it is a bad life. It means that I have the opportunity to move on from this feeling and tomorrow I can try again.
As my blog says, there are no flowers without rain and it is important to remember that even in the darkest of days your mental and physical health is what’s got you to this stage. Every curve, every hair, every cell that makes up who we are is what’s brought us to this moment so be kind to your body. It’s going to carry you forwards even when you don’t seem to know-how.
How can you be kind to your body you ask? Well, it isn’t just your body you have to look after. Also, be kind to your soul, your heart, and your mind by taking the time to do the things you love. Force feed your brain with positive thoughts and let the roots of positivity spread through you. Soon the person you want to be will be in full bloom. A beautiful flower that reaches for the sun, climbing up from the cracks of rock bottom with the almighty strength of an oak. Stop striving for perfection because it doesn’t exist. You are perfectly imperfect the way you are and the world is a brighter place because you exist.
You have no idea what you are capable of and the world is your oyster. The possibilities of who you want to be are endless and whichever version of you that you choose, I hope you are happy. Spend time getting lost in things you love and create a world for yourself that you are proud of. Whatever it is that makes your soul warm whether it be reading, painting, music, performing, traveling (after rona of course) but whatever it is, fill your life with it. Never stop learning because knowledge is food that your brain can binge on but if you need a lazy day, allow it.
Once you look after yourself with care and kindness this will effortlessly embrace others. We live in a world where we can be anything so always be kind. Mental health is an invisible battle that claims so many lives so take the time to reach out to your friends because one small act of kindness can go a long way. You are a ray of sunshine so what are you going to do today to make someone’s day brighter?
Peace and love always,
💗🌸💗🌸 Beth 💗🌸💗🌸