Let’s break the stigma.

It’s taken me a while to finally sit down and write this blog post. However, I decided that instead of trying to write the perfect post, I would just let the words flow from the heart.

Without going in to personal details, I can safely say that this month has been one of the hardest months I’ve ever had. I have taken a step back and have been doing a lot of self-reflection. I feel as though I have finally admitted to myself that something has to be done, in regards to my self-esteem and issues with anxiety. I have tried to put a band-aid on it for too long now and I have to take responsibility and do something about it. That’s not to say that I haven’t made progress with my mental health over the years. I certainly have, but I must admit that more can be done to improve my well-being, relationships and my life. This is sentiment is true for most people.

Sometimes we ignore ourselves because we don’t think we’re worthy of our own time. We push our feelings away like they are an annoying sibling. We act like a school-yard bully towards ourselves, taunting our minds with negative self talk and untrue statements.

Why do we keep telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough?

I’ve come to realise the importance of self-love and self-compassion.

Investing time in yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Treating yourself with respect and care is so eye-opening, because we often forget to do it! We’ve been conditioned to think that praising oneself in anyway, is vanity or cockiness. Sadly, in Ireland this is especially true.

It is no secret that Ireland has massive problem with mental health. As a country, we have stigmatized mental health so much so, that many people fear coming forward about their struggles, out of embarrassment. Living in a small, rural town in Ireland, I can confirm that in my own local area alone, there have been a astonishing amount of suicides in recent years. A lot of it has to do with shame. Shame for feeling depressed, anxious and fearful to talk a about it because of the stigma. It’s harrowing to think of all the lives that potentially could have been saved, if only those people had someone to talk to or tools to help them through their mental turmoil.

I have been to my local GP twice in order to seek help for my anxiety and each time I was turned away, with no support. One of the doctors told me to simple “get over it”. The other, told me I should eat more meat and vegetables. A simplistic cure for an complex, cognitive behaviour. If only it were that easy.

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That is why I have decided to dedicate this blog to my mental health journey and the road to self-discovery. To contribute to breaking the stigma in Ireland, that is attached to mental health. I want to speak openly about my struggles with my issues with anxiety and mentally self-harming ways of thinking.

It is time to take the jacket off the book, to get to the true story within.

I want to finally be open with myself and others, about mental health and finding tools that work for me, so that I can share them with you all and hopefully help some people in the process too. I also want to help my loved ones understand why I feel this way and that it’s not just me being “stupid” or “over dramatic”. Mentally, it’s a hard place to be in and I don’t want to feel this way, just as much as they don’t want to see me this way.

I hope you will join me on this journey, share tips and advice and move towards a happier self. I am full of ideas for blog topics and I must admit, it is nice to feel inspired again. I’m sure it won’t be easy and I know this is cliché, but if I can help at least one person by sharing my thoughts, it will be worth it.

xoxo

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