Getting brighter

Currently I’m sat in my living room, having eaten my body weight in tofu stir fry and blueberries. I’ve successfully gulped down an unnecessarily strong cup of coffee and the birds outside are celebrating the long awaited arrival of spring by gloriously chirping away like it’s the end of the world. The change in weather over the past week has boosted my mood big time; the recent bank holiday was absolutely gorgeous in terms of weather and I spent the weekend with friends, playing tennis, eating halloumi and rescuing next door’s puppy when it kept jumping into our garden.

Spring is my favourite season; when things start to brighten, and I find myself eagerly looking forward to the summer. Lately I’ve really felt like I’m onto something in terms of personal development and that things for me are starting to brighten. I’ve been working hard to tackle things head on and to make positive changes. I write every day and take time to reflect every day. I’m so surprised by how much of a difference it makes in terms of helping me manoeuvre my way through my thoughts and feelings. For a good few years countless people have suggested I write a diary, or I write down how I’m feeling – and I’ve always been reluctant (stubborn). I’ve written blog posts, and then worried that I’ve overshared to a very public audience, but the thought of writing personal stuff and then talking directly about that in a therapy session has always made me feel ridiculously uncomfortable. But I’ve been writing, writing my way through a lot of different emotions and actually, I’ve found it really useful.

I haven’t published anything publicly in a while as I was beginning to worry that I was just focusing on all the negative stuff. Having a blog which I’ve utilised over the past few years to write about my experiences of mental health means that at times things really have been quite dark, as I’ve always written when I’ve needed to make sense of things. However I feel that in part my blog posts have portrayed the journey that I’ve encountered, because really it has been a journey – one where there’s been many ups and downs.

I was having a discussion at work today, and we visited that question of ‘would you rather have the mind or the body of a 30 year old for the rest of your life?’ At first I said mind, but I realised that to me it is really important that I continue to work on my mental health and that I want to see how my mental health develops as I experience different things – as I continue to grow. I often find myself really intrigued when I see posts online or hear people talking about ‘mental strength’ and ‘things that mentally strong people do.’ To me I feel that mental strength is quite an ambiguous term, sometimes it implies that you have to be at one with your emotions, your thoughts and your behaviours. Well there’s certainly been a few times where I’ve had no idea what emotion I’m experiencing and my thoughts have left me in pieces, but I am mentally strong. To fight against all the crap that my brain can throw at me can at times feel like an unconquerable battle, but I’m still here (albeit drinking far too much coffee and writing cheesy blogs about spring and birds) but I know that I am strong.

There’s still a long way to go in terms of overcoming stuff, but most importantly I have the drive to make changes at the moment. Though, waking up at 5am this morning and then spilling coffee over my bed made me question if the world really did hate me. But I’m feeling pretty positive, I’m feeling pretty strong and I feel able to tackle the ongoing journey of bettering my mental health.

I’m a fan of quotes, so here’s one of my favourites:

‘And rain will make the flowers grow.’

Victor Hugo


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