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The Red Flag

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The Red Flag

This time last year I was crashing.

Internally.

But no one knew.

I’ve spent the last year recovering. I went through 8 months of therapy, capsule changed habits, viagra order found support, learnt more about myself and how to live a healthier life, physically and mentally, all whilst finishing my master’s year of university.

I’ve still got a lot to learn, but here’s a glimpse of my story.Last summer externally I seemed to have it all together, I had finished my 3rd year of university with a first, I was seeing an amazing guy, I had a paid internship at a good company.

Life boxes well and truly ticked.

But internally my body and mind were in turmoil. I was the person everyone looked to, to keep it all together, and I cracked beneath the pressure. I found myself within an episode of depression, and struggling with anxiety daily.

In my mind I had failed.

Sometimes the ones who have it all together are also waving a red flag. They cry for help, between the cracks of their smile, as they say ‘I’m fine’, whilst maintaining a facade. Asking someone if they are okay from a genuine place can make the world of difference.

If that’s you, there’s no shame in struggling, and the most courageous thing you can do is find help.

These are a few of the things that have helped me whilst recovering.

Getting help. 
You would never disregard physical symptoms of illness, and in the same way your mental wellbeing should not be ignored.

I’ve learnt regardless of what you’re feeling, it’s always better out than in. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor in my life, that suggested I see a counsellor. I put it off for a month or so, and then finally accepted some help.

It can seem daunting. However, if your physical body is sick, you would seek help from a doctor, and a person’s mental wellbeing is just as important. I’m a strong believer in the fact that there should be less stigma attached to mental wellbeing.

Find support.

A handful of my friendships became a safe place for support, even if they just sat with me in silence. Or forced me out of the house.

As scary as it is, be honest with the friends you trust.

You may have a friend that seems to have it all together, but don’t forget to ask them how they really are from time to time.

Start something new. 

I joined a local hockey club, something I had considered doing for years. The physical exercise was good for my body and mind, as well as something to look forward to each week.

I started following Instagram accounts with a focus on self-care, wellbeing, and honest mental health stories such as @minaa_b, @alex_elle and @themelodyh. These accounts gave me daily reminders that things could get better, and I would get healthier.

I’ve been journaling for years, but I found the  #anote2self meditation Journal by Alexandra Elle helpful, and would suggest journaling.

My faith, prayer and meditation, have also helped me personally – but I would strongly suggest you find what works for you.

 

Getting to know yourself better, comes hand in hand with living a healthier life.

Overall, I’ve had to put things in place to stay healthy within my body, soul and mind, but I’m in a much healthier place a year later.

I hope my story can help someone else.

More information:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/wellbeing

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/improve-mental-wellbeing.aspx

Written by Goodness Victor

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