Dim the Spotlight on… Karen Carpenter [#11]

THIS IS A NEW SERIES WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS WE LOVE AND HAVE INFLUENCED US THAT IS UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE. THESE ARE PUBLIC FIGURES THAT WERE VERY OPEN/KNOWN FOR THEIR MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, BOTH RUMOURED AND DIAGNOSED.

DISCLAIMER: THESE POSTS HAVE MENTIONS OF SUICIDE, DEATH, SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND/OR RAPE THROUGHOUT, SO VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

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A letter to those suffering in silence (mostly aimed for teenagers)

Dear sufferer,

My battle with mental illness began at some time in my preteens – don’t know the exact year or age – but I know for a fact that by the time I was in my mid-teens, I had the whole nine yards. What I also know is that by the time I was fifteen, I was already questioning my purpose for living, and whether I wanted to be alive or not.

I’m now 24 years at the time of writing this, so it’s been a few years since I was a teenager, but I still remember what it’s like to be young and struggling with mental health problems. It was hands down the hardest thing I had to endure in my life.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I’m no professional, so I won’t assume what you’re going through or say that I know, because I don’t know the details. But as someone who went through a bunch of crap, I wanted to write this for assurance: that it’s okay and you are not the only one because I’ve been there and done that.

Being a teenager with mental health problems (undiagnosed at the time but I was so sure of what I had) was the loneliest feeling ever. I was told time and time again that I was “doing it for attention”, or playing the “victim”, or being “crazy”. They also kept telling me I was “too young to know what mental illnesses were”.

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Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky on Pexels.com

Let’s get one thing straight:
Your suffering is real, and if you ever tell me you are hurting, then
I will believe every word you’re saying
and I will believe your hurt and agony.
Your pain is real.

There are people who will be in denial (been there) or won’t understand what you’re going through. And I feel sorry for those who don’t get it. There will however, be people who get it, just like me and many, many others. There will be people who will listen to you and acknowledge your struggles.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

When I was a teen I felt this unexplainable empty it of agonising sadness in my core. I didn’t know where it came from because I hadn’t suffered from any kind of trauma back then. I felt hurt and physically and emotionally heavy (to properly know this feeling, the song ‘Heavy’ by Linkin Park explains it down to ta T). That’s all I knew. I’d also go nights in a row of crying myself to sleep, or just lay awake contemplating ending my life. Sometimes both at the same time. I couldn’t explain the pain, but it seemed like a default thing for me to be in this kind of pain.

Despite all this pain, it took me years – over 10 – to reach out for help. I didn’t trust my parents enough to tell them when I first started seeking help from a psychologist. I only told them after several sessions. Whenever I did tell people about my treatment, they shrugged me off at first, telling me I seemed fine back then and I’m too young to know what depression and anxiety felt like, and that I didn’t fit in the physical description of a depressed person (whatever that description is).

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Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

But let’s be real: who knows you better than you? Not me, not anyone else. And who knows me better than me? Not you and not anyone else. We know when something about us is off. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, the feeling of numbness, mood swings, whatever your sufferings are: it is REAL and I know it is.

Getting help was the best thing I had ever done in my life. My biggest triumph. But I didn’t feel like it was at the time. I knew what to expect with my depression because it was predictable. But I wanted to learn how to live my life one way or another, and how to cope and get better. It was a pretty big deal, but it was scary as fuck.

Was it worth the risk? HECK YEAH! Because eventually, I did start getting better. I got the diagnosis I expected I had – depression and anxiety – and this helped me understand what was going on. With both a psychologist and psychiatrist by my side, eventually joined in by my family and small circle of friends, I fixed things and my life made sense once more.

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

What would I say to teenagers reading this who are struggling with mental health? You don’t have to do this alone. Suffering in silence is not an option. You have choices, some of which are difficuly and risky. I made those difficult choices myself, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here writing all this. I’d be dead. I would have done The Deed.

You need to know that your life can change  in the blink of an eye. Everything your thought you knew could be wrong the following day. Your life changes as time goes by, and you deserve to experience this change.

Since then, I have found a good job, made new friends, gave a speech at the local University, wrote a hit article about my mental health for a successful local website and appeared on TV. I’m also in a very great relationship with someone I can call The One and not be uncertain about it. I have touched hearts and changed lives over the past three years.

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Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

This is why I talk openly about my struggles, being able to help others not to repeat the same mistakes I have. Our journeys may not be the same, but  I believe we all have something inside us that’s in common and by unleashing that, the world would be a better place.

So if you haven’t reached out, do so as soon as you can, befor eit’s too late. You don’t have to speak to a professional: a teacher, family member or friend would suffice. Hang in there, and remember the life you’re living now won’t be a clear indication of your future so do something about it.

If you’re reading this, consider it a victory: that you have lived another second, minute, hour, day, month, year. I hope you will be here to read this in years’ time, or even for your children to read it in their teens.

I believe in you. You are a survivor. You have PURPOSE. YOU MATTER.

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If you our someone you know displays any symptoms of mental health problems, please contact your local suicide hotlines, which you can find below.

Image result for suicide hotlines around the world

Fact vs Fiction: Depression

In this post, I will be taking a look at some statements people make with regards to depression, and stating whether or not they are fact or fiction. These statements will be answered in my opinion and through professional research. I am not an expert, but suffering from depression for over ten years taught me a thing or two.

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Dim the Spotlight on… Sylvia Plath [#10]

THIS IS A NEW SERIES WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS WE LOVE AND HAVE INFLUENCED US THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE. THESE ARE PUBLIC FIGURES THAT WERE VERY OPEN/KNOWN FOR THEIR MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, BOTH RUMOURED AND DIAGNOSED.

DISCLAIMER: THESE POSTS HAVE MENTIONS OF SUICIDE, DEATH, SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND/OR RAPE THROUGHOUT, SO VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2018

I had so many things to do in April and this first week of May, it completely slipped my mind that it’s mental health awareness month. You may be a tiny bit aware of how important May is to me, and it is not just because of my very open and very public struggle with mental health illnesses.

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First thing’s first… my blog is turning TWO YEARS OLD this month! The blog that has helped so many of you beautiful people with your struggles and in return gave ME hope. I am so proud of keeping this up for this long. To be honest, there were times where I wanted to give up altogether.

However, having many people contacting me here or on my Facebook page about how much I’ve helped them get through their problems by sharing my own, and also asking for more advice and about my treatment and therapy, which brings me to the next point!

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May will mark the last (!!!) therapy session with my psychiatrist after 2+ years. He has been my greatest helper in all of this, up there next to my mum, boyfriend, best friend and YOU GUYS! Yes, you reading this, you have helped me, because you kept me going for the past 2 years. So thank you all so much for being there for me!

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It looks bright, big and beautiful. Later this month I will be announcing something very big happening in mid-June in my home country and it involves yours truly! I wasn’t given a lot of details as of yet but I will for sure let you know because ALL LOCALS will be able to attend this event so wa-hey!


Below you will find mental health-related posts from my blog for your own perusal. Make sure you read them with an open mind and heart. Love to all!

Things That Have Helped me Deal with Mental Health

“It all just got real…” – My Journey to Being Diagnosed

5/Infinity Songs That Helped Me Through Tough Times

My Biggest Fear

My Experience with Body Confidence

“Deleting” The Past

An Open Letter To The People Who Left Me Behind

What February 26th means to me

#BreaktheStigma… from the Survivors

Letter to Alice (Anxiety) and Dina (Depression)

The Skinny on… Stigma

Why I Still Go to Therapy… and why it’s OK

Dim the Spotlight on… – All posts

It’s OK to…

Mental Health First Aid

Youtubers/Bloggers Who Talk About Their Mental Health Problems/Illnesses

One Year Later… Progress

The Symptoms of Depression Nobody Talks About

I’m Sorry

My First Suicide Attempt: #Storytime

I’m in a music video…yes, for real!

New Year’s Resolution for People with Mental Health Problems/Illnesses

Songs that talk about mental health

Mental Health Stats

2 Years in Recovery

My Insecurities

My Journey to Alcohol Abstinence

If You FEEL UNWORTHY, Then Read THIS