DON’T BE A SHIT PERSON.

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DISCLAIMER: In no way am I dissing the work medical professionals do. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the work they all do. But, sometimes when someone does something wrong, in any field of work, they need to be called out for it.

“You’re just being soft.”

“You overthink too much.”

“You have nothing to be depressed about.”

I recently saw a thread on Twitter by @hatttiegladwell asking people to share the most insensitive thing someone has ever said about their mental illness and I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people that had something to share. I was angry. I was disgusted. How can people say this to someone suffering? How can people be so cruel?

A girl posted that her boyfriend said to her “dating you was like having a second job because of your depression.” Imagine being that insignificant to someone that they feel like it’s a chore to look after you?

I was angry when I saw that because I’ve felt like that before. When I was first diagnosed, a lot of people in my life didn’t understand mental illnesses because they couldn’t see it. A lot of them didn’t think mental illness was a real thing because they’d never seen someone completely break down. I can’t blame them for that, but I could blame them for being so naive that me having a severe panic attack was just “having a sook.”

I kept scrolling through the twitter feed and people mentioned their parents, their friends, their teachers. It was horrible, but I was completely shaken when I saw people mention things their doctors and therapists had said. One man commented saying that his therapist asked “why do you deserve special treatment, you’re not the only one unemployed?” These people study for 4-7 years to be qualified in the medical field. To help us, to save our lives and yet some moron who we spend hundreds of dollars a session to see, slip through the cracks and get away with making people feel like crap for something they can’t control. It sickened me.

I didn’t realise how common it was and how many people I could relate to.

I was diagnosed with depression twice.

Why? Because the first doctor I saw was another moron. I was petrified sitting in that doctors office because it was the first time in my life I had acknowledged I had a problem. It was hard. I was in tears petrified for how my life was going to change.

After a very brief conversation of me telling her what my issues are, talking about how I’m unemployed and unsure of where I’m going in life, she stopped me mid sentence and told me to jump on the scales. I was in tears, shaking and I was made to weigh myself. Listening to the “professional” I took my shoes off and jumped on the scales and saw a number I didn’t really want to see. I jumped off the scales and she said to me, “the reason you’re depressed is because you’re not skinny. If you lost 15-20kg I know you’d feel better about yourself and be happy.”

I just want to clarify, I was depressed because not only did it run in my family but I was trying to deal with being in my first of university in a course I was unsure about, unemployment, hating my life at the time and being the only single one out of my friends. I had no one to turn to. I felt lonely. I wasn’t depressed because I was fat. I had my insecurities and yes, sometimes they did trigger anxiety and mild depression, they still do. But, that wasn’t the soul reason for why I’m depressed. And even if it was, a doctor, who should know better, cannot assume that by the number on the scales.

She fat shamed me. She made me feel like nothing when I was already so vulnerable. I was telling her how terrified I was for my future but she disregarded all of that to tell me I was fat. And her result? To put me on medication because “it’ll make you get over it faster.” And she sent me on my way.

Insensitivity and ignorance are the two worst things you can give to someone with a mental illness. I confided in medical help because it was the right thing to do and it made me feel ten times worse. It took me 12 months to see another doctor because I was scared. I still am. Even just to go when I have a sore throat. I get an overwhelming amount of anxiety.

That was three years ago.

I didn’t take the medication. I refused to believe that’s why  I was depressed. I know myself well enough. The second doctor listened to me. He gave me valuable advice that I will forever take with me. He allowed me to work hard, change my life and after all of that, I found a happier me. And guess what? I still weigh the f*cking same. (I don’t know if that’s a good thing but McDonald’s is really yummy okay?)

So if you’re someone who knows people dealing with mental illness, please remember a few things.

Being harsh to someone with an illness is the worst thing you can do. It is not your right to tell someone how to act or to tell them not to feel a certain way. It’s okay if you can’t help them the way they need you to, but it’s not okay to tell them they’re a nuisance. If you don’t know what to say to someone, just don’t say anything. Let them talk and reassure them they’re loved and cared about.

They cannot control how they’re feeling. They need support.

Don’t be a shit person.

And for anyone who is suffering, “there’s bravery in being soft.”

 

 

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SELF CARE EVERYDAY

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Self care is important to me. It’s what basically gets me through those days where I’m too anxious to move or feeling crap about my life.

What annoys me is the whole image on ‘self care’. Everyone does it different but it’s important to acknowledge it’s not just having a bath with candles, crystals and a glass of expensive wine. It’s not just about putting on a face mask and indulging a cheese platter. It’s about learning ways to deal with your mental health and encourage yourself to do things even when you feel like you can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, baths, crystals and cheese are on my top five favourite things, but I can’t tell you the last time I had a bath. So I thought I’d make a list of the things that I do to take care of myself on the days that I’m not coping well.

Eat well: I used to think I’d be happy if I indulged in a fat burger and chips (don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s exactly what I need) but having a nice bowl of something nutritious really makes you feel good.

Exercise: I say this with hesitation because I hate exercising. BUT, for the 30 minutes you’re exercising, you focus your mind on something else and it really makes you forget about the issues you’re having. Rather than sitting there dwelling on feeling anxious, you’re crying because there’s no way you can do one more jump squat and after, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. (I also rarely exercise but lately have tried upping my game and have found it’s helped a lot).

Clean: I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m a wog or a virgo, but I love cleaning out my cupboards and re-organising everything. When my room is messy, my life feels messy so taking time out to clear things out does wonders for my mind.

Try a hobby: So many people have things they love doing and never have the time to do. For me, my passion is writing (hence the blog) but I never seem to have the time to just sit and pour my heart out. Make time for it. When you start making time for the things you love, it becomes part of your routine and something you look forward to. That’s why my blog is being picked up again. I’m putting in an effort to really make time for my writing as a way to care for my at times, sensitive mental health.

Obviously my tasks are different to others, and what works for me won’t work for everyone but I used to spend so long trying to find things that made me happy. I even went to a gym for crying out loud! Until I realised, not a lot needs to happen for me to feel good.

 

WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU…

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We expect that after the three hour classes, 6am wake up calls and essays up on essays, when we finish university our lives are going to be amazing. We’re going to get the job we’ve always wanted, earn enough money to move out into a cute studio apartment in the inner city with a pug named Barry, travel around the world and start living our lives to the fullest.

It’s all bullshit.

The reality is that none of this happens. At least to the majority of us it doesn’t. I finished my Media degree at the end of last year and since then I’ve gone from dreaming to seriously doubting. I spend my days scrolling through job sites looking for anything that’ll catch my eye but, nothing. I click apply now, wait weeks for a reply but, nothing.

It’s heartbreaking.

I have a mentality that I won’t settle for anything that’ll ‘just pay the bills’. I don’t want a life like that and I need to put my mental health first always. I apply for job after job and get nothing but rejection after rejection back. After six months, I’ve really begun doubting myself and my life.

I know I’m only 21 and in the big scheme of things, I’ve got my “whole life ahead of me” but I’m scared that if I leave it too long my skills and qualifications won’t mean anything anymore. That’s the world we live in. Everything becomes obsolete within 12-24 months, I’m worried I will too. The thing is deep, deep, deep down I know I’m good at what I do. I love video editing, content making and writing and I know I have the potential to work for a company and really succeed in my career, but when I don’t get a phone call for that one job, I question myself. Am I really as good as I think I am? Should I even bother with media? Am I just wasting my time?

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a pity party and I know so many other graduates feel the same but it’s not really what I expected to happen six months out of uni. Maybe I was just being hopeful, or just being naive. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I didn’t expect it to affect me the way it has. I had people telling me I’d be earning minimum wage for a while and probably won’t be moving out anytime soon. That’s fine. Mum makes great food and money isn’t my priority, but getting a foot in the door is.

I just wish someone warned me about this kind of self-doubt, you know?

 

 

 

 

 

THE BARWON EXPERIENCE

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Being a Melbournian means my lifestyle is fast-paced and always busy (explains why I’ve been M.I.A). Everything is always go, go, go and there’s rarely anytime for a break. Last weekend boyfie and I headed down to Barwon Heads for the weekend. I’ve never stayed down there and was excited to experience the laid back nature so many people talk about. Before coming down, I’m not going to lie, I had extremely high expectations. Everyone said how incredible this place is and how welcoming locals are. At first, I took it with a grain of salt… I mean isn’t there always someone who says how great a place is just to tell you they’ve been there before? But as soon as I arrived, I realised Barwon Heads is one of Victoria’s most beautiful places.

I stayed at the local caravan park which was in the perfect location for tourists like me. Being so close to the shops, restaurants and the instagram-perfect beach across the road, you begin to get a feel of the locals lifestyles down here. The staff at the caravan park were extremely approachable, kind and offered good old-fashioned customer service which you rarely get in Melbourne now. As soon as I settled in and unpacked, I ventured off to see what the town had to offer.

Fresh produce, incredible local made clothes, homewares and aaaaaamazing almond croissants left me in love with this place. Being a vegetarian, it can be hard visiting towns and finding something to eat that’s not pasta. Coming to a beach town like Barwon Heads which is known for it’s seafood had me worried. But, for the first time I had options. A lot of them. From vegetable pesto panini’s to smashed avo and wood fired pizza… if there was such thing as heaven, I found it.

Barwon Heads exceeded all my already high expectations. It’s a place that not matter how many times you go, theres always something to see and something to do. For a place so close to Melbourne, it makes you feel like you’re a million miles away. I will be back.

6 LESSONS TO IMPROVE YOUR HAPPINESS

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Your life is YOUR life. I know… it’s stating the obvious right? But to be the happiest you can be, means that sometimes you need to put yourself before anyone else.

Hate gets you nowhere. Putting all your energy into hating on someone or more importantly, hating on yourself doesn’t do much for you. I much rather put my energy into something a lot more positive. Like my blog hehe.

Your mental health is more important than money. This is a little hypocritical of me as sometimes I over-work myself and completely ruin myself, but no amount of money can beat a good mental health state. Take the time out if you need to. A good manager always understands.

Find a hobby. A hobby always makes people happy. Blogging for me is my biggest hobby and sitting down, writing  and sharing my content with the world makes me one happy little girl.

Have a self care day. You know how you go shopping with friends, have pamper sessions with your friends and spend time with your friends? Do the same with yourself. When I get the chance, I always try and take myself out of the house, even if it’s just down to my local shopping centre. I loooooove my own company.

You’re not alone. In a world of 7 billion people, there’s always someone.