Welcome to the third year of Shattering Stigmas! Incase you don’t know, Shattering Stigmas is an event discussing all things mental health and mental health in literature, and aims to quite literally, help shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health.
This event is the brainchild of Shannon from It Starts At Midnight and in 2015, she was joined by Inge from Of Wonderland, as well as Kayla who is no longer blogging. When I came across this event on Twitter in 2015, I was ecstatic and I literally started crying at my computer because I was so full of joy that something like this was created by fellow book bloggers. So imagine my joy this year when I’m invited to be a part of it! I’m SO INCREDIBLY ecstatic to be a co-host and if you haven’t seen it yet, my introduction video will be below as I’m doing all of my posts (excluding this one) on YouTube!
Please don’t forget to check out all of my other wonderful co-host’s posts as there will be guest posts from authors, bloggers, reviews and so much more.
The first time I posted about this event was when it started in 2015 and I revealed a little bit about my own personal journey with mental health (you can check that out here if you like!) and today, I’ve decided to share a bit of an update! I’m writing this down in a blog post as while I like to consider myself confident in front of a camera, I find some things a little bit difficult to talk about without crying so here we are instead!
THE BEGINNING (condensed version):
If you haven’t read my previous post linked above, or are just not aware, I’ll give you a brief rundown: I was in an abusive relationship for almost 3 years in which I was emotionally and physically abused and worked through a lot of issues in the years following after I left the relationship. Over the years that followed, I dealt with a lot of grief as well as not treating myself very well. In hindsight, I was extremely self destructive and I’ve come to realise that a huge part of my struggle was trying to love myself as a person again.
At the beginning of this year, I had an epiphany of sorts.
Before that relationship, I was lucky enough as a teen that for the most part, I really loved myself. I don’t mean that in a self-absorbed way. I loved myself in a way that I looked after myself, I liked that I was friendly and got on with people, I loved how outgoing I was, I was pretty confident with my appearance in general. Basically, I just knew what self-love was and for the most part, was happy with myself. That relationship changed me. For so long, I literally felt like an empty husk of who I was. I had lost my family and friends (or at least felt like I had thanks to isolation), felt like I wasn’t worthy of them and afterward, I wanted SO BADLY to be who I used to be. The fact is, the “me” now is so fundamentally different to the “me” then, and a huge part of my struggle was learning that while the “new me” may have been different, that didn’t mean I was any less deserving of love, happiness or friendship. I want to make it clear that that isn’t necessarily the “reason” I was so depressed (you don’t even need a “reason” to be depressed or mentally ill), but having that epiphany earlier this year felt like a huge step, even if I had come to accept “now-me” again a few years ago in 2014.
In 2014, I hit my absolute lowest point ever, and then soon after, found myself climbing back up. Since late-April 2014, I hadn’t had a depressive episode until March this year. I was so proud I almost managed THREE WHOLE YEARS without a depressive episode, but in March, I unfortunately hit a low point again. Albeit, it wasn’t my lowest, but it sucked all the same. Since then, I’ve been taking steps to ensure I look after my mental health more, but with various personal circumstances throughout the year, it’s been a little difficult and I’ve had lots of ups and downs. Recently, I’ve also come to realise there are some other things troubling me. I’ve been looking at seeing a psychologist for the first time to potentially get diagnosed for said things. I have an idea of what these things might be, but I also might be way off so I’m hesitant to mention it. I hope to see a psychologist soon, but WOW they are expensive!
Thankfully, my boyfriend is so incredibly supportive of all that I do and anything that I feel. Whether I’m having recurring intrusive thoughts or anything else I currently do, he is always there to reassure me that it’s okay and that just because I am experiencing certain things, does not mean there is something inherently wrong with me.
I want to get better. Earlier this year, I felt angry at myself for not staying better after almost three years of being well, but while I am for the most part happy and Not Depressed, I’m learning more and more every day about myself and am looking forward to actively getting better in other areas.
Having not ever gone to therapy before, this is all new to me, but I’m ready to take this step toward working things out for myself.
I want to end this on a more positive note, but am honestly struggling a little to put some thoughts into words. I just want whoever is reading this to know, that your experience, no matter how it might differ to other people’s, or even if it’s a “stereotypical” experience, is VALID. YOU are valid and any time you do something better for you, even if it’s getting out of bed when it’s a struggle, any time you eat food, drink water or have a shower, I am so incredibly proud of you and I believe in you.
ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!