Insecure – Body Image.

This week I thought I would change up the topic. Lately I’ve been so consumed in the feeling of not looking or feeling good enough, whether that is what I look like, or how I’ve acted towards people that I love. I’ve come to the point where I can (most of the time) accept the fact that its ok to feel this way. When I’m out, or even in work I have the constant thought that when I see people I haven’t seen in ages, that I have put a huge amount of weight on since they’ve last seen me, and that they can see it. I know that I shouldn’t think this way but I can’t help it. Also, when someone is standing by the side of me, I feel that they are staring at all my imperfections from my side profile. Sometimes it takes over my whole thought process. I know it is a personal thing but I can’t help it.

I’ve never been skinny, as much as I long to be comfortable in my own skin. I wish to have a slim, toned body which I perceive as perfect, but again I subconsciously know that there is no such thing as perfect. Some days are worst than others, sometimes I’ll get ready to go out, put jeans on and a top (the usual) and just feel awful, no confidence (not that I have any anyway), I just want to get straight into pyjamas and roll into bed and hide, I don’t want people to see me in the ‘state’ that I’m in. The worst part is when clothes shopping, whether that is in store or receiving a parcel from an online retailer. And again I know that all sizes are different depending on where you go, but it still knocks your self esteem massively. When I try clothes on that are my size but don’t fit from certain retailers, I get really upset, (I’m gonna get really honest now) it makes me feel so insecure that I just want to hide, close my eyes and go to sleep to escape from this feeling. I know that close family to me have said, when they’ve seen me try a coat on from a shop I’ve never bought from before, and put it on and it doesn’t fit. It’s that instant sickness feeling when you realise that you cannot escape from the shame of it not fitting. Or when you go into a high street store and you’re looking for an outfit for an occasion which implies you’ll have to try it on, you grab your size and trot off to the dressing room, you try it on and your in the same position, it doesn’t fit. You’re surrounded by mirrors showing every lump and bump, stretch mark or scar that you have. It’s such an overwhelming feeling that just shifts your mood.

Social media has such a massive strain on topics like this. When I was maybe 12 or 13 I joined Instagram, this was when it was a massive thing, everyone had it in school so I knew I needed it to fit in. Sounds so stupid but that’s what I thought, it was when you had the popular page, you could go on there and search users, but most importantly you would see who had the most likes on their photos. As you can imagine, 13 year old me thought this was the next best thing, which in actual fact was probably the worst thing for my confidence and self esteem, well I suppose it’s the same as all social networking sites, you only see the highlights of those people who live behind the lens, because lets face it, no one would want to see the lowest points because you won’t get as much attention, and that’s all that seems to matter on these sites. The most popular photos always where the ones with men or women with perfect physique, no spots, nothing out of place of what may think ‘perfect’ but what we don’t know, is that that person behind the lens may not (probably doesn’t) look as flawless and perfect in real life, but it doesn’t matter what that person is like from the outside or through a lens, its what they are like as a person. Influencers who post photos on social media platforms for a living, are more than likely to only and I repeat only post the highlights from their day, or even ‘ads’ so they can earn some extra cash. Which again I understand because again, brands/public don’t want to see the down side of people’s day/life. I suppose that you only expose yourself to things like this from following, liking or searching photos like this. Don’t get me wrong I love Instagram but I can see the downfall of that area, it’s a way of looking back on events that mean a lot to you.

I know that this blog post has been a little different from my others, it has definitely been a hard one for me to write. I really appreciate you all being so patient with me as I haven’t posted for the last couple of weeks. I’ve needed to sort a couple of things out with myself, before writing these posts. But I’m back with a few ideas under my sleeve. Look out for more posts. Thank you for all being so supportive through his journey, I want to help people not feel so isolated, I want people to understand that it’s normal to feel a certain way. Love you all so much.

Take care of yourselves xoxo

Young People – Mental Health

Mental health is as important as physical Health.

I’ve wanted to post about this topic for a while as it is really close to my heart, the same as my previous posts. I know in the media there has been a lot of talk surrounding Mental Health, especially the lack of support and funding for Young People who are suffering. Depression affects more children and young people today than in the last few decades, Teenagers are more likely to experience it more than young children. Also, self harm is very common among young people, some find it helps manage intense emotional pain if they harm themselves. One in Ten young people have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness. These are just a few facts that surround Young People’s mental health.

I feel this topic ties in with my previous post about the Pressure that is put on us, especially in school. Young People don’t get the correct education surrounding their mental health, I know for years in school I never understood why I would ask myself so many ridiculous questions, why I would always feel sick, why I used to shake and get cold sweats. It wasn’t until I left school and experienced something that no one should ever experience, that I realised that I’ve always suffered with bad anxiety, I mean don’t get me wrong it isn’t as bad as many other people experience but it was bad enough that I couldn’t leave my house for the whole summer because I was afraid to go out, I just sat in my safe haven, my house. I isolated myself from everyone, going to ASDA with my mum was a no go! If I tried to go in there, I would instantly feel smothered, then the panic would take over, you know the term fight or flight? Well I would choose Flight, I would instantly leave the situation no matter the consequences. But no one understood why. So I decided to try and get help, at the time I was sixteen. I made an appointment with my GP surgery, which I had to wait weeks for, it made me feel worse. Anyway, the day came when I had my appointment, as I was called into the consultation room, the doctor asked the usual stuff, and I explained how I was feeling, this led me into hysterical crying. Once I calmed down the Doctor had mentioned a few online websites to help, and also mentioned that she could either offer me medication or I could opt for counselling, she did mention group sessions but as I had shown symptoms of social anxiety she thought that wouldn’t be the right option, which I agreed. I thought about what I wanted to do, I decided to go for the counselling as I feel by talking to a trained professional I would benefit more. The doctor mentioned that she would send a referral letter, but there is about a six week or more waiting list. I understood and I was thankful for her to offer it to me, it was just a waiting game now.

Weeks past since the consultation, and I received a  letter from my GP, the letter basically said that as I was under the age of EIGHTEEN, I would not be able to have counselling as the NHS does not fund it, so if I still wanted to go ahead with it I would need to go private. I was left feeling deflated, I felt there was no hope for me to get help. As a sixteen year old feeling this low and anxious I just shut myself off. I mean I was fortunate to have a job, which I enjoyed at the time, but I realised after that the job I was in was making me even worse. I would have bursts of anxiety, somedays I would feel awful others I would feel fine. It’s something you can’t explain or that people don’t understand unless they have felt that way before.

Now three years later, I have a new job which I love, I have better friendships, people who I trust and people who want to spend time with me without feeling like they have to spend time with me. I finally feel wanted. My anxiety is much better than before, but I cannot say that I have fully recovered, but I’m still battling this inner demon, but it isn’t as crippling as it used to be.

If you’re still here reading, thank you. I’m sorry this is a very long post, but this has been one of the hardest ones to write. I feel that I can’t 100% open up on here yet, but I’m on my way. The moral of this post is that, there isn’t enough funding nor research for young people’s mental health, and it kills me to know that so many people whether young or old and suffering in silence. I just want you to know that if you are suffering, it’s ok to feel like this but please I beg you do not do it alone!! There are people out there who love you, they are willing to listen I promise. Just promise me you’ll take care of yourself.

Helpful links:

If you need urgent help and you are under the age of 18 you can talk to Young Minds, they have a free text msg service, text YM to 85258 and you’ll text will be answered by a trained colleague.