My Mental Health Journey

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When we talk about mental health it is something that is still seen negatively and there is still so much stigma attached. However the health of our minds and the quality of our thoughts is crucial to our overall health and wellness.

I share lots of posts and tips about things that can help with anxiety, stress and have shared honestly about my physical health, but up until now have kept my mental health battles close to my chest.

I have suffered with depression and anxiety on and off since my teenage years, back then there was even more stigma attached and less open conversations about mental health. I have decided to open up and speak frankly in today’s post as it is a large part of my life and has informed so many of my decisions for many years, including leading me to discover yoga and meditation.

Once I had made it out of my angst ridden teenage years, by in large, my mood settled and I threw myself into work and socializing with friends and then when my physical health became an issue my mental health spiraled. I now know that this is because I was grieving for a life and an idea of myself that could no longer be and was worsened by my health removing me from my care free peers, as my time was taken up by frequent hospital trips, A+E admissions and needing long periods of rest.

Once the dust settled my grief turned to anger and a sense of betrayal, my body had betrayed me and left me devastated. I wasn’t able to work in the industry I had been carving out a career for myself in and I had to keep changing jobs as my physical needs changed due to my worsening arthritis.

During all of this I was then diagnosed with PTSD after the memory of a childhood trauma surfaced.

Despite it all I some how remained resilient and went with the flow – even though some days I really wasn’t much fun to be around! I started devoting more time to spiritual practices, going to the Buddhist centre, researching ways I could manage my physical health and avoiding situations and people that would distress me.

I found my groove, until I moved to Brighton and then my demons reared their ugly heads again and with vengeance!

When I first moved down I only knew my now ex -boyfriend and he was at work a lot, leaving me alone. I had no family close by and no friends in the city. I struggled to find work and moving my healthcare was a traumatic experience! My ex was also the first relationship I had been in since being diagnosed with PTSD, and at times I was triggered and my emotions were all over the place which placed an enormous strain on what had been a loving relationship.

Despite what is portrayed on Instagram healing and inner work is an ugly process!

Sadly my relationship fell apart, I am not resentful , my moods were erratic and I was difficult to live with.

Luckily with perseverance, talking therapies and spiritual practices my mental health has been improving. My ex has also been my rock the last few years I have lived in Brighton and things have been on the up.

I do still have bad days and can feel low, but mostly things for now at least have settled. I journal, blog meditate and look inwards to help on my bad days – Netflix binges also help!

Rachel x