I haven’t written candidly about my mental health for a little while as my head feels too chaotic to be able to write about it.

Before that I had also been feeling fairly content and on my “road to recovery.”

But then it has shocked me. Shortly after filming that video (I am not sure if I jinxed it) my head has started to crumble due to personal circumstances.

I have gone from “wow my life is near perfect” to “I just can’t cope anymore.”

It has got me thinking (when I can think as it is the summer holidays so I have my two daughters to contend with)…

Will I always be mental?

I have always lived my life by extremes, I am an all or nothing person, a creative and I am strong yet extremely fragile.

So maybe my mental health is partly due to my genes, my personality and my life experiences.

But one thing that has shifted – is the way in which I deal with things. My thoughts are still the same, I have the same tendencies to self-harm when things are tough and I have images in my head of how it would be better if I wasn’t here.

But I still am here.

So here’s how I try to keep myself safe during my bad episodes:

      • Support network: Having the right people around me is essential. I go to a couple of church groups with other women and those women lift me up and support me without any other agenda.
      • Professional Care: I have a mental health nurse and I still “engage” with mental health services. It’s an extra network to keep me safe (although I do struggle with telling services my worst thoughts as I am scared that I’ll be sectioned but my mental health nurse is brilliant with helping me practically which I need).
      • My Kids: My girls really do keep me going more than anything and are my raison d’etre. I am not saying however that they can cure my mental health problems but they do massively help to keep me safe because I keep going for them.
      • Exercise: I can’t tell you how much fitness helps me from lifting weights to Zumba, running with the buggy and teaching bellydance.
        bellydance sophie mei soul portobello wakefield
      • Medication: I see my mental health like I see physical health in the sense that there are certain drugs that can help my ailments. So I am on anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.
      • Self-care: I love a good pamper although this is the last thing I make time for when I am feeling really bad as I don’t feel I “deserve” it. But once I have had a pamper I do feel transformed.

    • Blogging and Vlogging: As a former-ambitious journalist – blogging and vlogging really does help to give me a purpose, a community, a place to vent my woes and it helps me to still have a career, it has just changed somewhat so it is manageable with my mental health.

    • Mindfulness: It’s hard with anxiety to be mindful but with a mixture of faith, exercise, music and affirmations – it can help to alleviate matters.

  • It WILL Pass: Overnight my mind-set can change, all it takes is a good sleep or a chat or coffee or something and it can change. Sometimes it takes years but I know it will pass.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences…

Don’t forget there is always someone out there who can help – keep going and tread the water.