It’s been a while since I wrote about my mental health – but I figured it was time for a little update. I’ve tried really hard to be so open about the struggles I’ve been having and I hope that it has helped some of you. This post is surprisingly positive when you think back to where I was at the start of September, but I think it’s important to highlight the positives as well as the difficulties.
Back then, when I admitted that I was having mental health problems, and then that I’d attempted suicide, I was terrified to open up to you all. I thought that I’d be judged, and to be fair I was, but only by a few thankfully. I lost friends over it but I also found this whole network and community of support which has been incredible. So many of you messaged me with kind words and it really did help, so I’d like to say a huge thanks to you.
The day after I took the overdose, I started to rebuild my life. Has it been hard? Yes it has but I can sit here with a small feeling of pride at where I am now. Money wise, we’re managing – it’s not easy and there’s not a lot spare at the moment, but I no longer dread the bills arriving which has been a huge relief. I have Mick to thank for a lot of that relief and I will never find the right words to express my gratitude towards him.
I started CBT and I’m going to be brutally honest, but it really wasn’t for me. I’m aware that a lot of people find it really beneficial but I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of it. I also refuse to go back on anti-depressants, so at the moment I’m trying to manage the depression myself. In time I will be going for counselling to deal with issues such as Mum’s death, the rape, my illnesses, but for now, I want to do it my way.
There’s been some really nice things happen over the last few months. I had a lovely birthday treat courtesy of Selfridges and Charlotte Tilbury, and of course I got to meet the lady herself a couple of weeks ago. That was huge for me, and even though my endo was bad and I don’t look well in the photos, it was so good to meet Charlotte. We had a nice break in Scotland over Christmas and even though I was extremely ill with the flu, it was nice to get away, just Mick and I.
In terms of the blog, it’s been a bit up and down but things seem to be evening out now. You’ll have noticed that I’m not posting as often and that’s because I’m trying to find some balance in my life. For 3 years now this whole Beauty By The Bunny business has taken over my life and that’s not what I want or need at the moment. I am enjoying more down time and time to relax and look after myself. I don’t need to post every day to be proud of my blog and I’m under no illusions that I’ll only ever be small fry in the blogging world and I’m good with that. I don’t want to sit back in 50 years and regret not taking those self-care days or more time with Mick – that’s what’s important to me. So as much as I still love my blog, it’s now a part of my life instead of my whole life.
One relatively new aspect of my life that I’ve spoken about in a previous post is the fact that I’m now moving into the beauty illustration world. The impact that this has had on my mental health is huge. Originally the iPad Pro was bought for me to maybe do a few blog images, but I soon discovered just how much I love sketching away on it. This little pastime has very quickly developed into a little emerging business and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m not expecting to make my fortune from it, but to earn a little bit of money is nice (and needed). Whenever I’m feeling stressed or down, I get the iPad out and just draw. Some days I can draw for hours and it really centres me.
Mentally I feel a lot stronger. Don’t get me wrong, there are still days when it is so tough, but they’re getting easier to handle and I’m getting really good at spotting the warning signs that I’m on a bit of a downward spiral. I feel like I can now say when I’m struggling instead of keeping it all inside and that’s made a huge difference too.
I’m aware that this is going to be a life long battle and it’s probably never going to go away, but it doesn’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. Now I could wake up tomorrow in the depths of despair, but I know that I can get through it. I still feel quite vulnerable, but this vulnerability has given me a new strength that I didn’t know I had. I feel like I’ve grown up a bit too and I’m making a conscious effort to be a nicer person and to keep myself out of the usual dramas. People might like to use my depression as a way to attack me, and yes it hurts, but I’ve been through far worse than any of the haters can throw at me. I’m finding a new comfort in myself and who I am – I don’t need to prove anything to anyone … except to myself. I’ll always be my own worst critic and unnecessarily hard on myself, but I also know when to pat myself on the back now.
So this has been extremely long and probably more than a little rambling, but sometimes you just have to get the thoughts out of your hard, so sorry if it’s not made much sense. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can live with depression. You can find happiness, you can smile and laugh just as much as you can hurt and cry. It doesn’t have to define you but it sure as hell can shape you.
In case I don’t blog too much this week (although hopefully I will as I’ve some gorgeous bits to show you all), here’s to a lovely Easter week and fingers crossed that it doesn’t bloody snow!
Polaroid Prints available from Lalalab – use the code BEAUTYBYTHEBUNNY for discounts.
Eastertime Candle available from Kiss Air Candles.
* Contains PR Samples