Talk. About. Mental. Health.

LP

Yesterday, the news of Chester Bennington’s suicide stormed social media, taking the breath of all rock and metal fans. Chester Bennington was the face of a band that influenced so many people, in many ways. Musical interests were formed from Linkin Park; thousands of people playing music together inspired by their music. Chester Bennington’s voice was heard all over the world, and for many, was the voice of reason and rationale. He was a creator, a motivator and damn hell of a person. Reading about suicides always sends a chill up my spine, but the news of Bennington really hit me.

A lot of the conversations I had yesterday about his death was met with disbelief. People telling me to stop joking, people telling me I was sick. If that doesn’t say how unexpected Chester’s death was, then I don’t know what will.

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Where ever it came from; whether it was a lurking thought in the back of his head all these years, or something in recent weeks triggered him, Chester battled with a lot of lifetime trauma. He was previously a very open man about his troubles, revealing a history of sexual abuse and substance abuse. In his lyrics, there were deep emotion, passion, angst and struggle. Linkin Park headed in different directions, experimenting with their music like a hobby. The whole band deserved respect for that, and with their ever-growing fan base since their 2000 release of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park showed no signs of stopping.

That’s what makes this whole thing unexpected.

That’s what makes the news of Bennington so hard swallow.

Mental health is an ongoing battle, and those who have suffered can tell you how easy it is to slip back in to old habits. Chester Bennington may have opened up about his past troubles, but we didn’t hear about how low he was feeling now. We knew that the death of his close friend, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, hit Chester hard. We just didn’t know how hard. Dealing with mental health is in no way easy, and I guess it might just be even harder when the spotlight is shining upon you. Fighting to be the person that the media portray you to be. It’s okay not to be okay – who ever you are. There are systems; real people there to support you and help you through your times of trouble. No problem is too big or too small. Sometimes all you need to hear is a voice that isn’t whispering in your ears, but talking to you. There are people who have dealt, and continue to deal with the haunting cloud of depression. I guess what I’m trying to say, and as cliche as it may be, you are not alone. You are never alone. It’s scary to put yourself out there, I understand. It’s scary to make the first move, I get it. It’s scary to put all your feelings, all your emotions on the line with only the slightest bit of hope that someone’s there to read them. I get that. We all get that. And that’s why we’re here. I don’t know who “we” are, but I know there’s a million people in this world willing to take time out of their day to make sure there’s ears for someone to speak into. You will not suffer alone – and I urge you, in every way I possibly can, to reach out.

samaritans

Please, please, please, if you’re feeling down and alone, take a look at these sites and reach out:

SANE | Gofal Cymru | CALM

There’s a list of mental health helplines listed on the NHS site that you can find here.

Alternatively, I’m always available to be contacted, and I’ll always be here.

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Stay safe, and strive for the happiness you deserve. Peacexo

 

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“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”

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Everything has changed. I’m an entirely different person to what I was a year ago; to what I was when I first entered 2016. The story’s the same, the face is the same but everything feels different. I’ve always strived for some sort of happiness, to feel something more than numb. But what this year has shown me is no matter what, happiness is not a destination, but a journey. And perhaps a neverending journey, but with every piece of progress, with every ounce of confidence that I gain, I know I’m closer to what once felt impossible. I’m getting there and it sure feels good.

There’s a thousand things I want to do and I want to change, but for everything I’ve ever gone through, for ever decision I’ve ever made, I’m so glad that I’m here right now. There are days when all I want is to not exist, and those days of feeling nothing are still going to be a part of my life. But recently, those days have lessened and I’m reminded that there’s more to life than what it is right now. I got the chance to travel to Germany, to experience something amazing with the best people I could. I’ve got to write and write and write to my hearts content. At first, I thought that what I was doing in the present would be what I would end up doing forever, and I lost so much motivation because I could never see myself any different than a deadbeat. And whilst I still may not make it in a world where there are so many other talented people; where I can easily be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about, I might just have fun trying. I might be working a minimum-wage bar job with long hours with headaches that hurt the back of my eyes, but these eyes have so much more to see. So much more to appreciate.

Positivity doesn’t come to me that often. Especially not the type where I want to write it and show it because I know soon enough I’ll want to write how I want the earth to swallow me up. Some things won’t change, but the way you handle each situation and each downfall will get better. Everyone is fighting their own battle, but we fight it side by side.

Peace, xoalaskaar.

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Words don’t help my head

Writing. Putting words next to each other, hoping it makes sense to those who read it. Stick some punctuation in there and watch it all come together. Why doesn’t my head feel like it is together? I can write endless amounts of words and I can write none. Nothing I ever do will help me gather up these thoughts.

I’ve changed. Things are better. Life is better. Life is bad. Nothing changes. These thoughts that I once trailed away from and left on a dirt road have hitch-hiked it’s way back into my head. It hurts. I ache. No matter how much sense of it I want to make, I can’t. My head pounds endlessly, my arms and hands ache. I exist and sometimes I exist happily but there’s moments when I don’t want to. I left behind anti-depressants and started a journey towards happiness, I’ve reached that happiness in many ways, but here I am. Just existing. Things go wrong, people throw what I’ve tried so hard to leave behind back in my face and I’m back at step one. It triggers a lot of emotions I don’t want to feel. It triggers a numbness. It triggers a lack of care. It hurts.

Sometimes I think that it would be better if I wasn’t around. Sometimes I think that selfishly, I want to be around to feel the happiness that people give me. My boyfriend. Sweet and lovely and unselfish. Inspiration to be a better person. My friends; lively and happy and no looming thunder clouds. My brother. Perfect in every single way. I want to be a better person. It doesn’t make sense. Constantly bad and constantly hidden. Sometimes it would be better if I wasn’t around.

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“I take back every word that I said,”

Months have gone by and this platform of tangled and contradictory text posts has gone completely untouched. While my hiatus was unannounced, the break was needed. The endless hours I placed into what I thought was therapeutic writing was only my further decline. Instead of overcoming my Depression, I came to terms with it. I accepted it as part of my day-to-day life instead of trying to recover from it. I gave it a name; I gave it a home rent-free. I fed it until it swelled up like a tumour and took over my body like a puppet.

Here’s to a new mindset. Here’s to a new life.

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Snapping back.

The road to recovery was never going to be easy and it will always have it’s drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is the eventual downfall that you’ve put off for so long; the dip in happiness that takes you by surprise. In the words of John Green, it came over me like reading a book, “suddenly and then all at once.” It was bound to catch up to me after I’d spent so long forcing myself to feel the happiness that I’d be craving; and it was real and I felt the warmth inside my chest expanding at a rate faster than the breeding of house flies, only to dissipate into a toxic cloud of smoke that poisons everything around it. It’s confusing when everything seems to be going right, but your tornado thoughts scream that it’s wrong. The feeling of an upcoming round 2 when you’ve hardly recovered from the first; the terror that it’ll knock you down in one hit.

The constant ringing in my ears to stay positive; the inability of those around me to fully understand whats going on inside my head. The genuine confusion at my own incapability to comprehend my thoughts. The anxiety that everything thats fallen into place nicely over the last couple of weeks are only going to crumble away and slip through my fingers. It’s overwhelming to wake up with the worry about the next thing to go wrong. The need to be detached from everything, to enjoy things without getting too involved. To put yourself into a situation physically, but not mentally.

The road to recovery cannot be achieved without your rollercoaster taking a dip and the experience of pushing your cart back onto the ascending rails. That way, the next time you take a dip, you’ll be able to have confidence knowing you can pull yourself out of this.

Stay strong, the destination to happiness is still achievable.

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Sunday, February 28th, 2016.

Having someone to genuinely open up to is a terrifying experience. How much information is too much information? Is it even safe to tell them what goes on inside your head with the complete trust that they won’t judge or treat you any differently? It’s a question that’s plagued me, and eventually plagued my relationships for many years. I’ve either told too much or too little and I find it hard to find the balance to keep things flowing.

This year has been an entirely new experience for me as a whole. I entered 2016 with my head hanging over the toilet with the worst hangover I’ve ever experienced. I thought to myself “hey, it’s a new year, time for things to turn around!” but I’ve eventually come to worry and stress about things that I pushed to the back of my mind long ago. It’s almost a annual occurance for this to happen – every now and then I can’t help but begin to wonder where I went wrong. There’s only so many times you can talk to a silent journal with your black ink before you realise your biggest mistake might have been taking on everything alone.

Skip back to 2008. By this point, I had complete confidence that my former childhood problems would vanish the more I drowned them in nicotine and alcohol. By the end of 2009 after what could only be described as my own wrongful making, I sacrificed what would have been most of my young adult years pretending I was older than what I was. When I realised that my friends were taken from me by force, my life had gone 100mph without me noticing that I had been dragged into adulthood without my consent, I bailed as soon as I managed to release the chains. I lived the way I wanted to for a good couple of months before again, I was turned into something I shouldn’t have been. I finished 2015 and entered into the new 2016 wondering where I went wrong at every turn. Why was I always placed into a situation that affected me mentally, that dragged me down into the pits of hell where I gradually burned every fibre of hope of happiness that I owned.

It doesn’t take long to realise the naivity you’ve experienced over the years. Always wishing things would be better – being told they will be better. Even when you tell yourself that you can and will walk away when it gets too much, you can’t. You’ve been sucked too deep into a vortex and the only way out is the legendary difficulty maze with a raging Capra Demon at the end. It almost seems impossible the more you try and fail, eventually accepting that this is it now. I’m a quick learner, but I’ll never get the hang of dealing with unpredictability. I’ll never fully be able to cope with the realisation of my vulnerability. The real problem is, is it’s practically impossible for me to be comfortable with opening up, without feeling guilty and allowing others to help guide me back to safety.

In every post I write, I try and remind my readers – the ones who stumble across these disorganised string of words laced together with punctuation – that they’re worth something. It’s because I know that it’s far too easy for others to bring you down, and it’s even easier for the words to implant themselves into your head where the only course of action feels like surgery to remove the tumour of self-loathing to be removed. With enough thought, self-relaxation and a reminder that without you, someone, somewhere will never experience what you and you only can give them. There’s something about everyone that makes them special, but it takes the right person to see that and appreciate it properly.

Edit: I probably wont keep this on here for long. I just needed to vent. I’m tired of being stuck inside my own head.

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Together we stand; divided we fall.

It’s February, I’m currently wondering what on earth happened to the Kerrang! channel while it plays Babymetal and procrastination is at an all time high. I’m what you would call… happy. Take that lightly – I’m stressed out too. I have deadlines to meet, a paying job to get back and forth to and a whole lot of sleep to catch up on. But, I’ve finally realised that my own happiness matters and even through the stress that I’m currently drowning under, I can safely say that I won’t be close to jumping off a cliff anytime soon.

You see, dear reader, it’s far too easy to get stuck in a place that isn’t healthy for you mentally or physically. I’ve been there far too many times and no matter how much I write about getting better, I have only ever gotten worse. I fought at every corner possible and there was no time out for a breather. I could scream at the top of my lungs and go completely unheard. I could spend days upon days inside the comfort of my own four walls and still be anxious that I’ve done something wrong to someone. It was real and it was painful and goddamnit, I ached from fear everyday. For years, I thought of myself as a strong and unbreakable person, only to be brought down to earth with a huge crash bang and a realisation that I’m just as fragile as anyone else. 2016, you’ve completely broken me. Thanks for that, bud.

I was close to the same destruction that haunted my teenage years. I didn’t care about what happened to me. Fail uni? That’s fine, I was prepared to work a minimum wage retail job for the rest of my life until I finally get a casket and stone to call my own. Lost my current job? Ah what the hell, I hardly go out enough to need the money anyway. Lost the people around me? What do they see in me anyway? I’m unfunny, offensive, loud and always insecure… they’d be better off without me bringing them down. I had no care in the world apart from what was going on inside my head. The fear of being alone forever, but pushing people away as soon as they knew too much. The tears I shed thinking about what would happen if I never made it into writing, but knowing that all I am is just another wannabe writer sitting at a laptop feeling so much self-pity that blog posts have become entirely dark and dull. I was someone I didn’t want to be, and it took months of being lonely and falling victim to my own thoughts to realise that it needs to change.

Not all things have changed. Like this for example, those of you reading will still read about how sad I’ve been and right now I wish I could be anywhere else but here. I’ve woken up too afraid to go to university just in case I fuck-up somewhere along the lines and I feel like I haven’t slept a wink despite last night being the most I’ve slept in the past two weeks. Not all things will change either and that’s the important part. I can write about being happy and what it will take for me to happy, but the truth is, is that there will always come a time where things are overwhelming. Where people are too much and where my life seems to flip the big “fuck you” in my face. But that’s okay, because now I can finally sit back and say hey, I matter too. And that’s the part that has made me happy. To know that somewhere along the lines, I do matter and that if I’m not content with things then something needs to change. Even if it is a little more mind-numbing, quality movie time.

I say it all the time, but you’re really not alone in this world. And never forget that. It’s easy to get too involved in helping and being there for other people to the point where you forget that you matter too. People will take advantage of that, especially when they know how easy it is for you to put them before you put yourself, but no matter what, remember that your happiness matters too. As soon as you forget about your own thoughts and emotions entirely is the point where you’ll end up spiraling to rock bottom without even noticing until it’s too late to get yourself out. You matter to me. Your happiness matters to me and it always will.

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“Are we human?”

 

Gloomy. Sadness. Depression. No matter what word you label it with, it’s a hard place to be in no matter what the situation. True that people may be feeling these emotions over completely different things, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting you. You are an individual. You will experience things differently. You will have your own coping methods. No one can tell you what to do or how to deal with your own personal demons, no matter how much advice you seek from those around you. The harsh reality is, is you must figure things out on your own to really sit back at the end of the day and know what’s happened has been resolved. Your own step is the only step that will matter on the road to your eventual mental happiness – it isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter and served to you by silver spoon. You are strong and you can pull yourself out of this.

I’ve had my fair share of demons to battle during 2015. Perhaps its the reason for my little to non-existent motivation to write. My lack of inspiration in life. The complete disappearance of any kind of natural pleasure in simple daily activities. I sought after advice and I followed closely but I could never feel accomplished. I never felt like I truly resolved my overwhelming problematic voices whispering in my ear that I was nothing. I got rid of the problems that affected everyone else. For example, my moods. My changing moods, panic attacks and outburst of tears got… “irritating,” as they say. So I tried to eradicate them and in response I faked my happiness. I pretended I was okay until I was alone in my own four walls with nothing and no one but myself. It’s like having to wear a mask to cover up your true self. It crippled me. Paralyzed me until I realised that the phrase “just be happy” was my problem.

People will tell you time and time again to “just be happy.” They repeat it over and over again, as if it’s the easiest thing to do. They’ll say they’ve been through it – they may even say they’ve been through worse – but they are NOT you. They coped with it, or they are coping with it in their own way and it’s only fair to let yourself as an individual find yourself and what will help you. You like reading a book? Go ahead. Take that time and read for endless hours until your head is filled with elegant vocabulary and the voices that whisper are characters. You like films? Watch them. Watch their sequels. Watch what came before them. Shape your dreams into what you want and go where you want to be. You don’t have to live by someone else’s standards of “just be happy.” Being comfortable isn’t wearing a mask, its knowing you. And knowing you is the first real step to shaping your own mental stability.

Something I want to point out though… You are not alone. You can talk and you can rant. You can post a blog post to get what it is off your chest. Whether you read this or you quickly scroll past, just know that I am here for you. You are beautiful and you are special to me. No matter who you are or if I have spoken with you or not. Your happiness matters to me, and if you’re not happy then I’m here to wish you all the luck in finding that happiness. This is our journey, and I’ll walk it hand in hand with each and every one of you.

 

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Loneliness isn’t the problem, but finding the right help is.

Despite the rising awareness of mental health conditions, they are still disregarded and swept under the rug more times than not. There are still people wondering what to do and who to turn to when all else has failed – and failing can be a part of the end problem that’s ultimately tearing you up. No person should be expected – or belittled – for opening up to their emotions and feelings and admitting what’s really going on. Admitting to what feels like a weakness is already a difficult task, and admitting that weakness out loud shouldn’t feel like a joke. A person shouldn’t be made to feel ridiculous, dramatic, hopeless and they should not be made to feel alone. A person goes through an abundance of stages and emotions before they finally pluck up the courage to talk about it – so why should they feel that in the end, it was the worst idea they could have done?

There’s the exaggerated happiness, the forcing yourself and others around you to believe that happy and fine. The indecisive motivation telling you that you need to get up and do something, but you could wait a day or two to get that done. Locking yourself away at certain times just because it all gets too much and therefore snapping when someone tries to invade your space. The easily irritated, pushing the best of people in your life away. Dealing with it in your own way, writing to a blank piece of paper that cannot talk, that will soak up the sink and leave you yet again stranded in your own mind. Seeing friends but feeling guilty when you feel more of a downer than a bundle of joy. You get the point, a person has to deal with a lot of things before they finally open their mouth as a plea for help and being shut down at the end of it – to be disregarded as if a family had just reconsidered their decision to adopt a puppy. It’s only confirming what they already thought; that they have to go through this alone otherwise they deal with the consequences of being looked down upon, to be told that they’re over dramatic. It doesn’t just stop because it was an inconvenience for someone, we’ll just go back to pretending that we’re okay just so they can’t get ridiculed again.

People feel this way for different reasons, and it’s unfair to be judged about your own situation compared to someone else’s. Oh, I see, you’ve been through worse, so that’s why I cannot feel the way I do and ask for your help because you deem me unworthy of such compassion? Well shucks, here’s a medal and a one-way ticket to “Get-So-Far-Away-From-Me.” It doesn’t matter if you’re feeling the way you do because you’ve had a string of unfortunate events happen to you throughout your life or if you’re recently going through a rough patch, you are entitled to feel the way you do and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

There are still too many of us finding the way out in all the wrong places. Loneliness isn’t the problem, but finding the right help is.

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