Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Monday, January 16, 2017

Blue Monday, Why I'll never apologise for being happy ever again...

It's Blue Monday, traditionally the most depressing day of the year and so all over the internet bloggers like me are writing about it in various articles and a lot of them relate to mental health awareness which in my opinion can only mean good things.

Whilst January itself is the dark, bare and sometimes bland month after the sparkly, glittery month of December and I'll be the first to admit that it's usually the month where I want to hide under my quilt and hide from the world but this year is different for a few factors.

Firstly I only shot 184 portrait sessions in the whole of 2016, this means I wasn't completely exhausted by the time I got to Christmas and this usually stretches right through January.  Secondly, I have given up alcohol due to being intolerant and while I had a bit of a sad face, I hated hangovers and was pretty much a lightweight anyway, My doctor did say that I would probably get away with having a couple of glasses of wine a month due to the way the lack of enzyme works so it's not all bad!  Thirdly, a huge contributing factor is that I'm just altogether happier, I feel like I've got my shit together, I'm such a lucky person, I have a job that I love, amazing teenagers, I have friends I adore and I, of course, I have my Mr France who makes me smile every day.

My motivation to blog has never been higher, it takes me next to no time to write what I think are pretty good articles every day, now that I have my writing style I find it easy to sit down for an hour just about every day.  I guess the best thing about my blog is that it's a diary of my life, some people tell me it's like Sex in the City (it's not quite that fruity, I'm sure) and some people tell me it's like Bridget Jones diary but it's not quite so sweary as her life although we are the same age you know!

It's testament to the happiness and positive influences in my life that I have reduced my bipolar medication again and I've done it in January, I was going to wait until spring but I feel I'm coping with life so well and my doctors agree so why not do it in January, the leap from 8mg of Reboxetine to 4mg wasn't actually that painful although it was completely life changing, so far the leap from 4mg to 2mg is pretty much just physical withdrawal, I feel a bit fluffy and have headaches, my sleeping is also a little out of sync but I know in a couple of weeks I'll see the changes there too.

I think just like any day of the year can potentially be the best day of your life, every day also has the ability to become the darkest and depressing and please don't think I'm being glib with that statement but part of self-care is I believe setting your intention for the day,  you have to be kind to yourself and think, today I am going to have a good day, if you can't quite manage that then think about what you can do to break the days down into hours, and really, when I was super poorly with bipolar I would focus on the hours rather than the whole days, I would force myself to get dressed or to go in the bath and then I would reward myself for achieving the small tasks I'd managed, please don't ever think I know how it is to be trapped in the dark abyss of depression, the kind of depression which makes you question if anything is worth it anymore, the kind of depression which makes you wander to the side of a busy road thinking how easy it would be to just walk out, get hit and escape the quagmire of depression forever.  That was life, 15 years ago nothing I was then is the person I am now other than the fact that I am a fighter, I am a survivor and in the end I chose life over death, maybe through stubbornness more than anything else but in the end it was my children who got me through the darkest days, their laughs, their smiles, their hilarious behaviours, some things never change in that respect.

So I hope you'll excuse me if I skip through this Blue Monday, I hope you won't mind that I have a spring in my step, I hope when people call me the bounciest person they know that you won't ever underestimate what I had to go through to get here.  I feel I have earned the right to be this brilliant, bouncy unbeatable woman I've become and so I will never apologise for my happiness, life isn't and will never be perfect but that doesn't mean that every day I live can't be perfectly wonderful.


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