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 23, 2017

It's ok to not be ok

It's the start of a brand new week and I've just come in from a photo shoot with a lovely lady who needed some new headshots, the sun shone brightly and I could feel the warmth of the glow on my skin.  Sunshine is like a drug to me, in the dark days of January, especially in the last couple of weeks when my mood slipped.  I have craved the feeling of the sunshine on my face so badly, it gives me hope when seeing the first snowdrops and the buds of the daffodils just poking their tiny new heads out of the ground that spring is around the corner, yes it's still a little too far away to touch but without a doubt, better, brighter, sunnier days are on the horizon.

Now that I'm coming out of the fog I've been in for a few days, I've come to a huge decision in my life, something which kept me from sleeping, you see, I think I am the same in real life as I am online but then it seems like I only interact with people if I am happy and bouncy and if I'm not I lie to myself so well that I believe that I am, I've come to understand that this might not be for the best and maybe I should just admit everywhere that I am not perfect (far from it) and that actually though I am stronger than I have been for a very long time I still have large periods of time when I am not ok, I have anxiety and paranoia, I have upswings where I don't sleep and downswings where I sleep like a cat and can't wake up and days where I stay in bed until noon just wondering what the hell I'm going to do to sort myself out.

The thing is that I feel like I'm doing myself a great injustice in always pretending to myself that I am happy, whimsical and magical, I am of course all of those things but I'm also vulnerable, raw, mixed up, and pretty much a mess but I have to allow myself to be like that, I went through a huge period in my life where I could only have positive moods, it's a form of control when someone says they can't handle certain moods or they use their own moods to control things so much that you are essentially always treading on eggshells frightened to show your real emotions.

I'm not sure what happens now but I know there are stories which may need to be retold, modified or even rewritten, it's the end of a chapter and the start of a new one, having emotions still scares the living hell out of me sometimes.  I think there's a fear in me that thinks if I say I'm not ok that it will be frowned upon or ignored because people in general love to read the happy, upbeat, magical tales that I tell and really, there are lots of those mixed in with the not so good things I usually just gloss over or deflect.

Oh and yes, I know that's annoying, that I only choose to hear what I want to hear, that's just kind of protection for my heart, as Harriet will tell you, I am incredibly bad at dealing with anything which isn't positive, negativity in any form has a dark and profound effect on me because I feel it as a direct criticism of my own psyche, I guess that's the paranoid inner brain which secretly believes at all times that I am not good enough.

You readers, you have stuck with me through everything, the good, the bad, the whimsy and the real, I hope that if I start to express who I am more than I have ever before that you will be with me on the bad days, the dark days, the not so ok days, maybe I'll help someone, maybe I'll save myself in the process.  I know that not all the roads I go down will be happy but I do know that I am made of strong ingredients, I know I have the capacity to cope with more now than I ever did in the past and by finally coming out and being honest with myself and everyone else including you, dearest readers, I hope you will stay with me for although some of the paths ahead are treacherous there's still no doubting that I have some very big adventures ahead too.


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