Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I am everything and I am nothing - A Post for World Mental Health Day 2018

Mandy Charlton, a post for world mental health day 2018, depression, anxiety, bipolar, photographer, writer, blogger



Today is World Mental Health Day, a day when we raise awareness and understanding of mental health and I personally believe we've made more progress in the last 10 years than ever before.  The first news article I was featured in talking about bipolar caused me to lose business but now more than ever most people I know, clients, family, friends, pretty much all of them are aware of the personal battles I continue to fight, they also know it doesn't make me a worse person in business or in my personal life.  Because I have the ability to talk about my own issues in a public forum it also helps to create an understanding that I am who I say I am and if I'm not doing so well I will let people know, that's actually part of my own self care.

Bipolar, severe anxiety, agoraphobic thoughts, social anxiety, autistic traits, that's how you could describe me and I'd own every single thing because I'm also brilliant, slightly eccentric, a business woman, a mum, a friend, an entrepreneur, I own 2 companies and one beagle, I laugh, I cry, I love, I feel, I am everything and I am nothing all at the same time.

On days when I'm on top form, I am great at making money, I am fantastic at coming up with new ideas, I can speak in public passionately without any fear, heck I can even do a spot on the radio.

On the bad days, I worry about everything, I overthink everything, I'm scared of the world, I'm terrified of people and I'm paranoid that every single person out there hates me, I dread opening emails, I can't pick up the phone and I want to hide from the world forever without ever having to think about the simplest things like cooking or getting dressed or even getting out of bed.

I favour the good days over the bad although I have no choice which is going to hit me, sometimes it's situations I can't handle, sometimes it's work stress but sometimes it's none of that, sometimes I just feel so very very lost and completely lonely and the worst thing, those are the times when I have trouble reaching out and asking for help, the crazy upside down life of mental illness is that the more poorly you become, the more you feel trapped, that's when it's hardest.

I'm lucky, on the neurosis to psychosis scale I've never tripped into anything near psychosis since 2003 and I hope I never do again because that's when it's a quagmire, that's when you feel you are trapped at the bottom of a well with no way of escape.

I write about this stuff because there are others out there who can't, there are people who still don't feel they have the strength to talk about this stuff or they feel if they do it will affect their jobs or the lives they lead and in some cases we do have a way to go in the workplace understanding the effects of mental illness.

Today, I'm okay, I'm fighting a battle at the moment but it's not affecting my work at all and when I'm not at work I get to sleep lots, I don't go out very often but on the self care scale, I'm so much better than I could be.  I'm still funny and make people laugh, I can still have deep and meaningful conversations with friends and family and spending less time going out I have reacquainted myself with my love of cooking and baking, I try to turn each negative into a positive and one day I'll win again, I know I will and if you're in a similar place, if you understand what I'm saying and you feel it too, one day you will be fine too, with help and love and treatment and understanding.  Just don't sit there in silence, reach out to a friend, a mental health professional or there's always a listening ear here with me.

And when you can, continue to burn light the brilliant, bright burning star that you are.
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