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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It's finally time to be honest, this is me.

The Newcastle Quayside at Sunset, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, It's finally time to be honest, this is me

When I started a business, I just wanted to change my life, I wanted to prove I wasn't one of life's failures.  Things got out of hand though and before I knew it I had ideas above my station and thought I could end up being rich, powerful, successful.  I failed!

A few years ago I decided to lose weight and though I successfully lost weight I still saw myself as fat and now I've put on all the weight I previously lost, I'm no more unhappy than I was when I was thinner because it's all in my head.  Everything I've ever done, I've set out to do it so that I'd make people say "wow" like I needed some kind of approval and on the projects where no one has cared, I've just given up and shelved things because I've courted public opinion way too much.

I've rarely spoken out about the abuse I've dealt with throughout my life, the fact that I live in social housing and that my bank account isn't overflowing because I am ashamed and talking about it would make people think less of me.  It seems I've gotten so many things wrong and it's no wonder that I have chronic anxiety.

You see, there are things that I am genuinely proud of, the fact that I've been reasonably successful despite everything and the other fact, that I live in the real world and I'm not rocking back and forth in a mental institution, although that would also not make me a bad person it's definitely something which could have happened, something which does happen when you live your whole life with mental health issues.

I started living the slow life about 6 months ago now, spending so much time creating a wildlife haven and a beautiful garden has centred my mind, it's given me time to breathe and something to get obsessed with which is actually a good and positive thing.  I always get obsessed over things, there is no half-hearted, it's probable that I am on the spectrum much like my son although there seems no point in acquiring yet another label. 

My point here is, in living more slowly I think I'm starting to accept myself as I am, I've started talking to my neighbours, (many of whom believe I have ideas above my station I'm sure), I've been for wanders with Holly Bobbins in my local area instead of running straight to the beautiful parklands.  It's time to start accepting all of the aspects of my life before it passes me by completely.

My need for acceptance comes from never being good enough for anyone, a lifetime spent with narcissists will do that to a person, I guess it's why I've chosen to remain single, because really, I'd just be looking to find someone who'd be my cheerleader but there's no point if I can't even do that myself.  This photo below is honestly filtered to within in an inch of its life because I went to a Samsung event where they showed us how to cleanse (yes, I know, weird event) and it left me with my bare face covered in rosacea.
Mandy Charlton, Samsung Event, Dress from Simply Be,  it's finally time to be honest, this is me
Dress from Simply Be which was gifted to me previously

I've skipped through my life trying to be someone I'm not, always trying to be better than myself or to just pretend to be someone else and I guess it's why I spend so much time living the hermit life, because I'm always a little scared of being found out as an imposter.  Now I would like to add a caveat that so many times I think I've figured it out, I love myself more and life is going to be peachy but...

I think the reality of the situation is that I can learn to accept myself and not be afraid of what people think of me and not be afraid of what I actually think of myself but I've come to the following conclusions.
  • I'm going to try and do as much good as I can being the person that I am.
  • I'm going to spend more time speaking about the abuse I've survived because not talking about it is just as bad as hiding it and we need to talk about it, people need to know, these behaviours are not okay and if you are experiencing them in your childhood, or relationships, no matter what threats are made.
  • I'm going to continue to live life at a much slower pace and try and discover who I actually am.
  • I'm going to try and accept myself on a day to day basis
One of the most powerful things my therapist ever told me was "Always know you are good enough, even the times you thought you weren't you were still more than good enough" It kind of changed my life so many years ago but I still forget it every now and again when I'm judging myself harshly so if you're sitting there reading this, please know, that whatever has happened and whoever has told you that you're not, always remember that you are good enough.

1 comment

MartenJames said...

The more honest you are, the more easy it is to trust. Not only will others trust you, but you can also feel more confident when trusting others.
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