What mental illness has taught me ft. YOU!

A while ago now, I asked the people of twitter what their mental illness journey has taught them. The responses are as follows:

"Taught me that I'm stronger than I ever realised. Fought my way back. I'm not 100% ok but I'm a long way from where I was."

"My mental health has taught me to understand myself and be patient with myself. Not to judge by others standards."

"To accept that is is ok to not be ok and to not rush through recovery but allow time to heal you."

"There is nothing 'wrong' with me and I don't need to be 'fixed'. Support and time helped me so much."

"Never give up because things do eventually get better, it will take time, but you will have happy days eventually."

"Take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. It's okay to feel this way. It WILL get better."

"I've become a more sensitive, caring and patient individual."

"Used to think people with mental illness were just in need of attention. Now I know for sure it needs attention!"

My mental illness journey has taught me resilience; that although we feel that we cannot live for another moment, the strength we all hold is immense. It's taught me that a support network is key, and  who really is there for me in my times of need. It's taught me that getting help for mental health is hard, but the continued search is definitely worth it. I am not alone and attitudes are changing on a daily basis, to an outlook that is more positive.

What have you learnt through your journey? Leave a comment below.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Do I deserve it?

What is patreon you ask? (or maybe you're not asking at all!) You may have seen me throw the word 'patreon' about on my twitter, but perhaps are still unsure about what it is. Patreon is a site where you can support content creators through pledging a certain amount of money each money and return you can get rewards for becoming a Patron. 

To explain further, you could pledge $1 (which is about 80p) per month and get the rewards of patron only content and secret polls. But the more you pledge, generally the better the rewards get, such as getting a download of some of my art and secret behind the scenes access. You can pledge money through PayPal or debit and can cancel anytime, so there is no worry about being a patron forever and ever! 

There's no pressure to become a patron and I completely understand if you don't want to be. I simply set it up so that people could support me for my work and content if they felt that I deserved it or wanted to. The money raised will go to anything needed for my artwork and blog and if there's ever a surplus it may allow me to earn a small amount for the work I put out. Of course, all my content will remain free because my aim was and always is to help those who are and have been in a similar situation such as myself and it is important not to lose sight of that. 

More in-depth detail is available on my patreon homepage which you can find by clicking, here. There is also the opportunity to pledge and get your rewards in return!

If you do decide to pledge, I would be ever so grateful as it will allow me to focus more on my content and grow my blog - hopefully reaching more people.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx 

Journal #2 11th November 2013

Today's journal entry is from 2013 when my anxiety and depression was at its most severe. Please do not read, if you think it may be triggering. 

11th November 2013

"I might as well be in prison for an offence I didn't commit. Many just get on with their lives whilst thinking that Amy will be okay. But perhaps Amy won't get on with it. Amy is struggling so much she cannot bare to see the light of day. Maybe, Amy isn't as strong as you think she is. Perhaps she is screaming and crying on the floor, losing the will to keep going. Maybe you should ask more often, because that's all she needs to be saved.

The eyes of my peers burn through me as I walk into school. Questions sprout in their minds as to where I've been and what's wrong with me. They may think that I'm weak and that I'm skiving, but little do they know that I am strong. If people act in such away towards me, then I cannot be surrounded by them. 

The girl everyone used to know is broken. Demons have taken over her mind and soul but the anger has given her the determination to go on even though they're both battling with similar force. This girl will defeat them.

Perhaps she manages to get to school one day but unfortunately this doesn't mean that everything is okay. It is absolutely immoral to think so and if you want to know the truth, then just ask. 

The pale face, broken skin and dark clothes are all resulting from the effort that can barely be found. It reflects the feelings towards life. The broken face caused by endless tears and lack of food, the clothes that used to fit and too big and fall of her weak bones. 

I'm wasting away and people are too scared to say, but I promise it will be okay."

Here I am. I am okay and perseverance made sure I got through the hardest of times. Even if all seems lost, you have the possibility to get better. You can get better. If I can do it, you can do. Three years later, I am here and I am on my way to recovery. I have every faith you can do it too.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Guest post: Caroline

A guest post sent in by Caroline

Having anxiety is like that moment of panic when you miss a step going downstairs, all the time. You know what's about to happen when your heart starts racing and it gets hard to breathe. You start shaking, your thoughts get cloudy and suddenly you can't see anything clearly anymore. Some symptoms are huge, like those. Some symptoms of anxiety are so tiny, like not being able to sit still, eyes always focused on the floor, or not talking in class- ever. You ask a friend to go with you, everywhere, because the thought of going somewhere by yourself is a task that seems near impossible. Thoughts of what could happen at any given moment are always racing through your head, making it hard to think, or concentrate on what's going on around you. Anxiety is constant fear of what others are thinking, like those people laughing in the hall? "What if they're laughing at me?" So many "what if"'s come with this disorder. If someone doesn't reply right away, you automatically assume they hate you, or want to talk to someone else. Anxiety can control a human. Not many things have the power to do that. So the people that get up every single day with this disease and carry on acting "normal", those people are the strongest out there. And the friends and families giving constant support to them are the reason those people can do that. So, if you know someone that has this disorder, always walk with them to the checkout at the grocery store, accept their fear of being in public and help push them gently out of their comfort zones. And if you have anxiety, tell someone. It can make it 1,000 times easier to cope with. I hope this gives others some understanding of what it's like living with anxiety. It can be so hard. But if people can just understand, it could be so much easier.