I’m Back, Kinda.

Well…. umm hi, it’s been a minute – 5 months if we really want to get technical.

I suppose I have some explaining to do.

Via Giphy

Writing and connecting to people through words has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, but recently I misplaced that passion – I’m not going to say I lost it, because that would mean it’s not coming back, and you best believe that it’ll be back.

I think if I had to pinpoint when I realised I loved writing, it would have been in year 3 or 4, so around 10 years old – I was part of this counselling group for kids that had been through, what my primary school considered, a ‘trauma’.

I now jokingly refer to this group as ‘The Sad Kids Club’; because what better way to make kids who had been through some shit feel more isolated and different to their peers, than by pulling them out of class and telling them they needed to be part of a special group, because what had happened to them wasn’t ‘normal’ – figures, right?!

Anyway, as part of Sad Kids Club (which had a mixture of kids who had lost parents, had a broken family, their home lives weren’t ideal etc) one of the activities we had to do was write letters about our situations and try to be open about the feelings we were experiencing.

Well didn’t I fucking go to town; I remember my head being buried in thickly lined paper and my pencil (because I wasn’t old enough for a pen license yet, god damn) moving at a mile a minute.

I was somehow able write down every little thing I had been feeling but hadn’t been able to express physically – how I was sad, angry and confused all at the same time and it made me feel sane again, the weight that had lifted was enormous, just by putting some words on a piece of paper.

From then, whenever I felt anything, I wrote it down.

So as ridiculous as I think Sad Kids Club was, I guess I have to thank it for showing me that you can connect with people and give a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard through the power of writing.

But over the last 5 or so months I’ve questioned my passion for writing because I had been happy, which you might think is crazy ridiculous and would have the opposite effect, but for years I had always relied on pain to fuel my writing, whether it my own or someone else’s.

I didn’t think I could write as well about being in a good place mentally or that it would reach someone in the same way that talking about being in a shitty mental state does – if that makes sense?

But why the fuck should I not be yelling from the rooftops that my head is happy, my body is healthy and that the world isn’t so grey all the time?!

That’s not to say that I don’t still have bad days and that I’m anxiety free because ya girl is not impartial to a mental breakdown – but I’m not so sad anymore and that’s really, really nice.

And I suppose I didn’t want to jinx that by writing about it or feel guilty for taking care of and focusing solely on myself for the last few months, but I’m now realising that it is totally okay, and I’m allowed to have time out to become reinspired and reinvigorated creatively again.

I guess that brings us to now and to let you know that it’s okay to maybe lose sight of what you love for a minute, but if you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and come back bigger and better than ever, you’ll be fine.

I’m ready to start writing again, to find people who amaze me and give them a voice and just have conversations about the important things happening in our world today.

So here I am; not making any promises to put content out every day, or every week for that matter, but I’m definitely making a comeback to the storytelling space and I’m hella excited about it.

I’m About to Turn 25 and My Life is Nowhere Near as Put Together as I Thought It Would Be

I’m not sure about anybody else, but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m in complete limbo when it comes to what the actual hell I am doing with my life.

I have friends building houses, buying houses, friends getting engaged, having babies and friends already in their full time dream jobs.

Then there’s me: working 9-5 in a job that isn’t exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, attempting to save money for a house deposit, while simultaneously wanting to travel to every corner of the world.

10 year ago, I had set myself a life plan.

Married, house and a baby on the way by 25, because 25 seemed like such a ‘have your shit together’ age, plus my mum was married at 21 and then had me at 23, so I just assumed it was an easy goal to strive for.

Source: Pinterest

I’m two weeks out from turning 25 and cannot see myself married, having children or owning my own home in that short time frame (that would take some serious voodoo).

It is simply not at all fair to put so much pressure on myself to have my life together by 25, nor is it something that I necessarily want anymore; so why am I envious and comparing myself to friends and family?

Several mental breakdowns and some incredible pow-wows with my best gal pals later, I’m slowly starting to realise that it’s actually totally okay that my shit isn’t totally put together yet. It’s not as if I haven’t accomplished some pretty fab things in my 24 years thus far.

Here’s a few things I’ve learnt and continue to tell myself when I feel like I’m not doing as well as others around me – and if any of this resonates with you, the following words of wisdom may help relieve that pressure!

I’m still figuring out who I am
Trying to figure out who you want to be and where you want to be is one of the hardest feats that life throws at you. How are you supposed to know what you want to do if you don’t fail and get a few things wrong first? Rome wasn’t built in a day honey.


We’re actually having the time of our lives
I can almost bet my last dollar that while you are torturing yourself over your friends’ latest Instagram post announcing their pregnancy, they’re just as jealous of your banging Saturday night selfies and drunk AF Snapchat story. The FOMO goes both ways.

We’ve learnt how to stand on our own two feet
While you may be living in a dingy one bedroom unit, eating your mi goreng cup noodles and barely making enough money to pay your rent – you’re actually learning valuable life lessons. Being able to pay rent steadily, knowing when to budget for bills, but also having money and time to do things for yourself is only something you can learn when you have to be responsible for yourself – something that deserves recognition.

There’s more time for travel 
Why are we even stressing? We’re literally only in our 20s, there’s so much the world has to offer: people to meet, places to see and lifelong friendships to make. It’s not like back in our parents’ day when travelling was almost not an option. Flights are getting cheaper, students get discounts and you’re just about guaranteed to have some life changing epiphany on a beautiful beach in Spain or at a winery in the French Riviera.

It may still be taking me time to accept that it’s okay I’m not weeks away from putting down a house deposit or having a baby but at least I know not all hope is lost and I’ll get there eventually.

It’ll just be when I’m ready and not because I feel the pressures of society.

Mental Health – are we doing enough?

DISCLAIMER – I’ve literally written and re-written this piece like twenty fucking times because I don’t want this to feel like it’s a pity party, that’s not the aim. I don’t want pity, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I just want to put this out there in the hope that it might help even just one person feeling the same way I have or to inspire others to reach out to their friends if they don’t seem okay. So apologies if this is all over the place, but I need to get some shit off my chest.

I had a friend reach out to me recently because she’d noticed through my Instagram that in a lot of my stories I’d been looking defeated/exhausted and not my upbeat self; I cannot begin tell you how important it was to me that she asked – even though I didn’t think I needed someone to check in on me, it was really comforting that she did.

This isn’t even a friend that I speak to or see all that often, but she had the decency and the heart to see if I was okay, to see if I needed to talk or if there was anything I needed – we need more people like her on this earth, because simply checking in on someone to show that someone gives a shit can honestly save a life.

R U OK? Day is an incredible initiative to get people talking about mental health, but we need to be asking the question more often, not just when prompted by a day – we NEED to do more. People are taking their lives every day because they feel like there is no other option or that it doesn’t matter what happens to them.

IT MATTERS.

I have been wanting to write this piece for the longest time but have put it off for fear of judgement and a fear that people will think it is ‘attention seeking’ – which is beyond ironic because that’s the stigma I want to help break. So, bear with me if this is all over the place, my mind is running at a hundred miles an hour trying to get everything out in a way that might make an impact.

Writing is a tool I’ve always used to tell other people’s stories. I love having the ability to give someone a voice who might not otherwise speak up – so why am I so scared to speak up myself?

It’s a double-edged sword.

I want so desperately to help break the stigma around having a mental illness, but I’ve been too terrified to publicly talk about my struggles to it’s fullest extent.

I’ve never shied away from admitting I struggle with anxiety, but I’ve also never gone into depth about it because I don’t want people to think any less of me, which is so ridiculous because I will be the first to tell anyone that it’s worse to keep things to yourself.

I’ve had Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder for around 13-14 years and always felt like I’ve had a relatively good handle on it – developing coping mechanisms if I feel a panic attack coming on or letting someone know I’m just not doing too well.

But last year I missed all the signs that my mental health was declining because my symptoms weren’t like my usual anxiety symptoms – shortness of breath, restlessness, exhaustion etc.

For the first time in my life, I fell into a depression that I was so unaware I had; I had talked myself into thinking that I had something physically wrong me, as opposed to mentally.

So, for someone who is deals with mental health issues to miss signs and symptoms, how can we expect others to notice symptoms before it’s too late?

WE NEED MORE EDUCATION – it’s as simple as that and it needs to start young.

Education on the little things that might indicate something is wrong; not just typical symptoms like withdrawal from social activities, problems sleeping, irritability etc – even though they are important indicators to look for also.

I’m talking about about people who, at least on the surface, seem successful at school, at work, or at home. On the inside, however, they could be experiencing a near-constant state of depression and anxiety.

But because these people are often high achieving, no one thinks that there is anything ‘wrong’ with them and they themselves may not understand why these things are happening to them because they can’t find a ‘good enough reason’ to feel the way they do.

I didn’t realise that dizziness, stomach issues, fatigue, weakened immune system, loss or increase of appetite, chest pain and so many other things could be indicative of an underlying mental health issue. I just assumed that there was something physical going on and never thought that it could mean I was developing depression because everything else in my life was in a really good place.

I had literally lost any and all motivation to leave my house, see anyone, WRITE (which is literally the thing I love doing most in this world) and do just about anything that involved effort, but I kept telling myself that it was just because I was so sick all the time, not ‘sad’.

We need to be told at a very young age to look out for these ‘silent’ signs within ourselves so we know what they could be before it gets too overwhelming – we also need to be taught how to look after our mental health the same way we are taught to look after our physical health, one is no more important than the other.

Awareness and acceptance of mental illness may be getting stronger, but suicide rates are still climbing, so are we doing enough? I don’t think so.

Mental health education needs to start in school, it needs to be more spoken about on traditional media platforms, it needs to be a focus of every workplace, open conversations need to be had among friends and family – we all need to educate each other.

We also all need to remember check in on our mates, our family and even people we may have lost touched with, far more regularly than we do, you never know when a simple: ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ could save a life.

Shoutout to everyone who may be struggling at the moment, you’re fucking awesome and don’t ever think otherwise.