Monday, 27 March 2017

An Open Letter To Anyone With a Mental Illness

An Open Letter To Anyone With a Mental Illness wellbeing health jelp support advice bloggers blogger UK OCD depression eating disorder anxiety panic attacks

You don't think it will get better. You can't see any hope. You feel trapped. Trapped inside your own mind. Your demons controlling everything you feel. Every emotion. Everything you do. You can't cope. You feel like you will never be better again. 

You are fed up of people telling you that it will be okay in the end. It's all going to be okay. You wonder when the end is going to come because you have been suffering silently for months maybe even years on end and you haven't seen as much as a glimmer of hope. 

You are done with the stigma that surrounds having a mental illness. You wish people would understand how disabling living with a mental illness really is. How pain is so much more than an arm in a cast or walking with a limp. In fact, some of the worst suffering you can ever face is completely invisible. How being physically and mentally ill are just the same. The only thing that distinguishes them apart is the negative connotations and stigma that surrounds them.

You want to be happy. You are fed up with waking up exhausted, drained beyond belief. You may be on waiting lists for therapy. You start to doubt if you will ever get the help you need. You're frustrated with the mental health care system. The NHS has you waiting months and months for any kind of support and leaves you with nothing in the meantime. You continue to struggle on your own. Some of you may have got the help you need through CBT or counselling, but it hasn't helped. You may be going through a relapse highly doubting if you will ever get better.

Whatever situation you are in, I want you to know something. You can and will get better. On one condition, you want to get better and are prepared to stand up to your mental illness and not let it get the better of you. Not let it ruin and rule anymore of your life. 

I won't sugar coat things I can't tell you that it's all going to be okay, that it's going to be easy because it's not. Recovery isn't a straight road. It's going to be full of obstacles and bumps because it's very hard to change. I could bombard you will science and neurones, but I don't think you will appreciate that much. Once your brain is conditioned to think in a certain way it becomes very hard to reinvent your thinking patterns. Your body becomes in control of your brain. It's time to put your brain back in control.

There are so many options out there to help you get better. I can't sit here and tell you that one is better than the other because everyone is an individual and different things work for different people. There's CBT, counselling, EMDR, mindfulness and hypnotherapy just to name a few. I've tried the vast majority of therapy techniques, and it's safe to say some work better than others.

The hardest part of recovery is accepting you want to change. You can be armed with all the self-recovery techniques you need but if your hearts not in it it won't help which sounds really harsh I know, but it's the truth. Trust me, the amount of times I have tried and tried to get better but I couldn't because the voices in my head were stronger. A lot stronger. 

An Open Letter To Anyone With a Mental Illness health wellbeing blogger blogging UK time to change OCD depression anxiety open letter personal help

That's not to put you off. Recovery is possible, it's just a very long process, full of relapses and setbacks but that doesn't mean you are a failure. It means you are strong. You are resilient and prepared to stand up to mental illness. Mental illnesses don't go away if you ignore them. In fact, they get stronger. The sooner you realise something is wrong, stand up to your demons and get the help you need, the easier it will be to recover. 

There is a stigma around being mentally ill. People look down on you if you take antidepressants for your mental health or if you go to therapy. But I want you to know something for everyone who judges someone with a mental illness there is someone who understands. Someone who has been through what you have. 1/4 people suffer from a mental illness. You are not alone. 

The statistics around mental illness scare me. To think that many people battle with the demons inside their head every single day and most of the time the people around them haven't got a clue. I'm interested in mental health and am very keen on pursuing a career in mental health. I'm not saying that you need to be studying mental health for days on end but once you start to understand your illness better. You will realise that it's not your fault. Your just one of the seven people in any class of 30 at school that has to go through some kind of mental illness. 

There are people out there to help you. To listen and provide a shoulder to cry on. But they can only do so much. They can only help if you let them. Being open and honest is key to recovery. No one can do it for you. You have to do it yourself. Instead of believing that you can't. Believe that you can. Be kind and caring towards yourself. Recognise you are going through a hard time and tell yourself that it's okay. This is normal, you are human. 

Rome wasn't built in a day. Great things don't happen overnight. They take time. Don't put pressure on yourself to recover quickly because it won't happen. But that doesn't mean that recovery will never happen. Please hang on in there because you are braver, smarter, kinder, prettier and funnier than what you think you are. 

Trust me, you don't know what the next day brings until you see it through, so it's best to stick around for a while, eh? 

Thank you for reading, as always X


  1. This is so relatable! My anxiety is crippling my day, every single day and although I have suffered for 2 years now it is way way worse, I have contacted the doctor, i had a phone call appointment, they said i wasn't 'the right kind of anxiety' for them to deal with and needed CBT so would be better off going somewhere else and then no one has contacted me for 3 weeks and i have no number to phone whilst my doctor said I just have to wait.
    Everyday at sixth form I panic and just feel trapped in my own head with one hitting every two days. I rarely discuss it and then I decided to confide in a friend where later in the day she then says its just 'weird' like thanks really made me feel better. One teacher at school is so understanding but I feel like no one can quite help me. I have overcome a lot on my own as I have phobias of being stuck places e.g. trains, concerts, cinema and in the past month I have done all these but with panic disorder I can just panic for no reason and feel judged when its clearly obvious I'm sitting in the class room shaking....

    Anyway, Thankyou for making it feel 'normal' and ok. And the support you give to everyone even if you don't realise it xx

  2. I love this so much! Thank you for giving me a reality check!
    Jen, Velvet Spring. xo

  3. This is one most powerful posts Ivery read! Thank you so much!!!

    All the love, Celeste

  4. This post is incredible. I'm so glad people have started to stop sugar coating recovery. When I first tried to start recovering from my SH no one was there to tell me that it'd be that difficult, or that there would be a million hiccups all the way along the line. Thank you for speaking out - I hope this really inspires people considering recovery

    Steph -

  5. I loved this post! It's so well written, Nicole. I use to always struggle to accept that recovery doesn't happen overnight nor does it happen in a few weeks or months or even years. It's going to take time and it's not going to be easy. But to get out the other end, it's all bloody well worth it!x

    Lauren |

  6. What an amazing post! This really sums up what its like to live with a mental illness, and how when you're in your worst state, its hard to see the light. But once you've learnt to manage the mental illness a bit better, and you're coping more with day to day tasks, its great!

    Lucy | Forever September

  7. Thank you for this, really needed it today and it made for a comforting read!
    Sian x

  8. This is such a wonderful and very powerful post. Thank you for sharing this.
    I know it'll bring comfort to so many people.

    Mental illness is so isolating so posts like this are so important in reminding people that they're not alone. We're in this together and tomorrow is a new day. Stick around to see it.

    Louisa |

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