13.

Today is my 8th blogiversary, I've passed that 7 year itch. Certainly didn’t think I’d still be going at it for 8 years, crazy looking back on it. Besides school, this must be the longest thing I’ve stuck to continuously. Don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing. I’ve had various thoughts about blogging every year, always very up and down but I think I’m getting to a state of contentment.

When I began I had no clue really what I was really seeking to do, it definitely was a blog of my life. The choice to blog came after a month of rest from an ectopic pregnancy which led me into depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. Yes, it was so bad, going into my garden would bring on an attack. I think I’ve been depressed for many years, from the start of my teens after a traumatic incident, although I’m not really over it, I’ve got on with life since then until the ectopic pregnancy.

Dealing with depression isn’t easy, anyone can become depress, to an extent we all get anxiety before we’re going to do something unfamiliar we get that knot in our stomach, sickly feeling due to the state of unknown – just for some, it’s a lot worse and crippling. As I started this blog, I wrote in depth about how I was feeling, what I was experiencing, even going as far as documenting my time while I was in a mental health unit for the above problems. My one regret is deleting those, I deleted a lot of my posts, when blogging got to its height from 2011, there was a lot of ‘this is how you should blog’ type articles floating about and it was all about tidying up the blogs archive, make your blog about one topic – this is why now I take “blogging rules” with a pinch of salt and do as I please because I’m not forcing anybody to read my blog but I do appreciate those who do. I guess, I stopped writing about it and how I was feeling because it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but then not everybody can be a happy bunny daily.

I’ve been quite lucky that I’ve got friends & family who I can speak too. I’ve noticed widely that mental health within the black community is dismissed a lot. You’ll hear jokes in programmes that ‘Black people don’t go to therapy; we go to church.’ – ‘Black people don’t get depressed.’ Which is bullshit and it annoying. My mum watches programmes about mental health frequently, I think it’s also a way for her to understand. BBC3 aired “Being Black, Going Crazy?” Synopsis: “Black people in the UK are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and to be sectioned. But just why is the community facing such a crisis?”

Then I saw the tweets *rolls eyes* black people on twitter calling it ‘a conspiracy’ … ‘Why does there have to be a negative programme about black people’ … ‘They want people to view Black people as weak’ … ‘Where’s the programmes about successful black people’. My question is: Why does everything have to be a conspiracy? Mental illness does not discriminate and it’s this attitude why it makes it hard for black people to speak up on these issues as they’re afraid people will look at them as less than and weak and to be honest to stand up and say ‘I need help!’ takes a lot of strength because of what you’re going to have to face from ignorant people.

I have been to therapy, first when I was 13 for a minute, then again at 20 for 7 years and now I’m in a new form of therapy which isn’t benefiting me for the better unfortunately. The past month, I’ve been unhappy and felt worse than when I started & to cope developed an eating disorder which is the first time I’m opening up about – some forms of therapy isn’t for everyone but I’m continuously trying to self-heal myself. Like others, I can be pretty hard on myself. Instead of noticing my progress, it's so much easier to beat myself up & say I should of done this - should of done that etc. Taking the time to be grateful but also proud of my accomplishments is something I'm trying to do a lot more. With my anxiety & agoraphobia, alone, I was the one who went to London daily to a make-up school to become a makeup artist, I started up my driving lessons again, passed my theory and practical first time - pat on the back. I'm proud I can say my blog is award winning but I think the award within itself is the fact that, 8 years later, I'm still nurturing it. Depression with or without help, it can be frustrating several days of the week but challenges are. I’d love to be able to do more to raise awareness of mental health in communities – especially within ethnic communities (for reasons above). Maybe that’s my next step?

54 comments

  1. Happy Blog Birthday! 8 years is an amazing achievement. What a shame about the deleted posts tho. I hope writing them did help in some way xx

    www.sparklesatmidnight.com

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    1. Thank you. I think they did at the time, definitely - might of been worse off xo

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  2. Wow, what an impressive milestone. Congrats! You look gorgeous here.

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    1. Thank you Tara, I appreciate that.

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  3. Well done on wanting to raise awareness for mental health, such an important cause that needs to be spoken about more, I'm sorry you've had to go through it personally though. And congrats on the blogiversary :-) x

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    1. Thanks Joanne, it really does. It's nice when people who have go through it mildly or severely speak on it because it happens in different situations and to different people. People'll learn to not discriminate as much eventually xo

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  4. 8 years blogging is an amazing achievement! Sorry to hear that you're current therapy situation isn't working out for you. I've had therapy before and agree some forms work better for others. You just have to find what works for you x

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! Yes it's true, I definitely preferred my last one but was told this was more beneficial but turns out not so much. X

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  5. Happy Blog Birthday :).

    I just want to jump through the screen and give you a hug - some forms of therapy can be awful and just not work at all :( I hope you manage to refind something to help <3 x

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    1. Thank you Sarah-Louise.

      Awww, you're too sweet - thank you. That's true it's a lot of trial and error. Might be that the professional help isn't the route anymore xo

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  6. I relate to you so much, I too have depression (and anxiety) and blogging became an outlet for me about 6 years ago. I always wanted to do a makeup course but felt like I didn't have the confidence. You have really inspired me to push myself a little bit more so thank you for that. Oh and the therapy thing, I have tried a fair few types myself and have yet to find 'the one' and my thinking is, if there was a 'one size fits all' option then mental health wouldn't be such an issue. You'll find the right one for you, just remember you are not alone :) xx

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    1. Charlotte, I am extremely happy that this post has inspired you - that has made my month which has felt terrible so much better. It's true you do just have to push yourself sometimes as scary as it can be but in the long run it's one step forward and an achievement for you. You're so right with your statement, it wouldn't be an issue if it was a one size fit all - unfortunately some need more than other. Trial & error. Thank you, the same goes to you xo

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  7. Thankyou for sharing this, it's an incredibly honest post. Mental health is a huge part of a lot of people's lives, and I think posts like this that tell stories and raise awareness are wonderful. And, obviously, happy blogiversary!

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    1. Thank you Milly for your words. It really is, we all need to treat our mental health, others are just a bit more work than others.

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  8. wow 8 years! happy blog birthday. sad how the therapy isn'y doing you any good but i do hope theres something out there to help you along

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    1. Thank you. I'm sure there is, thanks for your words.

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  9. It's definitely important to raise mental health awareness in all communities. Treatment for mental health can be just as important as treatment for influenza.

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    1. It's true, I say especially minorities, for what I've seen, experienced and others. It seems to be more of a stigma.

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  10. 8 years is such an achievement, well done. I hope you can find a new kind of therapy that's a better fit for your needs.

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    1. Thank you Claire, it may just be about me working and helping myself a lot more rather than therapy now.

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  11. You're so right different therapies work for different people and I hope you're feeling in a better place. Happy 8 year blog anniversary x

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    1. They truly do and it's all about finding what fits. Trial & error. Thank you x

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  12. wow thats brilliant! Happy 8th blog birthday. Thats a great achievement

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  13. Happy blog anniversary! 8 years is an amazing achievement - here is to many more!

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  14. Beautifully honest written post. I hope you find a way that helps you and I think it is so brave that you are wiring about it. It's important to raise awareness x

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    1. Thank you so much, I truly appreciate your words. It can be a therapeutic step to continuously mention it but to help raise awareness. Helping yourself through helping others x

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  15. Well a big GZ to you mt friend - and happy blogversary :)
    I find it really refreshing when people write from the heart and are nor afraid to express how they are actually feeling, i am trying to do this too.
    well done for keeping plodding forwards and especially passing your driving test, I treid and failed :(

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    1. Thank you Julie :)
      I think it's good to be able to if you can, some don't like to because it's personal and anyone can read and comment but I find that if I can help one person it's the best feeling. Thank you so much, just keep at that - you'll do it, I thought I'd fail both tests but I was so proud first time as I'm so hard on myself that I never see my ability.

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  16. What a beautifully written post on a very important subject. I have had counselling for depression and I think it is hard for people to understand unless they have been through it themselves.

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    1. Thank you for reading Christine. Aw, I'm glad you find it so - that touches my heart. Definitely, 100% it is. When people don't go through it whatever has led you to the depression or the depression - it's very easy for text book people to say, do this and do that.

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  17. Oh wow! 8 years is such an achievement I love looking back to realise how far I've come. Congratulations xx

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    1. It is nice to do that because you see that progress and realise how good you can do no matter what problems are happening. Thank you xo

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  18. 8 years, that's amazing LaaLaa. I love reading posts like this as so many of us can relate. It's nice to know there are people that know how you feel and I think there's a lot of bloggers who started to have it as an outlet. I hope you find therapy that works for you x

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    1. Thank you Lesley, so much. Yes, blogging for a lot did start out as an outlet and it's good that there is this space for so many to do so because no matter how alone in something we feel, we notice so many also feel the same. X

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  19. 8 years of blogging is a great well done. Its lovely to hear that despite your ups and fowns you have had the strength to write on the blog. That is commendable.

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    1. Thank you Nayna, so much. Yes, that's a good way to look at it as I have kept going, sharing what I love or what is going on with myself.

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  20. Wow 8 years is a long time. Congrats xo

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    1. Thank you so much. Haha it really is xo

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  21. Depression is difficult to cope with no matter what colour, sex or age you are. I have a few friends that suffer from it and there are ups and downs. Well done on the 8 years!!!!

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    1. Definitely is. It doesn't discriminate and I do hope people will really realise that, it's on the rise but people also lose their lives over it. Thank you Melanie.

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  22. Wow 8 years is amazing! All the power to you!

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  23. Gosh 8 years an amazing achievement, I am around 2 years now and am impressed ive kept going this long!

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    1. 2 years is still a long time, some start and can't continue after a few months. Thank you so much.

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  24. Wow happy blog birthday! So impressive you have kept up with it x

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    1. I know right lol, I'm still shocked at times. Thank you x

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  25. Happy blog birthday, 8 years is a really brilliant achievement, you have done so well.

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    1. Aw, thank you. Yeah it's really been a long time when I think about it - times flown.

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  26. 8 years is a fantastic achievement and you should definitely be proud of it. I thought your comments about mental health issues in the black community were really interesting to read. I think it would definitely be great to use your blog to raise awareness

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    1. Thank you Sally. I do hope people realise I'm not trying to separate the issue but it's what I've seen from others and the environment around me. Personally not towards me from my friends and family but others.

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  27. Wow that is amazing hun. I am just through my 3rd though it doesn't feel that long at all x

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, it flies by. I don't even feel it's been 8 years - thank you xo

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