Friday, 22 January 2016

‘How do you manage to maintain such a positive outlook on life?’

As complimentary as this question would naturally be, up until now it’s been something that’s always seemed so foreign to me for one main reason: how easily worry and stress could and to a certain degree, still does build up on me. The process of learning to control and harness these insecurities has by no means been straight forward and gradually I’ve learned to accept that it will most likely never be fully complete.

That’s where any enthusiasm comes from. The understanding that despite how tricky it can be, happiness can only begin when you choose it. Whilst I wouldn’t say I’ve ever struggled with anxiety or depression. I don’t think I’d be the first to admit that I’ve felt certain ways which could so easily lead down that route. I think what we find tough to concede is that we all have at some stage. Therefore I struggle to see why something such as self harm and suicide should be viewed a taboo topics. They shouldn’t be overwhelming, purely because they are ways of dealing with personal issues that many people are prone to and so they are a lot more complex than being simply switched off. The most efficient way that resilience builds is to talk things through with those closest to you who you know won’t be judgemental because they're the ones who bring out the very best in you and accept you in all your flaws. Moreover it’s so important that we make it known we’re there to listen no matter how extreme the situation might seem, due to the underlying fact that even severe cases of mental health can be triggered in any one of us at any time.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how big your circle of friends might be, how many people reassure you they’re there to listen or how many people say they’ve been through something similar, you still have days when you feel a step behind everyone else and that all your friends are cruising through life with not a care in the world - or else a lot fewer cares than you. Not knowing how to put these thoughts behind you never made you weak, only human. What we overlook is how differently people tackle picking up and carrying on, as well as how deeply the slightest of things affect an individual.

Knowing that I can share my experiences with stress and self doubt to remind others that they’re never alone during the worst of times is where I can find the positivity and motivation to get me through day to day. It goes without saying that of course there’ll be days when I feel I’m going backwards, however the number of times I’ve fought back and grown a thicker skin will always remind me I can never be at rock bottom. Every past battle has been a fight that one way or another I’ve won. One way or another I can win a hundred more.

By Maisie Allen

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