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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Mental Health Awareness

Yesterday I posted on instagram as it was Mental Health Day 2016, and I was very honest about my own experiences. I must have recieved over 50 messages from people I knew and from a lot of readers. I didn't post on my facebook so I thought it would be a good idea to post on my blog and tell you all about my story.

This is the photo that I posted and the caption is below.



'' I didn't get around to posting this yesterday so it's better late than never πŸ’œ Over the past year I've really begun to learn how important it is to be nice to people, whether you know them or not. You may not know that person is fighting a battle and a smile or a friendly conversation may really brighten their day. I'm an extremely smiley person and if you don't know me well you won't know the things that have happened in my life the past year. There have been moments where I think what's the point and I can feel quite down, but for the most part I'm an extremely positive person and I firmly believe things happen for a reason. My grandad who was literally my best friend passed away, my Mam and dad split up, I felt like I wasted three years in college because I hated my job in the bank, friends and family of mine were dealing with severe anxiety and depression and I felt a massive burden to help but I felt helpless, I felt massively lost with my life and career path, one of my favourite people on the planet became ill and my relationship of 6 years fell apart .. These were the major events over the past 12 months but day to day I've found it quite hard to deal with anxiety and guilt, i felt like a lot was thrown at me at once and I felt extremely overwhelmed. I went to a few counselling sessions and I found it so so helpful to be able to chat with someone who wasn't involved in my life who could give me advice on how to deal with things and I'm blessed that I have such a close group of friends and even closer family to talk to. I'm still dealing with all of these things right now but I've developed a coping mechanism and things don't seem half as bad πŸ™ŒπŸΌ You all see me on social media where I'm smiling (most likely pouting like a duckπŸ€πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚), talking about makeup or clothes, or posting holiday snaps and it's very easy to hide behind social media and make it seem like we have fabulous lives. I'm very fortunate that I don't suffer with depression but a lot of us do have moments where we aren't ok, make sure you chat to your best friend or a family member and if they aren't around I'd be more than happy to chat to you πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ’œ#worldmentalhealthday''

I'm an extremely positive person and I like to see the good in people and events. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes shitty things happen and thats just life, we have to deal with these things but they definitely make us stronger and give us a different perspective on life. To say the least 2015 was one of the worst, yet one of the best years of my life, how ironic. My blog was thriving, I graduated from Dublin City University with a 2:1 in Business and Marketing, I travelled to some seriously amazing places. I began my journey as a makeup artist. I found a career and a job that I love. I had amazing friends, family and a long-term boyfriend.

But my Grandad was dying and really suffering mentally and physically, he passed away in the July and I can't begin to describe how much I miss him. A few weeks later my Mam and Dad split up, I won't go into too much detail as it's a very private family matter. But it is very tough to adjust to someone missing from the house and not seeing them every day. I secured a graduate job in a bank and I worked there for only 4 months before I decided I had enough. I absolutely hated that job, I felt that I was doing a mindless job. I sat at a computer all day, and I was bored stupid. I wanted to talk to customers, or help someone or make someone feel good about themselves. It was a really bad time for me, I found myself dodging social situations completely. I'd leave for work at 7 in the morning, get home at 7 and lock myself in my room for the evening. Eat, sleep, work, repeat. I lost my personality, my love for life.

Then 2016 came along and I thought THANK GOD, FRESH START. And 2016 was another bittersweet year. I was dealing with very close friends and family suffering with severe anxiety and chronic depression. All I wanted to do was shake them and tell them how loved they are, but they couldn't hear me no matter how much I told them everything was going to be okay. This was a really hard time for me because I felt so helpless and all I wanted to do was help them to see the future and that things were going to be okay. My relationship with my boyfriend was starting to suffer too. I went to college 4 days a week, and worked 5 days a week. Between his and my social life there was very little time to see one another, and when we did see each other I was absolutely exhausted and felt so guilty that I couldn't give the relationship the time and effort it deserved.

I felt so overwhelmed with everything that was happening, I just thought to myself what is the point in life? I was seeing people all around me, suffering. Whether it was mental illness or physical illness. I made the decision to go to counselling and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I still feel that it is somewhat taboo to talk about it, but I needed someone to talk to who wasn't directly involved in my life. I could chat to this lady about how I felt and there was no judgement, she gave me great advice on how to deal with the situations going on in my life. I have mild social anxiety and confidence issues too, I still am dealing with these issues but I developed a coping mechanism that works for me. After a few sessions of counselling I felt really empowered with what I had learned, and I felt much more in control of my emotions and my mind.

I'm very lucky that I don't suffer with depression, I really admire people who suffer with it and who still find the strength to plough on through the hard times. I do have mild anxiety when it comes to social situations. Usually when I'm meeting new people or I'm at an event for blogging, but I push myself a lot more to get outside my comfort zone. There have been so many brands that support me and if they think I'm great at what I do, I should have the confidence in myself too. (Great bit of advice from a friend of mine, Laura The Eyelash Fairy! This stuck with me, thank you).

I've had some seriously amazing moments in 2016 too. I graduated from Vanity X Makeup Academy with a Diploma in Makeup Artistry. I have a weekday job that I love and I work with the best bunch of people I could wish for. I have the three best friends who I could call anytime, day or night. My family are my rock, even though we bicker and could kill each other at times. I've booked my first girls holiday in years, to VEGAS BABY! I've worked with some amazing brands for my blog and the two things that have stuck out to me this year is the Cocoa Brown Blogger Breakfast and Demoing at the NIMA Brush Stand at the Irish Beauty Show. The good definitely comes with the bad, and I'm so happy that I've kept my positive spirit intact.

What I've learned over the last year is how important it is to be nice to people, whether it's a smile or a friendly conversation. We really have no idea what is going on in someone's life or the battles they are going through. You guys all get to see the positive side of my life, but I'm sure the majority of you had no clue what was really going on. It is so important to take care of your mental health, and it is an extremely normal thing to have days or weeks or months or years where you don't feel good. It's okay to not be feeling okay, grab your best friend or a family member and get a big hug from them first of all. Then try and explain how you are feeling, because talking to someone really does help. If you feel you can't talk to them I would highly recommend counselling, there are many free counselling services available in Ireland (which I availed of). If you have any questions or want to have a chat, please get in touch with me!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, it is a very rare thing for me to be so vulnerable with you guys. Mental health awareness is something that needs to be addressed more openly and if I can help one person with this post my job is done.

Lots of love,
Ally

xxx
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