Courage, Dear Heart

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I recently posted the above picture on Instagram, with the caption: “My anixety and depression is pretty bad at the moment. Everyone around me seems to have their shit together and I feel like I’m stuck. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning and I’m constantly beating myself up about it. I need to remind myself to be gentle. Guys, your mental health and wellbeing should always come first. Hopefully I’ll have a new blog about it all soon.

As many of you know, I struggle with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and the depression that often comes along with it. It’s hard, and every morning I wake up wondering if it’s going to be a good day, or a bad day. Recently, I’ve had a lot of bad days. I’ve had what seems like a string of bad luck in my personal and professional life, and I’ve felt incredibly low. I worry about things that are seemingly insignificant, but that build up and up in my head into something enormous and out of my control. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, and I feel like giving up.

I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to comparing my life to other people’s. I see my friends getting engaged, buying houses, thriving in their dream careers, and it feels like I’m treading water. I have a full time job but I still struggle to make ends meet, I go to auditions where I ‘almost get it’ but never actually do, and I’ve let my diet and exercise plan go out of the window. In all honesty, I feel like I’ve failed a lot of the time. I focus on the things I haven’t got, rather than the things I have got. Even though I constantly encourage people to talk about their feelings when things get tough, I’m the worst for keeping things inside and bottling things up until I can’t stand any more and I break down completely. It’s often really difficult to remind myself that what I’m feeling is temporary, and it will pass.

People are always surprised when I tell them I suffer from a Mental Health Disorder. In public, I’m the clown, the one who’s always joking and trying to make other people happy, so it’s hard to believe that a lot of the time I’m feeling really shitty.

One of my ‘New Year’s Resolutions‘ was to find ways to cope with and ease my anxiety, and I’ll hold my hands up and say that I haven’t been trying as hard as I should. I’ve been making excuses to myself about why I haven’t tried out coping mechanisms, but there’s really no excuse.

So I’m going to breathe, be brave, and be strong. I’m going to invest more time in finding ways to deal with my anxiety. I’m going to take the time to do things that make me happy, and spend time with the people that make me happy. To anyone else feeling low right now, whether you struggle with a mental health disorder or not, please talk to someone about it. Even if they can’t to anything about it, simply saying “I’m not okay” helps. Grab your mental health by the balls and take it seriously. You don’t have to be strong alone.

I’m so lucky to have an incredible support unit, and I want to give a special thank you to the people who have supported and encouraged me this past week. I don’t think those friends realise how much a simple text has meant to me. You know who you are, and I love you.

I didn’t want to write a blog this week. I wasn’t feeling inspired, and I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. But I did, and although it’s a slightly more serious tone this week, it’s something that needed saying and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Starting this blog has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined, so thank you to everyone for your continued kind words and support with it. When I’m feeling down, I need to remember the real Lovely Little Lighthouse that’s the namesake behind this blog, and the hope it gives me.

Jessica xXx

 

 

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A Day To Unite

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Today is World Cancer Day.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know that Cancer has had quite a grip on my family. My late Nanna and Great Uncle Alan suffered from Cancer, my Granny has had and beaten it, and my Dad was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma (a type of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) in August 2014.

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It’s safe to say that my entire adult life has been affected by Cancer in one way or another. And it really, really sucks. It’s baffling to think that in 2016, with all our technological and medical advances, we still don’t have a definitive cure for Cancer. The only way that’s going to happen, is if we all unite.

Last year, I ran the 10km Race For Life, and I was so overwhelmed by everyone’s support, and having my Dad there to cheer me on was the most incredible and humbling experience. I’m doing it again this year with my sister, so if you do want to show us a little bit of support, and help us in the war against Cancer, please feel free to check out my Just Giving page and donate whatever you can. Or you could even sign up for a Race For Life event yourself! If I can run 10km, then anyone can. Seriously, I’m incredibly unfit.

If we all unite and support each other, we can give Cancer the kick up the arse it needs.

You can find a list of shops near you selling Unity Bands here.

This blog, and my Race For Life, is dedicated to my wonderful, inspirational and always hilariously grumpy Dad. You can follow his Lymphoma Diaries on his blog here.

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Jessica xXx