A truly self-promoting blog post for you, but so what?
It’s the end of 2016 and I am looking forward to 2017. This year has been tough on us all, and has probably been the hardest year of my life. My blog and more importantly, the people that actually read it, have really helped me feel less alone and have made me feel like part of a community. I have made many amazing online friends this year and connected with people all over the world, which is something truly special.
So as a way to celebrate that, here’s a list of my favourite blog posts of the year.
January this year was probably one of my worst months. My depression had hit me hard in December (over the Christmas break) and when I came back from the holidays everything felt hopeless and pointless. I was at a very low point. I managed only a few days back at work until I had to call my doctor and ask for a note. I barely left my bed for the entire month. So, as this blog post describes, I was feeling somewhat pressured by motivational quotes to shrug off my depression and start living my life again – which really is not as easy as it sounds. I like this post as it tells myself and others that we are allowed time to heal and all of our dreams CAN be put on hold whilst we do so. Everything doesn’t have to happen right there and now – just because you are not achieving all of your goals doesn’t make you any less of a person.
Best bit: “So please, stop with the quotes on top of a filtered sunset image and have a cup of fucking tea with me.”
This was the first post where I really addressed my mental health and wrote openly and honestly about it. I still remember when and where I wrote it – I was sitting on a crappy sofa and began writing how depression was affecting me in one of my notebooks. Once I started it poured out of me. It actually turned out to be a fairly poetic post, which is something I quite like about it as it’s something I don’t usually do within my writing. In a way, I think this post was an open letter to the people in my life, letting them know how I was feeling and what I was going through – I am much more of a written communicator than a verbal one when it comes to tough times and feelings of sadness. I hope others have read it too and felt less alone in how they were/are feeling.
Best bit: “But your problems are your own, your pain is your own, and nobody can say that their pain is worse than yours.”
I use my creativity to express myself, whether that is through writing, drawing, painting or crafting. I remember having a particularly tough day in which I wanted to hibernate underneath my duvet – but instead I decided to at least try and create something. I ended up spending an hour or so painting a picture of a green unicorn flying in outer space (you may have seen it on my Instagram), and I was so happy with it that I forgot all about being upset. This post advocates such activities, describing the benefits of using your negative emotions as fuel. I truly believe that everybody has creative abilities and that a creative hobby can go a long way for a person’s mental health and general well-being.
Best bit: “Not all art is perfectly coloured in… This art is for you.”
Yes, this is a love letter. My SO and I had been together for around 8 months, and lucky for me but unlucky for him, he met me at the beginning of the worst year of my life – just weeks after I found out that I was a victim of Revenge Porn. He looked after me, loved me and cared for me during the worst times of my life (and still does), so I wanted to express my gratitude to him. He also had/has self esteem issues (as everybody does), and I just wanted to tell him that I see no faults in him at all, that he is the best man I have ever met. So yes, it is a little soppy, a little mushy – but love letters generally are! It’s also got a bit of a poetic format, I think I was a little tipsy when I wrote it.
Best bit: “You asked me if I wanted a “manly-er man”. I don’t. You are the man.”
This is probably the blog post I am most proud of. There has been and continues to be a lot of support and love for this post, mostly on the website The Mighty, which makes me so happy. I had and still have my down days, where I am incapable to do pretty much anything from being overwhelmed with feelings of either anxiety or depression, and so I wanted to write something about those kinds of days. Having down days can make you feel so guilty – the lack of productivity/cancelled plans can cause you to feel even worse than you already were feeling. This blog post lets you (and I) know that it’s okay to have these days, that they are part of the healing process, and that you shouldn’t feel guilt for needing to heal.
Best bit: “You are worthy enough. You are worthy enough to live and live well. You are enough.”
I know, this is kinda similar to 13 Things To Remember When You Are Having A Down Day. I guess that just shows how guilty I felt for taking time out to heal. This post has had lots of lovely feedback from people all over saying that it has helped them feel less ashamed and less guilty for just letting themselves heal. This post highlights how everybody heals in their own time – whether that is weeks, months or even years. What matters is that you are going to get better eventually.
Best bit: “It’s not a race, and everybody gets better in their own time.”
Poor mental health can make you your own worst critic. You are constantly doubting yourself, putting yourself down, letting the insults flow inside your head. When you are struggling to get back to a normal life, every little setback can feel like a massive failure on your part. I wrote this mostly for myself. At the time I was struggling to get any sort of job (and still am), practically staying inside my apartment as much as possible, and detaching myself from friends out of shame for not working. I have also had some lovely feedback for this post, which not only makes me happy that somebody else has benefited from reading it, but makes me feel less alone.
Best bit: “There will be something that you have done or that you have got now that you had always wished for when you were younger. Hold on to that.”
Like most people, I struggle with my appearance. I have a history of BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) and have seen myself as the ugliest person alive – somebody who is so unattractive that others feel sorry for her. Thankfully I have moved on from this way of thinking, though I still have my times where I feel ugly. Hopefully one day I will stop covering my belly when it’s feeling full, or feel less conscious of when I feel a roll or crease on my body. As with anything, I think it is a slow process.
Best bit: “By accepting myself I can begin to like myself and consequently love myself.”
This post was a stream of conscious thoughts and storytelling. I wrote it and cried about it. It brought up a lot of painful memories which felt saddening and yet relieving to talk about. I was also really proud of it. I sent it to my closest family members and friends, as a way of communicating with them about my current and past feelings. I got a lot of love from this post, not only from them, but from other bloggers too. I think that support was the best part about writing this lengthy and revealing blog post.
Best bit: “I [also] hope that this story gives you some courage to seek the help you need.”
I loved writing this post. It’s fun and thoughtful. I have already named my daughters (Esther and Violet). How do I know I’ll have two daughters? Well I don’t really. I assume that I will have a maximum of two, as my family is mostly males (I’m the only girl out of 4 children, my father has three brothers, and my mum has two brothers, one sister). Anyway, this post received some lovely feedback, and still does, with a few bloggers wanting to write similar posts (which you totally can by the way, I don’t see it as “stealing” unless you literally take the words off my page!). I guess that this list of 40 things are also things I wish I had learnt when I was a bit younger. I can’t wait to teach them to my kids.
Best bit: “I have a lot I want to tell you, I can’t wait to meet you and I already love you.”
I am constantly comparing myself to others – my peers, my family, even celebrities that are of a similar age. I see how they have achieved wonderful things and twist those accomplishments into insults about myself. I end up feeling like a loser that’ll never amount to anything, and that is not a healthy thought even if you are not struggling with mental health issues. So I wrote this blog post to address this unhealthy thinking, to tell myself and others that the only person we should be trying to impress or to compare ourselves against is ourselves. We all live our lives very differently, at different times and at different paces. It is impossible to give a fair comparison.
Best bit: “We should really be focusing on what we have done, all the things our younger and older selves would be proud of – trust me, there’s more to celebrate than you think.”
Feels like I have almost gone full circle from January’s favourite post, as this post addresses how my depression hit at Christmas time. I had written half of this post a weeks ago, but wasn’t sure where it was going or whether or not I should post it. It’s very difficult to talk about suicide. It seems overly dramatic, attention-seeking and exaggerated – or at least, that’s how British politeness makes it seem. But screw that – suicide is something that must be talked about, especially at this time of year when loneliness peaks for a lot of people. I had a lot of love and support from posting this, which was lovely yet saddening, to think so many people have felt so low to think about killing themselves. I hope this post helps more people feel less alone and hopefully they realise that there is always somebody to talk to.
Best bit: “I thought about how I didn’t want to die from sadness, and that I wanted to live more of this roller-coaster life.”
What’s your favourite blog post been this year? Let me know in the comments below!