By the way… Happy Birthday to Rebecca!
Big cheers all round! This month marked a year of Rebecca When I’m Posh! Thank you to all my thousands of readers and the tweets, favourites and shares that I’ve been given across the web.
And gosh, what a year it’s been. Having my blog has already allowed to write for two huge online magazines, Elite Daily and the Huffington Post, as well as getting a permanent job on a glossy local magazine. It’s also given me the chance to vent about things that piss me me off, discuss things that I’m passionate about, and share some things that I’ve learnt. I’ve honed my writing style and learnt about SEO and crap like that. Not bad for sitting in my room in my pyjamas and rambling on the internet.
I’ve had some wonderful times over the past year, most of which featured in my reverse-bucket list the other week.
But I wanted to take a moment to discuss the not so great days of the past year.
This month we’ve had Mental Health Awareness week, and, with one quarter of people suffering with a mental health problem over the past year, I thought I’d add my tuppence worth, both as perhaps a healing process for myself and anyone around me who could do with a quick pep talk.
A couple of months ago, I suffered a seizure whilst at home alone and woke up 20 minutes later on the bathroom floor with concussion and absolutely no recollection of the event. I was diagnosed with epilepsy, caused by overactivity in the brain.
I was given an excellent analogy to help explain it – “the body is like the fuse board in your house. If everything’s running 24/7, eventually one of the fuses is going to blow.”
That’s what causes seizures and illnesses to develop. My brain had been running in overtime for too long and I suffered an attack because of it.
To counteract this, medication can be prescribed to help control the neurones being transferred around the brain. Or something like that.
It was through research and understanding about these drugs that I found out about the correlation between epilepsy and bipolar disorder. I had to fill out a ‘questionnaire’ to determine where I was on bipolar scale, and what medication I could take.
I personally wouldn’t identify myself as bipolar, and although life is a bit shit sometimes I don’t want to be labelled as ‘depressed’, but the questions presented really made me think about my behaviour, both before and after these events.
They ranged from obvious symptoms, such as “do you range from periods of self-doubt to periods of confidence very quickly?”, and “do you find yourself crying for no reason?”, to questions that I hadn’t even considered.
“Do you have variable ranges of both quality and quantity in your work?”
“Do you often feel irritable for no reason?”
“Have you recently become more interested in sex?”
I’m not sure how that last one correlates, but apparently, a high sex drive can stem from underlying forms of depression.
As a writer and a general creative tart, my moods literally go from “I can write an entire book by this evening” to “I’m never going to blog again.”
I go from “Yes I’m going to take over the world” to “I’ll be fine where I am.”
I go from “Why am I not good enough” to “Fuck everyone I’m amazing it’s their loss.”
And you know what – that’s okay.
We are humans. We are not machines. We have hormones and feelings and emotions, and it’s absolutely A-Okay for them to vary and range and take you by surprise.
We can’t experience the highs without the lows. We can’t appreciate the good days in life without a few bad days to bring us back to reality. We can’t spend every day thinking life is perfect, because when we find out it isn’t, it will be even more of a crushing disappointment.
I’m not saying positive thinking can cure mental health – I’m certainly no commercial for it, being on medication that both causes and cures depression – but it’s such a regular and normal thing in amongst that it needs to be shouted from the rooftops a little more. A positive mental attitude can cure many a dark day, and add an optimistic approach where it could be a little more needed.
- IT’S OKAY if you’re feeling shit.
- IT’S OKAY if you’re having a bad day.
- IT’S OKAY if you snapped at your best friend for no reason (as long as you apologise for it in hindsight.)
- IT’S OKAY to cry over puppies and babies on the telly.
- IT’S OKAY to feel like you’re not good enough, or that you’ll never succeed, or that you want to quit your job and pack your bags and move to California.
As long as you understand that this is normal, and this is okay, and this is just a one day thing. Be brave enough to put up with it and to accept it and let it come when your body wants it. Be strong enough to know that you’re better than it and that it’s okay to accept these bad days. Be confident enough that it will pass and you will go back to being amazing.
Being told I have epilepsy meant that I wasn’t allowed to drive and wouldn’t be picking up my new Audi TT for a while. It meant I couldn’t keep living alone while Chris was in Germany, and had to go back to living with my parents to avoid anymore unseen accidents. It meant I had to start filling in forms and carrying around medical cards and being one of those awkward people that always has an excuse to not get crazy drunk or do anything illegal.
There have some been some totally shit days. And there have been some better and more encouraging days.
And as long as we all remember that these days will pass, and these things will change, and life will continue to keep going and continue to keep surprising us and continue to keep pissing us off, we know that it’ll be okay.
This Too Shall Pass.