Let me talk about mental health for a second.

A photo of tulips that I took at the tulip festival in Southern Highlands a couple years ago

In the wake of writing This is not a hiatus and poignantly stating that there is no such thing as work/life balance, one thing is true and has been for me for the past couple of months and that is that my mental health has not been terrific.

One thing to understand about mental health is that it is a spectrum. Your mental health, just like physical health, can be good or bad. And it can get better, and it can get worse.

Over time I’ve educated Nick about things like my triggers and what works for me when it comes to dealing with breakdowns. For most people it’s simply to be listened to, and to not be judged, especially when you are at your most vulnerable. People are different and have different ways of coping. Sometimes, I want to be left alone, and some people need that space to recover as well. The problem with this is that some people push others away, and push away the help. This is why if you have a loved one who is struggling with mental health, it is important to take the time to understand them and be gentle with their emotions and respect their needs, but at the same time knowing when they might need professional help.

It can be hard explaining mental health to someone who may never have experienced mental health issues, or who is simply misinformed. But starting the discussion is important to reduce the stigma around mental health. And to get people understanding that everyone has mental health.

As I mentioned, the past couple of months have been hard. It’s really easy for someone to say, “You have too much on your plate. You went to many meetups, you have a wedding to plan, you are disorganised, you took on too much work”. I know because at some stage this was Nick’s way of seeing my problem. It can often look like the sufferer has brought it upon themselves, when in actual fact anyone taking on a lot of work can become stressed, and this stress can worsen when mental health isn’t even at the positive end on the spectrum.

If my mental health has been at a low point because of a stressful event such as losing a loved one, breaking a leg, being promoted and having more work to do, or practicing for a driving test – then something as simple as, say, a 5:00am appointment with my personal trainer at the gym is more likely to cause a mental breakdown more than if this stressful event had not happened.

There was a person I was dealing with in the past few months who gave me a lot of grief and stress that already added onto the many things I had going on in my life – yes, wedding planning, trying to find accomodation for my large family visiting from overseas, setting up our new apartment, and my passion for my fitness routine, to name a few. That is not to say that these happenings were negative in any way. But I had a lot going on, and the behaviour of this person made me very emotional and frustrated. I was left doubting my worth and feeling devalued.

It was a shame because this person should have been a good mentor. I was not able to stop seeing this person until quite recently. Even then, there are reminders (triggers) here and there that remind me of how toxic this person was and how much they affected me. This happens on a daily basis. Sometimes the only things that can truly help to lift my spirits are to surround myself with people who make me feel safe, who look out for me, who treat me well. People with mental health issues value a support group much more than you may think. And a support group does not necessarily mean people who are going to check and ask, “are you OK?” every ten minutes, but it means people who you can turn to if you need to talk. People whom you can trust, whether you feel like talking to them a little bit or a lot, whether you feel like opening up or not. People who you don’t fear any kind of judgment from, and people who make you feel safe.

It has been hard for me to get back into the “swing of things”, as I seem to have fallen out of the habit of blogging. When you lose interest in something you used to be passionate about, that too, can get you down.

Edit: I also wanted to add that starting a discussion about mental health does not mean you need to explain that you are prone to anxiety attacks, detail your triggers, or share stories about how it is difficult to function or that you have self-harmed. Keeping it high level and stating, “I am struggling, mentally” is sometimes all it takes. Being open is different from revealing everything.

I wanted to say that there have still been bright moments in my life recently. When I struggled with depression, every day I tried to write down three small positive things.

Amidst the shit that’s been happening (because let’s face it, it’s shit), I have indeed been happy. I have a little support group. I have friends who look out for me.

Setting up furniture and moving things into our apartment has been great. It’s been fun. Wedding planning has not been too stressful, but there are loose ends to tie. I’ve had Nick’s company a lot (although sometimes not enough). I hope that things continue to look up. 💕

Thank you Courtenay Farquharson and Matthew Wills for their recent talks touching on mental health, which inspired me to revisit this topic I feel strongly about.

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Comments on this post

I’m sorry you’re feeling like that.
I struggle with a lot of mental health issues, and I know how hard it can be to “keep going” at times like that.
I know it doesn’t help much, considering we’ve never met, but I want you to know that I’ll keep you in my thoughts, and if you need anything, please do let me know.

I’m glad that things are starting to look up for you, Georgie! I do not have mental health issues myself, but my best friend has bipolar disorder and is getting married in two weeks (eeek!). Because of the things that would stress out most people, like planning a wedding, low tips at work on a given day, slight weight gain from stress eating…she’s been at the top of her anxiety for months. This means that something simple like spilling a cup of water or forgetting to buy detergent can send her into a full panic attack.

Having dealt with many friends and family members suffering from mental illness, I try to be there for her as much as I can. Sometimes, I just bring over her favourite dish and put on Netflix. Other times, I give her space and send her reassuring messages via text. Sometimes, I’m at a loss and just have to say, “What can I do to make this better?” Even just wording things this way helps to calm her down, and many of our friends have taken how both me and her fiance treat her breakdowns and now can implement them on their own.

I hope that your triggers continue to lessen, and that the individual who was keeping you down stays away from the time being. I wish you nothing but good luck and happy planning as your wedding draws closer 🙂

I’m sorry your feeling like thst, if you need someone impartial to talk to, I’m here. Sometimes that’s something I need when I’m having a bad time, I’ve dealt with mental health issues for years.

I hope things continue to look up for you, too!

I think there needs to be more emphasis on opening up and starting discussions on mental health. There’s so much expectation to detail it, which can add to the strain sometimes, and discussing the topic doesn’t mean a person wants to get personal about it, nor should they mean they have to. :/

🤗🤗🤗🤗

I admire you for coming forward about this topic, because it’s nothing to be ashamed about. I’ve struggled with my mental health in the past. At one point, I was popping pills just to get myself to function, I was seeing a shrink, really struggling to get through it. One day, I woke up, I threw those pills away, and a light came on, “I don’t want to rely on something that is only temporarily covering the problem, I just need to face it.”. I stopped seeing the shrink, and I learned how to face it myself. I don’t know what came over me, nor how I did it, but ironically, it worked. Now, I can’t say that I’m 100% recovered, because nobody changes overnight. I still struggle, some days. I still have my moments when I need everyone to get out of my face, but my mental health issues have made me a stronger person.

I know you’ll get through this, Georgie. You’ve got this, girl. ♥️