8 August 2018

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE PHOTOS



As we all know only too well, the internet is full of people living their 'best lives' and showing all the wonderful things that happen every single day on their feeds (hmm!). You guys know that I try my best to always be open, especially when it comes down to mental health and everything attached to it and, whilst I do like to keep my social media positive as much as I can, that clearly isn't the case every single day. My mental health means that I will get 'bad days' every once in a while, sometimes they last a few days, sometimes they seep into way too much of my time and I have to work harder to drag myself through to the other side of it.

It is rare for me to post when I am 'in' a crappy time, although I have once or twice, but I usually try to wait until the metaphorical fog has lifted, so I can actually find something useful to say about an event that has occurred. Honestly, suffering with any thing mental health related is torturous and when it comes out of nowhere it slaps you in the face like the darkest of clouds, filled with angry rain, but what is worse is when you are already feeling pretty bad and then something else comes along to trigger a huge downward spiral. That is what happened to me about two weeks ago and I am now just about recovered.



I recently had to take some pictures of me in this beautiful jumper for a lovely Cornish brand, and it was in the process of getting these shots that I totally lost my head. My biggest trigger for mental health is my appearance; I am self conscious beyond belief and carry my 'fat kid' taunts from school everywhere I go, along with many others. I can hear these things echoing around in my mind when I look at photos of myself and wonder how I am ever going to leave the house again. Looking through these pictures made me sob, and I mean properly, heart and lungs aching sob. In the moment directly after taking the photos I felt I couldn't stand living in my own body any more; years and years of feeling this way have warn down my brain and it becomes more and more fragile each time I go through another time like this. We can be very cruel to ourselves can't we?

To anyone who is reading this and thinking it is some self-indulgent 'fishing for compliments' type of post, you couldn't be further from the truth; what I am trying to highlight is a) how to get over things like this and b) that we all have our moments and that there is something within all of us that is a little bit broken (that doesn't mean it needs fixing either!).



Let's move on from the state of my poor old worn out mind and think about a few ways to deal with this suffocating issue (because that's how it feels in the moment, totally all consuming). Whilst this is always going to come up for me from time to time, I feel I do have a little bit of knowledge about how best to deal with the days where you just can't deal with yourself! Here are my thoughts...

T A L K
If, like me, you have one or two people you are close to, who you trust and who won't just think you are being totally silly (which you are not; your thoughts and emotions are valid and important) then it is vital that you be as vocal and open with them as you can. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a crisis, it is so easy to not be able to think or see things logically. Having someone else listen to you and offer advice will help no end.

L E T  I T  O U T
This could just be me, but I find that if I don't let my emotions out (i.e. cry for however long I need to!) then, regardless of any other things I do I won't quite feel fully better. Just allow yourself to feel, whatever that actually looks like for you. It's such a cleansing process. As a side note, for any mental health flare up I find that sleep helps more than anything!



S P A C E
Give yourself some space from whatever the thing is that has triggered you. For me, it would have been totally counter-productive to keep looking back at the pictures and getting totally overwhelmed by my feelings towards them. I gave myself the time I needed to find some logic, rather than torturing my tired head over and over again, pulling apart the pictures and pointing out all the things I felt I have wrong with my face and body.

S E L F - C A R E
Self-care is awesome at any time, as well as being so important for us all, but if you feel your mental health spiraling a little (or a lot) you need to take some time to do nice things. Make a list of all the things that make you happy, pin it to a notice board or keep it in a journal, and then pick a couple of things to do at the times you need to. Some of my favourite things to do, other than sleep (always my number one!) are to make a hot water bottle, climb into bed and listen to a guided meditation or read a book. Another one of mine is to have a bath; water always relaxes me. I will pop on a podcast and just lay there and try and take my focus away from anything that is causing stress or discomfort.

J O U R N A L
This is one that can be a little bit painful when you first sit down and start writing, but as you let things flood out of you, you can start to realise why you feel the way you do; just let everything settle in the pages of your journal, rather than in your head. This is a tool I would highly recommend to everyone, it really is so useful.

I know we all have our body issues (one of the reasons I am doing my Body Stories e-book - please contribute your story... just click here to find out more!) but, honestly, we do give ourselves so much stress that we needn't have. I felt horrible within myself for well over a week and I allowed my mental health to take me to the worst places it can go, the darkest corners of the illness that I fear so much. I felt like I had undone most of the hard work I had been doing surrounding body confidence, all because of a few photos, but now I think I am almost back to that more positive place again.

I don't think I will ever be 100% happy with myself but is anyone? That doesn't mean that I am not proud of my body when I am lifting weights in the gym, because I am; it holds its own and I can really push my limits! I don't wish my faded stretch marks away anymore because they are part of my journey and part of who I am, the same way the invisible scars in my head are. All these things make me who I am and, when I finally looked back at the pictures (I had to post something for crying out loud!) I wasn't jumping for joy, but I wasn't crying again either. The journey to self-acceptance will be a long one, but it is happening and I will not quit.

SHARE:

4 comments

  1. Thank you so much for opening up and speaking about this. These things are left unsaid all too often, sharing moments like this truly helps so many people. You are an absolute wonder woman Lucy. I adore you!!
    Peta xx
    www.pe-ta.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just sitting here catching up on comments and this one made me cry... you are lovely and I adore YOU! xxx

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing this Lucy. I love how honest you are about these things. But I am sorry you're feeling this way! Of course, I think you look lovely but I totally understand that those kind of comments are sort of meaningless unless you feel it yourself.
    My heart hurt a little when you described how you'd felt looking at your photos! But I think you're bloody wonderful for trying to turn your experience into a force for good with your body stories book!
    Always here for a chat (virtually!) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words Tabitha... you are wonderful! It is a struggle every day for me all this stuff, always has been... but I am trying to turn it into some good and will always be open and honest because if it helps someone then thats pretty great! :-) I must send you an email soon to catch up! xxx

      Delete

© From Lucy, with Love. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig