Mental Health Awareness Week: About Amy

As this week is Mental Health Awareness week, we have an amazing blog post to share with you, written by Amy, the author of the blog ‘Surviving Now Thriving‘. Amy has had a very incredible and inspiring journey that she has shared with us and we think she is truly spectacular! YOU GO GIRL!

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Who am I?

Popcorn addict, Plant-powered, Positive, Passionate Psychology graduate – think that pretty much sums me up (I do love a good bit of alliteration).

I maybe should have started with my actual name, but that’s not half as fun – I’m Amy (not Surviving as I laugh about being called) and I started blogging on Instagram last year at www.instagram.com/survivingnowthriving.

From numerous failed suicide attempts to now living every moment as if it’s my last, I created my blog to inspire others to do the same. Struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, acne, trichotillomania, and a make-up addiction, I know that my past struggles put me in a unique position to truly be able to help those currently struggling. And that is exactly why I do it. Because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the torture that I did. My past does not define me, but it has certainly shaped me into the warrior of a woman I am today.

My blogging is extremely diverse covering a whole range of topics, but one of my main passions is mental health. I actually think it is becoming more normal to have suffered or to currently be suffering from some form of mental illness than not. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that we talk about it! In my experience, openness encourages openness. From sharing my story, this has inspired so many others to tell their own and also to seek help. In addition, it assists in improving awareness and understanding, and also to decrease the stigma around mental health that still prevails.

I could write a book (and I actually have been asked to) on my advice on recovering from mental illnesses. But the truth is, everyone is different. Mental health is not a one-size fits all approach, and what works for one will be highly detrimental to another. I have experienced this first-hand in that reccommendations from mental health professionals have made me a lot worse. For example, last year, in the roots of my depression and anxiety, I was told that I had two options – take anti-depressants or go into hospital. Otherwise, I couldn’t expect to get any better. And that was traumatising for me to hear at such a vulnerable time of my life, because I didn’t want to do either. I ended up sectioned in a mental health hospital against my will. I had been hiding away from the world for almost half a year and was forced into this place where I would have to be around so many people. It was a mixed ward too which meant there were guys asking me questions, and the last thing I wanted to do or felt comfortable with was talking to anyone.  Thankfully, I was discharged after 2 weeks and was able to make a full recovery all by myself.

But how did you do it?

Well, mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is. Both myself and my family had accepted that I was going to be this way forever. Locked away in my home, never seeing anyone ever again. I decided to fight, and here I am writing this now, living and THRIVING.

Here’s 10 simple tips on how to thrive:

  1. Love yourself like your life depends on it.
  2. Boring but important – nutrition – Food affects your mood so nourishing your body is a massive help.
  3. Move your body in a way that you enjoy, and also make sure to rest.
  4. Surround yourself with good people ONLY, and cut the rest – choose radiators over drains.
  5. Find what you’re passionate about, follow your dreams and never stop until they become your reality.
  6. Write down what you’re grateful for every single day.
  7. Never stop learning.
  8. Learn from the past, live for the present, and believe in the future.
  9. Train your mind to focus on the positives in everything.
  10. Spend time visualising your life exactly the way you want it to be, and watch it materialise (this sounds crackers I know, but I have manifested A LOT through doing this).

If you are currently struggling with your mental health, I want you to know that you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know that you can get through this. You can get through anything. Never give up. And remember, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. A life filled with technicolour is awaiting you.

If you enjoyed this, have a read of our Give Yourself a Break, You’re Doing the Best You Can!’ post too!

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