(Content warning: mental health, suicide)
Insight: The first time I wrote in my diary of having suicidal thoughts was at age 12.. TWELVE!! I remember when my own daughter turned 12 and I recalled this fact and my heart broke. I have incredible parents, to my knowledge we didnt have financial struggles, I had experienced some significant bullying in primary school and it has been since declared that my happy brain chemical production is not excellent. I was first formally diagnosed with depression at age 17. This came after a long time asking for help. I remember seeing multiple gps when I was 16 asking for help and I was repeatedly told ‘you are a normal teenager’ ‘there’s nothing wrong with you’. I ended up leaving school, moving accross the state for my first full time job (lucky enough to live with close and treasured family friends) but I still spiralled down until I hit rock bottom…
Tools: Mental health is tricky to navigate (understatement of the century!) Heck, life itself is difficult. I dont think I know anyone who has been able to happily and successfully get through life without some help in one form or another. I have had 3 incredible counsellors in my life (I’ve also seen plenty of counsellors who werent the right fit for me) I have a small circle of incredible close friends (quality over quantity). I have an amazing partner, brilliant kids and wonderful parents. Each plays a different role in my life, and I in theirs.
There are lots of tools I use to keep myself in check. One of my favourites is ‘The Latest Kate’ (www.thelatestkate.art/) Kate Allen is a mental health Author and Illustrator. Every morning I wake to a fun and meaningful graphic email in my inbox. Some days I dont check it, other days I will read a whole bunch of them. I have shared some here with full credit to Kate of course. You can also find her here:
Sometimes the little things are the big things.