I felt compelled to write a blog post on this because I didn’t feel as though a tweet or a facebook post gave me enough room to really talk about it properly.
I went to a new gym today to do a Hiit class (It was AMAZING but bloody TOUGH which I complain about but secretly I absolutely love it!) and I was in the changing rooms after chatting to the 2 girls I did the class with about my channel and the kind of content I make. I was saying how it was very comedy focused but recently I have been doing a lot of stuff around mental health and fitness. The conversation then ended (because they had showers not because they were bored of talking to me…..I think!) and I went to the mirrors to dry my hair. Then the girl who signed me in at reception then came up to me and said ‘Did I hear you mention you had a channel about mental health?’ to which she then started saying how she suffers very badly from anxiety and that she has just started anti depressants which seem to be helping a bit but she is trying to do more fitness as she knows it can be really helpful.
Now I am someone who will openly chat to anyone about my experiences with mental health because I know how valuable that can be for someone. I know this because it was once so valuable to me when I was at my lowest. Just for someone to say ‘I totally understand what you are going through’ means the world! Although it won’t fix you, what it will do is make you feel less alone and reassure you that you are NOT going mad and that is HUGE when you are suffering…….HUGE (sorry I LOVE a capital letter!).
She then began talking about certain symptoms of anxiety and how she often felt like she was in a dream or a film and how she thought she was going insane. I then started to tell her how utterly normal this was and that you’d struggle to find someone who has anxiety who didn’t have this symptom or at least know what it was. I also said I had had it and still have it on some days and how it’s utterly normal despite being terrifying at first. Honestly you should have seen the look of relief on her face and she said ‘oh my god thank you so much, I am so pleased I came to speak to you, you’ve made me feel so much better and that I am not going insane’. We then continued to have a lovely chat about it all in which I spoke about how much fitness has helped me and that I know it can be really hard at first when you feel shit but it gets easier the more you do it. I also recommended the book I bang on about all the time on my channel ‘At Last a Life’ by Paul David and she said she would buy it and check out the videos about mental health on my channel.
This example is EXACTLY why I ignore my parent’s advice about not talking about anxiety because honestly, there is no feeling like that feeling where you know you have really made someone feel less alone in whatever they are going through. What my parents fail to understand is that if NO ONE talked about mental health, I truly believe there would be an even higher suicide rate in this country. When I had hugely severe anxiety last year, if no one had spoken about it either on youtube or to me in person then, well to be honest I don’t even like to think about what could have happened. There is nothing more important to knowing you are NOT alone!
I walked out of that gym with such a smile on my face because I was THAT girl and now I am going through recovery I get to talk to people and help them.
If you are currently struggling and feel as though you have no one in your life that ‘gets it’ then remember, you have me.
Also the website that Paul David set up was and is still sometimes invaluable to me on my ‘down’ days. Not only has he written some great blog posts but there is a wonderfully supportive community on there where everyone shares their stories and helps eachother. I can’t recommend his website more highly:
Thank you for listening