#WorldMentalHealthDay🌎

Hey Dreamers,

So as we all know today is World Mental Health Day! Believe it or not I did not actually know today existed so today’s post will be quite personal too me.

So sometimes when things are going great I suddenly get really down, it literally curve balls me out of my happy bubble and into my little depression bubble. That’s the thing with depression it can hit you at anytime of the day regardless of who you’re with or what you’re doing. It’s a pain in the arse.

However when I’m in this little bubble, I forget about who I am, the trials and tribulations I’ve already overcome. I shut people out, I make excuses not to do things and you know what? I literally should slap myself for it. I should know by now that I am so much more than what I have become when I’m in that state of mind. I know getting out there and seeing someone helps massively yet I stubbornly continue with my self wallowing.

You know what I really need though? For someone to come and see me. Unexpectedly just showing up at my door and just showing that they care. It can be for ten minutes and I’d still appreciate it, more than anything when I’m in this bubble. Should I ask people to do that? Possibly, but truth of the matter I like to think people know me well enough to know what I need.

But that leads into the next point, because of my mental health I do hold back slightly with everyone in my life. I don’t always speak my mind, I don’t often voice my exact feelings about certain things or situations. I don’t explain how hurt I am from the smallest comments, but words can often cut deeper than a knife and people should know that. It’s fact. Words stay forever embedded in your memory. You will always remember certain things and when you’re in your bubble those conversations and comments run around inside your head and torment you further.

So yes depression can sometimes hinder my relationships with others, no it’s not personal and yes it is hard.

Sometimes the bubble stays for around 24 hours, sometimes as long as a week.

All we really need is the right support network, and I absolutely adore the people I have in my life. I may not always tell you guys everything but know that I love you immensely and I will open up more as soon as I’m ready. I will be ready, probably not today but definitely someday.

If you know anyone who suffers from mental health issues please, be kind and be patient with them. They aren’t trying to hurt you, they aren’t trying to push you away. They like me are just too stubborn to admit they need some support and help every now and then. That’s all it is.

Be stubborn back, make it known you are not going anywhere and you will be there for them. Every little helps, it always will. So don’t give up on them. Put yourself in their shoes and then think how you’d feel.

Have Courage,

Be Kind,

Keep Smiling,

Until next time,

Alastair

x

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A Simple Act Of Kindess

One thing I’ve learnt about mental health is that it is so difficult to open up about what’s really going on in your own mind.

You feel like you can’t tell anyone because they’ll simply say “oh it’s just a phase” or “life’s hard just get on with it” or something else that just comes to peoples minds at times.

What they don’t understand is that it is NOT just a phase and it’s actually in fact been going on for a lot longer than even you may care to admit.

Even now I sometimes struggle to open up to my own loved ones, everyday is a battle, I get up, I put my happy face on and get on with it. However it then boils down to a matter of days, sometimes weeks before I eventually just completely crack. I break. I realise how broken I actually am.

When it comes to people then rushing around to support me they ask “why didn’t you say anything” and my answers have ranged mostly from “I didn’t want to be a burden” to “I’m sorry”, but the honest answer should be: “you didn’t ask”.

Now that comes across as almost child-like I guess in hindsight. Having said that, I don’t need babysitting. Not at all. What I do need every now and then, and I think anyone struggling may agree is just for someone to ask if you’re okay. That is all it takes. Someone who shows genuine concern and care. It seems needy perhaps, but too me it can push so many irrational thoughts away just because someone cares. That’s when I find myself opening up, often getting emotional but it helps. It helps too talk sometimes instead of keeping it all inside and feeling like you are nothing but a burden constantly over reacting or over thinking certain things.

My point is, an act of simple kindness like that can change someone’s perspective in a split second. It may stop them making a very bad decision and that is that.

You never really know what’s going on in someone’s life,

Be kind always,

Until next time dreamers,

Alastair ⭐️

A perception on Darkness

It is often thought and said that darkness represents evil it’s very self, clinging onto fear like a stagnant smell. It is never wholly there but always niggling at the back of your mind, always looking to eat the sun out of the sky.

But is all darkness evil? My honest answer? No.

How could it be? Let’s put it into simple terms when it comes to what darkness actually can be.

Darkness can come in many forms, but it is neither wholly evil nor wholly good. It exists to remind us of certain things in our lives. Things we often forget to appreciate.

Darkness allows us to see the moon in all her splendid beauty, showing us a different side to the world. Without the same type of darkness we wouldn’t get to see the stars and constellations shining down at us in beautiful harmony. The darkness can offer us solitude, often allowing us to put things into perspective, allowing us time to think and learn. Darkness can offer us the chance to dream without the fear of being judged and to be exactly who we may want to be.

Those who see it as a representation of evil are rather narrow minded. Evil is not born out of darkness, it is made and harboured over a duration of time that is inexplicable to even the most brilliant scholars.

But. What do I know? I’m just a mid twenties guy striving to make tomorrow a better day than today.

If immersing myself in my own darkness, learning to control it whilst immersing myself in starlight then I will fully embrace it. My own darkness, be it good or bad helps define the person I have become. It holds many memories both good and bad, it has shaped me and given me some of my greatest inspirations whether they be pieces of writing like this or even my own photography projects.

Now my favourite quote from A Court Of Mist & Fury which in my opinion describes darkness perfectly:

“There are different kinds of darkness, there is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad nor good”.

My darkness is always what I need it to be, what I want it to be.

If that makes me evil then long live my evil and tortured soul.

Until next time guys!

Alastair 🖤

MentalHealth: Feeling Good Enough For Someone!

Hey guys,

It’s been a hectic few weeks to say the least, but I’m back!

So something has been niggling at me lately and it’s probably going to seem quite trivial, yet it’s something anyone who suffers with mental health can probably relate too. What do you do when you don’t feel good enough for someone? Do you change something about yourself? Maybe your appearance? Or perhaps your entire world so you can feel like you are worthy of that person, of feeling worthy to be in their life?

The honest and most simple answer? Hell no.

Now I admit I genuinely have been feeling quite insignificant and not particularly worthy of a certain someone as of late. I feel perhaps I’m a nuisance at times, and perhaps whatever I do that that person will just end up leaving me. I mean let’s face it everyone leaves eventually, and when you suffer with mental health you always know something’s are just too god damn good to last. It’s funny because the smallest things can set these things off. Social media is the biggest enemy. It brings out your insecurities and can massively impact on things that can have a long standing affect. I mean I barely post on anything these days, it’s actually out of choice. Not everyone needs to know you’re living an awesome life, sometimes privacy isn’t a bad thing (more on that in another post for later this week, don’t worry).

Back to the topic at hand.

What I do know is this.

You do not have to change yourself to fit someone’s category of perfect. You definitely shouldn’t change your appearance for one person. I mean if you’re going to do that do it for yourself. Quite frankly you should not be ashamed or question the person you are because of that one person. You should not feel ashamed of your past. It is in the past for a reason, they weren’t there. You are not that person anymore. Whether you’re insecure and broken or not. That person will accept you& support you. And throughout it all you will always be good enough for them if not better.

Let me tell you something I wish someone had told me recently.

You are good enough.

For anyone.

& most importantly yourself.

I’ll be posting more often and frequently from now on guys,

Don’t forget to keep dreaming impossible things!

All my love,

Alastair x

For Someone Special

This one is going to be short and sweet,

This is for someone special, someone who perhaps doesn't feel as appreciated or amazing as they should be.

I wasted a lot of my life with my eyes looking down, afraid of anything beyond the next step,

Then something happened too me.

Someone reminded me too look up.

And I wanted to tell that person thank you.

I wanted to tell you I appreciate you. I wanted to tell you how courageous and strong you are. I wanted to tell you that amazing things are coming your way.

I believe in you.

The best is yet to come.

Thirteen Reasons Why

So I’ve re-watched the Netflix show Thirteen Reasons Why for a second time this year, and to be honest I’m just as emotional and raw as I was the first time around.Sometimes you don’t realise the impact your words can have on someone’s life, how perhaps a simple act of kindness can stop someone from taking their lives. You don’t realise that each person is going through some sort of battle in their own mind and life and all they really want is someone to ask if they’re okay. Even I have days where I just wish someone would hug me and say “I know you’re not okay, I’m here if you need me”. 
So after being inspired by Hannah Baker this is my list of Thirteen Reasons Why your mental health is so important and a few positive things we need reminding of every now and then. We’re all afraid to talk sometimes, even to the people we are closest too. It hurts like hell keeping it inside, I know all too well, especially after this week and the events that have lead me into a dark place which even as I’m writing this I am struggling to get out of. 
So here it goes:
1. You are stronger than you realise. You go through the same shit in your head everyday from the minute you wake up and then go to work. You are a bad ass! No one can tell you any differently.
2. People you trust will understand and can be really supportive. It’s okay to talk about it. 
3. It is not a bad life, it’s a bad few days. Tomorrow is another chance and reason to smile, I promise.
4. Don’t let yesterday’s mistakes define the decisions you make today or tomorrow. We all makes mistakes no one is perfect.
5. Don’t be scared to love, it’s ok too feel. 
6. You are not making anyone’s lives worse by being around, I bet you’re the reason your friends smile and they just haven’t told you.
7. Write it down, whether it’s in a journal/diary or even an open letter to yourself. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel afterwards.
8. Don’t be afraid to be who you are and to express yourself. If you want to dress up like a rainbow of odd colours then do it. Because that’s who you are and you don’t have to apologise for being you.
9. Write down three, yes THREE positive things you want to achieve every single day, whether it’s telling someone how amazing you think they are, or setting yourself a goal, it is amazing the things you might achieve.
10. Volunteer for a local charity which specialises in mental health. Helping others also helps you, you’ll be surprised by how much you may inspire others.
11. Be kind to others, you’ll be surprised the kindness you receive back. You don’t realise how much a smile or gesture may mean to someone until you’ve done it. 
12. It’s okay to cry, it is OKAY to break down. But don’t forget to pick yourself back up and carry on. Life is too short and I promise your journey is far from over.
13. Smile. Because everyone deserves to see that radiant and infectious smile in their lives. Especially You.
Until next time guys,

Alastair x

What Depression Is Too Me

One of the greatest challenges with depression is trying to explain it to people. Whether it’s a close friend, a loved one or even just a work colleague. Now for me I sometimes wake up and it is genuinely crippling, the very thought of seeing a friend or going to work can often feel like torture. My body and mind are constantly raging against each other to get up and see the day through. This can make hours feel like days, I often find myself ignoring text messages off of loved ones and close friends just because my mind is telling my body “no, no one really cares you are in this alone”. Of course it isn’t true but how can you tell your own mind that this isn’t the case? It’s not a straightforward answer or explanation even I have come to grips with myself. 
A year one after being diagnosed and learning to face my demons and where it all stemmed from has been challenging. It still is, every single day. It is a constant fight of good days and bad days and that is ok. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Even the strongest people break from time to time, and that’s just life. 
As many of you now know my depression started from an abusive relationship which flipped my whole world upside down. I lost my self-worth, my confidence, even my dreams and aspirations in life. It has been a difficult transition getting to where I am now, and believe it or not those demons still haunt me to this day. I would be lying if I said I did not wake up in a panic every other week, drenched in a sticky sweat having dreamed I was still in that period of my life. I have much more support around me compared to what I used too and it is reassuring.  
I find it really difficult to express myself in person sometimes so I hope whoever is reading my posts can gain some sort of understanding about why I am the way I am. I can be needy, I can be moody, I might just need a hug or some reassurance that you do actually care and want to be in my life. Trust me, depression makes you question almost everything and it is not fun, it can make you feel like you’re a hindrance in others lives. Your own mind tortures you into believing and thinking certain things which just need clarification, and I am painfully aware not everyone sees things in the same light but kindness and honesty cost nothing. 
So the one thing I find the hardest with depression is a relationship. Yes gay and depressed what a cliche. I’ve heard it all so don’t even try it. Whenever I have ever met someone who could perhaps be a partner one day down the line, of course I let them see the good parts, not too much but enough to spark an interest. They then later get to see the not so good parts, the damaged goods I like to describe them as, the depressed side. The side that is insecure, and a bit broken and just needing a little love. That’s when people decide to up and run because you’re too fucked up to deal with. Well fuck you very much to the people who have done that not just myself but others in the same boat. People like you don’t deserve people like me, or should I say us. We love a little bit harder than most because we know exactly what it is like not to feel loved especially by ourselves, your loss guys. It really is.
One day I will feel completely equal and balanced and maybe with the right person by my side I’ll get there a lot quicker. Who knows. Right now my only goal is to help not only myself but other people in the world struggling with their own mental health. My main goal of this year is to start working with charities, throw a fundraiser and spread some positivity into the world. Everyone has their own story, and they should not be afraid to tell it. We should not be ashamed because of our mental illness. We should not be afraid to love and be loved in return. We should not be afraid to be who we are.
We should not be afraid to dream impossible things.
Until next time,
Alastair x

Because Of You I Smile More …

It’s been quite some time since I dedicated a post to a close friend, but there’s one person who definitely deserves merit and praise in my life. She is literally my “happy person”. My go too with anything and everything that happens in my life. For eight years we have argued, laughed, cried and she’s even slapped me a few times (which I may or may not have deserved, it’s an ongoing debate even to this day). I don’t think she realises how much she means too me most days. How her presence can pull me out of the darkest slums of depression within a matter of seconds. Maybe it’s the road trips and adventures we go on, maybe it’s the Disney sing-a-longs or maybe it’s the fact she is the most amazing, slightly nutty but incredibly loving woman I have the pleasure of calling my best friend and “wifey”. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve wrote and re-wrote this post just because I feel like no words can do her justice but well here goes nothing.
So we met in college, I was very insecure within myself having been bullied out of my previous sixth form. I was unsure of my place in the world, completely and utterly broken. Then this blonde and pink haired bombshell sits next to me in the canteen and well that was when my whole world changed. If there was a King and Queen of a college course, we were it. People either loved us or loathed us and we did not give a shit. She helped me discover my identity and place in the world. She has never left my side, how she puts up with me and my shit is an absolute mystery, because I can’t even deal with myself half the time! 
She inspires me on a daily basis with her strength and integrity. Now I know I’ve said in previous posts I’ve been to hell and back, let me tell you that if there’s someplace worse than hell the bitch conquered it and came back with an absolute vengeance!!

She’s a single mother and there’s no questioning that she is a fantastic parent to her daughter, I cannot wait to be at her wedding one day reminiscing about how she got to where she will be one day. She is an army in her own right, my rock in every situation, she is a fighter and her name is Melanie Davies. She deserves every happiness in the world and I’m so glad I get to be a part of her journey as she is a part of mine.
She is my family.
Always & Forever. 

Today Depression Caught Me Off Guard

Today has been a hard day. It caught me completely off guard. I often forget depression can creep up on you at any moment and at any time of the day. You can be laughing and joking with your friends one minute, the next you’re an absolute mess filled with anxieties and fears you thought you’d left behind long ago. 
Today was one of those days. I woke up feeling great after an amazing evening on the beach surrounded by amazing people. It then dawned on me that yesterday was also the first Father’s Day without my grandfather. I cracked. Completely broke down, I had two panic attacks before I even left the house for work. Now I haven’t had a panic attack in fourteen months, so imagine my distress and mentality at having two in less than a few hours. After I had showered I sat on the edge of my bath completely broken for thirty long minutes. Crying my eyes out as if I was going through the motions of grief all over again and it just wouldn’t stop. It made me realise that depression never really leaves. It is a constant battle of the mind constantly swaying between which side comes out on top. 

Now I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I am guarded when it comes to certain people. Four people currently get to see me in these moments of despair. They are all amazing people, I am so grateful to them and I don’t think they realise the important parts they play by just listening and being there. One person is a new addition to my life, and sometimes I question whether I should speak to him about certain things. Sometimes I wonder if it’ll just push him away. However saying that, he does in his own way. He probably won’t admit it but he wouldn’t put up with me if he didn’t care. He’s guarded, and he’s going through a lot but I am glad he’s part of my life. It will certainly be a lovely reunion when I finally see him again. 
I guess today has taught me something new once again in this ongoing battle of depression. Communication is key, no matter how scared you are of speaking out, the people you trust the most won’t turn their backs on you if they truly care. I’m lucky I get four people to speak because I remember a time I thought I had no one. The times I felt I was a no one and just felt like a hindrance by just being here. I’ve come a long way, I need to remind myself of that far more often than I care to admit.
There will always be good days and bad days, the key is too not let the bad days win. It’s something that I tell people constantly but never tell myself. I will pick myself up from this, I will be stronger tomorrow and I will keep fighting. Life is too short and I refuse to let this mental illness define me and my life. 
Tomorrow is a new day, and I will wake up and continue living and dreaming. It’s what I do best. Until then the moon and stars shall be my company while I raise a toast to my grandfather and to myself, for finding the strength and courage to write this. 

To Me … From Me

Hi Guys and Girls,
So some of you may know I suffer with my mental health, the past few months I’ve been at the top of my game. Literally not a lot phases me much or sets me back to where I was this time last year. I admit I’ve come a long way and I am proud of it, but lately it’s been niggling at me, day by day. Maybe it’s just me overthinking things, I do that from time to time. Maybe it is my mental health creeping back up on me reminding me in the back of my mind that it’s still there, toying with me and my broken past. The past few weeks I’ve been second guessing myself, questioning every action and decision I make. Questioning if I’m good enough, if I deserve to be in people’s lives, if I’m strong enough to be there for my friends and family when it matters most.

I guess the point of this post is for me, an open letter to myself, from me too me:
Dear Alastair,

I remember the lonely empty person you were twelve months ago, a shadow of a person you once were. You spent days, weeks confined to a room, laying there in silence, ignoring everything and everyone while you contemplated cutting your wrists and ending it all. Depression ate at you, starved you of life. You have come a very, VERY long way. 

Now I know it’s hard right now, I know it seems your world has crashed down and that demon in the back of your mind is trying to get his grip back to the forefront of your brain. Let me tell you something. You are strong, you have mastered your darkness. You know darkness isn’t entirely good nor evil, it is an essence, an element you uncovered and delved into to find every part of yourself worth living and fighting for. You saved yourself from a different fate and you are still here. Stars cannot shine without darkness, you told yourself that over and over for months, it gave you strength when you had none. So cage the demon back to where it belongs, in a pit of nothingness. It get’s better. 

You are not defined by what people think of you. Rumours, opinions of bitter people, do not define you. Pity them because they clearly don’t realise that everyone is fighting a different battle everyday that no one may even know about. You are an amazing friend, you do so much for people without asking for anything back. Kindness costs nothing (thank you mum for that lesson). 

I know sometimes you feel alone, like your being overbearing, but you matter. People do actually care, just be patient with them. You’ll see you’re just being a worry wart and stressing over mediocre things that that lovely demon will enjoy feeding on and fueling negative thoughts into your mind again. 

You have a lot of people surrounding you, people you may often forget about because life get’s busy, we’re all adults, we work a lot. You have so much more of life to see, places you’ve never seen. You need to enjoy every moment, because life is so much more than a small town. 

Take risks, fall in love, enjoy it.

Life’s a climb, it will always be a challenge but the view will be great when you get there. I promise. 

Now smile, read a book and know you are stronger than ever before,

Alastair x