I wanted to start out by saying a massive thank you to John for allowing me to write a guest post on his truly inspiring blog!
My story starts when I was 16. It was then I first discovered I was unhappy in myself and with my life. I was uneducated around mental health – naïve and gullible to the impact and severity mental illnesses have on everyday people. Pair this with the fact I was a hormonal teenager who had a drive to succeed more than anything else, and yeah – I was a bit of a state.
I often wondered how someone who was so lucky to have what I have in life could be unhappy. It felt ungrateful, abnormal and selfish. In my defence, my upbringing was far from stable – but I always had an education, somewhere to live and food to eat.
Being the type of person I am, I decided that how I was feeling had to have a logical explanation, so went to see my doctor. I went in almost shrugging it off before I had even started talking and before you know it, I was in a fit of tears, babbling about whether my life had any purpose. I then had to accept that even the toughest of cookies get emotional!
Fast forward a few years and after loads of medication and therapy, I can say I am feeling so much better. I have matured into a 5ft2 lady with a love for scones and tea. I have lived on my own, achieved 2 promotions so far at work and now look at life with excitement again!
Needless to say, that does not mean that I don’t still struggle sometimes – but nowhere near as bad as before. I am still on medication because my doctor and I feel that is what is best for now, so although not cured of my mental illnesses, I am fighting it overtime.
Thinking about all of this, together with how far I have come in the past 5 years made me realise that I only got help because I am the type of person who could cope with asking for it. What about those people who couldn’t do that, or didn’t think anything was wrong? What about those people who just accepted their feelings and carried on struggling through the days? I wanted others like me to try find a path to recovery in the same way I did.
From that, I decided to do something about it. I spoke up about my mental health on social media and I openly discussed it with friends. That didn’t feel sufficient on its own though, so I took it up a gear.
Everyone knows that despite the madness that is my life, I never give myself a break – I am always looking for the next challenge. So to really do my bit and kick things up a notch, I applied to run the London Marathon next year on behalf of all the mental health charities I could think of. The day after finishing my chartered exams earlier this month, Mind contacted me to say they would be thrilled to have me join their team! Despite my nerves & anxiety spiking at the thought, I eagerly agreed.
And here we are today! This is my story of the first steps I took to end up running a marathon for a charity so close to my heart. I am a little warrior out to battle what life has, and will continue throw at me – even if a marathon is a self-inflicted challenge!
The main message I want to get across through doing this marathon is simple. It is okay not to be okay, and having a mental illness does not define you. You are more than your illness, and you can and will fight it.
I have already started planning some events in order to raise money, but if you would like to help me in my journey of running 26.2 miles to raise £2,000 (or more) for Mind, it would be massively appreciated if you could donate to the cause! I set up a Virgin Money Giving page where you can donate online!
Again, a massive thank you to John for allowing me to write this post and share my volunteering story so far!
P.S. I run my own lifestyle blog where I literally write about anything I feel like – I would love if you could pop over and take a look! I also have Bloglovin’, a YouTube Channel, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – so be sure to stalk me everywhere and say hi!