What Depression Feels Like… A Unique Story to Everyone

…And this is my take, on the story of depression. Keep in mind that others experience depression differently. This is mine.

It’s back.

The blanket feeling.
The sinking emptiness.
The hollowness in my core.

It’s back and I don’t want to deal with it. I can’t stand it when I know there are people who are entitled to suffer, who have reason. Me? My reason is the sinking emptiness in my pit. It is no reason at all.

I feel guilty for being here. I feel like I am triggering others. But I don’t want to hurt anyone. I want so desperately to help others, to help myself…

Yeah, the emptiness is back. I feel it grasping outwards from the very core, the very centre of my being, reaching its tendrils out to link onto every fibre of my body and pin me down, pin me down into this nothingness, this horrible entity of nothingness. I am choking, choking in its grasp.

I want to cry. I force myself to cry. But the truth is that crying does nothing to take away my emptiness. I cannot feel anything, but the feeling of being a weight. Sinking further, further, into the abyss, like heavy rocks seeking the bottom of the ocean.

Time is immeasurable right now. I look at my phone screen after what seems to me like 5 minutes has passed, when in actuality I have been lying here encased in my blanket feeling for over an hour, shut away from my family and everyone I care about. But I can’t bring myself to see them. I can’t bring myself to talk, to anyone. I feel as though I’ve reverted back to my old ways, to the dark days where my depression was ever-present and clutched me daily, shutting me away from the world. It brings back horrible memories, where I felt completely and utterly alone in my terrible abyss of nothingness. This loneliness impends on me, like the increasing darkness of the sky outside my window. I missed the sunset tonight. Something I wanted to see. Now all colours are gone.

The truth is, I haven’t felt like this in weeks. It’s always been there, this dark empty nothingness, its tendrils tapping on my shoulder like an impatient lady’s freshly manicured nails on a desk. Waiting. Waiting for the moment I slip up, even just slightly, before it swallows me entirely. I’ve just been so busy, I have had so much relying on my functioning mind and body, that I pushed, pushed, pushed this blanket feeling away with all my strength and might. “No, I will not let this take over my body! I will not let this take over my life.”

All I can say now, however… is that I believe I fought brilliantly for those few weeks that I kept my depression monster at bay. But now it’s time for me to rest at the feet of this monster. It’s time to feel the gnawing pains that have been slowly dragging me further and further down. I must feel them, I need to feel them… because if I keep fighting it, I’m going to break. And I don’t want to break. So instead I succumb to my monster… I let the tendrils wash over me… the blanket muffle the world around me… until I rise out of it again. I know I will rise out of this again, because I always do. I just need to accept this is where I need to be at this moment… and remember, that every storm does pass.

I will feel the pain of numbness tonight. And tomorrow I will wake to the sunrise, and it will be a new day. Maybe the pain won’t go away, maybe I’ll still be muffled, maybe I’ll still have the despair clutching to my core. But I will see the sunrise, and know that I have power beyond words imaginable, because I. Will. Get. Through. This.

Yes, it’s back. But each time it comes back, I am stronger than I was when it last found me. Because I have lived through every single night it’s come back. I’m a survivor, and I’m not giving up now.

“It’s just another night,
and we’ve had many of them.”
❤ Bastille ❤


My Anxiety Story

Hi everyone. How are all of you today?

If I’m honest, I’m not doing all that great right now myself, but hey – all the more reason why I’m writing this blog. To help spread the message that it’s okay… to not be okay. 🙂

Today I’d like to talk to you all about my depressive voice and my personal journey with anxiety. I think it’s a core part of me, and so it’s hard to share. It makes me feel vulnerable, sparks my fear of attention seeking, opens up fresh wounds, etc. But the wounds are already open right now. So I may as well delve deeper for all of you, for anyone who is struggling to grasp what their own inner demons are telling them, for those who know all too well what they are saying and just need to know that someone else is experiencing the same thing, and for those who want to help broaden their knowledge about depression and anxiety… maybe for someone you love, or for other people in general. Whatever the reason, I’m glad you came. I’m glad you’re reading.

I think I might start with a bit of background knowledge of me. Personally, I think I’ve always known my anxiety was there, in the back of my mind, nudging me in directions I wouldn’t otherwise think about. Causing me to make small decisions out of fear (or the opposite – to be paralysed into indecisiveness out of fear!!) which would over time build to something as big as to what it is now. The problem is that I only knew it was there subconsciously. I didn’t know what to call this voice in my head. When I talk about voices, I’m not talking about some creepy whisper seeping into my mind, I’m not talking about hearing things or being possessed and going crazy. I’m talking about the small, frail girl who is my core, pleading for help. I’m talking about my conscience, my deeper thoughts that I sometimes fail to let rise to the surface.

My voice, my instinct, my conscience, whatever you’d like to call it, has often kept me safe. It’s barred me from acting in a dangerous situation, forced me to retreat from things that it thought would cause me harm. But bit by bit, this voice was slowly degrading my sense of self-worth. It would make me feel unsafe at random times and occasions, when I couldn’t actually see what it was that so disturbed me. That’s the funny thing I’ve learned about anxiety over the years… it makes you feel so totally vulnerable, so at risk, so completely unsafe, when you know in your own head that you are perfectly safe. And yet, your blood runs cold, your hands feel clammy, your heart starts to race. But why?

I could go into a whole sciency-ramble about just “why” our brains like to trick our voice that we are in some deep and serious trouble. Because that’s all it is – it’s science. Yeah, anxiety is a real condition. It is a real illness. And, oh yes, anxiety can affect you physically, in immense ways might I add, as well as mentally. But I won’t delve into that. Today is more of a philosophical discussion.

My point is, I did not KNOW that this was anxiety until recent years. How could I? I’d never even really heard the word until I reached around 10 years old. But it was always there… pressing in… like a shadow protruding from the darkness, or a hand gently pressed against my throat. Not constricting, just there. Threatening to tighten its grip. And that was the scariest thing of all, that feeling of impending anxiety. Knowing that it could, and would, strike up again when I least expected it.

At first, it started off just as little nigglings when I’d do something out of my comfort zone. Walking down the road to the shops, talking to someone I’d never met before, standing up on stage in front of my primary school to deliver a prayer or say a few lines during assembly. All normal, healthy stuff you’d expect a normal young girl to feel a little apprehensive about. Only, it got bigger. The squeezing in my chest got tighter. The niggling more incessant. And with the divorce of my parents, the weight continued to pile. Soon I reached high school, now at the age of 13 years old. Transitioning from primary into high school was a major milestone for me, with the anxiety I had to overcome. But it was something I could overcome. I had my friends, caring teachers, and always my family and pets to come home to. I was nervous, but I was happy.

It wasn’t until around the age of 14 that I really started my downward spiral into anxiety. If I could describe my anxiety in the earlier years of my life, I would say it was just there… sitting on the periphery of my life, getting comfortable on the edges of my mind, often dipping its toe into the waters of my thoughts to make a few ripples, but never a huge splash. To describe my anxiety over the past 3 and a half years to date… would be an absolute disaster. I simply cannot explain it to you in words. The pain, the fear, the attacks, the isolation, it is just something you need to have experienced for yourself to truly understand.

I have to say: I am in a much, much, much better place right now in terms of my mental health overall than I was about a year, or even 2 years ago. But in those early stages of learning the reality of what I was going through, I descended rapidly into a dark hole. And it was absolutely terrifying, my first experience in this horrible place. I felt as though I had no one to hold onto. My mind was playing tricks on me in the dark. This is the place where my small, little voice of anxiety turned into my great, big, nasty depressive voice. “You are alone.” “Nobody cares about you or understands what you are going through.” “Everyone is lying.” “You are a waste.” “You drag everybody else down.” “You’re just a hindrance to everyone else.” “You’ve caused all of the problems in your life, and in those around you.” And you have to understand: I had no problem looking the same as I always did on the outside. It’s not that I wanted to fake my emotions. I had just become very good at hiding my internal struggle, and it was my go-to instinct rather than bringing these attacking thoughts to the surface for others to hear. It was all within my mind, and no one, not even those closest to me, knew the real depth of what I was suffering.

I regret that choice. I lived for over a year with those attacks eating me from the inside every day. Some days, they were diluted, but I could not escape from them, because they were me. I had no idea how to formulate these thoughts into words. I was ashamed. I was confused. And I felt very, very alone and detached.

Around the time that I turned 15, I finally realised that this struggle, although internal, was far bigger than I could handle. I couldn’t take it any longer on my own or I would cave in and break. So I reached out to my parents, reached out to my two closest friends, and they pointed me in the direction of Headspace, where I got counselling for the next four months.

I then learnt that my anxiety comes and goes. Yes, it is always there, in the back seat, watching over my shoulder. But there are periods of time where it tries to take control from me, and periods of time when it lessens its hassling and sits complacently behind me. I learnt to acknowledge that these periods of time occur sporadically, and whilst I could never schedule in a time that I knew it would come, I learnt to recognise the symptons of it; “yep, I can feel an anxiety attack or depressive episode coming on tonight”, and live with it.

Thus came the period in my life I was at my best. I thought everything was past me (foolish, I know.) I thought I was “cured”. That I was better. I’m sorry, but there is no cure to anxiety. There is no cure for depression. There are only things that can help us lift out of it for a while, every now and again. But it is enough to sustain us. We do not need a cure.

Anyway, yes, I believed I was finally free for those couple months after my counselling, and so I broke off with Headspace. It took a mere few months before the demons came rolling back in to sweep me back into my hole. But this time, I knew I needed to reach out. Now, at 17 years old, I am back at Headspace, and I have to tell you it honestly helps so much to talk to someone that is outside of your life, looking in to give you perspective. At the same time, if you are able to talk to people in your life about your suffering, you must do so.

In some respects, my depression and anxiety is worse because of the busy life I am living, being a full-time ATAR student, working 2 jobs, and everything else in between. It is worse because I am so much more aware and attuned to my struggle. It is worse because of the strain I put on myself to be better, to help others. It is worse because the moments of panic are harder to deal with, and becoming more frequent. The nights are getting longer. The voice in my head is louder. The hand on my throat is tighter. The fear in my chest is too scared to let go, and is clinging for dear life.

But… I do feel, compared to this time last year, I am in a better place despite my mental illness growing stronger. I feel better because I have chosen to let people in. I feel better because I have let my anxiety and depression in rather than fighting it. I feel better because I have learned more and more (and am still learning!) about this important issue. I feel better because I have developed healthy strategies that help me cope in desperate times; such as doing things I love, like going for runs/walks, listening to music, riding horses, spending time with people and animals I love to be around, writing, singing and drawing. I feel better because I have learnt to read both my body’s and mind’s little signals that I am breaking down, that I am about to panic, etc. and – most importantly – LISTEN to these signals and give myself permission to have a break. I feel better because I talk. And that’s what I want each and every single one of you to do.

My mental illness is becoming stronger. But so am I. I am becoming stronger, every day.

So, even though my depressive voice is a little louder than usual today, the hand is a little tighter round my throat than it normally is, it’s ok. Because I know I will be ok. Everything will be ok. And we are all here to help each other, to stand up to the stigma around mental illness and say “no” to its face!

I think I’ve covered everything I’ve wanted to talk about today. It’s a long winded process, talking about this worldwide issue. There are literally millions of topics and aspects I can talk about, but I will do my bit, piece by piece. If there is anything else you’d like to know about, or have any queries or requests, send me an email or a comment below! 🙂

Be well lovelies ❤️

Self-compassion… and how to build it!

Hello lovelies! How are you today? (Honest answers only please! :))

So today has had a wonderful start for me already. I woke up having had a maximum of 3 hours of sleep (the joys of overthinking and having an exhausted body paired with an over-analytical mind!!) and crippling pains in my stomach. Plus, to make matters worse, anxiety crept into my system before I even had a say about it. (That’s the thing about mental illness – YOU don’t get a say in the matter. Of course, you’re always in control of your thoughts and your emotions… but when you have a mental illness, you don’t get to pick when you suffer from it. It just happens. It just is. Anxiety sucks.)

Today was meant to be my first day of school after break… well, looks like a change of plans. Instead I am lying wrapped in blankets on my couch, drinking tea and watching Black Beauty, with one of my cats padding around my legs to make his bed. I could have gone to school – in fact, the abusive thoughts started to roll in as I began to ponder taking a day off: “you’re weak,” “all you have to do is just push further and you’ll be fine”, “you’re going to look so bad at not coming to school on the first day”, “do you really want to miss all this work your classes are going to cover? You’re just gonna make matters worse for yourself”. I almost gave in to it. But my pain was stronger and forced me to give in. And you know something? When I gave in, and listened to what my body was telling me rather than my mind, a new voice piped up in my head. A softer voice. Telling me, kindly, gently, “you’re obviously not very well. If you go to school today, you’ll hardly be able to focus, so it’ll be far more productive if you stay home and let yourself rest up so you’ll hopefully be fresher tomorrow.” Whilst the abusive voice didn’t go away, it lessened its harshness as this softer, kinder voice took charge behind the wheel.

You see, my friends, THAT is self-compassion: when you allow your kind voice to overpower your abusive voice. When you let your gentle voice calmly say, “hey, abusive thoughts, it’s alright – I got this one.” It doesn’t mean your abusive voice is going to go away. Mine is always there. But if you can channel your inner perspective, step outside of your head for a moment and see the bigger picture, you always have the choice to dull it, put it to the back of your mind, and get on with what YOU want to do.

Of course, it’s not easier said than done. Believe me. I’ve let my abusive thoughts push me past my breaking point so many times, and it’s often left me so damaged and broken that I take longer to repair myself and pick up my pieces than I did to actually get there. So what can we do to drive the little critters out of the control station?

I asked my counselor at Headspace the same question, and he produced three documents for me: “8 Types of Distorted Thinking”, “Ten Popular Irrational Beliefs and Alternative Rational Choices”, and “How to Develop Self Compassion (In Just About Anyone)” by Dr. Russ Harris. I’d really like to go through each of these documents with you all, but they are so in depth that I think I’ll take it one blog post at a time. They are all a big eye opener and have helped me so much on my journey to a kinder approach to myself and developing self-compassion.

For today, I’d like to focus on the article written by Dr. Russ Harris. I found it to be the most profound and motivating of the lot, and if you’re like me and struggle to figure out just WHERE to start on showing compassion to yourself, then here’s the guide.

Harris starts with a cracker opening line: ‘Everybody hurts sometimes. Life dishes up pain for all of us.’ Yes, yes, we are not alone in our struggle. Remember that. He then goes on to provide an actual definition for self-compassion, which I will include here:

Self-compassion involves acknowledging your own suffering and responding kindly. In other words, treating yourself with the SAME warmth, caring and kindness that you’d extend to someone you love if they were in similar pain.

How about that, hey? Imagine if we all treated ourselves as we would a loved one when they are going through a difficult time. Our pain is just as valid as theirs. So why are most of us not so quick at jumping to treat ourselves with care and consideration the moment the need presents itself?

Harris explains that there are many barriers to self-compassion, and touches on a few of the most common defences…

  • Fusion with unworthiness (“I don’t deserve kindness.”)
  • Overwhelming emotions (such as anxiety, sadness, guilt or shame)
  • Pointlessness (“How’s this going to help me?”)
  • Lack of personal experience (little to no kindness shown from other people)
  • Prejudice (“it’s a sign of weakness!”)

Sound like you? Yeah, me too.

But as Frank Capra says: “Compassion is a two-way street.” You simply just CAN’T show compassion to someone without having compassion for yourself. After all, where does it come from? If you’re doubting that you can show compassion to yourself, think to all the times you’ve been kind to someone. Why did you do it? Because you are compassionate. You therefore have the potential to demonstrate it any way you please, including yourself.

Now we ask ourselves the question – but HOW DO we develop self-compassion??? The answer is: unlimited. There are many ways you can develop self-compassion. Every person is different, so each person develops it in their own unique way – whatever works for YOU.

Dr. Harris does, however, provide ‘The Six Building Blocks of Self-Compassion’ to help you get started on your own very unique journey. He highlights that “we can start with any one of the six basic ‘building blocks’ of self-compassion – ideally, whichever one we find easiest – and we can work on that for a while. Then once we’ve made some progress with that element, we can start experimenting with another”. You know what that means? Think of it as your own self-paced course! YOU decide how long you work on one aspect of yourself, and when to move onto the next aspect. There is no time allotted to restrict or pressure you – ah, yes, you can breathe… finally, you can lower your expectations!

In this way, going gently, step-by-step, we can build our self-compassion skills over time. As we develop more ‘building blocks’, we can learn how to stack them on top of each other, to build taller and more stable towers. There is no need for people to meditate, or to follow some religious practice (although they can if they want to!)

So give it some effort. Put in the work. But remember – it will take time. Don’t be discouraged!

Now here we are, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: just what ARE the Building Blocks of Self-Compassion?

1. Acknowledging Pain
Harris describes this process as ‘flexibly noticing’, “with an attitude of curiosity and openness, what is present: right here, right now”. I LOVE this! Putting all attempts of self-compassion aside, you are bathing in what you’re feeling right now, your PAIN, and there is nothing wrong with it. Acknowledging you’re hurting is actually so incredibly essential. It’s human.

He goes on to say that “often it’s useful to express what we have noticed, in a non-judgmental way!” For example, just simply saying to yourself: “I am noticing painful feelings of rejection” can help you immensely to see the problem for what it is by hearing the very words causing your distress.

2. Defusion from Self-Judgment
Harris explains the process of defusion to be “learning to separate/unhook/detach from our thoughts and beliefs and see them for what they are: nothing more or less than strings of words and pictures”. In particular, we are learning to defuse from all that harsh self-talk.

As I’ve said earlier, Harris reinforces that “we can’t magically train our minds to stop speaking to us that way. Sure, you can learn to think more positively, and practise non-judgmental awareness – but that won’t stop your mind from judging and criticising you.

“But we CAN learn to defuse from those ‘not good enough’ stories. We can notice, name and unhook from those cognitions. We can let them come and stay and go in their own good time, without getting caught up in them or pushed around in them.”

My counselor often reminds me of his bus analogy whenever I admit to feelings of an anxiety attack coming on. He says to me, “Breanna, think of your anxiety as a bus. You’ve been on this bus many times. You know it’s route all too well, though it shows up at different and unsuspecting times. You can get on it. Or you can simply step onto the platform, smile at the bus driver, and tell him politely that you’d rather wait for another bus, a much more calmly driven, safer, quieter bus, with scenery that you’ve never seen before. And then you can step down from the bus, and watch it disappear down the street.”

3. Acting with Kindness
“The value that forms the foundation of self-compassion is kindness.” Yes, yes, yes. Right again, Dr Harris. “Indeed, we can think of kindness as the glue that holds together all the other elements of self-compassion. For example, when we consciously acknowledge our pain, this is an act of kindness. And when we defuse from harsh self-criticism, this too is an act of kindness.” Ah, the glue… Perfect way to think of it.

Dr Harris touches on four main ways to be kind to ourselves:
+ Kind self-talk… such as reminding ourselves that we are human, that we are fallible, that everyone makes mistakes, that no one is perfect.
+ Kind imagery… such as ‘loving kindness meditation’ or ‘inner child re-scripting’ or numerous other practices where we create powerful images to tap into self-kindness.
+ Kind self-touch… such as placing a hand gently on our heart or on top of a painful feeling, and sending warmth and caring inwards through the palm.
+ Kind deeds… such as self-soothing rituals, or self-care activities (these can range from treating yourself to a gourmet lunch, to having a warm bath, to just allowing yourself a five minute break to sit in the sun and focus on your breathing!), or spending quality time with people who treat us well.

4. Acceptance
There are a lot of us who think of the word ‘acceptance’ as a passive act of submitting to a difficult situation. “On the contrary,” Dr Harris explains, “the committed action process in ACT involves taking effective action. Acceptance in ACT refers to accepting our thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, urges, sensations. Acceptance means we ‘open up’ and ‘make room’ for our thoughts and feelings; we allow them to flow through us, without fighting them, running them or being controlled by them.”

Tricky thing to do, huh?

“When we practice accepting our painful thoughts, feelings, memories and sensations (instead of doing self-defeating or life-draining things to avoid them, such as zoning out in front of the television or turning to alcohol), this is an act of kindness in itself.”

5. Validation
I’m pretty sure ALL of us reading this right now has at least once in their life invalidated our own pain. It’s pretty easy to do. All you have to do is think about the malnourished, suffering kids in Africa, and hey presto! Feelings of guilt and shame, ensue. “Our minds tell us that we shouldn’t feel like this, we shouldn’t react like this, we should be able to handle it better.” Yup. Been there, done that.

This type of harsh and critical attitude is the very opposite to kindness. One aspect of validating our experience to ensure kindness, therefore, is via defusing. “Even though we can’t stop them from arising, we can learn to defuse (unhook, detach) from these harsh self-judgments, unrealistic expectations, and unkind comparisons to others.”

The other aspect is to actively validate our experience through self-talk. “We can remind ourselves – (in a warm, caring inner voice) that it is normal and natural for humans to have painful thoughts and feelings. And when our minds compare our emotional reactions unfavourably to those of others, we can remind ourselves that we are unique.”

Again – you are entitled to feel! You’re just as human as those starving kids in Africa, after all.

6. Connectedness
What was I saying about spirituality in my previous blog post? CONNECTEDNESS… with the world around you, other people, animals, and – lo and behold – yourself.

It is so easy for our minds to generate thoughts along the lines of “I am the only one going through this” or “no one cares” when we are in great pain. We’ve all been there, done that. I know I have, repeatedly. I still do. “Thoughts like these are commonplace,” Dr Harris reassures us, “and completely natural.

“However, the problem is not having such thoughts. The problem is fusing with them. Getting caught up in these thoughts creates a sense of disconnection. We feel cut off from others; we are suddenly on our own, the odd one out. And our pain is all the more difficult, because we are suffering alone.

“If, on the other hand, we develop a sense of connectedness with others, this can help us with our pain.” It sure does. Ever heard of stories where people immediately feel good about themselves after helping someone out?

So how do we develop this connectedness, you ask?
+ Actively defuse from thoughts such as those above
+ Spend time with people who care about you and treat you kindly. Actively engage with them; meaning, be fully present with them. This does not mean you push all your problems aside and try to force yourself to forget about them. No, they’re still there. Accept those thoughts. Thank your brain for them. And leave them lying on the ‘get-to-later’ shelf for safe keeping. You don’t need them right now.
+ Often, it’s useful to let these people know you are in pain, and accept their kindness.
+ Actively think about how your pain is something you have in common with all human beings. Your pain tells you that you have a heart; that you care deeply; that some things just really matter to you.

You see? Your pain most certainly is NOT a sign of weakness or defectiveness. It’s a sign you are a living, caring, human being. And that is something so truly amazing… and so incredibly full of worth. You deserve to be here just as much as everybody else.

Wow, I’ve got to say… this definitely is my longest blog post yet!!! But I truly hope you got something out of reading this. I know I did writing it – helped me kill 2 hours of my lazy day, yes! (Silent victory for the anxious xP)

If you’re feeling in a comment-y mood today, I’d love to know: what do YOU already do to practise self-compassion? Do you have any other tips that could benefit other people, or another building block to add to the list? Do share!

I hope you all have the most fantastic day, gorgeous people.

I’ll leave you with this:

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Hi everyone! How are you all doing today?

Today I am going to be talking about spirituality and its importance in my life. First, let me get one thing straight: I am NOT a religious person at all. I am of Catholic faith, yes, but I do not practice it regularly. Meaning – no, I do not go to church every Sunday. I have not been in months. I hardly ever pray.

You see, being religious and being spiritual are so far apart in meaning, but it seems to me that a lot of people aren’t actually aware of this. In my very own opinion (yes, it can be contestable!) religiosity is the strong upkeep of beliefs, faith and continuous practice of a certain religion. Spirituality, however, is your depth of connection with yourself, others, and the world around you; and whilst it most definitely falls under the category of religiosity, it can often be found in people who do not necessarily believe in God (or any other gods of our time.) I am included in this circle.

religion spirituality venn2_0

Now for a little backstory on my part. As I’ve said, despite being Baptised and regularly encouraged to follow my private school’s Catholic faith, I am not, in the sense, a religious person. I am respectful of my school’s celebration of mass and Eucharist, and see the worth in it, but the past few years of my life, it’s got me thinking – IS there a God? Can all the stories I’ve been told really justify this?

Trust me – I WANT to believe. I think everyone does, really. We all would like to think that some bigger, protective force is watching over us, guiding us throughout our lives. We all would like to think that we were put on earth for a reason, that our lives are meant for some predetermined purpose. We all would like to believe that there is a place for us after death. But the thing that’s got me is my natural scientific outlook on life. Yes, I am a very emotive, deep-feeling person, and it is often my heart that guides me rather than my head. But after all that I’ve learnt over the years about how the world works and how our very existence came to be – in scientific terms – it is hard for me to believe that there really IS a God.

Despite all of this, I do believe that I am an extremely spiritual person. It is one of my strongest core values, and I take high pride in it. I guess that’s one benefit of going through the struggle of mental illness and difficult times: my pain has strengthened my compassion, understanding, kindness, and connectivity with others, animals, and myself. Well, I’m still working on myself. Self-compassion is difficult; trust me, I get it. But we’ll get to that another time.

So, what do you think?

Can we be spiritual without holding religious values?
Do you see yourself as being spiritual, both spiritual and religious, or none at all?

I’d love to get to know your experiences with spirituality and religiosity! So please, comment below or shoot me an email!

Love to you all ❤


Here’s to Tomorrow

Here we go again. Another sleepless night maybe? I don’t know. All I know is that right now I’m listening to soft lyrical music trying to soothe a soul that’s not very soothed right now. Trying to pretend maybe I’m calm.

I have my dog here with me, which is nice. Nice to feel I’m not totally alone. He’s like a massive weight on my foot. Could say he’s my anchor right now. Much better than the weight I carry in my head.

It’s pretty disappointing that I feel so worthless right now because I had such a good day. I felt elated even, because I was doing things. Keeping both my mind and body busy. But I knew in the very back of my mind: “this isn’t gonna last, you know it’s going to end sometime, you’re probably going to finish your day crying in your bedroom.” Well, looks like I was right about one thing.

My brain is just very good at being overactive it seems! And that’s ok. It’s a pretty cool brain when you think of it. All these thoughts stringing together and making meaning out of literally anything. It can be used to hurt us, sure, but if you look at those thoughts like a pretty neat invention, it’s not so bad. Just takes a long time to empty them. Which is pretty hard for someone like me… and it’s not just an on and off thing. This happens to me, every night. The hopelessness kicks in. It’s just whether or not I can let my mind swim into an unconscious, flowy state.

I don’t even know why I’m crying to be honest. It’s like I feel everything, hitting me all at once, and yet I feel nothing. My body is buzzing and yet it feels numb. How can that be? Depression is a funny trickster it seems. I am safe, in a house full of loving family members, I’m well fed, good education, clothes on my back. So why do I feel like my world is falling asunder?

This writing thing is pretty grounding though. If you’re feeling as hopeless as me tonight, I definitely recommend you try it. It’s quite a beautiful escape.

You know, maybe my suffering is in retrospect of everything unfolding around me. Maybe it’s not just me. Maybe I’m not the only one to blame.

I’m just glad we always have a tomorrow! I mean, we don’t REALLY know that we have a tomorrow – how can we? But we always, always, always have the thought of a tomorrow. No one and nothing can take that away from us, not even the end of the world. A tomorrow… it’s the picture of a bright warm sun rising over the deep foliage of trees, wide open plains, colourful arrays of flowers that gives us our hope, our sliver of dignity, our humanity. We wait for a tomorrow. A better day. There’s always that hope. That hope will never go away for as long as you keep it around.

So yeah. I’m waiting for my tomorrow. Hoping that I won’t sink down again, even though I know I will. Quite tired of it if I’m honest with you. But I keep breathing, don’t I? I’m alive and here. So are you. And you know something… that’s incredibly full of worth.

Well, I best try and get some rest. That is the most essential thing I can do to gain the perspective I need. Sure, I’m feeling a little shitty. But it’s gonna get better. My mind just needs a little kickstart from an ounce of self-compassion is all 🙂


Yes, I have anxiety.

Yes, I have depressive thoughts.

Yes, I have self-esteem issues.

Yes, I am an insomniac.

Yes, some days I feel like my struggle is pointless.

Yes, some days I feel like I shouldn’t be here.


But you have to understand:

I am still me.

I am still a person, exactly the same as every other human being, and yet different.

I may be battling something deep inside, but I can still function just like everyone else.

I can still be, and am, happy with my life, though I have my days.

I go through hell and pain but I am still loving my life.


Just because you’re going through a difficult time, or suffering mentally, does NOT mean you are any less of a person than anyone else… it does not mean you are not living like you should be… it does not mean you are not still you… you are not limited in any way, apart from what you make of it in your head. You are who you are meant to be in this moment and that’s freakin amazing 💖

Breaking Point

This day last week was a really shit day. I had no reason to feel so crap, it was grand final day, I had a great day the day before, and my family were surrounding me. And yet I woke up late with an awful feeling in my chest. I didn’t wanna get up. I didn’t want to do anything. I missed out on riding horses, something that I absolutely love doing, which just made matters worse, and so I just laid there.

My anxiety took hold of me that day and would not let go. I was exhausted from being exhausted, and this was my body’s emergency shutdown, telling me I was over working myself.

I guess the point of what I’m trying to say is don’t let yourself get to that breaking point. Get to know your mind’s and body’s little hints that you need a break.

But you will reach your breaking point somedays. We all do it. Life does that do us; for a lot of us, it’s just one thing after another. So when you do, listen to your body. Allow yourself time to take a chill, let yourself relax, even if you absolutely despise yourself doing it.

I hated myself for resting up that day, I always feel like I’m being “counter-productive” when I’m not DOING something. But I made myself do it, and it will make me stronger in the long run, as it will for you ☺️💜✌🏼 And, most importantly of all: surround yourself with good people. My day would have been twenty times worse than what it was without letting in my loved ones 💓

Body Image

For a long time, I’ve let others define me. I’ve let myself define me too. And I still do. I still scream at myself for posting photos of myself, scared I don’t “fit” in our standards. Scared to show a little skin. Scared to be my true self. Scared that I’m not ALLOWED to feel like this because “oh, I’m so skinny and smart and pretty, why would I feel bad?” Well, you know what? I do. Every fibre in me screams that I am attention seeking. I am still wrapped up in the social conformities we’ve created in our own heads. But that’s just it! It’s all made up. There ARE no social conformities, no ideals of body shape, size, gender, sexuality, intelligence, talent, strength, beauty. It’s ALL. IN. OUR. HEADS. You’re you, and that’s enough!! So BE completely in love with yourself; there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s ok to flaunt what you have and feel totally awesome about it. Don’t be afraid to take up space. Don’t let yourself feel any less than a goddess/god. And when you do, that’s ok… but know there are no real expectations for you to “fit”.

Be strong.

Be bold.

Be proud.

Be you.

Be loud. 

And don’t you dare turn it down for anyone 🤪🌪🤟🏼🔥


Fear is something that I grapple with on a day-to-day basis. Some days are better than others. Some days, my fear is limited, barely there, and in good spirits I think “I can do this!!”

But there are some days where I think… “I can’t do this.” No way can I do this. I know it’s all in my head but fear has a way of doing that to us, shutting down our senses, distorting the line between reality and illusion. For the anxious, our flight-or-fight response is constantly on the go – without any given stimulant or cause. It’s just THERE.

The fear I feel is a lot like in this picture. Like a thousand sharp knives all around me; one wrong move and everything unravels; I get hurt. There’s no real point where it begins or ends. Everything is connected and yet somehow disjointed. And it swallows me, surrounds me in darkness, engulfs me whole. Some days I feel like I’ll never get out of it. Like I have no control.

So what do I do? I draw. I draw furiously onto a blank page with rock music blaring in my ears, whatever gets my fear pumping (somehow, energising myself rather than trying to calm myself down when I know I can’t be calmed, helps). I get this fear out onto the page, whatever I feel I draw. And suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad.

Our minds tend to create bigger problems from almost everything we encounter. So draw it out. See it for what it is. Is it really something to get yourself so worked up over?8C71FB0A-2392-45CD-8B1D-93F821977AB0.jpeg

The View of Suicide in Society – and how it’s Stigmatised.

Suicide is not a topic to be taken lightly. It is not a word to be thrown around, and should never be attached to a certain “image”. This can be a reality check for some people – as in, we need to stop the jokes.

We all respond to life in different ways. The fact that we have stigmatised the appearance and representation of mental health distorts this view. Anyone can have suicidal thoughts, no matter your background, your circumstances, your status. Suicidal thoughts are not selective. They do not pick and choose. And no, they do not always have to mean the person experiencing them genuinely wants to die – they can be unwanted, pervasive thoughts and it is so incredibly important we address them without judgement.

I think we often get so wrapped up within our own lives, that we tend to forget what RUOK day really involves. So I invite you this week to reflect on your own knowledge of this issue, work to remove any negative stigma that could be attached to your perception, and treat everyone you come across with compassion and consideration. Take a moment to think about the young, the old, and the entire families affected by this worldwide issue.

I am a survivor.

I am a fighter.

I am proud of each and every person who gets out of bed on their worst days, and I am proud of those who don’t… but choose to remain on this beautiful planet, even just for one more day.

And I lived to see another day 💙

Remember, you are worth it. Help is always available and ready. Never be afraid to reach out for it, for it is the most powerful thing you can do; there is no shame in demonstrating such strength. 

You are never alone.

#suicidepreventionday #RUOKday


13 11 14 (Lifeline Australia)

1-800-273-8255 (US National Suicide Prevention Hotline)