Introducing The Invisible Illness Human Library!

So the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that I didn’t post anything for my usual Thursday post but there was good a reason for that! Well actually there wasn’t. I could totally have written a post but I wanted to get this all done and dusted first. πŸ™‚

I’m launching a brand new project! It’s (as I’m sure you’ve guessed) The Invisible Illness Human Library and I’m super excited to see how it all goes. I’ll let my video below do a little more explaining. Take it away, me!

If you’d like to get involved, get in touch via the contact page or tweet me @albysaurus! πŸ™‚

Videos, New Skills and a New Passion.

So for those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have seen that I’ve recently released my first video for Success In Selflessness. It’s a totally new avenue for me to explore and it’s a new way to reach new people so that I can hopefully support even more people to open up and talk about their mental health. If you haven’t seen it, don’t panic! Here it is:

The first one is about the benefits of forcing yourself outdoors when you suffer with social anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I know how fucking hard it is to get out there but if you can manage it, even for ten minutes, it can give you a huge boost.

Over the last few months I’ve been dabbling with music recording, Illustrator, Photoshop, video editing and After Effects. I have unexpectedly fallen in love with creating videos. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got so so much to learn but I’m so proud of my first real attempt at a video. Rest assured that I’ll be doing more of these! πŸ™‚

If you like the video, please like it, share it and subscribe for more! It’ll really help me out and I really want these short videos to help other people too. If you tag me if/when you share it, I’ll give you a shout out on Twitter (@albysaurus) and/or Instagram (@alexquang)! πŸ™‚

The really wonderful thing that I’ve been pondering recently though is about getting educated. I don’t have a degree. I dropped out after a year of doing Business and Management at Birmingham City University. I didn’t do well at A Levels either. But I definitely don’t feel stupid. I’m so much more motivated to learn now that I can choose what to learn. I’m putting in so many hours into everything that I’m doing now.

The way that I see it, learning is an absolutely essential part of life. If you stop learning, you may as well stop doing anything at all. You’ll stop growing as a person and you’ll never strive to be a better version of you. I stopped striving for a while. I became complacent and I ended up miserable. I didn’t feel like I was challenging myself and I felt like less of a person.

I highly doubt I’m ever going to be a full time professional video editor but learning a skill that I thought would be just something I’d use at work has led to me discovering a new passion and I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty exciting to me!

So don’t stop learning, don’t stop pushing yourself and don’t stop being brilliant.

A

Even on the best of days

Today was an odd day.

I got back from Manchester feeling thoroughly pleased with two days work. But at the same time, very anxious. See I had a gig to go to. An amazing band called The Staves. My anxiety came from the fact that the person I was going with had to cancel because of work. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find anyone else to go with so I was going to have to go alone.

As the time went on and the gig got closer my anxiety grew. I’m someone that refuses to go to a restaurant or a cinema or the theatre alone. I’d sooner eat my own arm than attend something like that alone. I asked everyone I thought might be interested if they wanted the ticket for free but it was, sadly, too short notice.

Eventually I mustered up the courage to go alone in the hopes that the music would pick me up as it usually does. Throughout the evening I went from highly anxious, very self conscious and extremely uncomfortable to being just about okay enough to enjoy the sound of those three beautiful voices.

At one point I was close to having a panic attack and I almost left part way through. Luckily, The Staves are not only incredibly talented, they’re also hilarious. They managed to keep distracting me with music and their surprising potty mouths. If you hear them sing you’d never expect it but it was brilliant.

The problem is I was constantly so anxious and I’d worked myself up into such a state before the gig that my brain wasn’t working properly. My memory of the evening is blurry. I remember them being amazing and hilarious but nothing beyond that. No specifics.

Even on the best of days I feel anxious but there are things that help me cope. Today it was The Staves, their beautiful faces and spectacular voices and music. They managed to stop me from breaking down in public and having a panic attack in a venue full of a few thousand people. It’s likely they won’t ever know what they did for me today and do on a regular basis. Today I took my first step to becoming comfortable enough to do more things like this by myself! Cheers, ladies!

Also keep an eye out for our first post for #OnYourMind coming soon! If you want to find out more, check out my previous post, tweet me @albysaurus or email me alexquang1@gmail.com

Introducing: What’s On Your Mind?

Those of you that know me will know that I’ve been racking my brains for a while now for a project that I could run with little resource on mental health. I myself suffer from depression and anxiety and know a lot of people with the same and other mental health problems.

Much of society doesn’t understand the concept of mental health and the stigmas surrounding it are unjustified, untrue and occasionally downright unpleasant. How can I as an individual try to tackle this issue? Well I’ve always encouraged people to talk about mental health. I did that first by opening up about my own mental ill-health. Slowly people began to talk to me and share their own experiences of mental health whether it was positive or negative. Whether they were going through it at that time or they’d been through it previously.

I’ve spoken to a bunch of people now and so I thought it was time to get their stories out there in a slightly different way. Talking about your entire experience of mental health can be exhausting, uncomfortable and lengthy so I decided to take snapshots of people’s lives.

I’ve asked people to write up their average daily thoughts hour by hour from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep.

I’ve got two aims for this project. The first is to show the general public that mental health affects people on a daily basis, that it’s complex, and that the stereotypes aren’t all they’re meant to be. There’s more to a person than their illnesses!

The second aim is that people who are taking part can see their thoughts written down and they can see all the little positives that they should start appreciating more and the negative things that they can potentially work on.

I’m also hoping that this will generate a bit of discussion and create a bit of a support network for those who have taken part!

If you want to get involved or want to find out more, please feel free to tweet me @albysaurus or email me alexquang1@gmail.com πŸ™‚

Keep an eye out for #OnYourMind on twitter and instagram and stay tuned for our first post soon! πŸ™‚

Shout out to Haaris for coming up with our hashtag!

See you all soon!