Don’t Meet Your Heroes… Unless They’re Wonderful.

You know how almost all of us have people we want to meet? Usually it’s celebrities. Sports stars, musicians, scientists, you know the type. But when was the last time you had someone “regular” that you wanted to meet? A regular Joe/Jane. A person who you’ve seen around or maybe spoken to once or twice online?

It doesn’t happen often does it? But for me, it happened! It all started with one of my favourite people [A] in the world who’s always supported this blog, my videos, my life in general including supporting me through break ups, awkward encounters, my lowest most depressed and anxious moments.

She knew someone who had been struggling with their mental health [B] and she put us in touch. She also shared my posts on here, Facebook and Instagram. We started chatting nearly 2 years ago on and off and she is fantastic. Life has dealt her a bit of a shit hand but she has always powered through. Despite everything that she’s gone through, she is still going. And one thing I really, wholeheartedly, absolutely respect her for is sharing. We’ve had a fair few conversations about mental health. About her own and about mine. She spoke really openly and honestly with me very early on in our friendship and she knows exactly how much strength that takes. How much energy it takes to do that. How terrifying it can be. But she did it. And I’m so glad she opened up to me because I am so proud and honoured to consider her a friend.

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog is fully aware how much I value the sharing of all of our mental health struggles. It’s something that I think we all need to do more to help remove that stigma. It helps us all feel much more comfortable sharing our struggles. It doesn’t have to be public like what I’m doing. It can just be sharing with one person you trust, but please do share. It will lighten the load.

Anyway, back to the point. Yesterday I got to meet Miss B and she is just as amazing and inspiring as I knew she would be. Everyone always says “don’t meet your heroes, you’ll only be disappointed”. But you know what? Sometimes you can and should meet your heroes. Miss A is one of my heroes and she introduced me to Miss B who is now one of my latest heroes and I’m very grateful for it. A little extra joy was brought into my life today and I am very glad I met one of my heroes.

Insomnia strikes again. 

As I’m writing this it’s 2:26am. I’ve been lying in bed since just before 10pm and sleep has eluded me once again. I had around 3 hours sleep last night. I’m meant to be getting up in under 5 hours for work.

Life has been a bit of a shit storm in 2017 which you can read about in a previous post somewhere on my blog. It feels like there have been more downs than ups. It’s hit me hard. I’m struggling to focus on anything, my depression has got infinitely worse and my anxiety is through the roof.

It’s a classic combination. Depression exhausts me physically and mentally which makes my anxiety worse. My anxiety then makes me too anxious to sleep and so I get more tired and my depression gets worse. My insomnia has reached a point where I can’t sleep at any time of the day.

Usually if I’m a bit knackered I can nap any time any where. Recently, even if I’m in my comfy beanbag with a duvet on listening to asmr keyboard sounds I can’t nap for shit. At night in bed I’m constantly tossing, turning and thinking. And that’s the problem. I can’t stop thinking. My brain is on overdrive at the moment and it’s absolutely crushing me. I’m sure there’ll be people telling me I should switch off my phone, stop writing this post and just get away from the screen but I did that for hours to no avail.

Insomnia for me is one of those things where I know the causes but even when I put things in place to prevent them or solve them it just doesn’t seem to work. I’ve even exhausted myself to the point I’ve cancelled all of my social plans this week. 

One of the things that worries me the most is my job. They’re supportive for sure. But in my head all I’m thinking is that they’re going to be angry at me for not coming in, that they’re talking about me behind my back when I’m not in and that I’m taking the mick. I’m constantly worrying about the people I may be letting down and the things I feel like I should be doing.

But what should I be doing? Part of my brain tells me “stop. Rest. Recover”. The other, louder part of my brain just keeps telling me “ohhhhh man. You done fucked up this time. Work is going to crucify you. They’re going to be so mad. You better get your shit together. Also you suck at life.”

I have to constantly remind myself it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to be ill. It’s okay to feel like shit and to be completely and utterly broken. One day, some time soon (hopefully), I’ll be strong enough, well enough to fix myself. And for those of you going through the same things, you will be too. 


World Mental Health Day 2016

Bonus post today! Today is WMHD and the theme this year is psychological first aid and support that people can provide to those in distress. I of course, am no expert on psychological first aid so I’m not even going to attempt to advise on that.

If you do know someone who requires help, you can find information or someone to talk to at these places.

For me, I’m going to talk about that feeling you get when you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I’ve spoken to a few people about it over the last few weeks and it’s been playing on my mind.

A lot of the most ambitious people I know are doing a whole shit load of things. Setting up businesses, creating amazing things for people, looking after their families and friends and challenging stereotypes and making the world a better place.

Lots of people however, not just my friends, feel like they’re not achieving enough. They don’t fit into the normal boxes that society has created for us. They might not be getting the “stable” job or going a traditional route through education. What they are doing though, is carving a new path for themselves.

One thing that a lot of people from generations past just don’t understand is that it’s a lot harder for people these days to find one job, one career and stick to it. The days of long term contracts is gone and we have to live life a little bit different. This is exemplified in the place that I work. It’s a great job but due to funding, our contracts don’t go for more than a year. Our roles no longer consist of one singular task. We have to be photographers and videographers, youth workers, video editors, social media experts, tech gurus, social action moguls, event planners, workshop deliverers and more. It makes for a much less secure role, but it allows us to learn and develop skills that will surely help us to find other employment and/or start our own projects or businesses. You can’t just do one thing anymore so don’t have a go at us for splitting our attention. It was previous generations that have led us to this point in society where we’re forced to chase dreams differently.

There’s a lot of pressure put on young people to find a job that we’ll have forever and to have kids and a nice house in the suburbs. Lots of people these days are unlikely to ever own a house. Lots of people don’t want kids. Lots of people don’t want to do a 9-5. If any of those are you, then that’s fine. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. You can be the creator of a whole new way of working and living. We’re the future of this planet and so we need to implement the changes we want.

It’s really easy to compare ourselves to each other, to successful people you know and admire and feel like you’re not doing enough. You are, though. Everyone has a different path to get to where they’re happy and healthy and successful and some are straight and simple, while others are meandering and complex. Either is fine. If anyone tells you otherwise, smile, nod and then go achieve what you want to achieve and show them how wrong they are.

Don’t beat yourselves up. You’re doing fine. I still don’t know if the career I’m in is what I want to do forever. I don’t think I’ll ever know. You don’t have to either. I just make sure that I’m doing something. Make sure you’re doing SOMETHING and you’ll be learning and growing.

To finish, I’ll leave you with a video. It’s a TED talk about having more than one passion. It’s one of my favourite talks and I watch it regularly to remind myself that being passionate about everything is a good thing. 🙂