September 19, 2017
During my blog rebrand I had mentioned that I wanted to talk less about mental health and focus more on fashion and beauty as that is what I started out writing about. I felt as though I had lost myself along the way and, although I found writing about mental health helped me, and others who had messaged me telling me that my honesty and openness encouraged them to speak out, I found myself writing about mental health for the sake of it and it was almost making me feel worse. After a summer at home, with little blogging done and a lot of work, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm shocked. I really wanted to write this post as I've documented my mental health journey on my blog from the beginning and it wouldn't feel right to just share the lows. Sharing my high points is important to prove that things can get better and even in the darkest of times, it's important to remember that things can do a complete U-turn.

Although I'm feeling good, I still have my off days. This isn't a post to shout 'I'M CURED, I'M BETTER', because that's not the case, it's more of an update about how I'm dealing with my anxiety (and OCD, although it has been behaving very well lately!). 

From the beginning of my journey to now I feel like a completely different person. When I was first struggling with anxiety, I never went out and I ended up not going to school because it was easier and less stressful for me. College was next to impossible to attend and I had panic attacks on the regular. It was exhausting. I found it hard to sleep and I was living on four hours sleep a night, if I was lucky. 

Nowadays, I'm sleeping soundly almost throughout the night. I'm up on about seven hours sleep per night. My panic attacks are few and far between and I am excited about doing things out of my comfort zone. For example, I went to visit my friend Laura in Louth last week and I travelled on the bus ON MY OWN and although it was stressful, I can't believe I actually did it. 

The thing with anxiety is you can become quite dependent on people to be there for you. I used to feel like I needed my mother to (metaphorically, sometimes literally) hold my hand everywhere I went and relying on my mam so much is not exactly what I wanted to be doing at 18/19 years old. Now I feel like I can walk beside her, instead of hiding behind her. 

All that being said, I can't say I'm 'fixed'. I don't think that's possible because I'm so used to living with this now. I will always feel a pang of fear when I look at my watch and realise I'm only ten minutes early for my bus, not fifteen. I will always need to take a few moments in a night club to gather myself and talk myself out of a panic attack. I will always avoid phone calls as much as I possibly can and I will always over think every single word of a blog post I'm writing. And, that's okay because I feel as though all these things are no longer controlling my life.

This could all change in another few weeks, and I could be back to writing 'I'm having a really hard time and here's why' but for now I am getting on with things and it feels so good not to feel trapped by my mental illness.

Outfit details:

Topshop | Milan Slogan Tee
Topshop | MOTO Jamie Jeans
Bag | Sold out but similar here

Thank you for reading, I hope you're all well and please follow me on Instagram (lol) 'cos I'm putting in a lot of effort recently lol. Thank you. 

Much luv,
Aileen x