It’s mental health awareness week and last night I decided I wanted to write.
I didn’t really know where to start with this post.
I could have spoken about my mental health issues around food as young dancer or the dark place I found myself in last year but then to be honest it didn’t feel useful enough to share with you.
I wanted to share more than I usually do which yes is scary but also it’s the only way I felt I could really, just maybe make a difference. When someone has opened up to me or I’ve read an autobiography or watched a documentary where someone has shared an experience or a little piece of them, it’s made me feel trusted so I guess I’m trusting you as my readers. And I hope that in some way this post may resonate with you or someone you know in a small significant way that perhaps isn’t even relevant right now but maybe one day when you need someone to just feel like they know…
I went back to my diary that I’ve had since I was 15. I’ve NEVER shared a piece of my diary on this blog or with anyone really and as I read it through I felt happy and sad and vulnerable and was bought right back to how old I was and where I was and what I was going through when I wrote it.
I’m 25 now. 10 years of Dear Diary.
Girl to woman I guess. That absolutely scary and exciting time when you’re really trying to figure this whole life thing out; career, boys, heartache, sex, being a woman, death, honesty, being domestic, finding you.
The little girl I was when I wrote that first entry just after my 15th birthday 16/03/2007 about the first boy who broke my heart or what I thought was that and the last entry on the same month 10 years later 03/03/2017 feeling the most me I’d ever felt are such world’s apart yet but both very me. It’s clear how important that time between teenager and woman is in defining how you see yourself and the world.
As I read it from back to front last night it made me feel emotional because I feel like every moment good and bad that I’d wrote in it has led me to being who I am right now and exactly where I’m meant to be.
Snippets from 10 years of Dear Diary
“I don’t why you let yourself be dragged in. I don’t get him.”
“Oh my gosh, so stressed over school right now, sooooo much work to do.”
“Dancing was so good yesterday, I really felt like I was improving. Monday was slight poop day though- but everyone has them I suppose?”
“School life- everything is s*** apart from fabulous friends.”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so ratty and horrible.”
“Guess what, I have 41 days left at school then no more school EVER.”
“So yeh basically everyone’s hooking up except me- oh well I don’t really care.”
“I’m going to college as my own person willing to work my utmost hardest, not to follow the crowd but to respect yourself and the people you’re trying to impress and if I’m not holding the right side of my body up in 3 years of training I will officially give you my life savings.”
“Also I’ve been doing a neo-classical piece to Hans Zimmer and got to the finals with that which I was shocked but over the moon about.”
“I think I’m having a bit of an issue about my weight.”
“Added him on facebook, he accepted. (yay).”
“I’m not even going to get upset.”
“I’ve never laughed so much in a toilet in my entire life.”
“I nearly cried, how pathetic is that, I need to grow a pair and remember how independent I am.”
“Your body needs to be looked after and eating loads of crap for one night is pointless”
“I’ve cried a lot of tears but I was there and that is the main thing.”
“9 minutes until Christmas day, just thought I’d say how much I’m grateful for. I want to be a better person in 2012.”
“I’m going into my twenties and I want to see the amazing in every day, laugh every day, take risks but know what I want.”
“…gradually moving away from dance.”
“I so need this holiday, I need to clear my mind and find my soul again.”
“I am now a Pilates instructor – tick.”
Age 24 (I didn’t write in the diary for 3 years.)
“It’s been 3 whole years since I’ve wrote in here. I’m going to see a counsellor tomorrow. I want to write in here again. Who knows where I’ll be this time next year, 10 years on from writing this diary.”
“The weekend was strange, do you always feel like your sacrificing a little part of you?”
“This has been the hardest year of my life.”
“As soon as you tune in and listen to your gut, you know what to do.”
“When I look into 2017, I see laughter and fun and fearlessness and adventure.”
That is 10 years condensed into 26 little thoughts so of course you’re not getting the whole picture but what I can personally see is insecurity, hope, anxiety and persistence. Who knows what made me want to write from such a young age even if it was to myself. I didn’t even know what a blog, or mental health or spirituality was then.
I don’t think the inner battle with ourselves ever really goes but I’ve always been interested in managing my mind and my thoughts and creating a reality that felt true and pure and that’s what has guided me to now.
I would never say what I’ve been through in that diary/in life is anywhere near as terribly traumatic as others in anyway but it’s not about that. I’ve only experienced what we all as humans have to experience such as self destruction, heartache, confusion, denial, and generally feeling poop. But a lot of the time; in fact most of the time I’ve been so so happy in all those years. Being happy and sad is not really what mental health is about for me. This week is an awareness week so let’s just simply be more aware. It’s recognising that we all go through stuff and it doesn’t matter what scale that stuff is on, you’re not alone.
That little girl inside me desperately wanting to be a ballet dancer, desperately wanting to be loved, desperately wanting to be thin will always be a part of me but she now knows that health and happiness and being completely accepting of herself is more important. And when you’re not afraid to want more out of life and when you’re not afraid to be fully and completely you, everything changes and you’re free. But if I ever am scared or lost again, that’s okay too and I’ll find a way back to me.
Love, Lottie x
This week in honour of Mental Health Awareness week and as my ambassador role at The Prince’s Trust, I and my 4 best friends are posting about the topic on my blog. Come back every day for a new post. I’m also cycling the Palace to Palace bike race for The Prince’s Trust who support 13-30 year olds get their lives back on track after tough starts in life, trauma and abuse. You can sponsor me here.
If you want to find out more about the support that The Prince’s Trust offers then see their programmes page here.
*This is not a sponsored post, I will always let you know if a post is sponsored or in collaboration with a brand.