Thursday, 30 January 2014

Seeing Spots

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the story of Jonny Benjamin, who was searching for the man who had stopped him from committing suicide. Jonny had nicknamed this man "Mike" and launched a campaign called #FindMike to find this everyday hero whilst also raising awareness of mental health. I'm very pleased to say that "Mike" was found and you can watch a video of their reunion below.

It is so refreshing to see a positive story in the press and not least, a positive mental health story. A story of hope and friendship rather than death and loss. A story which allows for a better tomorrow. For Jonny, his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder must have appeared like a death sentence. An inability to ever be normal again, ever do normal things, to be a normal person. This is true of so many people with mental health issues. Sometimes, I walk through the university campus seething with jealousy as I see "normal" people walking around and leading normal lives. It appears that their lives are full of smiles and rainbows. A halcyon world where it is always sunny and skinny pretty people prance about sundresses.  It is so easy to chase this illusion of normality into all the wrong places. For me, I find that alcohol makes me feel normal. It smooths out the rough edges and quietens my mind for a while. It can be so difficult to deny myself that is so normal in our society and makes me feel normal for a precious few hours. It feels like a small snapshot of what happiness must feel like that. But it is not real. It is just an illusion. I wake up with a hangover and self-hatred. My normality resumes itself with more aggression.

But Jonny's story speaks of a hope, a chance at a different life to depression and self-hatred. It might not be normal but it can be so much better. If one in four people will suffer with mental health at one point during their life, maybe not being okay is normal. My counsellor once told me that some people might stare at my arms because they recognise the same pain that I have written on them. If we dismiss our warped notions of normality for what they are (symptoms of our depression), we can start to build our own halcyon world, which is not an illusion but a reality of hope and honesty. To be not okay will be the new black!

I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted the gorgeous gilet in Primark. It is so cute and reminds me of the J Crew Excursion Vests, which retail at around £138! This little gem, however, was just £12! I found it in the kids department and snapped it right up! It's the largest girl size and doesn't do up, but when you have ruffles to die for like with this blouse, who cares?

Gilet: Primark 
Blouse: Joules
Skinnies: Primark
Pumps: Primark (current)
Hairband: Primark
Sunglasses: Primark
Bracelet: Accessorize

I adore polka dots and it seems that it's a bit of family tradition. Here's lovely Lucy, my sister, in a polka dot dress with her son, Jonny!

Dress: New Look
Top & Trousers: BHS

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