A while back I decided to do a Q&A and loads of you tweeted me lovely questions. Thank you so much to everyone who took part, I was so nervous no-one would ask me anything!
Erika (@TheWeInMe) asked, ‘If you could only choose 1 thing-one sentence of support-to say to someone struggling with mental illness what would it be?’
I would say that recovery isn’t a straight line. You’ll have good days and bad, ups and down, but in the end you will get better. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether that be to your loved ones, a counsellor, or your GP. You are not selfish for telling other people what you need, and it’s OK to not be OK. Be kind to yourself.
Oops, that’s more than one sentence.
Joe (@themanicmedic) asked, ‘If you had control of all the penguins, how would you take over the world?’
I love this question! I would command the penguins to do a giant flash mob to ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain. This would undoubtedly be the cutest thing ever, and would eventually become the most successful viral video the world has ever seen. With the vast amount of money I would make from this, I would start to solve the world’s problems one at a time, and quickly be elected Prime Minister. My cabinet would be the penguins, and we’d travel the world together using the power of sheer cuteness, whimsy and joyful dancing to bring peace to every nation.
Laura (@lauradavis_96) asked, ‘What and when were you diagnosed with and how did the diagnosis make you feel?’
This is a tricky one as I’ve never really been formally diagnosed. I’ve always known I have emetophobia, but didn’t really know I also had OCD until my counsellor suggested I might. I was in denial initially, until I realised she was right. Having a label for it and a better understanding of what I was going through was actually a huge relief. Throughout counselling, everything clicked into place and I realised that I’m not alone which was a huge comfort. Finally I understood myself better, which is definitely the first step to recovery in my opinion.
When I saw my GP he didn’t officially diagnose me with anything, but he prescribed anti-depressants. I have also been prescribed beta-blockers for anxiety. So to an extent, as far as my doctor is concerned, I have depression and anxiety.
Depression is a serious illness so I’m careful not to throw the word around lightly. To be honest, I’ve always wondered whether it was just a series of very shitty events that made me feel the way I did, rather than an actual medical reason. All I know is that my medication is helping me and that’s all that matters.
Hannah (@hannahrainey_) wondered, ‘What is your greatest achievement? Something you’re really, really proud of yourself for?’
To be honest, surviving last year and coming out of it stronger than ever. I sought out the help I needed, took some huge, scary steps and put myself through a lot of pain, all the while learning to trust myself to do what’s right for me. I learned to put my needs first and gained the strength to open up to those around me.
I learned that the right course of action is sometimes the hardest, but in the end you’ll only come out stronger than before.
I’m proud of Geek Magnifique, and the amazing people I’ve meet through blogging. I’m proud of myself for following my dreams and landing an amazing job.
But most of all, I’m proud of myself for not giving up.
‘If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?’ – Rich (@RichBiscuit21)
It’s a tough one. Probably my Grandpa, as I never got to know him, but I’ve been told he was the loveliest man.
Possibly my Dad, to try to right some wrongs and repair our relationship.
Or maybe Louis Theroux. Because, well, Louis Theroux. *Heart eyes*
Charlie Brooker is also very high on my dream dinner party guest-list as I reckon we’d really hit it off. I think we have similar views on the world, and I’d love to pick his brain as I think he’s an absolute genius. He’d be amazing to chat to, and he suffers from emetophobia like me, which makes me like him even more!
Kat (@thekatway) was curious to know, ‘Who made your profile picture? And what good things have come from being a MH advocate so far?’
My profile picture (below) was made by the supremely talented, and wonderful, @AlohaLolaCards – check her out!
The best thing about being a MH advocate is when people tell me I’ve helped them. Knowing that I’m helping people to feel less alone is a wonderful thing, and I feel honoured to have met all the incredibly courageous, inspiring people I have through blogging.
Mel (@melreylaw): ‘Do you ever get comments from people who think social media jobs are easy? What’s your response?’
I definitely get a lot of, ‘So what do you actually do? How is that a full time job?’ as people just imagine I’m sitting on Twitter all day. I explain that there’s a lot of planning and strategy that goes into it, and that my role encompasses many other things, for example writing blog posts and email marketing. To be honest, I’ve learned it’s easier just to say I work in marketing! Less questions that way. That or I joke that I’m a ‘professional tweeter’ and have a laugh about it.
And finally, another lovely question from Laura: ‘Name five things you’re grateful for.’
- My friends and family. Of course this includes my wonderful husband!
- Having a home and stability.
- Doing a job I love.