I have always been obsessed with words. The words we use today are the history, thoughts, actions of everyone that came before us. They’re tools, they win battles, save lives, fix hearts, break them. They’re part of how we came to be here. And, unfortunately, they’re often the first things to leave us when we’re in a rough place.
Mental illness affects everyone differently. Mine was a long game, starting young, not glaringly obvious. It was there in the way I stopped wanting to learn at school, in the way I never finished anything I started, the way I treated my friends, my family and the way I treated myself. There’s a line from a film, ‘The perks of being a wallflower’ the lead says: ‘’We accept the love we think we deserve’’ — I remember hearing these words and realising I didn’t like myself. My anxiety was crippling. And I never talked about it, because it wasn’t ‘cool’ back then to look weak, to admit you were not ok. I’m here to tell you that it is cool, bare with me — I’ll explain why.
I quit everything. As a kid all I’d wanted to do was make stories with great words, write them, play pretend. I wanted to be an actor. But not many people believed in me. I’m not mad - it’s part of the modern day psyche, a sense of fear keeps you in security. I was told ‘no you’re not good enough’ a lot, often. By teachers, drama school, family, strangers at the bus stop. But I did it. I made a choice to love myself enough to believe in myself, to let myself fail without judgement, to not be scared but to be excited at the prospect of getting the chance to try.
So why is it cool to be able to look weak, to be able to admit that you’re not ok? Because that makes you human. Being vulnerable, allowing people to see you, allowing yourself to fail and feel — that is what makes you human, it makes you alive, it makes you incredible.
I never felt valuable, I never thought I had a path and at one point I didn’t feel I had a future here. I was wrong.
To the person reading this, you are not and will never be alone. You are valuable, you have so much light and life to offer this world. Show us. Be brave. You can do this. I promise