I’ve been thinking about why it’s so difficult to talk about mental health. I’m trying to do my bit to banish the shame and stigma that surrounds mental illness. However, it’s still hard to admit on a casual and immediate basis that I’m not ok. Even when my very best friends ask how I am, my first response is to say how great I’m doing, when in reality I might be struggling.  I guess this is a result of years of social conditioning and attempting to cover it up because I felt ashamed. Writing about my various mental health conditions here on the blog has been helpful.

After months of being pretty stable, my mood took a dramatic nose dive last week. I’m feeling better now, but when these photos were taken I was not good. I did my best to smile through it, but you can probably tell I wasn’t very well. You might wonder why I’m sharing this and sometimes I question why I make myself so vulnerable on a weekly basis. I guess I want to remind you that behind the smiling pictures that clog your social media feed, there may be all kinds of struggles that people don’t feel able to share. It’s still difficult to admit you’re having a tough time, because doing so can feel unsafe. I suggest that is because we live in a society where an admission of vulnerability is tantamount to an admission of weakness.

I’ll be writing more about this later in the week and hopefully offer some tips and advice that might be useful. I’m wearing a dress and belt by & Other Stories; the AW18 collection is really rather lovely. I paired the dress with an ancient and battered pair of boots by Kurt Geiger (similar here). I’ve worn them to death and I really like how they look now.

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