2016 had a rocky start, middle and end, but there is a lot I have learnt throughout my experiences.

Lesson 1 – Talk to others.
Back story: I was very unhappy and scared of being seen as ‘overreacting’ or being ‘dramatic’ which led me to keep it all to myself. I wasn’t alone but I isolated myself to point where I didn’t recognise that I was surrounded by caring and loving friends and family. When I eventually explained how I felt, there was no earthquake, the world didn’t end, I simply became aware of the support network that already existed around me; people can’t help you if you don’t tell them what’s wrong and this leads me to my second lesson.

Lesson 2 – Ask for help.
If you are struggling, ask for help. If it’s homework, or general mood, asking for help is not weakness and it is not bad.
Back story: I didn’t ask for help, and looking back I can honestly say that I was guilty of burying my head in the sand when it came to every aspect of my life. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think straight and until I asked for help, no matter my efforts, it did not improve, which is why I think it’s important to remember that you can’t do things on your own all the time, there are some things in life that require more than just yourself. This doesn’t make you inadequate or worth any less. It makes you human.

Lesson 3 – Love yourself.
This is by far the greatest lesson, the most important lesson and the most commonly forgotten lesson. Love yourself.
Back story: A wonderful woman called Annabelle, my councillor at CAMHS, helped me to realise this; If you don’t eat, sleep and exercise well, you won’t function properly, I’m not a huge fitness fan, and I used to really struggle with sleep, both of these factors affected my mood, without me even realising and when I got help with my sleep everything else became a little bit easier.
Furthermore, my mum once told me that you have to listen to your body, if you are tired, you need sleep.
Loving yourself (in my opinion) means looking after yourself and recognising your own abilities. If I can’t do something, I’ll try first and then ask for help, because it benefits me more to learn how to do something from someone else than to just give up, it might mean swallowing my pride sometimes and I’m willing to do so, because I love myself and I want to be able to learn and grow as a person.
It is hard to love yourself at times, and it took me a while, but I like who I am and I have learnt how to maintain a good mental health.


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