Nice to meet you. I’m Jake.
While I can’t say it’s often my first line when introducing myself, it makes sense to start this About Me page at the start of my mental health journey.
Having low mental health, and living through its ups and downs every day, has defined the path I’ve taken and made me the person I am today. And first off, I’m not ashamed to say that mental health has defined me.
Because going through my struggles has made me determined. I choose not to be a victim of my low mental health instead of using those feelings and diverting them into something positive.
And that something is helping others. This blog is one example of this, and I hope that it provides you with some value and a little comfort to know you are not alone.
I tend to wander when talking, part of my “grasshopper mind” being autistic. I was diagnosed when I was very young, and it’s always made me a bit different (those who are autistic or have met me offline will know exactly what this means).
Being “different” was not normal. And that lead to bullying, which started from about year 3 onwards. I struggled to make friends, to fit in.
The difficult relationship I had with my mother, the bullying, and not being able to fit in really got to me in my early teens. This started affecting my mental health.
Over the next few years, I went through bad patches of anxiety and depression. I hit rock bottom. I had some uncomfortable thoughts that I’m not going to relay here.
But by the time I was 16, through the help of my support network (who admittedly I didn’t always appreciate), I was feeling better. And that’s why I started this blog.
I’ve always loved writing and being creative, and it’s something I’ve always done and continue to do to this day. And there is another reason why my mental health blog helps especially.
At 14, I used to reply to messages on Childline’s message boards. It helped me feel that I wasn’t alone, and I could see others in similar situations than I was. ChildLine is part of the NSPCC and run by volunteers and is a service I would advocate for any young person to use if they don’t know where to turn or just want someone to talk to.
Knowing I’m not alone and feeling useful and purposeful has been a huge factor in helping my mental health. This blog helps me have positive feelings. As I often say on Mental Monday, it’s more therapy for me than anything else.
I feel a lot better now though I still have low moments. Does this mean I haven’t recovered? I don’t think so, because for the most part, I can manage these now, and thanks to my support network, I’m able to rise out of them.
While depression and anxiety continue to play a part in my life, I won’t let them dictate it.
If you’re reading this and thinking that you’ll never recover, I want you to know there is a way. You might not have found it yet, but the right person (both professionally and personally) may come along and be able to help.
I’m sure we’ve all been giving those pamphlets with a bullet point list of coping strategies. The biggest thing to do is find what works for you. And the first step is always reaching out.
Why? Because it’s much easier to get through low moments and find better ways of coping when you’ve got support around you. And that may take some tough decisions in removing negative people and overcoming that anxiety of seeking help.
But when you do, you’ll have that foundation to keep taking steps on your recovery journey. They may be little steps, and they may be backward sometimes, but you’ve got this.
And you will get through this.
And while that’s the end of this page, it’s certainly not the end of our story. We all have mental health, and it’s variable. Whether it’s good (or not so good) right now doesn’t mean that can’t change.
And that’s why it’s so important to have awareness and talk about our low moments. Because anyone can suffer from low mental health.
So let’s keep talking, getting involved in awareness events and continuing to make those steps on all of our recovery journeys.
We’ve got this.
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I continue to share my story and raise awareness on my mental health blog. It's a great place to leave a comment with your thoughts.