A guest post from a new friend
“The Evolution Of Awesome Lady”streaming film The Danish Girl 2015
The Internet can be a truly amazing place. “World Wide Web” is a pretty apt name when you really think about it. Little spiders we are, placed perfectly in our own part of the world, yet interconnected and able to reach each other if we know which way to spin our next sticky thread.
Recently, my crazy love of music, helping others and the aforementioned “web” have combined to take me to some pretty wild and unexpected places! One such adventure started the day I was checking my Twitter account, where I anonymously retweet words that I find upbeat and inspiring (you can follow me at @just_zen if you are so inclined). That day an RT by Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) (thank you for the music Mr Broad and also for my newfound friend Jon!) happened to catch my eye. Billy was retweeting a blog and something about the blogger’s name “exboozehound.co.uk” caught my attention. It was truly a serendipitous moment as it resonated with an issue in my own life at the time. I love learning, so I clicked through to Jon’s blog and started reading!
Soon after I began reading, it became obvious to me that Jon’s blog was not just about booze. It was a melting pot for all mental health issues, including depression. “I know about that!” I thought to myself! And as my mother would always say to me growing up, “You just have to put your two cents’ worth in, don’t you!” (I could be a very critical, snarky child, especially when my parents’ behaviour didn’t align with what they were telling me I should be doing.) I felt an overwhelming need to contact Jon, compliment him on his bravery for sharing his story and then, well yes, LOL, put my 2p in!
Hence started our little chats about life and what it means to be content, positive and all those good things. It was after one of those chats that Jon bestowed the nickname “Awesome Lady” upon me (but we’ll get to that).
You see the thing is, I wasn’t always awesome…
Issues such as mental illness and alcoholism have plagued me my entire life. I’ve either been the direct sufferer or the “passive sufferer”. My parents’ drinking problems tainted my childhood and forced me to “grow up” far too soon, I have a sister with a serious incurable psychiatric illness and my own anxiety and depression took up way too much of twenties. If only I could have charged those feelings rent for the headspace they occupied for so long, LOL! But please do not pity me as it is because of all these things that I am resilient, loving and grateful today. My point in revealing this is simply to clarify why I feel qualified to speak on this topic.
My defining “light bulb mental health moment” (and I believe we do all eventually have them, so if you are reading this and suffering in some way, please don’t lose hope) came the day I realised that the opposite of depression was not happiness! This elusive destination – “happiness” – this abstract state of permanent euphoria that I thought would cure all my woes was not the answer to all the uncomfortable feelings I was experiencing! The opposite of depression, I discovered, was…drum roll… GRATITUDE!! Put simply, stop whinging, find what you do have and be bloody thankful that you have at least that! And it was in explaining this idea to Jon that I gained the nickname “Awesome Lady”. If you would like to know more on my thoughts about gratitude, I am sure that Jon, being the gentleman he is, might insert a hyperlink back to the blog post he dedicated our conversation about it here. “Gratitude” and “Love” are my mantras these days and have been for a long time now.
We all have our light bulb moments. Be patient. Whether you are suffering or you are the “passive” sufferer who watches and feels the pain of a loved one suffering, please don’t give up. Never give up. Getting back up just one more time than you fall is all it takes. You could fall 100 times, but as long as you get back up that 100th time then you have won.
And to finish, just a final word on gratitude. If this sounds like something you might want to experiment with, here’s a little tip. You can really speed your own gratitude along by helping others.
You might meet someone awesome along the way – someone like Jon. 😉
Awesome Lady x
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