I thought about starting a blog for a very long time. I had lots of thoughts buzzing about in my head and I wanted to write them down. But I already have lots of notebooks full of scribbles and ‘notes to self’ and I either never look at them again or I look back and can never quite remember the whole idea behind the quick bullet point. A blog seemed more meaningful. It also seemed more mindful. Rather than a diary that for me at least would be a continual out-pouring of emotion, without reflection or any consideration as to what happened, why and the outcome; blogposts are usually things you edit, an act which, by its very nature, is reflective. You pour out all the things you feel and ideas you have on a topic and then stop, maybe even walk away for a time, look over what you have written and delete the elements that are too personal, sometimes too painful, to post on the internet. A finished post is essentially composed of the highlights, is a synopsis, of the thought process inspired by a particular thought, event or feeling.

I guess, on some level, this blog is to provide myself with closure. Everyone has difficult times in their lives and the last two years were immense for me. I was assaulted, raped, harassed, diagnosed with anxiety and then depression. I contemplated suicide. Then I got married to a man who I am confident will help ensure that I never go back to the same depths of darkness as I did in April 2016. I used to be a mental health listening support volunteer at university and have always been very passionate about mental health, but now I am much more conscious of my own mental wellbeing. As I mentioned in the post Reflection, I had heard that blogging was a useful tool for those exploring their mental health. I mentioned that I could feel an early benefit of blogging because it made me reflect. Because it got everything out. It doesn’t matter that the final post doesn’t contain everything. That what feel like the most powerful, painful, perhaps even traumatic aspects were typed and deleted. The important thing was that they were written. That they were typed out and effectively looked straight in the eye. They don’t have any control anymore.

Blogging is very cathartic. And I also feel that I am telling my story. We all have a story, whether it is about mental health or mistreatment, or anything else, we all have things happen to us, things that are different and that we react to differently. No two stories are the same, which is all the more reason why they should all be told. So we can all strengthen and empathise with each other. So no one feels alone with what or how they are feeling. That no one feels embarrassed, or isolated or singled-out. That we all know a story from which we can draw hope.

I hope on Monday to be able to find a designated quiet time to finish addressing the darkest part of my story. For my benefit if no one else’s.

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