All in all, I have had a pretty good week.
As my current readers will know, I won my first award this week! I won ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ in the ‘Making it Happen’ awards in Sevenoaks.
I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to have even have been nominated for an award, let alone to win it!
I started this blog in hope that it would be an outlet for me. I find writing therapeutic and it is a way for me to air my thoughts and get them onto ‘paper’. It just so happened that people started reading my posts. I continue to gain hundreds of new readers on a weekly basis and I’m close to 10,000 readers.
I still get messages from complete strangers from around the world who relate to my experiences and this really does make all of this worth it. To know that I’m not alone in all of this is half of my battle. It’s normalising mental health that I set out to do and it is happening. Slowly but surely conversations are happening and awareness is being raised. (victory dance).
I’m aware that there is a long way to go, but with your help we can do it.
I want to really thank everyone for your support, messages and help with my mission.
If you had asked me this time last year if I would be sat here able to say these things, I would have laughed. I would have told you that I was ‘just me’ and that I would never have achieved any of this. How wrong I would have been.
I really must stress how West Kent Mind have helped me to do all of this. I still suffer with a Mental Illness and it is something I still seek help for occasionally. With West Kent Mind’s support, I have been able to get back up and fight when I really felt like hiding away and giving up.
I have been lucky enough to have been to a few of their local classes and I would urge you to do the same, either with West Kent or your local Mind.
I went to their Art group where I met a really welcoming group of likeminded people. There was no pressure, no expectations, just friends. I’m by no means Picasso and my stick men are hardly ‘art’, but that didn’t matter. I sat down and took to a mindfulness colouring sheet. I felt comfortable and most importantly for me; I was not alone.
I also attended a Creative Writing group, which I LOVED. A small group who meet in Tonbridge on a Thursday and have a cup of tea and talk about the writing they have done. Dave, who leads the class, was so friendly and welcoming. Going to a new place and meeting new people is a common struggle amongst anxiety sufferers, but I truly had no issue with this group. We sat and the group shared their recent work. These writers are so talented and I could have sat all day listening to the stories being conjured up.
Dave sets free time work for the group to work on at home, which is a brilliant idea. It is by no means obligatory, but it keeps minds busy, imaginations flowing and confidence building.
I have been fortunate enough for the group to have written me some pieces to use in my blog, watch this space!
I really want to thank everyone, again, for your support, your likes, your shares and for making this happen for me.
I have been nominated for another award this week and hopefully will be popping some more corks!
Stay with me here!