• Han Butler

Bloggers Uncensored: with Bee: Inside My Mind

Photo by Negative Space

Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! This is my latest and favourite blog series that I've created. This series is an opportunity for you to hear your favourite bloggers' honest, uncensored, thoughts about real life topics. This weeks blogger is Bee: Inside My Mind.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 26 and work for a Fire Service in the training department. I love to be creative, going to the gym and I am partial to a trip to the pub with friends and family. I have suffered with my mental health since I was a teenager - developing anxiety and severe when I was 16, once I got this under control I made it to university which was something we all thought was impossible with the mental health issues I had but after a year I realised it wasn't the subject I wanted to do and left. Since then I've done various things to try and find my passion and at 21 was diagnosed with depression. I began to have seizures, due to Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder, in 2014 and this has all been tied together and linked back up with a more recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Why do you write?

I have always loved writing - I was the girl in school who would stand up and read her poems and stories to the class at the end of an English lesson on a Monday afternoon. I've even just finished my first full fiction manuscript so watch this space! But with my mental health diagnosis starting to mount up I thought that writing about it could be therapeutic, and helpful to explain how my brain works to any medical professionals so I started to keep a log of things that happened.

Why did you start blogging?

Reading other people's blog helped me when I started trying to get my head around my newest diagnosis (BPD) and, when I became aware of just what the stigma around it was and how much writing was helping me get my head around it anyway, I thought I might as well take the plunge and put my thoughts and experiences out there. If I can help other people going through something similar then that would be amazing, and in the meantime it will give me something to focus on and motivate myself with on the low days and help me process my own mental illness and treatment. And the responses I've had from the few family and friends I've told, reminding me how brave it is to do and how much it helps them understand me better, shows that is certainly doing something...and hopefully I can continue to reach out and help reduce the stigma around mental health.

What do you love about the blogging world/community?

Through my blog, and the associated social media accounts, I have found such an incredibly supportive world! On a bad day you can post and get a barrage of people providing their support, words of encouragement and empathising. Or you can scroll through your feed and see a post or tweet from someone that perfectly encapsulates something that you feel less alone - knowing that other people with similar MH issues go through similar things, that you aren't as alone as you feel, that other people are doing it so you can cope too, and there are people to turn to and ask advice from. Finding a community who fully understand how you feel when a lot of people in day-to-day life struggle to fully make sense of it and therefore being able to be open and honest without fear of being judged, is the most freeing feeling in the world.

What do you hate about the blogging world/community?

The hardest part or me is the fear of being rejected - when avoiding this is a symptom of your mental illness, it seems illogical to put yourself in a position where you are directly facing it and it takes all of my willpower to stave off becoming obsessed with the numbers of views, visitors and followers I get. Some days I take those numbers as a reflection of my personal achievement and worth, and that is a dangerous head space to get into!

In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?

There are so many to choose from; I haven't been blogging long but there are so many incredible people out there and I am loving to explore and learn more from everyone. One that I've loved reading, on a slightly different note than just Mental Health is Low FODMAP Inspiration - as I know a lot of people with MH also have problems with IBS and she has some brilliant advice and recipes to help.

What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?

Not everyone will understand you and not everyone will take the time to - it is sometimes the people that you want the validation from the most that are going to hurt you and they don't even realise they are doing it. Particularly when you share your mental health with someone you trusted and they use it against you - but that is why we need to take a stand and start to break down that stigma.

Things won't always work out the way you want and they won't always work out fair, and unfortunately there isn't anything we can do to change that except for fight through it for what we want in the long run.

What does freedom mean to you?

Being able to be me without feeling the need to hide any part of my personality - including the mental health side. Being able to be open and honest about it without fear of not being accepted. And to be able to pursue a job I want despite my illnesses, without having to worry that an employer would reject me or even fire me if they found out about the challenges I've got.

What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?

Things seem to be improving, it is getting more talked about and, with celebrities being more open and honest, we are starting to break down those walls...but there is a long way still to go! With media choosing to portray the negative sides, like highlighting the mental health of people imprisoned for heinous crimes or use it as the motivating factor in films and TV shows about murder and rape and other unpleasant subjects. So despite all the work we are doing as a community to educate and break down that stigma, for the means of entertainment they are managing to undo all that work for so many people in society who don't take the time to understand. But that's why we need to keep being brave, putting ourselves out there and fighting for those impressions.

What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?

Feminism is something I wholeheartedly support - men and women should be equals. End of. But sometimes feminism can go too far for it's cause and almost create positive discrimination towards women, which isn't achieving the same goal. But with each generation, the equality is improving, and without the feminist movement that wouldn't be possible. So they are certainly achieving their goal and, as a female, I am extremely grateful to those women for doing it!

What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?

It is something that I support - you should be able to love who you love without fear of stigma and abuse and all the other horrendous things people go through. But it just needs to be accepted. I love things like Pride, but as long as we still celebrate all love as part of it - or else we are creating unnecessary attention on something that we just want to be accepted as normality. Let's celebrate all of our differences, and all of our love, no matter who it's for.

What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?

Keep going. It isn't easy and it can take a lot to get your head around, but you aren't alone and you can get through it. Fighting a battle inside your head everyday takes so much courage and strength and that is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. Don't ever give up and don't let it stop you from pushing forward and reaching for the stars.

What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied or harassed?

Don't accept it - tell someone, ask for help so that you have the support to get through it and stand up for yourself. Nobody deserves to be bullied or harassed, nobody deserves to be made to fee that they are any less. Don't let the bullies win.

If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Hatred - nobody deserves to be judged and hated for anything, especially not illness or difference. And without it, we would all be able to work through our issues and get to a much happier place a hell of a lot easier.

What else do you feel strongly about?

Support and kindness, even to strangers - you never know what someone is going through, and when you start to talk to people you realise that everyone has something, so always be kind and support people. Some days, what may be a small act to you like a smile or a thank you or a compliment in the street, may be the thing that makes that other person's awful day that tiny bit better!

Let's end with some fun 'This or That' questions:

Love or money?

Love! You ca always find cheap ways to live, but it would be far more fun with someone else.

Work hard or play hard?

Play hard - life is too short!

Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?

Right side up! Then they stack easier.

Chocolate or sex?

Chocolate - having BPD means anything with emotions is 10x more complicated, so sex can be a minefield (but don't get me wrong, I'm by no means becoming a nun...)

Plan everything or wing it?

Plan everything - winging it is far too stressful! Although I wish I was better at it.

Happiness or money?

Happiness without a doubt.

You can follow her on Twitter.

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If you'd like to take part in Bloggers Uncensored please email me at chroniclesofacreativemess@gmail.com for more info.

There's a new blogger every Sunday at 5pm, see you there!

Love, Han


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