Your Happy Place is a Safe Space for those Struggling with Mental Health
I launched Your Happy Place in March 2019, after a year of planning and preparations. It symbolized something powerful full me; that I was fighting the mental health battle….and I was winning.
Let me explain. Since I was a teenager, my life has been a whirlwind of self-harm, substance abuse, mental breakdowns, panic attacks and chronic health conditions. My priority everyday was simply to survive – to manage my internal world and stop it from spinning out into an unmaintainable, chaotic mess.
It wasn’t until I was 24 that I was finally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
What is BPD?
Borderline Personality Disorder is a largely misunderstood disease, but for me it boiled down to three main problems. My emotions were wildly intense; I was impulsive to a fault and regularly ended up concluding that suicide was the best option.
The diagnosis didn’t come as a shock to me. The dire nature of my mental health was no secret. I’d spent years invested in researching and understanding my own problems. It was clear my mind – or spirit, or whatever you want to call it – was steeply off kilter.
I was ready to learn and eager to heal myself.
Some Well Needed Perspective
Unfortunately, at the time of my diagnoses I’d just started a high-intensity CBT course that I’d been waiting for, for about a year and a half. While it wasn’t technically the right type of counseling for BPD, I sure as hell wasn’t being turned away and put back on a waiting list. I argued tirelessly to carry on with the CBT, and my team of medical professionals finally decided it was ok.
Only a few weeks into the course it became clear that I was already doing all the right things. All those years scouring ancient medical practices and alternative healing had paid off. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise, self-reflection, journaling – they were all tools to manage emotions.
All the years that I’d been laughed at and teased for being a crazy hippy… Yet, it turned out, these were the things that psychiatrists today are advertising for better mental health.
Why Aren’t We Talking About this Stuff?
The reality is that we know how to manage mental health problems. I’m not saying it’s easy or instant, but the theories and ideas are there. We know the worth of gentle exercise, we’ve studied the benefits of mindful meditation, but somehow it’s still a social taboo.
When I got my diagnoses, I knew for a fact that I wasn’t the only one of my peer group who was struggling with extreme mental illness. By the time I’d got to the point of prostrating myself in front of therapists, I’d seen others withdraw, give up on themselves and every-one else around them.
And who can blame them?
Life if f*#@ing hard. We struggle under so much social pressures before even starting to talk about mental health. So, imagine how daunting it can be to face the fact that you’re not only struggling practically, but you’re also battling a host of inner demons who are constantly trying to hijack your mind.
We’re taught that mental illnesses are scary and life-destroying…
… But Why Aren’t We Telling People There’s ‘Hope?’
We’re getting there with mental health stigma. We know that “It’s ok not to be ok” and that we should “talk to people about our problems.” However, what we don’t know is that there is a light at the mental health tunnel.
With the right medical intervention, an open mindset and the willingness to do whatever it takes, you can seriously improve your mental wellbeing.
I’m not just saying this because I’ve done it, but because I’ve read the countless stories of others in the same situation as me. They saw there was hope, they set their mind to it, and they turned their life around.
When I started making significant leaps forward with my physical and mental health, I decided it was time to stop the silence. I wanted to world to know that getting better is possible. Maybe you’ll never bee completely healed, but you can be a hell of a lot happier than you are now.
Your Happy Place Was Born
At the time of my diagnosis, I was working as a freelance writer, creating tech and travel content for websites. I’d seen firsthand the power of blogging; how it could spread a message and create communities like nothing else. If thousands of people will read an article about the “Best Beach Destinations in Europe,” why wouldn’t they benefit from a post details the best self-care tips or healthy habits.
I also knew I wasn’t the only person with advice and a story to share. I wanted Your Happy Place to celebrate the strength and creativity of those battling mental health problems.
Today, Your Happy Place has a team of over 15 writers, artists, creatives and generally inspiring people.
We’re here to bring you a positive outlook on our mental health struggles, whether that’s through an inspirational tale, sage advice, conceptual art work or even just taking a few minutes to laugh at ourselves.
Your Happy Place is here for you.