I guess if I’m going to run a blog on mental health I need to have some kind of credibility to do so. Though I do consider myself well educated with a thirst for learning new things only my Google history and stolen book collection could really explain, I hold no credentials in the world of psychology, other than the unofficial award I’ve bestowed upon myself for surviving 26 years alongside the most difficult person I’ve ever come across: Me.
So, in fairness to you, dear reader, before we embark on this journey together, here’s my story…
To anyone who watched the ITVBe show mummy diaries, I’m sorry you had to witness such ignorant hate against plus size models and people in general.
Especially from someone with a clothing line that includes plus sizes, is modelled by plus size models, and earns money from the very community they’re so against.
As we see year after year with Pride Month and Mental Health Day, there are many companies and individuals so willing to jump on the inclusivity bandwagon for the sake of profit. Inclusivity is the new black – but when it comes down to it, most of these money makers have zero interest in the lives, success and worth of anyone whose ever been marginalised.
That’s why fat people like myself still post pictures of us unapologetically loving our bodies, why we fight and debate and campaign endlessly. We’re not a trend that you can dip into when you need to look philanthropic and line your pockets just for you to turn around and spout off some ‘promoting obesity’ bullshit.
Fat people exist and are fat for many reasons, and those who buy into crap like ‘eat less, move more’ do not understand the complexity of the human body and the vast array of things that can happen to it for many *many* reasons.
The fact that the disgusting message about plus size people was going on while talking about cancer and the importance of breast checks is deplorable and deeply disappointing.
All bodies are good bodies, but unfortunately not all people are good people.
In my 20’s, after my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, I tried to cope the old fashioned way – the way everyone without a mental illness is told to get a handle on themselves again. I believed in the hype of exercise and eat right and all your troubles will melt away into a puddle of endorphins and selfies. To me, the basis of a good life was to have a good job, get married, go out on the weekends. Smile.
Everything will be okay if you just pretend it’s all okay.
So, let’s debunk a few of these myths. Here we go…
Everything you say is written down – Not always. Some talk therapists may make a few notes for later, but most prefer to show you’ve got their undivided attention.
‘And how does that make you feel?’ – I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been asked that in therapy over the last 15 years. Normally, I’m the one who expresses how I’m feeling, because therapists a very good at getting you to realise your emotions without constantly asking you about them.
There’s only talk therapy that can help – Not true. Art, music, group, exercise and sensory are just a few other forms of therapy. Talk therapy isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok.
Once you’ve been to therapy, you’ll never need it again – Not always. It’s perfectly valid and acceptable to need therapy for longer or even the rest of your life, like getting a check up at the doctors.
Therapy is only for people with a mental illness – NOPE. There are many different types of therapy that can help with a lot of stressful aspects of life from bereavement to relationships to getting over a trauma. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to who isn’t connected to them personally.
There’s nothing shameful or weak about going to therapy. The more we talk about it, the more we break down the stigmas that surround it.
For me, the line between self-love and self care has always been clear.
In the time of Instagram I believe these two notions get somewhat muddled. The hashtags run into each other and the lines between the two topics are blurred. Maybe for neuro typical is and able-bodied people self-love and self-care are one in the same, but for me and my wife, the line between the two is very clear.
How many times have you heard this? How many times have you thought this? It doesn’t make you a shitty person to think it, mostly because it’s true. Anxiety is something most mammals feel, for whatever reason, but there is a huge difference between ‘normal’ anxiety, an appropriate response to a stressful situation, and having an anxiety disorder.