Dark nights and Brighter Days: Music and Writing

It feels like ages since I just sat down and wrote my heart out about my own life, which is how Be Ur Own Light started. In fact this blog was a diary and once called Diary of a Nearly Thirty Year Old (as I am 28!) The level of interest in mental health writing and my blog is growing which is wonderful and I love sharing everyone’s stories and featuring guest posts from brave mental health warriors. Today though I want to update you on my story.

Thank fully, I am not depressed or too anxious these days. I have been able to go out more, see friends and family and just enjoy myself. This week my Dad and I ran two charity events at Jazz after Dark, a teeny little club in Soho, Central London. Jazz after Dark is where Amy Winehouse walked in and began her career and where she wrote part of Back to Black. Our charity events used live music, amps, phone stages and hifi systems like Graham Slee Hifi. 

Our event was in aid of a young girl who passed away this year aged just 20. Many professional singers and musicians gave their time for free for us to raise money for an ambulance , which was the dying wish of the girl who passed away.

We managed to raise £3,500 for the charity supplying the ambulance through ticket sales, a raffle and auction. My Dad put so much of it together and on the nights we worked so hard. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 2 nights and I had the chance to watch live music and meet acquaintances and see old friends. I was so thankful to feel comfortable doing this and for feeling so happy at what we all achieved.

Additionally, my cousin got engaged last weekend which was lovely, we had a family party for him.

I am also contemplating a new career in writing professionally. I have always written, journalled, wrote poetry and did English at university.. I always have used writing as an outlet. However, I want to share my story in overcoming adversity and living with mental health issues. I have been so lucky to already have collaborated with people and 2 big mental health charities. So this journey is new and exciting and rewarding. I thank you for reading here in my little corner of the internet and for following the journey together.

‘How I deal with Anxiety and Depression’ – Guest post by Ashley Owens at Generally Anxious

This guest post was written by blogger Ashley Owens at Generally Anxious http://www.generallyanxious.com
You can find her on Twitter at @genanxious. Ashley is also an author of a mental health novel.
Here, Ashley talks about her experience of anxiety and depression and how she deals with it. We thank her for contributing such an enlightening post!
I have dealt with anxiety & depression for over 30 years. It’s been an exhausting and sometimes sloppy ride. The most important thing I’ve learned is to cope. In my case, if I attempt to ignore (yeah right) or fight anxiety & depression, it gets worse. Instead, I am learning to live with them.

Check in with yourself daily.  Life can move pretty quickly.  Every day, I take the time to recognize how I’m feeling, and make adjustments as needed.  EVERY DAY. As a diabetic takes their blood sugar and adjusts their insulin amount accordingly, if I am tired, nervous or sad, I make sure to take it easy on myself. Take baby steps, one step at a time through the day, and be honest about how much I can accomplish, without over extending myself. I am not a superhero, and no one expects me to be (except my dogs).
Treat your body well.  ‘Comfort food’ got it’s name for a reason.  However, if I don’t moderate the amount of junk food, alcohol, late nights, or sloth-like behaviour, I end up feeling worse, triggering anxiety & depression.  I try to get a good night’s sleep, take my vitamins, eat vegetables and be active every day, as best I can.  Full disclosure: cheesecake is my favorite food, so I certainly love eating things that aren’t necessarily good for me.  And I allow myself to, in moderation. 
Do not trivialise your hobbies. I love listening to music, exercising, reading books, snuggling with my pups. These are some of the things that make me happy, so it is worth the time to enjoy them. Contributing to your happiness enables you to deal with real life: chores, school, work, conflict. More importantly, happiness makes us a better friend, co-worker, daughter/son, spouse, person.
Am I a master at all of this?  Not. Even. Close.
Make a small checklist.  As a daily reminder, write down a short list of questions that will indicate if you are taking proper care of yourself.  For example:
  • Am I getting at least 6 hours of sleep every night (and preferably 8 hours)?
  • Did I hug my pet/family member/ best friend today?
  • Have I exercised in the last 3 days?
  • Did I dance around to music at full blast this week?!
You can use this short list as a barometer – If you answer ‘no’ to any of your questions, you need to make a change to keep yourself on track, healthy and happy.
I walk with anxiety & depression everyday, one step at a time, being honest with myself that I’m not perfect. Well guess what? Nobody is! You are not alone in your struggles, so be honest with how you feel, and keep moving forward!

Welcome and collaborations.

I just wanted to welcome all my new followers here on WordPress and on Twitter and Instagram to Be Ur Own Light.

At Be Ur Own Light, I have lived experience of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and depression. However, this blog is all about positivity, recovery, support and resilience.

I want to welcome you to my blogging community here and to announce we have some exciting blog collaborations to come.

If you would like to feature a guest post or for me to write a bespoke blog for your page- just email me at beurownlight@gmail.com

Wishing everyone a happy Friday! and recommending Katie Pipers book of positive affirmations today. They always get my day started off feeling positive!