The Other Side To Positivity (Mental Health)

I’ve always found my online life to be a place for positivity, but in real life, not everything is always positive and today’s post is going to be me letting you into what real life can be like sometimes, from my perspective… a sort of, facts about me style post, a Mental Health style post so if you are triggered by reading about any sort of mental health issues then maybe skip this one?

the opposite of positivity, a mental health post

Fact 1, I’ve never had a proper job.

Wow, did I just say that out loud, wait what?

I’ve never had a traditional 9-5 job. It’s just not something I’ve done, I mean I’ve tried, I really have but I’ve always ended up doing other things like volunteering or having my own business which is of course still work and is still important.

When I was younger I thought I’d end up doing the whole college, university thing and believe me I tried, but getting chucked out of one college and having to quit the next, it didn’t exactly start very well… no I wasn’t causing chaos, spray painting walls, I was ill. I got chucked out for being ill and missing a month of college. It probably wasn’t the right course for me anyway but having a collapsed lung in 2005 changed everything, it stopped me going in the direction I was going in and I’ve never quite managed to get back on track since. It was such a traumatic experience, resulting in full surgery on my lung that it left me an anxious mess for a long time after. It brought about a level of OCD I’d never experienced before. It’s not all negative though, through not doing traditional education (I did try online Uni once) I found a love of learning, self study and learning from online courses which has been brilliant.

Fact 2, yes, OCD. Three little letters that try and take over your existence.

My sort of OCD has been health related, I won’t go into the boring details but every time I had a health related thought in my head ie collapsed lung, I’d have to repeat whatever I was doing… convincing myself if I didn’t I’d get it again, I know, how ridiculous does that sound? It was weird that I never let it effect me outside the house but at home it took me half an hour to put something in the wardrobe! It basically took over every day tasks that instead of taking 2 minutes, took 10 and that was on a good day. I managed to get control over it though with a lot of support from family.

Seeing other people with it on TV made me realise what it was and one by one I stopped repeating the patterns it had got me into doing (ie taking half an hour to put something away) in order to start getting over it. This was 11 years ago now… I mean 3 years ago things went wrong, there were family illnesses for example, which made OCD come back a bit, it was really one of those years that culminated in me shutting a lot of stuff down, including my then blog but hey, here we are now! Getting over it.

I’ve had anxiety on and off over the years, I even had my first proper panic attack 2 years ago, let me tell you people aren’t kidding when they say they feel like it’s the end of the world. I ended up pacing the garden outside trying to get control of it. Since it’s your lungs that breath (really Victoria, did you really just say that?) and that was what a lot of my anxiety stemmed from it’d make me panic more if my breathing went off from anxiety… then there’s the racing heartbeat where it goes off on it’s own little tangent if you dare think about it after being in an anxious place. Nope, not fun.

Society can make you feel like you need to have things together 100% of the time but sometimes life throws stuff at you which makes you have to go in a different direction or just put stuff on pause for a while.

Now I think I might have rambled a bit so if you’re still reading this, well done and thank you but I felt it was important to start being more open, like I’ve said I’ve kept this offline for so long, thinking I needed to pretend to be this perfect version of myself but guess what, life isn’t perfect. Yesterday was Time To Talk and none of us should be suffering in silence, we should all feel able to talk to someone when needed, a broken bone might hurt to walk, if it’s your leg but traumas and things can leave just as lasting an impact on your mind. I don’t think people always realise just how much.

I’m also just going to say a massive thank you to my Twitter fam who persuaded me to actually write this after having a bit of an anxious, heartbeat style meltdown this evening. Love you guys!


18 thoughts on “The Other Side To Positivity (Mental Health)

  1. Bexa

    This is such an inspirational post, well done for sharing your story Victoria. I really think it is important that we can all talk openly and honestly about mental health, so that more people can be comforted and reassured that they are not suffering alone. I can definitely relate to your panic attack experience, it is so scary isn’t it, I had one a couple of years ago and honestly thought I was dying, I actually called an ambulance. Thankfully, the paramedics were all nice and supportive and explained to me what was happening, but back then I didn’t have a clue about anxiety so posts like this are a huge step in the right direction. Thank you for sharing lovely <3 xxx

    Bexa |

  2. Sophie Wentworth

    This is such a great post! Opening up about things online can feel so daunting and overwhelming but in my experience, I always feel better afterward! I think it’s great that you’re at a point that you’re comfortable sharing this kind of thing, you could be helping someone else reading this who has similar problems. Thanks for sharing! x


    1. Victoria Post author

      Thanks Sophie, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after sharing all this online, but actually it’s made me feel so much better. I was hoping it’d help other people feel less alone.

  3. Chloe Chats

    A great post and such a brave thing to do. I’ve done something similar before on my blog and I actually found it super therapeutic to write about it all and have it ‘out there.’ It’s so great and important to be able to talk openly about these things, I’m sure this will help others to reach and speak out too <3

    Chloe xx

  4. James Smith

    This is brilliant. I started off my blog with a post like this so if you’re like me it would have taken a lot of courage to press the publish button. What you have just done is make other people realise that they’re not alone, that mental illness doesn’t have to have to hold you back and that there is support out there. Well done x

    1. Victoria Post author

      Even as I was writing it I wasn’t sure I was actually going to hit publish in then end, I’m glad I did though. Thanks James!

  5. Kelsey

    Well done for being so open! I think it’s such a hard thing to do but the more we normalise these sorts of anxieties etc the less people have to suffer in silence.

  6. Faisal

    This is a fantastic post and the honesty here is very inspiring. Time to talk is amazing for encouraging people to be open about mental health but hopefully seeing blog posts like this will also encourage others. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Vada

    Bless you, you’ve been through a lot.
    I haven’t been to university either. I’ve had 9-5 jobs but hated it so now I’m freelance. I don’t think I could go back to another full time job because of my mental health.
    I totally get your panic attacks and OCD. It’s not a nice feeling and I always get them while travelling or at night when I worry. It’s like you can’t breathe and it must be worrying when you’ve had a collapsed lung. I’m convinced our brain likes to play mind games with us though. Always have to remember that it’s in my head.

    1. Victoria Post author

      Yep panic attacks are not fun at all, I think I’d quite like to do freelancing now as well.


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