I won’t write much about my own experiences, I’ve already have on several occasions.

(I added the links to older posts at the end of this one).

What I’d like to say is that it should be mental health awareness week every week. 

According to WHO (the World Health Organisation), “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease”.

I don’t think everyone understands how debilitating a mental illness can be and how it doesn’t matter how intelligent or well-rounded individual you might be. It can still get you. It’s irrational and it can affect anyone.

And even if they do understand, not everyone knows how to react or support those who suffer.

Unfortunately, there is still stigma around mental health. Although most people can be understanding and compassionate, they don’t know how to act around you. They treat you as if you suffer from a contagious disease they might catch so they “support” you from a safe distance.

Others just completely avoid you. They stop treating you as a friend for whatever reason. Maybe they are scared, maybe they suffer themselves, maybe they don’t want to be friends with someone who struggles.

Other just pity you. And you can see the pity in their eyes. And pity is probably one of the worst responses to someone who is struggling.

If we all knew how to really support each other, then it might make it easier for someone to admit they have a problem and seek for help, without being terrified about what others would think, without feeling that asking for help is seen as weakness, it’s actually one of the toughest, bravest things to do.

There is a desperate need for awareness.

Suffering from mental illness doesn’t mean you are depressed or anxious or worried or psychotic or neurotic all of the time. You can still communicate, have a laugh, have a chat, do things. It’s still you. Even at your darkest times, when you do not recognise yourself, deep deep down it’s still you.

I hope that one day, mental illness can be treated as any other illness- because it is- and there is enough support available.






Love you all

Eleni x


The most honest post I’ve ever written…

I’m going home tomorrow. It’s not a holiday. No I didn’t get the chance to have a holiday in many other countries other than Berlin and Edinburgh last year, those were holidays. This is not. It’s home. It’s home for a thousand different reasons. I grew up there, I lived most of my life there, my best friends and family are there. The people I probably need the most right now, but I can’t be around  because of distance live there. Because I refuse to give up, I refuse to do the easy thing, move back home to have my support network, so I can stop trying and free fall into this black hole. Which is the easiest solution when you are struggling.

I need to go home every now and then to stay sane. I need to remind myself that there are people who love me for who I am, people I don’t have to pretend I’m happy in front of them, because they know me too well. People who’ll give me a hug when I need it, because they know when I need it. People who will re-assure me and make me feel good about myself. As much as you can try and re-assure yourself, you still need that from other human beings, no matter what.

For a while now I’m not feeling well. I can’t put my finger on it (it’s not because my best friend went away, although of course I miss her), but I know I’m not happy. I’m not unhappy, but I’m not happy, not most of the time. I feel stuck. I feel trapped. Trapped in this vicious circle. The less I do, the worse I feel and the worse I feel the less I do. And I don’t know how to get unstuck.  And sometimes however hard I try by making jokes, making people laugh, making a fool of myself (if only people knew that some of the things they say to me in jest actually hit home), I can’t hide it. It’s getting harder and harder to hide. I know some of you noticed and you often ask me if I’m OK. Which I find very sweet and touching. Thank you for caring.

And is getting worse. Some of my friends, I haven’t seen for months (I love you and miss you all, I really do) because I find it easier not to get out and not try. I know people give up on you after a while but I find it easier to just be by myself. Things I used to enjoy I find hard to do, like singing with my colleagues and friends or driving.

I feel I lost my magic marbles and I’m not even sure where to look for them.

I still manage to go to work, although I struggle some days. But at least I haven’t given up completely. Work is one of the very few things that actually keep me sane (most of the time). And that’s why when I worried about my job a while ago, I knew I had to be re-assured that I’m not going to lose it, that I’m not going to lose one of my last life jackets. I’m so lucky I work with some amazing people who keep me going.

It’s so difficult, I don’t think people realise how difficult it is to pretend you are OK when you are not. I don’t think people realise how hard it is for me to make any decision, even simple ones like what to have for dinner, how hard it is to get out of the house, to interact with other human beings, how even the smallest thing like losing a tooth can affect me hugely. I don’t think they realise how my confidence has hit rock bottom, because I manage to hide it well most of the time by overcompensating.

But then what to do? I do not want people to worry and feel sorry for me. So I put my fake smile on and get on with it as best as I can.

I can’t self diagnose but I know where all the signs lead to. They all lead to the big black dog.  I know I need to do something about it before is too late. But is bloody hard. Is even harder when you live on your own, and the people who know you the best and can really help you without asking, because asking for help is not easy, are a thousand miles away. And I don’t want to worry them. And I don’t want to move back either.

I’m not giving up, not just yet.  I learned a lot, especially the last couple of years.I’m scared and I worry about myself and about my family, no matter how much I try not to. But when you struggle, you struggle, no matter how aware you are of the irrationality of it all. Acknowledging your thoughts are wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you can fix them in an instant.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. But I know not many will admit they do. Sending you all my love and I hope we all make it to the other side.

So there, is all out in the open now. And I already feel better for sharing.

I’m saddened and a bit scared with the terrorist attack in London, but  I’m happy  I’m going home tomorrow to see my loved ones, be surrounded by my favourite people, enjoy the sunshine and be happy for a week, until reality hits me in the face. I hope this break will give me the push I need. Or not. Only time will show.

I love you all x


PS I want to thank Donna, Suzanne, Sarah, Helen, Louise, Jamie, Chris and Andy, thank you, you know why.

You are not alone! #worldmentalhealthday

Just a quick message for World Mental Health Day…

I’ve written a post about mental illness a while ago  ( https://wordpress.com/post/whatilearnedbeforeiturn30.wordpress.com/1788 ) so I won’t go into detail about my experience..

I just want to say to everyone who is dealing with a mental illness, you are not alone!!! I know first hand, as most of us, how it feels.  We are all humans with feelings and emotions and a brain which sometimes doesn’t switch off for days or months…

I know first hand how terrifying and upsetting and overwhelming these irrational thoughts are and how they get you…

Please speak up and ask for help, don’t suffer in silence. It is not embarrassing or taboo or whatever makes you think it’s not OK to ask for help or show how you feel…

I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to ask for help… but please do…

I hope that people keep talking and raising awareness on mental health every day more and more and not just today.

Love you all x

PS I don’t own the featured image, borrowed it from this page http://www.hercampus.com/school/usf/misconceptions-mental-illness