Let’s stop the stigma

I wanted to write a blog post in honour of May being mental health awareness month, a (very) small step towards breaking the stigma around mental health and illnesses. I shared a short version of this on my Instagram already. But let’s pay some more attention to this shall we?

Mental disorders affect 1 in 4 people at least once in their life. Approximately 450 million people suffer from such things every day. Their days are difficult. Getting out of bed is difficult, but it’s not the kind of wanting to stay in bed we experience a lot. Facing new days is hard. Taking care of yourself is hard. It doesn’t feel like being alive, it feels like surviving. 25% of our world population deals with mental issues and only two-thirds of those people seek help. You could call that their problem, that it’s where they’ve gone wrong. But it’s not. It’s the way we’ve dealt with it and the stigma we created ourselves. Physical illnesses or problems are excuses to stay home from school, work and anything that’s your responsibility. Mental illnesses aren’t. People struggling with mental health issues often feel like a failure when it’s our society that has failed to understand. I’m lucky to have some people that do understand and to meet and surround myself with people that are compassionate and positive. But it makes me sad to see how every city, every village and every school still has too many people that run the other way when it comes to mental health. Broken arms and legs get treated, depression and anxiety disorders are ‘just for attention’ when these things should be taken and treated just as seriously.

If you know someone’s struggling, or even if you notice someone isn’t feeling great, try to take a moment to talk to that person and show them you care. Make the difference, let them see there are still people out there that do want to listen. Be nice. You never know what it took someone to get out of bed and show up today. You never know how close someone is to falling off the edge. Kindness doesn’t cost a single thing. Together we can break the stigma.

”Going to therapy needs to become as normalized as going to the gym; if our minds get out of shape, the rest of us will follow.” —  Christopher Charles Wood

If you need someone to talk to or just someone who listens, I will be there and I will listen. I will try to understand which isn’t hard for me because life hasn’t gone easy on me neither. It doesn’t matter if you know me personally, I’m glad to help and my DMs and messages are always open!

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The one thing we all search for

Most people see love and relationships as something that’s always going to be amazing, something magical. I think there’s much more to it than just that. It’s trust, passion, honesty, loyalty, patience, faith, forgiveness, support and compassion. It’s not going to stay as easy as it starts off as and it requires two people who are willing to put in loads of effort. It should be work coming from both sides if you want it to be balanced and steady.

The first weeks/months are always dreamy, just like they’re supposed to be. They’re all hugs, kisses and sweet words, these weeks usually pass without arguments, fights or hard times. But I feel like after a while, you really start to get to know the other person. Some people aren’t ready for this or a relationship like this, they give up on it after it starts to become tough. This is the point where you slowly start showing each other not only good sides but bad sides as well, the point where you can start loving more of each other and the point where you grow more and more comfortable with each other. And you can feel all of it. You notice each others flaws, hurt each other unintentionally, arguments happen, you get to difficult conversations that will make you cry and sad. You also get to the deep conversations that make you learn a lot about each other. Maybe you’ll get each other angry, maybe you’ll scream at each other. All of this is where the real magic happens to me: you can see someone at their worst and still think they’re the best. You’re able to love more and more parts of the other person, you can slowly learn to love every single piece of them. And you can feel your bond getting stronger than ever, you get less and less afraid to show yourself.

Knowing everything about a person and loving them anyway is so beautiful. You get to love their heart and soul, you completely pour yourselves into each other. But it’s a long way and it takes a lot of effort and courage to get there. I’ve never been the kind of person to give up easily and when I love, I love passionately. If you work and fight for it then you’ll get something out of it. A love where you don’t feel like turning the lights out to hide because you know you’re comfortable, and a love where the other person makes you believe home is not a place but a feeling. As I said, it’s not always going to be amazing and magical, but you can create something pretty close to that together if you’re both willing to.

Positivity

I’ve been wanting to write this kind of blog post for a while, I wasn’t sure about it. But today I watched Zoë’s vlog, she talked about negativity, mostly online and how much better it is to be positive which inspired me even more to actually start writing this.

I’m not the best at putting what I feel or think into words but I’ll try my very best right now because I really feel like this is one of the main things causing problems and unhappiness in our society. The thing I feel like is missing is positivity. Whether that’s optimism, being kind or just positive things happening; there’s something missing from all 3 of those. To me, changing yourself is what you have to start with, because I think we all know about the horrible things happening in the world right now and being a little more positive and kind is the least you can do. And maybe, hopefully, one day it will finally end or at least reduce. But today I wanted to write about individuals, so that’s what I’m going to switch to right now, starting with myself.

I used to be SO negative. I wasn’t the ‘unkind negative’ but the ‘pessimistic negative’ if you know what I mean. Probably the most pessimistic person I knew back then, about 2 years ago. My thoughts are super positive now and I always try to be optimistic, my mindset is very different now, I see the world differently. And trust me, the world is so much more beautiful. When I look around me these days, I can’t help but wish some people kind of had the same perspective. I think I have this at least once a week. Now I know how hard people must’ve found it to be around me sometimes.

I said sorry too much, always put myself down, didn’t really accept compliments, never seemed to find courage. Now that I’m a whole other person, I know how much I want others not to do that. It’s so bad for you and it only makes you fall further. I know that it’s hard to love yourself because it sounds like your self-esteem is way too high. But loving yourself just means taking good care of yourself, whether that’s mentally or psychically. And that’s something you all need to do, you only get one body, one mind, one life. You should give it all the love it deserves. Don’t wait for someone to adore you or compliment you every day, in the end you’ve only got yourself. Just do what you feel good about. Make your own decisions, it’s your life. You shouldn’t really have to care what others think as long as you’re having fun (well, be kind while having fun. I see and hear too many people ‘having fun’ because they just insulted someone, laughed at someone or called them a bitch or slut just for fun).

The second kind of negativity is being mean. It’s really not always something you can decide, have control over or immediately do something about, but if you really want to, believe me, you can change it. You can learn, failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. But change for YOURSELF rather than other people. Change is only going to work when you’ve accepted yourself and when you know exactly what you want to change. Of course you can change for others as well, but make sure it’s for your own good first. And remember: acceptance is the key.

The thing that’s annoyed me the most over the past year is people being unnecessarily unkind. There are so many people thinking it’s cool to be rude when it’s really not. So many people’s friendships nowadays are basically based on insulting each other, whether they’re joking or not. I always see these posts on social media that go ‘if you don’t insult your best friend, is your friendship even real?’ and posts like those honestly annoy the crap out of me. It’s really not that cool is it? Friendships based on insults? Can’t we just be nice to each other? Just like friendships based on gossiping together. What will you do when there’s nothing to gossip about anymore? Do you trust your friend enough to tell them personal stuff when you have nothing to gossip about? I understand if you don’t when you gossip all the time. Will you get bored? The internet has this idea of what a friendship has to be like pushed inside our heads, and we’re using it without even properly thinking about it. If you do have a friendship like that and it makes you happy, then I’m happy for you. But please bear in mind that not everyone wants to be treated like that. I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be like, I’m just trying to send a message. My intentions are never to offend or hurt anyone.

Also: ‘hating’ and strongly disliking people has apparently become mainstream? Do we even know the people we claim to hate? Do we know them enough to actually hate them? I know for a fact that loads of people don’t even know what the person they ‘hate’ really is like. Where did our passion go? Toleration? Must’ve faded along the way. In my opinion you’re so much more brave when you’re kind. It takes strength, especially on bad days. It’s SO easy to be mean to someone. Being kind is harder. And you honestly never know how close someone is to their edge. It’s so easy to push someone off with just one comment. They might go home feeling really bad for the rest of the day, maybe even a week. Please be kind and a little less judgmental guys, you never know how much someone might need it. Please think before you act. Even if you’re ‘just joking’, you’d be surprised by how mean some things can sound. Sometimes there’s truth behind jokes. I mean, compliments are so much nicer. Just like my Instagram bio says, kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world. Beauty isn’t measured by appearance but by heart and soul. You’re not going to keep or save your friendship if you’re just pretty. We need that kind of positivity in the world. And it might make your own life even better as well. Just be the best version of yourself, never stop impressing people and never stop believing in yourself.

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Home

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Home is something different to everyone; to some people home is their house, for others it’s the city or place where they grew up and others consider a specific person their home. There’s no right or wrong because home is simply where you feel at home.

In terms of home, as in houses, I personally feel the most at home where my dad lives, my mum lives on the other side of the city. I was raised there and I’ve always thought it was beautiful. I never really had the urge to explore what the rest of the surroundings looked like, until I started getting into photography. This was about 4/5 years ago and I’ve had Britney, one of my closest friends, to stick around the entire time so that’s why you’ll probably see her in my pictures pretty often.

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Now this is obviously not one of the most beautiful places you (and I) have ever seen. The thing that makes it beautiful to me is that it’s a mix between this side of my city and a typical country side with cute roads and flowers. It’s one of those places that seems to change every time you get there which is quite interesting for people who like to photograph almost everything – people like me. That’s why I think I will never get tired of being there, there’s always something more to look at and take pictures of, even if it’s just a new bunch of flowers growing.

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I also apologise for the amount of flower pictures you’re going to be seeing on here, but I might have a slight obsession with them..

What I also LOVE about where I live is that it’s so quiet, but not in a negative way. The people are so nice (+ a lot of people own dogs hehe) and you can usually just walk on the street instead of the sidewalk because it’s never that busy.

I live near a canal as well, I didn’t take any pictures of it this time, but it has like this small extension of it which makes you feel like you’re sitting by a small lake. The people here always let their dogs swim and dartle in it and that’s what I wanna try with my dog too this summer. I picknicked there with Britney last year and we had so much fun, we’re definitely going to do that again when the weather’s good (can I get a hooray for the confusing weather in the Netherlands?). I like the space you have here in which you can organise things/fun days yourself instead of just using local facilities. This is probably where I would want to live for the rest of my life, it fits my personality perfectly.

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I hope you all have a place or a person where you feel at home (with) because everyone deserves that kind of feeling.

Love, Kaylee