Monday, 11 December 2017
Dear Queens 💜✨
Any of you that live in the UK will know how bitterly cold it has been recently – and I must say I am very much a summer baby. Sunshine and vitamin Sea for me pleaseeee!
But that being said, every winter I do get all excited for jacket and coat season – I love me some cosy. This winter faux fur coats have been the staple and the IT coats of winter and not only are they super cosy and warm but they look fabulous too. To my delight, this season has been all about colour, I’ve seen faux fur coats that are red, pink, green, blue, yellow… – can I get a hell YAS to living colourfully !! Winter done right.
I have been obsessed with the colour red recently; it’s such a sexy feel good colour. So when I saw this red teddy style faux fur coat I had to have it. First off, my gosh it’s so cosy and so incredibly soft – basically like walking around in a blanket. Once I put this baby on it’s on for the day. Secondly, the colour! Can I get a YAS. This coat is such a rich and luscious red and we all need some colour on these miserable winter days.
I have provided you Queens with the links to these items below:
* Click here for the Red Faux Fur Coat by boohoo
Click here for the Green Pencil Skirt by Asos
Click here for the Rainbow Top by Daisy Street – It’s currently out of stock but keep your eyes peeled, it may come back. If not have a look on depop Queens.
Click here for the Rainbow Backpack by Smiggle – this is currently out of stock on the site but you may be able to get it in store. Here is a link to another bag by Smiggle that has the same rainbow faux fur if you can't get your paws on the backpack
DISCLAIMER: Anything marked with an asterisk ( * ) is an Affiliate link which means if you purchase something I'm talking about I will receive a tiny amount of commission - every little helps right?
I hope you enjoyed this post Queens and I wish you all a happy and snug winter season 💜✨
Mermaid Mairead xox
Thursday, 30 November 2017
Dear Queens 💜✨
Eeeee I am so excited about this blog post. Today I am sharing with you my interview with the beautiful Kay Ska.
Kay is a ray of sunshine in a world that needs love and light more than ever. Kay is a freelance writer, social media manager and blogger who is so beautifully passionate about spreading mental health awareness. Kay is also the founder of MH Stories which is a truly wonderful platform for people to come together and share their journey with mental health – a space free of judgement and full of love and support. MH Stories was highly commended in the UK Blog Awards in the Health and Social Care category - you can check out MH Stories here💜✨
Kay’s honest, empowering and inspiring work is helping so many and I have certainly been left inspired and humbled after our chat.
Want to know more about this Queen?! Just read on!
💜✨ Hello Kay ! Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with me. I have been girl crushing on you for so long and I’ve been so inspired by your love, raw honesty and the positive messages you share. You do so much wonderful work to help raise awareness of mental health. Can you share why raising awareness of mental health is so important to you?
Hello lovely. Thank you so much for having me, I’m so honoured you have asked me to take part in this interview.
As someone who has dealt with different mental health issues from a very young age, I faced a lot of stigma. I eventually got to the point where I wanted to do something about it and help other people that have been struggling with it too.
💜✨ More than ever the importance of mental health is spoken about in the media and we have great events like World Mental Health Day that really brings the matter to the forefront of everyone’s attention. However, it’s so important that we keep the conversation going after these events have passed. What do you think we can do in our everyday lives to ensure the importance of our mental health is not forgotten?
You are so right, those events ARE indeed very important, but we do have to keep the conversations about mental health going on a daily basis. I think as individuals it’s important to acknowledge our own feelings, be aware of our own mental health and take care of ourselves first. Then, talk about mental health! I think it’s the most effective way to keep spreading the awareness. If you’re not comfortable to talk about your own mental health issues though, that’s absolutely okay, there are things that have a lot to do with your mental health that might be easier to talk about, like your self care routine, affirmations and anything that helps you to feel better.
💜✨ While there is so much positive work being done to raise awareness of mental health, it seems that there is still a lot to be done to truly break the stigmas attached to mental health. Why do you think these stigmas still exist in our society and what do you think we can do to bring them to a halt?
I think stigmas still exist as there are still a lot of people who either have never ever dealt with any of those issues, therefore have completely no clue or empathy towards people who have or grew up always being told to ‘toughen up’. I think that’s one of the main problems, that most of us were taught that’s it’s better for us not to be sensitive and feel. I do believe the that one day we will be able to get rid off the stigma, by making mental health a NORMAL conversation topic and for it to be treated just as physical health is. We need to keep talking about it, even if it’s just to the people around us, family, friends. I think when people see other people being comfortable talking about those things, it inspires them to do something about it too or at least be more aware of those issues.
💜✨ Your wonderfully successful blog, MHStories, is such a beautiful space for people to connect and share their journeys with mental health without judgement. What inspired you to create the blog?
Thank you! That’s exactly what I wanted to create.
As someone who has dealt with different mental health issues from a very young age, I faced a lot of stigma and discrimination. People used to assume that when you are young you have no right to be anxious or depressed, which actually made my own mental health a lot worse. That’s why I created MH Stories, to show people that no matter your age, gender, race, background or economic status, mental illness can affect anyone.
💜✨ Sadly alot of people suffer in silence with their mental health. What advice would you give to someone that is suffering who has not yet found the courage to seek help?
Seeking help was one of the BEST things I have ever done for myself and my mental health, however I know that it’s not the easiest thing to do. Thankfully, I was able to find an online therapy through Big White Wall, which really helped me, because I didn’t even have to talk to my doctor or tell anyone about it, so if it didn’t work no one needed to know about it. I do want to stress that seeking professional help is so, so important, no mental health blog or advocate will be able to replace that. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to wait until you are at a really bad place, it’s better to seek help earlier rather than later. And there’s no shame in doing so. You deserve it!
💜✨ On those dark days where you find yourself struggling with your mental health, what things do you do to help light you up?
I try to make sure I practise meditation daily, but on those darker days I try to make even more of the effort to do so, or make it longer. Moving my body really helps too, yoga really helps to clear my mind. But if I feel like I need to energise myself or feel sluggish I put some music on and DANCE! Which can lift my mood in no time! I also love to just cuddle up with my cat Millie, spend time in the nature and journal. And if by the time I’ve done all those things I still feel down, I talk to one of my friends who can always make me laugh.
💜✨ Self-care is so important,even more so when you are suffering with mental health. What are your top 5 self-care tips?
Eating well, balanced and nutritious diet is super important. Food that fuels our body instead of making it feel sluggish!
Using mindfulness every day, meditation and yoga can really help with that. When we are able to focus on the present moment, things don’t usually seem as bad anymore.
Doing more of things that make us happy! Seems simple, but life can get busy and it can be easy to forget that we still neeeeed to enjoy our lives!
Taking time offline can really do wonders to our busy monkey minds. It can be really hard to switch off from the online world, but even a few hours of not having a phone on me can really make me feel so much better and even more mindful. Also, when you’re feeling like you have no time or running out of it, not being online really makes a day feel soooo much longer and you can get so much done!:)
Last but not least, putting yourself and your mental health first (it’s not selfish to do so!).
💜✨ You have used social media in the most wonderful way to spread a message of love and positivity and to remind people that it is perfectly ok to not be ok. Who is inspiring you right now on social media?
Ahh, I do love so many people on social media right now and feel like so many people have inspired me at different points of my journey. Some of my favourites accounts are: @selfloveclubb , @chitterlove , @omgkenzieee , @sassylisalister , @iamleyahshanks and of course @thewanderingmermaids !
💜✨ You are such a girl power queen which I luuurve and on your social media you post a lot about body confidence and the importance of loving your body. Every woman should feel happy and sexy in her body, what advice would you give to girls that suffer with anxiety over body image ?
Thank you so much! YES, I absolutely agree! Body image issues can be very deep rooted, so I think it’s important to first of all remember, that whatever you are feeling IS VALID. You do not need to change anything about yourself to please anyone else. And I want you to remember that you are ENOUGH, exactly as you are, RIGHT NOW.
💜✨ Watching your Instagram stories of you absolutely loving life and being free and dancing to music always makes me smile. So I have to ask – what are your top 5 feel good songs ?
Eeeek, that makes me so happy to hear! OMG! That’s a hard one! I do have to say that those change a lot, because I tend to listen to my favourite songs until I get completely bored of them. But right now, I really have been enjoying Carly Rae Jepsen- Cut to the feeling, New Found Glory - Kiss me, Foo Fighters - Walk, Paramore - Still into you, Tegan and Sara - Closer.
Strong, understanding, ENOUGH.
Check out Kay's website here
MH Stories: Click Here
Kay's Shop :Click Here
Now Queen, before you go I have another piece of exciting news. Today I am launching a new choker – as seen on the gorgeous Kay Ska below. For every single one of these chokers purchased, 50% of the profits will be going to the mental health charity Mind.
I founded The Wandering Mermaids at the lowest time in my life when I was suffering with depression and if it wasn’t for the kind love and support I received I would never have found the strength to get through that time or be where I am today. I am so grateful for the support I received and I am so thankful that I didn’t give up on my life – Together we really can make a difference.
The UK Charity Mind does incredible work to help people suffering from mental health – however this time of year is very challenging for Mind in terms of resources. Christmas and New Year can be a particularly testing time when you are suffering with your mental health and Mind receive thousands of cries for help during this time of year. Every single penny counts in helping them to continue to provide the wonderful help and support that they do.
If you would like to support this great cause then click here to head over to my shop.
Mermaid Mairead xox 💜✨
Monday, 20 November 2017
A question I’m often asked is how I have the courage to wear the bright and colourful clothes that I do. The answer is simple, I dress for me. I wear what makes me feel good and I really don’t care what anyone else thinks. My body, my life, my rules – DO YOU BOO!
What saddens me is when girls tell me that they’d love to dress in bright colours too, but they’re worried about judgement from others. Or at the worst end of the scale that they feel they are ‘not pretty enough’ ‘cool enough’ the list goes on.
The beauty of fashion is that fashion is freedom, your style is yours. There is no wrong or right, it’s about what makes you feel good. Wear whatever you want to, there are no rules with how you want to dress. It is so important to remember that the opinions of other people have no bearings on your life, you only get to experience this life once. So live the life you want to – wearing what you want to.
💜✨DO YOU BOO !!!!💜✨
99.9% of the time I get the most lovely compliments and smiles from people – in fact over the weekend a lovely girl told me that my colourful outfit had made her day. How magic is that ?!
All My Love,
Mermaid Mairead xox
Saturday, 4 November 2017
Dear Wandering Mermaids 💜✨
I hope this post finds you well. I hope you are feeling empowered, happy, full of love and full of wander and hunger for this life.But if you’re not – and it’s perfectly ok not to be in a great space – I hope this post give your some inspiration 💜✨
When a baby is learning to walk they’ll be countless times where they will lose their balance, fall over and they’ll definitely shed lots of tears. But not once during that journey does the baby decide ‘Nah this walking thing isn’t for me, I’m gonna stop trying’. They keep attempting to walk and they do it with biggest smile on their little face.
I have been honoured to watch my little goddaughter take her first steps. She’s 16 months old now and such a little lady. It’s been so magical watching her mastering the task that is walking. She’d lose her balance and fall but before you knew it, with the biggest smile on her face, she’d be bouncing back up giggling away and ready to master that walk!
Do you ever wonder where that inner child went? That fearless little fighter who didn’t know the meaning of giving up. Somewhere along the way we start believing that we ‘can’t’ and we actually live our life by this belief.
When I meditate I often listen to her, my inner child. I ask her what she wants; she always seems to know best. She’s not afraid of going after what she wants, no dream is too big and she believes with her whole heart that SHE CAN DO IT.
Most of us are living by limiting beliefs and don’t even realise it. Limiting beliefs are those things you believe about yourself and your reality that place limitations on your abilities and your life. Limiting beliefs tell us we’re not good enough, clever enough or attractive enough to do or to have or to be what we really want in life. Limiting beliefs keep us captive and stop us from achieving things in life. Think about the last time you wanted to try something new and a fearful or negative thought popped up in your mind and scared you away from it.
By living by these limiting beliefs you’re not living, you are merely existing.
When you really think about the concept of life it hits you hard how precious it is. We are living dying human beings and every single moment is a gift – why waste the precious time we have on this magnificent planet just existing. All these limiting beliefs are stopping us from living our best life.
The power of our personal beliefs is immense - and they have a counter effect on everything else in our life. In my own experience, I’ve found the key to it all is developing a real understanding of the thoughts I have and recognising what thoughts show up and when. We have to learn to tap into our inner voices that work so hard to make us feel small and afraid of this life. We have to work even harder on banishing these negative thoughts that plague us.
Work on recognising your limiting beliefs. Notice when they show up and ask yourself why they are showing up. Why do you think these things about yourself ? About your life ? Make positive affirmations to throw in the face of these negative thoughts. Be your biggest cheerleader - YOU GOT THIS!!
You inner voice says :
‘Ha you can’t do that, stop dreaming hun’
You say :
‘I can achieve anything I set my mind to. It’s up to me to put in the work to make it happen’
Just becoming aware of the thoughts that show up is such an incredible step, being aware of what’s going on in your mind. The more you begin to recognise your limiting beliefs the more power you will have to remove them from your life – all of this leads to baby steps to a life lead by love and positivity. A life that is yours.
I encourage you to make a list of the limiting beliefs that plague you, those thoughts that are stopping you from living your best life. Challenge those beliefs and when you notice them creeping up in your day to day life FIGHT THEM! Create positive affirmations to help you banish them.
💜✨ Going on a date and that belief that you aren’t good enough/ pretty enough shows up – Huni don’t you dare cancel on that date !! Go get your sass on, dress up, go on that date and show those limiting beliefs who’s boss.
💜✨ You have an interview and those limiting beliefs are showing up and telling you you’ll never get this job, you’re not clever enough – Queen you prep hard and you do yourself proud in that interview!!
💜✨ You want to sign up to a class – maybe sports/music/dance/craft – but there’s that voice again that says you’ll be crap at it and you shouldn’t bother – sign up write now please and thank you !!!
💜✨ You’ve come across the sassiest piece of clothing/jewellery/hair piece but that voice tells you that you are not ‘cool enough’ ‘pretty enough’ to wear it – Erm Queen, you like it you wear it. It’s as simple as that. Now go put on that sassy attire and own it.
Whatever your limiting beliefs may be, no matter how big or small they may seem, you need to remember how lucky you are just to be here. Just to be breathing. Enjoy this life. Do what makes you happy. Do not listen to that voice that brings you down.
You deserve to be in love with you and your life every single day.
All my love
Mermaid Mairead xox
Sunday, 8 October 2017
Dear Wandering Mermaids 💜✨
This week I was super lucky and got to interview freelance illustrator Sophie Rose Brampton. Sophie is the absolute Queen of Girl Power illustrations and she is a Queen on the rise. Sophie talked about female empowerment, fashion and her inspirations – I have certainly been left inspired after our chat.
💜✨ Sophie, I absolutely adore your work! What made you get into digital art?
Thank you! Well I’ve always loved painting, drawing and everything creative but it wasn’t until my last year of Uni that I discovered a graphics tablet and decided to attempt drawing on Photoshop. I’m not the most experienced at Photoshop or Illustrator but with the basic brushes it was really easy to create something with a style that I loved. From then I worked on this style constantly and that became the start of my freelance journey!
I’m inspired by current fashion trends, queer fashion, women’s sexuality, femininity and
feelings. I also love using quotes that express my feelings in some way, whether it’s about boys, sex or slut shaming.
Power to you?
Girl power to me is working with and supporting other women to bring out the best in all of us. The media makes out every women is against one another and is ‘competition’ but we know that us girls need to stick together. I love working with small brands that are run by women!
💜✨ I love that you draw strong, sassy, confident women. Who’s a strong
woman in your life and why do they inspire you?
My mum, both my grans, basically all my female family members and also my friendship group. Everyone inspires me in different ways, but in general it’s because they’re so supportive of my work and all so strong as women. They have never let me down and always encourage me to be the best I can be.
💜✨ Your images are always super sassy when it comes to style. How would you
describe your personal style ? Do you have any style icons?
My personal style changes quite often but in general I love sassy prints, lots of colour and statement jewellery. I’m a huge fan of big earrings coming back in fashion so I guess my style icon is Pat Butcher (lol). Other influences on my style include the Olsen twins, Kate Moss, Rita Ora and Pixie Lott. There are also a few fashion bloggers that I turn to when I need some inspo, including – ‘pieandfash’, ‘curvy_roamer’, ‘asos_anna’ and ‘paileaa’. They always get my shopping obsession back on track!
Do what you want to do. Not what your friends think is cool at the time or to impress boys or anyone else. Always do you and be who you want to be. Try not to stress if you don’t know who you are yet or what you want either. Even this time last year I never knew I would be freelance as an illustrator. I studied Fashion Communication at uni and always thought I would go into marketing or PR. But I knew deep down that wasn’t who I was and I wouldn’t be completely satisfied doing that. It wasn’t until I had a knockback when I started a fashion admin role that I got made redundant and then started freelancing in all the wonderful spare time I had! You will get set backs and you’ll probably fail a few times, but you will get what you want eventually.
My dream collaboration would be with Playboy. I think the magazine since being taken over by a new creative director is taking a turn for the better and focusing on the models personalities much more, as well as of course their sexuality. It could be a really feminist magazine if it focused on marketing towards both male and female better. Also I’d love to create for more events for fashion brands, I recently worked with Quiz clothing and my illustrations were printed and given to around 20 celebrities and bloggers and it was SO amazing seeing the photos of my drawings at the actual event. Moments like that are so rewarding.
If you’re an aspiring artist or illustrator the way I got into it was by taking on every opportunity that came my way and posting my work on all my social accounts consistently. Social media is the only marketing tool I use – Instagram, facebook and LinkedIn and they are all free unless I decide to create a paid promotion. I also have a website that I pay around £15 monthly for on Squarespace, setting it up is pretty easy and there are templates for you to choose from to display your projects. Work on building your portfolio- you may have to take on some unpaid work but always make sure you’re getting something out of it. Experience, your work featured in a magazine, on an online platform or for an article. Email and message other brands that have a
similar vibe to your work and what you think you would find exciting to create for. Don’t do any work unless you feel it fits with your branding, or if you need the money. Remember brands offering ‘exposure’ is usually just a ploy for you to work for free.. a.k.a bullshit.. but if you’re starting out you will need that initial exposure.
💜✨ Who are your favourite Girl Power Queens on Instagram right now that you
would recommend to follow?
All the ‘Confetti Crowd’ girls, their outfits and colourful styles are SO amazing. ‘The Flower Arranger’ is someone to watch also, she’s set up a great platform for women working for themselves to meet each other and form a work group which is great as freelancing or running a business alone can be very isolating.
💜✨ And finally, if you could sum up Girl Power in three words what would those
Sassy, supportive and in control.
Want to see more from this Queen ?!
Check out her website here : www.sophierosebrampton.co.uk
Follow her Instagram here : Instagram
Mermaid Mairead xox 💜✨
Saturday, 30 September 2017
Dear Wandering Mermaids 💜✨
I hope September has treated you well ! Can you believe that it’s October tomorrow? Where has this year gone?!?!
This week I took part in Self Love Week by the beautiful Mel Wells and it really got me reflecting on my learnings from the Self Love retreat I went on earlier this year in Bali (Also run by Mel).
On the retreat I learnt so much about myself and I am so grateful to Mel and the other Goddesses for the experiences I had and for the memories I’ll never forget. What an incredible and beautiful group of women 💜✨
This Self Love week made me think a lot about the world we live in – and how many of us actually don’t love ourselves at all – and we are actually teaching one another not to love ourselves.
This week a colleague of mine asked me for advice on how to console his 13 year old daughter. His daughter absolutely adores cheerleading and is part of a cheerleading team at school – until recently. She was taken off her cheerleading team because she ‘isn't thin enough’
BAM, there it begins - the conditioning that you are not good enough. That you need to change to be enough, that you need to change so people will like you/ accept you. That you can’t do things/ accomplish your dreams without changing who you are.
Imagine a 13 year old girl who is just entering adolescence being told she ‘isn’t thin enough’. How unbelievably damaging is that for a young woman.
I am so grateful and proud of the women in my life that are advocates of promoting self love. And in the Wandering Mermaid community it fills me with so much joy to see so many women showering each other with love and encouraging one another to love themselves 💜✨
But what devastates me is that in everyday reality self love is not being practised - and it should be, especially in schools. Why is self love not being taught in schools?!? It is just as important as sex education.
Many of us feel like we're not good enough because we’re conditioned to feel that way in childhood - or maybe even in those years when stepping into adulthood. The devastating part is that you end up wearing that false identity that you are not good enough for the rest of your life.
Can you remember when you became your own worst enemy? When you started telling yourself you weren’t good enough? Can you remember what triggered it?
The way you feel about yourself is learned feelings – and that’s not the real you. You are good enough, in fact you are more than good enough. But have to realise it for yourself.
The journey to self-love isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight – in fact it’s something you have to practise every day of your life. But it’s an incredibly important practice; the relationship you have with yourself really is the most important relationship in your life.
While there are so many incredible women out there promoting self love, I feel like there is still so much work to be done and it’s down to every one of us to keep educating one another.
💜✨ Tell the little Queens and Kings in your life why they should love themselves and why they are amazing.
💜✨ If you see someone tearing some else down let them know it’s not ok. It’s not ok to make someone else feel like they are not good enough.
💜✨ Remind your loved ones of how amazing they are - and tell them why you love them
💜✨ Compliment people – strangers, friends, family, work colleagues – let’s make pepe feel good!
If enough of us spread that self love magic where ever we go it can’t not catch on.
How good does it feel telling someone how amazing they are ?! How amazing does it feel loving yourself ?!
How incredible would it be if we all loved ourselves and loved each other – I think that love would heal the world.
💜✨ Self love is simply priceless and really is the most magical medicine there is 💜✨
If you are starting your self love journey and have no idea where to begin, I would 100% recommend checking out the work by the beautfiul Mel Wells💜✨and my dear friend Shani Jay (her book The Babe Bible is actually my bible)💜✨
Click here to see Mel's Work
Clcik here to see Shani's work
Thank you for reading, I hope this post resonated with you 💜✨
All my love,
Mermaid Mairead xox
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
I wasn't going to publish this blog post.
Partly because this is so personal and still raw for me.
But since launching the Wandering Mermaids I've been honoured to get to know so many beautiful souls. And I know that there are some of you that need this post just as much as I needed to write it – I guess I needed the reminder of how far I’ve come even though it might not feel like it right now.
So I'm going to take a leap of faith and let myself be my most vulnerable - which is terrifying. But if this post helps just one person then it will be worth it. I only ask that you read this with a kind heart.
A year ago next month I experienced what felt like my whole world crumbling around me. I'll never forget it. I'll never forget how scared I was or how pathetic I felt.
On 06 September 2016, I did my usual morning routine. I'd got ready for work and I was sat in the kitchen with a coffee. I don't know how long I had been sitting there when my mum came down stairs and asked what was going on.
I was sitting there in floods of tears. I couldn't speak, I couldn’t move, I couldn't look at her. All I could do was cry. It felt like it wasn't me. It was like I was watching myself and I was screaming at myself to stop it, to pull it together.
For a long time I had been fighting an internal battle. A battle that I had been losing.
I was at war with myself. In a body that was fighting to survive with a mind that was trying to die.
Each morning I had painted a smile on my face. And perfectly orchestrated photos on social media hid all signs that I wasn’t ok. Wearing a mask to hide the chaos.
The mask cracked.
I know there are some people that might read this and think what an attention seeker 'snap out of it'.
But asking someone to “snap out” of a depression makes as much sense as asking someone to “snap out” of diabetes. Depression is not feeling down after having a bad day at work or having holiday blues. Depression is a medical illness.
Waking up in the morning and wishing you hadn't is not the life anyone wants to lead and if you could just 'snap out of it' trust me you would do just that.
During what I can only describe as a fight to get my life back together I felt completely defeated. I felt ashamed. I felt pathetic. I was plagued with worry about what people would think. That people would think I was incapable or unstable or one of the many other stereotypes that comes with mental health.
I was exhausted from battling depression and sick of dealing with anxiety, paranoia and insomnia - the three Best friends that high five when they've successfully tormented you. It brings a lump to my thraot when I look back and think of how close I came to gving up on my life.
It’s important to remember that Depression isn’t picky - everyone has potential to suffer; children, adults even the elderly. Depression doesn't care how much money you have in the bank, how popular you are, how many followers you have on social media.
Look at Robin Williams's, a remarkable man with so much talent. From an outsiders view he looked like he had it all and he appeared like such a happy soul. He was wearing a mask too.
Amy Bleuel's story totally broke my heart. Amy was the inspirational lady and driving force behind Project Semicolon. For those of you that don't know, this project is a mental health nonprofit organization that aims to bring hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury.
As a result of this project the semicolon has become a source of inspiration for many people and my semicolon tattoo has provided me with hope each and everyday. As Amy said ''A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, the sentence is your life''.
Amy passed away on March 23rd 2017 at the age of 31. The cause of death was suicide. No one saw it coming and no one knew she was suffering. This is a prime example that those who seem so strong and wear a smile on their face are still struggling.
There is so much more work to be done towards mental health and it's so important that we continue Amy's legacy.
The stigma associated with a depressive illness is very evident in our society. And this stigma is so incredibly damaging. I couldn't stand to even look at myself during my recovery. Why are we made to feel so ashamed of suffering from mental health?
Someone in my life – who had no idea I suffered with mental health - told me that they believed that depression was not an illness. That it was a choice; you chose to live your life that way.
However, a short while ago he experienced his first anxiety attack. It came out of nowhere and he described it as the most harrowing thing that had happened to him. He thought he was going to die.
Now imagine experiencing that every day? And people think you’ve chosen to live that way?
That person is now an advocate of fighting the stigma around mental health – what a transformation.
Suffering from mental health is horrific but suffering alone is even worse. Because of the stigma, few people talk about mental health or let on how they are really feeling. And that’s so dangerous, without support and help depression has the potential to end your life.
The reality is that we are living in a world of people with sad eyes on happy faces. People don’t want to come across as needy or weak. They’d sooner suffer.
And that’s why we need to continue to work together to fight this stigma and to talk about mental health. To have real open and honest conversations. ‘Mental Health’ is not a dirty word.
Your mental health matters – YOU MATTER.
I’m not weak because I have a history of depression. I’m strong because I’ve faced up to it and I know the signs of it now.
I’ve accepted that I will always vulnerable to mental health issues – and not to be ashamed of that.
I know now the most important thing is to share how I'm feeling with the people who love me and are always there for me no matter what. I can't stress enough the importance of sharing your good days, your bad days, your worries and your thoughts. Keeping those things trapped in your mind will kill you.
That being said, I still have my difficult times. Unfortunately since July I have found myself struggling again and at times I have found it incredibly difficult not to listen to the monster in my head.
But I'm not ashamed to say I'm having a hard time and I have hope that with my strength and the love of the people that care about me that I’ll see this difficult time through.
💜✨‘The greater your storm the bright your rainbow’💜✨
If you’re reading this and you’re struggling with depression just remember that you are not alone.
I know how it feels to want to give up but I ask you to find the strength inside you to carry on.
Talk about how you’re feeling, journal, cry – get it out of your system.
Take time out for self-care – do something that lights you up whether its drawing or painting, reading, going for a walk, a pamper day. Whatever it is, fall back in love with you.
To anyone that has supported The Wandering Mermaids, whether that’s through buying one of my colourful creations, sharing and supporting the work I do or just sending me beautiful messages and emails – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped save me.
If you know someone that suffers from mental health or you are a sufferer, please remember that there is so much help out there. I’ve listed some sites below that I’ve found useful:
If you have read this far I thank you dearly 💜✨
As always, if you would like to ask me questions about anything in this post - or if you just need someone to talk to - please feel welcomed to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 💜
Mermaid Mairead xox 💜✨