Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management

The World Through The Smoke

Mental Illness. One could describe it as seeing the world through a cloud of smoke. Constantly unable to see reality. Surrounded by what could of been, what might be and what never existed in the first place.

When you don’t feel you are in control of your actions, when you feel consumed by your illusion of the world. There’s a stigma that comes attached with mental illness, people see it as a weakness but what if it can make you stronger?

Yes, mental illness can make you both your weakest and strongest self. When you are at your lowest self, mental illness warps and changes your mind till you are most certainly no longer yourself.

As a kid you never understand the negative effect of mental illness, you wonder why people are acting a certain way, not realizing that sometimes there may be no logical reason for why.

You often hurt the ones you care about most when you aren’t in your right mind. You tell them you care and then the next minute go back on all that, fuck things up and hurt them without always realizing the effect of what you are doing.

What others don’t see are the mental scars inside. More often than not you hear “well if I can’t see it, it’s not there” rather than people genuinely trying to understand what is going on. I say those people can get to fuck with their judgmental opinions.

If they had experienced mental illness or had someone they were close to experiencing mental illness, they would not be saying this. They don’t realize that you genuinely are ill. They don’t understand the mental pain that goes on inside your brain.

You overthink almost every situation and every possible outcome. You overthink what others think of you, you constantly need to be reminded of the fact that people care about you. Someone does one thing to upset you and there you are calling them out while thinking that they don’t & never did give a shit about you.

People tell you they are there for you but then let you down when you need them most because they can’t handle the severeness of your thoughts. You put yourself down, you make one mistake then spend a lifetime blaming yourself for that mistake.

You see the world through a cloud of smoke as if it isn’t actually happening. You do something stupid and it passes over you as if it wasn’t you that did that. You do things then shortly after wonder why the fuck you did that and can’t understand why you did it in the first place.

For example, I once tried to add on old teacher on FB while I was still at high school. Obviously something not allowed in schools. My mind was in such an unwell state that I tried to add then sent her a series of messages on FB without realizing what I was doing. Afterwards it felt like a dream, I did not remember doing it, it took me a long time to remember what I’d done. To this date I still don’t remember any of what I had apparently messaged her. It’s almost like it was a dream, I just have the faint reminder that it happened.

This is what being unwell inside your head is like, you may do things, not even remember them and they will feel like you’ve dreamed it all. You start to hallucinate and your brain mixes reality with hallucinations. You begin to believe these hallucinations to be real and when you realize that they were in fact inside your head, it takes you a long time to work things out.

It is a horrible feeling when you realize that you imagined a whole event or multiple events that you thought were real. It fucks with your mind, it isn’t pleasant to know that you can’t even trust your own mind at times. Your mind is supposed to be one thing you should be able to trust.

It’s difficult to apologize for something when at the time, you had zero recollection of what you had done just minutes after doing it. I don’t know how else to describe the feeling of being unwell mentally other than its like being completely fucking wasted to the point you can’t stand.

Only problem is, you aren’t wasted, there is no hangover. There is no puking your guts up, being hungover for a day, feeling like crap for another few days then starting to feel no better. When you are in a low mental state, its constant, it doesn’t just cease to be. You feel like crap all the time, you may laugh it off as if your fine, but you’re not. People may see you laugh nervously and think “Oh, they are over it” but that’s not how it works.

More often than not, you can keep your mood up only so long as you are in other people’s company, the second you are alone, the pain seeps back in and its like your drowning in a confused state that no one else can understand unless they’ve been there before.

You avoid telling people how you feel because you’re fucked up mind tells you they don’t care, they don’t want to know and that they won’t be able to help. A guidance teacher lets you down big time? You become suspicious of future guidance teachers as if they are going to do the same until they prove that they are there. It really is true that actions speak louder than words. A friend fucks you over? Your trust issues increase whenever you meet someone new to the point it takes you 4 times as long as others to make friends.

When I was a kid I used to constantly not understand why my mother was acting a certain way, she’d do things to hurt me then I’d wonder why she hated me so much. It wasn’t that she hated me, it was that she just didn’t understand the extent of what she was doing and how it was hurting me.

That’s what mental illness does to a person. It twists your sense of reality to the point you don’t know how to love, how to care like an actual human being. You do things for any or no reason and you don’t realize how much you are hurting those that you say you care about. You give up at the first sign of trouble when you should fight for what you want instead.

Smoke

Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management

Artificial Friendship & Liking Yourself

We go through life often wishing simply to have friends and people who care about us but we don’t always realize that this is possibly a bad approach to life.

If you wander through life desperate to be liked and have people who care about you, you loose sight of who you are as a person. You become so consumed with wanting people to like you rather than focusing on liking yourself.

Perhaps what we should teach to future generations is to focus on loving & respecting yourself before you think about anyone else. In this current world, some people become so consumed in having other people liking them that they forget about themselves. They may hate themselves or blame themselves for every slight thing that goes wrong in their lives.

In high schools, a lot of children put themselves and others down while pinning all their attention on making a certain individual like them, maybe someone they see as popular, cool or just someone that they want to be friends with.

The current school system is corrupted in the sense that teaching authorities focus on results. Everything is results, results, results. I believe this is the wrong thing to be teaching children. This is the wrong approach to life.

Yes, results matter. Yes, if you have good grades you have a better chance of getting into a course or getting a job but grades aren’t the be all and end all of life. You don’t get sent to jail for not having good results, nothing bad happens. You can still get to where you want to get to, you can still get into the career you dream of. Yes, it may require a little more hard work, but not doing well at school isn’t going to lock you down for the rest of your life so you can only get into careers you hate.

Schools tend to focus so much on results that students begin to overwork themselves trying to get as many qualifications as possible. Yes its good to study and aim to get as good grades as you can at school but teachers need to realize that some students may not be able to handle the pressure of doing so many subjects at once that they have very little down time.

This can lead to depression or having low self esteem. You become so focused on getting specific grades that you put yourself down when you don’t achieve the grade you were hoping for. I think that teaching authorities should start to factor in their students health.

They should begin to think about how this heavy workload can affect the students health. They should monitor the system better so they can adapt the timetable when they notice their students struggling. When students struggle they should be able to feel more confident to go to their guidance lecturer, head of course or head of year and feel that they are being listened to.

Another common problem with the school system is that students may be struggling and will go to their teacher to not get the help they need to improve their work or to be able to understand what they are being taught.

When I was in my last year of high school I absolutely hated school. I took three classes: English, History & Administration of which I only enjoyed Administration. I was seriously struggling with English & History but wasn’t getting the help I needed.

The sad thing was that I had extra support in BOTH of these classes that was supposed to help and assist me. In History, I really didn’t like the teacher. All he ever did was read from textbooks or put on videos and this was not the way in which I could learn. He would often read whole chapters from textbooks which I would not understand but then wouldn’t help us understand if we were struggling.

Other teachers didn’t like him, he told us weeks in advance when he was going to be off ill, he even laughed at me one day and had the whole class laughing at me when I got confused with a piece of work. What didn’t help is that I didn’t get on with the teacher I had there for extra support either.

She would never help me when I was stuck because she assumed I was just at it, when in actual fact I was seriously struggling. She called me a liar on multiple occasions when I wasn’t and when I proved that to her she was rude and didn’t apologize.

I also didn’t understand what we were learning in English. Yet again, they extra support teacher thought I was at it when I didn’t understand things. Then one day, we got a new teacher for one day a week whom was Italian. I didn’t understand the woman’s accent but no one would help me because they thought I was making fun of the woman which I wasn’t.

I tried to tell my guidance lecturer that I hated History, it was making me miserable and that I wanted to drop it cause I was never going to understand it. No one would listen to me until I stormed out the class and refused to do the work. I was lucky that with English, another new teacher started teaching us one day of the week (a different day to the Italian woman) whom helped me with my folio work. I feel if it wasn’t for this teacher then I wouldn’t of passed with a B. I ended up doing all the revision the last two weeks and was surprised to see myself get a B.

Teachers like these are not what we need. As a result, students struggle even more while knowing they can’t get the help when needed. Whereas I didn’t get the help I needed to do well in my last year of high school, in college I felt I got the help I needed.

Throughout my full 3 years at college I felt I was lucky to have an amazing guidance lecturer that was a great support to me. I’ve mentioned this before, but I organized a big Scottish journalism competition for my graded unit this year. During the process of this event, I was extremely busy and didn’t think to factor in time for myself. It even got to the point I would skip lunches and not even factor in time to eat.

I suppose this was the time when I was most lucky to have such amazing support. My old guidance lecturer was my rock throughout college especially while organizing this event. He would force me to stop for a minute, force me to take a lunch break and was genuinely there for me when I felt low also. He got supportive when my team weren’t nice to me when tension got high. Without him I’d of probably had a complete break down before I even got to the night of the event.

These are the types of teachers that schools need. People who genuinely care about the health of their students and want to actually help when things get tough.

After that huge conversation diversion, back to the topic of artificial friendship. Artificial friendship is fake friendship, when people act like they are there for you but when it matters they are nowhere to be seen.

It can be difficult to realize when a friendship isn’t healthy. In my younger years of school I had a massive argument/disagreement with a girl I believed to be a friend of mine. When we fell out, she began to glue herself to the sides of the kids seen as the “popular gang.” She would bitch about me and talk about me behind my back especially in classes to make me feel small.

One day we decided to work things out and be friends again but that was probably a bad decision on my part. I remember at the time I had a teacher whom actually said to me “be careful” when I told her I was friends again with the girl in question. At the time I just dismissed this and didn’t really get what she meant. Looking back, I now understand what she meant completely.

When I finished school I realized this girl was fake and wasn’t really my friend. I think I probably realized that a while before I was finishing school. Being the child that I was, I was desperate to be liked and have friends like pretty much anyone else my age. I stayed friends with her because it was easy and convenient. It meant I had someone to hang about with at lunch times.

What I should have done was ditch her there and then. I seemed to believe this would make me a bad friend but that isn’t correct, she was the bad friend for using me. Maybe I also stayed friends with her because i’d have to see her everyday anyway.

When I left school I realized my mistakes after I asked her about meeting up multiple times to no effect. At first she would say yes, maybe even like comments on my posts. But then she began to ignore my messages/texts and just like my comments about meeting up to make her look popular.

One day I got fed up with the whole pretense of this situation that I just cut her out my life completely and I can honestly say I am genuinely happy as a result.

I would say to anyone currently feeling like they have a friend who uses them and isn’t there when they need them to cut them out their life. It may be a difficult thing for you to do and you may have to see them each day but it will make you happier if you just have people in your life who want the best for you. People who are a support when you need them most.

I am one of those people in life who struggle to see the best in myself. I see the best in everyone else and wonder why I have people who care about me in the first place. I received some great advice from someone recently to focus on what matters to me, forget the rest of the world and to do things to make myself feel happy.

That’s what I would say to anyone struggling to see the best in themselves. Focus on what is important to you and hopefully things will start to become more positive for you.

Artificial friendship is not healthy. It isn’t good for you to have people who pretend to care but don’t actually. It is often difficult to tell if someone is genuine. I would say if you feel in your gut that they aren’t, you are probably correct.

Time and time again I have put off dropping someone from my life in the hope that I’ve been wrong and something would happen to keep changing my mind. If someone seems like a black cloud around you then maybe its best to let them go.

I’m not saying you should ditch your friends at the first sign of trouble but I am saying you should have a limit. When I left school I had a good friend whom I thought I would be friends with forever. It didn’t turn out this way, things began to change for her. She had a kid and through the whole time, I told her I was there for her. I tried to show her how much I cared.

She didn’t seem to see this and kept asking me if I was still her friend. She pushed me away and I began to give her space for her and her child thinking it was a good thing. Now she has me blocked on Facebook and I lost her but I have learnt to accept this. People change and its not healthy to hang on to the past. If people change, you need to accept this as them now instead of clinging on to what has past.

When life gets too much, take some time out for yourself. Do the things you love or the things that calm you down. Run a bath, listen to music, try and realize that you deserve the same respect in which you give to others. You are human too!

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Artificial

Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management

Restraining From Caring Too Much

How do you be careful without being too careful? Being careful is difficult. If you are too careful you can find yourself living on the sidelines as if you are observing everyone’s lives whereas if you aren’t careful enough you find yourself being screwed over again and again while looking like a mug.

For example, In my younger years of high school I put all my trust in a teacher whom I believed I could trust, who promised me she was always there for me but when I needed her most she let me down. Now, I don’t blame her after the way I treated her but this is an example of me caring too much. When someone I knew in real life whom I should of been able to trust let me down, I turned to my idol Cheryl – at the worst moment of my life so far, a woman who didn’t even know I exist got me through. Her album, Messy Little Raindrops came out when I was seriously unwell and somehow managed to heal me and get me to where I am today.

I am not in the best position in my life by the slightest, but I am not in the worst. So I keep going, Cheryl is the reason for this and I owe her everything.

When you care too much you tend to get hurt but when you care too little you get seen as a horrible person and become the one who is always left out of everything. Many an occasion, I have put my trust in people only for them to let me down when I need them most. As a result, I have major trust issues and struggle to trust others. It takes me a long time to trust other people. Even then, the slightest thing can happen to put doubts in my mind about whether I can trust them. Currently, I only have about five people I can trust completely.

With this changing world, trust issues can be increasingly common. In high school, I had a girl I considered a friend whom couldn’t trust me. I tried my best to show/prove to her that I was her friend and was there for her but she couldn’t see this. She began to pick arguments with me over social media which really upset me. She wouldn’t say anything to my face, but over the internet she would get annoyed at me. I tried to let her know I didn’t want to argue with her and I wanted to be there for her if she needs me. At the end of the day, I ended up cutting all ties with her because the arguments were getting more often & I didn’t want to be in her life if it caused arguments and upset us both.

When you have trust issues you can often find yourself left behind. For example, you could start a new college course where everyone doesn’t know anyone else. Those without trust issues make friends, become close and establish their friendship groups while you are still giving the bare minimum to others, not because you don’t like them but because you don’t know if you’ll be able to trust them.

On the other hand, you could decide you can trust someone, give them your trust only to find they betray your trust & set you back into your un-trusting ways. In my last year of school I had a friendship group of between 6-8 whom I considered my friends – I now only keep in touch with 4 of them, 2 of whom are my best friends still. My friendship group basically cut in half because I either realised that people weren’t real friends, fell out with them or just drifted apart. One girl I was friends with, I still talk to her occasionally but whenever I tried to contact her about meeting up, she’d either say yes without wanting to arrange anything or just ignore me. Another, I realised was fake, was never there for me when I needed her and had screwed me over multiple times. I even had a high school teacher warn me to be careful in my younger years when I made up with this girl, I never understood what she meant, but now I do. A third girl randomly decided to ditch a bunch of friends for no reason.

People change and times change but this has never been very helpful in my trust of other people. I organised a big event this year which ended on a sour note and only spoke to two people about it when I was feeling low because of it, another example of my lack of trust for others in general.

In other news, if you care too little you may find yourself gliding through life without a care for anything, without a passion, just a hopeless life wishing for something more. If you give yourself fully to a situation, yes you can be hurt, yes someone may break you down but you may find a passion or love worth the pain, something that keeps you going, keeps you happy and looking forward to living your life even more.

At the end of the day, I feel you should judge your life in measures. Take everything as it comes, if you have a feeling in your gut that someone is lying to you and doesn’t really give a damn about you, listen to that feeling. If you have love for a specific thing or a career you really want to pursue, follow your dreams and go for that no matter what.

Another example, In my last year of high school when I was applying for college courses, a teacher came to me and pretty much tried to force me not to apply for a course in Early Education & Childcare. I understand that she didn’t feel that the course was suited to me but at the end of the day, she’d never seen me working around kids whereas the woman who had, gave me a brilliant reference. Another teacher told me she didn’t think I was suited to this course but respected that it was my decision which I respected her for. I came very close to getting a place in an Early Education and Childcare course until the teacher who tried to force me not to apply for it gave me an awful reference, I was devastated.

I then decided to choose my backup course, Media & Communications. Three full years later I have left college with a HND Media & Communications and organised an amazing Scotland-wide Journalism competition where I got to work with companies such as the BBC, STV and the Daily Record. I was also advised not to study Media & Communications by the same teacher who tried to force me not to apply for the Early Education & Childcare course. I was told to pick Administration simply because it would get me a job. I feel that in high school, the creative type of courses are most often over-looked by teachers and seen as something that won’t get you a job, but that’s not true. The media has an involvement in everything from television to radio, to events management to journalism. Yes I enjoyed Administration and it may have a higher chance to get a job but did I want to study it as a career? No, I really don’t think I did and I still don’t think I do!

If someone, anyone tries to tell you that you can’t do something, don’t listen to them! Keep fighting your way through, because at the end of the day, this is your life, no one else’s. So why should anyone else get to dictate what you do with your life?

Careful

Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Helpful, Thoughts

Stand Up to Bullying Day

Bullying has become an unfortunate part of modern culture that we just have to accept and deal with. Many tell stories of how they were bullied in school or college or work. It is relentless and never seems to stop. But today we stand united #StandUpToBullyingDay.

Bullying can take many forms including physical attacks to verbal abuse but we must establish that no matter what form, it is NOT acceptable. It is NOT okay. For example, recently we have just voted in the EU referendum. I have heard a few people tell me they were voting to leave because of the immigrants as if this will automatically shut them out from our society. It won’t!

With the rise of technology, increases the rise of bullying. The young generation of today arguably spent a lot of time on social media. Bullies have sought into this and began to use the internet as another way to get at people. I often wonder what someone must have went through in their life to target another and do anything they can to destroy that person’s happiness. Yes, you don’t have to like everyone. You don’t even need to spend time with everyone, but you DO have to respect them.

Recently I have began to notice that if someone doesn’t like a particular person they may act against them and do what they can to upset that person. This is the wrong way to think. Why should you be in charge of another person’s happiness? Happiness is not for you to control. If you don’t like them and don’t wish to be friends with them, then why not just leave them alone? Instead of spending time fueling hate against them?

In my younger years of high school, I had a big falling out with a member of staff. I made a simple mistake, but instead of owning up to this, I began fueling anger into the situation. I began talking about them behind their back in the hope that they would hear me. I wasn’t well, but that’s no excuse. More importantly – I could have just apologised for my mistake and then moved on with my life. Instead, I wasted months of my time hating her and making things difficult for her when an apology would have just ended the disagreement. I have regretted this ever since and now wish I would of just spoken to her about the issue. Since we did get on before it, we trusted each other and we got on after it reasonably well, just without the trust. I was naive and young, If I could go back, I would of probably of done things differently. Then again, if it wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t of became the person I am today.

Why waste days, months, year or even decades of your life fueling hate against other people when you could focus your energy on helping others and making the life of others? You could spend your time working, studying, with people you actually care about, living your life instead.

Bullying is never okay. While you are fueling your anger at other people. Think of what you could be doing to them? They wouldn’t tell you, but they might be going home, crying into their pillows every night. They might be wishing they were dead. They might have family struggles going on. They might be struggling with a mental illness. They might be in an abusive relationship. There are probably over a million or more different scenarios about what this person you don’t like may be going through. You don’t know the full story, you don’t know what they are struggling with. So how does this give you the right to manipulate their weaknesses? It doesn’t!

After I left high school, I lost touch or fell out with most of my friendship group. Now, three years later, I have only kept in touch with two people out of my friendship group. There was one girl who I thought I’d continue to be friends with who then abandoned her school friends for her University friends. People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. You will need to accept this. I lost touch with most of my friendship group as I realised that they had not been very good friends. They were only ever there for me when they needed or wanted something. Other than that they were nowhere to be seen.

Pain or stress can make all sorts of people behave in all sorts of different ways. Towards the end of high school, one of my friends I lost touch with decided to start arguments with me just because she could. Around the time of our exams, she started an argument with me publicly over my friends Facebook timeline. She didn’t even have the decency to private message me. I forgave this despite no apology because another friend had a word with me briefly about what she was going through at the time. Then once we left, another argument began. At this moment, I decided that it was better off us not being friends, and me not being in her life. I didn’t see the point being friends if she was going to start regular arguments and leave us both upset. She had me crying myself to sleep some nights with worry for her. I made a decision on what was best for her and stuck to this.

I don’t see the point creating arguments for no reason, targeting people just because they are different or you don’t like them. When I was in my younger years of high school, a girl in my year went as far to send a virus to my computer just so she could see what I had accessed and tell others to make fun of me. She did all that at the thought of being popular. Popularity can be a deadly poison. Some people will stop at nothing to be popular which is unfortunate because they end up missing out on a great deal in life. One of my friends at that time even screwed me over because she was getting the attention from the popular students who only spoke to her for gossip and someone else to laugh at.

I thought and hoped that when I left school things would changed. I hoped that I would have got rid of the kids that like to upset others to become popular. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. For two out of three of my college years, everything was exactly how I thought it would be. Then this year something changed within our class. A bunch of students got into what you would call a clique. A girl I thought was my friend began blanking me all of a sudden for no reason at all. I just let her go, after what I had been through in school I decided it would be pointless to try to talk to her about it and that I was better off not having anything to do with her.

This clique began to sit in classes in a group and laugh and snicker at those not in their group whenever they spoke in class. They began finding people’s weaknesses and manipulating them to get what they wanted. Unfortunately this divided the class into groups. I was lucky to have another two I could call friends. I ended up witnessing a lot of hurt this year but was glad that I managed not to end up involved in any of it. It went as far to get our lecturers upset and for them and the few of us not in this group to get sick of the class.

Now that I’ve left, I’m glad to be rid of that class setting but I do miss certain lecturers who I hope to stay in touch with. I was lucky that the last three years at college I’ve had the same guidance lecturer who has been a great support to me. He has been there for me whenever needed and hasn’t let me down and I really appreciate this. Just goes to show, there are decent people in this world if you look for them.

Bullying creates a poisonous/toxic atmosphere that isn’t healthy. It causes tension and hate. If more people were to actually stop and think about how their actions could affect someone else then maybe they would see this. Stand Up to Bullying Day is about saying STOP to bullying. It is NOT acceptable and we need to work to change people’s opinions sooner rather than later.

If you are being bullied, then PLEASE speak to someone you trust. I know it can be very difficult, I myself have major trust issues. If you look hard enough you will find someone you can put your trust in, just like I found with my college guidance lecturer. Be it a teacher, a parent, a friend or someone else. Please let others in. Perhaps if I’d have just let in that high school teacher in my younger years I could have saved myself a whole lot of hurt and regret. On the slight chance if anyone had read this far – If you don’t have anyone you feel you can talk to you can email me at lifeliesandalltimecraziness@gmail.com. I will list some useful resources that you may find useful at the bottom of this article.

If you have the feeling that someone you care about is being bullied then handle with caution. You may just scare them away if you fife off at everyone. Let them know that you are there for them and want to listen when they are ready to talk. Alert them to any resources that you may find useful yourself. Perhaps have a quiet word with a teacher or parent if you have serious worries about their health/and/or mental status.

If you think you are a bully, then also speak to someone you trust. It can be difficult to change your ways. It is up to you to decide the person you wish to be in life. If you look at yourself and don’t like the person you’ve become then maybe its time for change. It can be difficult to make that first step, but having the support of those around you can be a life changing way of changing yourself as a person.

Useful Resources

Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Thoughts

You Do You

So today is international happiness day. Yes, there is a day dedicated to being happy. What is happy, you ask? Well, happy is not having to put a fake smile on your face and pretend to be okay. Happiness is getting up in the morning and actually wanting to face the day instead of hiding under your bed sheets. Happiness is many things.

In this day and age it is becoming increasingly common to feel down/depressed. With the constant peer pressure to look or act a certain way, it isn’t a surprise that some people don’t get enough fulfilment out of their lives. Running around day in day out to conform to stereotypes or make others happy is one of the things which wear us down.

This is where I want to say, you do you! You are going to get more enjoyment and fulfilment out of life if you do what you want to do and what makes YOU happy! As long as you aren’t hurting people on purpose and acting with good intentions, then you won’t be criticised for this! We live in a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to act yourself. The use of the internet makes the whole aspect of bullying worse with the many trolls you can find there.

In high school, you tend to get bullied or picked on for anything and everything that is unique about you. This is where we need to get the world to STOP bringing kids down from an early age. This bullying is causing the young generation of today to grow up feeling worthless. Children get that used to people saying negative things about them that they start trying to blend in with the crowd and start to harbour negative feelings against themselves. After all, we tend to be much harsher on ourselves than we are on other people. To change this we should encourage young school children to see the positive things about themselves and not to pick on others for their negative things. By doing this, I feel we can teach future generations to have more respect for themselves.

One thing I have learnt in the last few years is that if someone is bringing you down and having a constant negative effect on you then bin them. As difficult as it seems, it is much better for the both of you if you part ways. When I was leaving school, a girl I was friends with at the time started an argument with me and said some very hurtful things that upset me despite them not being true. A few months later, another argument occurred and this is where I decided that I would rather not be in someone’s life than to be in their life and arguments occurring often no matter who started it. As difficult as letting go is, once you have done it, life becomes slightly more positive and you feel lighter. You should surround yourself with positive people who bring you up instead of negative people who bring you down.

In life we strive to be happy but unfortunately we can’t be happy all the time. When it comes to career’s, some dream of being a teacher, some an astronaut, some the prime minster and others, something completely different. We go to school to learn, to progress in subjects we have a keen interest in and to discover what we want to do with our life afterwards. There is no unspoken rule to say that you have to decide what you want to do with your life before leaving school. There is heavy pressure within schools on students to study and know what want to do from an early age but what happens if you’re not ready to decide? Take your time finding out what you are interested in and then decide what you want to do with your life once you actually know, don’t rush it!

No matter what your career dream or goals are, make them realistic and something you actually want to do. Some people decide they are interested in a certain career because of money. Pursuing a particular career for the pay check you will receive is a big no. If you chase a job for the money, then you will never find happiness within your career. You will spend your life running around in circles searching for the next big thing with a half empty heart working in an area you don’t enjoy. Pick your career based on what you want to do and once you decide, work your butt off to make your dreams happen. This will allow you to create your own happiness and get the most from life.

Challenge yourself – Challenge is a great way to create your own happiness. Doing the same responsibilities at work day in day out may become boring and dull. By finding ways to challenge yourself, you can keep your life current and exciting. Last year for my college graded unit, I organised and carried out a sponsored abseil from scratch. Even though I had done charity event in the past before, this is something in which I had not previously done. It was a majorly nerve-wracking experience but it pushed me out of my comfort zone which allowed me to see what I could do and that near enough anything is possible. This year I am organising an even bigger event for my graded unit along with two other students. So far it has been a major challenge but I am enjoying it and know it will be worth it in the end. Challenging yourself allows you to push yourself and see what you are really capable of! You then gain happiness out of your achievements made.

Never be afraid to ask for help – Sometimes we all need a bit of help/support in our lives but it can be very difficult to actually ask for this help. If you need help or support, no matter how difficult it is to speak out, try and do it. You are not going to be judges for asking for help. In many situations, those close to you will even be proud of you admitting something is wrong. Many counsellors only need to pass on what you say if they feel you are at risk, so counselling can be easier sometimes than talking to someone you actually know. I myself have always found it difficult to admit when things are going wrong and actually ask for help. Recently I have begun trying to make the effort to talk about my problems and I can honestly say it was a good idea. Bottling up your feelings isn’t good for anyone, it only makes things hurt for longer than they need to. Talking to someone helps many to relieve themselves of the pain going on inside their brain. It could be a good idea to get a box and put inside any nice messages/comments you have received from others or any inspirational quotes you have read. This means that, when you are feeling down, you can revert to this box and read all these positive messages/quotes and be reminded how many people care and to keep fighting.

Having fun – Try to manage your work/life balance. Working too often can cause you to be stressed or down regularly. In school the often pressure received from teachers involve things like “if you don’t put in the work now, then you won’t make anything of yourself.” This is simply not true! You will not get doomed all because you didn’t study at school or failed your exams. This world is constantly changing and evolving and so are you! This means that you have a lifetime to focus on your career. Live in the moment and do what you can for today. Don’t take things for granted and live like there’s no tomorrow but don’t propel yourself so far forward that you are unprepared. If you need a gap year – take it. If you want to go travelling – do it. Do what you want to do in the current moment of your life. It’s all good and fine to have an amazing career, but you shouldn’t have to cut out your social life to do so! Go to see that movie with your friend. Go on that holiday you’ve been dreaming of. It is never too late to have a career!

If you struggle to find happiness then why not try getting a notebook and writing down something every day that makes you happy or makes life worth fighting for. Hopefully from there you can build your everyday happiness!