Conor, 19, UK

conor 19

“I live with depression and self-harm and for years I told no one about what I was going through. This is something I still struggle to tell some people because I fear that they will not understand, will judge me or react negatively because I struggle with a mental illness.

They affect me daily and this is because the depression tells me that I should not reach out for help and support because I will just be a burden on that person or service. Day by day I am fighting for that support that deep down I know I need even if on the surface I portray to others and try and tell myself I don’t need.

Something that has helped me is finding communities and groups of supportive people on the internet who raise awareness and talk about mental health. The reason that it helps me is that these individuals and organisations promote community and well-being and inspire me to do the same. This is in the face of the fact that compared to these others in the mental health community I know that I can only possibly touch a fraction of the people that they do.

In accepting that I do not have the platform to help others on a large scale I am driven by my goal to try and help support even 1 person, this drive and the support I receive from people that I do not thank enough or often enough keep me going through my dark times where all I want to do all day is curl up in a ball and hibernate in bed for weeks.

I promote self-acceptance and self-care on my YouTube channel and Twitter. Although I focus on positivity and positive vibes I also try and let the people that see my videos or posts know that I am not always positive and so negativity does slip in. I am learning that trying to be 100% positive is not possible, I just wish that I had more control over my emotions.

This is not to say that I do not have hard times because recovery is a long and tough process but it is worth it. I tell myself every time I slip up and go back to bad habits that recovery is a process and it is not going to be perfect and easy. I let myself know that slipping up is ok because in the end no matter how far away it may feel sometimes that I can get through it and so can anyone reading this.

My piece of advice I will give you and I wish I could have given my younger self is that as hard as it is reaching out for the support you are not weak for doing so. You deserve support from people for your mental illness(es) just like you would reach out for physical health. If anyone wants a listening ear or to talk anything through feel free to reach out to me and I will reply back to you.






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