One thing I have known for some time, yet more recently for me it has become more present in my life, is the realisation of how different and unique our stories are, yet our hearts are so very similar. We all crave the same basic things, acceptance, love, to feel we fit in and we are understood. No one wants to be judged, we are afraid to share our true selves, to bare our souls, we fear rejection, and find comfort and vitality in being understood and accepted for our truth.

I used to fear people knowing me, I honestly believed that if I opened my heart and soul to others they would see my scars and want to run. I have only shared my deepest scars with a small group of people, and that is ok, some of us feel comfortable sharing all of ourselves, others feel comfortable with just a few people knowing our stories. I feel comfortable sharing many things about myself, and being authentic is important to me so that I know I am continuing to live the way I want to live! The scars I do not  bare is not because I fear rejection, but more because I am finally seeking some closure and this is a very personal  journey.

I can not advise you on what truths you want to share, and what you want to keep close to your chest, but I do want to advise that you don’t hold everything in. For many years I suffered nightmares because of the secrets I kept. I prioritised protecting others over my own sanity. I wanted to spare people the pain and ugliness, but all I did was hurt myself deeply.

I sympathise with the feeling of not wanting to hurt people we love the most, but burying the pain doesn’t work. I truly hope that if you are suffering in anyway that you find someone you can trust to tell your truth too. That may be a friend, a partner, a family member, or a professional. By burying my pain and trying to be strong and cope with everything alone I did a lot of damage to my mental health, and ultimately the loved ones I wanted to keep from being hurt were still affected and felt helpless that I never even allowed them to be there for me in my darkest hours. Yes I survived on my own, and I feel proud of myself for getting through the things I faced, but I ultimately hurt myself more by keeping everything bottled up. I really hope you don’t do the same.

We all bare scars, and I have learned so much lately about how opening up can begin to heal us. We truly are not alone. We have all suffered, we have all been victorious, struggled, cried, had days where getting out of bed was our biggest achievement, and days where even taking a breath has felt too hard. We all all warriors, we have all made wrong decisions and right ones, we’ve cried so hard that we laughed, and we have laughed so hard that we cried. To feel is a gift! Emotions are a gift! Even on the days where we wish we couldn’t feel, every emotion is a  blessing, and a voice telling us to carry on, to keep going, to celebrate, and be proud of who we are, and who we will become. We truly are not alone!

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you will know that I have been suffering anxiety quite badly lately. The reason I shared this part of me (even though some people advised me not too), was because I am tired of the stigmas attached to mental illness, (which in ‘my opinion’ is not helped by sensationalised media, lack of knowledge, and for some people plain ignorance), and I wanted to share this part of my journey to show anyone who reads this little blog of mine, that having mental illness does not make you a bad person, it does not make you scary, or criminal, or weak. Having mental illness is hard, it is challenging, it is exhausting, it is a rollercoaster of days where I am so tired, anxious and scared, and other days where I am almost what society would label ‘normal’. I am still a fabulous mum (not perfect of course, and have plenty of mummy guilt, but still pretty fab), I am a loving, loyal, funny wife, a caring and quirky friend, and according to some people I know I am even a ‘sweetheart‘. I am still me, just a little more battered and bruised at the moment. Like I said earlier though . . .

we all have our own story . . . our own pain, our own beauty.

Mine is mine, yours is yours, but our hearts still both just want to be accepted, understood and loved.

Whatever journey you are on I wish you well, I hope you can learn to look for the flecks of gold in any darkness you face. Recently I met a beautiful person, a person who is going through a very dark patch, there is so much sadness in her eyes and the way she holds her body, yet every time I was near here I felt nothing but warmth and a kindness coming from her soul. We began to talk each time we would see each other and I realised that had I not been going through my own painful journey I would have never met her. One day I said to her that as painful as my battle with anxiety is I wouldn’t change it, because if I did I would have never have met her, this amazing, intelligent, beautiful soul, and knowing her makes my heart happy. Even in our struggles we are learning, we are growing, this world is our classroom.

We all have our story, we are all on our journey, we just have to remember to open our eyes, and hearts to the lessons life is teaching us, and hopefully find the beauty in those lessons so we can continue to grow.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, Mackenzie xx

If you know anyone who is struggling with their Mental Wellbeing please show them kindness and support. Share this post on Twitter or Facebook, let’s help break the stigma down! There are also many great organisations that can help you with getting support for loved ones, and help you learn how best to support them.

Please never be afraid to seek help, you are not alone!