I rank on the first page of Google for a few different search terms. I rank under different variations of ‘UK lifestyle blogger’. I rank under ‘cystitis’. I also rank under ‘making myself sick’.
I actually rank above the NHS with a blog post written in 2014 called ‘22 things no-one tells you about suffering from bulimia‘.
I’m scared to read it back. Mostly because I feel slightly cringe that I wrote about my mental health in such a blasé, almost click-bait way, but also because I don’t want to re-live the person that I used to be. Because I feel so incredibly sad that I ever felt so trapped, lonely, and, well, ill.
I used to write a lot more about my mental health than I do now. And a few people have tweeted me or commented on posts recently to tell me how much my older posts have helped them, which is bleedin’ fantastic, but it also made me think a lot more about my current content, and how it’s changed over time.
Why don’t I post as freely about bulimia? Or depression? Or anxiety?
I guess a tiny part of me feels that as this blog and my online following has grown, so has the possibility of getting negative and hateful comments. And, although getting torn down for an outfit post is one thing, having someone rip you apart based on the deepest, darkest secrets that whirl around your brain, is a whole other. And maybe I’m scared of putting my whole self out there the way I used to.
But more than that, my life is not a rollercoaster of mental torment the way it once was.
I feel better.
I mean, I doubt anyone diagnosed with a mental illness can ever be 100% better, 100% cured, but I feel as grand as I’m sure I ever will. And so there’s not so much to write about, to talk about, to delve into, because my days are not plagued with the dark clouds they once used to.
I make myself sick maybe once or twice a year, on a day where life gets so incredibly overwhelming that it feels like I might just explode into a zillion tiny pieces that zoom into the air, and I desperately need a release, something, anything to take the pressure away. I think about making myself sick maybe once a month, but the idea normally disappears as quickly as it comes.
I cry maybe once or twice a month, down from maybe once a week. And yes, it’s normally timed to my hormones and a night or two before my period.
And yes, sometimes I still feel low. I feel unmotivated or uninspired, I feel flat. And other days my chest feels tight and the weight of the world and the pressures my own brain places on itself feel like it could crush me. But I fight back, I keep on living, and those days are lost among a sea of happy, productive, busy days that cancel them out and make them feel like they never even happened.
My 18 months on anti-depressants definitely gave me a boost, as did leaving London and finding love and ditching 6am starts to get to an office that I didn’t love.
But the biggest boost, the biggest healer of all, has without a doubt been this blog.
This ability to talk to the thin air of the internet and explain my head. To write about things in huge brain dump posts from the heart and to write about things in list formations that seem weird to me now, but were all part of the healing process at the time.
I’m not great at face-to-face confrontation. My relationships always ended via text (or shoot me in the face, once on email), and I told my first boyfriend I was bulimic and needed help via MSN Messenger after about 83576278 failed attempts of doing it to his face.
And so because of that, counseling never helped me in the way I hoped it would, because the words could never escape my mouth quite in the way I wanted them to.
So writing, writing to people whose faces I don’t and probably won’t ever know, of not being able to see their reactions, of letting go of the fear of how I communicate myself has saved me on scales I didn’t even know possible.
No, your eyes are watering and you’re sat in a coffee shop and hold your shit together, Hannah.
So I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for listening, for reading, for being there. For not judging. For pulling me up and letting me know that I’m not alone. For making me feel like the things I needed to say, to write, to get off my chest and out of my head, were important. Because that feeling, of meaning something, has meant everything and helped me in ways you’ll never know.
And whilst I’m not closing the chapter of mental health on this blog, because lord knows there’s probably dark chapters up ahead that I know nothing about, I hope you’ll stick around for the fashion, beauty and general lifestyle posts I throw out into the internet too.
But if you’re ever like eh, Hannah hasn’t posted anything deeply personal in a few weeks or even a few months and you’re like I MISS THEM, it’s not because I don’t want to write them, because believe me they’re the ones that satisfy me and give me the biggest rush of I FREAKIN’ LOVE THIS BLOG, it’s because life is trundling along at an alarmingly smooth pace, and there is simply nothing to say.
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post it’s that life gets better, it gets easier, you’ve just got to let it.