The most wonderful time of the year : Break the Stigma & let us be happy!

December really is the most wonderful time of the year with the count down to Christmas. December is full of festive decorations, festive music, social gatherings, delightful christmas menus, excellent choices of coffee, Secret Santa, warm cosy nights in, christmas markets & so much more.

However, around this time of year can be the most difficult period for anyone suffering from mental illness, including depression & anxiety. “Tis the season to be Jolly”, yet society will not allow people like us to be happy with the current stigma & misunderstanding.

What I mean by this is if you are seen to be happy or have amazing great events taking place in your life, to celebrate this festive season. The stigma can lead your friends/family to have thoughts & make comments like “How can you have depression, you have all these  good things in your life, you must be over it by now, surely”. Those who think this & can make comments along this nature, are uneducated & this is not how depression works. The mental health discrimination is a horrible feeling to go through, it can lead individuals to shut themselves away, from finding happiness when they battle with this disease. You feel like you are being judged, you feel you may need to slow down, isolating yourself & stopping from doing what makes you happy.

For so long when you battle with Mental Illness you strive to do everything in your power to feel normal again. For some reason society seems to tell us that if you are happy or promote a positive life through social media, you are not really depressed or suffering from mental illness. Note, this is cruel & the stigma needs to stop to allow us to get better.

What people need to understand is when you are going through mental illness it’s very easy for us to fall into the winter fatigue, staying home, isolating ourselves, watching way too much trash TV & fulfilling our emotions with food & drink. Leading us into a downward spiral of unhappiness & suicidal thoughts.

If this is currently happening to you, let me tell you, no matter how shit you feel or what people have said to you, do not change or stop what makes you happy & what makes you feel like you. Smile & be honest with those around you & let them help you to enjoy the festive period, laugh with them & let them be there to support you. Do not choose to shut yourself away or feel like a burden to anyone because you are not.

I did just that & would like to share with you my time at James & White, http://www.jamesandwhite.co.uk

Christmas Dinner at James & White

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Here is my middle finger to the stigma!

One of the pleasures in life for me is to dine out with my friends & enjoy food!!!! If you follow me on snapchat (hollyann1990) you are able to see a day in a life & how I overcome the dishonour of mental illness.

James & White Kitchen & Bar based in Christchurch is a wonderful, cosy atmosphere to enjoy a meal with loved ones, family & friends. I came here to enjoy a Christmas Menu & celebrate Christmas with the girls. The girls know about my battle with mental illness & they are so supportive it breaks my heart. The evening was wonderful & I encourage you to build up a strong network of people who want nothing but to see you happy & well

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Love this festive season, celebrate with those close to you, stand out & be you!

Merry Christmas xx

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