A girl with too many thoughts...

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

New Begginings

After a lot of mithering over the decision, I've finally made the move to Wordpress. Blogger will always be in my heart but unfortunately we've just outgrown each other (it's not you, it's me). No longer will I be known as the infamous 'Above Anxiety', my new blog is going to be called 'Lisa's Reality' and I will be blogging about various things such as lifestyle and student life, rather than limiting myself to only mental-health (of course I will still be blogging about mental health, too!).

There's a few reasons for this decision:

I am more than my mental health conditions!

I no longer want to be defined by my mental health conditions. Yes, I'm wired a little differently up in the ol' noggin but my identity is more than just anxiety on legs (although that's debatable). Believe it or not, I have hobbies (yes, I do get out of bed some days!).

I want to write about everything that I'm interested in, share tips I've learnt throughout my first year of university (although good luck if you take my advice!) and talk about the things I love. Yes I have OCD, anxiety and anorexia and I still struggle with those things every single day of my life but I'm also Lisa, a nineteen year old student trying to navigate her way in adult life!

Bye bye, Blogger!

As I've already mentioned Blogger just ain't doing it for me anymore. I've had this blog for one year and in that time I have gained one follower (I'll never forget you). Yes, it's not all about followers but before you judge me, I think we all like to know that people are actually reading the blog we are putting our heart and soul into (if you disagree, you're lying). On Wordpress it just seems so much easier to discover and follow your favourite blogs.

So is it really over?

I probably won't be posting here on Above Anxiety much more (if at all). Instead, I'll be posting all of my mental-health related content on my new blog, 'Lisa's Reality'. Above Anxiety served me well when I simply needed a place to vent my feelings but I'd like to think I've grown in this past year and that means it's time to embrace everything that is me.

I haven't completely decided what I'm going to do with Above Anxiety, maybe just leave it here as some of the content may still be useful for people to read? Or leave this post here for a while directing you to Lisa's Reality before deleting this blog altogether. I have however pulled over a few of my posts from here onto Wordpress to get me started.

Who knows what I'll do. It feels wrong to delete a year's worth of my most personal thoughts and feelings and I'm sure it will be nice (perhaps not the right word) to look back on this blog.

Let me know what you think of this move and if you think it's a terrible idea, perhaps keep it to yourself because it's too darn late! (Only kidding, say what ya like).

Goodbye! (oh no I'm terrible with goodbyes typing that is filling me with dread)

Lisa :)

Friday, 14 July 2017

Mental Health Meets Modelling

Earlier this year, I was very kindly gifted a copy of 'Washed Away: From Darkness To Light', a memoir written by former model and turned author and advocate, Nikki DuBose. Within the book, Nikki documents some of her most personal life events, from childhood sexual abuse to revealing how the model industry fuelled her all-encompassing battle with various eating disorders.

I'll admit, I was a little hesitant to read and review it at first as I didn't think it would be my cup of tea. I don't have much interest in fashion or modelling and so was quick to dismiss the book in it's entirety. The second I heard the words 'mental health' and 'modelling' in the same sentence, I couldn't help but fear that this book might glamorise mental illness and in particular, eating disorders.

However, you know what they say: 'never judge a book by it's cover' and in this circumstance, that saying proved truer than ever.

'Washed Away' explores a wide range of important topics far beyond what I had imagined it was going to and in a way that is real and honest. Nikki really does wear her heart on her sleeve throughout the book, so much so that you can't help but become emotionally invested in each and every word.

She is able to convey her thoughts and feelings in such a way that you as the reader feel as though you have a front-row seat in her mind. From eating disorders to psychosis,  her accounts of her own inner battle give a truthful insight into the harsh reality of what it's like to live with such conditions.

"...I believed that who I was as a human being was a mistake, and feelings of worthlessness replaced my natural joy." - Nikki Dubose

Suffering from an eating disorder and other mental health conditions myself, much of the book resonated with me. Many of the evil, manipulative and self-criticising thoughts that repeatedly tormented Nikki throughout her life I could relate to as if they were my own. She isn't afraid to delve into the reality of what it's like to struggle with mental illness, along with describing in explicit detail the often distressing thoughts and behaviours that accompany it.

In a word, I would describe 'Washed Away: From Darkness to Light' as hard-hitting. It deals with some sensitive subject matters that desperately need to be given more attention within society. Despite my initial concerns, the book does not glamorise mental illness in the slightest - quite the opposite in fact. Nikki's brutal honesty makes it a difficult read in places, yet at the same time it's refreshing to read such a raw account of her oftentimes unsettled life.

My favourite part of the book had to be the 'Key Concepts' described in the epilogue, in which Nikki outlines some essential lessons she has learnt throughout her recovery.  One concept that particularly stuck with me is when she explains how she 'had to get rid of the victim mentality' to progress with recovery:

"Although mental health issues are not the sufferer's fault, at some point the individual needs to take personal responsibility for his or her recovery." - Nikki Dubose

If you choose to read 'Washed Away' or have even already read it, I'd love to know your thoughts. I would advise, however, that if you have ever been affected by abuse and/or mental illness, you be mindful of your own wellbeing and any potential triggers throughout the book.

You can find out more about Nikki DuBose and her advocacy work here.

Thanks for reading,

I would like to thank Book Publicity Services for sending me a complimentary copy of the book to review on my blog. 
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