Year of Wellbeing blog: Amy's story

The best thing I ever did for my mental wellbeing was to start a blog. It all started two years ago, when I set up my website WritingIntoTheEther.com.

The name was inspired by the thought that I would be writing into the empty space in the hope that someone out there might hear me, in the way that scientists might send out messages into the night sky in the hope of hearing something back. But just like those scientists, I didn’t expect anyone to reply...

My blog was originally a way of recording my likes and dislikes. I’m a big geek at heart - into nerd culture, 90s nostalgia, space and science - and I started off just writing about things I enjoyed. But then on my darker days, my blog doubled up as a diary and has since ended up giving back so much more than I ever thought it would.

I write posts about how I feel in my most positive and my most negative moments, and in doing so it’s helped me work out patterns in my behaviours and moods, and discover ways of changing them for the better. I’ll often give my future self advice and tips on how to cope with low moods. Posts like “How to stop yourself going into a self-doubt spiral” or “How Body Confidence hit me like a Tidal Wave”. It helps me to see just how much I’ve changed, how my confidence has grown. It’s also great for reminding myself of even the smallest achievements and affirmations. Often in those low moments, I feel like I can’t remember ever being happy so it’s really helped me to store all the great moments to look at later.

I am very lucky in that I have a fantastic support system around me but I know that some people do not. Sometimes all you need is to know is that you're being heard and you're not alone. Just getting those feelings out and actually taking the time to consider why they might be happening has helped me feel some sense of relief.

So, how is this different to a journal? Well with a blog there’s a chance you might actually have an audience - you can still write personal notes anonymously but it may be that there's someone out there who’s reading and saying: “I feel the same…” It was around six months in that I started to get comments back; messages from people who’d related to my story, wanted to offer advice or who had been affected positively by my writing. Some people took the time to comment, some privately emailed, and with every person that shared their thoughts and told me that my blog posts had made them feel they could be stronger, I grew stronger too.

I started to branch out more with my writing, focusing on local businesses in my area and writing about my favourite places to go. Through those relationships more people knew of my blog, and recognised my writing. It even led to me founding a Harry Potter discussion group and later, Coventry Geeks - a place for local nerds to chat online and even to meet in person, which has helped a load of people find new friends. Through that positivity I’ve felt more connected to those around me and felt a part of something bigger than myself. My blog has honestly changed my life in more ways than I can ever express.

Of course, I still get those murky days. The days where you think that nothing will ever be right again. Where you can’t muster up the courage or energy to get out from under the covers. But my blog helps me to look back on the good times and the bad and helps me work through these days by just following my own advice. It’s helped me to realise, things do get better and there is always a balance.

For every numb and empty day there will be days filled with vibrancy and wonder, you just have to write them down, read up on them and take care of yourself.
 

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