Since the release of my book, I have had people pop up to me to congratulate me on my work surrounding mental health… But so many times have people then gone on to say that they’ve lost loved ones to suicide because of mental illness. And guess what? They’re all men.
So I now speak to you, men and boys of the world…
Please, if you feel brave enough – SPEAK OUT.
HELP ANOTHER MAN OR BOY REALISE THAT HE IS NOT ALONE.
You could be saving a life by doing such a simple thing. I know that it is hard to speak up, but only we can break the stigma. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Feelings, emotions, mental illness, fear, depression, whatever it is – it’s all normal, human things.
We’re all just humans. Not just women, and so you’re allowed to speak up and say that you’re hurting.
And most importantly, seek the help you need without any fear.
So how’s this done? With my #HeFeels movement. Upload photos, videos, recordings, tweets, statuses, artwork, whatever – just use the #HeFeels in the description & the visual, too, if possible.
Again, speaking out could save a little boy, or a father’s life. Show him he’s not alone, today.
I was walking to my boyfriend’s house, and I thought to use my camera to capture the area I live in. Then, through the lens, I realised how beautiful my area really is. I take it for granted. So many people have bad things to say about it – it’s a scummy place. But that’s not the truth. Before the tracksuits, the drugs, the petty crime and broken glass, there was a beautiful landscape. And that is what my area is. It is beautiful. The nature is what it truly represents, for that is it’s namesake – Chelmsley Wood.
So sad was I to find a dead butterfly on my driveway this morning. How it’s beauty had been crushed. It sat there, amidst dirt and filth, poisoned and replaced by man’s harsh hand. As it fluttered by the wind, which tried to make it fly once more, I felt my heart ache. Fly, beautiful butterfly, fly away…won’t you?
Look, here’s a picture of myself on an exercise bike…
And myself doing squats, with a medicine ball…
And of course, the plank… It’s always the plank. All the strong girls do the plank… I must be fit, right?
Anyone can take a picture with a decent camera, using exercise equipment and dressed in the necessary clothing. Just because I am slim, doesn’t mean I am fit. It definitely doesn’t mean that I work out. Because I don’t. I’m just naturally slim. Be careful how much you believe an image. Be careful what you take to be fact, when in reality, you’re likely to be deceived. Images aren’t fact. Words aren’t, either. Be tactfully sceptical!
What is love? Is it the kiss between two who have decided to share their lives with one another? Two who, despite the flaws of the other person, have chosen to dedicate themselves to them. Who have been through arguments, disagreements and upset, but have come out better after it. Who are passionate, caring, silly beyond all compared and unconditionally loving.
What is love? Is it the laughter shared between siblings, who have known one another since birth? Who have shared a home, and slept in the same room, protecting one another from the monsters beneath their beds. Who support one another. Who will always be best friends, no matter who comes and goes from their separate lives.
What is love? Is it the warm embrace of mother and child, when either feels weak? The limitless bond with the first person one can ever know. The person who’s heart beat has the power to make you feel strong again. The face that let’s you know that nothing could ever defeat you.
What is love? Is it the little animal that we chose to care for everyday, who wakes us up at 4a.m. with a paw in our face? The furry creature that snuggles up next to us on the sofa, just because we make it feel safe. The child that we didn’t give birth to…
What is love? Love is all these things. That is the beauty of love. It’s so complicated and yet so simple – love is caring without limits. Love is being yourself. Love is being utterly exposed and not being afraid. Love is feeling safe. Love is acceptance. And that’s the most important thing in this world.
Laughter is a gift that we were all given. And it’s infectious. When one person laughs, we can’t help but laugh along with them. No one is ugly when they laugh. There’s no judgement. There’s nothing but the laughter. No time for worries or the outside world. Our eyes light up in a way they usually don’t. Our noses wrinkle. Our whole face widens. So, don’t you think, we should all make more time for laughter? For fun and love. Because laughter unifies us. It frees us. It strips us naked and shows nothing but the beauty within us.
Capturing ourselves, will always be the hardest task. In fact, if it’s easily done, you’re not quite complex enough. A photo can reveal so much, and yet the roots go much deeper beneath the surface. Humans evoke a lot of controversy because in one respect, we’re absolutely awful, in that we seem to ruin everything we touch like a virus. But on the other hand, we’re so beautifully complicated and layered that we’re unmatched amongst other beings.
Capturing all that a person is seems impossible to me. No one photo could tell you everything you’d need to know. These people who take selfies as often as they get dressed, seem to want to be reduced to one thing – beautiful. That’s fine, beauty is amazing, but remember that the photo is just as thin as the person in it, if all you ever capture is “beauty”, instead of your entirety.
Today’s pictures depicts my feelings about people, the truth and the bullsh*t we’re fed everyday. It’s all very hard to swallow. I for one can’t blindly accept so many things that are ‘the way we live now’. How social media runs our lives. That memes, Facebook selfies and the latest cat videos are more important than real achievements like publishing a novel or climbing a mountain. I think we’ve all lost too many brain-cells. We’re too far gone now. The world we used to know has been crushed under the boot of eccentric media.
Our mothers may say to us that sometimes it’s better to just keep our mouths shut. But the words just get choked up in your throat, don’t they? They demand to be said. I wish I could tell people that their perspective is tainted. Their views are wrong. Not because I’m some elitist who thinks I’m better, but because they refuse to see depth…in anything. They’re shallow and closed-minded. Little do people know, that I think a lot of things that are never said.
A lot of real, deep, sh*t.