I heard this a couple of weeks ago, and it totally stopped me in my tracks. Previously I may have withdrawn from really considering such a statement, and instead brushed it off with a simple mumble of "aw, shucks..." But this time it kept playing over and over in my head.
The truth was that the week before I had to very suddenly walk out from a situation I desperately wanted to stay in. The day before I had been a bridesmaid for my beautiful best friend on her big (and utterly stunning) day. I had been invited to a brunch to celebrate with the couples closest friends and family, and was very much looking forward to spending time with the newly weds on their first day of married life.
Sadly, my anxiety had a different plan of action and suddenly took hold of me. Without any real warning I found myself on auto pilot, standing up and racing for the exit. I wasn't able to get back into the restaurant, and couldn't even say goodbye or apologise to those I had pretty much ran away from.
Suddenly my mind was filled with voices saying I had failed myself and those I love, I had gone back and undone all my progress, and questioning how I could ever make plans to do anything in the future.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I have not been able to leave my home since Sunday morning. I had a couple of days when I didn't even get dressed.
How can all of the above be traits of someone who is strong, or doing so well?
I know if I asked my friends this, I would probably be told "but you are blogging about it, that takes strength" and "you could have gone three days without getting dressed instead of only two!"
This is what I want to explore. I know that we can be our harshest critics, and that even those of us who are fabulously encouraging friends can easily forget to be encouraging or a friend to ourselves. I have so many inspiring ladies in my life, and I could easily list things about then that I think make them strong; however I want people to take time to reflect on this themselves, as I hope it will help them recognise and accept their own strength.
I'd like to take a moment to thank them in advance, and to thank all of my lovely readers - as I know you will show them the same wonderful levels of engagement and encouragement that you treat me to.
Lots and lots of love to you all
BuBakes is committed to reducing the stigma attached to Mental Health, and personally donates 25p for every order received to MIND. This is kindly matched by three generous supporters, meaning a £1 donation is made per order. If you would like to find out more about MIND, or make a donation you can do so here.