More than your average piece of paper.

I never considered that my life would mean anything, to anyone. As a child I had no cares in the world, but I learned pretty quickly that I was the sibling ‘destined to fade into the background’ My eldest sister started a family early, worked her way up from being a school dinner lady to being a teacher for children with disabilities. Thats my eldest sister, who I’m so proud of and who also unintentionally set the bar high! My other sister, who is also older than me took the opposite path in life. She was always fighting with my mother, getting arrested and never holding down a job. She became the boundary for me growing up between what was ‘good’ and what was ‘bad’ My mother would always tell me “you don’t want to end up like her so do this”

Throughout these years, while I grew up with a sister who was always succeeding and another who was always seemingly making trouble, my life didn’t seem to…happen. To my family all I did was go to school, come home. There was never anyone at my parents evenings, at my school plays. While I know my family cared about me, kept me safe and loved me the things that made up my life while I was a child just didn’t matter in the midst of the greater successes and massive issues of my sisters.

As a teenager I kept my head in my school work, never really dated, had a few friends and never really fell out with my family. I was the ‘good girl’ who everyone sort of liked but nobody really thought or worried about. I disappeared, fell into that special group of teens that neither stand out or cause trouble. School life mirrored my family life a little, don’t yah think?

Through my teenage years I had the horrible and humbling feeling that I was always an afterthought, that once again my life and who I was as a person didn’t really matter to anyone. My friends spent time with me when they wanted, never, not once, when I asked. I spent most of my time alone, reading mostly. Not mattering to anyone.

My life pretty much turned round for the better when I finally got my first taste of independence, when I finished high school and started college! I got to choose my life path, I found friends who were supportive and amazing and I loved my life! However, these are the years where my anxiety came rearing it’s head, a life time of family drama and highschool years filled with issues such as bullying and unsupportive teachers and friends finally had an effect the second I stated feeling happy.

A massive change, that we all refer to as University caused my first official panic attack (a subject for a later post) and since then…well a lot has happened! After all it has been five years since I graduated! From my first panic attack to now there’s been a mass ammounts of therapy, medication, highs and lows. I’m pretty sure my future will include a fair few of those for a time, but in the age of social media I’m hoping to share those times…and talk about the past ones, with you!

I plan to use this blog to talk about my own experiences, share advice and look at current issues surrounding mental health. I hope it will be of use to people trying to find out more about life with mental illness or looking for someone to relate to!

Until my next blog post, I’ll see you all online! Charlotte x

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