On world mental health day – Vanhessa Longley

To honour World Mental Health Day, we’d like to extend a special hand of strength, love and solidarity to anybody affected by mental health issues.


It’s been 3 years since i was properly diagnosed.
16 months since my last hospital trip.
5 months since my last “incident”

Mental Health is a tense relationship to have, one that I genuinely believe is a curse and a blessing simultaneously.

It’s a shadow that lurks in the darkest places, quietly waiting to drag you away from the light, but it’s the impetus that makes me crave the light and run, arms open, towards it.

It’s kept me hidden, but allowed me to reach out.

It’s taken my independence, but given me freedom.

It’s stifled creativity, but has been the catalyst for new ventures.

It’s taken my identity, but allowed me to create a new one.

It’s made me selfish, but generous with whatever I have left to give.

It’s destroyed my body, but forced me to find new ways to love it.

It’s broken relationships, but given strength to new ones.

It’s made me insecure, but allowed me to seek out confidence.

It’s made me weak, but helped me to be stronger.

It’s made me silent, but allowed me discover my voice.

It’s taken away my purpose, but given me a new one.

It’s made me grieve, but allowed me to heal.

It’s stolen precious memories, but added importance to the things that remain.

It’s made me impatient and angry, but it’s given me a greater depth of love and understanding.

It’s given me a reason to not live, but given me more of a reason to keep going.

My mental health is something I have spent the majority of existence trying to avoid, but will spend the rest of my life trying to embrace. It is, without a doubt, the essence of who I am and the driving force of who I want to be.

So today, like most days, I’m thinking of everyone who feels the weight of mental health issues, wherever you fall within the vast spectrum of it.

Whether you’re someone who has suffered or you continue to do so, whether you care for someone who does, or have never been exposed to it, we should all be fighting for better access to support, understanding and help.

Everyone deserves the chance to be happy.

Power and strength to everyone.


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