Health & Wellbeing

My Mental Health Journey – World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2016

As you know, I have written a lot about mental health in the past. My journey and my mum’s. It is something I will have to keep an eye on for the rest of my life, being susceptible to anxiety. Like having high blood pressure. While I’m in quite a good state of mental health at the moment, (aside from the ongoing stress of waiting for DVA to approve the husband’s surgery), it hasn’t always been like this. What I want to say to you, is that no state of mind stays with us forever. There are good days and bad days. Days when you feel on top of the world. Days when you feel like you are alone in the darkness. Even though you might feel like this feeling that you have is never going to end, hang in there, because it will move and shift and change like the tides.

Here are five posts I’ve written in the past to illustrate my journey. I hope they shed some light, and hope.


In March 2014 I wrote this post in about thirty seconds as a cry out for help (but I did not know this at the time). It was called Living with Light and Darkness. I was astounded at the number of people who really reached out to me. Was I okay? Did I need to speak to someone? Did I have a professional to speak to? It was only after writing this post that I realised that I could not do it on my own. As a social worker. This is hard to swallow.

In February 2015, after receiving treatment for my anxiety I wrote about the Things I Don’t Do Anymore Now I am not so anxious. I noticed that things were easier for me that I used to find so hard. I said yes to more things than no, I no longer cracked it about the cleaning and I let go of a lot of obsession about my weight. (Maybe too much so!)

Six weeks till Level two in Amed. Counting the Zzzzz. #amed #freediving #freedive #writer #writersofinstagram #blogger #travelblogger #writinglife

In May 2015, I had an amazing moment of clarity and peace, reflected in this post, called A Moment, when I was freediving in El Nido, a place I had wondered about whilst sitting a year ago, looking through a travel magazine in the psychologists office. Had I really come this far? Was I really here? It was really the moment I realised that I finally felt like a different person.

In August 2015, I reflected on life on antidepressants. I weighed up the benefits and not so good things such as weight gain, in this post called Life on The Cray Cray Pills. I’m looking at coming off them in 2017, once The Ginger Hunk is through his surgery and life returns to normal. I feel like I have the balance, steady job, relationship in a good place again. That is the final thing to tick off the list.

Recently, this August, I wrote about 7 things I thought I would never do before. Being anxious sure took up a lot of my energy and thoughts. It prevented me from taking risks which have led to much happiness and love. Onward and upward from here.

How are you on your mental health journey?

If this post has brought up anything for you, please chat to your GP or visit BeyondBlue

Much Love, Ashleigh

Kylie for #IBOT


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  • Sarah @sarahdipityblog

    Good on you for sharing your ongoing journey Ashleigh and all the ups and downs. It’s great to hear you’re feeling positive now x

  • Thank you for sharing your story Ashleigh. It helps to not feel so alone when you are in the trenches by yourself.
    Hoping things get better for hubby soon.

  • You are so brave and big hearted sharing your stories and I’m sure they will bring comfort and be of use to others. I think it’s so important to a) share our stories and b) to seek help when we need it. After my second diagnosis, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I’m so grateful that my GP looked out for me and that I got to see a psychologist. She totally saved my bacon. Here’s to onwards and upwards… And some good news on your hubby! xx

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences Ashleigh. I have had my own battles with the black dog (see that’s why I’m a cat lady!) and have been on antidpressants for about 18 years now and plan to stay on them. Tried to go off in the past and it just didn’t work – much rather take the pills and enjoy life, than the alternative/s (be depressed, or suicidal)!

    • I think us cat people are creative and sensitive. I’m going to try and go off, but on again if I need to.

      • Yep you’ve gotta try, coz otherwise you’ll never know. For me, I’ve just had to accept that this is something I need to take so now I make it my personal life mission to let others know that there is no shame in taking something if you need it.

      • It’s good that you’re trying, and open to going back on if required. You’ll never know if you don’t try x

  • Hello, I think it’s so vital and so powerful to share our own stories, and empowering and releasing too. You know, I had depression after babies (and years of avoidance compulsive drinking/eating before them)… but never anxiety until I became menopause. And it’s horrible! Sweaty palms and sleepless nights, terrible… I can’t deal with all that plus life so am taking anti-dep again at the moment… because they work well, as does exercise, and swimming of course. Good luck and here’s to the stressors reducing and then a slow taper for off for you…. and me too one day.

    • menopausal! Being driven by an L-plater… anxiety-inducing in itself

    • They do all work! Plus the other stuff is so important. I have been neglecting the other stuff so onto that now.

  • Hugzilla

    Thank you for so generously sharing these stories with everyone. For too long these things were just never spoken about. I’m sure that these have helped people through their own journey x

  • These posts are such a great window into not only your own journey, but also will help others on their own journey. Each person’s mental health journey is deeply personal, yet in many ways, so familiar.

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    Thanks for sharing such an intimate story Ash. Your story will help many others who may not be ready to get help but may start to realise they need it.

  • This is fantastic. I have had my issues with anxiety in the past and found it difficult to find information I felt was relatable. Thank you for sharing your story. x

  • I’m with Renee – a wonderful resource. And I love that we (as society) are talking about mental health so much more now.

  • These posts will be a great resource and source of support for anyone experiencing anxiety or mental health issues. I’m glad things have settled for you at the moment. Hurry up with the news on your husband!!! #teamIBOT