check in with your friends

Wow, this is a post I never thought I'd write. And I don't really know how to write an introduction or what to title this, so let's pretend that there is an introduction. This post is really personal and isn't something that I wanted to write, but it's something that I think needs to be talked about more.

Last October, my mum, my granny and my uncle were all diagnosed with forms of cancer. I know they'll all be fine, but I think the word "cancer" itself is scary, like if I was just told that they were sick I wouldn't be as worried, but the c-word makes people panic. Unsurprisingly, I was scared. And I was just finishing my first semester of uni, I was stressed and I just felt like I couldn't cope with anything.

If you know me, you'll know that I'm a person that keeps myself to myself. I don't like telling people how I feel if they don't ask because I feel like people won't care if I say out of the blue. (Stupid, I know.) What I'm getting at is that I struggled for about four months and I only felt comfortable enough to tell 10 people. I know a lot more than ten people, but either people didn't ask or didn't seem bothered by what was happening (which I have a massive chip on my shoulder about but that's another story for another day).

What upsets the most isn't that some people didn't care (even though that really upsets me), it's that I didn't look like I was struggling, so people never thought to ask. I was still Ashleigh, stressed-but-it's-that-time-of-year, I still wore a full face of makeup everyday, still took the time to curl/straighten my hair, and if someone seen me on the street they'd think I was doing fine. I never let people on social media see how I was really feeling, I would laugh and go for nice meals, nights out etc. But I couldn't cope and was finding transitioning into adulthood while having a bit of a rough time, challenging to say the least.

My point of this post is that sometimes people look okay, but mentally they just need a friend. I know so many people who have depression and/or anxiety who seem like happy people, and you would never think they suffered from mental health problems. And if you ask someone how they're doing, then make sure you don't drop off the face of the earth when they may need you. I have realised that how we treat others is so important, especially now I'm an adult and don't see a lot of people every single day, so keeping in touch with people is important. Especially with the nice weather and summer, make sure you check in with the people you care most about. Social media isn't always an accurate depiction of our life.

Ashleigh xxx