Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Mental Health; The Story Behind My Scarves

My weakness is scarves.

We can be on the tightest of tight budgets when we're saving madly for something we've got our hearts set on and all it takes is for a cute little piece of carefully crafted material to capture my eye and before i know it I'm walking out of the shop with it wrapped around my neck!

My fetish started 3 years ago when I was struggling with depression.

Selecting a scarf to take home and add to my rack was my reward for slowly returning to work.

You see I had almost 3 months away from work when things spiralled out of control as depression decided that I needed to learn to put my health first the hard way.

Getting back on the work horse was one of the hardest challenges that I have ever had to face.

While I needed the time away from work to accept my feelings, seek the help I required and to allow the medication to take effect, it also gave me ample opportunities to convince myself that I could no longer cope with my professional responsibilities and to deem myself utterly useless (however these thoughts were through the negative lens that depression is so good at making you see).

Once my medication had a chance to kick in and bring back some control in my life my next challenge was to face my anxiety of returning to work.

Fortunately for me,  my workplace at the time created a return to work plan over 10 weeks,  where I'd slowly build my hours back to full time.

As my reward for facing up to work and my own fears and anxieties, I would buy a scarf,  and each week I'd receive the retail therapy kick and have a physical reminder of just how far I had come in my recovery (as I really struggled at times to see my progress especially when I went from being such a busy perfectionist bee to having to celebrate the small wins like just rocking up to work! )

Before starting work again I could barely get out of bed and had days where I wouldn't shower so you can see how challenging it would've been to wake up,  get dressed, eat breakfast, catch public transport to work,  follow instructions, perform your duties and make your way home after 3 months of hibernation, doubt and fear where you lost all ability to function in your normal routine.

Needless to say,  once my confidence in my ability to cope with basic tasks returned, my anxiety levels started to decrease and I realized that I could infact, function in society as a normal human being... one day at a time!

My scarf rack also grew and I was able to choose a scarf to match any outfit.

Now, 3 years on,  I look at my scarf rack with pride,  knowing just how far I've come since depression first touched my life.

They are a constant reminder of my battle and my ability to continue living even when things aren't smooth sailing and they bring me so much joy knowing that such a small amount of money all of those moons ago,  could really help me through such a tough time.

Sometimes it truly is the little things in life that make you grateful.

Have you ever had a similar experience where you've used something as a reward to return to health?

What's your shopping weakness?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xx

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