Even a fading light, can break the darkness

I was hesitant about posting this entry, in part due to a critique I received towards my blog that made me feel like a bashful, and somewhat ashamed, 19 year old again. Especially as it came from someone I was romantically involved with, and this comment made me feel unsupported by someone who was meant to be a partner. We parted ways a month or so after that comment was made, and I harbour no ill feeling for them, but the words still stung.

That’s the thing about words, they have the power to ignite and invoke a plethora of emotions and reactions, they can make you feel regal in all avenues that the word connotes, or they can empty your heart and leave you feeling like an echo of your former self.

For me words make up my armour against the world especially when things get tough. For me words, and writing this blog, is therapy for my soul, and the best weapon I’ve found to battle the twisted carnival of mental illness that occupies my mind. As many of you know, I have battled with the black dog of depression for nearly half of my life, coupled with anxiety and PTSD, this has bought me some devastating low points in my life, which I try desperately to fight against in what seems like an neverending battle of resistance. I guess I’m lucky I’m stubborn in that respect.

However, this being said since starting this blog; which aims to not only shed light on life with mental illness, breakdown taboos around the subject, and also resonate the message to all that read it that you are not alone and you are wanted in this world. I have also made leaps and bounds in terms of personal growth. This has come about in numerous ways, but most notably through moving to Belgium in October 2018, and reconnecting with my previously estranged family, which has allowed me, after years of blinding darkness, to see the light in life – because even a small candle flicker, which may seem fading, breaks the darkness. As long as there is an inkling of hope in your heart you can overcome the adversity of life.

One of the biggest reconnections I made, was in December (2019), where I made the supported decision to see my father for the first time in ten years. I have previously written on this blog, about how my relationship with both my parents and the sense of abandonment they left me with for most of my adolescence and adult life, which has caused genuine negative repercussions born out of fear, rejections, and absence of love that has weighed heavily in my head and my heart.

I won’t air out the details of the reunion with my father, as some things are best kept private, but I can honestly say that my heart and mind are calmer now. Even on the blue days, which I experienced for the first time in months over the weekend just passed, the hues weren’t as deep and inky anymore. These hues instead faded like a watercolour, as hope and light diluted it. As although sadness occupied my mind, I was able to see past it and regain my newfound grounding in this world.

The road ahead will not be easy, it will be long and winding, full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, but as long as I, and you, keep hope in our heart it will be worth the journey in the end.

Things will get better.


If you’re experiencing difficult thoughts or feelings, it’s okay to reach out for help. You can find information about what mental health crisis services are available, how they can help and their times of operation here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/useful-contacts/


Turkeys voting for Christmas

As a British expat, who has resided in Belgium for a little over a year now, the thought that’s taken up residence in the back of my mind for quite a while now is, ‘what will Brexit do?’

‘What will it do to my rights to remain in Europe?’
‘What will it do to my job prospects?’
‘What will it do to my way of life?’

In my heart I’m European, but on my passport I’m British.

Growing up in London, I was exposed to the melting pot of cultures, that makes it such a beautiful, wonderful city. A diverse city of differing but shared ideas of multicultural acceptance, but following the Brexit referendum in 2016, I saw that melting pot image harden. As seeds of hate planted through a campaign trail, born from fabrication and false promises, took root, watered by the demonisation of immigrants and the less fortunate to cover up the consequences of austerity, that had mined our public services, leaving them as husks of their former selves.

In March 2019, I braced myself for the worst, two years of back and forth bickering leading us off a cliff’s edge without a paddle, or so it seemed. However, with each deadline extension, I started to gain new hope. I thought for a moment that perhaps we would stay as part of this union, which is far from perfect, but holds true in its missions and values in the shared interest of peace, defenders of them many not the few.

Although, now, almost nine months later, from that initial leave date, I began my morning abruptly woken by a 4am news alert from my BBC News app. A declaration that hope was lost. A Conservative Party victory, that has now sealed our fate. Led by the demagogue figure of Boris Johnson, who will inevitably lead my home down the path of maximum destruction under the guise of freedom, and taking back control.

You may argue that in the name of democracy, that it is the will of the people and must be respected, and perhaps my thoughts and feelings exist in an echo chamber of like mindedness. If my social media feed is anything to go by, this is definitely true.

Looking out over the grey and rain filled streets of Brussels, I know that I live in and work in a bubble. However, my beginnings on a council owned housing estate in Hackney, have remained with me, as I climbed the ladder of society, now comfortably existing amongst the middle classes, and I fear what is coming.

We’ve all read or seen the news stories of the victims of austerity, thousands of societies most vulnerable being forced into dire situations, as their basic human rights and needs are not met, many cases costing them their lives. The elderly will suffer. The disabled will suffer. The poor will suffer. The NHS will most likely be privatised. All in the name of control and the will of the people, have we forgotten our humanity?

In times like this, where I’m forced into questioning the reasoning of reality, I’m reminded of Book Six, of Plato’s The Republic, where he recalls Socrates conversation with Adeimantus, highlighting the flaws of democracy – drawing comparison between society and a ship and asking if you were heading out out on a journey by sea, would you want anyone or someone educated in how to properly run the vessel – naturally Adeimatus responded in favour of the latter.

As although, kind in concept, the rise in reality star culture has made a mockery of the very word that is democracy, with improper or minimal education available to the voting masses, rational has been lost, as single issue politics takes flight fuelled by populist notions, of us vs them, without a second thought to consequences or repercussions.

As I watched the ticker flicking across the bottom of my television screen, interrupted by phone notifications from shocked friends and family, both in the UK and in my residing country, I watched as historically strong Labour and Liberal Democrat seats swung from red and yellow to blue. Constituencies with strong union pasts, and integrated migrant communities, seemingly voting against their best interests, like turkeys voting for Christmas or slugs for salt, to be ruled under a mandate won by hate and fear. To get Brexit done, whatever the price may be.