Ain’t no mountain high enough…

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

Two years ago I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety and panic disorder, and depression. It was the worst period of my life. I’d felt nothing like it before and didn’t know anyone else who’d been through the same thing as me. I felt alone, I felt lost, I didn’t feel me, I didn’t want to be here. It changed my life. But little did I know – it would be for the better…

Now, I’m able to talk openly about my own experiences. I do this not only because it is good for me, but it helps others too.

As well as my job working at Gateshead College which is where Steven and I met as we are both proud Mental Health Champions – I also run a business called PEAK Mindful Body Training – where I aim to help others cope with and overcome their mental health challenges using exercise and mindfulness – the same way it helped me.

As I was beginning to see light at the end of a very dark tunnel in 2018, I set myself the task of completing the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge. I done this not only to give myself something to aim for (physically and mentally) but I also decided to write a blog to tell people about what I had been going through – two birds with one stone if you like! And that’s where it all began.

Fast forward to now, and I don’t think I’d ever have imagined I’d be where I am today. In no way am I ‘cured’, I don’t think anyone ever is. But I take care of my mental health, the same way in which I do my physical health. Which means I’m able to cope much better and keep things at bay.

Steven asked if he could share my story from last year, in the hope we can inspire others to do the same. Whether that is publicly via his blog or privately opening up to a friend, family member or colleague about how they’re feeling.

I’m looking forward to doing more work with Steven to help quash any mental health myths and prove to people that there IS hope, even when you feel there isn’t.

I’d probably go as far as to say 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life. Facebook friends and Instagram followers may think otherwise, with all the holidays, weddings, parties and other social occasions I tend to be at every weekend (soz not soz for being a social butterfly), but actually, behind all the smoke and mirrors it was a very different story. In July of last year, I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder. It was by far, the hardest thing I had ever had to deal with.

When it comes to these kinds of things, some people have a trigger. A traumatic event in their life which suddenly makes them feel this way but for me, this wasn’t the case. This made it even harder for me to get my scrambled little brain to understand why, “why me?” I had completely lost my sparkle.

My anxiety was crippling and soon manifested into depression. I can’t even describe how I felt during that time, so much so, I even discussed during therapy sessions with my Psychiatrist that there were days where I felt like I didn’t want to be here anymore, and that the world would be a better place without me…

It kills me to even have to write those words, because now, thankfully, after a lot of hard work and with the help of my wonderfully supportive family, friends and colleagues, along with my remarkable Consultant Psychiatrist (who is nothing short of a superstar in my eyes), I’m on the mend and feeling good. I’m in control and most importantly, I’ve got my sparkle back 🙂

Exercise and fitness have also played a major part in my recovery. It’s a well-known fact that exercise has so many benefits for your mental health as well as just your physical health. For me, it frees my mind and makes me feel like a different person – the old me, complete with my sparkle. It’s because of this, that I’m now studying towards a level two fitness instructor qualification, followed by various mental health and counselling courses, in the hope that I can help others overcome the things that I have.

Obviously, this three peaks challenge will be a huge test both physically and mentally, and the fact that getting out and walking in the fresh air, was something I done every single day when I was at my lowest, means doing the challenge, particularly of this nature, makes it mean even more to me.

With the above in mind, I’ve decided to fundraise for Mind, as they provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding – which is something I’m extremely passionate about. An astonishing figure that I think will shock many is that every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. An even harder thing to comprehend, however, is that hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling and this should not be the case.

Bloody hell, feeling totes emosh after writing that.

The fundraising page from the challenge can be found here.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to talk about anything or have any questions

Thanks for reading x

See Jade’s full post on the challenges and charities she has raised funds for here.

If you would like to contact Fine and Dandi in regard to Jade’s journey, would like to get involved with Fine and Dandi or would like to share your own journey then please contact us.

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