Happy Talks

Happy Talks #2: Travel Bear

Week two of Happy Talks!  As I’ve mentioned on my Twitter, I’ve had a whole bunch of people express interest in being part of this series and I am so grateful for that.  I never thought I’d get this much attention for HT!  What I thought would be a short stint of a project on here has turned into something much longer than I could have imagined and that makes me excited.  So cheers to week two, and cheers to many more talks in the future.

This week I’m talking to Cairon from Travel Bear.  She is a travel (who’da thought?) and mental health blogger who talks about adventuring the world and dealing with anxiety and depression in the process.  Let’s see what she had to say this week!

1) What has your mental health journey been like for you so far? You can tell us as much or as little as you like.

My mental health journey has been pretty tough. I’ve struggled with underlying anxiety my entire life, but it’s been manageable. However, earlier this year I had a complete mental breakdown. I couldn’t leave the house for work or even to go to the shop. I was terrified of what others were thinking about me or that they knew I was crazy and that I wanted to die. I was very sick and had to take time off work and finally go to the doctor’s and get the medication I needed. The last few months have been extremely difficult trying to balance work-stress whilst still being very low at points. Now almost six months later I am finally starting to feel bright and happy again, I still have bad days but I am feeling much better in general. When I look back now at just how low I was… it’s scary, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up.

2) How do you keep yourself content day-to-day?

Generally I’m quite a boring person but I’m content with it. I‘m not overly social so I do just enjoy chilling out after work, watching Netflix or listening to music. Recently I have started to write and build my own blog which has helped massively for getting out feelings I needed to process. It’s also allowed me to connect with so many people who I wouldn’t have had the chance to connect with otherwise that have experienced similar things to me and share my passions, which is a wonderful feeling.

3) Looking back at times you’ve struggled, what would you tell your past self to help them out?

I would tell myself to talk much sooner than I did. Talk and express how you feel because although it still wasn’t easy dealing with other people’s shitty opinions or agendas, I started to get help and got better. I’d also say to not be so hard on myself. I’m so so critical of myself but I have worked damn hard at everything I’ve ever done and I should be proud of who I am today and the things I’ve achieved.

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4) What are the things that make you happy, how do you pursue them, and what would you tell others who are trying to pursue what makes them happy?

People don’t believe me but I really do love spending time on my own, reading, writing, and watching TV shows. I’m an avid follower of so many different shows haha. I do love spending time with my friends but I’m usually so tired, so I spend a lot of time alone with my cats. I’m also so passionate about travel and can’t wait to finally start seeing the world. I try to make sure I encourage people to follow their dreams and passion and do what ultimately makes them happy and nobody else! I’ve never been very good at being selfish and only thinking of myself but I’ve come to realise sometimes it’s necessary.

5) How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling down?

Basically what I said above, if I’m really down, I need time on my own, I need to write and figure out what has triggered me and what I need to heal and move on from it. I get very tired with my mental health, especially if I’m actually feeling good. So I try to spend my days off work resting. No one really understands it and just thinks I’m unsociable but I’m really recharging myself mentally and physically.

6) How has blogging contributed to your happiness?

Blogging has had a massive effect on my happiness. I’m still fairly new to the blogosphere but since starting I’ve felt a massive benefit from being able to connect with like minded people who know what it’s like to live day in and day out with a mental illness. My friends are very supportive but have no firsthand knowledge of it, so there’s always a barrier of their opinions or stigmas about how I should behave or feel. Whereas, it may sound unlikely but sometimes I feel like my twitter followers or blog readers understand what I’m going through and support me exactly how I need it.

7) What inspires you, both for blogging and in your personal life?

Inspiration from my blog comes from my life– usually the unfortunate events that have happened in the past or currently on a daily basis! Some of it is quite serious and therapeutic to write about, other bits are quite humorous and just my opinions or experiences as a modern day twenty-something woman in this beautiful and disastrous world we live in. In regards to my life inspirations, I think my friends inspire me massively, I see them achieving things and smiling full of joy about things and it inspires and spurs me on to find the things in life that make me beam like they do.

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8) How have your friends and family supported your mental health journey? What helped and what did not?

My friends have been mostly fantastic! I only have a couple of close friends anyway, but they have been so supportive and understanding. Sometimes they still offer up opinions or suggestions that aren’t helpful but I know they mean well at heart. My family are only just coming to terms with it and I think it’s something that they will always struggle with to be honest. I can’t imagine us ever seeing eye to eye about mental health, they think you just pull yourself together and get over things which isn’t necessarily so easy to do for someone with a mental health issue or chemical imbalance etc.

9) What are your goals for the future, both for yourself and your blog? How do you go about achieving those goals?

My goals for the future are to get a full handle over my mental health and feel more positive and happy on a regular basis. I also want to try and become much more relaxed and enjoy life more, which I’m hoping my travels will help with massively. Blog-wise I want to continue to share my physical and mental journey with all of my followers and continue to grow my blog as well as my following. I hope sharing my story will help other people out there who feel alone realise that things do get better and there are people out there in the world who understand what they’re going through.

10) What makes you feel most alive?

Laughing. Although it’s still quite rare, when I belly laugh with people that I love it makes me appreciate life and feel that there is so much still to live for. It instantly makes me flash back to when I genuinely wanted to die and feel thankful that I didn’t give up.

If you want to see more from Cairon, check out her social media!

Blog: Travel Bear
Pinterest: TravelBear92
Facebook: Travel Bear
Instagram: @TravelBear92
Twitter: @TravelBear92

Till next time,
Shannon

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