In recent times I’ve been working on openness with people. I spent far too many years hiding, suffering in silence, being the sunshine because I felt I had to and pretending things were totally okay. I don’t know if I was ashamed of my illnesses or just wanted to keep up my reputation, the facade of being overly positive and a constant ray. Things have only gotten harder and I have become resentful of my own facade. Overexerting myself came with this, and I faced backlash from people who quite simply just didn’t know how to be nice, and myself for never feeling good enough, despite my efforts.
I still want to be the sunshine and make things happy, but becoming ill has put a limit on that- so, I want to swish the mix a little. Sometimes, i’ll be little miss sunshine, hell yes. Other times, I will just be totally honest, this time. Why lie and say i’m great when i’m barely surviving. I want to use my platform for good. I want to speak out and be honest- it will make it easier for me to accept, to open up, for sure. I want to end the stigma and ensure people are not ashamed to struggle and people around them will love them, still, and share that support if they open up. I found recently I faced a much better response when I opened up about what was going on to my workplace instead of being vague, like I have done before. It takes time but it is so, so worth it and helps others, too.
I have actually started a side-instagram based on openness; I want to learn self love. I want to be active in a positive way in recovery. I want to show compassion. I want to share my struggles, seek advice, and advise others. I also want to be unapologietically me, unapologetically enthusiastic, and endlessly compassionate. If you want to check out this insta, it’s here.
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(cr: Pinterest) My main aims on this account are as follows -work on self love -work on self acceptance -embrace who I am; mental health, disability, being queer -share amazing vegan food – tell you all my life story !!! I would love for anyone who has struggled as I am, and have, to turn it around and be able to work on the positives. Things can be dark sometimes, and I want to add some fairy lights to that darkness. I also want to share my love for animals and nature!!! Compassion all round is a top goal
Though I did want to make you guys of my new account, that is not the main reason for this post.
I want to share my favourite, positive social media accounts with you!
Whether you’re in recovery or just want a little boost on your timeline, these are my top 5 accounts:
I refuse to put an order on these accounts as they are truly are wonderful. If I was able to attend any of their meet ups or bump into them in the street, I would have a real fangirl moment. I love every single one of them and they have done some amazing, amazing things for me without even knowing it.
Hannah Daisy (she/her) is a queer, freelance artist and mental health activist, and creator of the #boringselfcare movement. I can’t quite remember how I actually came across her account, but as soon as I did I fell in love with it. I relate to most of her posts, and they do remind me to do the boring self care things on days I feel incapable or unworthy… such as showering, taking my medication, eating etc.
This will forever be one of my favourites;
Not only do I love her mental health art, but her queer art, too:
This post in particular resonates with me. I think I ‘peaked too early’ in terms of accepting my sexuality, in the sense that I didn’t realise I was queer until I was 16 and had a huge support network and queer friendship group. This means, due to knowing my friends had no judgement, I never really came out. I just… started dating girls, too. In recent times, I have been a lot more anxious about my sexuality, scared, in denial… due to my own experiences. This post actually made me cry because it meant so much to me. I’m a very proud pansexual.
I think this was probably the first self love community accounts that I followed. I remember seeing one of her of collage posts, re: the correlation of moods and how you look. It was actually not one of her mental health posts that attracted me to her account, but one about chronic illness. As a spoonie myself, I follow a lot of guys and gals i’ve made friends with in the community and one of those friends liked the post. This made me feel so, so valid and was incredibly relatable for me. When I saw one of her mental health posts going mental a few months after, I still felt incredibly proud. I didn’t know her, she would never know me, and I hadn’t even known of her for that long, but I looked up to her and seeing an increasing amount of people discover her and look up to her made me so, so proud.
This was not the first post I saw, but it was something similar:
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Chronic illness doesn't have a 'look'. . In the left picture I'm in agony and I've just had my 4th dose of morphine, I haven't slept properly in 48 hours and I'm sick of the hospital. . The photo on the right I'm in pain, I've had 2 doses of oral morphine, I'm exhausted yet I'm getting ready to go out. . Chronic illness/pain affects people differently day by day. I can cope with the exact same pain far better some days than I can others. Some days I feel the exhaustion in every breath but some days I feel a slight spring to my step. . Some days I scream in pain waiting for morphine into my veins and some days I take some paracetamol and go for a walk. . You can't judge how much or how little someone is suffering or how severe their illness is by looking at them. Someone deciding they are going to battle against their illness and have fun doesn't mean theyre not in pain or were over exaggerating before. Be kind. Show love and sympathy. To my fellow spoonies ❤️
Milly suffers from chronic illness and has been fighting with other illnesses on a huge scale recently. She recently shaved her head on a livestream.
On most days, me and my good friend Hannah speak about ‘selfloveclubb’ and she really does inspire us both.
I hold all of her posts close to my heart and save them because they mean so much to me and are easy to share with people that just don’t understand.
Jessica’s account is a whole other kind of positive influence insta. I do actually remember how I came about this account.
My best friend suffers from a condition called endometriosis. As a spoonie myself, I know how goddamn amazing and supportive the community of people with chronic illnesses can be, and I remember when I was online I found some EDS merchandise; to embrace it; for awareness; for knowledge (I was looking for a medical ID bracelet and came across said merchandise). When I did, I seemed to remember seeing some for end, too, but wasn’t too sure, so took to etsy. It was then that I discovered jessicajumpers. My friend is also a vegan, so I followed the instagram account for present ideas for when I got paid, plus at the time I was not a vegan, but was aspiring to cut out meat and dairy totally (a mission in which I have now succeeded at for 5 months, so far! Here’s to the rest of my life). Around the election time, I found ‘babe with the power’ to be a strong moral I followed. As Jessica is a member of the Labour party, supporting an artist who uses their platform for good was wonderful. I know she’s also trying to raise money for her husband’s cancer treatment.
It’s so great to follow someone who creates inspirational, feminist and vegan works and though does not speak out for all chronic illnesses, holds relevance to a few!
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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY! You babes have the power to do whatever the f you want, but it is harder for some. So let's help others ladies where we can! Speak up, speak out, stick up and stick UP 🖕✌️ #InternationalWomensday #refugeeswelcome #feminism #femaleempowerment #girlgang #riotgrrrl #pussypower
I haven’t followed this account for very long, so until a week ago I did not know much about SJ when the body posi bootcamp post was shared.
In this, SJ explains diagnoses. ALL the diagnoses listed are things I am diagnosed with. Every. Single. One. I find SJ’s posts extremely relatable in the sense of suffering with chronic illness, with my body, with my mind… I think that’s what keeps me going back too their account. They truly are a beautiful human and I aspire to be similar to them, in openness, in combatting my demons and physical health issues, in using my platform for good.
I think Megan was one of the first accounts I followed. I’ve seen her as an inspiration for a long time. She helps me to thrive in the face of my ED and embrace who I am. She teaches me daily to love my body and eliminate guilt. She’s all round an amazing account to follow and also has a great book (which, confession: I haven’t had the chance to read yet!)
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Reminder for anyone struggling with their mental health right now (including myself): YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. Your anxiety doesn't make you worthless. Your depression doesn't make you a burden. Your eating disorder doesn't make you unlovable. Your PTSD doesn't make you inadequate. Your bipolar disorder doesn't make you a horrible person. Your borderline personality disorder doesn't make you a disappointment. Your OCD doesn't make your value decrease. WHATEVER MENTAL ILLNESS YOU'RE STRUGGLING WITH RIGHT NOW DOESN'T MAKE YOU A FAILURE. Repeat that to yourself until you believe it. You are so much more than one part of your mental health, and I'm really glad that you're here in the world. 💜💚💙🌈🌞 Picture from @blindsaay 🌸
I am also loving Emily Coxhead’s The Happy Newspaper and am desperate to buy one for myself!
All of these accounts I have found through each other, hence the inclusion of only the above five in my bullet points but there is one more instagram blog I’d like to include…
Pia and Chelsea (we.are.wellness)
I came across this account in a very different way. In 2014, I met Pia, one of the girls who runs this account, through being a member of West End Kids: Training. Since she was in the main troupe, I always sort of looked up to her. This admiration increased when once I saw her wearing a Demi Lovato bracelet. I first got excited from a fangirl point of view but my next thought was that maybe, she had her own stuff going on (which has recently been spoken about in a video on their YouTube channel). I never knew what, and of course wasn’t going to intrude, but going through a lot of stuff at the time I really admired Pia for being able to balance rehearsals and life with mental health; something I quite frankly was struggling to do. I also wanted to be a dancer as good as her, let’s be real. Sometimes rehearsals would be tough; the performance industry is brutal so I had to develop a thick skin, but sometimes anxiety and depression, and not having enough energy from food issues would get the better of me.
Much after this, I found this account via Pia sharing it on her own personal account and wanted to follow it, since I was at the time desperate to go vegan (which now, I am!!!). I think a part of me wanted to be vegan for restrictive reasons as well as having the strong morals, so I used what was sistersfitmission and is now we.are.wellness to inspire myself to want to still nourish my body whilst being compassionate to the animals, not using it as a way to restrict my eating. In more recent times, the girls have spoken out on their channels about mental health and it truly has inspired me. Their openness makes me feel less ashamed and helps to break down the stigma. I also see their posts about veganism and feel very proud to be a vegan!!!
Anyway, Chelsea and Pia’s account is not one I found via the recovery network, but I very much include them in my recovery network, and as inspirational people who help me thrive in my recovery. They are definitely worth a follow and deserve way more credit and love!
Their morals also align with mine, being cruelty free, zero waste and vegan.
All of these wonderful accounts post regularly and I find myself looking at all of these accounts at least once a day for self love and inspiration. They truly do lift me even on the darkest of days.
I think it’s so important for people to use their platform for good; as I said, by starting my own account, bloomingbumblebee, I want to use my own to inspire myself and others around me.
I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday and these accounts lift me up as much as they lift you.