Photographer based in the Netherlands

Stories

Below you can read about thoughts I’ve had or things I experienced in my life.

Mental Health

For today's article I want to take on a subject that is a bit more serious than others. Mental health. This is heavy, so if you're not ready to read this, then don't.

Sometimes we need to take a moment. A moment to breathe. To focus on nothing, but your heartbeat. Others need these moments more, but it's always good to take a moment even if you don't think you need it.

Mental health is a serious issue and the sooner we figure it out, the better. It's okay to admit it, it's okay to not be okay, it's okay to talk to someone you trust, it's okay to let it out. Ask anyone you haven't spoken to for a while and just ask them: How are you? 

The answer to that question might surprise you.

I've suffered, tried to go through that dark period on my own and let me tell you now, that it was the worst decision I made. Once you let people in, things change. Something like this can scare those who are closest to you. Don't close off, let them in. You are not a burden. YOU MATTER.

Still don't believe me?

YOU MATTER

YOU MATTER

YOU MATTER

Self-confidence is within you. When you start believing in yourself, that's when you start getting that self-confidence. I'm still struggling with self-confidence myself. Never knowing if I'm good enough. Never knowing if it's okay to do this or to say that. Holding myself back from everything that seemed scary. Self-confidence is also something I'm striving for in 2018. I'm not one for new year's resolutions, because honestly, if you want a change, do it now. Don't wait day after day for the new year to start. Start making changes now. I've changed my life a lot this past year. I started getting into minimalism, creating a website, writing, more photography and filmmaking, but I also took care of myself.

Truth is, 2017 was a year where I lost myself. I lost my confidence, I lost my belief, I lost my aspiration to be better, to improve. It's been the year where I had quite some panic attacks, I had stress and anxiety for days on end. I had to go to the guidance counsellor, but most of all I was unhappy with myself. I'm not afraid to admit it. I was worried about everything. It's like a big cloud that floats in your head constantly.

I was scared. I still am. But becoming more and more aware of your state of mind can help. It makes you realise how happy or unhappy you actually are. For days on end whenever anyone would ask me: How are you? I would answer with a simple 'good' and moved on. Meanwhile, later that night I would cry, curled up in a ball, sitting in my bed, in my lonely room, with no one around me. I would feel like a burden, like I would be strange for crying about silly things.

Truth is, I take a lot on my plate. When teachers come with assignments, tests, projects, it's like a switch that turns on in my head and I can't see it as a check list. I see it as if I must do everything simultaneously.

That's the moment when I take a breather. Because, we all need those, right?

As I'm sitting behind my desk, wondering what I should write next, I look at the time and realise that I still have a billion things to do for the next few months. You never really have free time. At least in my case I don't until summer break starts.

But when that starts, I'll take a month of self-care. To refocus, to close my eyes and take several moments to calm down. I feel like my mental health has piled up all these years and I've just become aware of it now.

Take a moment, take two moments, take three moments, take as many as you can. As a little note for myself, but for you too:

Don't be too hard on yourself. Give yourself the space to breathe and just embrace this beautiful life we have. It's okay to not be okay. Let people in, it's worth it.

I'm not trying to scare you, I'm trying to show you that there are more people like me who are struggling with these issues. The sooner we become aware of these moments, the sooner we can work on us.

Thank you for reading this, I appreciate it.