Monday, 9 October 2017

A Shoutout

This is a shoutout to the person who thought they could not get out of bed today, but did. The person who has to be high functioning when their brain and body is screaming low. To the person who couldn't get out of bed today. The person who tried so hard to function, but the thought of functioning was too much.

This is a shoutout to the person who feels lost in the world. To the person who has no clue what they're doing. To the person who got rejected, the person who lost their job. The person who cannot get work and the person who's mental health is stopping them from doing what they want. The person who is struggling to get by and the person who's job is making them so unbearably unhappy.

This is a shoutout to the person who had their heartbroken. The person who feels like they cannot go on because they left and they were all you ever knew. The person who doesn't feel happy in their relationship, the person who's other half isn't treating them right. The person who doesn't want to be single anymore, the person who is going through divorce.

This is a shoutout to the person battling their fears. To the person who did something they never thought they could. To the person too scared to go out of their comfort zone. To the person who is happy as they are.

This is a shoutout to the person who hates to look at themselves in the mirror. To the person who is full of self confidence and to everyone and anyone in between.

This is a shoutout to the person who cannot sleep. To the person who sits up all night worrying. To the person who sleeps constantly because they cannot deal with being awake. To the person who wakes up constantly throughout the night and then feels more tired the next day because it's so hard to sleep.

This is a shoutout to all the men who were told to "man up" or told that they cannot feel sad because they are a man. To the men who feel like they cannot share their emotions, to the men who feel isolated and vulnerable. To the men who need to know it's okay to talk to someone when they aren't feeling themselves. To the men we lost to suicide because they didn't think they could talk.

This is a shoutout to the person who kept going. The person who wanted everything to stop but kept on pushing through. The person who is pushing all the thoughts of giving up to the back of their mind and carrying on like nothing ever happened. The person who had to talk themselves out of stupid things and to the person who is tired of doing so.


This is a shoutout to the person currently lying in a hospital bed. The person who tried to give up but weren't entirely successful. To the person that is in patient. The person recovering. To the person we lost their fight to mental health. To the person we miss so dearly.

This is also a shoutout to the friends, the family, the people who care. To the person who was always there for you when you needed a helping hand. To the person who stayed by your side through all the bad and remained there during the good. To the person who loved you regardless of your wellbeing. To the person who brought out the best in you and reminded you that you are wonderful and deserved to be loved.

This is a shoutout to the person who told me they loved me. To the person who wants the best for me. To the person who sees beyond all the hurt and the broken. To the person who knows people are hurtful and the person who understands I am like how I am because there is only so many times shattered glass can be vaguely put back together.

This is a shoutout. This is a shoutout to everyone who has ever needed to feel loved. To the person who is spreading love. To the person who is fighting and the person who is helping them to fight. Keep going. You can do it.


//

#WorldMentalHealthDay2017

SUPPORT HOTLINES : 

(USA) http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
(OUTSIDE THE USA): http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html


MORE INFORMATION:

NHS WEBSITE: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx
MIND UK:  http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/#.V9RyJ1dlnVo
CALM: www.thecalmzone.net
SAMARITANS: www.samaritans.org
HELP GUIDE: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-help-dealing-with-your-suicidal-thoughts-and-feelings.htm
CHILDLINE: https://www.childline.org.uk
YOUNG MINDS: http://www.youngminds.org.uk
TIME TO CHANGE: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk

MOVEMENTS/PROGAMS:

TWLOHA: @twolha (twitter/ig/tumblr) / https://twloha.com
BUDDY PROJECT: https://twitter.com/ProjectBuddy
SANE: http://www.sane.org.uk
MGMH: http://www.globalmentalhealth.org

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I Was Made For Living (WSPD 2017)

A year ago today, I was sat as I am now, writing a post about World Suicide Prevention Day. I spoke about suicide in a rather objective way, listing facts, information and describing suicidal thoughts as they are. I sat expressing that suicide isn't a cry for attention (it isn't, btw. just saying) and was full of encouragement and I spent most of the post trying to persuade even one person out there to stay alive.

What I didn't talk about much a year ago today was myself.

How a year ago today I was sat, persuading someone to stay alive, a few weeks after I myself had attempted myself.

Not long before I had written my post a year ago today, I had had enough. I wanted it all to end and I took the steps to do so. I am just grateful that I hadn't done enough to be successful.

I didn't want to die. I really genuinely didn't want my life to end. I just wanted the pain to stop. I was trying to find a solution to a temporary problem that would have ended alot more than just my pain. It would have ended my pain but caused pain elsewhere. But at that moment, I didn't care. I just felt like I couldn't carry on ripping myself to pieces and finding myself in a form of pain what felt like constantly.

A year ago was a long time ago. A year ago I was in alot of emotional pain and heartbreak and I couldn't talk myself through any of it. A year ago I was an emotional, anxious and tired mess who self harmed an unhealthy amount to try and make it all okay. Even though now my mental health still is a huge impact on my life and wellbeing, I'm now just under 6 months clean and feeling better about myself. A year ago I never would have said I would now be 6 months clean, because a year a go self harm was one of the only things I felt I had to temporarily make me feel okay. After 5 or 6 years of self harm, it is now so nice to say that I haven't returned back to my old habits and I have less and less urge to do so as the time goes on.

But feeling better doesn't mean I am okay. I am not in the slightest okay. Alot has happened in this year that has really affected me, but I survived. I am alive. My mental health was pushed further than it probably ever had before, but I am doing so much better than I was a year ago. But doing better doesn't mean you don't get bad days. Even though I may not have attempted suicide, I have had days where I thought that was the only option. I've had days where I just wanted out. I've had days I'm not proud of. I've had days where I thought I was at square one. But I am not.

World Suicide Prevention Day is an important day for me. If a year ago I had succeeded, I wouldn't be typing these words today. There would be memories I would never have made, people I would never have met, games I may never have played, shelves I would not have stacked, places I wouldn't have driven to and assignments I wouldn't have written. If I had succeeded a year ago, I wouldn't have gone to university. I wouldn't be a level 1 qualified football coach. I wouldn't have gone to Malia or Berlin. I wouldn't have seen my favourite youtuber play one of my favourite games. I wouldn't have been around to write, talk and create things surrounding mental health. I wouldn't have been able to advocate mental health as much as I have done this last year.

Suicide is an awful thing.

Being suicidal is an awful thing.

It is a vulnerable, terrifying and unforgiving place to be in. But if you can battle it. If you can fight it and win, there is so much in the world that will make you happy you did. Even if you don't believe so, it's out there.

Do you really think a year ago I thought I'd have been excited to move into a student house and start my second year of university? Or a year ago I thought I'd have gone on some amazing holidays with people I love? Or a year ago I thought that I'd be 6 months clean and actually be happy to be alive?

800,000 people a year successfully commit suicide each year.

I know my words may not "turn on a light" for a person who is in a suicidal place. I know that, because I've been there. Heck, I still am there. There are many days I cannot bare the thought of being alive and I will not listen or believe anyone who says anything otherwise. I often dismiss anyone who says it'll all eventually be okay because there is no factual proof that states that it will be.

But a few words can change a life. Tell people you love them and care about them. If someone you love, someone you know, or a stranger look like they need it, tell them you care. Compliment them. Open your arms and let them know you are there for them. It's easy to think that no one will care about you if you leave, so by telling someone otherwise it will hopefully make them that bit more reluctant.

You were made for living.

You were made for making mistakes and trying again. You were made for all the happy tears, the sad tears, the painful tears, the grieving tears, the excited tears and the proud tears. You were made for second chances. You were made for staying. You were made to make an impact on someones life, and  you are doing that. You were made to be a voice. You were made for forgiving and forgetting. You were made for making memories. You were made for falling down, getting up and carrying on again.

Take a minute. Change a life. Whether this be taking a minute to tell yourself you are worthy of life or taking a minute to tell someone you love and care for them.

Suicide doesn't stop the end the awful feelings. It just eliminates any chance of it getting better.

And it will get better.

A year ago, I relapsed badly and swallowed too many pills. A year ago I was in a complete state because it felt like my world was falling apart and I didn't want it to fall apart anymore. I woke up the next morning in my bed, in pain, feeling rough, ill and feeling like everything was absolutely awful because I was still alive and I really didn't want to be. A year ago I thought nothing would get better. I didn't think anyone cared about me. I didn't think that my life was worth living and I didn't want to stay around to find out if that would change.

A year later, I look forward to new days. I am happy that I am alive. Even though I am still battling, I am glad to be doing so. I get anxious, I hate life, I hate myself more often than I love myself, but I'm happier because I'm doing it whilst wanting to be alive.

You were made for living. If you give up now, you will miss the chance to see what life has in store. It will all be okay. It doesn't feel like it will all be okay, but it really will all be okay. Reach out, get support, keep on fighting.

It's okay not to be okay, as long as you're not giving up.




40 people per second commit suicide. There are many charities that you can turn to if you are in need of any crisis support. 

For more information, for help or for instant help or support, follow these links:


SUPPORT HOTLINES : 

(USA) http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
(OUTSIDE THE USA): http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html


MORE INFORMATION:

NHS WEBSITE: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx
MIND UK:  http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/#.V9RyJ1dlnVo
CALM: www.thecalmzone.net
SAMARITANS: www.samaritans.org
HELP GUIDE: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-help-dealing-with-your-suicidal-thoughts-and-feelings.htm
CHILDLINE: https://www.childline.org.uk
YOUNG MINDS: http://www.youngminds.org.uk
TIME TO CHANGE: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk

Thursday, 17 August 2017

On Doing Better

It wasn't too long ago when I found myself at one of my lowest points. In fact, the person I was at the start of 2017 is a completely different person to the person writing this post today.

It'd be easy to assume that I was still in a really bad place, because on a daily basis recently I've found myself having multiple breakdowns and panic attacks or I've found myself struggling to cope with anything. Outwardly, I still come across as a complete mess. But the only reason I'm this much of a mess is because I'm doing better.

The concept of me doing better but acting worse is one that won't be understood unless you have been there before. Or unless you knew the real person I was a few months ago. I spent most of the month of March locked away in my room. I missed all but a few lectures, completed assignments scruffily and in a few hours because I mentally couldn't do them well and the few times I socialised was because I was drinking and because I was drinking, I was in a slightly better mood mentally. The thought of having to wake up the next morning actually broke my heart and I didn't want to do anything for a long time.

An awful month for me took its toll and one night right at the end of the month saw me re-hit rock bottom, with what easily could have been me going to hospital after a few too many drinks, some really stupid things and an uncontrollable anxiety attack hit. I woke up the next morning and couldn't stop wondering how I'd let myself sink back to such a terrible place, and about how lucky I was to still be in slightly one piece in my own bed.

It was almost like a wake up call. I have been fluctuating mentally for a good 7/8 years now, telling myself it'd all be okay soon. But of course it wouldn't, why would anything get better unless I wanted  it to? How could I properly recover without the want, the need and the motive to?

I don't want to say I had a "huge revelation and it automatically changed my life". Because one night didn't completely change my outlook on life. One bad night didn't make me love myself (I still don't) and one bad night didn't make all the bad thoughts just go away. An awful night just gave me little a wake up call. A wake up call would have meant absolutely nothing unless I did something about it. Unless I made some changes that would help me to finally start fighting back, to find some happiness again.

And it hasn't been easy. I cut out a toxic coping mechanism that I had been addicted too since I was 14. And so many times I wanted to fall back into it like every other time I tried to do run away from it. But when I made that choice then, I was genuinely in a better place without knowing.

It sounds stupid, me not knowing I'm in a better place, but still having nights like that. But the whole reason that night was especially bad was because I completely had fucked up what I thought was the start of a "new chapter" in my life. It was bad because I couldn't control it after a few shitty events and waaay too much wine.

But I was in a better place. This time a year ago, I wanted it all to stop. I didn't want to be alive anymore. But here I am, alive. And now, I go to sleep with the thought that I will wake up tomorrow and no matter how bad that day was, tomorrow will be a new. I look forward to it, in a way. I want to see what life has in store for me.

That's where the whole "doing better but not really doing better" is emphasised. Yes, I still am very similar in to how I was a year ago. I still don't like alot about myself, I get really bad days and my anxiety is probably the worse it's been in my entire life. But now, I want the days to come. I don't wish the days away and then wish I don't wake up the next. I wake up and smile.

I know that now, I can actually fight off any bad thoughts. Temptations of relapse are still very prevalent, but I now find it so much easier to fight them off and stay strong. I haven't had a genuine suicidal thought in a long time. I haven't had to completely argue with my brain in a while. My mood swings aren't as bad. Any voice I used to hear has completely quietened down.

I constantly ask myself, what if this will never become okay? What if I'm like this forever?

The truth is, it's already becoming okay. I can see myself in 1 years time having even less mental fluctuations than I'm having now. Telling yourself that nothing will be okay is really easy when it's all you know. But coming to the realisation that you are okay feels rather odd when you definitely aren't okay.

No one is happy 100% of the time. No one is perfect. No one is completely okay.

And I'm sat here at 1:30am, coming to the realisation that for the first time in a long time, everything is looking brighter.

Because this week for me has been hard. In the last 8 days I've had probably 10 panic attacks, including two absolutely awfully draining ones. I've cried more times than I think I have in the rest of 2017. I've slept for so few hours that I'm surprised I've been able to move each day (and have started taking tablets for this). I've insulted myself more times than I can count. I've wondered why I was having such a shit time when I thought I was doing well.

The truth is, I'm having a hard time because I'm being strong. I've lost my coping mechanism, so I'm struggling, but this only is making me stronger.

Because this week, on top of all the bad thing mentally, I've been happy. I haven't laughed this much in a long time. I've cried happy tears. I've spoken to people who make me genuinely excited to get up in the morning. The little things I've done have been on the whole, great.

Everything has a silver lining.

Even though the last days have been a bump, everything is okay. I'm okay. It's nice to finally admit to myself that I am in fact, doing better.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A Routine of Surviving

After falling asleep at 3am, I'll find myself waking up at least 4 times from then until I wake up, usually around 9am.

I'll wake up tired, with a headache from the amount of times I've woken up.

I'll lay in bed for 20, 30 minutes to an hour, contemplating moving. "Today is going to be awful, just stay in bed" I'll tell myself, before physically pushing myself up and out of bed. I'll probably yawn, spend a while moaning about how tired I am before I start to get ready for my day.

No matter what I'm doing during the day, I'll have the same thoughts in my head. Whether I'm at a lecture, at work, out with friends or simply sat on my sofa watching TV, I'll be thinking about how I cannot wait to get back to the comfort of my bed, where no one will judge me for moping around and attempting to sleep. I'll eat, take some medication to try relieve myself of headaches or anxiety or whatever the issue is on that day (usually both), and go about my daily life. I'll go around with dark circles under my eyes and a complete weight on my shoulders that gets harder to carry with each step.

I'll get home, tucked into bed and feel completely relieved that I'm away from social interaction, from the constant fear of the unknown and judgement from everyone around me. But this fear is replaced with a sadness and a knowledge of the lack of sleep I'll be getting that night. I'll fall asleep late.

The cycle starts again.

It's frustrating.

It's frustrating to have no energy all the time, whilst acting like you are completely full of life. There's no motivation to do anything, you have to force yourself with all your remaining energy to go and do whats needed to be done, whether this is to do with work, education, exercise or simply having a bath or making something to eat.

It's near impossible, you want to give up. But you don't. You carry on and each day you get that one bit closer to actually living instead of being stuck in a routine of simply surviving.

And if simply surviving is the best you have right now, then it is definitely fantastic to do.

Because you aren't giving up. The second you give up is the second that everything starts to get worse, to become overwhelming. And even though it is unbearable, by surviving you're telling your brain that even though it is unbearable, that you can deal with it.

You can cope with all the anxiety, you can cope with feeling completely worthless. You can cope with the noise and you can cope with every negative thought that is thrown your way.

Your head may only just be above water, but it's still there.

Everyone says that you want to "live not just survive", but if at the moment all that is possible is surviving, then you are living by just doing that.

I'm there, I understand. It's really fucking hard to see everyone around you happy when you are sat thinking that not waking up tomorrow wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened to you. It's so hard to have absolutely no energy to do anything you love, because all your energy is sapped through a lack of sleep or being drained by doing nothing.

It's unbearable to feel like a ghost in a room full of life, but you need to remember that however ghost-like you feel, you are still one of the bodies full of life.

Right now, I'm surviving. I'm barely sleeping, I'm taking anti-anxiety medicine, I'm barely getting through the day. But soon, it'll all be okay and I know that now.

Because it's okay not to be okay, as long as you are not giving up.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

High Functioning

It's hard to be high functioning.


I wake up, I'm sad. I'm sad and don't want to get up, but I do. I can function. There is no reason for me to not get out of bed, because I physically can.

I'm tired. I'm so fucking tired even though I've had 9 hours sleep and some form of caffeine this morning. I yawn and moan the entire day, but I continue because I physically can.

I'm anxious. I wake up panicking for no explicit reason, then find more reasons to panic as my day carries on. But I try to block all the thoughts and I carry on. Because I physically can.

I'm meeting up with friends. I'm talking, laughing but in the back of my mind I'm feeling something that I don't want to be feelings. I'm feeling anxious. I'm feeling paranoid. But I continue to talk and laugh, because I physically can.

I'm in class or a lecture. I'm contributing, I'm paying attention. I feel like I'm learning. I'm passing my exams, doing well in my coursework. But it's not enough. I'm tired. I feel like I'm failing. I feel like I can't physically finish the assignment due tomorrow, but I do.

I'm at football. I'm laughing, I'm having so much fun. I'm playing the sport I love. At the same time I'm paranoid at every little mistake I made, worried people are laughing at me. But I continue to play.


The thing with a high functioning mental illness, is that it's masked by a stigma that people with these illnesses are completely shut down, at rock bottom and unable to physically do anything. It's losing interest in what you love, your grades and attendance dropping. It's you being the opposite of who you are and staying in bed all the time. Which yes, mental illness can be. But it isn't always.

For me, it's never been completely like this. Yes, I've had periods of low functioning depression, most recently me missing near enough 3/4 weeks of lectures and lab classes in march. But for me, it's really rare. I am hardly ever low functioning, and I don't know why. Maybe it's the anxiety forcing me to get up and out of bed because the consequences of me not are too high. Maybe it's just that I'm so used to being sad that it's just a personality trait now.

And to many, I probably seem like I'm living a wonderful life. I have wonderful family and friends, I'm doing things I love and I am succeeding in things. Which, in reality, I am. On the surface, my life is pretty great. But that doesn't stop the mental illness to hold me back, slowly trying to break me.

It's really hard to be high functioning.

People don't believe you. People just think you're abit moody or upset because of something that's happened. They don't believe me when I say I'm not going out because I've had a panic attack, or that I'm abit quiet because I can't stop my head from going crazy.

 Because why would they? It's not like I'm obviously going through hardship right now. I'm laughing, I'm happy. I'm up, I'm about. I'm not fitting in with the model of depression or anxiety, so why would anyone for a second believe anything to be wrong.

Why would anyone expect me to be tired for any other reason than a late night? Why would anyone expect me to feel ill for any other reason that I'm abit under the weather?

Do you blame them for thinking it's all okay? No.

But because they think you're okay, you tell yourself you're okay. You convince yourself that nothings wrong with you, that its all in your head. You don't go and see a doctor or therapist and get the help you need because why would they believe anything is wrong with you when you are acting like a "normal" person.

It's scary isn't it? Because anyone you know right now could be in the same situation and you wouldn't know. Not everyone fits the symptoms.

There are people out there who do not fit the symptoms but still have the illness. And it's so important that we remember that.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Holidays, Anxiety and A Fear of Flying

Holiday's are highlights of peoples years, usually. What's better than a week or two away from all your work, education and friendship/family/relationship stresses that you have to put yourself through for the other 50 weeks of the year.

Usually at the airport, you're absolutely buzzing. You cannot wait to get through security and onto the plane and into the air, so you can finally relax.

When you have a fear of flying, this is normally different.

For me, this isn't just being scared about the plane journey itself.

2 weeks (at least) before I even start packing, I have already decided that I won't make it to my destination. I have decided that either I won't make it to the airport, something will happen during check in or that simply the plane will crash. Or on the way home, the same series of events will happen and simply I will never see my family again.

You can tell me a million times that the chances of you being in a plane crash are around 1 in 17 million or that things like this happen so rarely that its the reason they make the news. I won't listen to you, I will be convinced it will end in disaster anyway.

We arrive at the airport, and whilst you are all happy and excited, I'm stood there quiet, the dread building as I think through the process in my head. I check I've got my passport (even though I checked 4 times before leaving the house and 6 times in the car) because I've probably lost it. I'll go through my hand luggage again a few times, because even though I've emptied my bag 5 times before now, I've probably forgotten some liquids and I convince myself that i'll get arrested for that. I'm convinced theres something in my suitcase that I'm not allowed to have and will get arrested (once again) or that my bag will get lost.

We walk to the gate, I'm convinced I've lost my boarding pass. I check 100 times, then think I've lost my passport. I'm worried that, even though I've taken my travel sickness tablets, I'm going to be sick on the plane, which will panic me even more and make me even more ill. I'm worried i've left something in the airport or that I'm at the wrong gate or that even though all my friends boarding passes are okay, mine for some reason won't be.

And then we're on the plane, and I'm panicking. This is it. This is how i die. The take off panics me to an extent I can't even portray, any small turbulence feels huge to me and I start to panic that the wings been blown off. It's torture, completely shattering. We touch down and I'm worried we've crashed. I run off the plane when I can because I'm just so happy to still be alive.

Then the holiday can start right? Wrong.

Anxiety doesn't leave me on holiday. If anything, it's actually worse. I'm in an unknown place, surrounded by unknown people. I'm paranoid about money constantly and worried that someones going to steal all of my things. I get anxious about walking around in summer clothes and I get anxious at the thought that everyone is staring at me and judging me.

I get panicked that I'm going to end up in hospital or end up alone somewhere I don't know so I'll be lost forever. I normally stress myself so much that I'm constantly tired and find it hard to move, and so I miss more of my holiday than I want.

I've paid to come away and relax and I just end up doing the opposite.

Don't get me wrong, I have a great time when I'm away. I make some amazing memories with my friends and have a chance to sit and do very little for how ever long and I get to (on the whole) relax.

But when I feel anxious, it's completely awful.

And my personal issue, is that I tend to try and drink my anxiety away. A few drinks will calm me down, but then I won't stop. And I don't stop til the point I can't control my actions, I'm anxious again and I'm leaving a night out early because I can feel a panic attack coming, which then happens when I'm sat in my room drunk, tired and upset.

Holidays cause my anxiety to skyrocket. On average, I'll have a panic attack around once every 2 weeks, but when I'm on holiday I usually have 3/4 in 7 days, around 8 times as many as I do when home.

Once I'm relaxing, I never want to leave. When I'm calm, I'm happy. I feel like nothing is wrong in the world and that things are amazing.

Until anxiety comes across, which then goes to ruin it all.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Summer Body

With summer soon approaching, the sun is shining, the beers are out and everyone starts to count down til they board a plane and go on holiday. Pools, cheap food and bevs and a sun that doesn't make you want to cry, what isn't there to love about a holiday? It's a getaway, a chance to relax and forget about your life for how ever long you go for.

But with holiday season, comes a season I dislike. It comes the season of body shaming, lack of confidence and uncomfort.

With each passing year, I seem to see more of a "I need to be holiday ready" attitude spreading. A complete push for weight loss and healthy eating completely kick starts in this period, which don't get me wrong, isn't the problem here. Everyone wants to try look their healthiest before holidays, especially after stress of exams (for us students) or a hard years work for the people in full time work. The year always gives you weight gain that you really don't want.

My issue with the whole concept lies where body shaming begins.

There's a significant difference than working to lose a few pounds and shaming people for not being your idea of a perfect figure.

Even if you simply Google "summer body", it comes up with COUNTLESS tutorials on how to get a bikini, summer or beach body, many of which contain weight loss tips and tricks. One of them is even called "hot to get a hot body" which is just weight loss stuff. Which is fine (the title however, is not okay). If people want to lose weight, gain weight or remain the same weight, that is wonderful. A person should be able to do what they want in terms of their own body.

So heres the thing. All bodies are summer bodies. It's genuinely that simple.

It's time we stop shaming people for their size, and start appreciating people for more things than how they look.

It's time we stop comparing each other. It's time we spread the fact that everyone is unique, beautiful and can pull off any clothes they want. Because there is genuinely no reason why a person can't wear what they want and look fantastic doing it.

It's time we stop congratulating a friend for losing a few pounds, it's time we stop shaming if someones gained a few pounds.

For some reason, our culture is obsessed with the idea of perfection, without anyone actually knowing what perfect is. You can be any size,and you'll get shit from someone. Someones a clothing size or two smaller than you? Don't tell them they need to gain weight or skinny shame in any way. Someone's a size larger? Don't tell them they need to lose a few pounds. The only thing you should say about anyone elses body is positive, complimentary vibes. You don't know what people are going through, they might be a size you deem to be "perfect", but inside they hate their body and want nothing more than it to be like yours.

You want to wear a bikini? Put one on and look fantastic. You want to wear shorts over your swimsuit? Go for it, you look wonderful. You don't feel comfortable showing skin? You still look great in what you're wearing.

In a society that is so obsessed with shaming everyone else, the next generation will grow up believing that they are not perfect, regardless of how much they change their appearance. It's the exact same for men and women too. Don't laugh at one of your guy friends for "not having enough muscle", because at the end of the day, the only person who should care about how they look is the person themselves.

How to get a perfect body you ask?

Wear what you want with a smile, go on holiday and be yourself. Because nothing is more perfect than yourself. Put on that swimsuit, wetsuit, bikini. Put on those shorts and tshirts. Put on whatever you want with pride, because you look damn well amazing doing so.

Don't be the person who laughs at other people because they don't fit into your view of "beautiful." Nothing is better than giving a person a compliment and making them feel so much better and more confident about themselves. Self love is the most important type, and by reinforcing the fact that everyone should just rock themselves, it will eventually lead to a society much more positive and healthy, than the toxicity we are in now.