I recently discovered that I have been nominated for a WEGO Health Award, in the category of ‘Rookie of the Year’. I was absolutely blown away, as per my Facebook post below at the time. I think what was particularly touching was that my initial nomination was by somebody I have looked up to and aspired to be like when I first started this journey, a fellow writer and an amazing advocate.
Shortly after, one nomination became nominations in four categories, made by others:
Best in Show: Facebook
Best in Show: Instagram
Best Kept Secret
You can view the nominations here: WEGO Health
I tried to give some context as to why this meant so much to me on my social media:
Let me try and wrap some context around this. I might appear confident because I can talk well (or ‘rabbit on’ in Norfolk terms!) and am prepared to share my story, warts and all, but every day is a confidence crisis for me.
But, within a couple of weeks, I was receiving daily emails from other people also suffering in silence, wanting someone to give a voice to their experience of daily pain, letting people down, trying to hold onto careers etc. etc. Within weeks, I was asked to write for other organisations, where I could be found on social media, etc., and it entirely snowballed from there.
I think I wrote for myself for about a month. Now everything I write, post, share, every interview I do, campaign I say yes to – I am now always conscious of the two audiences to my words – those that suffer who I try to represent and those that need to be educated about our suffering.
None of this was by design. I’m not too proud to admit it. But I am also proud to say that after the birth of my son, it’s the most fulfilling job I have ever taken on, and I do it happily. So I don’t need any award or recognition.
However, especially if you follow me on Instagram, every day is a battle, either mentally or physically, and I thank you guys for giving me an outlet. For helping me as much as anything else. Our private conversations, the article shares; to simply observe you wonderfully supportive people help each other on the Support Group – that’s where the real payday is for me.
So – in my head – I deserve nothing. I beat myself up for the sick days when I can’t do more. I feel like I am moaning too much as I try and show the realities of living with fractured mental health. I apologise a million times when I leave someone waiting on an article release, podcast interview, or email reply.
I feel like I could do SO much more without my limitations…but I guess then, I wouldn’t have a story worth telling.
I will never understand how this has taken off as it has, or some of the thank you messages I receive. But, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me find me amongst the dark – and find the greatest friends I’ve never met.
If you would like to nominate me personally, see here.