Sunday, 28 May 2017

Happy 1st Birthday, Blog!

A small update, an average-sized blog and one big thank you.

It has certainly been one incredible year.

''A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.''

After years of writing behind closed doors, I took a leap of faith and decided to go public with my thoughts.

Little did I know, after only a year, how lucky I would feel at this moment in time! The number of beautiful messages I've had from friends, family and even strangers about how they love to read my posts has been phenomenal. I can not get my head around it. 

Even people whom I've never met before, have come up to me in the club or a shop and told me they love my blog. How insane is that? For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have achieved something wonderful. I am proud of what I have done and who I have become during the process.

''A hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.''

Some have even gone so far to say I saved their life. You honestly will never know how much that means to me. As most of you will know, (I don't shut up about it) an incredible man named Wentworth Miller is the reason I speak so openly about mental health.

After his famous speech at the 2013 Human Right's Campaign dinner, I knew I had found my hero. He saved me, and I didn't even realise it at the time. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to thank him in person, and I can confidently say he is to thank for my blogging success:

''When I thought about that kid somewhere out there who might be inspired or moved by me taking a stand and speaking my truth, my mental response was consistently, ‘No thank you.’  I thought I’ve spent over a decade building this career, alone, by myself, and from a certain point of view, it’s all I have.  But now I’m supposed to put that at risk to be a role model, to someone I’ve never met, who I’m not even sure exists.  That didn’t make any sense to me.  That did not resonate… at the time.  

‘I and me’ can be a lonely place, and it will only get you so far.  

I thought if even one person notices this letter in which I speak my truth, and integrate my small story into a much larger and more important one, is worth sending.  I thought, let me be to someone else what no one was to me. Let me send a message to that kid, maybe in America, maybe someplace far overseas, maybe somewhere deep inside, a kid who’s being targeted at home or at school or in the streets, that someone is watching and listening and caring.  That there is an ‘us,’ that there is a ‘we,’ and that kid or teenager or adult is loved, and they are not alone. ''

From a young age, I knew writing was my passion. 

I knew it when I started writing my own 'celebrity magazine', selling it for 50p at 7 years old. I knew it when I spent most of my teenage years writing down every thought that passed my mind. And I knew it when writing was the only thing I had left.

In a world where blogging is so predominant, I felt as thought I didn't have a chance. Everyone's doing it, right? Everyone is a blogger, or a YouTuber or is Instagram famous. It suddenly became something so widely known that to me, it no longer felt special.

However, blogging can only get you so far unless you speak your truth. I will forever speak my truth. There will never be a time where I pretend I am something I am not. Not here, and certainly no longer on Instagram. Blogging has forced me to accept that I am who I am, I'm Shannon, and I am truly happy with that. 

Friends for a lifetime.

Remember when you were 10-years-old and your mum told you how dangerous strangers were? These days, to me, strangers can be incredible. Despite its obvious flaws, social media is an amazing platform. I have met so many wonderful people through blogging and Twitter, people who I consider real friends. #TalkMH is a community I feel a part of and knowing there are beautiful souls out there who are there for you no matter what inspires me to carry on no matter what is in store for me.


I am not one to hide behind my mental illnesses. If something is going on, I have come to the conclusion that flattery can only take you so far, honesty will take you everywhere. 

There was a time last year when I felt as though I had to recover from depression, to move forward with my blog and to become the 'mental health advocate' I so desperately wanted to be. I soon realised that the more I lied about being okay, the more people would suffer. Not only my family and friends but the people who I was supposed to save and take care of. 

Making a name for myself

During the past year, not only did I open up to my loved ones and social media, I opened up to the world and involved myself in magazine articles. Reveal took my story and made it into a beautiful article. Something I wasn't so sure of as I knew the publication focused its stories on celebrity gossip. 

From 2017 onwards, I hope to participate in more articles and public talks about my story. Otherwise, who else will?

''Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.''

Some of you may or may not know that recently my mental health took a turn for the worst. I found myself in a place that I never knew before, contemplating some terrible decisions which I feel grateful I did not go through with. I didn't know who I was or what was going on in the slightest.

In honesty, I felt so lost that I was afraid I'd never be found again. I no longer desired my once powerful dream. I no longer wanted to write. Not even the book I started writing so passionately at the beginning of the year.

Without this blog, I don't think I would've had the ability or strength to continue. Without the fantastic support from you all, I would never have recognised my writing skill or how good I could be. Some people who message me will always start with ''I know this might seem odd, but...''

Showing your support is not odd to me. It is welcomed, adored and treasured. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

My advice is, don't sit and wait for something significant to happen. Believe it can happen and then make it happen. 

Happy Birthday, Shannon-Marie! Here's to many more.


1 comment :

  1. Once again a beautiful piece of writing. I am so proud of who you are today. You are a strong, beautiful young lady who is inspiring to so many people. People understand who you are and I'm sure you've helped many others just as they've helped you. Never change, continue to be happy. Love you always 😘😍