Any female reading this who has gone through or still going through puberty will understand that sometimes, we need to just cry. We need to cry and be sad and just wallow in sadness. This need is sometimes a bit more frequent when you’ve got a mental illness. There’s the danger of wallowing for too long and the fear of not being able to come out of it. It has been rare that I’ve explained this sort of thing to people as it isn’t something that tends to come up in casual conversation but I find it pretty normal now. However, I’m also on the combined contraceptive pill which can sometimes wreak havoc with my hormones. I take it for 21 days and then have a week break and its in the last 2-3 days, sometimes its almost as if my body will be alerted that there’s not going to be a regular daily dose of hormones and freaks out. About a week ago such an occasion happened. I got very emotional and stressed out for little to no reason at all and began confiding in one of my friends about my feelings. She did her best to reassure me but I wasn’t feeling better. I had so many paranoid feelings but a hormone induced panic is much harder to handle than an anxiety one. With my anxiety I know it’s a silly little voice in my head, I know exactly when its being over the top or unrealistic. Hormones are so much more primal and its so much harder to tell the difference because its not as common. When talking to my friend I explained how times like that I start thinking about things I never think or worry about. One thing in particular this time was how much things have changed. I explained it as having a calendar inside my head saying “Look! Look how much has changed in the last 6 months! Look! Look at it! Think about it!” Given most of the changes have been positive so I really had no reason to panic. I began writing down my feelings in a notebook and got more aggressive in my writing when I started writing about the calendar in my head. It was at that point I feel like I went into a bit of a trance. I grabbed a sketchbook, a box of sharpies and drew a little calendar grid. Over the top in huge letters I began writing out all my paranoid thoughts and worries as they flowed through my head, no matter how ridiculous or over the top they were and each time I got to the bottom of the page I changed colours. It got to the point where words were misspelled and just a mess and barely legible. But it didn’t matter. I was making them all overlap so it didn’t matter that it didn’t make sense. I was getting my thoughts and feelings out and the best thing was I couldn’t read them again afterwards. I can’t remember most things I actually wrote which is good. I carried on scribbling for a good 20 minutes until I felt calm and was running out of things to write. And I can’t explain how much better and calmer I felt once I was finished. And I was slightly proud of what I’d created so I posted an image of it on Instagram and numerous people told me how much they loved it, with one of my followers saying it looked like what her brain felt like. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll ever do again as it was done on a whim. But it made me feel much better and it has given me something interesting to decorate my room with. Usually I would wallow in bed for a couple of days but this ended my paranoia and upset so quickly that I can’t help but feel slightly proud.
© Nikki Beckett 2016
About the Artist:
I’m Nikki, I’m 20 years old and currently studying Photography at the University of Derby despite having an intense love/hate relationship with Art. I’m slightly adulterous as another on and off relationship I have is with Depression and Anxiety. I love old films, black cherry Yankee candles and the colour purple. I’m also hoping to study a PGCE to go into teaching and potentially an MA in Art Therapy so I could also be a counsellor.
Blog: Nikki Beckett
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – John Lennon