My mental health journey

Written by Chelsea Cresswell a current 3rd year Youth Studies NTU student

Hey, My names Chelsea Cresswell I am a current year 3 student studying youth studies. 

I would like you to hop on to my rollercoaster ha! This is the best way I can describe my mental health as my episodes are very up and down.

So here goes, hopefully what I share you can either relate to or use my content to help you with your own journey. 

Anxiety has lived with me for a few years now which is very difficult somedays as I juggle being a mum to two beautiful girls, a full time uni course and a job. So as you can imagine my time management needs to be A* (which isn’t always the case) Ha. 

I chose to write this blog because living with mental health difficulties isn’t easy. Last September 2019, my mental health took a nosedive, I dipped so much in life that I became a threat to my own life. My life stopped (well it felt that way) I felt that I was sat behind a screen and watching everything happen right before my eyes, this area of my life is very grey. I spent days crying, lost and alone but only because I didn’t want to be burden on anyone else with my problems. 

I lived like this for a few months until my parents noticed that I wasn’t ok and they sought me medical help. I was sectioned to a respite house in early March. I wanted to leave and I felt I failed in all areas of my life when in fact I didn’t, I saved myself. 

It was then that I started to see the light, I got to speak to medical professionals everyday opening up about my thoughts and feelings and they started to put things into perspective. 

For example:

·       They asked what my thoughts and feelings were

·       Why was I worrying 

·       Can it be fixed

Those was just some of the questions asked, it helped because it was a simplified way of asking. This is when I put pen to paper and wrote everything down and started to write my journal. This has been a massive way of me opening up and understanding my thoughts and feelings, this now goes everywhere with me. I write in this book daily, I reflect and speak up. It really helps, I promise you please speak up you are NOT a burden on anyone and someone will always listen including MYSELF. 

Seven months on…..I’m here, I have plenty of support from the mental health support team here at NTU who check in with me every two weeks BUT they are also always an email or call away. If no one is around they always make sure they get back to you. This is what lead me to a conversation with Paul and Leah, who also work within Student Support, who spoke to me about doing blogs, podcasts and their social media content. So 7 whole months ago I thought I was a burden, now I’m telling others about my mental health journey and also helping anyone who needs support. 

That’s just a short insight into my mental health journey, I will share more but for now I would like to share some of my coping mechanisms with you: 

·       Journaling – My anxiety makes me very impulsive and irrational, so now I journal to process my thoughts rather than acting instantly and causing myself more emotional stress. This helps me to look at things from a different perspective take a breather and resume when my head is in a clearer head space.

·       Vision boards – I absolutely LOVE my vision board. It started off as simple check list because l like said somedays I couldn’t even get out of bed and brush my teeth NOW… vision board is images of inspirational quotes, my future home and holidays. This is literally beside my bed so as soon as I get up I SMILE  (please give it a go) 

TIPS- I use an app called free prints to print out my images as this is FREE you just have to pay a small p&p fee 

Last but not least…..

·       A grateful jar – This is something I do with my daughters too, we have saved old jam jars and every couple of days we write down what we are grateful for, after all we are on this journey together. 

So guys and girls that’s just a snippet of my magical rollercoaster ride so far and some of my copying mechanisms that are helping me through my journey. 

I hope they help you as much as they help me!

PS…..Music always makes everything better right? So if I’m having a down day….turn up the music and play a song by ‘MABEL- OK’ 

Peace and love ALWAYS 

Chelsea Cresswell 

Don’t forget that Student Support Services are still here to support you and we are regularly posting through TwitterFacebook and Instagram as well as over on the Virtual Global Lounge Team

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Depression advice
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
10 Keys to happiness

5 thoughts on “My mental health journey

  1. This is amazing Chel! Speaking with you daily over the past few years now has helped us both! We hide it so well but we both know deep down how hard this journey is! Loving your coping mechanisms too! My new coping mechanisms are becoming a massive part in my mental health and helping greatly! Before I’d just go off the rails where as now I know this isn’t the answer to my problems! You will help so many by doing this well done you girl ❤️


  2. Such a brave way to help the masses eliminate the taboo of speaking about mental health. Can’t wait for more content xx


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