Welcome to The Beauty in the Darkness. I am Kiki. I am a forty-something retired online content editor, educated in Law. I had a breakdown in 1995 at the age of 20. Having always been a strong and outgoing personality, the breakdown was a shock to me and everyone around me.
The breakdown took a huge impact on my life at the time. But thankfully with the right treatment plan, I recovered well and got back to living.
The breakdown, whilst being an extremely distressing time, was also a blessing in many ways. It allowed me time to really look at myself. It also taught me and those closest to me, that mental health problems can happen to anyone. It really doesn’t matter how ‘together’ you may think you are.
What’s also important is that I have never let my mental health illness hold me back. Clinical depression and chronic anxiety, are only a very small part of who I am. There is so, so much more to me. And I feel strongly that this is true of anyone suffering a mental health condition. Over the years it has reared it’s head and I have had further episodes. So I have spent the past 20 years recovering, healing and taking a journey of self discovery.
In 2007 I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. This was a result of severe Glandular Fever in 1997. More recently I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. An auto-immune illness that leaves you with widespread pain and fatigue. As a result, I retired from full time work, as I was unable to keep up physically. I have spent the past few years adjusting every aspect of my life to my physical limitations and managing my mental health.
The Beauty in the Darkness is where all parts of me come together. My creativity, passion, skills and drive. It gives me an outlet to share my my lifelong learning of coping with a mental health condition. I want to share this with as many people as possible. It also allows me to share my lifelong passion for all things beauty, fashion and style. So how better a way to share my life experience, advice and passions, than to create a blog.
My aim here is also to tackle the stigma and labeling attached to mental health. I think that even in this 21st century, people are still uneducated and confused and often scared by mental health illness. But I have made it my life’s mission to educate anyone that comes into my life and show them that you can still be an intelligent, effective, loving and wonderful human, even though you suffer mental health illness. I have actually always been proud of my ability to cope with my conditions and still live my life to the fullest. It is so important that people talk to each other about mental health. Why is it different to any other health condition? We need to tell the world that it does NOT define you. If anything it makes you a more understanding and compassionate human being. You can read my story here.
I turned 40 in September 2014. This is a milestone in anyone’s book. For me it marked the point of change. For several years I had felt a need for change. So here we are. I have taken the first step and created my very own blog!!!
So many medical professionals that I have encountered over the years, have encouraged me to share my story in the hope that those suffering will understand that even in the darkest of times, things will get better. When you are lost and alone, in what can only be described as the “hell” of depression, you don’t ever imagine that things will get better. I am here, with this blog, to tell you that they do! Whole heartedly, they DO!
Through the pages of this blog; the advice, the experience, the inspiration, I hope that you take something away with you, even if its just a small thought for the day.
I am by no means an expert in any of these areas. But I do have experience and an opinion. I hope that this counts for something,
It has been my experience, that even through the darkness, something beautiful always comes. So whilst it is the hardest thing to experience, some good does come of it. Whether it be your empathy for yourself and others or your ability to face adversity like nothing else. There will always be something good, you just have to find it. Through these pages I will show you how.
I also want us to have a little fun along the way with ideas on beauty, fashion and style. There will be hauls, reviews, and much more.
My greatest wish for this blog, is that it reaches out to as many people as possible who suffer in similar ways. But also that the blog makes a difference in a world of chaos and pain and that this blog is something special not just to me, but to you too.
I look forward to taking this journey with you.
Huge hugs from me to you. K x