The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Month: November 2015

Can You Choose To Be Happy?

I often bleat on about how happiness is a choice. But how is it possible to choose to be happy, rather than letting it choose you?
I used to be a very up and down person. I blamed people or things that were happening to me for these mood swings and I DECIDED I didn’t want to have such a lack of power anymore. Learning to take responsible for all that was going on in my life, and then taking control of it and making things happen rather than be a passenger of my experiences, gave me the ability to choose happiness – most of the time.
I also put a lot of responsibility on other people to make me happy or unhappy. We all do this to an extent, whether it is in our relationships, careers or even things such as ‘retail therapy’. Inevitably this puts us at risk of being let down. We are GAMBLING with our emotions, using quick fixes to inject fake excitement and joy into our lives that, inevitably, fade because we are looking outside of ourselves for reasons to be happy.
But REAL AND LASTING HAPPINESS comes from within and from learning to appreciate what you have instead of coveting the things you lack.
As always, it is important to know that responsibility isn’t the same as fault. We can’t stop people treating us badly, or having horrible things happen to us. But we CAN influence our attitude and our behaviour to these things. We CAN choose to walk away from negative relationships. We CAN see failure as opportunity. We CAN seek peace in the face of war instead of fighting fire with fire. THAT is taking responsibility.
To be able to choose happiness rather than have it choose you, you have to first take responsibility for ALL your emotions, and you have to stop giving other people or things the power to change how you feel.
Of course this isn’t always possible. And it’s important to note that this isn’t something you can do overnight. But simply by starting to take note of your reactions to things that are going on in your life, noticing whether you practice gratitude or whether you complain about everything in a ‘life is so unfair’ manner, is going to help you to understand that we have much more power over our lives than we think.
My attitude, and in turn my life, have completely changed since I started doing this. I wake up every morning excited about life again; something I never thought possible when battling with mental health problems. And I am amazed by how much a simple shift in my taking responsibility has created positive and real changes in my life.
Like with everything that is life changing, this isn’t an easy journey. But it’s one of the most important ones you’ll ever go on.
Dani xx

The Downside To Travelling

It’s been just over a month since hubby and I have returned from our round the world travel excursion. And my title may certainly seem a bit ungracious, but please let me explain. There IS a downside to travelling. One that most of us backpackers experience and often find difficult to deal with. One that can make us question everything about the way we live and the very nature of who we are. But what is this catch, this fly in the ointment?


Literally On Top Of The World In Machu Picchu

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Learn To Love Yourself

I’m not sure if it’s turning 30 or travelling; probably a combination of both, but for a while now I’ve stopped caring as much about what other people think of me. Certainly those who don’t know me very well or those who are never shown the whole picture.

Life is too short to worry about what everyone else thinks of you, because all that matters at the end of the day is what YOU think of you. If you can look in the mirror (and be honest with what you see) and know that you are a good person, then you are truly on the path to a happy and fulfilling life. Loving yourself has nothing to do with thinking you are perfect. It is about acknowledging your faults, being humble enough to admit when you’re wrong, and continue loving yourself for all the imperfections that make you unique. 

See how your life can change when learning to like what you see every day. It will start a chain of events with how you experience your life and will change EVERYTHING. ‪#‎loveyourself‬


We Are In A Time Of Desperation

We are in a time of desperation. Everything we know is slipping away from us and our national identity being stripped from us. We are signing treaties that seem a complete detriment to us while benefiting our so called ‘allies’. Why won’t our government do anything to help? Why won’t they fight those that are putting us into this time of fear of an attack on our country?  The papers are full with stories that say we’re being infiltrated with outsiders who say that our country is no longer our own, and the languages spoken in the streets are ones I cannot understand. We are being threatened for our livelihoods as our economy gets sucked dry by those who have no right to be here. There is so much fear and anger among my nearest and dearest. Why is no one helping us?

Today someone stood up and spoke passionately about my country. I could not stop myself from listening. It was like hope breaking through a never ending cloud of poverty and doubt for my children’s future. He promised to make our lives ours again. To give the country back to those who it belonged to and we no longer have to pay the price of other’s mistakes. He speaks of a movement within our country that will unite us. Make us strong again. I feel like I can believe in something again. Like we, as a nation, have come together in the face of austerity, and can get our country back to being a land we can call home.

He says he’s heading up an army that will help exact the change that this country is crying out for. So that we can defend ourselves! They are coming to my town tomorrow and I implore my son to join the cause. This surely is worth getting involved with? This new movement is for our people and has our best interests at the heart of it. I cannot think of a better way to show the love for my country and to feel proud again; not hide behind political correctness.

They have promised to give us back our country. Finally we are fighting back! And such a powerful yet unaggressive name: The National Socialists.

We all know what happened next.

Eiffel Tower Peace Symbol

Love and prayers to all those effected in the latest terror attacks in Paris. You are in our hearts during this unbelievably horrific time. <3

Don’t Act Like Flip Flops

I spoke yesterday in my video about gaining perspective on our emotions. I think it’s always important to look at what is happening in our lives and understand why we are attracting things we don’t want, rather than more of what we do want. One way to do this is to look at our behaviour, which is all we can control, and see if it is appropriate and representative of how we want to be treated ourselves. Always start with yourself if you want to see positive changes in your life! #bethechange

Gaining Perspective On Our Emotions

We sometimes get so caught up in our own emotions, our own ‘problems’ that we forget that there are real tragedies going on in the world. That’s not to say that our feelings aren’t important but in this video I talk a little bit about how we can all gain a little perspective.

Could Your Mental Health Story Help Others?

Do you have a story about mental health you would like to share because you believe it could help others? Would you like the opportunity to make a difference? Whatever your experience, someone, somewhere, can identify with YOU. And I invite each and everyone of you to come and join me in the fight against mental health stigma by sharing your stories! YOUR mental health story could help others!


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Vanity vs. Sanity

As someone who doesn’t really care about fashion or about wearing makeup every day (mainly because I’m lazy), but equally enjoys dressing up for a night out, I often wonder how much of how we look defines who we are. Girls everywhere are posting selfies, saying that if it makes them happy to be so concerned with their image, then what’s the harm? But truthfully these are often the women who are not happy with themselves at all. So when does this kind of vanity become insanity? Is our societies acceptance of things like selfies and botox having a detrimental effect on our children’s perception of what ‘normal’ women look like?

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