Words & Wildflowers

7 June 2020

*Trigger warning* - Before reading, I wanted to just note that in this post I talk about the pandemic, how anxiety and depression have affected me over the past few months along with the mention of medication and therapy.

I've been contemplating what to do with this little blog of mine over the past couple of weeks. It's been a big part of my photography journey over the years and has helped me grow my passion. I've seen this blog change so much, right from the beginning, turning from sharing my day to day lifestyle favourites and slow living moments to sharing my love for the great outdoors, photographing the seasons as they go by. And most recently in the past year I've documented adventures from across the UK, sharing a new found love for following hiking trails and nature reserves from across the Peak District, Lake District and more. But since my last post, a lot has changed. This has probably been one of the most difficult posts I've written so far. The past two months have seen some of the most toughest days I've had to endure. Anxious during the difficulties and uncertainty of the pandemic and lockdown, starting a new job amongst many changes, family woes and finding myself falling into a dark place again.

I've struggled to accept what's happened in the world, struggled to accept how this could have happened. How one moment life was bursting with plans and new beginnings and then suddenly it all gets turned upside down. I've had days of not eating, coming home from work with headaches, falling asleep early but waking up feeling like I haven't slept at all, and times of suddenly overcoming this feeling of dread and panic when my mind starts to think too deeply into what is going on in the world. I've tried medication recently but I didn't think they were right for me and so my therapist and I have been working on coming to terms with everything and finding ways to control my anxiety. It's going to be a long and tough process but I'm trying my hardest to get through it all. The pandemic has affected us all in some way and with our own personal struggles added on top of that can add extra to what we're going through already.

Nature has always been my way of escape. It's always been my way of finding inner peace again after going through struggles with my anxiety. Even through the most difficult days, I've got myself outdoors and surrounded myself by nature and wildlife. I've been walking through my local nature trail and beside the canal and I've surprised myself with so many things I haven't noticed before around the area that's so close to home. I've noticed so many birds that I didn't realise were living in the trees such as goldfinches, long tailed tits, chiffchaffs, nuthatches and treecreepers. I've always enjoyed seeing the bright and colourful display of wildflowers in the spring and summer months, but I never noticed the way the evening golden hour sunlight shone upon the flowers and trees. I've had some amazing encounters with wildlife lately, watching a nuthatch swoop in and out of a bird box, held out my hand to allow a damselfly onto my hand and saw little blue tit chicks inside a nest in an open tree trunk.

I've been trying to find good moments amongst the difficult days and it's been moments in nature where most of the good has come from. I've been watching Spring Watch over the past two weeks and there's been many mentions about how being outdoors can help your wellbeing and I really do believe it to be true. And so I bring myself back to making a decision about the blog. I've had ideas about deleting certain posts and starting over again and even deleting the whole blog entirely. But alongside getting outdoors in nature, writing has always been something that has been helpful for me. I've talked about my struggles with anxiety in the past on the blog and I connected with others who had been going through similar difficulties with their own mental health. After writing this post I thought I would take things one step at a time and maybe begin sharing more about nature and wildlife.

I'll leave this post here and I'll be back sometime soon.