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Recovery from mental illness – don’t be so hard on yourself

Jojo Fraser

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Lots of people offered me this lovely advice earlier this week after a post I put out on Instagram to smash the stigma of mental illness, where I dubbed myself as a ‘train wreck’.


Okay, I agree.  It was a bit harsh and I wasn’t always a train wreck.  I also showed up fully, spoke in front of hundreds of people on stage (several times), when I was unwell.  I got the job done and I did it very well.  I was at my peak.  Yet, behind the scenes I was slowly becoming very confused.  It started with insomnia, which I put down to excitement with lots of great things happening.  Slowly, the less sleep I got and the busier I allowed my mind to get, I started to unravel.

The GP warned my family to not react or challenge me during what was my first ever (and hopefully one off) manic episode.  Being challenged would send me wild and it would make the illness say awful things via my mouth.  My family and friends were really shaken up, seeing how much I could change and so quickly.  I get that.  Five years ago, I was terrified watching my Dad getting mentally unwell.  It is easy to feel powerless with mental health, because the medical team don’t know how medication will react.  It was a waiting game.  Part of that time involved me being in denial.  I am a very determined person, but when your mind is fractured, that isn’t always enough.  You need time.  You need sleep.  You need talking therapy.  You need self compassion.  My Dad pulled through and is in a great place now.  I am heading in that direction, with focus and so many lessons.  So can you or a family member or friend who is unwell.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  You will get back up.  You will not be broken, even if it feels that way right now.  You will rise up stronger.  The cracks in our hearts are where the light shines in.  Don’t be afraid to sit with the dark.  Then when you start shining again,  embrace it,  Bring it on.

Ps – a super chilled listen, I stumbled across these guys on Spotify one dark night.  Love the vibes x




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