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In A World Where You Can Be Anything... | Ad Gifted

Friday, 31 July 2020

... BE KIND
(TW: this post contains references to suicide) 


Happy Friday, friends!
I hope you have been kind to yourself and the people around you this week.

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L

Today's post is the second of a 3-part collaboration with the incredible online fashion brand, Femme Luxe Finery. During this 3-part collab, I've been sharing three of my favorite comfy and casual looks, along with a couple nuggets of wisdom. Last week, I styled a lush Grey Fleece High Neck Loungewear Set, and talked about my experience with self-care for 'International Self Care Day' (which was on the 24th of July).


Today's blog post covers a subject that has been extremely difficult for me to talk -and write- about, which is why I have included the Trigger Warning (TW) noted above. It's raw and unedited, and I'm sure there are bits that could have been written better by someone else. But I think it's important to talk about these things, and I don't think I could ever really do her justice. 

Just... please be kind, because this post wasn't easy.


"In a world where you can be anything, be kind".

Those are the words that Caroline Flack used to caption one of her last Instagram post 7+ months ago, in December 2019. Just two months later, she tragically ended her life. These last words echoed across the press, and for a few weeks the anthem of traditional and social media was this: "Be Kind". 

I remember the shock of hearing about her suicide vividly... for countless reasons. 

I remember feeling a real heaviness in my heart as I mourned for the loss of a woman who I didn't actually know. I think one of the reasons it shocked me so much was because Caroline Flack always seemed so happy... and so full of life. I guess couldn't grasp the fact that someone who made it seem like they had it all together, had fallen apart so much that they saw no way out other than to end their life. 

The Sunday after Caroline Flack's death, the pastor at my church spoke out about suicide and gave some words of encouragement to anyone who may have been feeling a similarly awful sense of helplessness. It was hard to hear the words that my pastor was saying, but I know they were needed- the entire community was shaken at this point. 

Later that day, I read Psalm 69, which is basically a psalm of lament. The author is crying SHOUTING out to God because he's in a situation that he can't cope with anymore. It's too much. He's drowning in it all.

He's desperate.

"I'm tired of crying,
my throat is hoarse,
my eyes are exhausted"
~ Psalm 69:3

But by the end of Psalm 69, the author's words turn from helplessness to hopefulness. 

God pulls through.

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)


Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)

While the news of Caroline Flack's suicide was heartbreaking and shocking, it was still distant.

I didn't know her.

What I didn't know then, was that less than two weeks later I would find out that I had lost a good friend to the same monster. Having battled with mental illness for years, my dear friend Cat passed away at the end of February, after taking her own life over the weekend. 

I knew Cat pretty well- we had been friends for around three years. She was the kind of person who could seamlessly flow from having a deep conversation to laughing about the dumbest things, within seconds. I know it sounds cliche to say, but the last time I saw Cat before her death she genuinely brightened up the entire room as soon as she entered. Within seconds, she was joking around and had me in stitches... as always.

I haven't really openly talked about this before, because a lot of the time I feel like there's nothing I can say that sounds appropriate. Ironically (what with me being a blogger), I often find it really difficult to verbalize my thoughts and feelings... and grief has definitely magnified that. 

The weeks and months after receiving the news of my friend's suicide, I needed a lot of love and kindness. The loss triggered a grief-related anxiety disorder, and for a couple months, things got so bad that I seriously struggled to do the simplest things: like remembering to eat; or concentrating enough to read (which was far from ideal during my final semester of uni). Some days, even writing a 2-minute email took me up to a couple hours to do.

For months, it felt like the ground beneath my feet was shaking, and the worst thing about it all was the fact that I couldn't stop thinking 'what if'. 

"What if I had made more time to meet up with her"
"What if I had called her more"
"What if I had-"

But through it all, I had a community of friends and family who rallied around me and showered me in an abundance of love. I am so thankful for all the people who have supported (and continue to support) me through this season, and I am endlessly grateful for the people who lovingly pointed me towards prayer and therapy.

Over the past five months, I've often doubted my own right to grieve (because I know people who were closer to Cat), felt angry at myself for being so 'attention-seeking', and felt guilty about the fact that I have a community of friends supporting me. 

I think the most difficult thing about grieving a friend or family member's suicide is the self-blame that comes when your mind lists all the things you could've done, but you didn't. But you can't live like that.

Because as heartbreaking as it is, the one thing you can't do is turn back time.

Trust me: if I could, I would.

But I can't. All I can do is try my best to live in the present. To be there for my friends as much as possible without seeming too overbearing. To be kind to myself, and kind to be people around me- including the waitress who got my drinks order wrong 5 times, because I don't know her story and... she might just be having a really tough day. 

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)

Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)


Black 'In A World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind' Print Crew Neck T-Shirt from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in S/M - M/L
Stone Cargo Slim Fit Trousers from Femme Luxe Finery - Available in UK sizes 6-16 (US & EU sizes also available on the website)

So today, I'm wearing this black letter-print crew neck t-shirt with pride, in memory of a friend who will live on; not only in our memories, but also in our laughter, and in every time one of us dyes our hair... or cracks open a can of Tennants.

I'll wear it as a reminder to myself and the people around me, that while there are definitely times during which there is nothing anyone can really do to make things better, the one thing we can do is be kind.

light pink patterned handbag - GUESS
(items marked with * are Ad Gifted) 


Until next time...

Adios,
Sara Louisa xo

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