Mental Health Awareness Week blog series
Where flowers bloom, so does hope
by Georgia Scott, Communications Lead
I’m sure a lot of you have heard the saying ‘work to live don’t live to work’. I lived to work, to an unhealthy degree. After finishing my degree in advertising and marketing I dove straight into the world of public relations and loved every single second. Unfortunately it became every single second of my life – I worked a 9 to 5 but it was so much more than that. It consumed my mornings, evenings, weekends, and I had very little else in my life.
I started to fall out of love with my job and daily life took a toll on my mental health. Fast-forward to 2017 and things had gone from bad to worse. Everything started to fall apart and the mask I’d worn for so long was disappearing. I tried so hard to keep up that twenty-something, PR girl, city centre living, ‘everything is perfect’ persona, to cover up the reality – a girl who was lost, who needed help, had stopped taking care of herself, had gone through a lot and didn’t want to be here anymore.
I started calling in sick to work and turning down social invitations. I only went to things I had to go to. I knew it was time to go and get help and I’m so glad I did. I thought I’d leave my doctors appointment feeling like a failure. But I didn’t. My GP was amazing and I felt hope, relief and that I’d done the right thing. I knew I had a long road ahead but I felt ready to start heading down it, one step at a time.
Medication and one-to-one counselling was a really great combination for me. It was during one of my sessions that I was advised to find a new hobby – something therapeutic to help me on my journey. I’d always been creative, I went to art school and was always better at the creative subjects when I was at upper school, but I hadn’t done anything creative in years. I was excited to go out and try new things, and it was so amazing to feel excited about something again.
I signed up to a few different classes and tried out a few online tutorials. I gave card-making, knitting, and candle-making a go, but it was a floristry class that really caught my interest. I went to a flower crown class at a local independent florist studio and loved it. All of a sudden I was making arrangements at home and going to more classes. I made Christmas wreaths, bouquets, and so much more. My job was still very demanding but I drew lines where I could and now had something fun to do with the little bit of free time I had. Finding floristry gave me my confidence back and I will forever be grateful for going to that first class.
But after a while I hit the middle-of-the-rom-com moment. You know the one – the main character thinks they’ve got it all sorted and all of a sudden there’s a plot twist. Due to gaining a few new clients and projects, work suddenly started to take over again. This also coincided with a very negative experience in my personal life. I felt like I was back to square one, and I knew I needed to make big changes to move forward. I’d found myself on a career conveyor belt I didn’t want to be on, and in a situation that was no longer safe.
I started looking for a new job and moved back home. I loved working in PR but I needed to go part time and find something with meaning. This wasn’t an option where I was. That’s when I found The Cellar Trust. A part time communications and marketing role came up and it felt like fate. I had the chance to do something I really believed in for a charity that did amazing work. I’d never wanted anything more in my entire life, so when I got an interview and was offered the job I was over the moon. As I’d be working four days a week I enrolled on a part time college course – a Level 2 BTEC in Floristry. I started The Cellar Trust and my college course in the same week and it felt like I’d pressed reset on my life, but in the best way possible.
I was never referred to The Cellar Trust back when I went to get help because I was living in a different city at the time. But The Cellar Trust came into my life in a different way when I needed it the most. It’s been nearly two years now and I’ve never looked back. I finished my college course last summer, bought my own house, and turned my floristry hobby into a career, running my little business on the side of my communications and marketing role. I feel so lucky to be able to do two things I love, and I’ll never take either for granted. I work with amazing, understanding, and kind people every day, who come together to make a real difference in peoples lives. I couldn’t be prouder of my journey and the perfect purple place I get to call home.
Mental health really is a journey and I always remind myself to be kind to myself on down days, which have of course been much more common during lockdown as it will have been for so many others. Very aptly, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is kindness – please always remember to be kind to yourself and others, especially during these unusual times.