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Guest Blogger, Elizabeth Holland on Depression

CW: Throughout the month of October The Writing Wall Blog will be discussing mental health and mental health issues that affect millions of people around the globe. This week our guest Writer of the Week is Elizabeth Holland of Twitter.


Be advised that this post contains information on depression, suicide, anxiety, and her own mental health experiences and journey. Please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or a loved one are in a crisis situation. There is help, there is hope.




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I’ve been battling with my mental health for most of my life. From a young age I suffered from anxiety, I just didn’t know what it was at that point. I had lots of ups and downs, which eventually saw me being homeschooled. During my teenage years, I discovered that I was struggling with anxiety and depression. Writing helped me cope with these until I found a way to get my life back on track. I would use writing as a form of escapism. Over the next few years I forgot about my writing - isn’t that awful? Life just became too busy as I started university. I had an amazing few years where my mental health barely impacted my everyday life and I thoroughly enjoyed life to the full. To this day I treasure those memories where I lived my life without a second thought for my mental health.

Whilst studying for my Master's Degree, my mental health began to deteriorate. Stress played a big part in this and I felt the anxiety creeping in again. Somehow I managed to complete my Masters but it was at the expense of my mental health. Every day had become a huge struggle and I was so busy studying that I didn’t have time to focus on improving my mental health. In hindsight I realize that this was a huge mistake - we should always make time to improve our mental health. I was anxious and unhappy but I was too busy to do anything about it.

The next year of my life was really difficult. I started a job that I really hated and my mental health continued to deteriorate. Depression was creeping in and I would come home each night and cry that I had to do it all again the following day. My mental health then took a turn for the worse after my father was involved in a traumatic accident. Thankfully, he’s still with us but that night will forever be etched in my brain. To this day the sound of emergency services scares me and when I see my mum’s name pop up on my phone my heart quickens in case anything is wrong. I’m still struggling to process the events of that night and it’s only feeding my anxiety.

I was at a point in my life where I thought things couldn’t get much worse. I quit my job and threw myself into freelance work, hoping that would allow me to create an environment in which I could improve my mental health. I should probably tell you about the root of my anxiety before I go on to the next part of my story. If you’ve ever heard of Emetophobia then you probably already know how horrific it is. For those that haven’t, it’s a phobia of vomiting. At this point most people reply with, ‘nobody likes being sick’. No, they don’t but this is more than just not liking something. This has the potential to ruin people’s lives - including mine.

About a year after I quit my job I caught Norovirus. Since then my life has been turned upside down. It started with severe panic attacks, followed by depression and suicidal thoughts. There was a point in my life where I didn’t want to be here anymore. The only thing that stopped me from doing anything about it was knowing how upset everyone that I left behind would be. Somehow, with the support of my partner, I found the strength to get through each day. Slowly the depression ebbed away and I began my mental health blog (www.anxietyandliz.com). It gave me a purpose each day. I wanted to share my story and help others that were going through something similar. I created a little support community and still try to check in with those people when I have a moment.

Photo of Author & Blogger Elizabeth Holland

I owe my life to my blog. That’s a big statement but I truly believe it. My blog helped me overcome that initial stage of depression. Slowly, I remembered how much writing had helped me in the past and I wrote my first book. It’s not published yet, hopefully, it will be someday. I poured my heart and soul into that book and it helped me come to terms with the state of my mental health. Writing helped me realize that I could still live whilst working on my mental health. I could still be happy.

Since then I’ve gone on to write two more books. The first book I self-published was The Balance Between Life and Death. This book deals with mental health problems. It doesn’t reflect my own journey but it does focus on suicide. Blogging taught me there are many different ways to express thoughts and experiences on mental health and this book was an extension of this. Mental health is something that is still not widely talked about but I know that talking about mine was one of the things that helped me start my recovery journey. I’m still far from where I want to be but writing has given me the strength to keep going and to find happiness in the world again. My blog and my Twitter are always open to anyone who needs someone to talk to.

My second book was more of an escapism romance. The Vintage Bookshop of Memories was written to be an escape, where people could fill their minds with happiness. The core of the story is a woman’s search for happiness. I love reading to escape my own head and so I wanted to give people the opportunity to do the same with my book.

I’ve come a long way from the woman who was struggling with suicidal thoughts. I know I’ll keep pushing myself to achieve but I also know that there’ll be more dark moments in the future. My experiences will help me get through them and I vow never to forget about how writing can help me. Our mental health is only one aspect of our lives.


The Writing Wall Blog would like to sincerely thank Elizabeth for sharing her story with us. It is because of individuals like her that anyone who suffer from depression, and other forms of mental illness, find hope. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website provides additional information and mental health resources for individuals throughout the year and you may visit their website at www.afsp.org.


Join The Writing Wall Podcast Saturday, October 10th at 6pm EST as we speak with Alleghany Lives Chair Julia Simmons, and a special guest, about how our own community works to bring hope through books.



Author Bio:

Elizabeth Holland is a keen writer. She blogs and writes romance novels. Elizabeth enjoys the escapism of picking up a book and transporting yourself into a new world. With her mind bursting with lots of different stories Elizabeth is exploring the world of self-publishing her novels. On a more serious note, Elizabeth runs a mental health blog, where she speaks openly about her struggles and encourages others to do the same.


A new Writer of the Week will be featured every Monday. Be sure to also follow The Writing Wall on Twitter @TheWritingWall, or on Instagram @writingsonthewall85 for the latest. You can also listen to the podcast every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.

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