Guest Blog: Charlotte Reed

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by Charlotte Reed

I am so delighted to share Charlotte Reed’s guest blog today. She radiates warmth, energy and positivity – as her delightfully witty illustrations show. I hope that her story will bring hope to many readers. I have this print in my kitchen at home, and it never fails to bring a smile! To read more about Charlotte’s story and her recovery from depression visit Charlotte’s book May The Thoughts Be With You is published by Hay House and is available in all good book shops and online.

Back in 2008 I developed clinical depression. On numerous occasions I was offered medication to get well but I really wanted to try and heal naturally. I’ve nothing against anti-depressants, and they can be life saving in many cases, it’s just a little voice inside me was telling me to explore the natural route. I think deep down I was actually too scared to take medication as I had an irrational fear of ending up on it for life.

My healing journey was a pain-stakingly slow one. I did many things to help myself like changing my diet to consist of only natural, unprocessed home cooking, exercising every day and having regular acupuncture. I also talked a lot to understanding people and had a great amount of support from my sister. It was a horrendous, dark and excruciatingly lonely time. At one point I was having hourly panic attacks and simply could not make my brain work out how to buy a pint of milk. Even my vision was distorted and I constantly felt like my head had waves of water rushing through it.

During this time I felt that if I could complete one, small task each day then at least I’d remain marginally connected to reality. I decided to make myself write my own positive thought each morning. It was so difficult to conjure up even one positive thought but I tried nonetheless! By the time the depression had subsided 2 years later, I had quite a collection of thoughts. That’s when my friends urged me to turn them into a book to help others think more positively. It was a great idea!

I wanted the book to have a friendly, light feel so I illustrated it with funny stick men and cartoon animals. I then self-published it and sold it at Portobello market in London. I was stunned because I sold 5,000 books in under 2 years. People were buying it to cheer themselves up or to give as a gift for their friends and family. I had so many occasions where people would get a book and then come back an hour later for 10 more! It was such an incredible feeling. That’s when a publisher got in touch and offered me a book deal. Now my book is available around the world and has even been translated into lots of different languages. I’m still in shock now when I think about it!

If you‘re suffering from depression or going through a hard time for whatever reason, I hope this post inspires you that there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Bad situations don’t stay bad forever and you will get better. When I was suffering I needed to hear that other people had recovered and were now leading normal, fully functioning lives. Reading stories like this one really helped me and made me think the future could be bright. I hope my story has helped you in some way.