I've Made My Personal Life Public, But I Think It's For The Better

I've Made My Personal Life Public, But I Think It's For The Better

Hey! I’m Lucy, a content creator, podcast host and digital agony aunt. These days I post candidly about mental health and body image. I highlight unfiltered, imperfect skin, share about chronic illness and offer (unqualified yet well-meaning) advice on just about any dilemma – but it hasn’t always been this way.

My Instagram used to be a carefully curated selection of my ‘hottest’ photos with captions that shouted loudly about my wins and hid my heartaches. You see, I’m a child of the 90s and I grew up on Tumblr. I watched ‘aesthetic’ content circulate and the overwhelming praise in the comments. So I convinced myself that anything public-facing had to be perfect. You’ll be absolutely shocked to know that I didn’t grow a community by sticking to this approach - that’s because we’re in the age of authenticity. 

COVID. Sorry! This next bit references the c-word so I thought it was best to yell it at you and get it out of the way. I worked in women’s media at the time and I had started to recognise that actually, women wanted to feel seen by the content they consumed, so during those months locked in my studio apartment, I started to let it out, and I let them in. 

The more I showed up exactly as I was - on good skin days, average skin days, in my undies and an oversized t-shirt or in a beautiful dress - the more I connected with people. I shared about a colossal heartbreak that was like a punch in the gut, people felt seen. I shared about the highs and lows of dating in the aftermath of heartbreak, and people laughed and cried with me. I shared about my struggle with diet culture and body image and my DMs flooded. I shared about a rare form of arthritis I have and just by using the hashtag #palindromicrheumatism, I connected with people who shared the same diagnosis - one of those connections even made it IRL. 

People are longing for connection, for community. And what I have endeavoured to do with my platform over the past couple of years is to provide that – because I long for it too. There is healing in sharing vulnerably, for me and for others. Most recently I have shared about my OCD diagnosis - something that was bubbling under the surface for a while, triggered by a traumatic event. I speak often about mental health yet I was so nervous to share, but ultimately I want to be a part of reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health. I have OCD and I’m still a supportive partner, a great friend, and a brilliant creative. I have OCD and by sharing my experience, I have connected with others navigating those three letters. 

There’s a certain relief in learning that almost no experience is unique to us, that we’re all just stumbling around our own obstacle courses trying to be good people. Well, somehow all of those good people have ended up in my community and I couldn’t be more proud of the space we’ve created for sharing vulnerably and accepting openly.