Alexis Britton Talks About Writing For The Mighty
Write When the Fog Clears
As the end of the month approaches, it is time for a new edition of my monthly interview series. As you may (or may not) know, I was published on The Mighty in late December. While reading stories on the website, I came across a story about the dating while struggling with a mental illness. Her story was extremely relatable, so I decided to click onto her author’s page to see if she had written any other articles. And she had.
When I read the other article, I immediately knew that she was the person that I wanted to interview next. I clicked on the link to her Twitter that was at the bottom of the article, I sent her a private message asking her if I could interview her. And she kindly agreed to do an email interview with me.
er full name is Alexis Paige Britton, but everyone calls her Alexis (her mom sometimes calls her Lexie). She is 19 years old and lives in the UK. She recently moved in with her girlfriend and they have a hamster named Theo (who is basically like their child). She works full time as a Spa Therapist in a holistic health spa, a calming environment for her anxiety (although she says that is does get stressful, just like any other workplace).
Like me, Britton discovered The Mighty while reading articles and posts about mental health on Facebook. Through reading other people’s stories, she was encouraged to share her own. I asked Alexis Britton the following questions about writing for The Mighty.
BRIANNA BENTON: How do you find inspiration for your posts?
ALEXIS BRITTON: My inspiration for my posts is my mental health journey, which I am still on. Specifically what inspires me is that no matter how low I get, it will get better (cliché I know but its true). I constantly go through ups and downs, still, but I always go back up. When I write I don’t plan when I’m going too. Like I wouldn’t be like, “Right, next Saturday I’m going to write.” I never know what frame of mind I’m going to be in. My mind can be a foggy place and I can only write when it is clear, after I have finished dealing with something emotionally, I can now actually find words to describe it and write it down.
BB: What is the hardest thing about writing about your mental health?
AB: The hardest thing about writing about my mental health is the fear that, although I might be in a good place while writing the article, I know in my head I could go back down and that saddens me a little bit but it is all part of the journey.
BB: Why do you write?
AB: As stated previously, I only write when my mind is clear (and that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m in a good place mentally). I could be in quite a bad place but the fog has gone. I feel like I need to write it all down to clear my head and, maybe, even sort of like a coping mechanism. I write because I want my journey out there in the world. I am proud of my journey and I am proud of myself. The fact that other people are reading it and maybe helping them in some way makes me feel so relieved.
BB: Is it hard for you to share your writing online? Do people in your life know that you contribute to The Mighty?
AB: It is hard to share my writing online. I used to hide my mental health from everyone. I used to shut myself off and be ashamed. My girlfriend knew I was writing about my mental health and she fully supported it. Plus she knows everything that I have been through and helps me in every way she can.
ne thing I did not expect was people at my work reading the article. I posted it on my Twitter/Instagram and, the next day, two people at work approached me. Not in a bad way but it was that initial shock and anxiety that people have read that I was suicidal. They were extremely nice about it and told me they were here for me. Its true people never really know what other people can be going through.
The one person I would not like to read my article is my mum. She doesn’t know the full extent of my mental health journey, so for her to read that I would be a little bit anxious about her reaction.
BB: What advice do you have for people who are looking to share their work?
AB: Don’t put pressure on yourself to share your experiences and story. Write when it feels natural to you, when you are in the correct mindset and when you feel like you can write to your best potential and get everything across you are wanting to say. It may be months in between when you feel you’re ready to write but that’s okay. Just don’t force it.
ake sure that you check out her stories on The Mighty: What I Learned About Mental Health Recovery When My Girlfriend Encouraged Me to Seek Help and What I Learned About Being in Love While Struggling With a Mental Illness. They are both inspiring stories that you should definitely read.