Thursday, 15 December 2016

I'm not ok, and that's ok...

My amazing cousin Alex has recently started writing about her own mental health in a fantastic blog Howay Man Get Happy and yesterday I read her latest post "I'm Not Okay, and That's Okay - The Five Reasons I Lie." It was extremely relatable for me and I thought I'd write about some of my own reasons as well as giving an update on how things have been in general for me. It might help some of my friends and loved ones understand things a bit more or will just be nice to vent a bit really.

The last post I did on here was back in May, I'd just found out I had depression and was awaiting seeing a councillor which I was understandably nervous about. Next week I will be seeing my councillor for the last of my 8 sessions that I was entitled too. Having someone there like that has helped me loads, she has made me see things in a different way and I have looked forward to almost every session. I'm nervous about seeing her for the last time as I don't want that support to not be there anymore, but I'm hoping I can arrange to see her more. It's one part of the process over with and the doctor who referred me will be getting feedback about me to see what happens next.

The last 7 months have still been a very emotional time; knowing that I have something wrong with me was a big relief, as there was a reason for how I felt, but that doesn't always make you feel better when the darkness takes over. I know I have a lot of support from friends and family and I want you all to know how much I love you and appreciate you all, but this isn't something I can always talk to you about. I get that some of you have never experienced what this is like, and you offer help the only way you know, but sometimes when you're trying to help, you can actually make me feel a lot worse.

This is the main reason I don't talk to people about how I'm feeling, because most of them don't get it, and while trying to help they can actually make me feel worse and then I wish I'd never bothered in the first place. Having people say "Well just don't think like that" or "Try not to overthink things" or "I thought you were feeling better?". It hurts. It makes me feel like I'm broken beyond repair, so it's easier just to smile and say "I'm fine"

In reality I am far from fine, I am constantly battling with demons and dark thoughts, I lack sleep, energy, and motivation. I'm scared that I won't end up where I want to be in life because I don't take any risks. I'm trying to figure out what kind of future I want to have and I'm not sure I'll ever achieve that. I am tired of being exhausted all the time. I often suffer from tension headaches which just feels like my head is being ripped in two. I go to bed so tired every night and then will lie awake for hours because "Remember this! Overthink that! Need to do this! That would be an awesome idea!" spin round and round in my head for hours. I can't count how many times I've cried myself to sleep simply because I can't shut my brain off. 

But I can't talk about it, because the ones closest to me don't understand it. They try and find reasons for it, analyse why I feel like this or what's triggered stuff and it doesn't work like that. When I do open up to them I end up feeling worse off so it's just easier to say nothing.

There are other reasons I don't like being open about how I'm actually feeling, it makes me feel
vulnerable, I don't want to be a burden on anyone, I don't like to be fussed over, but the main one for me is that I never know how people will react and if I'll end up worse off for it.

This has ended up a bit longer than I was expecting, so I'll stop here and may continue with this at a later date. Thank you for reading if you have and if anyone else is struggling with feelings similar I urge you to go and get help. It's not a quick fix by any means, but the professional support is there if you need it.


Friday, 6 May 2016

Something important that I want to talk about...

I've thought a lot about whether to write this or not and how to approach it, but I think it's an important thing that needs to be talked about and I wanted to share my experiences with it. I apologies for the way it is written and for any errors in grammar or spelling!

Over the last (I'd guess around) year and a half my emotions have been very up and down. My mam has always said to me that I always seem to be either right up or right down, I never seem to find a middle ground. In the last 8/9 months I have been slowly getting worse and worse, to the point that I have started having panic attacks, something I have never had before. I feel lost, alone, like I didn't know who I am or where I am going in my life, that I'm not where I should be and it is extremely overwhelming. More often it has been getting harder and harder for me to even pull myself out of bed on a morning, I spend most of the day just feeling like I want to cry and to just curl up in a ball and sleep for as long as I can or wanting to huddle up in bed with a load of food and eat myself into a food coma.

My self esteem and confidence are shot to shit. I worry and overthink constantly about every aspect of my life; my work, money, relationships, the way I look and act, I know that my life is very good, I have a hell of a lot going good for me, which makes me feel worse about how I think negatively about everything. I'm constantly exhausted as my mind is always going and on top of that my sleeping has gotten worse. Eating has been my crutch but has ended up making me feel worse as I've been eating so much that I have put a load of weight back on, which is then affecting my self esteem and body confidence in a very negative way.

I have always been a very outgoing and social person, but have found myself becoming more of a recluse and not wanting to leave the house, even to see good friends who I love dearly. I am greatly lacking motivation to do many things, even things that I enjoy. It might sounds silly but one of the only things that has helped me is building Lego, it's the only time that my mind is completely focused on that one thing and my head doesn't feel like it's going 100mph! It's a way for me to clear my mind, almost like a kind of therapy.

I ended up opening up and chatting on with a client I had in the shop, she was wonderful to speak to and encouraged me to see a doctor about it, so the next day I went and made an appointment. At the time I made the appointment I was at a low point, I'd hoped I'd be able to get an appointment that day but I had to wait until the next week (around 5 days) .

 On Wednesday the 4th of May I finally went to the doctors about it, on the day I was feeling a lot better in myself and was a bit worried about how I would explain how I'd been feeling. It's a hard thing to describe. As I tried explaining how I'd been feeling I broke into tears. I was told I had depression. I actually felt better, knowing that there's a reason I've been feeling the way I have and I'm not going mad. Perhaps best of all was knowing that I wasn't alone and that there was help there for me. The doctor has referred me for counseling and given me websites to visit to help in the mean time.
I am in the very early stages of understanding exactly what is wrong with me and trying to improve how I feel about things. All the things I have detailed above that I have been thinking and feeling are still there, sometimes they're just low whispers in the back of my mind and other times they are screaming at me so loud that I can't hear anything else. But I have taken the first step in helping myself and I am so relieved that I have finally seen about it.