A Brighton based blogger sharing a candid tale of 20-something humanness

Friday, 29 December 2017

Moving on from a year of crappy mental health


May 9th

My anxiety is almost unbearable right now. I drove around the cliffs earlier and actually thought, for a second, about -

I wouldn't. But that's when you know isn't it: that things are pretty fucking bad.

It's been a shitty year of it to be honest, probably the worst since the first a decade ago. I don't think I realised quite how much until I recently flicked through the year's responses in my Q & A day journal and felt a sense of loss. Week after week after week. Darkness

May 19th

I've felt so low and demotivated. I think it's depression. I just don't feel like me at all.

I guess, for the most part, I could be described as high functioning. I got a new job this year at a different hospice: a job that felt like it was made for me. Sure, I've turned up to the office on three hours sleep with unwashed hair now and again, but I've succeeded in the role. I've made a difference. I flew across the world to explore Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bali and had the kind of enriching adventure you end up telling future grandchildren about. I met with a literary agent who told me my book concept has mass-market commercial potential. I nurtured my friendships and maintained a relationship with my boyfriend when he was thousands of miles away and kept that car headed in the right direction, always. I stood in front of 100 attentive people at my best friend's wedding to share the reading that I wrote. I found a beautiful flat that I moved into with my boyfriend just a month ago.

It's sad, isn't it? That I was there, but not, not fully. That these amazing moments, for which I feel such insane gratitude, have been only half as joyous as they could have been.

21st September

It's been a weird few months. The excitement in me has gone; the me in me has gone. There's so much I want to do and achieve; I just feel like I'm always under this cloud. If I'm not feeling anxious, I'm feeling exhausted and flat from feeling anxious.

The problem is that a few months after a few months after a few months turns into a year: an entire year of less. And I have tried; I have always tried to say yes, regardless: to be and to show up and to make it through the day - to give myself opportunity for those giddy, happy, peaceful moments: the ones when I forget. But there have been more bad days this year, I have to be honest about that. There have been days that have stopped me from getting dressed and writing and feeling and laughing: days that have stopped me from doing anything other than wallowing in my pants, wishing I could be someone else.

14th November

On paper, this should be an exciting week. I'm moving in with Kyle! The new flat is beautiful. Work's going well. But I keep having these completely irrational moments of panic, and I mean 'OMG-I'm-literally-about-to-drop-dead' panic. 

It was the Thursday of that week that I decided. Enough is enough is enough. There is only so much a person can take. I sat on the mattress on the floor of the empty bedroom in equal parts fear and hope, filling out the referral for therapy. 

I got the call the following week.

I'm now two weeks in to a course of CBT. I listen intently and I respond honestly and I force myself to practice everything I'm told to, even when it's difficult. I'm learning, slowly, to sit with the discomfort, because it is the sitting that will make things better, not the running away.

I've started exercising again, even if just for ten or twenty minutes a day, because if it's one thing I've become sure of over the years, it's that getting some trainers on and busting a limb is the greatest remedy there is: the thing that can somehow always lift the weight of the world.

I meditate now too, albeit not as often as I should, but something is better than nothing at all. I take more walks, because the crashing waves and the rolling hills and the bleeding sunsets soothe me in a way nothing else does. I spray lavender and chamomile mist on my pillow each night and drink a big glass of water each morning. I say things out loud and if I need a minute, I take it. I try not to get as frustrated with myself anymore, because I'm tired of that shit. It is what it is. An illness. My vulnerability: the humanness of it all, is the most natural thing in the whole entire world.

There's no quick fix or magic cure but there is taking ownership: refusing to sit still for any longer, and maybe that's half the work. I can feel something shifting.

2018 will be better.

2018 will be better.


Need some support?

Mind
Anxiety UK
YoungMinds
Samaritans

Good books to read:

How to stop time
Anxiety for beginners
The anxiety solution
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3 comments

  1. Such a powerful post lovely, I wouldn't say I suffer from anxiety but I have dealt with mental health issues in other ways over the years. I am currently fighting disordered eating, so I understand the moments when things feel too much.
    I am so thankful that you have sought help, and that so far the CBT is working even if it is tough a lot of the time. I will keep you in my prayers going into the new year and I look forward to hearing your updates on life.
    Emma
    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great,
    let alone the content!

    ReplyDelete

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