Celebrate Good Times

Life has the unfortunate ability to feel like utter shit sometimes. It isn’t because anything bad actually happens, just that your perception of everything is rather rubbish. It happens to everyone, some folk more than others, and it can be hard.

Personally, I sometimes feel like my brain is tripping me up, by being negative about stuff that I shouldn’t even give a second thought. But that is not how my brain is wired, the rational thinking seems to be missing. And, it is very easy to get stuck. To become too busy nitpicking over the small things, because thinking about the ‘big stuff’, just seems to be too real and scary. I become stuck in a bubble, like a play I did at Primary School, where a girl floats away in a bubble, to a land filled with monsters. (I have no idea what it was called, I did try to find out.) Everything in the play ends up happy because it was aimed at kids, of course. But, the feeling of feeling like I am in a bubble surrounded by the scary monsters of the outside world, is a metaphor that seems to hit a little too close to home. And, although I do know that the story will end up okay, in the end, facing these monsters of reality just seems a bit too hard to bear. It becomes easy to hide in my little bubble. Like an invisible wall is protecting me from whatever bad stuff is coming. It’s not. It sounds a bit mad. And I am aware of that.

Sometimes, there are things, events, that requires to step out of your little bubble for a while. And it can be so anxiety-inducing, it is ridiculous. Sometimes, you can tip your toes into the big, wide world, and that’s it. And, that is okay. Sometimes. This metaphorical bubble, that I am using to describe my own mental health, can become a burden. Your mental health becomes a burden on YOU. And, that always makes me feel that it will also be a burden on other people. That me, and my bubble of despair, has the ability to ruin any social event or occasion, just by being there. And, when you start thinking that, it becomes all too tempting to reply ‘I’m busy’ to every invitation that you get. Thinking that everyone will have more fun without you. And that thinking is just your mind trying to keep you in your bubble, and not expose you to the possible monsters outside.

Sometimes there are events, like weddings and big birthdays, that you feel you have to attend. And sometimes, you can find the will to push outside your bubble, and do something for someone else. For me, I have to focus on the other person, because the moment I think about myself, at all, I will climb back into my bed and ignore my phone. Focus on the smiles, focus on the good times you have had before. Previously, for me, this has worked. I focused on how much the event meant for the person, or people, that I know, and I wanted to make them happy. It allows me to forget about the bubble I spend my life in and celebrate something great.  And, I didn’t feel anxious at all. It was like my bubble was left at home. It felt like I could still be genuinely happy, and it was freeing.

Now, I know that going to one event isn’t going to completely fix everything. My mental health is still like a badly scrambled egg. But, for a while, it can be nice to step away from that mess, and just experience something for what it is. I have suffered mental health problems for over half my life now, and I have come to terms that it is something that I need to live with. But it is good to know that sometimes, the life that can be sometimes so unbearable to live, still has good stuff to enjoy. And that good stuff has to be what pulls us through the bad stuff. It is sometimes necessary to remind yourself of that, once in a while.

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Nothing To Say

When you create online content as a hobby, it can get very frustrating when you can’t create. Because everything I do online, be it blogging, video creating or art related things, is a method to help me deal with mental health, sometimes it gets a bit hard. The words I write down don’t sound right, or I can’t draw what I am feeling. It feels really stifling.

When I get like that, I feel stupid, because the things that are meant to relax me, aren’t. And I get really panicky and anxious, because what kind of person can’t write a few paragraphs or draw a picture. And I feel awful. The only way I can get out of that negative state of mind, is to do something else. Recently that has been jumping in my wee car and going for a drive. I always end up at the beach, somewhere.

That’s were I am right now. Listening to the waves, smelling the sea air and reading a new book. I feel super relaxed. I am going to try and go back into my schedule of posting 3 days a week. But if I miss out a few days, or weeks, it might be that I am struggling with my mental health. And that’s okay. I just felt I should share.

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A lot of people read my posts via Facebook, who have decided they shall no longer share posts automatically with personal profiles. This means I will have to post manually, or create a ‘page’ for myself, as it still works with there. And that is frustrating in itself because Facebook wants you to pay to promote your posts to your own followers. It’s a pain. And I don’t know what to do about it yet.

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Communication is important. It is how everything gets done. Whether it is you telling a shop worker what you want, reading your email list, or watching a TV show. Without effective communication, we’d be sitting staring at a wall all day, on our one.

Sometimes, that seems like a good idea.

I have recently bought my second car, after over 6 months of no driving. I was a bit worried about driving again, but I found it a bit like riding a bike. It was super easy to get back into, which is good, cause I kind of love driving. The problem ended up being with other drivers.

My dad used to be a driving instructor, and always drummed into me, and my siblings, that it is ALWAYS, mirror, signal, manoeuvre when driving. This means, if you need slow down before turning in at a junction, you should indicate first. This allows other drivers to see what you are planning to do. Seems simple, right? Not every driver follows this rule, and you will get people just turning, or breaking for no reason. You will get cars coming onto the road, right in front of you, as if you are invisible. I have a bright blue Volkswagen Beetle, it’s not exactly something that blends into its surroundings. It frustrates me. But I can see why accidents happen. A lot.

I sometimes think, that being able to read minds would be super helpful. Just so I’d get a heads-up on what other drivers are going to do. I think it would be a great ability. Like, as if you level up when you pass your driving test and unlock the ability to read minds. Although, I don’t know if I’d want to read everyone’s mind. My mind is weird enough without seeing too much of other people’s weird thoughts.

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Know Yourself

Every day, things happen that push your personal boundaries. It doesn’t have to be anything too different from ‘the norm’ for you to feel any strain from the situation. Not for me anyway. I can find pressure in situations that are completely calm and contain no pressure. I think it is the way that my brain is wired.

I have problems with anxiety, which I have discussed before, and sometimes situations can make me on edge. Today, for example, I was the ‘designated driver’. It wasn’t anything specific that made that choice, went into town with the family, and it was my car we took. Which is fine. But there it was Highland Games day in Burntisland, so I drove down there, family in tow, to have a wee walk around. We ended up in the pub, and as the driver, I obviously couldn’t drink. Which is fine, I don’t have to drink all the time. But, the pubs were heaving. It was really warm, and room temperature diet coke wasn’t really helping. People kept bashing against me, and it was making me really anxious. People we knew came in, and it didn’t really help. I was needing some fresh air away from the crowds, I could myself starting to panic.

My family, being who they are, were like ‘We’ll come too’. So everyone went outside, and it was okay. We drove home, and I had no panic attack. But, then the rest of the family wanted to go to the pub back in the town that we live. I had to say that I wasn’t going to go. When my nerves have already been on edge, I know that it is probably not a good idea to drink alcohol. After all, there is a high chance that the anxiety I had experienced earlier would return.

I think it is important to go with what you feel is right. Don’t feel like you should do a particular thing if you don’t want to. Use your previous experiences when going forward. I know that if I have panic attacks, alcohol can affect the negative thinking that causes them. So, to be safe, it is always a good idea to stay away from it. And, I think that is a good idea for anyone who has mental health problems, to be aware of possible triggers and problems.

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A Testing Time

These last few weeks have flown by. It is that time of year, once again, where assements and summer seem to collide. I am studying through the Open University, which gives the ability to access high level learning, whilst still working full time. Which is what I am doing. It gives me a sense that I am working towards something, which is what I need, after being in my current job for 5 years. It is a very good thing. However, the recommended study time, doesn’t actually sound like much, like 10 or so hours a week. But once life gets in the way, that 10 hours is a lot.

Key to doing anything like this, is being honest to yourself, and honest to the people there to help. Be it people at work, friends, or folk at where you are studying. When looking for help, it is easy to forget that there are actually lots of things set up to help you succeed. Managers and tutors are their to help you, their job is to make sure that you have as much support as you need. So, just tell them what the problem is and they can help, even if it is pointing you in the direction of where you can get support.

No matter where you are, you will here people saying that the people who are supposed to care about them (like managers) don’t care about them. But, a lot of the time, when you question them further, you can find that no issues have actually been raised to their managers. As clever as some people like to think that they are, noone is actually a mind reaer, they sometimes only know something is wrong, when it is pointed out to them. So, no matter how silly you may feel, speaking up can make things a lot easier, and help release the pressure.

However, that can be easier said than done.

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I am melting

I am a winter person. I have probably said that before. But I am. My body type is like a human radiator, sometimes. I rarely get too cold, always get too hot. Which means I am not sleeping, which means I am not being productive. Basically, it is taking all my willpower not to simply ‘do nothing’ when I come home from work. Everything feels gross and sticky, and I can’t sleep.

At least the days have been nice, and I was able to go for walks down to the beach.

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Sleepiness

Seeing every hour on the clock. It’s annoying isn’t it? When you are in bed, but your brain won’t shut down. I usually go to bed to sleep between 11pm and midnight. Which allows me time to get what I need done after work.

I set my alarms, put my tablet and phone to the side, and get comfy. I get relaxed and feel great. This is the moment I have been waiting for all day, since I left my bed that morning. I’m ready to just float off to dream land.

But it doesn’t always happen.

I can start thinking about events that have happened, or, more likely, I am thinking about what is coming the next day. I toss and turn. I go for a drink of water cause my mouth suddenly feels dry. I hear cats fighting outside so listen for them to go away. I need a pee. I can’t get comfy. I have an itchy foot. Maybe I can read for a while?

After about 3 hours of struggling to sleep I put something on my tablet. Just the news or some game stream I can watch in the dark. Something that normally makes me sleepy. Something that doesn’t always work.

Working a 10 hour shift is always the most fun on no sleep. I just hope I sleep tonight. But I wish for that every night.

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