Holiday is over

I have been pretty quiet on here for the best part of a month. This was a break I felt that I needed. Sometimes, it can be very easy to be pulled into what is online, very deep. I think social media is a lot worse than sites like wordpress, but the attachment is there. Everything is always updating and switched on, and as a person whose mental switch is kind of half on/half off most the time, it can be extremely draining.

bridge

Liberty Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

In me and my friend booked a holiday to Budapest, in Hungary. We go away to meet Scotland fans once a year, or so. It was a friendly, so there wasn’t as much fans as there usually was. But it was just what I needed. I went away for a week, but was off work for two. I went back to work last week, and decided to go back into things in a slow manner.

So, today, after much delay, I opened up the computer and did what I needed to do. The biggest thing was studying, although the course started back last week, I had been feeling a bit hesitant about going on. I think the biggest reason is that the start of the unit is focused on binary conversions and scientific theory, which honestly is pickling my brain. I do get it, eventually, but it is hard work. Especially for someone who hasn’t really done maths since High School. Hopefully I get used to it.

Sometimes, I think the worst thing about taking time off from anything, is having to get back to business again. I like being busy, but sometimes it is good to take time off.

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If It’s Real, Then I Don’t Want To Know

Life is full of ups and downs. And it is strange, because whether you decieve a particular moment as either ‘up’ or ‘down’ comes from what is going on inside your own head. If you are having a bad day, very little will overcome that feeling, and you will focus on the bad stuff. However, if you are in a good mood, you pick the more positive things, and can swipe the negative to the side.

I think it is very strange that our belief on what is going on in the world, is based on our own perception, which is based on our own emotions. I obviously am not in any way a psychologist, but I sometimes think about that stuff. It obviously is something that happens when I am feeling a little reflective and more positive. When I am down, I tend to feel like that everything is collapsing on top of me, so I don’t really tend to think about anything else.

Sometimes, thinking about anything is a bit hard, to be honest. Which is why it is so easy to lose yourself in a book, movie or TV series. It can feel better to live through a fictional life, than living your own. That is something that is really sad, but it is true. These fictional worlds become a way of coping, even escaping from your own life for a short time. And, that respite, may be all a person needs to get back on form.

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#Gettheinsideout

Over the last month or so, Mental Health UK and Lloyd’s Bank have partnered up for an advertising campaign to promote speaking up about mental health. 1 in 4 of the UK population suffer from mental health issues every single year. That is a lot of people suffering in silence.The campaign included people writing the hashtag #gettheinsideout on a post it, sticking on their head, and taking a selfie to post Instagram or other social media sites. It’s aim is to get people talking, which is always a good thing.

Now, I don’t really like taking pictures of myself, so I didn’t know how to ‘take part’. I feel that speaking about mental health is very important, and that it really does need to stop being this thing, that people hide away. Because I write a lot about my mental health on here, I decided that this would be the perfect place to write about the campaign, and highlight it to people who may not know it exists.

I suffered in silence with depression for a very long time. I only sought medical advice from my GP, when I  was in my mid-20s. I was put on medication, and really struggled. I went to the GP because I was scared. I had started punishing myself with food, pretending it was control, when I scoffed down 5 packets of crisps in a row. I had also started thinking that life wasn’t worth it. Life was a big problem, and I cried on the phone to Samaritans on more than one occasion. I knew I needed help, but I was to embarrassed to speak to anyone in person. Eventually the people at Samaritans convinced me to contact my GP, to see someone. I actually dodged my first appointment, claiming I forgot, but I tried again and stuck to the appointment. It was actually nice to have someone listen and not make me feel guilty about how I was thinking. I was put on some anti-depressants and given some places to turn to.

You may not feel like talking helps, I still struggle with it. But there are other ways that you can express how you are feeling. I write my feelings, because it is easier for me. What is important, is realising that you are not at fault. It is something in your brain, but it doesn’t make you any less of a person. When you speak to people, you will be surprised at how many people will say they feel the same. You are not on your own, and whether you call a helpline, write it out or speak to a friend, you will always find support somewhere. And if someone turns to you, listen and be there. Sometimes that is all that is needed.

Helplines

Samaritans- 116 123

NHS 24- 111

Breathing Space- 0800 83 85 87

SANE- 0300 304 7000

 

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Lone Ranger

I like my own company. I go for lunch myself, I spend entire days were I don’t really speak to anyone else. It’s good for my mental health a lot of the time, because I can focus on what suits me. But sometimes, you need other people. You need someone to vent to as you fail at something for what feels like the hundredth time.

The problem is, that if people think you are used to being on your own, and pulling yourself through whatever shit life throws at you, they leave you alone. People assume that you are the way you are, because you want to be like that. That you don’t need help. Everything that I do, is something I do to help me cope. I listen to music loud on the bus, because I can panic when I am around that many people I don’t know. I do stuff that occupies my brain, as it stops me from thinking too much.

The more you spend on your own, the harder it gets to speak to people about problems. No one person can do everything on their own. It’s great being independent, but don’t be afraid to ask up. People may assume you are ‘fine’, the only way they’d know you aren’t, is if you tell them.

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Messy (Daily Prompt)

Never has a word fitted me more than the word, messy.

Messy is my head. Messy is my bed. Messy is my life.

Nothing ever seems to be in any order. And usually when I try to organise ‘things’ into some kind of order, I make things worse. Now, I know, that people say that things tend to get worse before they get better. But that doesn’t really help. Not when I find myself struggling to function without changing things. It’s almost like those old cartoons where a leak comes in, and by trying to stop it, another starts, and then another. It doesn’t take much for things to fall apart. After all, one person can only do so much.

I have too many things jammed in my closet. But to clear out the closet, every item, every bad decision, every failure has to come to the fore. Every thing begs for attention, and when you have been papering over the cracks, those things can make those cracks start to crumble away. Within an instant, it can feel like those battles you have been fighting, for most of your life, are lost all at once. It is insanely difficult to recover from that.

via Daily Prompt: Mess

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Escaping Through A Book

I had a conversation at work the other day, with a guy who couldn’t understand why my work stowed so many books. He was wondering why people still buy books, as he hadn’t read a book since he was at school, over a decade ago. I feel like I was the polar opposite to this guy. I have read so many books since my school days, and over the last few years, I have been reading a lot more. I am currently reading through a similar number of books as when I was about 12/13, when reading was my favourite thing ever.

At any one point in time, I have 3 books which I will be working through. I have a book on Audible, a book on my kindle and physical book that sits in my bag. When I say this to people, the most common reaction is ‘how can you read more than one book at once’. As if by reading a chapter of Perks of being a Wallflower, I forget where I am in the audio book of Game of Thrones. That’s not really how things work. I find it strange that people seem to thing that the only piece of media that you can dip in and out of, are TV shows. Like, people think nothing about sitting in front of the ol’ tellybox and watching 3 different programs, one after another.

I do a lot of my reading whilst having a coffee whilst in town, or on the bus. Sometimes my anxiety flares up, as if I fear a bad situation will happen because I am on my own. So a coping mechanism I have is to enjoy a book for a chapter or too. On the bus (or gym), I like to listen to a book, as it is more practical. I read my book, in my bed or when I am having a cuppa, because I can. And usually, the aim is to relax, and I find reading relaxing. Sometimes I forget to bring my physical book with me, so I have a book on my Kindle, which has an app that I can access on my phone.

When I was really little, I would be so happy with a book. I went to Sunday School because they did painting every Sunday, and then gave out books as Christmas presents. I have so many happy memories of going to the library when I was little, and seeing all these books. I still get excited whenever I walk into a library or book shop. Reading is something that has been such a big part of my life, I can’t imagine how people function without a book.

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Multi- Media Anxiety

Oh, these days are magical. You can communicate with someone on the other side of the world, as easy as you can communicate with your pal down the road. The internet has truly made the world smaller. Which is great.

Until you have a problem with anxiety.

Now, I have a job, and I am studying a university course, and people doubt that I can have any problems whilst doing those things. I can be okay when I am in a routine, when there is something I can focus on. I have this awful fear of disappointing people. So, when it comes to work, the point of disappointment is not attending work, so that someone else has to do my job. It’s this idea that I am letting someone down, and it is something that can make me panic and have sleepless nights.

This brings me to social media messaging. If I know the person well, I can message back fine. Usually. The problem is, that I assume that whatever expectancy someone has, I am just going to fail. I feel like a ‘wet blanket’, that I am just going to bring someone ‘down’. Like, other people are busy having lives, and I am still here, stuck in my own head. So, sometimes I am messaged by people, and my mind trips me up over the obligation to message back. And I panic, I worry, and I find it hard to reply.

Of course, that isn’t the case all the time. But when it does, I feel like my lack of reply has created an issue. That I have offended someone by my own inability to do something so trivial. The thing is, people do take offence. I have had people get grumpy with me, thinking that I have ignored them, without them being aware that I spend hours of my life worrying about a small message. Writing it out, it does seem really stupid. But that is anxiety, something so silly and stupid, but something I can’t seem to help.

So, if you message someone, and they don’t message back, try not to give them a hard time. It can be hard being so connected to the internet and to the world all the time. It is easy to get overwhelmed. Everyone may reach the point where they need to switch off their phone and have some downtime. And it is okay. It really is.

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