Anyone with mental health issues will tell you the problem that is encountered when you attempt to speak to people about it. Your intelligence is questioned. You are told to grow up. You are made to feel like you are ‘doing it for attention’. All of which makes things worse. It’s a problem made worse when people use mental health as an excuse to get time off work. Not that they suffer at all, but because they couldn’t get the holiday. If you have genuine stress and anxiety, time away could help. But when people say ‘I’ll just say I’m stressed, because they never question that’. As if it is some lame excuse like having the flu.
That excuse to get time off is an insult to every person genuinely suffering. Every person having to turn to a doctor because they feel like they are losing control. Every person who cries themselves to sleep every night, and then cries in the morning because they still have to live. A person who panics uncontrollably at every little thing, from doing the dishes to buying a newspaper. It’s not tidying up, because there is no point. It’s not showering, because there is no point. It’s eating rubbish because something has to fill the massive hole you feel inside.
It makes me so angry. And disgusted. As a person who suffers mental health issues, and know a lot of people suffering, I find it awful that someone would pretend to ‘join in’ so they could get time off. It shows ignorance of the world around them.
It kind of makes me feel a bit sick.
How many times do you read about mental health being affected by the seasons and weather? How many times have you scoffed at that idea? I have done that a lot. Mostly because my mental health goes up and down without any real change in the weather. So, I have been guilty of seeing the point, and then just dismissing it.
However, I sit here, looking out my window at almost 10pm, and the sun is starting to down, but the sky is blue. And the weather forecast for the weekend ahead is pretty spectacular, with temperatures soaring. As much as I want to be a stick-in-the-mud, and say that the weather doesn’t matter, I am feeling uplifted. It is easier to get up in the morning, it is easier to keep motivated and get things done.
It probably has something to do with natural light or something. I don’t know. But I think it is a nice thing. I am looking forward to my weekend (which starts on Sunday) and planning all that I can do on my time off. I feel encouraged to go outside and make the best of the nice weather. Okay, it doesn’t always help, but right now it is helping.
Been needing to take time out recently. Stepping away from the stuff causing me to get worked up. It is a thing that sounds very straight forward, but you can easily fall in to the trap where you believe you are ‘coping’.
A walk to the coast sometimes helps.
I have been trying to recognise what situations get me frustrated or triggers my anxiety. If I do get them, I go for a walk. Even if it is just 5 minutes outside, it helps clear my mind, as it takes me away from whatever situation is making me feel panicked. It really does help. I think it goes hand in hand with the explanation that exercise can make you happy.
If I can go for a walk, because it sometimes isn’t possible, I just stop what I am doing and take a few deep breaths. It’s just focusing on your breathing, that helps calm me down.
I want to apologise.
I said I was going to post regularly (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and I haven’t. I am not going to show up with empty excuses, but be a bit honest instead. I am very good at signing up to do too much and then fall under the weight of everything. Doing a lot of work is only good if you are able to keep up-to-date with your schedule.
I fell apart last week. It is my first week being on anti-depressants for many years. Whenever I think about it, I get stuck on the feeling of failure, that I wasn’t able to cope, when I had been coping for years. Except, I don’t really think I had been ‘coping fine’. I think I have been treading water and pretending I was okay for a long time, when I wasn’t. But, I did get help eventually, which is good.
As anyone, who takes any mental health medication, will tell you, it does take time for medication to take effect. And, it can make you extra lethargic and sleepy as you get accustomed to the medication. And, I believe that is what has happened. Everything I do, has different importance. So, whilst I love writing and being creative, my actual full time job is more important. I need to pay the bills that allow me to do the things I love. So, I have been ptuting everything into getting to work, and functioning whilst I am there. And, it has been exhausting.
I am also still doing my IT course with the Open University. I will be honest and say, that I have fallen behind because of everything that has been going on. But, I am still chipping away at everything. I will get there eventually. And that is how I feel about everything right now. Deal with one thing at a time.
I’m struggling this week. Don’t know if I am at the start of an illness or if my procrastination is becoming worse. I’m going to say illness, as that sounds better.
Anyway, I have been trying to think of ways to try and living this blog up a little. I love reading other people’s ponderings, but there is no harm in sharing other bits and bobs. I am quite a creative person, and I still draw a lot, as well as playing with video editors for photos and such. I’m not the greatest at these things, but it helps my anxiety when I can focus on something.
This is a wee video I did a while back, and it is random photos from when I went to Budapest in March. This is the kind of thing i welcome as a distraction from my thinking, even though it’s not the best.
So, I started posting regularly again, by saying that I would post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You will notice that today is Tuesday, and there was no post yesterday. I’ll be honest, it was a bad day. I had a few panic attacks and ended up spending most of the day with family. Which was nice.
I guess, what I want to say, it is okay to take time out. I still plan on writing 3 posts this week, it is just that 1 post is a day late. You can still be motivated, and not push yourself too hard. Which, is something that is important. Because when you force things, you sometimes end up doing more damage. And, that is the tricky thing. Having to learn the balance between pushing enough to get things done, and pushing past that. It is a difficult balance.
But, it is important to never give up. If you can’t do something, it is okay to side-line it till later. Stuff will still be there for later. And, if it is urgent, speak to people. It is surprising how supportive people are if they know what is going on.
If I really want something, I don’t like waiting. I want it now. I have always been the same. Sometimes I am like a child whining for dessert, when they still have their dinner to eat first.
I passed my driving test a year and a half ago. I had a car, which was in a crash, so ownership was short lived. Yesterday I got another car, after over 6 months of not driving. Now, I don’t mind the bus, but when it takes me so much longer to get home after a shift, it gets to become an annoyance. The bus fares are constantly going up, where I live, and the services seem to be getting worse.
So I finally got a car yesterday. A wee VW Beetle and I love it. Been for a few drives since I got it, and I am so happy. I have money saved away, to help fix it if anything needs done. Because it is an older car, from 2004. I missed being able to go out for a drive. But part of me still is fearing about another crash, so I think ‘if the car is at home, there can’t be an accident’. I need to get out of that thinking, as I think it is still making me nervous.
But after a few weeks of really bad anxiety, the feeling of something going right, is nice.