2019

Physically Easier

Everyone goes through a period of illness. A period where you just want to close yourself off from the world until you feel better. And it happens to everyone.

I have talked previously about how I sometimes have panic attacks, and they can vary from hyperventilating to bouts of being sick. The worst thing about them, is that they can be set off by nothing in particular. I can be working away perfectly happily, and suddenly I will feel inadequate and start panicking. This normally involves crying. I shouldn’t need to inform anyone, publicly crying at the age of 35 is really embarrassing. It is even worse when you can’t explain why you are crying.

For a lot of people, mental health often impacts them most when they don’t expect it. And that, makes it very difficult to deal with. It means that people have to almost re-learn their own behaviours, to try and combat them. Whilst problems, like depression and anxiety, can be suffocating at times, it can mutate the issue to another level when you have to try and explain it to someone else.

For a long time, I felt that I was doing something wrong. I’d experience mental health issues, try to speak to someone about, and would find myself belittled. I wish it was a rare thing, but most people who have suffered with mental health issues, have been told at sometime to ‘grow up and get over it’. These throwaway comments can hurt someone who is going through a time where they feel vulnerable. And it can make it difficult to try and talk when you do feel bad, as you automatically assume that everything will just be thrown back in your face.

As I said before, sometimes I my anxiety hits hard and I can be physically sick. When this happens, I will tell people that I ‘don’t feel well’ rather than trying to explain it’s mental health related. When I say that I have been physically sick, people as if I’m okay, and leave me alone. However, if I state my anxiety is giving me hell, then people want to know exactly why I am feeling like this. It’s difficult because I know a lot of people just want to help, but if I had the answers, I would be able to help myself.

People need to realise how they speak to people with mental health issues. Don’t belittle a person, and don’t be too prying either. It’s difficult, but someone suffering just needs you to be there and respect where they are, mentally. Don’t expect a person to come forward with loads of answers, because a lot of the time, they don’t know what is causing them to have a bad mental health day/week/month. What they don’t need is 50 questions fired in their direction.

I hope, at some stage, I’ll be able to say, ‘my mental health is shit’, and that be enough. But till then, I just appear to constantly have a vomiting bug.

2019

May Challenge: Umbrella

There are some things that you have to just understand that you just cannot have certain things in your life. And for me, it is an umbrella. You see, I live in Scotland, near the coast, and on top of a hill. If I try to use an umbrella, two things would happen. It would break within a few minutes, or I would be flying through the sky like an overweight Mary Poppins.

The wind that we experience, where I live, has bested many umbrellas, both cheap and expensive. When it rains, which it does often, the drops always come in at some kind of angle. And it is best to just wear something with a hood, and get on with it.

I think an umbrella can deal as (a bad) metaphor for what it is like dealing with mental health. The umbrella, is the shelter from the rain for most people. It is an efficient way to keep a person dry. However, it isn’t the solution for everyone. I struggle to shelter myself from the negative thoughts that occur in my head. It can feel like I am drowning, and the only thing I can do is get my head down and carry on. Which is hard.

So I am a little bit like a drowned rat, most of the time. But I’m still here. Still plodding with very little success. But sometimes, enjoying the rainfall and realising you aren’t alone, is enough of a success.

2019

May Challenge: Weight

I was always told that, when I was younger, I looked like a rugby player. It was because I was bulky. Short and stout, a bit like a teapot with no spout.

I was always short, but the other bit never really bothered till I got older. In High School my confidence disappeared because people started making me feel bad for my weight. As if I was stupid for not being as skinny as other folk. Over time I ended up hating my body, and food became punishment instead of just nourishment. I didn’t deal with what was going on, and tried to lose weight for years.

Unfortunately, my self hatred caused issues. I didn’t see any value in myself, so didn’t see the point in making effort to get fitter. So, over the last few years, I’ve acknowledged my mental health issues, and tried to work on them.

I am hoping that as I get healthier mentally, I’ll be able to get physically healthier too. Hopefully.

2019

May Challenge: Doughnut

Well this is a rather fitting topic today. Ever since I bought my car, last year, it is like I enjoy throwing money away. Like, I do the most stupid things, and they are all avoidable. In the 11 months since I have bought my car, I have hit a bollard, bumped two other cars, bashed a kerb (that total dented my wheel), left lights on twice (flat battery) and lost my only set of car keys.

To say my wee car has cost me a small fortune, is an understatement. But, it’s not the car’s fault. Wee Flick the blue Beetle didn’t actually have any control in anything that happened, that was all down to yours truly.

I love my little car. I just feel a bit bad on how he gets treated sometimes. It’s my fault that I have had to spend so much money, I am just a bit of a doughnut. I have always been accident prone, and now that I have a car, it’s just become more expensive. It would be nice just not to do stupid stuff, like no panicking, no accidents, no nothing. But, as I was reminded by someone at work today, as long as you learn from your mistakes, then they are never as bad as they seem. And that is very true. Luckily, I am always willing to learn.

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This post is part of a May prompt which is explained here, feel free to join in or pick one or two topics, to get your own creativity flowing.

2019

May Challenge: Stars

The world of celebrity seems to have become massive business. Everywhere you look there are updates on people from the latest reality TV show. It masquerades as ’real news’, frequently reaching the headlines of daily news broadcasts and papers.

I think it serves as a distraction. The world feels like it is getting more violent and that we should be scared. Global warming, nuclear weapons and political nightmares, can really affect a person’s well-being. The news has become something that runs constant, we get information on social media and there are constant updates on TV and radio too. Sometimes it feels that every time you look at your phone or TV, you are reminded that the world is falling apart, and there is very little we can do about it.

So, I can see why celebrity culture has become more popular. It’s easier to focus on the ins and outs of the Kardashian clan, than the continuing fallout over Brexit. It’s easier to plot on who a certain Youtuber is dating, than plot on how you are going to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s all distraction.

But this area of distraction is worth millions to the right people. And it feels so obtainable, something that anyone can do. You no longer need a particular talent, just the right personality. The worlds of podcasts, YouTube and Instagram, making fame almost in reach for millions. People want to make videos for a living, something that wasn’t even a thing when I was a kid. It’s great, that people are yearning to be creative, but that’s not why a lot of people do it. They want the red carpet events, the campaign parties and the top-of-the-range cars.

The thing is, celebrities make what they do look easy. It’s not. People like to think that life would be easier without their standard normal job. The work you do, would still be there, but you couldn’t just clock out and forget everything. You would have to work almost 24/7. And that would be super hard. I said earlier that people can find the news can effect their well-being. Well, that will all still be there too.

Life is hard. Maybe a little distraction can be a good thing.

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This post is part of a May prompt which is explained here, feel free to join in or pick one or two topics, to get your own creativity flowing. 

2019

May Challenge: Running

There is never enough time for things. Things always start up well, I get so enthusiastic and dive right into whatever task I have set myself. But I seem to over-do it, and I quickly run out of steam. And, because most things have a deadline, I also then run out of time to do whatever I was trying to do.

Time management has always been a problem of mine. I am very highly skilled in procrastination. Which is probably why this blog became a thing to begin with. I was probably avoiding something, and thought that writing something would get me moving forwards, rather that sitting still watching TV. But, if I had to do something for my job that involved writing this blog (we can dream), I would probably go draw a picture instead. I sometimes think that there is something a little broken in my brain.

Well. I already know my brain is a bit broken, the medication for anxiety disorder can clarify that. My Doctor has said before, that I seem to get very panicky when I think that there is a chance of failing at something. Which is true. In my mind, it is easier to run the clock down, than it is to throw everything at something only to fail. I don’t really know where this behaviour came from, but it’s something that I have done for years.

I am trying to break my old habits, trying to work on planning things out. I never seem to get very far, but I am trying different things. Different tactics. Different ways to keep me on task, focused and hit my goals. It is a work in progress. But life is a work in progress.

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This post is part of a May prompt which is explained here, feel free to join in or pick one or two, to get your own creativity flowing.

2019

Radio Static

There is a constant chittering of noise in my brain. Some would call it ‘white noise’, the kind of noise that allows for intense focus. Except, the racket rattling around inside my head is so loud that it doesn’t allow for any type of focus at all. Which in itself is a headache, especially when you require focus.

When I was younger I used music to drown out the nonsense. The internal monologues that berated every action I undertook, and it was exhausting. So sometimes it became easier to avoid things, to bury my head in the sand. If everything I did was so bad, then why do anything at all. But, this didn’t fix anything. I felt as big a failure in my bed, as I did at my job. It didn’t matter what was going on in my life, I was never able to silence that ‘inner critic’.

To get past this overly critical thing, you have to re-train your brain and how you think. And that is what I have been trying to do over the last few years. Whilst, I am a lot more productive than what I used to be, I still have a very long way be able to believe in myself and what I do 100%. My mental health is still up and down, in general, but I am taking steps to make it better. And that is all that a person can do really. Battle to find an alternative to the static.