2020

Alone

One lie, that having poor mental tells you is that you are alone. That no one else feels the way you do. It is a lie that cuts you off. Makes you feel like you are not good enough for anyone who is around. That what you experience, is such a burden on everyone, that maybe it’s better to remain on your own. So you don’t bring other’s down.

Logically, these lies don’t make sense. Having poor mental health, is something that thrives in loneliness. Or that is what it feels like for me, anyway. If people are around, or if I am kept busy (like at work), I don’t often feel so overwhelmed. It does still happen, to be honest, but because my brain is focused elsewhere, I can deal with things better.

But that can be a problem. When I first started having mental health issues, I spoke to people. I reached out for help, I was told to ‘grow up’, that it was ‘hormones’, or was just because I ‘needed the right guy’. This all felt like rejection, as if rather than understand, people deflected with useless fake solutions. So I waited. I hoped it would go away. I made a mess of things, in the hope I’d feel normal. And it hurts. It manifested at a previous work place were I was told, by my manager ‘you have a job, you have a place to live, you have nothing to be depressed about’. I wrote on Facebook, years ago, and was told not to be such an attention seeker.

In the end, it feels like not saying anything helps me. There is only so many times people can ask for help, and for it to be thrown back at them. Or even ignored. It’s easier to not be with people, because then I don’t run the risk of being made to feel worse. So, I spend time alone, which is when my mental health is worse.

This has come into my head, after a recent news story brought suicide and mental health to the forefront of people’s minds. And the same people, who berated me, who called me an attention seeker, expect folk to reach out to them. Say that they can help. But they did the opposite. Or maybe it’s only certain people that folk want to help. I’d never be that person.

2019

A Little Lost

This time of year is one where people often complain that they don’t know what day it is. This is mostly due to the festive period being a time where a lot of people are off work. It’s perfectly normal.

There is also this feeling of feeling in between two different emotions. Christmas is a time to show thanks, be grateful for what you have. And New Year is about looking forward to the future, step away from where you currently may be. Or that is how it has felt for me.

The festive period has been really difficult this year, due to a family loss. It has left me between being thankful for what I have, and wanting to move on. I am glad that there is people around, friends and family. But I also am afraid that stepping forward will lessen the memories I have. Honestly, I think every person feels like this with a loss, but Christmas just seems to exaggerate these feelings.

So, I feel like I am sitting in limbo. Time forces me forward, despite my wishes. It doesn’t matter whether I am ready, things move on. Doesn’t make things any easier though.

2019

Brain explosion

A head exploding. Apparently.

Sometimes it feels like everything is too much. It’s like I have so much to try and focus on, it’s like my brain is going to explode. There is too much to get done, and I am far to indecisive to pick what needs to be done first.

There is so much going on that my attention flits between different things. I always have a list of things I need to get done, and every night I come home and do none of it. Which is bad enough. But I sometimes have time sensitive things that needs done, and I can’t do it. It’s like my brain stalls, and I simply sit and do nothing instead.

When I try to get myself moving, it is never just the one think my mind picks at. No, everything comes at once. ‘I have washing to do’, is joined with ‘I’d better study’, then ‘I still haven’t finished that book’. And finally ‘look at this political mess, everything is f#*ked’. Now separately these things seem okay, but, all together it’s another story. It all adds to my anxiety, the panic I feel when it seems like I can’t do anything.

It’s this feeling of failure, when I can even do the most basic of goals. I over-think and become overwhelmed. It’s not a nice feeling.

2019

Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

2018, ramblings

Head In Sand

Recently I haven’t been sharing at all. Which is not like me, but it’s hard when you are dealing with something that you’d rather not be dealing with.

Unfortunately, life is not that kind. I have been sick, had a major crash with my mental health, had course work due in and the busiest time of the year for the ol’ day job. And it all kind of left me functioning, but that was it. I didn’t want to talk about it, still don’t, because I didn’t want to think about how much stuff was happening all at once. It’s kind of calmed down a little, my coursework is done and Christmas is a week a way, which means no overtime. And it’s allowing me a little time to reflect on why I burrowed myself away from the internet.

For years the internet was where I could let my feelings go, where I could write about stuff that no one cared about. It was very therapeutic and it was completely disconnected from my real life. However, every day there seems to be more merging of both my private life and the one I talk about on line. People who I know in real life, are able to access what I am writing.

Now, this doesn’t seem like a huge problem for some, as they see things being made public, and surely it doesn’t matter who reads it. But… that’s not really how it goes. In my life, I try to put a smile on as I soldier on through whatever the day throws at me. Inside, I may be falling apart, but I don’t want people to see it. I always feel like my mental health issues makes me a burden on others, so I don’t want them to know. That way people don’t feel pressured into being nice, they are being nice because they want to, not because I’m not right in the head. And when these people I share my daily life with can read what I really feel, I feel like I have let them down. I mean, surely I should be able to talk to folk, right?

So, sometimes it is easier to bury my head in the sand. Pretend things are okay, when they aren’t. It’s not perfect. But, it can get me through times where I don’t have the strength to deal with questions about things that I don’t know how to put into words. That’s what writing helps me do, sometimes, put what’s in my head into words that (kind of) make sense.

2018

Whoops

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.

2018

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.