Something New

Everyone has moments in life, where they go from the top of a hypothetical ladder, only to then end up at the very bottom of another. The most common example of this, happens during childhood. When you are one of the oldest kids in Primary School, to start as the youngest again, when you go to High School. There is nothing bad about that, it is just something that sometimes happens. It can through everything up in the air, and make you reconsider quite a lot in your life.

I happens in adulthood as well. For example, I worked in a department at my work for over 3 years, I was settled, it was a really nice atmosphere and work was fun. But last week, I was moved to another department. There was no major changes, even my shift patterns stayed the same, the only thing that changed was the process I now had to do. And as easy going I tried to be about the whole situation, I couldn’t help feeling a little hard done by. Like, the whole ‘why me’ feeling, with thoughts of ‘what did I do wrong’. Being most experienced in one area, just to be moved back down to the least experience, is not a particularly nice feeling. And it is a feeling that is quite hard to get out of.

But, like a lot in life, these situations become easier if we have a better mindset. So rather that focusing on what I am missing out on, I am trying to shift focus onto what I am gaining. For example, the work situation, yes it is a pain, but it is also a new experience. Which in a workplace which is as ever-changing as mine, it’s only a good thing to be as experienced as possible. So, maybe that is a good thing. Another good thing is, that despite how anti-social I can be sometimes, I do like meeting new people. I like to be on good terms with people, used to be quite obsessed with it, actually. So, I try to be nice, and helpful, so that folk thing nicely of me. I have already met so many nice people at my work, and have created friendships that will last for years to come. Which is a good thing.

The hard thing is, that as well as staying focused on the good stuff, I also have to ignore the negativity. Some of the people who moved departments with me, really hate it. Like, all they do is complain. And when you are already struggling to be positive, someone being overly negative isn’t really that great. I remember my first job, being told during training that the mood of people you encounter, is contagious. It was all based on how if you smiled at a customer, they’d smile back, and carry that small positive action to someone else, and make the world a wee bit nicer. But the same happens with negativity, if the first voice you hear in the morning is ‘I can’t be bothered, this place is shit’, then that thought infiltrates your perception on what happens that day.

I guess, the main thing is to keep going with a smile if you can. It is hard, but it makes so many things easier. Well, maybe not everything, but even if it makes one hour of a day slightly easier, it is worth it.

Running On Empty

I.Am. Exhausted.

And when I get like this, I can be like ‘a bear with a sore head’. Which is a bit annoying, when I have had a really good mental health week, apart from today. I am nipping at people, and have absolutely no focus on anything, and it is all because I had 2 hours sleep last night.

I will not go into the reason why I got hardly any sleep, but it happened. And it has seen a bit of a bad turn happen. I have been crying at work and had a panic attack in the toilet. I just felt so tired, and the only thing running was my mind. It was a really hard day. Actual work was okay, but 10 hours on nothing is hard. I just wanted to sleep.

Now it’s done though. And whilst I could still sleep for the whole weekend, I got through it. Barely. But I did. And getting through a bad, does make me feel better. Well, I’m still exhausted, but I don’t feel as useless. It would have been easy to phone in sick, or go home early, but I didn’t. That is a good thing.

Although, I may pass out completely when I do eventually get to my bed.

So Long 2016

Everywhere I look, there are people condemning this past year . Blaming the high number of celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks and political changes on 2016. Which is crazy. Yes, bad stuff has happened, but bad things always happen. The 24 hour news coverage has been very good at showing us bulletins with no ‘good news’ story.

Well, I am going against the common ‘2016 is shit’ thoughts, and think that this year has been one of the best year I have had in a very long time. Which fits in with my main aim for the year, to make 2016 better than 2015. 

The big thing was my mental health. I took a step back from a lot of things, like relationships, trying to work on illustrating things and oversharing online. I spent time think about my anxiety and what happened when I had panic attacks. I started the process in 2015, but I feel like I came a long way in 2016. I still have panic attacks and things,  but there is a lesser chance of them ruining my day or week. Although I have still got a lot of work to do on my mental health, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted already. 

This has given me more confidence. For the first time since I started at my work, I put myself forward for being an instructor, which is showing people how to do the job. I gave tours of the warehouse I work to large groups of new starts. I joined a group of associates which tries to make things better for everyone at my work. It feels like I can make a difference and help people. It feels good doing things I would never have done before. I feel like, for once in my life, I actually have a place somewhere that fits. 

I also decided at the start of the year that I would try to learn to drive again. I had driving lessons when I was younger, but the lessons went on for too long and I lost my confidence. So I started my lessons again, and it went a lot better. In the summer I passed my theory test, and in November I passed my practical. Driving felt like something that was sitting in the background, just another thing I didn’t finish. But now, it’s done. I passed, I just need to get a car now. 

So yes, 2016 has been a successful year for me. It has still had it’s bad points, don’t get me wrong, but I am not giving that my time. I am focusing on the ‘good stuff’. And it really helps. I can’t remember the last time where I sat at New Year, and felt happy about the previous 12 months. It’s a long overdue change. 

Owning The Day

It was the first day back at work for me today. The start of another week, where it takes every piece of energy you have to get out of your bed. I know that if I had the choice, I would just stay at home all the time, and do what I want. And if everyone was to act honestly, most of them would admit the same. But, we need to work, to get the money, to live a life.

Today was one of those days. I must have put my alarm to sleep at least 10 times, and I was still in my bed. But, I got to the stage where if I didn’t get up, I would have been late for work. I just didn’t know how to get motivated.

So once I started moving, I tried to give myself a bit of a pep talk. The idea was to try and make the day my bitch. Take charge, for a change. And as silly as it seems, now I am reading it back, it worked. I got the energy I needed to get up and go to work. I even ended up being quite happy most of the day, and was super productive.

Now, there are times where talking to yourself won’t make things better. I know that from experience. But sometimes, it is good to be able to give yourself the required kick up the arse to get stuff done. One person who inspires me to get moving is Superwoman. Not the superhero, the youtuber. She has a channel on Youtube, which she has talked a lot about ‘hustling’, and just being her own cheerleader and how it is not as shameful as you may think.

Try Hard

The last post I made here, I was in a bad place. I was feeling lonely, and a bit lost. Which is becoming normal, unforunately. My moods have become more like a see-saw. Just ups and downs, over and over again. 

I have worked hard to try and deal with the ‘downs’, almost like having a cushion on my imaginary see-saw to help the downs not feel so bad. There are times the ‘cushion’ doesn’t work, and i feel like I am back at square one. But that is something that will change in time. I mean, the difference in my own head this year, just by changing how I deal with the crap, is crazy. I am trying to help myself more, rather than just wallowing. I say trying, because sometimes things do get the better of me. 

And it is times where I do feel my lowest, that I am grateful for things like work. Whilst I may complain about my job, the routine, and the feeling I can make a difference does help. It helps me find purpose. Doing a single task, can help take my mind away from whatever mental roller coaster my brain is taking me on. 

It does take a lot of effort, a lot of work and hell of a lot of trying, to get to this stage. I do still get days, where I don’t want to deal with anything at all, so lie in bed most of the day, which is sometimes helpful. But having something that I can’t get out of, like work, does motivate me. And, yes, i do have to think that I can’t get out of it, because if I don’t, it becomes way too easy to phone in sick. 

But, that has taken time to learn. That whilst having a day off may seem to help, it doesn’t actually solve anything. I still feel crap, and the thoughts, that caused me to pull a sickie, are still in my head. The quickest way to deal with them, is to just muddle through. Try and do something. Try and make yourself feel better. By trying to do that, it has helped me understand more about myself and my mental well-being. 

Which can only be a good thing.

Positive Change

So we are in February already. Usually the quick passing of time gets me quite depressed, but not at the moment. I feel like 2016 has got off to a fantastic start so far. Even with the few road bumps that have occurred.

I feel like I have always been quite open in here, as I have attempted to deal with the mental health issues that I experience. I spent 2015 trying to learn how to deal with bad stuff that happened to me. The biggest problem, is that for years I have struggled at looking past anything negative. I was upset about things that had happened, and worried about things that could have happened in the future. It’s really so stressful.

So, I have put a lot of effort into try to focus all my energy on making every day, better that the day before. Which is hard, almost like re-training yourself. Which is hard, because it sometimes feels like society trains us to be overly negative, just by the tone everything is. Sometimes, it feels like we are expected to be overly critical of ourselves, something that starts at school. We are taught, or I feel like I was, that I could work my arse off, but sometimes it wasn’t good enough. And, I think that has bred the anxiety that has caused me issues as I’ve grown up.

But, by focusing on now, and doing the things that satisfy me, I have been a lot happier. If something bad happens, I’ll still feel bad about it, but I’ll also do something that makes me happier. This helps move my focus on from what is negative. And by that simple thing of changing my focus, I stop thinking about whatever bad thing has happened.

I talk about it a little more in the video below

Finding the positive, out of the negative

So I am sick. Again. But this time the headaches got so bad, I couldn’t even look at my phone or the TV. So last night was spent in bed, with nothing on to irritate my headache even more. Which worked till I had to cough. The coughing has been the main problem that I have had over the last few months. But some new medication, will hopefully put a stop to it.

The one thing that feeling this lousy has done, has challenged my new positive mental attitude outlook for 2016.  Because when you feel like death warmed up, the last thing you want to do is be happy about it. The best thing I could do was try and do stuff to make me feel better. Most of these things were done as I started to feel a little better.

  1. Cleaned up a little, because of my lack of energy, everything has just been tossed to the floor. So I put all the used tissues and such into the bin. Which helped me feel a bit useful, because I hate feeling like I can’t do anything.
  2. Watched The Hills. I always have held a soft spot for the first few seasons of The Hills, and it’s one of the few reality TV shows I can stand. So once my headaches started to calm down, I plonked on The Hills season 1, and enjoyed some mindless TV.
  3. Breathing in steamed water. Was recommended for me to help clear out my blocked up sinuses. And it actually has helped me feel better. It helped me breath easier, and also calmed down my coughing. For a little while, at least.
  4. Listening to Spotify. Not too loudly, but music is something that always helps relax me.

It is going to take at least a few days for me to feel better. I am currently sitting on my bed, coughing every few minutes and running a temperature. But, I came online to check for a few emails I was waiting for, and felt like writing some nonsense.

I suck at being sick.

Deep Breathing

Uh oh!

Something has gone wrong, and I can feel the panic starting to rise in my stomach. What have I done wrong? How could I let this happen? I’ve let people down? And when this happens, there is not one iota of possiblity that can focus on anything else. 

How do I react? I start getting cranky. If my work is stressing me, giving me more work doesn’t help my stress. I just go into a spiral where I just make myself feel worse and worse. So I take it out on the people around me. Which is unfair, because it isn’t their fault I am panicking. And then, I feel worse because I took it out on an innocent bystander. 

Yep, quite a mental hole to get yourself out of, if I say so myself. 

But I do sometimes get myself out of these blocks, which does make me feel better. A lot of the time, I don’t actually do anything. It is just the ‘state of utmost panic’ passes. No reason why it comes and goes, it sometimes works like that. Very unhelpful. Most of the time though, I have to actively seek to get myself going again. 

I do that with a lot of effort and patience. I may take a ‘time out’ and go for a walk somewhere, away from where I am working. Being away from my work area, does automatically relax me. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to breathe. I know it’s a cliche, but it is repeated so much because it’s true. 

But the best thing to calm me down, is to try and talk to those around me. It’s probably just the distraction, but when I am in work, and I can’t just run off, it does help a lot. I work with some funny and great people, and I can always find someone who will make me laugh. It helps so much. Just a few minutes of light-hearted conversation can completely change my mood, and I can return to work with a completely fresh mind. 

It’s nice sometimes, to find a way around the blocks your brain puts in the way. And the more solutions you find, the easier it gets to get on top of those mental health issues that so many of us deal with. 

Good, Good

I don’t say it a lot, but today was a good day. A good, productive and fun day. 

I woke up with the attitude that I was going to focus on my work. Because sometimes I feel distracted, and that makes me feel a bit anxious about being useless. So I woke up rather enthusiastic to get my working week started. So I just decided to take the day as it comes, and live in the moment. Which is rare.

My issue with anxiety is that I tend to focus mostly on what’s going on around me, what could happen next and what’s gone wrong previously. And I worry. I worry that I’ll make the same mistakes, and that I’ll disappoint someone. Don’t ask me who I’m going to disappoint, I don’t know. It’s just a feeling I get. 

I am trying to live more positively, as a rule. Whilst, it doesn’t happen a lot, I feel I should celebrate when it does happen. The more positive and happy feelings I can create about having a successful day, hopefully the more it can happen. It might be some kind of motivation to help me get my life on some kind of track where I’d be more satisfied in general. Hopefully. 

Let It Be 

Today I got really angry about something I had no control over. If things don’t ever go the way I plan, I get really irritable. I don’t like blaming other people for why things go wrong, when I can blame myself. Which sounds silly, but that is how my brain works. 

But… things need to change.

It is not good for a person to believe that, every success and failure in the world around them, is entirely their fault. But that’s what anxiety does to me. And the worst thing is, that like all mental health issues, there is no quick fix. You have to spend time ‘re-training’ yourself, to change how you think about things. And that can seem the impossible task.

Maybe, a good idea, is trying to relax a bit more. Make sure that everything I do is the best I can do. Whatever happens around me, doesn’t really matter. Not when noticing ‘that’ makes me so aggitated. I have to try and learn that what happens happens, I can only do what I can. And if what I do is the best I can achieve, then there is no need to be angry if things don’t work out. 

Deep breaths and visions of a calm blue ocean are required I think.