So this week is Mental Health Awareness week and I have been pondering on whether to write this blog post or not for a couple of days now. Every one seems to be talking about mental health, which is a good thing as it breaks the stigma surrounding it. However, I was still dubious about writing this as everyone seems to be suffering these days with some form of mental illness and you have to question whether people do it as an excuse or for attention. I have questioned my own mental health lately as it seems to have deterioated. And it’s hard to admit that as when I look at my life objectively, there’s no reason whatsoever why I feel the way I do.
A couple of weeks ago I was driving to work and my car hit a pot hole. It just sent me into meltdown and to have a mild panic attack. Which seems ridiculous, but sometimes you can’t control the way you feel or why things happen. I carry around a lot of guilt for the way I feel sometimes. I know there are millions of people out there who are worse off than me, so why do I feel so low? I want to hide away and just sleep until it goes away some days.
I feel like at the minute I’m a manic depressive. Sometimes I’m in a ridiculously good mood and others, I’m raging, I’m upset and I feel so low that I just get into bed the minute I walk through the door. I know life is about balance, but lately, my emotions have been taking the piss! Having anxiety and such low self esteem is exhausting and it makes you hate yourself. You put yourself under a lot of pressure and constantly berate yourself for things that, in reality, are fine and you have done a good job. I constantly put myself down and I know that it’s one of the worst things I can do. It’s so silly as I would never say the stuff I say to myself to anyone else as it’s so mean and horrible. However, when I’m saying it about myself, it seems to be true and that I should change who I am. That’s how the anxiety makes me feel.
I saw a brilliant tweet a couple of weeks ago and I saw the amount of people that engaged with it and it’s comforting to know there are so many people out there who feel the same.
My boyfriend totally gets how I feel and is so kind, caring, loving and patient with me, particularly when I most need it. And sometimes I’m a total bitch. When I feel anxious and tired I am very irritable and get frustrated easily. It’s more frustration with myself but I struggle to manage my emotions. I just need him to cuddle me and tell me it’s ok to feel like that and it’s not a feeling that lasts forever. Once I’ve had a little meltdown over it, I’m usually ok, but I feel tired and fed up of feeling that way.
Right now I’m sitting here on my own writing this as I felt I needed to be alone. What I have realised over the last week or so that if I feel like everything is overwhelming, it’s ok to just take myself to bed and watch a TV series that I’ve seen a million times before as it’s comforting, or to have a nap because I feel exhausted for no reason. I have recently moved and I adore the cottage we’re in. It’s like something out of a quintessential English TV program, but I have no friends who live on the island and some days I feel so isolated and that I see the same three faces all week which doesn’t help me at all! Then because I feel so anxious, I cancel plans I have made because going out seems like the worst thing to do in the world.
It’s hard to get yourself out of a negative mindset. Really hard. I am such an overthinker and I create situations in my head, then stress about them. I literally do not help myself. I am a very frustrating person, I annoy myself, so I must do my boyfriends head in! I usually have a to-do list on the go, but sometimes the thought of doing something just seems too much to handle and I just ignore it and let the list grow. I know that if I want something in my life to change, I can’t rely on anyone other than myself to do it. But, when you feel tired and weak, it’s hard to find the motivation.
I struggle to express myself vocally. I will just say “I’m fine”, or “there’s nothing wrong” when there clearly is. My boyfriend knows me inside out so I don’t know why I even bother trying to pretend! I just feel like my mouth glues itself shut and words refuse to come out. I feel like it’s a weakness to admit that something is wrong – especially when you struggle to understand what is going on yourself. I don’t want anyone to look at me differently, as I’m good at putting on a front in front of people I work with. They would never guess that before going in to work I had cried three times and had a meltdown before getting in my car and managing to get through the day. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. It’s a reminder that it’s ok to just feel what you feel. You can’t control emotions. And I find I can be more honest, open and eloquent in writing. It’s cathartic writing something like this. I should keep a journal really as I find this such good ‘therapy’. I feel like my mind has vomited onto my laptop but it has made me feel calmer and less wound up.
One of my favourite shops is paperchase and about a month ago I noticed that they were selling ‘The Anxiety Journal’. I’ve linked it as I think it’s amazing.
It’s so simple and not overwhelming. It’s not pages and pages of reading and someone ramming their opinion down your throat. It’s like a self-help guide, but makes you look at things so objectively and from different angles. It’s also amazing for helping you to look at yourself more positively, even if you think they are negative. I would definitely recommend it. I would also recommend talking to someone. Even if you do what I do and write it in a WhatsApp!
Thanks for reading this random ramble.