I am writing this post on Wednesday 10th October and it is World Mental Health Day 2018. Mental health, self care, anxiety, depression, suicide (especially that in young males), talking about your feelings, not talking about your feelings are just a few topics regarding mental health and the stigma surrounding it.
Up until this weekend, I have never really any of my social media platforms (for this blog and personal use) to talk about my struggles with depression and anxiety. I have liked and shared self depricating memes, and vented my thoughts on my ye olde tumblr of yore, but I have never really addressed how utterly sad, overwhelmed and scared I am some days. Some days I just get up (after snoozing my alarm quite a few times), drag myself into the shower and to my wardrobe to get ready, then leave the house in a complete and total daze. It’s like a fog of thoughts: not thinking and completely over thinking at the same time. Other days, I wake up on time, pop my anti-depressants, enjoy my shower and get ready while listening to a podcast, then stroll to the train station, breathing in the fresh morning air and looking forward to ready a chapter of a book during the journey to work.
Up until the end of 2017, I had a lot of days I call “auto pilot days.” Getting up, getting ready, going to work, interacting with people, doing things I enjoy but feeling absoloutely nothing. Or if I did feel anything, I would push it down deep inside and it would only resurface all at once when I was completely exhausted of feeling nothing at all and everything all at once. I started addressing my overwhelming cycle of feelings after the passing of my nan in September of last year. I finally chose to actively do something about this cycle in the December when I started seeing a therapist. This was something that had been recommended to me by GPs but I never felt my problems where “problem” enough to speak to somebody qualified in understanding and helping with feelings.
With the support of my therapist, my boyfriend, my loved ones, and me gals, I made the decision in the summer of this year to take some leave from work. This time off allowed me to grieve, feel, do whatever I felt like, and gave me the space I needed to address a lot of negative things in my life. A lot of days I just lay in bed, scrolling through Instagram and listening to podcasts (Greifcast is a great one for processing a loss). Some days I got up, did loads of activies, got loads of content for this blog, and didn’t feel sad once. Other days I just wanted to get drunk and watch Project Runway, and feel absoloutely nothing.
Since taking that time off I have reclaimed a lot of balance in my life and mentally felt a lot stronger than I did this time last year. I’ve thought a lot about the things I was doing that where to please other people, and gave me nothing. “No more toxic friends, situations or relationships – just Toxic by Britney Spears” was one of the quotes that really sticks out for me. I’ve started reading books again, putting more work into this blog, putting more effort and empathy into relationships, and really stepping back from the things that where making me miserable. For the first time in ages I actually feel like I’m involved and in control of my life, and not just sitting by and letting it happen..
I never thought I’d be using my blog to write about my actual feelings and not just my feelings towards French toast, Full English and the perfect runny egg. But I’m glad I have. If you, or somebody you know, are struggling please take the time to listen to them, do something little to help them, or just let them rant until they’ve got it all out.
Stay woke and practice self care.
I’m in no way at all a mental health professional, I am just sharing my experiences. If you are feeling sad, lost or overwhelmed please do something for you and speak to your GP or the people that are close to you. Samaritians offer help over the phone, text, in person and even post. The number is 116 123.