Opening up about my mental health for the first time..

This is another odd post for me to write about, as I never thought this day would occur anywhere in the near future. This week has been odd.

I hadn’t been having a ‘bad’ week as such. If you read my last post you would know that I have been alone for a few days, which is a difficulty for me. I wrote about how well I was doing at the time, which I was. That wasn’t a lie. Ironically enough, that changed the next day.

I woke up with intense suicidal thoughts. I went to work at my part time job as usual, and thought the distraction would be good for me. I enjoy working, and it gives a good mental distraction. This day, the distraction didn’t come. I could not think about anything else but my thoughts, and this was making it extremely difficult to concentrate. My co-workers noticed this, and repetively asked if I was okay.

As my job does not know about my mental health, I put on a facade and tried to act normal. I couldn’t. My thoughts were too loud. I went outside and tried to compose myself. My colleague followed, and I broke down and told them how I was feeling. I genuinely cannot believe I spoke aloud to someone how I was feeling.

They were very supportive, and tried to challenge my rationale. They did not want to send me home on my own, so I stayed at work, with the support that I could take a step out whenever I needed. I am glad they made me stay. I guess I can recognise it’s best not to be left alone when feeling this way.

I am always comforted by telling myself that these thoughts are temporary and will soon pass. A few hours into my shift, and I was feeling a little better, and reassuring my management I would be safe, I went home.

My manager, as well as the colleague who supported me, both messaged me that evening, making sure I was feeling okay, and reassuring me that they were always there If I ever needed anyone. This made me feeling eternally grateful! And less embarrassed about them knowing about my brain. Every day since this incident, my manager has messaged to check up on me, which makes me feel very supported.

I can’t believe I am okay that others now know about my mental health… But as they said you should never try and cope alone, and that there is always someone who will be there for you. Considering my recent loneliness, this is so lovely to hear. It has come to me, that maybe my brain is wrong, and that I am not worthless and alone, thus would not be best to leave the world.

I am proud of myself for opening up, as it was extremely difficult, and I have been silent about my suicidal thoughts since they began. I am SO grateful for the support I have received, and cannot in words, express how appreciative I am.

I am still trying to reassure myself that it is okay that others know. I will return to work in a couple of days, and seeing them since the incident will be a hurdle… but I’m sure I can jump! I’ll be okay.

I’m actually coping alone?

Firstly, it’s been over a week since I lasted blogged, a rarity for me recently. This isn’t because I haven’t had the words to writes, it’s simply a mix of being busy and moving house and still waiting for the internet to be installed. Combined with the stress of moving house, whilst working part time and still doing my degree (why did I pick a degree which doesn’t have a summer break), my partner has also go on holiday with the other graduates from his degree. He has been gone for a week, considering we spend A LOT of time together, this feels like an eternity.

My partner is often wary of leaving me alone for long periods of time, not because he thinks I won’t get through it, but because he hates to see me struggle. He is aware how well I have been doing the past few months, but thought being in the new apartment alone would be hard for me, as my mental health is largely controlled by stress.

I am actually doing really well! It is half way through the week, and each day I have made 3 homemade, healthy and delicious meals! Not only does it taste super yummy, it’s rewarding cooking nice meals. My beautiful new kitchen brings me so much joy, which has helped!

The only difficulty I have experienced so far is when intrusive thoughts become intense, but I have made the effort to distract myself, and with the new move, it has been fairly easy, with stuff around the house to do! I have written a list of distraction techniques to use for the rest of the week, in case I become overwhelmed!

I haven’t spoke to my partner about my struggles, as I don’t want him to worry, especially as I feel I can currently handle them. I’ve written a mini post it note diary of my days for when we gets back. It’s a good little way to write the positives/ what I have achieved each day!

I am currently in my favourite coffee shop, catching up with all blogs, and downloading some shows to watch while I wait for the wifi to be installed! My partner took the kindle, so I am going to browse the thrift stores and see if there is any books that catch my eye! I’m surprised how well I am coping on being alone, especially at night, but it’s rewarding knowing I am progressing on my own! (let’s hope it lasts the next few days haha)

Introverted and loneliness?

I know that I am an introverted person. I thrive in my own company and productivity. I like being with others but only for short periods of times. I need alone time afterwards. I find it difficult spending a few days with someone, as it’s rare to have down time.

In the past year or so, I have felt lonely, not all the time, but often. This is a fairly unknown feeling for me. I didn’t understand what loneliness meant until last year when this feeling first began for me. It’s friends mostly. I have a great partner, I am so happy with our relationship but I have no friends of my own. My partner has many, who are technically my friends too now? but not really.

I yearn for close friends of my own, but cannot find connections with anyone, and it feels like I never will. We recently had my partners guests stay for a few days, and I’m finally glad to be on my own again. I had a great time, and was nice to spend time together, but I now need alone time to balance out the socializing.

It feels so odd to NEED to be alone to thrive. But always craving friendship and social time with others. How can I want friends when I enjoy my own company so much? Annoying! I guess it’s finding a balance. How without any true friends can I see this happening in the near future.

My colleagues at my part time work often go out with each other outside of work, but I have never been invited. I have been working there nearly a year now. I know I shouldn’t care, but I feel left out when everyone talks about it all day at work, and it’s is hard. It makes me feel like it’s me, or my personality. Maybe I’m the reason why people don’t want to start friendships? Bearing in mind, no one knows about my mental health or my blog, so they’d dislike me even more if they knew about that too.

There are so many aspects of my life which are amazing right now, and I am beyond grateful for that. This makes me feel guilty for feeling lonely or left out. As usual, it’s both sides of my brain with opposing opinions…

I haven’t self harmed in 5 years?

This post is a little difficult for me to write about. Not because I find it hard talking about this subject, but because I no longer resonate with this part of my life; I simply can’t remember ever being in the mindset to harm myself.

TW! As from the title, you can probably tell there is going to be a trigger warning on this post for self harm, especially in the form of cutting, as I shall be mentioning specifics.

A little background; I began self harming around the age of 14. It was a very private part of my life, not a single person knew about it. I thrived of of having this dirty little secret. (looking back, I didn’t see how bad this was at the time) I wore only long sleeves; never took my jumper of at school. I would cut my left arm, and both of my thighs. I would take the blades out of shaving razors and use those. I would never use old ones/ reuse them as I didn’t want to risk infection and thus someone finding out from treatment or stitches.

I would sometimes spray hairspray into the fresh wounds to feel the sharp burning sensation; make it sting more. (my reaction now is what the fuck) I have scars now, it’s been 5 years, and they have improved. They are now thinner, and white in color, no longer red/pink or stick out lots. As I have very pale skin, they aren’t too noticeable from afar. I never wear shorts/have my legs out, but I do wear short sleeve tops now.

I’m not sure if other people notice? I wear a watch on my left wrist, where a lot of the scars are, but they are faint in color now, so I’m unsure if people look/ take that much notice in other people to see them. But I’m not sure, no one has ever mentioned them. I do wear short sleeves at my part time job, I haven’t told them about my mental health, so not sure if they aspect the scars to be from self harm? I’m not sure if the average non mental health educated person would understand/know the signs of self harm?

What do I think of my scars? This differs for me, sometimes I despise them, knowing that they will never disappear from my body, and hate myself for putting that upon myself. I didn’t think at the time how self harming would affect my future. But most of the time I accept them, I don’t often think about them, and thus no longer affects my life.

I’m not exactly sure why I self harmed. Is this normal not to have a ‘reason’? I have blocked/can’t remember this period of my life. I remember feeling numb, so it could have been a way to ‘feel’? I have had intrusive thoughts for around a decade now. They often tell me to end my life (I have many previous posts on my suicidal ideation) so maybe at the time I had intrusive thoughts to harm myself? I’m really not sure, but I guess I will find out in the future? This is probably something I should figure out in therapy, but I don’t think I am in the right stage on my life to begin therapy.

I’ve spoken about how I self harmed, what my self harm scars look like now , how I feel about them and the reasons why I harmed myself. Is there any points I have missed out/anything you would like to know about? I thoroughly enjoy reading comments on my posts. I was going to apologize for the negative posts, but I guess it isn’t, as I haven’t harmed myself in 5 years, that’s and achievement!

Mental health update;

This month is going to be very busy for me, so I thought I would do a current update while I have the time. Mostly, I am great! I have accomplished so much this year, and that is motivating me to keep going, and carry that on!

I am spending a couple of months alone this summer in our new apartment as my partner will be away. I am still a little worried, but am more equipped to cope alone. I have a few extra hours at my part time job which will be a good distraction! I’m not going full time as I feel that would be too much, especially as I don’t get a summer break from studying my degree like most students do. Combined studying and working should keep me busy!

I never thought I would be trusted to live alone for so long, so I must be doing well! I usually eat a lot healthier when alone, which I am looking forward to. I am hoping to try lots of new recipes! We are moving apartments very soon, I can’t wait to organise everything, as well as have my own office!

I am excited, and I think this is contributing to me wanting to keep going. I hope I don’t plummet after I’ve settled in. I’ve started (restarted) a bullet journal which I shall use as a distraction in the evenings if I am struggling. I also have a listography book, and wreck it journal, combined with my bullet journal, I am thinking of making a separate segment on my blog for arty/distractions? I’m am not creative at all, but think it’s a good outlet/ a place to start.

I am still getting intrusive thoughts, but not so frequent. They are still quite intense, but my partner has been there to support. I wish they’d go, but I am ok.

Recently I am really enjoying writing blog posts, I have lots of ideas, and a few pre written. Any posts you’d like I can add to the list. I have taken the pressure of myself, and just posting as and what I enjoy. This post is very rambly, but sometimes that is ok.

Am I high functioning? ;mental health related

This is an odd concept to me and never thought I would publicly be writing about this online but here I am. (Heck, I never thought I would ever talk about my mental health on any platform)

I suffer with mental illness, that is not unknown on my blog, it often changes from severe to mild, but even in my severe stages I have mostly been able to carry on with day to day life. Despite often feeling suicidal, I am still studying a degree, and also working part time. As I am able to do these things, does that make my illness less severe, not even a problem? or is this what high functioning means; has a moderate mental illness but can still function in day2day life?

It is common for those who often feel intense suicidal thoughts/or self harm to have been hospitalized/ gone to the emergency department / inpatient or even sectioned. I have never experienced any of these as I refuse to ,I simply do not want anyone to know. I have survived all this time so I must be ok? Does this make my mental health invalid?

Just to clarify, I haven’t self harmed/ cut myself in 5 years, that is a long time! And I shall never do so again. This is no longer a risk for me. I do still get intense intrusive thoughts of ending my life, and so far have not acted on them/plan to. This doesn’t mean I do not struggle with suicidal ideation. I still have to work immensely hard to get through them and is often the time when I think; do I need support? My biggest comfort is knowing that these thoughts are only temporary.

I am in a well enough place to know my thoughts/illness are illogical, and it’s more of a 2 sided argument. The logical and illogical parts of my brain arguing.

Suicidal intrusive thoughts can be deliberating, and they were for me. But now I am mostly able to carry on with life at the same time as they occur. I had to leave my education when I was a teen to focus on my mental health. Now education is the opposite for me. It’s a distraction and I really enjoy it. My part time job is also a good distraction without too much stress, once I leave a day of work, I don’t have to bring it home with me, which is currently a really good area for me to be in as I’m also doing a degree.

Am I high functioning?

I’m trying to just write my blogs as they spill out of my brain, not reading through/correcting/changing. Just writing authentically. I’m not sure if this is a good idea, or to stick to structured/ to the point posts?

I can’t think clearly when there is mess?

This is a little odd thing for me to write about as every time I try to describe this in real life, it doesn’t quite represent what I am actually trying to explain. The title of this post is very reflective on what I am going to write about haha. It is more of a mental mess than physical, but applies to both. I am a typical ‘neat freak’. I feel uncomfortable when items aren’t in the place they are supposed to be. I thrive on tidiness!

My partner is not a tidy person, and I do not mind this as I get to tidy up after him too, haha. My issue is not just having things in the ‘correct’ place, but to have them out of vision. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a great saying for me! I physically cannot think clearly where there is other things that aren’t needed. For example, a desk. If I want to study, the desk has to be completely empty, as in pens, notebooks, cups or material that is not being used. If I need to use more than one text book, only one can be on the table and open at a time. Otherwise I feel I have to have the content from both books in my mind. Odd, I know.

My main focus of this ‘issue’ is to not have excess ‘space’/memory in my mind cluttered with non useful/ only parts of information. I aim to have only in my head the amount needed, and be confident I am fully in control/fully known the information.

It does and can affect my day to day life. I only allow myself to listen to 3 different artists. I don’t mind too much, but it would be nice to be able to comfortably listen to new music. I have 3 albums on spotify,one for each artist. I have to know all the songs before they go in. Therefore when a new album comes out by one of my artists I have to constantly listen to it on repeat for a few weeks. One of the three artists no longer makes music, therefore this is my most comfortable and relaxing album, as the extent of this space in my brain is already filled.

I could write lots more different ways in which this idea of having mess in my brain affects different things. Would you like me to write about more? Do you also experience this? I’d love to know your opinions. Do you think this is a quirk or an issue?