Mental Health

A positive mental health update?

I doubt anyone has paid particular attention but my posts have been more book related than the usual mental health focus. This is mainly because I find it harder to talk about my mental health when I am well. Is this odd? I think it’s because my mind is not one hundred percent focused on my brain like it is when I am mentally unwell. When unwell it seems to be the only thing I think about. So it’s nice to not be thinking about my brain for once!

Firstly, the biggest aspect that has changed in my mental health is my suicidal ideation. Up until a few months ago, I would often get intense intrusive thoughts about ending my life. They use to be deliberating, then once I began to get better they were hard to deal with, but I was able to get on with day to day life. Currently, I very rarely feel suicidal. After 6ish years of feeling this way, it is a phenomenal change of mind. I thought I would always have suicide in the back of my mind. I’m still not at the stage where I’m 100% confident this won’t be my answer, but it’s definitely getting closer! I can’t describe in words how wonderful it feels to not feel this way. I can actually work on future targets as I now believe I’ll have one. This has bought so many positives in my life. I’m evening changing my college degree in the fall as I feel I’ll have a better future with this option. (Despite making me feel ‘stupid’)

Anxiety has also reduced significantly. It often goes through periods of good and severe, but this is different. When I have anxious thoughts my mind doesn’t react in the way it used to. I have exams coming up soon, and I feel I am going to be able handle them in a healthy way. (post coming soon) My day job is also more manageable, I’m no longer plagued with thoughts that I’m not good enough and my colleagues feel I’m letting them down. This has not only improving my day at work, but also the nights before where I would previously be anxious for the next day.

This isn’t an advice post, or anything in particular. I just wanted to write down my current mental health. A positive mental health update is a new thing for this blog, and I hope there is more to come!!

I have planned a few other mental health related posts, including:

-How I’m doing CBT – Knowing when to take a break studying – Mental illness in work and education/ how to go about it – my experience of ‘forced’ recovery- & many more! I’m also open to suggestions on posts, and will answer any mental health related questions!

Mental Health

I’m stuck in quasi recovery?

I’ve been very open about my mental health on this account. One of the reasons why I started my blog was to write anonymously and honestly about my mental health. Not only in the hope that it will help myself but on the slim chance in can also help someone else, even just making you feel less alone. I made this blog anonymous so I could literally talk about anything and everything, no matter how deep or personal. (If you do have any questions you’ve always wanted to know,but felt too intrusive, you can always comment or email me. I will answer anything!). I openly write when I am well, as well as very low.

I’ve reached a point in my journey, where I feel I’ve been for a good few months. I’m OK. I’ve reached a stage where I genuinely feel I want to be alive, now and for the future. Even when I am riddled with intrusive thoughts of suicide, I now have the thought in the back of my mind that suicide is not what I really want. This little voice in the back of my mind gives me the strength to realize these thoughts are temporary and irrational. This is HUGE for me, as for the past 5 years I genuinely believed suicide was my only option. I really needed support when I felt this way, as I believed my thoughts.

This revelation that I want to stay here is confusing. It hasn’t miraculously made the intrusive thoughts or low moods go away. Therefore, when I feel this way, I really have to work through them, which is very mentally draining. It has also given me a new anxiety for the future, as I now see the importance of my degree, and my part time job. These are understandable , as these are ‘normal’ life stressors. Despite this, I do not have the skills to cope with this.

I’m doing amazing in the sense I want to stay alive or rarely get thoughts of self harm anymore. I don’t have sick days at my part time work, I hand my assignments for my degree on time and get good grades. I sleep and eat well. (coffee and cake is life) I do and have planned so many fun activities. Yet I’m not ‘better’. Everyday is still a struggle for me, despite the appearance that I have my shit together. This is hard, so very hard. Am I going to burn out? Is it just stress that will naturally go away?

A niggling in my mind is telling me I need professional help to healthily work through all of these emotions. I haven’t been open about my suicidal thoughts or self harm when previously in therapy. My biggest fear in life is being sectioned, so find being in the presence of psychiatric professionals very uneasy, and lack trust to share these thoughts. Should I work through these whilst I’m in the best place I’ve been?

I’m overwhelmed and confused but I’m genuinely okay.

Mental Health

How I manage anxiety at work

If you’ve been following my journey for a while you’ll be aware that I suffer with anxiety. It ranges from severe, to periods where it’s near non existence. I don’t have particular triggers, it just seems to fluctuate between good and bad. I’m studying for a degree currently, so only work part time. Here is a few tips that help me when I feel anxious/panicked in the work place.

  1. Distractions: This is the best way for me to prevent having an anxiety attack. I need to be distracted from my thoughts, otherwise I’ll go into overdrive. It’s naturally easy when my work place is busy, it’s simply too much rush to give any attention to the symptoms I start experiencing. If it isn’t busy, I distract myself by finding a task to complete that takes my focus.
  2. Recognising my physical symptoms: I sometimes get anxiety attacks that are more physical than mental. I can be mentally calm, but still get deliberating symptoms. When this happens I avoid certain things during my work hours, such not drinking caffeine and wearing comfortable clothes.
  3. Ice: It may seem odd but when I am very anxious I like putting an ice cube on my left wrist. It brings me to my senses, and really helps with dissociation that sometimes occurs with anxiety.
  4. Being open: This one is really hard for me, but one I have started using. I let my manager know, and they’re always supportive. I can go outside or sit down for a couple minutes.
  5. Lavender roll on: I think this is a placebo for me. But I often roll lavender essential oil on my pressure points as it’s known for calming. ( added benefit as perfume)
  6. Reassurance: It’s okay to feel anxious. I have to constantly tell myself that it’s okay to feel this way, and my colleagues don’t think I’m terrible at my job because of this. I’m so grateful I’ve got a positive work environment and that I’m well enough to cope with a job!

These are just a few little things that I do to help myself feel less anxious whilst at work. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them down below!

Creative segment

Questions from my readers?? Leave in comments.

I often get questions on my posts and emails so thought I would compile them altogether and do a ‘Q&A’ style blog post. (Probably put out next week)

Leave your question in the comments and you’ll get a shout-out when I put the post out. (Please state if you don’t want this,and I’ll put the comment as anonymous)

Questions can include anything!! Whether they are about me personally/mental health,book related,random or advice! I’m open to literally anything! (Helps that my blog is anonymous hehe)

I’ll be deleting this post after a little while, and keeping note of the questions. You can also email if you prefer.

Mental Health

Current update on my mental health

I’ve had a little bit of a hiatus and this is mainly because I’m in the middle of a blip. I thought I was doing horrendous but as pointed out from my partner I’m managing well. Despite my current brain, I’ve somehow kept going. I’m still at work, I’m still meeting my degree deadlines. This in itself is showing me how far I’ve come.

Thoughts to self harm have returned. I know I’ll stay safe, it’s just a matter of rationalising and waiting for them to pass. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to, I’m just aware I shouldn’t. It’s mentally exhausting trying to get through them. I haven’t cut myself in over 5 years, and the majority of that time the thought to harm myself hasn’t been present, so it’s a little hard that they’ve returned after so long.

Worthlessness is playing a huge part in my life currently. I’m finding it difficult to see why I should carry on doing all the things I am. I don’t want to engage with anyone as I don’t want to be a burden. I want to go without it affecting anyone. I rationally know this isn’t possible. I don’t even want to leave. I love my partner so much that it’s worth staying alive just to spend time together. I don’t want to burden him. I feel incredibly guilty and worthless that he has to deal with me. He deserves the world.

I feel guilty about the space I’m taking up. I don’t know what I currently should do. I know this feeling will pass (I hope) it’s just a matter of getting through. I’m currently home alone for a few days, so this will be testing. I’m annoyed that I’m experiencing this now. I have so much to do, so much to live for. I want to be alive.

I’m okay. I will get through. Just struggling.

Mental Health

Is my journey over?

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

I’m writing this blog post as I’m currently in the middle of experiencing suicidal ideation. I’m having intrusive thoughts of suicide. I don’t feel I can control them. It’s distorting my rationale. I’m not at risk to myself,I know I do not want to go.

It’s difficult hearing your brain tell you to leave. It’s difficult believing your true self that this isn’t what you want. Whom do I trust?

I’m safe.

Knowing I don’t want to die doesn’t reassure me. What if my brain takes over completely? I’m not ready to say goodbye.

I’ve felt this way many a times before. Only a few weeks ago I was in a similar situation yet here I am,having had a good month.

It’s confusing being happy and yet also suicidal.

Reassuring myself that this feeling is temporary. (Not because my life will end,but because the thoughts will calm). Such seriousness should not be met with my sarcasm.

I’ve got through 100% of my suicidal thoughts, statistical I’m great.

Tomorrow will be a new day, and I’ll no longer remember the intensity I am feeling right now.

I’ll be ok.

Mental Health

Education whilst mentally unwell?

This is a topic that is close to me from my past, but also still relevant at the moment. A brief background on myself, I LOVE learning! I know it’s nerdy.. but I genuinely enjoy learning new things, so found the content side of education interesting and enjoyable. (I am referring to education including high school and college/university). I naturally excelled in school, and always planned for further education. I become unwell in high school, but (no idea how) still managed to complete my exams to graduate. I didn’t plan on further education/college/uni as I didn’t plan to be alive that long. Whilst everyone else around me was looking forward to graduating and planning they’re future, I didn’t do a thing..

As you probably know, I’m still here! (I’m aware my humor is poor…). Once graduating high school, I attempted a few weeks of education before having to leave due to becoming very mentally unwell. I was at the stage that I was very suicidal, self harming but I still could see a little glimpse of a future, which prevented me from my planned suicide. This is where I had a year out from all education. It was incredibly hard for me, considering I am education orientated. I felt stupid and worthless for not being in education. I understand I needed the year away, but was so glad to restart college/university.

I didn’t exactly choose to have a ‘gap yea’ but that’s what happened. I don’t regret it. I did need the space and time to focus more on my mental health. It did help, my suicidal ideation decreased , and I combated a whole range of anxiety’s. ( I think I wrote a blog post on how I significantly reduced my anxiety in a year). The year away prepared me for restarting school. I managed to recognize how to prevent becoming overwhelmed, dealing with the feeling of not being good enough and how to manage stress.

I have been at university for a couple of years now, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I am managing well considering my previous mental health decline whilst studying. It has given me a purpose in life. I still suffer with suicidal ideation, but no way near to the same extent. I now recognize they’re intrusive thoughts, and rarely want to act on them.

I took a year out of education for my mental health. I am not ‘behind’. I am alive, and happy, and that is my priority. I am not a failure for not being able to stay in education. I am smart, I will get my degree. But most importantly, I am looking after my mental health.