World Mental Health Day 10/10/2019

As I’m sure you have seen all over social media, today; the 10th October is World Mental Health Day! It’s great that you have probably heard of this as it means awareness is growing. This years theme is Suicide Prevention.

If you follow my blog you would know that suicidal ideation is something I struggle with. Lot’s of posts surrounding this day are displaying the progress they have made with their mental health. I’m currently not doing the best, so cannot feel I can involve myself the same as many others are.

Today I am low, and do not have many words to share. I still wanted to have a post go up, just in case one person didn’t know of today, and now they do. Awareness of every mental illness is important, and not just today. I apologise that I can’t write a lengthy optimistic post about my mental health journey. I’m going to end this mini post ensuring YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am here for ANYONE who needs someone to talk to. (just pop me an email, or press the ‘contact’ page on my blog).

Therapy is inevitable?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you shall know that mental illness and therapy isn’t an unknown in my life.. To say the least! I have attempted multiple forms of therapy, including psychotherapy, CBT, group therapy, online therapy and hypnotherapy. The problem with me is not that the therapy isn’t working, it’s that I can’t stick to it…

This is for a number of reasons, mostly because I find it SO hard and exhausting! This usually ends up with me giving up, and waiting until the ‘right’ time to focus on my mental health. Realistically there will never be a right time. (Unless I deteriorate rapidly, which I can’t see happening again, but logically should be a possibility). It’s either, I’m busy with my degree and part time job or I have lot’s of things planned which means I wouldn’t be able to physically attend weekly. Finance obviously plays a huge role too! But I’m currently in the mindset that I want to travel lots, so am putting my disposable income into that instead… Therapy is very expensive, around $50 a session averagely. As I am back studying a degree, thus am a student, this isn’t the most affordable expense!

What have I tried thus far?- I did online 1-1 CBT with a dr for 6 months, the longest with one person,but it ended due to the dr leaving to open his own business. I really struggled with this news, as it took weeks for me to bond with said dr, and I knew I would have to start from square 1 all over again. It’s a long process! I had hypnotherapy, in a group environment. This is by far the least favourable out of those I’ve tried. I felt like I was the only one in the group who couldn’t relax and benefit from it. Some people just can’t ‘do’ hypnotherapy, which after 2 months, I can say I am one of those! This treatment is mostly used for addiction and anxiety, which I went for stress/anxiety management. I personally feel anxiety is a symptom of my mental health, rather than a condition in itself. So maybe this approach isn’t what I need.

Earlier this year I tried seeing a private therapist outside of a clinic/hospital environment, this was extremely anxiety provoking for me, which I felt I wouldn’t be able to cope with at the time, on top of my life. If (when) I return to therapy, I think this is the route I would take. As it is more relaxed, and I would only be seeing one therapist.

I am (&can) live a normal life despite my mental health. This hasn’t always been the case, and I suspect won’t always be. Therefore, as the title states, therapy is inevitable for me. I haven’t taken any actions thus far. I am in a really good place, which I have been for a couple of months now! So I think I’ll just sail through, as I have been doing so. I do still experience intrusive thoughts of suicide, they are less frequent and thus more manageable! I am trying to be more open when I am experiencing them, and I know how to keep myself safe. I am okay, but I know that a healthier brain is waiting to come inside my head one day!

Having a hard time after feeling great for months (Is this a relapse?)

It is not unknown on this blog that I suffer with my metal health, I have a dedicated section to solely talk about it. As this isn’t something I talk about in real life. I enjoy freely writing about how I am feeling and what I am struggling with, without anyone knowing who is typing these words. I find it comforting that I can talk without worrying people knowing its me.

I often write as and when I am struggling, as it is easier to come across in the correct way as you actively know how you are feeling. I find it harder to write once I am in a good place, as I can’t remember/don’t realise how bad it truly feels. Saying this, I like to reflect on events/ways I have I have felt in the past, to see the comparison on my mindset. Logical thinking compared to the illogical thoughts I had, and how that can change.

This post is written in a ‘in-between’. I have been in a great, a genuine great place for a few months now, which is wonderful. The past week this has changed a little. I’m not in a ‘bad’ place, but can recognise a dip in myself. I am experiencing more intrusive thoughts, that are starting to affect me again. For example, I had intrusive thoughts whilst in the bath tub that lot’s of little snakes would come through the overflow holes, which nearly resulted in a panic attack.

I have also noticed that I have having intrusive thoughts of suicide this week. This has been confusing as I do not want to die, and genuinely enjoy my life. Yet these thoughts are quite powerful, and it’s hard ignore and not feel this way. As of yet, I am still able to do everything, but it’s taking a little more mental energy. I have a busy couple of weeks coming up, so I hope this creates a distraction and doesn’t result in me becoming overwhelmed.

Therefore, here is me not in a bad place but also not doing great. That’s a wrap on my mini update!

How I deal with everyday stress (from a mentally unwell person)

If you are a long time reader, you are aware that I get intrusive thoughts that bring me a large amount of stress. Today I shall not be talking how to deal with this, but with what I call ‘Normal people stress’. FYI I mean no harm using words like ‘normal’, it’s just what I’ve been calling stressors of day to day life.

What do I mean by normal people stress? This involves the inevitable stressors of life that everyone is bound to experience at some point. This can include things like, working too many hours at work, not having enough time to complete all your college work, worrying about finance, making sure the fridge is full/you’re eating often, catching a cold on top of the above. Oh the list could go on for miles. But I’m guessing you get the point now?

As my intrusive thoughts correlate with how stressed I am. I have learnt to recognise the difference between ‘normal people stress’ and ‘irrational stress’. I have mostly learnt to tell the difference between applying my stress/worrysome thought and imaging my partner in the same situation. He is a very level headed and relaxed person, so I trust his judgement. For example, if I have having stressful thoughts that X person is going to get into an accident on their way home, I would think is this something my partner would be thinking/excessively stressed about? Which it wouldn’t be. Therefore, I know this is an irrational stress. Recognising it itself being a irrational thought makes me a lot calmer.

On the other hand, recognising you’re stressed about everyday life doesn’t make everyday life disappear. But for me personally, every day stress can be controlled. This makes it a lot easier to feel relaxed, and reduce the stress around them. Taking examples from above, if I stress about completing all college/university work before deadlines, whilst also working part time. I control this by planning when I shall work. I write a list/time table every month when I get my shifts, and therefore always have scheduled time to study. List making is a game changer for me! (I may be a little obsessed)

I’m not sure I addressed the title of this post… But I just wanted to quickly ramble about how I find recognising the difference between ‘normal’ stress and irrational stress beneficial for my brain! I’m still learning about my mind and self, and recognition is a huge step forward for me!

I’m doing OK?/ Taking day by day

I haven’t done a mental health related post in a while, as I find it easier to write(or type in this case) when I am struggling. So I’m going to make this post a mini update. As I haven’t been struggling as such, I haven’t known what to write about…

I’m thriving in my current living situation, my new apartment is perfect, and I simply adore being here! It even makes me not want to leave the house haha. I have found a good balance between my part time job and doing my degree online. So lifestyle wise, I am doing great!

I have also regained my absolute love for reading! Oh my, I was in the longest reading slump I have ever been in… Multiple months! For someone who aims to read 100 books a year(and has done successfully for the past 5) This was a huge shock for me. I felt lost without my passion for books. Which I guess contributed to my restlessness. I normally delve into a book when I am overwhelmed, and as I didn’t have this outlet, I guess that caused a change in my state. I am so happy to be reading again, and read 7 books last week alone!

I have had a sudden change in mentality around food&body image, which seems to have come out of nowhere. This has triggered many emotions from the past, and I am actively compensating. TW; Part of me is relieved these feelings have returned, as I have felt so unconfident in myself whilst my mind has been ‘free’ from these thoughts the past couple of years. I feel calm that I now have control over my body now ect. The other part of my brain wants to tell me it’s okay to have x BMI or a soft tummy and eat junk food, as life is too short. But the other part of my brain(that has suddenly resurfaced) has become stronger, and I want it to remain this way, so I can feel ‘better’ about myself. Blah blah blah

I am finding comfort in taking life day by day. In the past (&still present) I have found it difficult not to worry about the future, and overwhelm myself into a bad place. Therefore, I have taken the ‘day by day’ approach, and only ‘worry’ about what I am doing ,thinking and feeling on the given day. This has made me less likely to wake up stressed/ overwhelmed by the days ahead. When I am having a hard time with my thoughts, I tell my this is temporary, and ‘this too shall pass’

I am not in a bad place, nor am I doing amazing. I am simply OK. I am content to just be OK for the time being. This is my update, which basically is just saying, I am doing OK!

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)

Suicidal thoughts do not mean I want to end my life?

This is difficult to describe what I am trying to say, so my point of view may not necessarily reflect what I am wanting to explain. I have stopped putting TriggerWarnings on my posts, do you think I should still include one, especially for content on suicide?

I experience intrusive thoughts of ending my life. I am not depressed, and genuinely want to live but the intrusive thoughts can sometimes be so overpowering that they convince me this is my only option. This is difficult to explain to someone that I have having intense thoughts of ending my life,but I don’t want to? I get very overwhelmed. Does this mean I am a danger to myself? I logically know I do not want to die, but sharing I am feeling this way may suggest otherwise.

I have thought of suicide. I have a plan, ‘just in case’. I need this plan to feel secure, my worst fear is having no escape. I will never share my plan, just in case I need it. Although I do NOT plan on using it. I used to have a pile of individual letters to loved ones, in case I was spontaneous and desperate, and didn’t have the time to write. I shredded all these, and don’t plan to do this again.

I now understand that these intense thoughts are intrusive and not my own. I need to work through these thoughts properly someday. But for now,I always ensure I am in a safe place, and inform my partner if won’t affect what they are doing. I usually can carry on with most everyday tasks when I get these intrusive thoughts now, as distraction is key for me! I used to be completely overwhelmed by these thoughts, and couldn’t even talk.

I can’t imagine a future where suicide isn’t an option for me, I just hope I can learn to cope better with these thoughts. Should I be hopeful of a life without these thoughts?

These thoughts do affect my life still. For example; I haven’t learnt to drive, as I never trusted myself to be behind a wheel, in case they occurred and I were to act compulsively. I’m unsure if I would ever behave that way, but I am too afraid to risk it. I don’t plan on getting a driving licence. I now plan to live in a city long term, so having a car isn’t a likely option anyway.

I am not my thoughts. I want to be alive. I don’t know this post went in the direction I intended. If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out! If you need someone to talk to my email address is on my contact page. Comments are welcome. I am open to answering any questions, my blog is anonymous. (will be writing a post on this topic soon)