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!

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.

Mental Health

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).

Mental Health

Anxiety; how it comes and goes

I have spoke previously about my experience with anxiety, and how it affected by life, but has not affected me much for the past year or so. Ironically this week I have had moments on intense anxiety. No way near as bad as it use to me. But enough for me to notice it affecting me.

Last week I was at work, where I suddenly noticed how much my heart was beating, the room felt very hot, my hands were shaking. Thoughts in my head started appearing that I am dying. The beginnings of an anxiety attack. A colleague noticed, but I was able to distract myself as work was relatively busy. I find distraction helps me a lot. The more I think about it ,the worse it gets. I noticed that all week I’ve been physically anxious, which is harder to cope with for me. I feel mentally okay, so why is my body betraying me? I’m not sure what to do, as I feel it’s a physical symptom? Suggestions welcome!

Feeling this attack last week made me realise how well and calm I feel in general, which is huge! I used to feel this amount of anxiety on a daily basis. (How I coped, I do not know). This week has been mentally exhausting, but I feel well still. I hope this feeling doesn’t stay.

Am I suffering with anxiety? Does a diagnosis last a life time? Is this a disorder that comes and goes? I’m not interested in putting a label to how I feel, but it’s still interesting. I wonder if I’ll always have anxious tendencies.

Mental Health

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!

Mental Health

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!