It's that time of year again; when our newsfeeds are inundated with resolutions, positive quotes and thoughts of the future. I doubt I'm alone in my dislike of such a time. I find it lonely, overwhelming and it leaves somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. Naturally, some of that can be linked to such a dark time three years ago when everyone elses positivity only highlighted the bleak sadness which I was wrapped in but it isn't just that. I love the build up to Christmas, the buzz, the fairy lights and the love that comes from spending time with your favourite people, even if it usually winds up being absolutely exhausting, it's worth it. Once that is over though, it feels as if your life has spun slightly out of control; routine is a thing of the past and everyone is looking towards the future. Call me a pessimist but I have quite a strong dislike for the social ritual that is making New Years resolutions, I know I will never keep them and so prefer to save myself the disappointment and not make any in the first place. I also find it utterly terrifying that we are again at the beginning of a new period. I am constantly telling myself to avoid thinking about the past as I only get bogged down and trapped in it. To avoid crippling anxiety, I try to avoid thinking about most of the future as that frightens me into submission and makes the whole process obsolete. I like to hope I'm not the only one who feels this way and that at least one of you will join me in raising a glass to the now. 2014 may be over and 2015 may be just beginning but I am toasting today: a day that I have made it through despite fear and self loathing, despite tiredness and stress, a day that has contained countless feelings and a day almost at a close. And that is where I shall end these ramblings for today.
I got told something today that worried me slightly: I was informed and pushed slightly towards getting my medication on repeat prescription. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the need and use for prescription and I see how convenient it must be for other people. However, to me, it seems really unhealthy to be advising someone to use repeat prescriptions for antidepressants. It feels kind of like admitting defeat and accepting that you will be on this medication for ages and there is no need to speak to anyone about it and that seems so disgusting to me. If I'm not getting even a little bit of contact time with even my GP every month, how am I supposed to let things out and discuss positive ways to progress through life, let alone managing to see a counselor or therapist again. It is just another huge negative strike against the health service in my life. The treatment I have received in the last 6+ months is just pathetic and dire. It frightens me as well because I am someone who is happy to accept that I need quite a lot of help and I would like to access as much as possible and yet I am being shunned and slipping through the net. How must people feel who are trying to sum up the courage to ask for help, if they finally managed and received this kind of treatment, I wouldn't blame them if they thought "what's the point?" and attempted to carry on alone and maybe struggle and give up. It is a frightening and saddening thought.
Have any of you received similar treatment? I have seen people discussing it on Twitter and it seems to be a national problem and it really distresses me.
I have so many drafts of half finished posts at the moment and a notebook I am filling with ideas. And yet here I am, starting another post... But I suppose that's what "lifestyle blogging" is all about. Today I am trying to pick up on the mindfulness practices I started earlier this year during CBT. The Little Book of Mindfulness is so perfect for throwing in your bag and reading on the go as well as pondering over and writing post it notes to leave yourself around the house. As anxiety lives in the future and depression in the past, the present is something I am rarely in and so I am vowing to myself and you reading this, that I will make a more conscious effort to be in the "now" as much as possible. So far, it's quite inspiring and has lead me back to my trusty 642 Things To Write About book.
Have you ever tried to practice mindfulness? What inspires you on a day to day basis?
I saw this on Postsecret this Sunday and it really struck a chord with me:
Anti-depressants have cropped in conversation with a few people in the past few months and it's a debate that is always on going. I know some people see it as an easy way out or something that is unhealthy and not all that useful and that's fair enough if it's your view. I can comprehend that in some cases they may mask the bigger problems and if people aren't willing to tackle things then they may not be the best route forward. However, to me, I see them as the difference between being here and not being here; my therapist referred to them as a safety rope that is there to help me as I deal with things and continue on with my life. My mental state is not stable enough for me to go about my life unmedicated. Even with the tablets I take, I have mood swings and emotions that are frightening in their strength and toxicity and so without them, I would be in no state to deal with them, quite frankly, I would have lost the battle way before now. Going back to the secret above, recently I have been in one of my more pensive frames of mind, overthinking absolutely everything about myself and my life and in doing so, naturally I consider my mental health. As I have said, I am in no position to consider coming off my meds and going about life as usual because I'm incapable, however I occasionally feel like my tablets are numbing me more than I would like, taking away my ability to feel things as deeply as I would like. I have always been an emotional person, I can get so excited and passionate about the smallest, more random things and sometimes I feel like I've lost that. Basically, I feel exactly the same as whoever created this postcard. That in itself is slightly reassuring because one of the huge characteristics of depression is making you feel completely isolated and to know that someone else feels this way is like a bit of a glow in an otherwise dark place. Although it does stir up the mentioned debate of pros and cons of antidepressants. Sorry if this is coming across a bit garbled, it is a huge ongoing debate within my brain and all very dependent on my mood on a certain day and obviously depression itself can cause the numbness and inabilty to live and feel as you sometimes desire, it may not always be linked to medication.
Following on from my last post and mental health awareness, I'd love to hear from any of you, your views on living with mental health issues and taking medication. Let's keep the conversation going...
But I'm back. And I'm vowing to carry on with this little fragment of the internet because despite neglecting it a bit recently; it still means a hell of a lot to me.
Today as you may or may not know is World Mental Health Day. Obviously this means a lot to me; not only because of my own battles but because of those I love who continue to fight and all those affected who feel alone or hopeless or wanting to give up. The stigma that surrounds mental health is a frightening thing; we shun those who we deem "different" from the norm. But can you seriously define to me what "normal" is? We are all humans and we all fight our battles and there is no doubt in my mind that we should all support one another in those battles, no matter what they are. Just because something is strange or scary to you, like mental health seems to be to many, doesn't mean it is wrong or something to be ignored. So many people are affected by depression, anxiety, addiction, self harm, eating disorders and all that comes with them and yet we shun them instead of helping. It takes only the smallest bit of effort to make a difference in someone's life, a little "hey, how you doing?" text; a smile; a hug; let them know they are not alone and you are already taking a step towards ending the stigma.
These past few weeks have been a bit weird for me, I'm back in the mindframe of depression that has me feeling everything in the most extreme ways: I go from ecstatic and laughing to catastrophically anxious and afraid. I can feel so happy for a while and before I know it, I'm back in that dark place where my self worth is non-existant and I don't see the point in my life. When these extremes disappear, I'm left with a crushing numbness that I wouldn't wish on anyone, I yearn to feel anything, even sadness just so that I know I'm still alive. However, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people that support me whether I am irritatingly hyper or infectiously exhausted and I thank my lucky stars for that every day. It breaks my heart to know that there are people suffering in silence because they are afraid of judgement or diagnosis. That shouldn't be the case. This needs to end and if my words can reach even one person, I'll take that because every single thing matters.
So if you do one thing today, make sure it is letting someone you care about know you are there no matter what.
Although I really hate missing people, it is something I am used to because of being blessed with so many wonderful pals. Having your best friends over 300 miles away for the majority of the year does not make friendship easy but somehow we cope and that makes the times we get in summer be really freakin' awesome. Here are some of my favourites and the times we have had this summer...
Although I am usually a simple dresser who sticks with basics and the usual statement piece, I am a firm believer in a few good accessories. Here are my favourites this summer:
My little tan backpack from Italy was such a great find and I haven't used a different bag since, I love it. It's the perfect size and everything. (The Blue Peter badge is my dads.)
Not just a summer time accessory, but most of the time, I have a pair of Vans on my feet. I just love them too much. Here are my current favourites.
And finally jewellery; I am a total magpie and love anything silver, but the necklace I have been reaching for lately is a little different; handmade by the beautiful ladies at Bestow Jewellery, it is the perfect accessory for a summer by the sea.