This plus that equals…. Mental Health
Here’s the latest instalment in my series of posts all about what makes our lives here at home tick. This week is all about Mental Health. Not actually because it is mental health awareness week in the UK but because I am struggling, a lot, and it helps to talk and I think (hope) it helps others to see how normal it is.
On any given day I will be feeling anxious about something. Anxiety is normal for me, and it can be about anything. It’s something I feel 24/7. Even sleep doesn’t free me from anxiety as it permeates my dreams and I’ll awake feeling tense and nervous.
That being said for the most part it is entirely manageable and no one would know that it took me ten minutes to get in the car that morning, a pep talk before making a phone call and three hours of list making and fact checking before I was happy with a trip.
I’m often on the brink of depression, walking a fine line between being absolutely fine and plunging head first into something I can’t control. It’s something I’ve suffered with since I was a young teen and something I am always aware of and am fully aware will never go entirely go away. For the most part though I am fine and I’m just aware of myself and watching for triggers.
Talking of triggers, I am really good at knowing what is good for me and what isn’t.
I’m not great with change, not helpful when change is a part of life!! It can take me a while to get used to things and I get really anxious doing anything new. So I try to limit change and deal with things one at a time, not all at once.
Crowds, heights, confined spaces and noise will all be things that can push me too far. I need a certain amount of order in my life, so on occasion I can even find having the TV on in one room, the kid having turned his music up in the other and then being asked a question too much to handle.
Unfortunately my family is one of my biggest triggers. Not the people I go to for support but instead people I try to limit contact with. For the most part I’m fine so long as it isn’t a group gathering, so trying to make sure to spend time with people separately is a huge help. There’s just a lot of thoughtlessness and a complete lack of understanding.
Why it’s worse
For the first time in a lot of years I am depressed. I know this because it’s all too familiar.
I cannot sleep. When I do I have nightmares. I struggle to do anything more than sit on the sofa. Getting up and dressed takes effort, actually opening the laptop to work today was a major breakthrough, my fuse is a lot shorter than normal and I cannot bring myself to be happy about anything really.
I’m upset with myself for letting it get this far, I’m normally able to take steps to stay on the right side of everything. But I also know that it’s ridiculous being cross at myself as it isn’t my fault, but knowing I’m being ridiculous doesn’t exactly help.
After my grandad got sick and passed away so suddenly lots of things happened. There was all manner of family drama that I bore the brunt of. Add the extra amount of enforced time we had to spend together, under stress and in unpleasant circumstances and I was just holding it together. Just.
Then the final straw was getting a new manager at work. Our third in three months. I’ve been lucky to have had so much fun at work, to have great friends and a really good work environment. Work was my safe place. Drama with the family, dreadful drop off at school with the child, argument with my husband, work was there for me. A place I could talk, or not, friends who could pick me up and support me and thought of that being taken away, just at the moment I needed it the most has sent me spiralling.
I have tried to be kind to myself. I’ve taken some time away from writing, afterall I am the only one setting myself deadlines so why on earth should I be getting stressed about not hitting them. Except of course, I still actually have been.
I enjoyed a fabulous and relaxing weekend, a day doing nothing and a day at the spa with my friend.
We’ve gone out and had some time together just the three of us, that’s best for me, as I focus on L for a bit and genuinely have fun. It helps me to be outside and it helps me to be with him having fun.
I’ve reached out to friends and am lucky to have people around me to help and keep an eye out for me. At the moment that’s been enough but I am fully aware I’m one step away from needing to see my Doctor and that’s fine with me.
I’ve been relying quite a lot of the Vie Stress Relief Patches, they are little sticky patches that slowly release a mix of Valerian, Hops and Passion Flower and help promote a sense of calm. I find them very useful .
If things stay as they are hopefully what’s next is just me putting myself back together again slowly. If things get worse next up is a chat with the Doctor and a bit more work.
Walks, meditation and being very careful who I spend my time with are my life write now. I’m fragile and I have to be careful.
Hopefully the improvement in weather will see an improvement in me, as a general rule life for me is easier when the sun is shining.
Mainly what’s next is focusing on the things that matter to me.
Finally, I’m linking up with #TwinklyTuesday and #StayClassyMama