Depression in my reality

Everyone will have a different experience with depression. It manifests itself in so many different ways it can be hard to know what is really depression or not. It’s confusing and frustrating.

Depression often lies, but at the same time I find it makes me face some hard truths that need to faced to move forward.

I wanted to share my experience. I find the more I talk about it the easier it becomes to be aware of it. It becomes less scary. It becomes easier to name and take action to feel different (I will not say better as it is not always better).  I want to continue to share my experience to show it can happen to anyone and that there is no shame in speaking out.

This is my experience currently:

  1. Tired – ALL THE TIME!
  2. Food is my best friend and my worst enemy
  3. I feel like an impostor in most things I do
  4. Fear of people I know (not really of strangers)
  5. I cannot multi-task – everything take effort
  6. I feel abandoned and left out (shout about my independence)
  7. Procrastination is prominent, even though I know its unhelpful
  8. Therapy is hard, but beneficial
  9. It’s fucking annoying when people want to fix you
  10. You can still live a normal life on the outside

Why do I blog?

I decided to have  a bit of blog break as I couldn’t find my motivation to write posts for a while. I felt I had nothing to say on this platform. I felt other people were saying exactly what I wanted to in better ways.  So I focused on sharing what I was reading on Twitter.

This has been great as I felt I connected a bit more on Twitter by commenting and replying to posts.

I think I’ve been more conscious of how I use my time and how I want to articulate my thoughts.

I don’t think of myself as a blogger. Yes, I have a blog, but I don’t use it for anything other than recording and sharing my own thoughts. I don’t want it to be anything more than that really. I’ve been following some new-to-me bloggers and vloggers and I think I got a little bored. So many have similar content. The ones I love have their own rules and niche. They are interesting and insightful. I don’t think I’m one of those either, but if I was aiming for anything it would be to be talking about the things that matter to me.

So I’ve taken the pressure off myself and that has felt nice.  I feel like I do want to keep blogging though. I’m just not going to set a schedule. When I think I want to say or share something I will.  I’m not going to worry about photos or length. I am just going to focus on what I want to say.

I want to talk about depression and mental health.

I want to share my opinions and show my thought process.

I want to share photos of my cats, coffee, and yummy food.

I want to have a space to express myself as myself.

So that is what I’m going to do.

Paused

I’ve not posted for a while. I’m not sure why. I had a plan for the month of June, but didn’t get around to writing anything. Even my bullet journal fell by the way side.

I think I just needed to put this on pause for while.

I’ve been working through some quite tough things in therapy, gone back on medication, and been super busy in work, it’s felt like something had to give a little. 

I have got back into to fitness though and that’s been helped by going with a couple of friends making it social and fun. 

Taking care of ourselves is not always easy and right now is taking a lot of focus and time. It is worth it and taking steps to develop my self love and body positivity are key. 

I’m bound to be back to blogging when it feels right, I just don’t know when that might be. I’ll always be on twitter and Instagram though so find me there! 

Fuck Budget

The strap-line for this book is “how to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like” and it tells you exactly how to do that. Well not exactly, but it gives you the prompts to think about your life and come up with the things you’re willing to give a fuck about and the things you are not. It’s the things I am not willing to give a fuck about that are the ones I need to focus on as they suck up my time and energy and do not bring joy to my life. I’ve seen a few blog posts about fuck budgets this year and it’s taken me a while to nail mine since I devoured the book just before New Year. It has resonated with many people and I think that is great and encourage everyone to think about their own budgets.

Sarah Knight encourages you to think about your budget in terms of Things, Work, Friends and Family – in that order. It is similar set to the tidying up book by Marie Kondo, which I used to help me declutter my house last month. So it made logical sense to do this to declutter my mind.

My Fuck Budget for the rest of 2017:

Things

More fucks – spending money on things that bring me joy. Doing things, see things, and experiences things are important to me and spending money on these things is never wasted money. Travel and exploration is important to understand the world and something I want to continue to do for as long as possible.

Less fucks – stressing about saving as much as I can. I have set up an emergency fund and my pension is automatic so things are good. Savings for holidays is easier when you know it’s what you want to do. Stressing about having enough money for every single thing that could happen is no way to live as it will never be enough. Time to stop worrying about this.

More fucks – what I already have. I have a wonderful life and have a lot of great things in it, sometimes its easy to always be wanting more in the age of social media. I want to enjoy the things I already have rather than covet things others have or seem to have.

Less fucks – comparing myself to others. This is the thief of joy and one I am prone to more than I would like. I am going to try hard to not do this whether it is in real life, on social media, or at work.

Work

More fucks – gaining experience. Focusing on progression can be frustrating and so shifting that focus to look at all the experience I am gaining through the day to day work I do will make progression visible in small steps. Looking at the experiences I get on a daily/weekly/monthly basis will be much more fulfilling and in time will lead to the progression I seek.

Less fucks – taking time off. I need to stop feeling guilty if I get sick or just taking holiday. There will always be work to do, but it won’t be as enjoyable, fun or fulfilling if I don’t take the breaks I need.  I work for a flexible organisation that means I can take time for appointments without taking holiday, but that does mean in return I often work longer hours than required. It’s all about balance and everyone deserves proper breaks.

More fucks – professional connections. People are key to having a great workplace and enjoying the work I do. I want to put more effort into making connections with the people I work with, both on the professional level, but also where possible to create lasting friendships for the future.

Less fucks – money. I work for a charity and therefore the wages aren’t as high as doing the same job in other sectors, but I love the organisation I work for and money is not the main driver for doing what I do. Comparing myself or what I earn against others is not helpful.

Friends

More fucks – having meaningful connections with my few good friends more often. I don’t need a lot of friends and the ones I have are wonderful, but I know I don’t always stay connected with them so I want to improve on that. This also means I need to put myself out there a bit more and invite others to join me in things I want to do, rather than wait to be invited all the time.

Less fucks – being the token single friend. All my friends are married or getting married and there have been times I’ve let that get to me. I don’t want to stress about this and making comparisons is not a fun way to live. Everyone is making their own lives to be full and meaningful and that does not make mine any less so, so stop worrying about it.

More fucks – self love and respect. I love my friends and in order to really appreciate them I need to spend time loving and respecting myself so that I can do the same for them and ask for it in return. The times my energy is low is also the times I struggle with self-esteem  and start comparing and resenting people so putting myself first is really important.

Less fucks – saying no. I so often feel guilty for saying no to doing things with my friends, but I always have my own reason for doing so. Whether it is because I don’t enjoy the things suggested, it’s not in my budget, or I’m not feeling up to it mentally, they are all valid reasons and I don’t need to feel guilty about saying no.

Family

More fucks – quality time. This is similar to the one about my friends as I would much prefer to spend quality time with members of my family, rather than attend multiple events with too many people there. I want to enjoy the time I spend with them and have real connections, not just shallow ones because we are family. I need to make this clear and not allow myself to be guilted into just being there.

Less fucks – fitting in. I have felt a change over the last year or so to one where I don’t really fit in with my family anymore and that’s okay. I just want to be me and if that means people don’t like it I’ll change the time I spend with them. It relates to the one above as I want to spend quality time with the people who accept me for me.

More fucks – being myself. This again relates to the one above as in therapy I’ve been working through some stuff on feeling like I have to wear different masks to fit in. This has to stop and I want to focus on being myself and not worrying about what others think of that. I want to share the things I enjoy and if others find it weird or silly, so what, I’m happy being me.

Less fucks –  keeping everyone happy. Again this connects to all the other family ones. I worry too much about keeping others happy, when really I need to focus on myself as above. So I’m going to stop this and without going out of my way to hurt others, will stop worrying how others react to my decisions or actions. I can only control how I behave, not other people and it is not up to me to please everyone.

Wow that is a therapeutic process to go through. It really makes you think about what is taking up you time physically and mentally. I’m going to print this out and pin it to my fridge and above my desk as a reminder of what I am willing to spend my fucks on.

Cost versus convenience

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my budget recently and where I spend my money. I let money control me last year and therefore made some awful decisions and overspent. This year I am taking back control to pay off my credit card and set up an emergency fund. At the same time I have been looking at my habits to see where I feel I waste money just because I have it in my account. It’s got me thinking about my attitude with money and is helping me understand why I place value on certain things over others.

This is where cost versus convenience comes into it.

There are a number of products I spend money on each month that I can definitely do for less money if I really wanted to. However the convenience of the products plays a massive part in why I value them.

  • Poopy Cat Litter Trays – I get these delivered every month to my door and they are fully disposable and made from recycled materials. The only downside is that my recycling collection will not take them as garden waste. These are super convenient as it takes me less than 5 minutes to change each week and the waste can be flushed down the toilet. This saves me so much time each week I find the benefits outweigh the costs at the moment. If the cost of the litter trays increase I will have to reconsider though.
  • Mindful Chef Boxes – I get these delivered most weeks and they contain 3 meals with all the ingredients I need. I’ve always had a troubled relationship with food and this box has helped me not only improve my relationship with food, but also my cooking skills. I know I can cook all the recipes I receive in the box with ingredients from a supermarket, but making the time to be organised enough to do that has been a stumbling block as meal planning and diet mentality are a major trigger. This is super convenient for me as without it I fall into unhealthy eating habits.
  • Cleaner – Last year I decided to get a cleaner and it was one of the best decision I’ve made. It has meant I can focus on my job and enjoying my free time, rather than stressing about making the time to clean. I absolutely hate cleaning, but I also hate living in dirt, so this works. With working away more in my new role it has meant I can really come home and relax and that is worth the cost.
  • Beauty Therapist – Getting my legs waxed each month started because I was doing so much swimming and found I rarely showered at home, making it difficult to keep up with shaving. So going to see someone each month made the world of sense. I’ll admit I’m debating it at the moment as I do less swimming, but the amount of time I save by doing this for 30-45 each month rather than several times a week still makes it worth it.
  • Therapy – This is a huge cost for me at the moment, but it has to be done. I probably could search for a cheaper option, but being about to build trust and talk about eating disorders with someone is what I needed. Being able to FaceTime is also hugely important to me.

These are all luxuries and I am very lucky in being able to afford them. They are also my choices and I’ve been having to remind myself of my reasons why I spend money on what I do recently. Convenience is a huge part of that of the choices I make as the time we have is also valuable and I want to spend it doing things I love. I want to travel and move to a new city in the not to distant future, but there are some things I need to do now to help make that happen. My attitude towards money needs to shift a bit to help with this though. That is what I need to work on now.

There are still some spending habits I would like to tackle so that I can do more things. After decluttering I know I do not need more things, so it is all about enabling myself to have experiences and adventures. I have since decided to add an additional goal to this year in terms of changing my attitude – I want to have money left in my account at the end of each month, not just what I put in savings accounts.

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