Tag Archives: Mental Health

What makes me, me?

  1. I like being alone. I like people, but they drain me, so I always need time to recharge.
  2. I prefer spending a Saturday reading at home, rather than going out.
  3. I love coffee and tea. I also love good wine and gin.
  4. My favourite shows are still Buffy and Angel. I also love Bones.
  5. My favourite books are The Liveship Traders, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
  6. I love BBC history and nature documentaries, But Time Team will always be my favourite.
  7. I love helping other people learn to swim.
  8. I love planning anything and am a spreadsheet geek.
  9. I love Instagram and Twitter, but am not a fan of Facebook.
  10. I hate spiders and clowns!
  11. I plan duvet days in advance, but there is nothing better than a spontaneous one.
  12. Japan is at the top of my travel list, closing followed by a walking trip around Mt Blanc.
  13. I’ve always wanted cats as pets. I would love to get a dog too in the future.
  14. I love sleep and will prioritise it – if I’ve planned an afternoon nap, it comes first!
  15. I said never to both sky diving and bungy jumping, then did both while in New Zealand.
  16. I love food, but am rubbish as cooking without a recipe.
  17. I love spending time in coffee shops people watching.
  18. I want to train my cats to walk on the lead, but am rubbish at consistency.
  19. My favourite chocolate bar has and will always be the Cadburys Boost.
  20. I always ask my friend Ingrid to bring me back Peanut Butter M&Ms from Canada (hint!).
  21. I only listen to music in the car nowadays. I used to hold my own concerts in the living room!
  22. I could eat sushi at every meal. I would probably say the sae about pizza too.
  23. If I could afford it, I would totally get a cleaner for my home.
  24. I love candles and the atmosphere they give a room makes me feel peaceful.
  25. QI is my favourite comedy quiz show.
  26. I love Stephen Fry as the narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks.
  27. I also love James Masters (Spike from Buffy) as the narrator of the Dresden Files.
  28. I’ve never been in a long term relationship.
  29. I hate talking about myself – one of the reasons I started this blog was to help me open up.
  30. I love fig roll biscuits.
  31. I could binge watch a TV show in a weekend.
  32. I’ve realised money is not the most important thing in life and work
  33. I Live in trainers. Even at work! 
  34. If I’m not doing anything of an evening I put my pjs on as so as I get home from work.
  35. I become overly attached I fictional characters.
  36. The Lion King is my favourite movie.
  37. My favourite colour is purple.
  38. I want to travel the world and see as many different places as I can.
  39. I think book tokens are the best presents (or coffee!).
  40. I’m quite precious about my space and m not one for having guest very often.
  41. I hate clothes shopping, but wish I liked it.
  42. Vancouver is my favourite city.
  43. I want to live in a city one day.
  44. I love a good list.
  45. 45 is my favourite number!

What’s Missing?

In my previous post I spoke about the reasons I had for not blogging. I didn’t feel I needed to justify anything, it was rather just for me to unblock myself and write something. I enjoy writing and although I do not think of myself as a writer I have found it to be a beneficial outlet for my thoughts; especially those thought I previously have had trouble articulating.

I’ve been taking a look at myself and my loves this last week. I want to understand what makes me tick and drives me forward. I think that understanding myself is the most important thing I can do in times where I feel out of kilter. It helps re-focus my priorities and really look at what makes me me. I have definitely felt like something has been missing from my life. This is surprising for at the same time as I am really good at the moment generally. I am enjoying work, loving my home, and doing most of the things I love. But that is just it – ‘most’ – not everything.

I have found that they haven’t changed in essence; I still love the same things, I just don’t prioritise them like I used to and that is what causing my unease with life I think. There are things I love and do daily, such as enjoy good coffee, read, and play with my cats. There are things I do often, but not daily such as, swimming, walking, blogging, socialising. Then there are the things I do less often, which is where things have slipped out of the top priorities and that really comes down to travel and creating new experiences.

I really miss travelling. I have realised it is the one thing I have had to fully sacrifice for to help myself by changing jobs a few years ago and the associated reduction in salary. Don’t get me wrong I have been away and have explored new places, but I haven’t travelled in a 5 years. Acknowledging I miss it is the first step in to bringing it back into my life. There are places I want to go and trips I want to be part of and in order to make sure this is important to me I have to prioritise it and create ways of working towards them.

So I’ve reviewed my list and have Japan and Mt Blanc at the top and plan to do both in the next two years. Saving for something important to me is easier as it is something to look forward to. I can research and plan and do all the things associated with going travelling and get excited. I’ve not had that for 5 years and that is throwing me off kilter so I am taking action.

While I am doing all my researching and planning I am going to focus on creating daily rituals for myself. I read a Marc and Angel post today about creating rituals, rather than focusing on overall goals and it hit me hard:

“Nothing will change unless you make a daily ritual that reinforces your goal.”

This is how I want to look after my self, both mentally and physically going forward. It is all the small things that add up to the whole, so rather than thinking I need to lose weight and putting a total figure on it, I’m going to focus on making each meal what I need. It’s also how I want to make sure I am prorating the things I love by making them a ritual to savour and appreciate.

Depression is Different for Everyone

I didn’t realise this for quite a while after I was diagnosed. It is not as simple as other disease where there is a pill to take and it will go away. It’s complicated and takes everyone a different amount of time and a different type of approach to fight it.

For me it was a complete sense of hopelessness and lost in a maze with no exit.

I felt useless and as though I could do nothing right. I constantly told myself I was a failure at life.

I felt alone, even when surrounded by people. I wanted to be on my own, yet needed to know there were people out there thinking about me. I was a complete contradiction at times.

I didn’t know why I was living my life. It felt like a waste of time.

I struggle with all-or-nothing thinking and depression makes this a lot worse. I am a perfectionist in my own way. I like to do the best job I can do at anything I set out to try. So anything less than that feels like failure. I don’t know what caused it. I think it was a combination of a lot of things that culminated in a tipping point that I couldn’t come back from on my own.

I’ve had to work hard to tackle this way of thinking head on. I’ve been on medication. I’ve take therapy, including a year of CBT. I’ve completed homework. I’ve read books. I’ve read lots of online stories. I used lots of free online resources. It takes work every day. I just signed up to an online course for the next 6 weeks. I’ve added a list of resources to the bottom of this post that I recommend for anyone struggling with any kind of mental health struggle.

The hardest thing for me though is other people – my family included. No one understands really unless they have also been through something similar. It’s hard to talk about with anyone who doesn’t really understand. I’ve been lucky and had two people I can talk to without hesitation, but it took me a long time to open up and be okay with that. Therapy really helped as I could talk about how other people made me feel without worrying I was going to offend anyone while working through my reactions and the causes of them. I was then better able to articulate what I meant outside of therapy and stopped worrying about other people so much.

I still find comparison thoughts tricky to deal with. In order to combat this I had to give up Facebook for an extended period. I decided I didn’t need to know what my friends or old friends were doing every day and I would prefer to hear from them personally. I now only view it when something from running club needs a reply. I also purged my Twitter and Instagram feeds to get rid of anything negative or unhelpful – otherwise these resources have been fantastic. Blogging has also been a way for me to sort out my thoughts. I don’t tell people about my blog in person; I let people find it on their own as I don’t want anyone to feel as though they have to read it because I’ve told them about it. I want anyone who reads it to find it interesting and useful because they like the same things.

What I want to get across from this post is that everyone has difference experiences of depression. Don’t let anyone tell you how you feel is not worth the help and support you need. Don’t let anyone put you down or depression down as something to get over. It’s real and it’s life threatening. You are worth fighting for.

Resources I’ve found useful:

100 Reasons

I have been looking at why I sabotage myself. Looking at why in times of overwhelming emotions I turn to food. But more importantly why I want to change that. I’ve been inspired by Sarah McGee and created a list of 100 Reasons to remind myself why I want to make the changes I do. These are to help me with Project lifestyle.

So here are my 100 Reasons:

  1. To live for as long as I can

  2. To not waste time worrying about how my weight stops me doing things

  3. To have fun

  4. To be full of confidence

  5. To be happy

  6. To love myself no matter what

  7. To be able to sign up for any event knowing I could do it

  8. To enjoy competing

  9. To be faster at swimming

  10. To be faster at running

  11. To enjoy cycling

  12. To not waste money on rubbish food

  13. Because it feels good

  14. For the post workout high

  15. To be fit for life

  16. To buy clothes in any shop I want

  17. To feel comfortable in all my clothes

  18. To be know as active

  19. To wear pretty things

  20. To not worry about taking up too much space

  21. To be able to climb mountains

  22. To have more energy

  23. To sleep better

  24. To not sweat as much

  25. To fit the normal blood pressure monitor sleeve

  26. To stop my legs rubbing together (hence always wearing trousers)

  27. To never have to worry about a ‘maximum’ weight limit

  28. To be able to go horse riding

  29. To feel strong (physically and mentally)

  30. To set new goals and achieve them

  31. To push my limits and find new ones

  32. To be taken more seriously professionally

  33. To not always be thinking about the next meal

  34. To inspire others

  35. To inspire myself

  36. To be considered healthy

  37. To show others what I am capable of

  38. To prove myself wrong

  39. To feel sexy occasionally

  40. Because I love how treating my body well feels

  41. Because I only have one body

  42. Because I deserve love

  43. To keep setting PB’s

  44. To beat depression

  45. To be able to buy knee high boots that fit

  46. To be able to wear those knee high boots over skinny jeans

  47. Because each workout is a therapy session

  48. Because I don’t want to waste time being lazy

  49. To stop beating myself up

  50. To be a better person

  51. To smile more and more

  52. To be able to hold a conversation while running with my club

  53. To run with the main group of runners at club

  54. To keep up with the top swimming lane and take the lead

  55. I want to live everyday

  56. To be able to says ‘I’ve done that’ when someone asks

  57. To go hiking and enjoy every step, rather than count every step

  58. To develop a helpful relationship with food that supports my life

  59. To not worry if I’ll fit a high viz jacket while at work

  60. To take part in events and not worry about being lifted up by others

  61. To not have trousers cut me in half when I sit at my desk

  62. To fit shirts and other tops with sleeves that aren’t stretchy

  63. To wear dresses to work

  64. To wear dresses on nights out

  65. To last longer in high heels

  66. To not worry about injury

  67. To learn as I go and be like a sponge of knowledge

  68. To feel like I belong anywhere I want to be

  69. To appreciate my down time

  70. To be able to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred level 3

  71. To be considered healthy by my doctor

  72. To not worry about my blood pressure (although my doctor said was excellent in Jan 14)

  73. To be able to hold yoga positions for longer and lower

  74. To be able to bend forward when I’m sat with my legs straight out in front

  75. To not hurt my knees when helping out at swimming

  76. To do unassisted versions of exercises I currently do

  77. To live the life I want to live

  78. To not let my weight limit me

  79. To be like the people I admire

  80. To learn new things about myself

  81. To continue being adventurous and willing to try things

  82. To cultivate and maintain relationships

  83. To not be afraid to ask for help

  84. To big myself up among my peers

  85. To love every type of weather

  86. To not be self conscious about my body (especially in a wetsuit)

  87. To have clearer skin and be able to not wear makeup

  88. To create a self disciplined and focus self

  89. To be myself

  90. To make changes to myself because I already love myself

  91. To seek out new opportunities, rather than wait for them to happen

  92. To smash my 4000m meter swim session goal

  93. To feel good in running tights rather than a fat blob

  94. To be able to race, rather than know I’ll be beaten

  95. To be a triathlete

  96. To cycle to work regularly

  97. To dance more

  98. To laugh at myself

  99. To go paddle boarding more often

  100. To kick arse in anything I do (including my own arse!)

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...