22 May / The ‘Work’ Thing

So would you believe, I have two job interviews coming up(?!). They’re both part-time, one in an admin/receptionist role and the other as a care assistant in a dementia/elderly home.

The idea of work is still absolutely terrifying, my heart is beating and my breath is short, as I’m writing this. (Here’s where a lot of my anxiety about work has come from.)

I have been offered a ‘work coach’ through the job centre as I’ve recently started claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and have an assessment with him on 31st May, this is to talk about what I think my needs are and the help that I want.

Obviously I’m really torn as this has all come at once, but I’ve a good feeling about the admin job in particular. That is a huge step in itself, because I do apply for jobs and wholeheartedly so, but if/when I get an interview I panic because it makes it that much more real. I panicked at first, but after a few days to think it over, I think I’m feeling better.

The place itself offers ‘chakra puncture’ for anxiety which is a good sign I guess?

The reason I’m so afraid of going back to work is because I’m scared of getting overwhelmed. I don’t adjust to new situations very well emotionally and often find my emotions ‘crash’ when I push myself too much, so I need a lot of down time to rest my mind. I really don’t want that to happen and then I just end up crying at work all the time and get too physically anxious to go to work again. (My physical symptoms of anxiety often include vomiting, numb limbs, shortness of breath and uncontrollable crying.)

I’m not sure how to help myself though. I am on a waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) but God knows how long that will be before it starts.

I’ve really no idea how this is going to pan out because I find my moods and decision making very sporadic and I could change my mind about a lot of things at any given moment. But, we shall see how it goes – I’m trying to think positive!

If anybody has any advice on returning to work and handling overwhelming emotions, please drop me a message!

Note to self:

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11 May / Learning to Handle Overwhelming Emotions

Overwhelm [o·ver·whelm] – verb
Overwhelm is defined as to completely overcome or take over. An example of overwhelm is for a teacher to assign students five lengthy papers due on the same day.
Source: http://www.yourdictionary.com/overwhelm

Being told you suffer with a specific mental illness or disorder is not conclusive of your symptoms or emotions. I am learning about my mental health each and every day, we are all different and unique in our own minds.

IMG_7531Yesterday I had a really great day. It was a beautiful day, and although I didn’t get up until gone 11am, I felt very productive. I sunbathed (& got sunburnt), meditated, stretched, listened to a TedTalk, went to the post office, did some chores for my Mum, wrote a blog post I’d been putting off for a while, and showered. These seem like normal every day tasks, right? But they’re not for me.

My usual day consists of; getting up late morning, eating my breakfast downstairs with my Dad, going back to bed and either sitting on my laptop or watching a movie/TV, I will then nap around 3pm until my boyfriend comes home, we will eat dinner downstairs with my parents, then go back to bed and watch TV until I go to sleep around 1-2am – all the meanwhile keeping a close eye on social media.

So, whilst yesterday was great and I felt very positive, I suddenly clicked last night that I’d feel crappy today because of it – and I was right. I had to drag myself out of bed today after waking up feeling very sick and anxious.

And, that’s because I’d overwhelmed myself with positive emotions and gotten carried away with the productive feeling.

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I need ‘down time’ whenever I experience something out of the ordain. For example; I am unable to spend an entire day socialising, without needing quiet time in the evening purely for the fact I am not used to socialising. I am also not used to feeling positive or productive for extended periods of time (a day is extensive).

My personal goal with this realisation is that I must take things slowly. Mentally I always seem to be in a hurry, which I think is largely due to my anxiety struggles. So, I must learn to take a step back, take a deep breath, be mindful of a new situation or emotion I’m not used to feeling, and not jump straight in as it were. This way I will be able to take in a situation easier and also analyse how it is affecting me.

I have a job interview on 26th May for a job as a receptionist/administrator, 3 days a week and full 9 hour days.

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I’m very anxious about it and it’s constantly circling my mind, as to whether or not I will be able to handle this drastic change in my usual life if I got the job. Three days a week to the average person may seem a dream, but to me it’s terrifying. Especially as the days are so long. Ideally I think I need to start getting up earlier and trying to tackle my tiredness, maybe that will help me.

I’m going out tonight for my boyfriend’s Nan’s birthday. We’re just going over to her house with the rest of his family and to have some fish & chips. It will be good to get out, socialise and also exercise my mind to unusual situations.

28 April / An Update On Me

I haven’t blogged about myself much because I’m feeling a bit on the fence with everything really. Generally, I just feel lost and my mind is so blank.

I had an assessment for counselling on Wednesday and I have been put on a waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) of which I am very grateful for. But, since I’ve had it twice before and didn’t find it very useful, I’m also a little disappointed.

We discussed how I’ve been feeling and what my general ‘goals’ are. I hate that question, I just want to live a normal life, with normal emotions and not hate myself. Please?

I also spoke about how I’d seen a Psychiatrist in January who came to the conclusion I was suffering with Generalised Anxiety (it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or diagnosis to realise that). I’d actually had the referral because my Dr suspected I could be suffering with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder due to my constant mood changes, impulsivity and general confusion in myself (amongst a lot of other ‘symptoms’). But the psychiatrist kind of shut me down.

For one we met in a local activity centre with no waiting room, so my Mum ended up sat in with me which made me feel uncomfortable. He also only asked me a few questions about my childhood and concluded I was ‘normal’. Whatever that is.

The problem is, I have real ‘identity’ issues and I struggle with things like knowing my likes and dislikes. I find myself doing laps in my mind thinking about the things I do in my life. Like, do I do that because she does it? Do I really like it? Am I watching this because they do? Am I actually enjoying it? Blah, blah, blah… These things sound trivial but I’ve always been like it, even with life choices.

I touched on 7 different A Levels in college, trying to figure out if I actually enjoyed the subjects I chose. I actually did Business Studies AS Level twice (two years of studying) and failed both times – I’ve still no idea whether I enjoyed it or if I just liked the idea of business. Career wise I have since been a Letting Agent and a Fitness Instructor and given up on both.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing or what I want. I really want some help with this but I’ve no idea where to turn?

When Did My MH Suffering Begin?

This is a question I’ve often been asked, and that I’ve asked myself too. Really, I don’t know? I don’t know if there was ever a definitive moment in my life where I can say – that was it. Has anybody had that moment?

Although I’ve only recently recognised that I’ve had anxiety (since Nov 15), thinking back I’ve a feeling it was always there in one form or another. I don’t remember an awful lot of my childhood, but a small but potentially traumatic event happened when I was very young, which I won’t delve into for respect for that person. But, after that things weren’t quite right.

As a little girl I was always frightened. I was always afraid of being away from my Mum and more specifically my Dad, who I latched onto. I used to cry a lot, over silly little things. I’ve a memory of being in Primary school and my teacher asked me to get something from a drawer but I couldn’t find it, and my first instinct was to cry.

I never went to sleepovers because I was frightened of being away from home. One night I tried staying at a friend’s house (literally a five minute walk from home) and my Dad to pick me up as I was crying and felt sick, I just wanted to sleep in my own bed.

As I got older I stuck to my own friendship group, there were 2 or 3 of us. I always felt people didn’t like me or thought I was weird, but I was happy with the friends I had. It was the same as I started Secondary School, I was very timid and focused on my school work. I did make new friends and get invited out, but I was always very afraid and this is when I remember the trips to the loo (to put it politely) beginning, and the strong feeling of nervousness. Every social event would cause me to feel this way, but I didn’t think much of it or really recognise it.

When I was 14 my Dad had a major stroke and was hospitalised for four months. This was a trying time for my family and I avoided being at home. I never really felt emotional although I love my Dad to pieces, I guess I covered it up more than anything and just was very empty. During this time I started going out and drinking more, covering it up as well as certain teenage troubles I was having.

My motivation for school work dropped considerably, I’d always find myself doing the minimum I could to get by and that’s exactly how it stayed through my GCSE’s and into college. I never knew what I wanted to do in college and actually touched on 7 different A Levels. After skipping lecture after lecture, fuelling my social life and bleeding my education dry; I left with one full A Level and two half A Levels. I had no desire or chance at university and not a clue what I’d ever be doing with my life. This is when I finally admitted I was depressed and started taking Anti-Depressants first.

Eventually, I found a Business Administration Apprenticeship (Nov 13) where I started my career as a Letting Agent. Fast forward that (to Nov 15 when I identified my anxiety) you’ll find me throwing up in the toilet at work desperate never to return.


Sorry for the boring life story this post has become, I guess it’s been kind of therapeutic for me to write it down and really pick apart seemingly little events happening in my life. But, really it was more a point to show that MH struggles appear in lots of different ways and sometimes you may not always realise, simply just suppressing the feelings and emotions.

Mental Health Awareness is so important and should be included in School Education for both children and teachers. I feel early identification of Mental Health struggles could prevent a lot of illnesses developing. Young people need to identify if they or someone they know begins to struggle with their MH so they can be provided with the necessary support they need.

We are so impressionable in our younger years and deserve the focus on our Mental Health as well as our education.

Self Esteem: Being a Girl in The Blogging World

Over these last few months as I’ve started blogging, I have been blown away by the community. There is nothing like having your own group of blogger cheerleaders encouraging and congratulating you at every milestone.

But unfortunately, being a girl in the blogging world means the tons of beauty and fashion bloggers are unavoidable. And, don’t get me wrong I love cheering others on too and these girls are so talented and beautiful they absolutely should be blogging. But, I can’t help but feel inadequate because of this. I mean I’m not exactly your run of the mill girl blogger and I probably do my make-up once a week, if that.

Honestly – I’m not very good at my make-up, I don’t have the loveliest most expensive clothes and my hair isn’t silky smooth. I don’t go out everyday and drink soy lattes and I don’t eat Instagram worthy breakfasts. Normally, I wouldn’t be too fussed about these things but lately (and especially today) I’ve been feeling very self-conscious and low in myself. I did my hair and make up, and then decided I looked awful, wiped it all off again and then sulked in my bed before a nap.

I am surrounded by beautiful, self-taught make up gurus being buried with gorgeous free clothes who are doing great things with their lives. It’s just not very good for my mental health or self-esteem at all.

Ideally I think I need a bit of a break from Social Media and to focus on myself again for a little while, although sadly I find it quite difficult. I often sit on my phone to fill a gap of time rather than doing something constructive or caring for myself.

I’m aiming to read more as I have some lovely books to read (three to review!), and want to start playing my keyboard more too.

 

6 April / Thoughts

I’m at a loss on how to describe my thoughts right now; they’re up and down, left and right, inside out.

I feel as though everyone in the world is travelling the highway at 100mph, whilst I’m scraping 30mph. Ramming the gear stick into third, when I wasn’t quite ready to leave second. I judder on, hoping things might run smoothly if only I persist and ignore the struggle, maybe I’ll catch up with the speed.

But, I can’t do that. I can’t ignore the fact that I’m just a hinderance to those around me. Because in a financial sense, I am. In an emotional sense, I’m probably exhausting and hard work. My moods are here, there and everywhere. I make decisions in the heat of the moment, and then realise they weren’t right. I find myself to be exhausting.

Although people offer their support, nobody can help you 100% and nobody can totally understand. The snide comments slip, the eyes roll, the anger builds – I can’t help who I am and I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.

I just want things to be right, and more than anything – I want to rid my mind and memory of anxiety and just get back to work. I lack purpose and routine and I need that more than anything. But, I just need an employer who understands that I might have bad days and I might cry sometimes – but I’m there to help and I’m trying my hardest. Does this kind of employer even exist? I fear I’ll never find them.

I fear I’ll never move forward and I’ll always be in second gear watching the success above me.

Backwards? 15 March ’17

I feel like I have gone so, so far backwards since Monday. The guilt has already set in, the shame, the depression. All I have done today is sleep, I haven’t even spent 5 minutes out of bed. I can taste my hunger but I can’t seem to eat. I know I should change my clothes but, why bother?

They say money doesn’t bring you happiness, but the ominous ‘they’ never thought about what happens when you don’t have it?

Waking up to the same texts each day; ‘You’re on or over your limit. Please make a payment before 3:30 to avoid extra charges’, ‘You have missed your payment, reply YES to pay in full now.’

If I had just had a physical illness, somebody might help me.
Somebody might tell me that they’re sorry I’m not well.
They might send me a message asking how I am.
They might care.
But instead, not working for mental health purposes suddenly becomes a dirty secret, an excuse that I ought to just get over.
I see it in the avoidance of eye contact, in the ignorance of my health even though it’s everywhere to be seen – oh, you don’t understand?
Well, that’s okay then, we’ll forget about it. 

13 March ’17 / Well, What A Disaster.

It’s 10:23am, I should be at my first shift at my new job. But, what am I doing? Sat in bed writing after an anxiety attack.

I kid you not, the SECOND I woke up my stomach lurched. I didn’t even have time to form a thought before my world came crashing down. Feeling sick, shortness of breath, crying, dizziness. Fucking marvellous.

I really do thank my lucky stars that I have Simon, I truly don’t know what I’d do without him. He hugged me tight and told me that it was okay. He told me that I’d done the right thing by deciding against the job. He told me that I had nothing to worry about. He is amazing.

This job has been on my mind all week, 24/7, and has resulted in me having no real relaxation time. Any time spent on my own, was spent worrying about what was coming and any time with others was spent pretending I was okay. I even found myself upset on Friday night over something stupid just because I’d been so emotional inside, and I couldn’t keep it in any more. I couldn’t go on pretending.

I tried so hard for the job to be right, I really wanted it to be right – but it just wasn’t. I did the trial and that should’ve been the end of the anxiety, somehow it just got worse this time round? The thought of the pressure of constant customers coming through, on my feet all day, no phone signal, having to get the bus to work, the weird feeling the place gave me…uggggh.

I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel like a disappointment. I feel like I’ve let everybody down. I feel like I don’t deserve to be in the lives of the people around me. I feel like I’m hated. I feel fucking atrocious and I am devastated.

Money causes me so, so much stress and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I cannot keep sponging off others to pay my bills. I can’t go on like this.

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6 March ’17

What. A. Day.

I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. I’d almost considered I’d ‘gotten over’ depression – apparently not, silly me. I didn’t even get out of bed until 2.30pm when I ate & brushed my teeth and then got right back in of course.

What’s better than bed when you feel sad, huh?

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A huge problem I’m dealing with right now is that I’m massively conflicted, with dealing with anxiety & depression, because having nothing scheduled to do everyday (i.e. work, meeting friends etc.) means that I find myself so unmotivated and low, it’s extraordinary. But, when I start building my life up, making plans and actually doing shit I am consistently anxious.

Obviously, I have been offered this new job at the bakery which is terrifying and causing me so much stress and worry – but what can I do? I feel like if I avoid it, it’ll only set the tone for the next however many months and my health will no longer progress. So, I will give it my best shot and see what happens.

Nevertheless, I am up and I am making an effort to be a functioning human being, with my journal, a book and my laptop – and a bit of Twitter on the side.

If there’s one thing I do know, no matter how bad a day can be; I can always help myself with a little me time (and coffee)!

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