I thought I’d do a mental health update as it’s been a while since I’ve written about what’s been going on with me and where I’m at.
A few weeks ago, I felt like my mental health was having a major wobble. I had become irritable, upset and disconnected. My anxiety was right back up to where it had been before I started my treatment. In turn, this was making me panic more that all my progress had come undone.
There was an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Once again, there was a battle of irrational and rational thoughts going on inside my head. I couldn’t see the point in anything, but I didn’t want to give up. I had a voice telling me to get rid of my blog, and another reminding me how hard I’d worked over the past few months.
It was exhausting. My energy levels were low. I was either sleeping in until 11am, or getting up earlier, only to crawl into bed and fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon.
Truthfully, I think the issue here stemmed from the fact I hadn’t been investing time in myself. Trying to make my blog a success takes a lot of my time, and I feel like I have to constantly be doing something or people will think less of me. I need to remember that, in all jobs, they take breaks and have days off.
I’m still on 50mg of Sertraline, and it’s still doing the job. I did consider requesting an increase when I was having the aforementioned bad spell, but I’m glad now that I didn’t.
My medication caused a bit of stress before my family visited because I couldn’t get an appointment with the doctor so I didn’t think I was going to get another prescription. Thankfully, I was able to request a repeat over the phone and everything worked out!
Note to self: make appointments further in advance.
I was hoping to come off Sertraline before Christmas, but it’s likely I will continue with this course of medication throughout the colder months, if it’s permitted by my doctor. I am a big fan of autumn and winter, but the dark, short days sometimes make me very down. With this in mind, I don’t think it would be wise to come off medication during this time.
Counselling is going well. Before my appointments, I do tend to get worked up, but love it when I’m there.
I had a three week break, as my counsellor was getting married and I was seeing my family. During this time, I noticed I was using some of the things we had discussed before to help me handle various situations. I also noticed I was leaning a bit more on the people in my life, and talking openly to Neal on days I was finding very difficult.
Although there were definitely times during the break I wished I had an appointment to talk about things, I handled it much better than I imagined. So, that suggests to me that I’ll be okay when my sessions end. I hadn’t necessarily had chance to realise that because I wasn’t getting as many opportunities to see it in practice. I was concerned I was using my counselling as a crutch and would fall flat on my face without it.
At my most recent appointment, we took some time to reflect on how far I’ve come. I realised I’d made a lot more progress than I’d given myself credit for. My counsellor explained I seemed like a different person to the one who had turned up at my first appointment, and told me she was proud of me. It was emotional.
I’m not sure how much longer my counselling will continue, as we have yet to discuss it.
Blogging has done wonders for my mental health. It’s given me somewhere to channel my energy when I’ve needed a distraction. I’ve been able to talk to so many wonderful people, and know I can turn to them when the going gets tough. Having goals to achieve has given me reasons to push myself.
Over the last week, I’ve realised just how much I love blogging, and how it’s a perfect fit for me. As a result, I’ve felt more motivated and determined than ever to make it a success. But, I’m staying mindful of myself and my own wellbeing, regularly taking some time out to relax.
I also met up with another blogger – Menna – which was wonderful. To be 100% transparent, this caused me a great deal of anxiety because I’m not good with meeting new people, but it was worth it. It was a victory because I forced myself to do it, despite how far out of my comfort zone it felt. Plus, she was a joy to be around!
Seeing my family helped a lot. Although it was a hectic week, it was nice having them around. Making memories with them in Aberdeen made it feel more like home. It’s difficult to explain but, since moving here, it’s often felt like I’m on holiday, just waiting to go back home. I couldn’t feel settled, because it didn’t feel like I’d fully arrived.
I love my life with Neal, and our little home. We have made some great memories together since I moved here, but it still seemed like most of my life was somewhere else. Having the two worlds come together closed the gap and put me in a much more positive frame of mind.
Finally, two of my best friends came to see me. I was so touched they’d travelled for six hours, just for a catch up. We spent the afternoon chatting, then went out for a meal and some drinks in the evening. I laughed a lot and felt overwhelmingly content. It was nice to do something which felt “normal” for someone my age; as though, for once, I was doing what I should be, rather than being ruled by anxiety.
These things happened over the course of two weeks, and since then, I’ve been in a really good place. I’ve felt much more comfortable in Aberdeen because everyone doesn’t seem as far away. They’ve been here, and there’s snippets of memories around me now. It’s comforting.
My mind doesn’t seem as messy as it has. I realise people care about me, and enjoy talking to me, so I feel more inclined to reach out. There’s been a slight increase in my confidence. No miracles, but positive steps.
I feel much more like myself. My flat is clean and tidy. The dishes get done rather than piling up. I spend less time inside my own head, wallowing in self-pity, and a lot more time thinking of others. Neal is currently doing a training course and has to get up at 5am, so I’ve been getting up at the same time to make him a coffee before he heads out. It’s something so simple, but being able to do that for him makes me feel good. He has spent so many months taking care of me and finally getting to a place where I can do little things in return matters a lot.
I have a welcomed sense of clarity, which has always been lacking in my life. I know blogging is something I’m passionate about, and dedicated to. There’s something inside me, telling me I can make things happen with this. I’m excited to see what happens and where it goes.
All of these positive signs simply encourage me to keep working on myself.