“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.v
“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.v
If you’ve ever had a friend that constantly flakes and makes up excuses, so they can stay in bed and watch Netflix. If you’ve ever known someone who leaves you on read and you don’t know why. If you’ve ever had someone in your life that you just can’t make plans with, who’s mood swings make it impossible for you to spend time with, that’s basically me.
If you find it hard to be friends with this kind of person, try being in love with this kind of person. My boyfriend is strapped with the task of loving me, even on days that I don’t love me.
I’m hard to handle at times, my mood swings and my mind changes like it’s my job and he never knows if he will wake up to me laughing or crying.
He understands what it means when I’m in a cocoon in bed, or quiet before work, or pacing in the kitchen. He understands that he can’t fix what’s going on in my head, but tries to anyway, because he loves me.
This man is the strongest willed, most stubborn, but most supportive man who has ever stepped foot into my life and I couldn’t ask for more than the moments when he holds me while I cry because my anxiety has taken over, or when he rubs my back after a freak out session.
The truth is being in a relationship with someone with anxiety is hard. Even I can see it. There’s times when I get mad because of it, there’s times when he does. But if you can find a person that is strong willed, stubborn, and supportive it doesn’t have to be as hard.
Even on days when I feel like I am unlovable, when I feel like I’m more of a burden than a partner, on days when I feel like he’d be better off without me, he reassures me and makes me feel like I am worth not only his love, but my own.
I’m hard to handle, but he handles me pretty well.
I’ve always been a firm believer of doing what makes you happy. I still am. However, I know it’s much easier said than done.
In a perfect world, I would be working from home. I would get up early, make a coffee, and sit at my computer either blogging or writing. I would take a break for lunch and cook a nutritious meal before maybe taking a stroll around the neighbourhood. After working for a few more hours I’d tidy up the house and wait for my boyfriend to come home and make dinner.
But instead, I spend my days sleeping in til noon because I just don’t want to start my day. I roll out of bed and spend my morning crying or panicking or just staring at a wall before getting ready for work. I walk half an hour to get to a place I hate. The next 8 hours consists of me constantly tensing up and panicking, knowing at any moment, shit could hit the fan. I come home at midnight, and toss and turn all night knowing I have to do it again.
Doing what makes you happy is the ultimate goal, but it is so much more unrealistic than people care to talk about. I never thought I would spend my twenties like this. I was constantly told to do what made me happy and I thought making other people happy would do that, but it’s not.
So I am going to try to do what makes me happy. In the next blog posts I will be talking about what I’m doing to get there. Will I quit my job to focus on school? I don’t even know. How will I get out of this rutt. I don’t know that either. I don’t know anything, except that I’m not doing what makes me happy, and I want to be.
My last blog post was about two months ago. I was posting about going back up to part time at my current job. I thought I was ready. I thought I could do it, it’s only forty hours, right? Well I recently started school full time as well and it has just been a lot.
I am now in a situation where I want to quit. I want to quit to focus on school, I want to quit because financial assistance is giving me living expenses anyway, and most importantly, I want to quit because it is ruining me.
This job is ruining me. It has ruined me.
The last three years has been a rollercoaster of stress. It has turned me into a person I thought I would never be. It has turned me into a bitter person, who I never wanted to be.
But it’s all I know. I feel stuck, I feel broken down, I feel empty inside. I feel like every day that I have to go into work is the end of the world. The anxiety I feel about going into that place is incomparable to anything I’ve ever dealt with. I would love to wash my hands of that place.
My boyfriend is worried about money, but I’m worried about my mental health. I’m usually pretty firm with my decisions but this one doesn’t just affect me.
There is nothing worse than feeling so stuck in a situation that is hurting you so badly.
Am I ready?
I have gone through a lot at my current job. I started as an unpaid student, then worked casually, went up to full time, burnt out, went down to part time, back up to full time, went out on stress leave, then went back down to casual. I have been verbally, physically, emotionally assaulted more times than I could count. I have shed tears both out of sadness, and anger. I have told my co-workers I wanted out, and that I would never come back.
So why am I applying for a part time position?
When I told my coworkers yesterday, one asked a question
“Do you think you are mentally stable enough to come back?”
I don’t know. I really don’t. I know I don’t work well under pressure, and I’m starting school in a month. We’re getting a new resident which always mixes up the routine and causes more chaos in the house. I’d like to believe that I can do it. I’d like to think I can be successful at this because I have been so many times in the past. But I’m nervous. Nervous I will fail again, nervous I will sink into another depression. But I need to try. As much as money is a taboo, it’s not possible to live off of one income. And the amount I’ve been working isn’t really helping much. We’d like to think that money can’t buy happiness, and that it’s more important to be happy and mentally stable than to be focusing on monetary gains. But when you can’t afford rent or food, it’s hard to be happy. Eventually I’d like to branch off from this field, because I definitely can’t see myself being here forever. But for now, it’s what I know. And as much as I tell myself I’m not, I’m good at this. So this is what I’ll do. Am I ready? I don’t know, will I ever be?
When I say mood changes, I don’t mean mood swings. As much as they can suck, I’m talking about manic episodes and depressive episodes. This is common in a lot of mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and even in just good ol’ depression and anxiety.
One of the major reasons the term borderline personality disorder was tossed around when I was in therapy was because of my extreme mood changes. One week I can be totally depressed. I sleep in til 2:00 pm, lay on the couch, and call in sick. I eat like trash, cry at the drop of a dime, and barely shower. One day I can wake up and feel like a different person. I will be impulsive, eat healthy, go for walks, laugh, smile. But I’m also extremely energetic, to the point where I don’t sleep. I’ll go to sleep at 2:00 am, wake up at 8:00 am. My anxiety will be high because my mood is elevated and I’m just too excited. It’s not happiness, it’s just the opposite of depression. And if you know depression, you know it’s not just sadness. It’s an extreme low, and mania is an extreme high.
Even now that I feel like I have a lot of my mental health under control, one thing I still struggle with is the emotion changes. It comes on unexpectedly and I don’t know when it’s going to leave. For instance, right now I feel a change of tides coming. The last few weeks were great, I was waking up at 8:00 am every day, using my time wisely and productively, eating healthy and working out. Work hasn’t been hard for me, I’ve been social and it’s felt easy. Typically during these swings my anxiety is really high because I don’t expel all of my extra energy. This time I went on hikes, walks, cleaned and left the house. I felt really good. I woke up yesterday late, felt unambitious, unproductive, like everything slowed down. Today is worse. It’s happening again, and I’ll be honest, I still don’t know how to navigate my way through it.
But I try, and these are the things I do to try to get through the episodes.
– Have someone you can talk to
With any mental illness, you need a strong support system. It could be a best friend, a significant other, a family member etc. When I’m feeling down and I know it’s only going to get worse for a while, I sit my boyfriend down and I let him know what I’m feeling. I remind him that I don’t know why this is happening, it’s nothing he’s done, and I don’t know how to change it. It may not make me feel any better in the moment, but it makes it easier throughout the swing because I know I can talk to him if I need to, and he knows to try to keep his emotions under control. It’s easy to get angry or upset with your partner when they’re unmotivated, and letting the surroundings fall apart. It’s normal. You just need to communicate through it.
–“be a person”
This is a term I use a lot. When I can’t get up, shower, eat, put clothes on etc, that’s when I can’t “be a person”. A lot of the time I give into that. I accept the fact that I “just can’t” and so, I don’t. One thing that I find helps, even if it’s just a bit, is to get up and be a person. Shower, put on a nice outfit, and do your hair. Take an hour out of the day to just focus on you. Try not to judge the reflection in the mirror too much, because I know that’ s easy to do.
–No more Isolation
The hardest part of this is that everything on this list involves forcing yourself to do something your brain is telling you not to do. Your brain is going to tell you to lay in bed all day and not talk to anyone. Don’t do it. Text a friend, make excuses to leave the house, call your mom.
Sit down and take some deep breaths. Try to slow down your heart rate because no doubt you are running a mile a minute. Close your eyes and focus on where you are in the moment. Accept the intrusive thoughts interrupting you, and let them pass. Don’t try to avoid thinking about the dishes that need to be done, or the laundry sitting in the washer, because it will just make it worse. Breathe deeply and slowly.
-Try to recognize it for what it is
One of the biggest things I struggle with is knowing the difference between just having a really good week with some high anxiety, and being in a full on manic episode. Some tell tale signs for me that it is the latter is lack of sleep, wanting to go go go, and extreme impulsiveness. If I am applying for jobs, spending money I don’t have, or cutting people out of my life because “I don’t need them” all willy nilly, I’m probably in a manic episode. It’s way easier to find your way to the other side of a manic episode if you know you are in a manic episode.
You don’t need to impress everybody.
There’s nobody in the world who is liked by everyone they know. There’s always going to be people who think you’re not funny, or annoying. It’s a fact of life. You don’t have to change your personality to fit every person you’re around. God knows it’s exhausting.
Stop going back to the friends that put you down all the time.
Just because you are lonely doesn’t mean you need to spend time with people who don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. There’s a difference between friends who care and friends who just want friends.
You are worthy of positive attention.
Not all attention is good attention. Sleeping around and having rumours spread about you isn’t the kind of attention you want, and you deserve to be treated well.
Stop trying to grow up so fast
At 16, you don’t need to have your life figured out. You aren’t going to find the love of your life. You don’t need to be going out every weekend acting like a grown up. Because you’re not.
You aren’t broken.
I know you’re confused about why you feel like you can’t get out of bed, or why school just isn’t an option. You aren’t just “lazy” even though that may be what people tell you. You’re not hopeless because of your lack of motivation. You’re not destined to fail. It’s going to be harder than it may be for other people, but you can still succeed.
I of course believe everyone should do what makes them happy. If you feel like you would rather keep your mental health to yourself, I think that’s great too, but I consider myself to be extremely open about my own mental health.
I think most people want to end the stigma on mental illness. In 2018, I want people to be able to feel less insecure about their mental health, and I want people to understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. I know a lot of people feel embarrassed about being on medications or needing mental health days. A lot of people think they are broken or damaged because they don’t feel happy all the time.
I haven’t always been happy with myself. I haven’t always been “okay” with my mental illnesses. I will admit, I definitely felt broken. I felt like no one could love me, because I couldn’t entirely love myself. I have suffered with mental health issues since I was 11, and it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I began to feel okay with the fact that sometimes I’m just not okay.
Once I started being okay with my mental health situation, I began talking about it. I realized, wow, a lot of people feel the same way I do. I’m not alone. Almost everyone I spoke to, especially my coworkers, lived with some kind of mental illness. A lot of people told me that they felt alone too. I could see on their faces that they felt better, which made me feel better. Talking, while a seemingly small thing, is huge for making people feel less insecure with their mental illnesses.
If I can make even just one person feel less alone, less isolated, and begin to see their own worth as a human being, I’m happy. If that means me spilling my guts talking about the last 11 years of my life and all the struggles I’ve pushed through, I’m happy to. I love talking about mental health as a whole, and I’m pretty much an expert in only one area; My own experiences. If you’re comfortable talking about your own mental health, do it. You never know who you could reach.
3 free apps I really use for my anxiety, that really work
1. Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds by Ipnos Software
This app is the best thing that has ever happened to my quality of sleep. A lot of the time my brain won’t shut off. It’s easy to fixate on all the problems of today and all the problems of tomorrow. This app lets you combine sounds until you have your perfect mix. A cozy cabin in the woods with the fire blazing and light rain? No problem! Ocean waves with thunder rolling in the distance? They have that too! This app is free, but you can upgrade to pro for even more sound options.
2. Viridi by Ice Water Games
This app is great for self care. It is a pot of succulents that grows in real time. You pick a pot, pick some starter succulents and come back everyday to check on them. You even get a snail visitor. This is a simple but amazing app that really puts you in a good headspace.
3. My Oasis by Buff Studio Co.,L.t.d
This is another relaxing game. It is full of beautiful graphics, calming music, and nothing that can stress you out. All you do is tap. Seriously. No ads for extra in-game currency, no annoying pop ups. It’s great, I promise.
“You create your own universe as you go along.”
– Winston Churchill
Thanks so much! Keep an eye out for e-mails!
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