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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Honesty - My Mental Health

I've always been very honest and upfront about my struggles with mental health, I've talked about suffering with both depression and anxiety for the majority of my life and how adapting my lifestyle, changing my eating habits and becoming more active helped improve my mental health dramatically.

I want to write this post to tell you those things weren't and aren't a miracle cure for any mental health issue, that I don't just have happy days full of smiles and laughter and that I do still suffer with both depression and anxiety. It would be wrong and irresponsible of me not to address the fact my mental health is still an ongoing battle, and although my lifestyle changes did help bring me out of a very deep and dark depression, helped boost my confidence and improved my relationship with my body, I do still struggle and I do still have very bad days. No mental health issue can be fixed over night and it's completely normal to have set backs, which I myself need reminding of sometimes. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be okay all the time, to be strong 24/7 and to carry on when sometimes we need time to be sad, we need time by ourselves and we need time to heal without any other added pressures.

I'm talking about this now as the past few days I've experienced several panic attacks and very dark spells of depression that have really impacted my life. I was due to start a new job this week, which I was so excited about and really thought would be ideal for me to go alongside my blog/freelance work - it was part time and local so I wouldn't have to travel. Unfortunately I missed my first shift due to a depression breakdown that was completely terrifying, exhausting and traumatic. Somehow I made it in the next day (even though it was difficult), and you know what? My first day went okay, the job isn't my dream role but the people were lovely and the work area was nice. However, the following day when it was my second shift I suffered a bad panic attack in the morning, followed by dark feelings and a pain in my chest that I can't even begin to describe. I couldn't make it in.

The let-down, anger and frustrating I feel for myself is off the scale. Depression and anxiety often aren't logical and I can only put it down to trauma from the past and my brain associating starting this new job with that dark time. I wanted this job so badly and felt so proud when I got it!  I was mostly excited about the prospect of saving up to move out, which won't be possible without that extra income. I was really excited for the future, I was making plans and I felt really proud of myself.
Now I feel lost, hopeless and defeated. I'm lucky I have my growing business to work on which is thankfully bringing in some income, I have a huge passion for it and I'm getting more freelance jobs every day, but having something extra was so important to me. I wonder if this pressure - both from myself and others - was the a contributing factor towards my breakdowns?

I feel like I've let a number of people down, and for that I'm sorry. I wish more than anything I could be stronger, that I wasn't a burden, that I could just get up and carry on and that I didn't cause such stress and hurt. I realise I need to get myself well again, and I'm going to use whatever energy I have left to do that.

This was a totally unplanned and unedited blog post. It's just a little reminder that I'm human. Sometimes things go wrong for me, sometimes I feel like giving up, sometimes I'm not okay.

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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