Just an extraordinarily ordinary girl; a work in progress.
Just an extraordinarily ordinary girl; a work in progress.
I’m still taking little steps to better myself. Over the last few days I have put myself out of my comfort zone and I have felt better for it. I often have that little voice in my head that doubts and convinces me to stay in by myself. “Hide” it whispers to me, and so I obey and crawl into bed and stay where I feel safe. However, I don’t always have to listen, and often that means good things happen.
These are some of the small steps I have taken and it honestly feels like a giant leap to where I was last week. I also mentioned to a close friend the thought of talking to a counselor and she has a recommendation for me which is great. Hopefully, things will continue to get better.
I’m still finding it hard to motivate myself at all. I spend most of the day hiding in bed, avoiding any interaction with friends and family, and then I stay up into the early hours. I can count on one hand how many times I have been out of my apartment the past two weeks. I have truly isolated myself and now I’m scared to go outside in case I bump into someone I know. I really do not have the energy to pretend that everything is fine. It’s hard enough to admit to myself that I am not okay.
When I cannot motivate myself I give myself a hard time. I spend a lot of time thinking that I am lazy and worthless. Today I decided that I need to take little steps towards helping myself. This stuff is so small it is almost laughable, but it makes it easier. I started with a shower. Showers always help you feel better. There is something about them that just leaves me feeling instantly better. I also took the time to use a hair mask and body scrub, and I felt brand new. After getting dressed and drying my hair, I did a bit of tidying and took the bins out. Just moving about really lifted my mood so I popped to the shop around the corner, and thankfully it was very quiet. I managed to shop in peace, and get some food that I can actually make myself a proper meal with, rather than the usual ready meal/takeaway. After that short victory, I made myself a coffee and enjoyed the fresh air on the balcony.
I guess I needed to remind myself that I need to start taking better care of myself, and be kinder. Hopefully then this journey will be easier.
Here’s my favourite photo of my cat, Buttons. I feel like a proud Mama when I look at him. He was rescued as a Kitten with his siblings from a basement where his Mum had given birth. They were all pretty much feral from never having had an human interaction. The local animal sanctuary nick-named them all after horror films and their characters until they were ready to be re-homed, I think his name was Hannibal for a while! They later renamed them after sweets like Starburst, Skittles…and so he became Buttons, ya know, like the chocolate ones.
This little guy was the most scared and grew up in the sanctuary long after his siblings were adopted. He hid under his blanket all day, and would hiss if you went near him. He was never aggressive, and really just needed some love. So, my Mum brought him home. She fostered him to try and socialise him and help give him a better chance of being adopted. I spent a lot of time just sitting with this guy, as I was a depressed teenager at the time. It might sound a little odd, but I felt like we were very similar creatures as we had experienced similar things. We were both abandoned, and placed in foster care. He seemed just as scared as I was when everything I knew was taken away and I had no control over my own life. I begged my Mum to let us keep him, but we already had a cat, Tiger, who was pretty much an old man. I told her “but he’s my soulmate!”, yes a little dramatic, but I felt a connection with this scared little floof. Fast forward a few months or so, and Buttons is still without a permanent home and is back at the sanctuary. They discuss making him a permanent resident, but my Mum wanted him to have a proper home, and so she brought him home for good.
Buttons has come leaps and bounds from the scared little Kitten he used to be. Slowly but surely he has stolen our hearts and become our baby boy. He will never be a lap cat, and he is still very wary, but we notice he softens with age. He is now 7 years old, and enjoys having strokes and belly rubs, on his terms of course. He squeaks at you to say hello, and even bows his head for a kiss. He really is sweet, just like the white chocolate buttons he was name after.
Happy international Cat Day butthead, wish you would let me squish you!
Its funny how much clearer my mind seems after a few days with loved ones. During those seemingly never ending dark days, its hard to imagine ever emerging from it all. I still can’t ignore the paranoid thoughts and the guilt that weighs down on my chest. I feel guilty for not responding to friends, and not being available in general. The truth is, it’s not you, its me. Sometimes there are times where I am too busy battling my own thoughts, and I’ve convinced myself that my friends don’t even like me. I constantly feel guilty for not being good enough, and I find myself apologising constantly.
“I’m sorry I have been quiet.”
“Sorry I didn’t get back to you”
“Sorry I’m busy”
However, I’ve realised I shouldn’t be sorry. So, sorry but I am not sorry! Apologising constantly makes me feel worse. It adds to the guilt and the feeling of not being good enough. I’m not going to apologise for my mental health, just like I wouldn’t apologise if I had broken my arm and couldn’t get back to you straight away. Sometimes, as a friend, I just need you to understand that it can get too much and I might drop off the radar for a while. Of course there is a time and a place for apologising and saying sorry, but its not necessary when something is beyond your control. I understand it must be frustrating, and that’s why instead of apologising I want to say thank you. Thank you for understanding and not making me feel uncomfortable. Thank you for reaching out even when I’m distant. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, despite my irrational thoughts. Thank you.
Here I am again, emerging from the brain fog that clouded all of my sensible, rational thoughts for the last week or so. Its like when I submerge myself in the bath, and listen to the muffled music through the water. I quite like the sensation of being disconnected in that way, I hold my breath and hope I can stay like this for a while. Float away, and not have to think, just for a while. Except I always break the surface, gasping for air. Inhale, exhale, and I’m alive; my heart thumping more than usual.
The fog starts by creeping in and weighing me down. I’m exhausted, and everything is hard work. I mutter excuses about being busy that day, and already having plans, and not feeling well. They’re are not lies, I’m busy with my own thoughts. I have plans to beat myself up, and I really can not say that I am well. The night becomes my companion and we keep each other company until daylight creeps through the blinds. I drift in and out of sleep, wake late in the day and cram something sweet and salty into my mouth until I feel sick and bloated. Repeat.
The fog returns every month, and it brings with it despair, tension and hopelessness. It clouds any rational thoughts and I often feel extremely depressed and sometimes even suicidal. I become self loathing and push my loved ones away. Then, just like that, I am breaking the surface, gasping for air. I can hear the music clearly now and the fog has lifted.
So, here I am. It’s three thirty nine in the morning and I have decided now is the time to create a blog. That’s the problem with having anxiety, once you get something into your head, it doesn’t let up. Most of the time these thoughts are are very negative and often irrational., but this one surprised me. A few days ago I seemed to have some kind of epiphany, that I need to help myself more. Creating a space such as a blog popped into my head, and it’s been there ever since. Maybe having somewhere to write down my thoughts will help, and maybe it could even help others not to feel completely alone. Either way, it is a step in the right direction.
Recently, I have found myself at the age of twenty five and a half, unemployed, overweight and depressed. I joked about having a quarter life crisis on my birthday back in February, but I never imagined I’d be back here. I’ve returned to that dark, all-consuming corner of my life that is depression. I’ve visited this place on and off from the age of twelve, but despite numerous medications, unwilling visits to therapists and more recently, self medicating with food, I have never truly tried to help myself.
Right now, I feel like I’ve been swallowed whole by my mental health disorders, and I’m desperately trying to stay afloat. I have now got to a stage in my life where I’ve asked myself, “how long will I let this control my life?” I do not want my mental health to define me, but I realise it is so important to talk about it. For me, talking to anyone about how I feel is extremely difficult and I know it’s not going to be an easy process.