Generally on this blog, over the years, I've consistently updated and talked about what I've been up to and written reasonably regular mental health subjected posts. I feel like it's hugely important to discuss these things and it's something I've slowly grown into doing.
It's plain to see that I've actually not done many of these recently and I'm actually going to go discuss some of the reasons and what I've been up to in this post!
I was actually umming and ahhing for a bit of time before finally hitting publish on this, so bear with me!!
Let's Reflect: Second Year of University post, but I've been struggling with my mental health recently.
There was so much emotion and so much confusion and I just felt like I wasn't confident enough to talk about it or even accept some of it. Even though 4 out of 5 of my most popular blog posts are on the topic of mental health!
It was only really when it peaked during the Easter holidays and upon my return from them, where I finally snapped and realised I wanted and had to, make a change. Truth is, I was struggling to do things and avoiding situations left right and centre. A lot of the time I've been open about anxiety, which has been hard but I'd managed it. I've dealt with other aspects of mental health before, but I had this very, very, ugly rut of what I'd say was depression, as it was nothing I'd experienced before. I was feeling negative about everything, doubting myself, doubting my future, being unsatisfied, disappointed in things, generally feeling really down and negative about a lot of aspects of life. Alongside my anxiety and to be honest probably OCD, it's not a great recipe.
There were times when I'd really have to prep talk myself out of the house. As much as I'd want to go, it would just be a wave over me. It was like going backwards, taking steps back instead of going forwards. For example, my travel anxiety started getting worse randomly and any form of transport was making me uncomfortable.
Travel Anxiety, she makes a very powerful speech at the end which really hit me and spurred me on to do it. Zoe is a hugely positive influence on mental health and she's definitely been a public figure who's helped me understand a lot about myself.
It's really scary how powerful these illnesses can just take over you and control you. You can feel utterly powerless in your own body and that's not how it should be.
Generally, I've always been a bit of an emotional person, I have a big heart and those I care about, I care about a lot. I get emotional easily and it's not a trait I enjoy about myself. My emotions get very intense sometimes and it can be hard to deal with.
I can definitely say I closed up and hid everything which was happening to me away, which probably was not the best way to go about it. It was scary how fast the depressive feelings took a hold of me and it felt like a headache I was waking up with day after day. I wasn't taking care of myself and everything became too much. I think sometimes when I've opened up and talked about something it can get thrown back in my face at some point, so I feel like I've held back sometimes to protect myself.
Obviously opening up is still difficult and as my anxiety revolves a lot about both being ill/unwell/sick in a public place or away from home and really bad overthinking, it can creep up on me either out or at home. Recently, travelling has been so difficult, I've been struggling getting into vehicles which is a bit of a backward step for me. A lot of my depressive feelings come from frustration with myself and being restricted. And my somewhat feelings of OCD symptoms stems from trying to prevent the above from happening. For me, I've got very bad anxiety in certain situations physically but then I'll just be sat at home feeling restless because my mind will have found something else to worry about and persist with. It feels like two separate ones.
As much as I wanted to be as open as I've been previously, I just felt like I locked away a lot of how I was feeling away and dealt with it on my own, which I can see was probably not the best way to handle it. I've restricted how much I open up to those people, for my own protection. I can tell instantly when someone gets my situation when I'm explaining it to them and that instantly influences how much more or less I tell them. Even despite this, I know just how much you should try and educate others and get your own experiences and feelings across, because you matter, I matter, our mental health MATTERS!
Opening up is so, so, important, and the recent event highlighting that would be the tragic death of Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon and in recent days her boyfriend. Sophie was someone who I actually found to be relatable on multiple occasions when she was on the series. In an age where opening up is still really, really hard, I encourage us all to be open minded and kind.
As expected, this post was a difficult one to write, I know I've not gone into loads of detail but as I mentioned, I wasn't even sure I was going to publish it! But I just want to repeat the fact that if you're struggling with anything I've mentioned, you are not alone! And you are an incredibly strong person and you might not believe that but it's true! And please allow yourself the chance to get better. My therapist has told me that because my symptoms have been going on a while, it's a vicious cycle and naturally I know it's going to take time for things to work, but it's 100% okay!
Here are some valuable websites linked below to offer guidance and help if you need it:
Love & hugs,