Thursday, 12 July 2018

Life Update: Why I've Not Been Open Recently

Hi everyone!

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!!
First and foremost, the reason why I've not been open recently and I haven't done many of these kinds of posts, is because I've just not felt like it. Don't get me wrong, I've written them up as drafts and edited them and all that goes with that, but I've not quite hit the publish button. I touched upon it in my 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.

I'd talked briefly with one of the girls on my course about the possibility of therapy and she suggested a couple of ones she knew and I actually found myself contacting Mind but it's still very, very early days. I really hope that I can try and manage my mental health and that this can be a step in getting better, to at least be able to manage life again. I've finally managed to admit to feeling and doing things I'd been pushing to the back of my head for a while. It wasn't easy to do either but in one of Zoella's recent videos about 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.

In terms of me, I'm just making every effort to deal with how I'm feeling from day to day and hopefully receiving therapy in September. I'm doing this for me because I want a difference and I've accepted that I do need help with this. I'm scared because I know it won't be easy, but as one therapist did tell me, it's become a cycle from the number of years I've been dealing with it and at this point in my life, I know it's important to try and see if it will help me. I want to be on top of everything.

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:

https://www.samaritans.org/
https://www.childline.org.uk/https://www.mind.org.uk/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/


Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

4 comments:

  1. You are so brave for sharing and getting your words out! I often find that even if you don't hit publish writing or typing your thoughts and feelings can help a great deal. I don't always think opening up is the hard part but knowing who to open up to, some people may pretend they care and want to help but they could be waiting to turn on you. That's quite a cynical way to look at people and the world but as I've gotten older I've learnt that trust needs to be earnt, it shouldn't always be given straight away. As you know, I'm here if you ever need to talk xx

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    1. I completely get you on that Chanelle-Rosie
      Xxx

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  2. I admire your courage for sharing This, thank You! Our mental health really matters, and it's amazing to see that you're doing Okay❣

    Keep doing what you do, and hang in there. It's my first time on your blog, and i don't regret coming here at all.

    http://theportablehub.com/life-lately-whats-going-on-with-me/

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  3. Thank you for such an honest post, im glad you're doing okay x

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