How To Ask For Help

Asking for help or reaching out to people can seem so daunting. I admit it was the hardest thing for me to do. I have touched on this in a previous post, it was a friend who came to me with NHS print outs for depression and bipolar. She had been worried about me for a while previous to that but anytime anyone broached the subject with me I just shut down and continued to spiral in my behaviours which including partying ALOT and drinking.

I soon came to realise that in the back of my mind I had been pushing out how I had really been feeling for years. I often felt I could deal with it on my own. I didn’t want to really admit it out loud how much I was suffering, but if I didn’t get the help I needed I would loose those around me due to my behaviours.

This post has came as a request from someone who has been following my journey so I hope I can help and you can take from this what I wish I was told.

Firstly I would like to say do not ever be ashamed of having struggles or feeling down, suicidal or manic. Do not feel inadequate to others because really we all have mental health, we just all deal with it all differently. Even celebrities have started speaking out which is amazing, to help set the tone that it is okay not to be okay.

Secondly talking is the best thing you can do. I feel hypocritical saying that as it took me a while to talk but once I started I didn’t stop. I have written a list on self help and recommendations and that is what has helped me. It has been apps, certain social media pages, different people. what ever tools you feel most comfortable using, you go ahead and use them. You can find these at the top of the home screen.

No one is judging you. Mostly we are our own worst enemies and feel the world is judging us or we are not where we want to be in life. Stop and breathe, Meditation comes in handy when our thoughts become a little consumed. We don’t have a timeline in life that things need to be done by a certain age or in a certain order. You don’t need to be married before having children. You don’t need to have a mortgage. You can travel at any age. I feel as I have gotten older is has been easier to fall into that mind frame of a timeline. All my friends have children. I don’t. Some friends have a career. I don’t. I have done many times felt caught up in the world of illusions that to fit in we all need to be on the same path in life.

I have always liked to do things at my own pace and make sure my happiness comes before anything. If someone or something doesn’t fill me with that then I can easily remove it, because I am in control of my own life and so should you be. Start by removing the people around you who bring negativity. Remove those who don’t celebrate your achievements. Remove those who don’t support you on down days and only on good days want to be around you. This can be friends and family. Trust me once you start doing this you will feel so much better. You get to choose who you surround yourself with.

If you are in a relationship and don’t feel they support you, it is okay to confront these situations and speak openly about them. Make sure your partner respects you above all. We can sometimes get stuck in a routine and tend to stay with people for the wrong reasons. This can drag you down and because we spend so much of our life with our other half it is important we communicate to each other. It is important that, that person is our biggest fan. Don’t stay together just because you have bills to pay, or children together. You will be more respected by having the courage to take back control of your life and living it how you feel is right. You can still co parent together without feeling you need to pretend to be happy together.

I have been in these relationships before where I knew it wasn’t right but had a flat together and bills to pay. I got to the darkest place of my life and was so unsupported that we lost the friendship as well as he relationship and in the end I knew my happiness needed to come first, I am the type of person who will physically check out before mentally admitting it. It was a lesson learnt. Once I walked away from that relationship I realised how unhappy it had really made me feel. How much I had given up for it to work. I lost myself along the way. Don’t let a relationship consume your mental health just because your friends are all dating. Take things at your own pace. Make sure they respect you. That they have the qualities you are looking for and don’t settle for anything less because you feel lonely. Trust me you will be more lonelier in that relationship than out of it.

Keep a track of how your feeling. I use various apps daily and have reminders set to log them. This helps me when I do see professionals and they ask how I have been. Instead of saying fine I get my app out and talk through how things really have been going. It helps me track any patterns in behaviours and any triggers that could set me off. It helps me illuminate those triggers.

Nutrition is a huge thing for mental health and dealing with it. Some eat less some eat more. Some foods can make you feel worse than better even though that tub of Ben and Jerry’s tastes great at the time. Be mindful about what you eat. It can cause weight gain or weight lose which in my experience contributes to my mental health.

Don’t be put off by medication. I know there is so much fucking stigma around this but I would put my middle finger up to those critical people. If you can manage without medication then that is absolutely fantastic, but if you need medication then I am also proud of YOU! I have been medicated and non medicated throughout my journey. I am currently unmediated by choice, not that my mental health nurse likes this idea, I think more so because I done this on my own accord. I flushed the meds down the toilet without being weened professionally and this is something I would not recommend doing. ALWAYS follow the professionals advice because you can become very sick. Physically and mentally. Thankfully I got through this on my own and feel in a great place. Not saying I don’t have bad days I do, I spent last week in bed for days on off crying and couldn’t pull myself out of it. But trust in the process things do not happen overnight and that goes for medication working to. I have wrote more in depth about how medication on another post so won’t bore you again.

There are so many differently professionals out there so if you don’t bond well with one there is loads more. For me it has always been massively important for to build a trusting working relationship with the health professionals. I have had loads who have spoke down to me and treated me in such a demoralising way, but there is a fit for us all so if one doesn’t work do not be afraid to say. Again this is part of taking control of your own life and health plan. I always found a GP are quick at throwing medication at you and not discussing how you feel. So if mental health is something you need help with your doctor surgery should have a mental health nurse. Mine has changed my life, I mean we didn’t get off to the easiest of starts but I trust her and work well together. She gives me plenty time each time I see her and I am never rushed like a doctors appointment. She talks through medications and side effects. She makes referrals to other services that I might find useful. She talks to me about nutrition and the importance of it along with sleeping. So please do ask for one should you need it. If your surgery doesn’t have one then they can bring one in for you.

I have highlighted certain words in bold. The reason for this is I find these words the most important throughout this whole blog so please take these into account. I am open to suggestions for future posts and you can always email me them at readysteadybreathe@outlook.com

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Relationships vs Mental Health

I have many friends who have mental health and many friends who do not. Some of those friendships are stronger than others, but I often wonder what it is like not to have mental health?

To wake up and have this horrible feeling that you cannot bring yourself to leave bed, brush your teeth or even shower. Not leaving the house for days or even weeks on end. Spending those days asleep or in bed.

I wonder what it would be like to never have those feelings of self doubt that ruin lots of things in your life. To be able to build a career and stick at a job long enough to reach milestones.

To not constantly overthink and ruin situations before they arise.

There are millions of people in this world who lead a “normal” life. To me I mean normal in a sense that is a different way to how I live.

How do people manage to hold down friendships and relationships long enough? How do they trust someone? How do they not feel burdened to others?

I mean I have had relationships that have worked through the dark days and friendships who have remained friends. However I can count on one hand the true REAL friends I would class as actual friends. The others were friends that then turned into people I share memories with.

I cherish the people who remain friends and who know me better than I know myself. Who know when I am ill before I do. Who drop everything should I need someone. Who encourage and support me no matter how little an achievement might be to others they know how big it is to me. Unfortunately I have lost a lot of friends along the way, but that is part of growing up. Peoples lives change and we grown in different directions.

I am such a social butterfly that it may come as a shock to hear I have a handful of people I call friends. I am the type of person who talks to anyone and makes friends wherever I go, but there is a HUGE difference in making “friends” on a night out in a toilet, to people who know you inside out.

As for relationships, I am always envious of those couples who have been together for years and still madly in love. Those couples who have bought their first home together or started a family together. This is not to say I haven’t had relationships long term, I have. They were different in different ways though.

My first one was just a first boyfriend and I didn’t really suffer mental health throughout that relationship. Insecurity’s yes but who wouldn’t if they got cheated on from them.

After that my mental health has affected every relationship since. Some have helped me through, others made it feel worse.

Although this all sounds like I can’t hold a friendship or relationship down, I can. I love nothing more than to have deep connections with people. I am a loyal and caring friend to have and will always have your back even when you don’t have mine.

Over the years I have looked back on the people who were part of my life and would have classed as family and have felt sad at times for the lost friendships, because at some points I made so many incredible memories.

I always felt I was to be blamed for not remaining friends when in REALITY it hasn’t always been the case. People stop trying even when you keep trying. People become un loyal to you. They make new friends and no longer prioritise you. So eventually any negativity needs to be removed from your life and you learn to grow from those experiences.

You begin to realise your worth over having a label in a relationship. You may think more erratically but it is always more clearer.

So I have some tips to how to build and maintain healthy relationships.

Communication

  1. Open up lines of communication.
  2. Have the talk.
  3. Try to be direct about your situation and needs.

Focus on positives

  1. Avoid negative relationships and behaviour.
  2. Surround yourself with a core group you can rely on.

Be mindful

  1. Be aware that others may not know or understand your illness.
  2. Know that you are NOT A BURDEN to others.

Set goals

  1. Having goals to work toward will build trust and keep you motivated to move forwards.
  2. Create opportunities to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones.

Self care

  1. Be committed to your self care.
  2. Use the resources available to you.

Know your worth. Know when to walk away from anything that no longer serves you happiness.

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Track and unpack

I am back writing, not that I haven’t wanted too but that I just couldn’t put pen to paper. So I guess I should fill my blog in on a little update.

Lets start with work talk now and an update is I have given it up. I felt unsupported in my role and pressured having mental health that my happiness had to come first and foremost. People have been critical of my decision and often commented how will you survive? Are you not going to be bored? You should find something else quick?

Taking time out of work isn’t a bad thing as mentioned previously in other posts. How about taking time out of stressful situations to heal your mind and soul. How about you get ONE LIFE and I would rather spend it being in control of my own happiness. My bills are paid, I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I need no more. Society makes us think that in life we live to work and pay bills and repeat. There is so much more to life than that.

Now I am not saying to go out and quit your job, but I am saying to stop and think, take a few minutes to think of things that bring you happiness and things that bring stress and sadness. If one of those things happen to be a job bringing more stress and anxiety than happiness, because let’s be real all work comes with an element of stress however it shouldn’t consume you and if it does my advice is leave. There are so many jobs out there. You spend most of your life at work so find something you enjoy doing and that makes you happy to get out bed in the morning.

For me I have decided to get back into studying. I have been accepted back into college to continue to do my Cosca counselling course. I had to leave my course last year when life was a little hectic and mentally wasn’t able to finish it at that time. However with the support of my tutor I am able to redo it and continue.

I have also paid for an advanced mindfulness CBT diploma that I do from home. Along with this I have been accepted to do 2 courses at the open uni which will contribute towards qualifying. I figured part time work is best if I want to study as for the next year my life will be packed from studying.

Last week I decided to flush all medication down the toilet. To my horror it took 3 days for Quetiapine to dissolve in my toilet bowl and they wouldn’t shift at all. This made me think of what they must have done on my insides. I have also flushed my Fluoxetine so no more mental meds for me. Recently in fact the last 2 months I have gained so much weight so quickly that I blink and there is added weight. I couldn’t shift it. I didn’t understand why I was gaining this weight and so quickly too. My body changes rapidly meaning I had no time to adjust to these changes as they kept happening. Standing on the scales I weighed my heaviest. The stretch marks becoming visible on my skin also prove that my body is changing quicker than I would like.

People started making comments regarding my weight calling me fat and chubby. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. I was at the gym every morning and swimming yet no weight was dropping. So the meds had to go. I knew it was them that caused the weight gain. I knew this was temporary, but nothing was fitting me anymore. Family have had to watch me cry because jeans that fit 2 months ago now don’t go over my hips, along with most of my clothes. So I am living in stretchy leggings and baggy tops.

I am avoiding doing things I would usually like and avoiding friends and family as I don’t want them seeing me with this weight gain. I am becoming conscious when I am out and about or ordering food to try pick the healthier options.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

So the professionals say I have borderline personality disorder, which in a way explains my behaviours and manic spells. Along with this I have anxiety and depression so a bad episode can mean being bed bound for days sometimes longer.

Some like having a diagnoses as it gives clarity as to why you are feeling a certain way, it enables you to get tailored therapy and educate yourself on it and research ways to help yourself.

Having a diagnoses makes you feel semi normal, like how you have been feeling wasn’t in your head. On the other hand some don’t like the label of a diagnoses or feel against the diagnoses they have been given.

For me I was just relieved someone took the time to listen to me properly, without telling me I was too young to feel like that or that it will pass. It has taken me years and years to find that one professional who has worked well with me.

For years it was always just a GP I would see. I wasn’t even aware that surgeries rolled out mental health nurses to help the waiting times to see a doctor. However I always ended up leaving the appointments feeling worse than I had entered it. With a script (prescription) thrown my way with medication I have never tried before let alone educated on what they are or side effects. That was as far as help that you were given.

If I walked in to a GP surgery with a broken arm you would get different treatment with a sense of urgency, but with mental health it is treated so different because it is not always visable.

I remember needing urgent medical attention and was removed frow work and taken to the doctors. They had a call from my work advising on my situation and could I be put in a separate room whilst I waited due to the distress I was showing. I was seen pretty quickly by a male doctor who took one look at me, I explained how I had been feeling etc. You know what his response was  “you are very young to be having those thoughts or feelings like that”. My response to him at the time was if you do not help me I am going to walk out this appointment and walk right into on coming traffic. His face was horrified! However at the time that is exactly how I felt. I mean looking back I had wished I took a photo and laugh about it. He then turned round and said I will check if the mental health nurse if free to see you. I stopped right in my tracks and said sorry a what? Why haven’t I had this? For years they knew I had suffered with mental health to now be told about a service I should have been already recieving.  To say I was angry would have been an under statement.

What is even worse is that because the NHS is stretched you don’t always get to see the same GP. You see so many different ones, making it harder to connect and build trust. It means repeating how you feel. This in itself can be difficult. I hate explaining myself over and over. Not only this but it comes back down to having stability and routine, and by that I mean having one GP who knows you well enough without constantly repeating myself. It means having appointments booked routinely.

Thankfully I now have a great mental health nurse. Since I started seeing her I have seen a massive improvement within myself. She can book appointments in advance and likes to see me weekly. I have her work mobile contact number should I not be able to attend an appointment I send her a text than forgetting to cancel appointments or call and wait ages on hold to get through to a surgery. She challenges me when I need it. She helps me live a better balanced lifestyle. If I skip meals by mistake she wants to know and works out plans to get back on track. She has referred me for many therapys that have really helped me. One thing I do like from about her is she is patient with me.  She gives me the best advice, and always a call away. I never recieved any of the help she has given me through ever seeing a GP. She got to the bottom of things and got me a diagnoses. She explains medication and the effects if may have on me.

What I am struggling with most of all is work. Yes I have gradually put myself back in work from taking 2 months out to work on myself. I haven’t ever been unemployed so making that desision to take a time out was difficult.  I was always in control of my life by being kept busy working so much so that I started negkecting other parts of my life.

I would highly recommend a break for anyone looking to refocus and just give yourself some time to heal. We are not made to work and pay bills that is no life to lead.

Now I am back into employment I am struggling with the back and forth thoughts of am I really ready to get back to working?  Should I have gone back part time than full time? Am I taking on too much? I don’t have enough time to focus on myself as much as I did before. To get that balance of work life, home life and social life. I often feel overwhelmed when working long stretches at a time with little days off in between. Doing double shifts kill me.

To some they might laugh at me saying this but having a brain that is constantly working overtime it is mentally exhausting. I often get so carried away overthinking things. Someone of my age should find it easy to hold down a full time job right? But is this right? How many people like me struggle daily. To maintain a balanced lifestyle.

How many people feel it is too much to do a double shift. I always never know how long I am going to be able to hold down a job for. Mental health for me makes working incredibly difficult. I am a super hard worker. I am determinded to achieve things. When I am good I really am good. However you won’t always come across employers who have a great understanding on how to support me.

When I tell people about my mental health what they find easy is to just google borderline personality disorder and think that is who I am. I am more than the diagnosis. I am more than the statistics the web holds. It is not one shoe fits all. To some that is the easy option. However getting to know someone like myself helps more than anything. To know what my triggers are. To know what to do should I be having a bad episode. With working how difficult is it when you need time off, and all you can do in that time off is stress about work and potentially being sacked due to needing time off.

In my previous employment I had the most amazing boss known to man. I have openly spoken about Babs in previous posts. How she helped me straight away when I was made homeless. She held my hand throughout the hardest times of my life. When I wanted to end my life she appeared and saved me. She was always around when she knew I was having a tough shift keeping an eye on me. She always always knew I was ill before I did. She made decisions for me when I couldn’t. If only every employment had a Barbara Haig working for them. Even though I do not work at Social Bite anymore I am still 100% part of that family.

So I write this post because recently has been a little turbulent in life. I have started to have more bad days than good. I have questioned my abilities and what I can give to others. I have qquestioned how much longer I will be employed before being told that my probation period is not passed because I can’t always face working. Other days I have so much fucking energy that no matter how much I try burn off the energy I am like a Duracell bunny on speed that can’t be brought back down again.

Remember people aren’t there diagnosis they are humans who have a little more to them. Who may need more kindess shown to them and supported a little more than others. After suffering this for years you would think I wouldn’t need to explain my behaviours to others because they mistake my manic phases for being too hyper not professional enough.  To my down days being lazy than actually depressed. To excess cleaning and not eating are signs of becoming unwell. Compulsive behaviours and needing things done certain ways. These are signs of me personally being unaware I am unwell. I do have a hand full of people around me thankfully who can tell when I am unwell and they don’t judge they just get it. This is important to surround youself amongst these people.

I don’t take criticism very well, infact it may actually make me focus more on the negatives and seeing no positives. This can often spiral into not being good enough.

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Anxiety in all its glory


noun
1.
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
“he felt a surge of anxiety”synonyms:
worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, consternation, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude,  perturbation, fretfulness, agitation, angst, nervousness, nerves, edginess, tension, tenseness, stress, misgiving, trepidation, foreboding, suspense; More
2.
strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
“the housekeeper’s eager anxiety to please”synonyms:
eagerness, keenness, desire, impatience, longing, yearning”her anxiety to please”

I think it is fair to say the majority of us suffer this in some form. I say suffer because to me that is exactly what it feels like. The overthinking, belly aching nerves of anxiousness. This for me is something I am working on getting a better hold on. Up to now I have avoided ( to the best I can ) any situations which would require me to overthink. Relationships, Jobs and Friendships are key factors for my overthinking. 

I would say I am a fairly giving person. I would even go as far as saying, too giving to some. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am honest ( far too honest sometimes ) I am caring and motherly in a weird way. I am the one who wants to look after people, to take care of them. I know from therapy that this is because of my childhood in raising my siblings. It has always stuck with me. I always put others needs before my own. I wouldn’t say this is a bad trait to have. It can however let people think I can be walked over which is so far from the truth. To those who don’t know me, I have been told I come across as intimidating. I think my personality I would say is more upfront say how I am feeling not learning to filter my words, speak before I think kind of girl. Yes I would love to say I am working on that but I am not. 

A lot of my anxieties come from insecurities and I am no longer embarrassed to say this out loud. It comes from abandonment as a child and as an adult. Not having parents to protect you, who let you down, who have hurt you in  more ways imaginable. I struggle with relationships. Relationships in any form. I keep my circle small. I don’t like change. I like to be in charge of my own life. I do not trust easy. I am very guarded and very stubborn, but I have the biggest heart with a lot of love to give.

To say I have learnt over this past couple years the definition of friendship would be an understatement. When I became homeless I noticed who was there for me and who wasn’t. When I attempted to take my own life last summer friendships changed. From years of suffering with mental health undiagnosed to being diagnosed. People who should have known me I realised didn’t at all. They knew I was suffering with my behaviour changes, though instead of supporting me they rejected me. I lost friends I classed as family. I have become more reluctant to make new friendships. and open myself up to the possibility of making new friends. It is a long road but I am getting there with over coming this.

Relationships with guys have been difficult, from being cheated on, lied to and used. I became so closed off from even the possibility of meeting someone and instead used sex as something I was in control of. I once said this to my therapist that I was started to get concerned because if I met a guy instantly I would assume it was just sex they wanted and not me. I gave no one a chance to get to know me. The anxiety ALWAYS kicks in that I am not good enough to be loved. If I was then why have so many people left. Now I am not saying I sleep around but girls are allowed to freely enjoy sex with a guy just like guys are with girls before any judgement kicks in if you are reading this. I am not ashamed to say I used sex as some kind of protection. Getting intimate yet staying in control and kicking them out before they had a chance to reject you. 

I overthink way to much to the point I make myself out to be more loopy than I am. It is safe to say the insecure feelings have a lot to play in how my anxieties make me feel. I run before I can walk in every aspect of my life. I always have to do my best in everything I do. Yet nothing is ever really good enough to me. I never stop to think of a job well done. I never stop to realise how far I have came and all I have achieved without help from anyone. I am always looking to give credit to others yet forget about myself. I never stop and ask for help, I over complicate things by letting my brain over tangle situations. However I have learnt that asking for help is not a negative yet it is a positive. I have also learnt that in life you need to make mistakes to learn from them. Anxiety plays a huge factor in episodes, when I say episodes and I do mention this word in other blogs it means a depressive or manic episode. This can last from a day to weeks at a time. I know some triggers to an episode and illuminate this in my daily life as much as possible, However sometimes it takes nothing for an episode to come on. I can wake up and straight away there it is like a bad fucking cloud not shifting. 

I think sometimes I make myself worst because I know things that are making me anxious yet I am unsure how to change some routines so that it doesn’t have to be part of my day. I worry about silly things, things that others might not. Like someone not messaging you back but they have read your message. I worry about loosing people to death. I worry about work and sometimes get huge ideas in my head that I think are manageable yet they are so unrealistic. It helps having people around me who can notice when this happens as that is a sign I am unwell or are becoming unwell. Something in which I am not always aware of. 

Anxiety effects us all differently and I am keen to know how it may affect you . If you would like to share your anxieties with me confidentially then find my email on the contact me tab. I love sharing struggles with others because we all have different ways of coping and dealing with things so what better way than to help each other.

 

 

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Hitting a home run

Recently I have been hitting home runs in terms of how I have been feeling. I have been doing so well. However today I have had to be gentle with myself. I need to remind myself sometimes it is okay to have a bad day. To feel so exhausted you can’t pick yourself up from that overwhelming feeling that feeling that just cannot be explained. The constant rush in your head where your thoughts are going so fast you don’t know how to stop and slow them down. To not be able to get out of bed and face the world that day. It is okay to spend the day in bed sleeping because you have no energy. I need to remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. Having mental health I find so frustrating at times. When you are doing all your told to do but your brain and body won’t play ball. I am taking my meds, I have stuck to my routine yet out of the blue I get ran over and feel so much shame like I have failed in a way. Mental health for me doesn’t come with warning signs that I am going to wake up to a hellish day ahead fighting my own thoughts. There is no predictions on what days I will feel good or bad, but I have pulled myself out of bed to do a little house work and have a bath. I done a meal prep last night thankfully which meant I couldn’t skip dinner even though I skipped breakfast and lunch today. I fought hard against manic thoughts to start moving my house around and stripping wallpaper off the walls because I suddenly don’t like the look of one of the walls. I instead put the measuring tape down. Lay on the floor until I felt I was able to push the thoughts away. Very recently I have started a new job as I felt it was time to get back to work. Perhaps I have taken on too much but the bills need paid somehow. I love this new job but I am starting to wonder if I have bit off more than I can chew. Instead of full time should I have looked at part time. I feel constantly on the go. With very little time to myself for house work. Not only that I have completley done zero about my social enterprise I was working so hard on to build. Taking myself out of work the last few months were so so needed and it came to the point I was ready to work again. However that doesn’t mean it needed to be full time. I realise now that I am still very much in the danger zone and the last thing I want is absences in a new job. I guess I have some things I need to get onto paper and work out. I just need to keep saying tomorrow is a new day!

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I am back

It has been a while since I have written on my blog, not because I don’t have the time because I got lots of that. Sometimes I just have to be in a certain mindframe to write.

I have been feeling reflective and thankful recently about lots of different things. One being how far I have came since this time last year. Taking this time out of work I feel has really helped me. I didn’t realise how much I needed a time out. I believe we all need to take a time out sometimes. Perhaps not out of work like I have done but away from social media, friends or daily routine. Have time to stop, pause and think what really makes me happy. Am I happy with how I live my life? Is there things I could do or change to make me happier? Is there negative people around me.

I have had time now to do me for a while. I realise who is there for me and who isn’t. I realise what makes me happy and sad. I have removed alot of negative people and energy out my life, not being an easy choice but let me tell you what a weight lifted it feels.

I have been feeling better within myself mentally. I have cancelled plans alot less. I have the urge to get out of bed in the morning than be in it all day. If my flat could talk it would say you need to get back to work because you cannot clean anymore. All I find myself doing is rearranging my flat, and cleaning it. I find myself pulling apart cupboards to re organise and clean things. I mean there is worse things to be addicted to than cleaning right? For me I have always been a clean freak. I cannot and I mean cannot settle knowing there is dishes in the sink. Or a bed needing made. If the washing is dry that needs put away not still hanging up. In a way it is a control issue and I realise and have spoken about this with my mental health nurse. It is something in my life I have control over. Therefore needs to be of a high standard. I struggle with people coming into my space because I am so set in my own ways. I don’t want to have to clean up after someone else. Even Rainbow hides when the hoover comes out. I like things in order and a certain way. This being said I think I am ready to be working again and something I am working on.

When I first decided to come out of work and focus on myself for a bit, so many people around me felt they were entitled to pass judgement. I mean it is my fucking life and I will live it how I feel not how anyone else tells me to or how society thinks I should.

I have had nights out and nights in. I have gotten out the house alot more. I have been sticking to arranged appointments and plans. I have been seeing my mental health nurse and agreeing to any other self help or therapies to help my health and wellbeing. I started to paint again. I have changed my hair colour almost weekly. I have laughed more than cried. I have been thankful more than resentful. I have spent time with family. Reconnected with old friends.

So if you are reading this and at a point in your life were you don’t know what to do next. Or your mental health might be up and down. My advice is do not feel embarrassed to take time out. To stop what you are doing and just breathe. To sit back and think of what makes you happy, like really happy. What makes you want to get out of bed. It took me weeks of a gradual process. From days in bed and sleeping it away. To knowing my weaknesses and working on them. To making my voice be heard and not allowing people to speak for me, over me or down to me. There is absolutely no shame in taking time for you.

I remember when I first said to my nurse, when people ask what I do for work I am ashamed as I am not working. Her response was have you thought about saying you are working on you. I was so taken back it was a brilliant response and so correct.

I feel and from speaking to friends know they feel this way to that life has this timeline. I don’t know if I feel it more because of my age or what but I sometimes feel things need to be or are being done in certain ways. Friends are all having babies or have children already. Some are married and living that happily ever after. It is like society says college or uni when you leave school for that degree in that job you have known you always want to do. To then finding love settling down with kids a mortgage and marridge. Holidays once or twice a year and that is it. For me it couldn’t be more opposite and for friends around me too. I didn’t do the college or uni degree, I still haven’t figured out a career, I don’t want kids and I haven’t found the love of my life yet. We all feel this pressure of oh the big 30 is approaching you should have done all this before then or you have failed. Fuck that! I have worked in jobs on the same pay as people with degrees. I am happy not having children and a choice I get to make. I don’t want to have my life all figured out and set in front of me. What is the fun in that. I feel things happen at the right time they are meant to. There is no rush. Don’t feel left out or sad that those around you are at different places in life than you. Appreciate that you are still here and breathing. Do things at a pace that feels right for you. Not to please or fit in with others. It might be you have outgrown people and that is also okay.

I will leave it here by saying take in what you have, appreciate it. You are breathing. You have food and shelter. You have people who love you for you. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t feel ashamed to stand up for what you believe in even if those around you feel different.

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