My Mental Health Journey

I Cant Tell You What It Really Is, I Can Only Tell You What It Feels Like…

Some of you will recognize this line from Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” song. For me however, it is the best description of my anxiety that I have ever heard.

My anxiety isn’t rational. It isn’t logical. It isn’t “sane”. Therefore; I cant always see a situation for what it truly is. I can only see it through what my anxiety makes me feel. I have used this term on here before, but my anxiety is a living, breathing thing. It is like a shadow that floats over me all the time. No matter where I am, or what I am doing, it is there. And sometimes it just hovers and whilst I know it is there it otherwise leaves me alone.

And then there are other times that it doesn’t leave me alone. It whispers hurtful things. It throws fuel onto the fire that is my paranoia. It tells me that no-one likes me. That no-one would miss me if I wasn’t there. That I am useless. That everything I do is wrong. That no matter how hard I try whatever I do will never be right. It will never be enough. I will never be enough.

From the outside I may seem… I don’t even know. I can’t even say “perfect” or “happy” or “together” or any other good adjectives to describe myself. But sometimes I feel so overwhelmed it isn’t funny. That logically I can think “All I have to do is fix one thing/get one thing off my plate and everything will be fine”, but it isn’t always that simple….

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Book Reviews

Ewan Pendle And The White Wraith, by Shaun Hume

Enter the world of Ewan Pendle, and discover his heritage along side him as he learns his life as an orphan getting passed from home to home is over. Ewan enters a world he never could have imagined, and gets a fresh start to life.

You see, Ewan was never what anyone would call as normal. Ewan, from an early age, could see things that nobody else could. This made Ewan a bit of an outsider, and made life hard for him. Ewan struggled to make friends, and couldnt “fit in” with any of the foster families he was placed with.

This all changes however when he gets collected to go to a special school, called Firedrake. Here Ewan learns that he is not abnormal, or alone, for the things he has been seeing. He is what is called a Lenitnes, and it is his life duty to fight these Creatures he has been seeing most of his life.

This book follows Ewans first year at Firedrake as he learns about his true world and life, makes friends, and causes a little bit of mischief along the way!

The story introduces and centers on several characters, who are different but all relate-able in their own ways.  The characters also evolve nicely as the plot proceeds.

My only constructive criticism on this book, and whether it was just the copy I was provided, there were a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes, which was at times distracting from the story.  The author was also very descriptive, which is good as it really helps to build the story and construct the image in your mind. (However, constant repetition of the same descriptive terms were used).

All in all I rate the book 3.5 out of 5 stars, and I hope the the author brings out the next book soon – it is left open for a sequel and there is a story building quite nicely! This is available in eBook format on Amazon.com for $3, or hardback option is available aswell if you dont like eBooks.

Thanks again also to Shaun for sending me this book to review!

My Mental Health Journey

What is Real Wisdom? What is Real Strength?

I once read that real wisdom and strength was knowing the difference between when to fight, and when to give up. And knowing that you weren’t “giving up”, but making the right choice? The best choice, for yourself; for your health, your happiness, your stability, your future?

Sometimes it can seem easier to see what is best for someone else, but not what is best for yourself. 

So what is that point? How do you find it? When do you respect yourself enough, to tell yourself enough is enough. To move on with your life and let go? 

But then there’s that fear, underneath your “fuck you” strength. That fear telling you that darkness it deepest before dawn. That nothing easy is worth having. All of the “what ifs” – maybe if I hold on a little longer that person will change/ I will change/ things will get better/ that person will recognise me/ I will get that promotion/ I will get that grade/ I will get that payrise, and on and on and never ending is that list of what may happen if you keep holding on. 

But when do you know? When do you accept the fact that nothing is going to change, and that the only change you can make is to remove yourself?

My Mental Health Journey

Dont Let ANYONE Dull Your Sparkle!

I dont know how long this post will be, but I still want to share 🙂

So, as I have been for the past 1-2 weeks since my brain storm, I have been waking up mostly happy and content; tired, but still in a good mood. Today, I get to work, determined to review my stats for the past week and set myself up for the day.. And as usual, when dealing with the general public, you come across people in less than optimistic moods/mind-frames.

And its so hard to not let these kind of people get to you, and bring you down, and affect your mood. I know this all too well. I used to work with a guy who was so hard-pressed to view things positively instead of negatively; and as much as you would try to fight it it was hard to repel it on a constant level.

But today I made it my mission to, in the words of Taylor Swift lol, “Shake It Off!”. And I was pretty successful I have to say! I happen to know abit about this particular person, but regardless, you know what realization struck me? It was very close to sympathy for that person; I am actively trying to control my thoughts and actions to become a better, happier person. But not everyone has reached this point. And whilst I cannot control the thoughts and actions of others, I can control (mostly – and I am getting better with practice!) my thoughts and actions. And why does this matter in relation to others? I can control how others’ behavior does, or doesnt, affect me. I can wallow in their negativity, or I can “Shake It Off’ and move on with my day.

Today when I practiced this, it was hard at first. But honestly, only for like 5-10mins. Then I pushed all the negativity out, with the knowledge that although the other person wasnt able to interact positively with themselves or others, I was capable of feeling joy and I actively wanted to share that joy with others.

My Mental Health Journey

My Favourite Buddhist Quotes

  • We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

 

  • You will not be punished for you anger, you will be punished by your anger.

 

  • Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.

 

  • The mind is everything. What you think you become.

 

  • You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

 

  • Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

 

  • Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burnt.

 

  • Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.

 

  • Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

 

  • There is no path to happiness; Happiness is the path.

 

  • No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.

 

  • Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.

 

  • Pain is certain, suffering is optional.

 

  • If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.

 

  • If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.

 

  • One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.

 

  • If you are facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep on walking.

 

  • Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

 

  • An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.
My Mental Health Journey

Be KIND To Others

So earlier today I posted about the importance of being kind to yourself. I honestly cannot stress enough how important this is. Happiness comes from within, and if you are too busy beating yourself up all the time you will never let that seed of joy grow. 

However. It is also really important to be kind to others. A simple remark can be enough to make some bodies day, or ruin it. I’m sure you have experienced this; you may have received a compliment etc and it has just perked you right up, or dealt with someone unpleasant and your mood has plummeted at the speed of light. Or maybe you are lucky enough that you don’t let others effect you as much. I am not this lucky however (although I am working at it!). 

It can be hard shaking yourself out of a bad mood sometimes. And it can be equally as hard to not take that bad mood out on people you are surrounded by at the time. And again, I will be the first person to admit I am guilty of both of these things. But. After having people take their problems out on me, that I have nothing to do with, one day it hit me; “it isn’t this persons fault that xyz happened, so why should I treat them like it is?”. 

Now this is not to say that you aren’t allowed to feel crappy. Or even behave in a human way. But think of a time you had someone behave in an agressive manner towards you for no reason. And how that made you feel. You may be having a hard time, but that random stranger, or loved one, that you are talking to is probably going through some battle of their own too. And you don’t have to tell them your life story, and listen to theirs, but you can be kind to them, and allow for them to respond in likeness. And if they don’t, just hope that one day they get it too. That kindness is free, but is also priceless with the effects it can bring on not only individuals, but on the whole world. 

I am setting a challenge for myself that every time I get annoyed at someone, either through their actions or words, I am going to try to turn it around. Whether it is by keeping my patience and being polite, or giving them a compliment, or maybe even pointing out a positive they may not have realised/noticed etc. 

Feel free to join me! 

My Mental Health Journey

Be KIND To Yourself

So its been a few days since my “epiphany”, and I am still going relatively well I think.

I was talking to my best friend the other night, about how I was feeling guilty as I had sworn I would take my dog for a walk morning and night every day and I hadnt that day as it was so cold (it had been below 10 degrees Celsius all day), and she told me not to be so hard on myself.

And she is right – it is so easy to get pulled/dragged down by all the weight and pressure society puts on us daily for all most every aspect of life; your eating, your fitness, what you do in your spare time, your physical appearance etc. With all this pressure and negativity from society, why should we be making it worse for ourselves by not only listening to society judging us, but doing it to ourselves too?

No one is perfect. You will have good days and bad days. But rather than beating yourself up for bad events/days, dont let it drag you down. There are always things to be positive and grateful for.

One thing about that little voice of negativity in your head – its mean, and its wrong. If you had a “friend” in your life that spoke to you the way that little (but loud) voice spoke to you, would you still be their friend? Would you speak to your friends that way either? There is a big chance that you answered no to both of those questions, for your own health and wealth being. So why is it ok to speak to yourself that way? It isnt. 

Bad times wont last, and you want always have what you want surrounding you. But the key is to not let it drag you down; rise above it and remind yourself of the positives in your life, and the moment will pass. One thing my councilor told me, which has helped, when that voices starts speaking up, the thoughts are pointless. They only exist to hurt you, and have no other purpose. Tell that voice “I’m not listening to you, you serve no purpose but to provide unhelpful thoughts. Go away”. Practice. It will take time. But it does work for me. At first it seemed silly, but I stuck with it. Give it a go!