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Not Sure What Recovery Looks Like

It seems like some of the biggest battles I have fought were many years ago. Some days it feels like forever ago and other times it still feels like yesterday.

There are still bad days but there are many – many – good days that outweigh it all!!

There are still things that I struggle with. Some days my anxiety weighs me down.
Anxiety can be crippling. It’s like a heavy pressure on your chest and it takes your breath away.
Depression can be lonely. It gets exhausting to be stuck in ones head, questioning everything, caring too much, worrying too much, or not caring enough. Overthinking. Fear. An emptiness. A void.

We don’t talk enough about Mental Health. There is such a strong stigma attached with it.

It’s a weird sort of shame that keeps us silent from speaking up. And it shouldn’t be that way.

If each of us had enough courage to share our own struggle with Mental Health, what would our society look like?
Even if you don’t struggle with some form of mental health , how many people do you know that do?

I still have battles. I still have demons to conquer. I think if we were honest, almost everyone does!

I don’t know what recovery from Mental Health really looks like…..
but I think of it like the ocean. Sometimes it’s still and calm and crystal clear. And other times the waves begin to roll in. The tide rises. The waves get bigger and a storm is brewing. The winds blow and the sky is dark. A whirlpool is formed. A typhoon hits.

And then after a while everything settles again.

Everything is calm.

Take Notice

Our lives are busy, so we sometimes need to be reminded to take notice. These days, we’re hearing more and more about mindfulness.

What is it?

Here’s one definition: It is the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present.[ii] In other words, it means paying attention to what is happening right now.

Sometimes we forget to be mindful. When you notice what’s going on inside you, and what’s going on around you, you can make choices that will meet your needs.

And you can reduce stress.

Notice the moment, whatever you’re doing. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Take time to really enjoy your food.

Pay attention to your breath, in meditation practice or just sitting at your desk.

Notice when something good happens to you, and savour it.

Observe when something’s beautiful. Or unusual.

Be aware of your thoughts and what you tell yourself.

Be curious.

Try meditation. It’s not as hard as it might sound. (You can meditate in all sorts of way, including sitting, walking, and even eating. Check it out online.)

Keep a journal or write a blog

Just take notice!

Dear Self, Where Did You Go?

I’ve got so many thoughts running through my very crowded mind. But It’s like my brain has slowed down; like somebody has cut off the oxygen being fed to it and the cells are started to die off one by one. Processing information seems like such an impossible task. 

Unfortunately I know this is a big symptom of an oncoming depressive episode. But it could also be many other things. Maybe my brain is just really tired. Maybe everything about me is tired. I’m not exactly sure. But I have been really worried. I have episodes of memory loss. I forget words. Mid sentence I pause, knowing what I have to say yet with my mouth open, the word will not come out. 

I feel so stupid. I feel that I am gradually losing identity. I am far from the person I was 5 years ago. I would never be able to carry out a full university course load and pass with good grades now. A few years ago I was among the top students. Where has that girl gone?

Damn you, brain.  

You Decide 

Working out is hard…..
Dieting is hard……Clean eating is hard…..

What’s also hard is being unhappy with how you look, always feeling tired, and being physically unwell because you are so unhealthy. 

It’s up to you to decide what kind of “hard” you want to live. 

Ain’t Got Time For That

For the first time in a while I was able to get out of bed and face the day today without the heavy cloud of doom hanging over me, crushing down on my shoulders with the weight of its darkness. Its been a very rough couple of weeks. Buying a house has become quite the experience. And something I hope I never have to do again. I hope that this will be our forever home and that there will never be any reason that we will be forced to pack up and move. We are all packed up here in the apartment, have been for several weeks now. But every couple of days something comes up and the lawyer is calling me to say there will have to be another extension for the closing date. But I think the end is actually in sight and if all goes well, we will be moving sometime this week.

But I need to get a handle on my mental health. The bipolar highs and lows have been more extreme during the past month. I’m blaming it on the excessive amount of stress I’ve been under and hoping that this episode/flare up will work itself out without requiring intervention. So whenever I seem to have a moment where I can think straight without being bombarded with the nonsense of intrusive thoughts, I try to grab a hold of whatever coping skills I can.

And I believe that today was probably one of the best days in ages. I was alone all day but I feel good. I will soon be going to bed and I can think back over this day and smile because I know I did good. I got caught up on some chores around the apartment, washed my guinea pig’s blankets and bedding, watered all of the plants, had play time with my piggle wiggle and then I ended things with a very romantic supper prepared for 8pm, when David​ got off work. I had candles lit on the table. Food cooked, ready to be put on the plates. Music playing down low. And I greeted him at the door wearing my (only) dress (he always that I am his beautiful angel when I wear it). It was fantastic! I’ve never prepared a candle light dinner for us before but after sharing this incredibly romantic time with my lover tonight, I know that there will be many more to come.

I have a future. With David. With my little furbaby Toby, A new home to settle into and make it my own. We have a new addition coming to our little family next month – a 6 week old yellow Labrador puppy. And many more things in the upcoming weeks and months. So I have to get a hold of this depression. I cannot let it keep its hold on me. I ain’t got time for that!