Certifiably Crazy: Please Find CV Attached

I guess if I’m going to run a blog on mental health I need to have some kind of credibility to do so. Though I do consider myself well educated with a thirst for learning new things only my Google history and stolen book collection could really explain, I hold no credentials in the world of psychology, other than the unofficial award I’ve bestowed upon myself for surviving 26 years alongside the most difficult person I’ve ever come across: Me.

So, in fairness to you, dear reader, before we embark on this journey together, here’s my story…

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Reporting Live from Rock Bottom

As some of you may know, I lost my job the other week.

What had already been a trying few months for me during the holidays has turned into a living nightmare. To say I feel like I’m at rock bottom would be the understatement of the year. My career, my health and my finances have all crumbled and turned to dust in my hands.

My mental health has been shaky at best for the last 6 months, and now that everything has come crashing down I feel like there’s nothing left of me. The energy I would usually use to get to work, do my job, be social, be a wife and have a life is now all being used to push myself from the bed to the couch and back again. There’s nothing left to do anything else. I’m not eating or sleeping right and I haven’t felt genuine happiness in weeks. I am, to put it plainly, exhausted.

Having a mental illness and going through difficulties is terrifying. Sure, everyone hits rock bottom a few times in life, but when you’ve got a mental illness you’re also being chased by a dangerous monster whose been waiting in the darkness for this moment for a long time. It’s been waiting for you to fall so it can pull you up from the mud by your hair, lick at the cuts on your face, smirk at your tears and whisper to you – “I told you so” before dropping you back into the dirt again.

And that’s exactly where I feel like I am now, hovering on a dangerous line that I’m too numb to fully grasp the gravity of. I’ve been running on less than empty for the last week or so, staring blankly at the TV for hours and hours trying desperately to ignore the monster sitting next to me on the couch.

Perhaps the biggest thing of all is my relapse. I haven’t fully processed it yet and I’m terrified for when I do. Right now I have to put my hope in every hour it doesn’t happen again.

My family and friends have been amazing. The support has been almost overwhelming but I still can’t help but feel incredibly alone (which brings its own weight of guilt). I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, contacted all the right people and booked all the right appointments, but still I find myself lost. I don’t know whether the world is spinning or everything has stopped – because it feels like both and neither are happening.

At the moment, the fact that I’ve put on clothes and brushed my teeth and put some dirty laundry in a bag makes this the most productive day I’ve had in almost 2 weeks.

I’m just holding on with everything I have.

Swings & Roundabouts: Mood Tracker Review

After a pretty horrific time at the end of last year where I was completely out of control of my mood swings for reasons unknown, I decided to give mood trackers a try. I’ve seen them around the community and always thought they’d be useful to someone like me, but it wasn’t until I had a complete breakdown that I decided it was actually worth a try.

I wanted to see if there were any patterns that weren’t overly obvious to me, and just how my ‘normal’ weekly moods looked. One of the first things you’re asked about when you start therapy or even just go to a GP for the first steps is how you’re feeling – and often when someone asks us that our minds immediately shrug and switch off.

To try and better understand my moods I tested out two different mood trackers – the first was the popular Daylio and the second Mind’s own creation. I spent a week on each tracking my moods as they changed throughout the day. Here’s what I thought of them both…

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The Night Puppeteer

I used to have such a good relationship with the night. It was my favourite time. It was a place I could go where the world shut off and I could just exist. I loved everything about it from the smell of cold, dark air to the dead silence that amplified my every breath. It was frozen time kept just for me and my things, a space not even the light could penetrate. I loved the way it felt on my skin and in my head. Quiet and calm.

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An Open Letter To My FP

My FP doesn’t know that they are my FP. They don’t even know what an FP is or understand much about my illness. I wrote this letter as a way to explain something that is near impossible to grasp if you’ve never experienced it.

Hopefully one day I will have the guts to show this to them…

Dear FP,

Firstly, I know you probably don’t know what an FP is, and trying to come up with a way to explain it to you has been near impossible. I’ve spent probably the last 6 months googling, looking for a description that won’t terrify and anger you to the point where you get overwhelmed and leave.

So, here’s my take on it…

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New Year, Fuck You

Recovering from Christmas is hard.

Christmas can be such a draining time for anyone, let alone people like us. Social demands, financial stress, festive pressure to be cheery, family drama, food and alcohol everywhere – sure, it can be a fabulous time of year but there are pitfalls around every corner.

And what makes it even more draining? New Year is next up, followed by the rest of January. The month of new year new me, when social media is littered with healthy eating, workouts and decluttered lives. Everyone’s hell bent on self improvement for 31 days and sometimes it feels like crap.

You tell yourself you’ll ignore it. You won’t let it get to you. You’re working on yourself and you’re here to see another year so you won’t let it get to you that the girl you hate from school but for some reason have on Facebook is engaged, expecting and about to buy a house, or that the person you kind of like is out on a date with that person that must be better than you in every way, or that your cousin is still loving their dream job or that everyone in the world is hashtag blessed and making you feel like shit for still feeling like shit.

But you know what? Fuck it! You are still here, surviving, fighting, healing, recovering. Your life has so many chapters left, so many years to surprise and delight you. January is just another month like any other and you kicked ass in the last 12. This month is no different.

It’s ok if it takes you a while to heal from Christmas. It’s ok if your January isn’t filled with self promises and positivity. It’s ok to still feel down and negative. It’s ok to have bad days, bed days, lazy days and head days. It’s ok that Christmas is something you need to heal from, even if you had a good time.

So breathe. Hug your cat. Take your meds. Have a bath. Call your friend. Watch TV. Just – do you. You don’t need to review last year right now or make plans for the new one. Just know it will be as strong, resilient and ever changing as you.

Merry Christmas

This is my sign off post for the year, in which I want to thank you all for a wonderful 6 months since I started this blog.

Christmas is a funny time of year, whatever you believe or celebrate. Mental health is often forgotten, or people expect you to forget yours in favour of bright lights, wrapping paper and jolly noise. For some of us that’s easier said than done. For some of us, Christmas time piles on that extra stress of hiding what’s really going on in our heads. For some of us we feel guilt, shame, loneliness…

You are still you tomorrow, and whether you are surrounded by many or a chosen few – you deserve real smiles, not fake ones, and a shoulder to lean on if you need it, regardless of what day it is.

I hope you all have the Christmas you deserve. Stay safe. And if you need a friend, my instagram DM box is open all year round 💙

An Open Letter To My Abandonment Issues

An open letter to my abandonment issues – or as she will hereby be referred to as, Abi.

Abi…we’ve been together for a very long time, since I was a child in fact. You never understood why people left, why they argued, why they got mad and said mean things or why they slammed doors and left vibrating rooms empty. You felt lost in the silence. We both did.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was amazed and flattered when I saw that I had been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. To say I’ve only been at this a few months I’m truly honoured that people have responded to the blog so much and thought of me for a nomination. Thank you so much to Claire at http://www.ibitthepiranha.co.uk for the nomination!

In keeping with the rules, see below for my nominations and answers to the questions Claire provided.

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World Mental Health Day

I won’t make this a long one because today has been filled with the voices of so many talking about what mental health means to them, something I have the opportunity to do every day with this wonderful blog I’m so glad I was talked into starting.

I just wanted to say that I am so proud of each and every person I have conversed with since the start of XWXW. You’re all so brave, so wonderful, so honest and so incredible that it’s given me new hope and new strength in my own battles.

So let’s keep talking, keep listening and most importantly – keep going. 

Push It Real Good: Mental Health and Exercise

For a fat chick you wouldn’t think that I love the gym as much as I do. You wouldn’t think that I’ve been known to go 4 times a week for months on end or that my free weight game is on point. I can lift, squat, bike and row for an hour until I’m sweating and panting and feeling more alive than ever.

It’s a complete contradiction, I know, but for someone who suffers with bouts of social anxiety and body issues, the gym is one of my safest spaces.

Push It Real Good: Mental Health and Exercise

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