Mental Health & Coping with Life
So, I know I’ve been quiet these past few weeks. I still have some amazing posts scheduled, but I’ve been a little busy, to say the least. I mean, when I say “busy” I totally mean that I’ve been busy lying in bed watching Gossip Girl. The truth is, I’ve been struggling a lot recently with my mental health. So much so that I’ve upped my dosage of anti-depressants and I’ve started speaking to a therapist. I won’t say it came out of nowhere, but in a way it did. A lot of things I had been repressing finally came through and I really didn’t know how to cope with it all. Thankfully I’m feeling a little better, and I’m ready to get back into blogging. So much so that I might be starting a new blogging adventure with my sister! It’s still very much in the planning stages, but we have a name and an idea, and I’m super excited to get the ball rolling with it. Having said that though, I will always use this blog as a space to write my opinions, showcase my photography and writing, and offer some posts on travel/mental health. In a way, this blog has been my therapist for a long time, so I doubt I’ll be giving it up anytime soon! Now, let’s get to the main point of this post…How to cope with life when mental health gets in the way when you’re 13, you think that by the time you’re 25, you’ll have your life sorted out. I thought this. I thought I’d have a house, be on my way to marriage and be in a career that I love. So far I have the career down…Apart from that, I’m living at home and I can’t even drive lmao. I do count my blessings daily, I have a loving family, I have good friends, a great partner etc. But I have this unbearable sadness that just swoops in from time to time. When it happens, my life seems to stop. I stop trying to progress. I’ll lie in bed most of the time reading or doing nothing at all, I’ll binge eat (sometimes I’ll purge), and I’ll get myself into this self-loathing spiral. Sometimes I’ll get angry, sometimes I’ll be despondent, but mostly what I feel can only be likened to a really unbearable sadness. I couldn’t tell you what I’m sad about, realistically I have a great life, but that doesn’t stop me crying at 2 pm over nothing. Now, a lot of the time I’ll try and ride it out, wait for the storm to pass I guess. However, this time I thought differently. I fought myself. I forced myself to go to yoga classes, to exercise, to talk about my problems and to eventually see a therapist. This was a big thing for me, as I really don’t like opening up to people. However, I did it, and I can honestly say that after 4 sessions my whole body feels lighter. It’s like I was loaded confetti gun full of bad thoughts and she just managed to pull the trigger on all of them. I have a long way to go, but I’m finally confronting something within myself that I seem to have abandoned and neglected a long time ago. If I was to offer anyone in my position some advice, it would include the following:
See Your Doctor
Force the issue. Explain that something is wrong and you need help. From here, they will be able to help you. If they’re a terrible doctor, they will tell you that you’re fine and shoo you along. You shouldn’t stand for this and seek another doctor immediately who can help you further.
In the UK, you can be waiting for up to 9 months in order to speak to a therapist on the NHS. Finding someone local helped me, and I’m sure you’ll find someone who can help you too. Look for group sessions, talks, workshops and more.
This is a total cliché, but I love yoga. It makes you focus on your body, your muscles, and your posture. In a way, it’s an escape from your thoughts, which is what I like about it the most. If you can’t afford classes, practice at home. I made a playlist of interesting yoga videos on Youtube and took it from there. In no time I could move my body in amazing ways.
There are a number of apps out there at the moment dedicated to guided meditation, breathing exercises and more.
Open Up To Loved Ones
The most I spoke to my parents about how I was feeling, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. My boyfriend also really helped me in getting the courage to speak to my doctor.
Understand That You’re Allowed to Wallow
Please don’t feel bad if all you can do is lie in bed. Sometimes, we need time alone. If all you can do is wait until the sadness subsides, then wait it out. However, if it gets too much, please speak to someone. A loved one will always put your best interests at heart, and if all you need them for is to listen, they will listen. Life with mental health issues really is a roller coaster, but we can overcome periods of sadness, we really can. Be strong my dudes.