“It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.” – Ruby Wax
I always struggle when it comes to starting to write a blog post about my mental health. Even though it’s something I will talk about so openly, the act of typing the words out and publishing them for all to read is pretty daunting, but as it has been mental health awareness week, I wanted to write something a little closer to the heart than usual.
I don’t quite know how long it has been since I last posted a mental health update, but since then, I’ve decided to start setting myself little goals. Overall, I’m super happy. My friends have been telling me how much of a ‘glow up’ I’ve had recently, which is lovely to hear.
First of all, I’ve managed to cut my fluoxetine (anti-depressant) dosage in half! I’ve been trying to do this for so long now, and as I’m in a good place currently, it hasn’t seemed like such a scary process – but one which has happened naturally. It has definitely felt like the right thing for me to do. I’ve also been so happy to get back into my fitness and I’m 4lbs off losing a stone which not only is benefitting my health and mindset, but my self confidence. I’m also back running again after physiotherapy sessions for my muscles and joints, which has helped massively. I’ve been working with a personal trainer which has been a humongous boost to my active levels.
“I’m in a good place currently”
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my bad days, and I think every person does. I still can be quite on edge if I’m in a big group of people or if I’m out somewhere and feel like I can’t ‘get out’ if I need to (I think this might be a bit of claustrophobia). I can feel very self-conscious and a little trapped. While this is still a tricky thing for me to deal with, I’ve become very familiar with recognising these situations and dealing with them, even if it’s 2 minutes of fresh air to set my mind right or just taking a step back and taking it slowly.
Recently, I had a bit of a bad dip. My friend and I had decided to meet up for a bit and even though I was really looking forward to going out and meeting him, all of a sudden the thought of leaving the house was too much. I haven’t had anything like that in a very long time, maybe even years. I was just too scared of people seeing me/looking at me and thinking that I looked ugly/fat etc. I couldn’t do anything to shake these thoughts and I just ended up staying in. It’s days like that which are rare, but can really be a set back. I know a lot of people can relate to this, and it’s so helpful to remember that these moments of intense thoughts and anxiety are only temporary. I think after that episode, it was obvious that it was going to be a tricky day, so I stayed in and looked after myself. Sometimes, that’s the best thing to do! Luckily, this was a good friend of mine and he completely understood and told me to take it easy – if your friends really are friends, they will understand and just want to make sure you’re ok! Its always helpful to surround yourself with the right people, especially if you’re battling demons.
“these moments of intense thoughts and anxiety are only temporary“
So while this has been a bit of a babbly post, I want to summarise by saying that small steps make big changes in the long term. Halving my fluoxetine is a massive thing for me, and I’m now hoping to start taking it every other day now.
If you’re like me, and have related to anything, try setting yourself those small goals. They really have helped me recently. The act of setting yourself a goal and watching yourself achieve it can be very therapeutic, especially as you will have done it all by yourself. If there is something holding you back, really analyse it and see what you can do about it. This is your life and it’s so important you put yourself first. Talk to people, practice self care and love everything that you do.
** I mention this at the end of most mental health related posts, but my comments/instagram/twitter/email/contact page is ALWAYS open to anyone who wants someone to talk to. I may not know the best ways to advise, but I’m always here to listen. Always remember that your GP will be more than happy to advise you on ways of coping with mental health and charities, such as the Samaritans, are always there for you. ❤