Hello old friend, it's been a while.
Yes, my blog has been a little abandoned recently. For several reasons but the main big one was down to my mental health. I haven't been doing too well if I am going to be straight up honest.
We all know how rubbish 2016 was. It seemed like so many of us struggled last year. All for different reasons and all incredibly valid. I've bitched and moaned about last year a lot, it kicked me down, chewed me up and spat me right back out.
A lot of personal stuff went down in my life. Things that I won't be going into details about because even though I do basically live a lot of my life out on social media, some things are private and that is how they will stay.
What I will talk about is my mental health. Why? Because when you still have such a nasty stigma surrounding the subject, I will continue to talk about it as much as I can. Even if we there wasn't a stigma, I would still talk as openly as I can as I think it is so important for others and for your own self.
During 2016, anything that could go wrong kept happening and as much as I tried to put on a brave face and show the world I was keeping it together, inside I was falling apart. I was spiralling into a dark place. Come November, I had hit rock bottom.
I have suffered for a long time with anxiety and depression. I wish I could remember a time when I didn't but alas it tends to always be there. It may not always take hold but I know it is lurking behind me and boy did it take over last year.
The worst thing I did last year was trying to keep it all to myself and convincing all my loved ones that I was completely fine. The reality was that I was not and I should have allowed myself to tell people that. Admitting to friends and family that you are not well is scary but admitting it to yourself is terrifying.
I wasn't just pretending to the people around me, I was pretending to myself. Making jokes at everything that was going on around me was my way of looking like I was coping.
I can almost pin point the moment that I realised I wasn't coping. I had been in hospital once again due to the same physical problem I suffered from in 2015. During my time stuck in bed, I was starting to get angry and resentful. It felt like any control I once had was gone and I was stuck.
Self harm is something I don't like talking about. I can sit and chat about my anxiety issues or how I cope with depression but that one particular subject is one I hate. I also know how triggering it can be so I won't focus on it too much but alas it slipped back into my life. I felt like it was the control I had left over my own body. I could pick and choose when I felt pain.
After finally talking to some loved ones, I decided to head back to the doctors and tell them about how I was coping (or wasn't I should say). It was back on the meds for me.
If you have taken antidepressants before you will know too well how hellish they can be at times. Those first few weeks and months are the most challenging. If you pair that up with drinking too much then bam, you have a terrible and sometimes scary collaboration.
But... here I am. It is 2017, a brand new year. I hate resolutions and I hate 'New Year, New Me' but maybe it is time I take a step back and look to make some changes. These last few days I have been thinking a lot about my life and my health. I could continue to let myself spiral into this darkness (and trust me, it is tempting) or I could fight back.
I am not one for setting goals but I have put together a few things that I am going to do this year to help me get better.:
This may seem simple but it is such an important thing to do. Keeping all that bad shit in your head won't solve anything. I'm lucky that I am seeing a nurse at my health centre who really listens to me and lets me get it all out. I will also be looking to possibly start doing counselling this year.
Seriously though, I shouldn't have let my blog go to waste. This little space of mine isn't a career, I don't intend it to be. It is my place to blow off steam, to be creative and I need to do that more. I need to stop comparing myself to others or worrying about how many 'readers' I have. I need to do this for myself.
I know what you are thinking "please don't bang on about bloody Yoga" but hear me out. I hate exercise with passion but it is something I know will help. It won't solve my problems but I have found it does offer some assistance. At the moment I have just done it a few times in my flat with an app. At first I find it ridiculous and I laugh at the silly poses but then my mind goes blank. I actually get into it. Once I am done, I do feel a little relief.
At the moment, my me time tends to be me lazing around in bed on a Netflix binge. There is of course nothing wrong with that and I will continue to keep at it but I need to do more things for just myself. From pampering to going away somewhere for a weekend. I've been thinking about going on holiday this year, something which I haven't done in a while but I think it is about time that I get away from it all, switch off, relax and clear my head.
As you can see it is not a massive list but they are stepping stones for now. Things I know I need to do and will do. I may not do them everyday and that is fine. I know I can't just click my fingers and everything be okay again. I have to work at this, I have to fight back.
I also need to remember that I am not alone. The internet, social media in particular, can be a scary/angry/nasty place but it can also be wonderful. Thanks to the power of blogging, I found three amazing people who are my best friends. I also have such an amazing family and I need to remember that more often.
It was too easy to focus on all the negative parts of last year. I can't forget them or not think about them but I need to remember those positives. Those little silver linings that I have in my life.
I also say to anyone reading this who is struggling, don't be afraid to talk or tell someone. As I said, it is terrifying to admit when you aren't coping but you would be surprised by how much it can help to just open up. No one should ever have to suffer alone. No one should feel ashamed.
This wasn't exactly the most cheerful blog post I have ever written but I felt I had to just get it out. Normal service can resume (hopefully).
Till the next time