Recently, I’ve not felt quite myself. I recognise my own signs of my anxiety and depression and although I knew it wasn’t full on, I knew I was on the way to getting it back. I’ve tried so hard to stay off my medication and use positive thinking to keep the ‘black dog’ at bay. I felt it creeping in over the last few weeks due to being really busy at work, socially and having loads on at weekends when all I’ve wanted to do is stay in an chill with my two favourite people. It’s not always possible though and it’s no-one’s fault, it just seems we have everything happen all at once.
I’ve had bad days at work, made worse by the fact I’ve felt personally attacked even though that is so far from the truth, some people just take things to heart and I have definitely been that person lately. I’ve not told anyone at work, I try not to let things get to me and I try and just put my head down and get on with it. The bad days, coupled with the traffic from everyone being back after the holidays and the darker nights drawing in are a disaster for me. I’ve not written for a week (thank goodness I wrote some up to save for later days), I go to bed at 8pm and I’m not interested in the latest gossip/politics/tv shows.
So I knew something had to be done, luckily I had the two 10k races coming up (Salford and Bury) and thought, correctly, that those two races would go some way to helping get rid of this personal funk I was in. Salford was lovely, a little bit lonely at times but I had a lovely runner with me from halfway and I’m glad I did!
Bury was even better, I’m doing a separate write up for that so won’t spoil it (although if you’ve seen my twitter or Instagram you’ll know the outcome) but I loved it! Definitely helped perk me up but here’s the main thing.
I read a book on the way home from Bury, as I decided to take the longest route from Bury to home possible and so was sat on a tram and train for nearly 2 hours. I loved it! I loved having no headphones, no music, no distractions (except twitter) where I could concentrate on my book without falling asleep or trying to check social media to see what was going on. It was utterly refreshing. I love to read, it’s one of my favourite things to do and I very rarely get to do it now. I’m either working, running, studying, being a parent or I’m asleep. Those are my current five states. I need to add reading into the mix somewhere as I know it makes me feel better, I love a good uplifting romance or a spy thriller where you try and beat the author to figuring it all out or…well any book really!
Reading that last half of the book I’ve been trying to read for weeks lifted my spirits, and I carried on reading yesterday once the toddler was in bed; I read blogs, some I’d never even heard of before but that were written really well, some that had huge followings on twitter and Facebook but had no blog followers to speak of. It made me feel better to realise that blogging (and reading) seem to go hand in hand and I for one am down with that.
I’ve decided that to be a better blogger, I need to be a better reader. I need to actually read blogs, take in what they’re saying rather than just skim reading them so I can move onto the next thing going on. I need to stop, take a moment and appreciate someone’s writing more. They’ve spent their time writing the damn thing, I should take time to read it and possibly comment, follow them or tell them I liked it!
Some of my lovely twitter followers, who I wouldn’t have survived my first 3 weeks without, have really welcomed me into their little blogging community and I am truly grateful (in fact two of them have spurred me on to get this finished so they can read it) and that has also helped! I’m a big one for praise, I’m needy and I know it but who doesn’t like praise when they’ve worked at something and it pays off?
Anyway, what I’m trying to get across and not very well is that throughout my little funny turn, I knew I had the tools and the strength to lift myself out of it if I wanted to, and I did want to, I just didn’t know reading had such an effect on me. I hate having anxiety and depression, it SUCKS but I won’t let it beat me. If you’re suffering, please don’t ever suffer in silence. Please tell someone, find one thing you love to do and even if you’re buried in your bed with the duvet over your head, try and do that one thing. Listen to a new genre of music, find a new book, check out an uplifting Instagram or Twitter they are out there! If nothing else, text a friend, a family member, a colleague anyone who can help just make you smile for 10 minutes and make all the bad stuff disappear if only for a short time.
Disclaimer – I know this won’t work for everybody, I get that but please please do not think you are wrong/invalidated because your mental health is different to anyone else’s. Everyone is different, my depression is eased when i exercise or read apparently so that’s what I do. If yours eases by eating pizza and watching Jeremy Kyle – do it! Anything to keep the black dog at bay and keep you going. We’re here for you, we see you and we’ll catch you if you fall. Most importantly – you are not alone.
Look I don’t write about other people’s mental health, I can barely write about mine. I just want it to be there on my own terms, how I feel and how I can feel better and if this helps just 1 person reach out and get help or support; I am totally ok with that.