Nobody Said It Will Be Easy.

Dear Journal,

This week has been one of the most difficult weeks so far this year. At the beginning of the week I had a bit of a problem at work. I have been extra agitated and it’s caused quite a bit of friction between the people that I work with.

I’ve been working on getting myself back into recovery. It’s not an easy concept for me to get my head around. Because even though a person might be in recovery, it doesn’t mean that that person won’t have bad/down days. As down days are a normal part of life. When can I start to class myself as in recovery? 

First, I would like to talk about self harm. I’m actually quite proud of myself, today is day 4 of not doing it. I know, 4 days doesn’t sound like that long. When I think back to last month when I was doing it about 3 times a day, to go from that to not doing it for 4 days, it’s quite an achievement! Yesterday and today have been extremely stressful days, both at work and at home. When I finished work yesterday I decided that I would go to the gym. It helped a great deal with my mood.

When I think about recovery. I think about the things I want to work on. The traits or behaviours that I want to change. It’s no secret that I don’t like (hate) myself. It’s certainly no secret that at times (even as recent as this week) I have simply just not wanted to be here anymore. I don’t want to feel like that anymore. I don’t want to have those dark thoughts, where I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t want to be ashamed to be me.
I want to be okay with not watching what I eat.
I want to be okay with not planning every hour of my day.
I want to be okay with having time to just relax.
I want to be stronger.
I want to be someone people can rely on.
I want to inspire others.
I want hope.
I want love, happiness and success.
I want to believe in myself.

This week I have been doing a lot of thinking, mostly about my future and the direction in which I see my life going.

Part of me wants to move down to London and try and get a job within the media industry. Part of me wants to continue working here and go to university in September to study business management.

But then there is another part of me that just says “Hannah. No. You can’t do it.” Or, “You are not capable to do it.” But that is the voice I have to ignore. Recovery is not a straight line. There are ups and downs. There are tough days and there are good days. But as bad as the bad days get, things will always get better.

On Tuesday afternoon I really did feel like I had hit rock bottom, it felt as though things just couldn’t get any worse and that I wouldn’t ever feel ‘better’ again.

Recovery isn’t easy, but it is possible. I will be okay. I am capable. I am worthy of love. I can do this. My friends do like me. Depression doesn’t make me weak. I do believe in myself. I can succeed. I can learn to love myself. And things will be okay.

Today is just a bad day. Tomorrow, I’m sure will be better.

How has your week been? ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

Where Have I Been…?

Dear Journal,

Where have I been? Good question!

I have been… busy. The truth is, things have been pretty bad for me. I’ve been very stressed. My moods have been so up and down. SH is at it’s all time worst. I have been and visited a psychiatrist for the first time a few weeks ago. (they aren’t as scary as my mind made them out to be)

We discussed a possible diagnosis which is currently BPD. (borderline personality disorder) He increased my medication. I’m currently taking 150mg of Venlafaxine. I’m not noticing a huge effect so far, but it’s only been a couple of weeks.

I’m also having nurse visits 3 times a week to monitor my medication, mood and food intake. It’s taking me a little bit of time to get used to it. But it’s much better than the alternative which is going into hospital as an impatient.

I’m currently planning a trip to London in a few weeks with my friend Josh. Check out his blog here: unitedasonevoice.co.uk

I’m currently working on some training books to work towards being a crew trainer at my store which is super positive.

Although things have been tough for the past couple of months. Things are looking more and more positive.

I have so many positive and great things ahead of me over the next 6 months. I have a lot of things to be focusing on.

Here are some things that are inspiring me to get up in the morning:

  • My friends
  • My Book
  • My family
  • My future job prospects
  • Possible return to education
  • Coffee
  • London trip
  • New York at Christmas

These are just some of the positive things I have in my life right now.

Every time I find myself doubting myself. I will look back at this post and remind myself that I have so many amazing people, and so many amazing things in my life. How could I possibly think about ending my life?

How is your week going? ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

Lies That Depression Tells Me.

  1. You are NOT good enough.
  2. You are too hard to love.
  3. No-one will ever love or accept you.
  4. You are ugly.
  5. You are fat.
  6. Everyone hates you.
  7. You will fail if you try.
  8. You are crazy.
  9. You are stupid.
  10. Everyone would be better off if you were not here.

Lets go back through that list and change those negatives into positives.

  1. You are MORE than good enough. If the people around you don’t believe that, then you don’t need those people in your life. 
  2. You deserve to be showered with love. In relationships (or friendships) find someone who doesn’t see your battle as a burden. Those people are out there. They will love you for you. 
  3. You WILL find someone out there to love you for you. I promise. When you find that person, never let them leave your life. No matter how many times you try and push them away, they will always come back telling you how much you mean to them. 
  4. You are far from ugly. You will probably never see the beauty in yourself that others seem to see. Take a good look in a mirror and start to list a couple of things that you don’t mind about yourself. Learn to appreciate the features that you have. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. 
  5. You are NOT fat. Everybody has a different shape. Diet and exercise plays a huge part too. You could be ‘fat’, but you know what? A person who has a funny, intelligent and witty personality is all that people will see. 
  6. You can’t please everyone. If someone doesn’t like you, then that’s their problem. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. 
  7. You may fail. But you will learn. Everything is a process. By ‘failing’ you are gaining more knowledge and experience which you can apply when you try again. Failing is essential to progressing. 
  8. Some of the best people in the word are ‘crazy’. Theres nothing wrong with being a little crazy. 
  9. You aren’t stupid. You are maybe just better at other things compared to the other people around you. Embrace the brains that you have. 🙂
  10. Everything about no. 10 is a lie. How would people be better off? I understand this feeling. I have felt it, it’s an overwhelming feeling. But, you need to make your mark on the world. You have your place. You have the power to inspire. You are incredibly strong. Depression has given you this. Use these feeling and knowledge to inspire others. Be the amazing person that I know you are. 

Thank you very much for reading.

My inbox is always open if anybody wants to talk. You are never alone. ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

P.S. What lies does depression tell you?

Dear Future BF

Boyfriend! Well, hello!

Firstly, I would like to say that I’m really proud of myself for learning how to open myself up to another person again. I’m sure we have already discussed about ex’s by this point, and as you probably already know, my ex’s have been pretty… shitty, to say the least!

You are probably already aware that I have trust issues and I am highly insecure at times. I’m sure that I brush off all of your compliments like I don’t care. (when secretly, they make me smile)

I still don’t believe them though. I’m working on it. 

I’m sure you are very sweet. Caring. Attentive. I’m sure that you offer me much reassurance. (Again, I’m sure you are aware that I crave it) I’m sure that you listen to me talk for hours and say that you could do it all night. Are you crazy? I’m sure you tell me I look beautiful, even though I think I look like I’ve just been dragged through a bush. Still, your words make me smile.

I’m sure we have had a few ‘hiccups’ during the time we were ‘getting together.’ I’m sure I keep texting you with the same words of “Are we okay?” or “Are you angry?” and I’m sure that your response is “Of course baby.” I hope I’ve told you how much I love it when you call me baby.

I hope I’ve told you how much I appreciate you. And how much I love (yes love) having you in my life. I love your positivity. I love your ambition. Your drive. Your love. And your passion.

I hope I’ve apologised for all the times where I freak out and act crazy. I hope that I’ve said sorry a million times when I’ve caused a fight from something that was all made it up in my mind.

I hope that I’ve told you how much I love it when you smile. And that when you laugh, my heart melts. I hope that I’ve told you how adorable you look when you smile. Or how admirable it is when you talk about your family.

And when we talk about the future. Am I still afraid? The truth is, I’m sure I’m just scared that things won’t work out. And that I will get hurt. Or maybe that I will love you, more than you love me.

I know that you seem confused when I’m sad and I pull away from you. I hope that I reassure you that the reason for this is for self preservation. I don’t want to get hurt. And, I don’t want to hurt you.

Sometimes, I feel like I do need to be alone. To think. Not about us but, general things. You know? Being alone is something that I’ve always struggled with. I mean, I’m better than I was. Have I improved by this point? I sure hope that I have. 

Did we ever go on a trip? I hope that we did and that we had an awesome time!

I hope I told you how much it takes for me to say the ‘L’ word, and I don’t mean leprechaun. Although, they are pretty cool.

I’m sure that (and I can say this now, because, well… this is for the future) from early on that I did start … (L)ing you. I probably did, because I’m sure that you are amazing.

I hope that we do couple type things like, walking along the beach holding hands. I hope that we write each other letters. (because I think that’s the sweetest thing ever) I hope that when you are sick I can be there to take care of you. Cook you food. And cuddle you whilst you’re sleeping.

And lastly, I hope that we haven’t lost our sarcastic banter. Because, just wouldn’t that be a shame!

Till then, I hope that you are well. I hope that you are creating and shaping the amazing person that you will become.

And when it’s time for us. We will be perfect.

I hope we meet soon,

Your future girlfriend.
xxx

Taking Back Control.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 3.41.34 pm

Going and telling a complete stranger that something is wrong is no easy task. It takes courage, strength and confidence.

All of which in recent months I have been struggling with.

Yesterday was my first day back at my original store. I was really anxious. I got changed into my uniform and my anxiety was sky high. What if someone asks me about what I did to my arm? I had prepared an excuse. I practiced it in the mirror for the past 5 days. I was as ready as I would ever be.

I kept telling myself that it would be okay and all I had to do was get through these next few hours. I needed to put on a smile and it would soon be over.

I left work early and I made my way to my doctors appointment. I had prepared a solid list of the things that I wanted to discuss. This appointment was incredibly important.

I got sat down. The doctor asked how I was. My immediate response was “yeah, I’m good thank you. How are you?” As soon as the words left my mouth I corrected myself. “Actually no, I’m not okay. Things are really bad. But it’s difficult to talk about. I have a list.”

*Shows list*

We continued talking. Long story short, I will continue taking my current medication. She has referred me a to a psychiatrist. So now I’m waiting. She checked the SH on my arms, it’s all okay. Not infected.

I’m feeling rather positive. Today I worked up the courage to film a video for mental health awareness week. I’m really nervous about uploading it. But I’m proud of myself for getting up and telling my story.

I hope you’re having a great week so far. ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

By Loving You, I Lost Myself.

Wow, okay. *Deep breaths*

A few weeks ago I made a decision that was very hard to make. Saying goodbye is never easy, it doesn’t matter if that person is your friend, your sister, your boyfriend, it doesn’t matter. It’s difficult all round.

When I lived in South Korea, I began a relationship with a Korean man. He was perfect, he was caring, attentive, handsome and he made me feel good about myself. I was really happy. He was everything I ever wanted.

He was my first ‘real’ boyfriend. We were serious. I wanted to marry him. He was my everything. He was the first person I said ‘I love you’ to.

But then things changed. I felt like he withdrew from me. He was no longer that attentive boy that I fell in love with. We had countless amounts of arguments about how things were ‘my fault’ or about how I didn’t understand him. It hurt me because I was trying my best, but I stood there and took it.

I loved him. I thought that it was how relationships were supposed to be. I loved living in Korea, it was amazing. But towards the end, my anxiety and depression was that bad, I needed help. My head was not safe. I was ready to kill myself. This is not me being dramatic, I’m trying to be honest. I’m trying to express just how bad I felt. There was one night in particular, I was feeling really down. I had left my job (due to MH) and they were threatening to sue me (immigration were also involved) and that day in particular I felt that everything was just getting on top of me.

I didn’t move all day. I just cried. Boyfriend was at work. It was the lowest I have ever felt in my life. He came home and we argued. I don’t remember exactly what it was about. To be fair I was upset and frustrated and when I’m in that type of mood, I just want a hug. I just want to feel safe. He just left me to cry, so I left. I was angry. I was angry at myself for feeling the way I did. I couldn’t take life anymore. I took my keys, my phone and my coat and I left. I had no intention of going back.

He kept calling. I didn’t want to speak to him. He had made me feel that way. He didn’t understand how I was feeling. He just thought I should ‘just get up and do something’. He lived a bit far from town, so I walked. I didn’t know where I was going to go. I didn’t care. I walked along the river. I considered so many ways in which I could ‘end it’.

But, I ended up at a bar. Some of the other foreign teachers were there. I didn’t care that I looked like a mess. I didn’t care that I was crying. I didn’t care what people might have thought. I needed to talk to someone. And that someone turned out to be one of my friends that died a little over a week ago. That night, he helped me so much. I am forever grateful.

I returned home much drunker than when I had left. Boyfriend was asleep. We worked on our problems for a couple of weeks before I was due to fly home. Before I left we decided that we would date long distance. I would seek help in the UK then fly back to Korea after about 6 months.

In November 2016 I returned to England. My mind wasn’t in the right place. I was depressed. I hated myself. I couldn’t eat and it was making me really sick. Leaving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. (so far) We dated long distance for a few months. It was difficult. I felt like had lost interest. I felt like we were having the same conversations. It was always small talk. He didn’t understand mental health, he said he did but considering he saw me at one of the lowest points in my life, he still treated me like I was making it all up. ‘Just eat this’, ‘go and exercise’, just ‘don’t always sit down’ are not the best things to tell someone who suffers from depression.

He didn’t make me feel wanted, or loved. He ignored me most of the time. He didn’t make me feel special. I felt like just another person. If I had a problem, he always had one worse.

So I broke it off. I made the decision that was best for me. It was a selfish decision but one that had to be made. I needed to be around family more than anything during that time. The week I flew home I started on antidepressants, and I attended emergency therapy. But he rarely asked how it was all going.

I spent so much of our relationship trying to understand him and make him happy. I was constantly trying to be the girlfriend that he wanted, I lost myself. I didn’t do anything for myself. I neglected to look after and appreciate the person that I was. I took myself for granted. And he broke my heart. 

I’m healing, slowly. I learning to trust. It’s not easy I tell you that. My confidence is really low right now. When someone gives me a compliment, I convince myself instantly that they don’t mean it, and that they are just being polite.

I want to be with someone who I can laugh with, who I can love and who I can support. I want to be with someone who will fight for me and who won’t take me for granted and assume that I will always be there. I want to be with someone I can build a future with. I want to be with someone who makes me feel like I’m the only girl in the world. 

Is that too much to ask for?

I will end on this quote as I feel that it’s more true now than it’s ever been. “Be thankful for the wrong relationships. They teach you, change you, strengthen you and prepare you for the right one.”

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

The Road To Recovery.

*** Trigger Warning ***


KakaoTalk_Photo_2017-04-13-5-16-06 pm_17

I’m going to be talking about a very different topic today. If you are sensitive or easily triggered then I suggest that you view this post with caution.

It’s hard to predict how recovery will progress. Everyone recovers in their own way and at different speeds.

The road to recovery is not a simple one and there certainly isn’t a time limit. Sometimes I think to myself I started having my second course of CBT last November and I finished the sessions a few weeks ago, so why am I not ‘better’. Whatever ‘better’ means. People call me normal. What does that mean? I worry excessively, is that normal? I stop myself from eating to punish myself, is that normal? I panic when I feel out of control of my own life, is that normal? I feel like I cannot get through the day without having an hour by hour structured plan, is that also considered as normal?

Because, I feel far from normal.

I stopped myself from blogging about this so many times. I’m afraid what people will think. I’m scared to be honest. People look at me and say, you look much happier than you did beforeDo I? Are you sure? Because I feel no different!

I’ve always struggled with self harm. I gives me a kind of release that is difficult to describe. Before this week, I had gone 6 months without it. I was so proud of myself. I have had a stressful couple of weeks, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I feel so guilty and angry at myself. How could I do something so stupid?

And when people ask if I’m okay, I answer with a simple, yes. But, I’m not okay. I wasn’t okay last week. I wasn’t okay yesterday and I’m not okay today. This is the lowest I’ve felt in a few months.

Today I wanted to blog about something positive. But the truth is, I don’t feel positive right now. I am not sleeping great. I feel exhausted. I’m not eating much. I feel really fat. I haven’t been to the gym. I’ve not been reading. I have no motivation. Everything is a little bit of a mess.

What I’m coming to realise is that recovery isn’t just a straight line, there are ups and downs. Some weeks are better than others. Some days, life just makes you want to sit and cry. Today is one of those days. 

What I’m told is that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I shouldn’t blame myself. Right now, I don’t believe that at all. I hate myself. I am angry at myself for allowing myself to feel like this. But I have to believe and trust the people that are telling me those things. I have to trust that they care about me.

Today is not a good day. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring. Maybe it will be better, I will have to wait and see.

I think some major self care is needed this evening. Maybe a bath and a face mask.

All I can say is, I’m so truly grateful to the people that I have in my life. I’m so grateful for the messages asking how I am. I’m so grateful for the chats. I really am. ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

P.S. I would love to hear your recovery story.

Loving Someone With Anxiety & Depression.

KakaoTalk_Photo_2017-03-23-6-54-25 pm_4

*** TRIGGER WARNING***

Okay here goes, I’ve thought about writing about this for a while now. But, I’ve always stopped myself. I guess maybe I’m scared of the response this might get, or (most likely) what people will think of me.

When you’re dealing with stress, anxiety or depression, it’s exhausting. It’s like a constant uphill battle. Some days are better than others. And some days are just unbearable. This month I’ve been pretty level with my mood. For those of you who don’t know, I track my daily overall mood using a mood tracker. Green = good. Yellow = So-so. Red = bad. This month I’ve only had one red day, which is pretty good going. Well, up until today anyway.

Loving someone with depression and anxiety can be pretty tough also. What do you do when you receive those texts saying “I feel so down” or “I can’t do this anymore.” ??? It’s hard. What can you do? What is the ‘right’ thing to say? What is the ‘right’ thing to do?

The short answer is, there is no right thing to say or do. Just be there to listen. 

Let me tell you about the past few days. I started feeling much better after my family came back. Read about last weekend here.  I was feeling more relaxed and a little less anxious. I started eating again. But things have slowly been on a downward spiral.

Tuesday: I got discharged from CBT. Yay? Although, I’m scared that I will revert back to how I was, but I’m trying to stay positive. During my last session she told me that she was proud of how much progress I had made. We took a trip down memory lane a little.

When I first started seeing her (November 2016), I had just moved back from South Korea. In fact I had my first session the first week I got back, and I was still severely get lagged.

I had no job.

I was barely eating. The thought of eating made me feel sick. I was scared about putting more weight on. Even though I had lost so much already.

I didn’t exercise.

I didn’t leave the house. I was afraid something awful might happen. The thought of leaving the house triggered bad panic attacks, so I avoided it.

I didn’t speak to my friends. I closed myself off. I didn’t want to bother them with my problems.

I lost my confidence.

I stopped wearing makeup and doing girly things like painting my nails.

I literally did nothing. I wanted to run away. But, you can’t run away from yourself. I felt stuck. I was stuck with this person that I hated. I didn’t want to be me anymore. Why couldn’t I be someone who was so positive? Why couldn’t I be someone who just gets on with things? Why couldn’t I be a person who didn’t freak out every time something unexpected happened? In CBT I’ve been learning to love myself, or like myself more I guess. I’ve been learning to look after myself more. And, I’ve been learning how to relax. I overwork and I don’t take breaks, which leads to burning out. Something I know all too well. Now, I have nights where I watch Netflix and eat mini eggs (mostly guilt free) If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is. 🙂

It’s not been an easy journey. I do have to work on it everyday. And somedays, I do just crawl into bed feeling exhausted.

I feel lucky that I had my friends and family around me. I don’t know what I would have done without them. But I also feel I should apologise to them. I spent two months crying everyday when I came back from Korea, they didn’t know what to do. They wanted to help, but what can you do for someone who can only help themselves?

Yesterday and today has been a rough couple of days. I haven’t been sleeping well. My mind is constantly worrying about whether people at work think I’m strange because I don’t really talk. Or that I freak out and get orders wrong when I’m feeling anxious. The truth is, I’ve got that many thoughts in my head about lots of different things, the last thing I want to do is talk and ‘put myself out there’ anymore than usual. Sometimes, just getting to work is an achievement in itself.

I went to the gym first thing yesterday morning. The workout did not go well at all. I just didn’t have the energy. Then I had plans with someone from work in the afternoon. I’m scared that they think I’m boring, as I barely spoke. Then after that I went into town and bought myself some new tops. A little retail therapy. But my mood was still sinking. I just wanted to cry and go to bed, so I went home. I skipped dinner, set my alarm and went straight to bed.

I woke up this morning in such bad mood. Work wasn’t bad. I got through it, that’s the main thing. I need to remember to always look at the positives!

Apologies to those people that I haven’t answered, I will reply to your e-mails, messages, tweets and texts just as soon as my mood has lifted. I really do appreciate all of the positive and supportive messages that you’ve all been sending me.

Whether it’s your friend, work colleague, boyfriend, girlfriend, mum, sister, loving someone with anxiety and depression can be stressful all round. It’s hard to know what to do or say. Let them know that they’re safe, and cared for. Let them know that they don’t need to feel insecure or lonely. Just be there when they need you.

I wish I could hug every single person who struggles with this, because it’s not easy. And it does make you just break down and cry. Hell, I cried all the way home from the gym and got into bed this afternoon, I felt so shit and upset. But it does pass, and tomorrow will be better.

As always, I’m here for anyone who wants to talk, vent or cry to. We are all in this together. ❤

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm

A Day In My Life.

kakaotalk_photo_2017-03-04-3-55-53-pm_35

Today I wanted to share a typical day in my life with you. I currently work a job that is based around shifts, and my shifts change every week.

Recently I’ve been having a lot of early shifts, which are perfect for me! I love getting early shifts. I find that if I get up early the rest of my day just falls into place. I’m much more productive.

5:50am: Get up and get ready. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to wear makeup for work, so my morning routine is pretty simplistic. Which I guess is a good thing as it doesn’t take much time for me to get ready.

6am: Make a cup of tea and breakfast. I’ve been eating porridge with a banana. 

6:10am: Leave the house.

6:25am: Get on the bus.

7am – 2pm: At work.

2:10pm: Walk to the shops. I usually do food shopping on Thursday and Sunday’s as they’re the days I do meal prep. I try to change my meals up every week, it stops me from getting bored of the same thing. 

3pm: Get on the bus to go home.

3:30pm: Go home and take a shower. Probably have a cup of tea. 

4pm: Walk the puppy.

4:15pm: Blog post planning.

5:30pm: Eat dinner

6pm: Do yoga

6:30pm: Blog post writing.

9pm: Watch Netflix/YouTube

10pm: Go to bed. Probably read.

11pm: Go to sleep.

So that’s pretty much it. This is what I tend to do most days. ❤

I like to keep a strong routine, I found that as soon as I start breaking my routine, that’s when my mood seems to be effected. I’ve also started shutting off all social media and internet (except YouTube and Netflix) after 9-9:30pm. I’ve found that this allows my mind to switch off and relax.

How about you? What is your routine like?

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-2-13-53-pm