Taming My Mind.

Dear Journal,

Its been such a long time since I’ve written in this section of the blog.

I guess in many ways I felt as though it was a bit redundant, irrelevant almost. Being in recovery brings thoughts and questions of “How on earth did I ever feel that low?!”

Over the past two months, I’ve been working closely with my therapist and my doctor to reduce my medication. There are a couple of reasons for this:

No.1: I don’t want to take medication anymore. I want to see how I can cope without it. I want to see how I am, unmediated.

No.2: the boyfriend and I have talked about trying for a baby towards the end of the year. There are too many risks during pregnancy being on these tablets. Plus, I want to breastfeed.

Anyway, back to the point, the medication has to be reduced twice more before I will be medication free. I’m told it will take another 3 months, which isn’t that long to be honest.

Recently, I have been struggling though. A lot more than I have done in the past year. Admittedly, there are many factors as to what is contributing to this. A couple of weeks ago I had an operation on my foot. I am unable to work. (Big big knockdown for me) and no gym. Also massive knockdown. I am stressed to the max.

Yesterday I admitted to my boyfriend that I didn’t want to be alive anymore. In that moment, I really did mean it. Although upon reflection, I know that’s not how i truly feel. I’m just struggling and drowning and I can’t seem to drag myself out of this pit that just seems to be getting deeper and deeper.

I know that its going to be okay. I know that when I look back at these past few days in a few months time I will congratulate myself for pushing through. I just know it! It’s just at this moment in time, I don’t see the light. It’s just dark.

But that’s okay.

Tomorrow, it’s a new day. New beginning. New things to achieve. And new goals to set.

Until then, enjoy the rest of your evening.

Much love,

Hannah x

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# We All Have A Story.

After seeing this hashtag going around on Twitter this morning I just knew that I had to get involved. Created by The Blurt Foundation. I’m all about things like this, it’s such a fantastic way to get people talking about mental health. Raising awareness about mental health needs to be taken more seriously than it ever has done before. It’s important that people feel that they can reach out without feeling pressured or embarrassed.

I came across Me and My Mental Health Matter’s Blog and loved the questions they used so I decided that I would answer the same questions on here.

When did you first notice your condition?

I think I was first aware of my condition from the age of 13. I didn’t fully understand or know exactly what it was. I just knew that I didn’t feel ‘right’. I didn’t fit in, but not in a ‘normal’ typical teenage not fitting in way, as many people around me felt thats the phase I was going through. I knew something was wrong and that I didn’t feel right.

It wasn’t till the age of 18 that my doctors finally gave me the ‘depression and anxiety’ label.

When did you first get help for your condition? 

I first saw a school councillor at the age of 15. She helped me with stress management. That was the first time I was introduced to breathing techniques and meditation.

I saw three different therapists throughout my time at University. As well as a crisis team and sought help from the A&E department.

Do you take medication?

Yes. Over the past 6 years I’ve taken it on and off. At the moment I take two different dosages of Venlafaxine. It’s the only one I’ve been on that’s worked. Before Venlafaxine, no medication was working so my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist and they doubled my dose. I’ve been on this dose for the past year and 8 months. I will probably be on them for the rest of my life, but to be honest, if they help me live my life then I am okay with that.

What do you miss out on because of your condition?

In short, yes I do miss out on some things. But, as I get older I realise that my life is what I make it. Travel makes me anxious at times, but I take small journeys to challenge myself.

Would you get rid of your condition if you could?

No. I don’t think I would. It would have made my life a hell of a lot easier, but I wouldn’t have the acceptance and compassion for life that I have now. Yes there are many situations that make me anxious. There are days I feel like I can’t face the world. There are days where I feel like I can’t ‘do life’ anymore. But, I keep fighting. I keep living each day as it comes because I might feel depressed and hopeless one day but the next day I might wake up and be happy.

We All Have A Story. It’s your story and everyones is different. Keep fighting and pushing for what you want in life.

Life is so worth it.

Much love,
Hannah x

Be Your Own Best.

Dear Reader,

I wanted to start this post off as a dear journal post, however as I thought more about what I wanted to write I thought that a lot of you would relate and be feeling the same too.

Its so easy to get caught up in pushing yourself to do more, or do better. I am also very guilty of this.

I have just finished a at home yoga session with one of my favourite yoga instructors on YouTube. The session was aimed for times when you might be feeling stressed. I guess its not secret to those around me that I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to do more and be better so this session seemed appropriate.

I’ve made it my daily mission over the past week or so to try and not stress the little things and OMG has it been difficult! Its so easy to allow myself to fly off the handle about bits on the floor, and washing left on the side and don’t get me started on the time I thought we had ran out of mayonnaise. I’m on a bit of a tangent now though, the point is, life is too short.

All of the stress that we carry around on a daily basis ultimately causes us more emotional and physical pain in tbe future.

I like the saying, live for today…

Because its true. Just do your best and remind yourself that you’re doing your best and you deserve to be loved.

Keep being you and I will see you in a video I’m currently preparing to put up tomorrow.

Much love,

Hannah x

I’ve Come So Far.

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It has taken me years to be brave enough to walk around comfortably in a t-shirt.
I walked around Calais last weekend in shorts and a t-shirt.

It was such an achievement for me! 👍🏻💛

⭐️ Your mental health does not define you.

⭐️ Your scars do not define you.

⭐️ Your struggles are a sign of your inner strength.

Keep being you and you will go far. Work on accepting who you are and where you want to go. Make no apologies for who you are and just do your best!

Much love,

Hannah x

Why Building Confidence Has Become My No. 1 Goal!

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Confidence is always something that I’ve struggled with. Over the past year or so I’ve been trying my upmost best to build up my confidence.

I often feel like I am trying to prove to myself that I can do things. I can go to the shops by myself. I can get on that train by myself. To be quite honest I feel a bit strange writing this down because if you’ve followed me for a while you will know that I moved away for university. I also went and lived in South Korea by myself.

So for someone who has lived alone and managed to move halfway across the world, how can they struggle with confidence?

Well to tell you the truth I go through phases of being confident and then being withdrawn. Some days I feel like I can do anything. Then other days it’s like I don’t have any confidence and I just want to hide away.

It’s very frustrating, I want to be confident.

To build my confidence I have tried to make myself do small things. Maybe I will walk to the shop by myself. Maybe I will go and sit in a coffee shop for an hour or so. or maybe I will get on a bus and go to a nearby town for the day. Like I said, some days all of those things are so easy and enjoyable to accomplish and I quite often don’t even think about it. Other days its a chore to do those things.

One of the things I learnt whilst doing CBT was to reward the things that you find difficult. I try and set myself goals of the things I want to achieve. Once I achieve a goal I make sure that I reward myself for doing it. My CBT therapist always emphasised the importance of this technique as it trains the brain to recognise the goal as a positive thing rather than something to be anxious/scared about.

Over the coming week I’m going to be working on taking walks by myself. You might be aware that I’ve just moved to a new place so I’m working on making myself feel more comfortable here. I think this is a very positive step for me so I’m looking forward to achieving this goal. I think that it will do wonders for my confidence. 😀

What techniques do you use to build your confidence?

– Hannah ❤

Love Yourself.

I feel like I spend a lot of my time reminding people to love themselves and I find that I neglect to love myself.

Today I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Its going to be a very emotionally changing next few months. I need to remember to not be too hard on myself. Maybe once in a while I need to cut myself some slack.

✨ I am doing my best.

And if I have a bad day. I need to remind myself of this:

✨ Things WILL get better.

I’ve also been asking myself this (it’s also a quote btw)
“Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?”

I’m so guilty of writing off an entire day as a bad day when in fact, realistically it was probably just a bad couple of hours.

Here are a few things that I have tried to remind myself of today:

✨ Always make time for yourself.

✨ Be brave.

✨Be bold.

✨ Value yourself.

✨ Celebrate the things you love.

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic day! 

–  Hannah ❤

I’m Moving to Kent.

I'm Moving

So, I’ve been keeping this quite quiet for a little while now. I’m so happy that I can now tell everyone about it!

At the beginning of March I will be moving in with my boyfriend. It’s going to be so great to see him everyday rather than just once a month. I can imagine that going from being long distance to living together will present a few issues, but I’m so confident that we are both going to love it.

I’m so excited to start this next chapter of our lives together. I’m looking forward to sharing this new part of my life with you all.

Do you have any advice for moving in with your boyfriend? It would be greatly appreciated.

– Hannah ❤

Mental Health in the Workplace.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetI’m a few days late with this post. I figured I would write a post for Mental Health Awareness Day anyway as I feel that we should be open in talking about mental health all the time, not just for one day. I’ve kind of struggled to find the words to write this post and I’m not sure why.

Mental Health Awareness Day was on the 10th October, it was meant to highlight mental health within the workplace.

A little over a month ago I decided to take some time off work to focus on my mental health. I wasn’t in a good place, now without going into too much detail I just didn’t find myself wanting to live my life anymore. I didn’t feel as though it was worth it. My body and my mind hurt. Emotionally, I was a wreck. Everyday that went by I felt worse and worse. It got to the point that I felt so numb and helpless I had to go and see my doctor and get signed on sick. Going on sick was the absolute last resort for me. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to work!

I’m so lucky that my workplace has been so understanding about my mental health! Understanding is an understatement really, they really have been supportive. I’m so so grateful that I have this support network, as I know that many of you don’t have this. I’ve heard so many stories about people who have lost their jobs or been asked to resign from their positions. Mental health in the workplace is becoming a subject that is being more and more talked about. Mental health should be treated just the same as a physical illness. Just because you can’t see the problem does not mean that it’s not there! Mental health creates physical symptoms, I think it’s really important to acknowledge that!

I wanted to talk about how it’s incredibly important to make the people around you (not just at work) aware if you are struggling. No-one should be struggling in silence. So many people feel like they are alone in trying to manage with mental health issues. I can assure you, you are most definitely not alone! There are so many people in this world who are here to listen and are here to help.

For me, taking that time away from work was difficult. I had to fill my days with things to do otherwise I could have easily just laid in bed all day! I took time to reflect. I took time to think about my future. I created a positivity board. (I’m sure that I will blog about that in the future) It’s been really helpful actually! It’s helped me think about my future in a positive light.

After returning to work I have felt my mental health take a dip again although I’m enjoying getting back into a solid routine. I’m just trying to take it a day at a time!

How do you deal with your mental health in the workplace?

– Hannah ❤

 

Monday Thoughts.

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while. I feel like I start every journal post saying this… I should post more often! Things have been pretty up and down. I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to maintain my mood.

Work has been okay. Could be better though if I’m honest. Everyday is the same, I put my makeup on and paint a smile on my face and do my best to get through the shift. I do often wonder if thats what the rest of my life will be like. Makeup to cover the dark circles, coffee to give me energy and a bright pink smile to stop people from asking the dreaded “are you okay?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate being asked if I’m okay. It’s just I feel that it’s just a ‘same shit different day’ kind of thing. Why keep rehashing the same story?

So my reply is, yeah I’m good thanks, you? (It seems like the easiest response)

Some days have been great. Some days I’ve done my shift at work and gone to the gym. Or I’ve tidied and organised my stuff at home. Or I would consciously take an evening off and have a self-care night.

But then there are the days where even breathing takes too much energy and it seems like it would be much easier just to sleep. One moment I can feel like I have so many options and opportunities right in front of me. Then in the next moment, I can feel like I’m carrying a million and one problems on my shoulders; and I convince myself that my life just isn’t worth living anymore.

Of course (well mostly anyway) I know that sentence may sound a tad dramatic. But honestly, some days, thats just how I feel. I don’t see the positive things that I have in my life.

Today has been a semi-positive day. I’m writing, thats a positive. I did some origami earlier, thats a positive.

I have a lot planned for tomorrow including an appointment with my care co-ordinator to discuss the next stages of my treatment as well as a discussion about seeing the psychiatrist again. I’m also seeing my friend in the afternoon. So it should be a pretty positive day.

What do you have planned for this coming week?

– Hannah ❤

Fighting Back.

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Happy Friday!

How has your week been? Positive and productive I hope!

This evening I want to talk about something that has been playing on my mind for quite some time now. I always find myself craving permission, reassurance and certainty. I find that I crave these three things in all aspects of my life from work, home, relationships and friendships.

I crave for people to like me.

I crave for people to be proud of me.

I crave for myself to be better.

I crave for myself to be happy.

I crave for people to trust me.

Instead of focusing on what people think of me I should be focusing on if I’m happy with the person I’m growing up to be. Because, at the end of the day, I have to live with myself.

I tend to find myself stressing a lot at work. I worry what people think of me. I worry that people at work don’t trust me. I worry that people at work don’t see me as a responsible person. I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job.

I want to succeed, but I also want to be liked.

But at the end of the day I can only do my best. So this week, I’ve been trying to keep my head down and keep pushing through; one day at a time.

Admittedly, this week has been tough. I’ve had quite a few panic attacks and moments where I just felt like I couldn’t do ‘life’ anymore.

When I look at all of the positives from this week. My eating has been great! I have been to the gym for the past couple of days. I’ve been eating biscuits like theres no tomorrow. I’ve been reading. I’ve been going to bed earlier.

Theres a lot of more positives than negatives it would seem!

I’m going to try and keep my head held high. I’m going to keep pushing through the days; because life IS worth it.

I need to stay strong.

And, I will keep fighting.

I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved this week and I’m so grateful for the people who constantly support me. ❤

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