The other week I had a complete meltdown.
I knew I wasn’t OK and that I hadn’t been for a long while and I am annoyed with myself for ignoring it for so long. I’m so in tune with my mind these days that I know the signs right away should my mental health start to decline and what to do to help make myself feel better.
I can’t quite figure out why I ignored them this time.
I think I felt like I could cope and pull myself out of it. I am a sucker for putting too much pressure on myself and not wanting to ask for help. I always guilt trip myself too and believe I’m not doing good enough at anything from parenting to my job.
I also (stupidly) kept telling myself ‘I’m fine, I’m really happy’ like that even matters with depression and anxiety. It doesn’t matter how happy or successful you are, depression will still creep into your brain and steal your joy.
When I feel low, I feel like everything has been sucked out of me. I have no energy, no personality, no interest in anything (even the stuff I love) and I struggle to get motivated. Even the smallest task like getting showered and dressed feels overwhelming. I feel as though I have have forgotten how to function and can’t even think or string a sentence together properly. My head feels really heavy and hard to carry around and I constantly feel exhausted.
Despite being so much more open about my mental health struggles both with loved ones and online, I still can’t help but feel ashamed when I am struggling. Like it’s my fault or I have to pull myself together.
I’m thankful I have some amazing friends I can turn to who help me whenever I need them. They always listen, always give great advice and never judge me. They reassure me and make me feel loved. Even though I feel like a burden.
I also now have an amazing boyfriend who supports me no matter what too.
Depression is a lifelong struggle. It never goes away but I am always learning and adapting new ways to tackle it. Most days these methods work and help me feel much better and on the odd day that they don’t work, I have learned to accept that it is a bad day and to try again tomorrow.
The biggest struggle I still have to overcome is learning not to be hard on myself. I always feel guilty and assume I’m not doing a good enough job at anything. I need to be kinder to myself.
I need to stop comparing myself to others. I’m not the same as everyone else. I always feel I should be doing more with Savannah, in the house, hobby wise, fitness wise. It’s non stop. I am forever comparing myself to everyone else and I need to remember that I am not everyone else. Also what you see online is not a clear depiction of other peoples lives either.
I also never say nice stuff to myself. It’s always put downs. I always focus on what I haven’t done and should be doing instead of praising myself for what I have done. I have achieved a lot over this lockdown whether my brain decides to accept it or not. I also work hard at my job back in my ‘normal life’ and at being a mum.
Lack of routine and uncertainty of the future has no doubt contributed to this current low spell. It is such a bizarre time for all of us.
I wanted to write this blog post firstly because I needed to publish something on here instead of keeping silent. Typical that I just get a brand new shiny blog set up then this happens and I can’t find the mental power to write on it.
Also to let anyone reading this who may be feeling the same know that it is perfectly OK and you’re not alone. Now more than ever. I am sure in these uncertain times many people are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.
Don’t put pressure on yourself or feel ashamed. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t ignore how you feel. You aren’t alone and don’t need to cope with this alone. Don’t make the mistake I did recently and think it will go away. Reach out and ask for help. There is no shame in admitting you’re not coping.
Additionally, and probably most importantly, if you have noticed a change or less communication from someone get in touch with them. Keep an eye on those you care about. Sometimes the signs are obvious and sometimes they’re not. Depression can be shown in other ways such as anger, substance abuse or erratic behaviour. Don’t accept it when someone says ‘they’re fine’ if you suspect they’re not. Let those who are vulnerable or alone know they’re missed and loved.
Most importantly if someone opens up to you, just listen. You don’t need to try and have the answers just time, love and sympathetic ear.
Finally know that you’re strong. You got this and you WILL get better.