Let’s talk about…

Let’s talk about…

I want to talk about medication.

The big taboo, the elephant in the room.

And it’s a shame that it’s treated as so. We happily share the different medications we’re on if we physically injure ourselves so why not with our mental health?

“I’d rather take something and have a chance of being happy than be miserable for the rest of my life” is what I said to my mum when my doctor recommended I start a course of Citalopram when I was 19, though part of me was scared. I didn’t actually know anyone else on anti-depressants (spoiler alert: far more people than you think are). I thought it was something to be feared, something you kept a secret because “what everyone else would think”. So for a good while I hid it.

As I ventured through college, more and more people would announce either directly or discreetly like it was nbd that they were on medication for their depression/anxiety/OCD/bipolar/BPD etc. I started to feel a bit more comfortable sharing with others my experiences on them, just like I had shared my experiences with therapy and how that convinced some of my friends to go.

But one common misconception is that medication cures you. It doesn’t. If it did, the anti-depressant industry would be bankrupt.

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i found my tribe

i found my tribe

It’s been one of those years (TM)

A year I wouldn’t have envisaged at the end of the last one. A year where certain places are deemed too heartbreaking to return to yet. Where certain songs can’t be listened to. Where frosty mornings bring more flashbacks than fresh starts. 

A year where for each good thing that happened it was compounded by a worry, a fear that it’ll lead back to where I was before. 

A year of grief.

A year of gut wrenching truths that even now I’m too proud or naive to admit to but I know they’re there.

It was a year of endings.

It was a year most unfair and cruel. 

I’d love nothing more than to be able to turn the dial back and redo it all. Maybe things would have been different but I can’t and instead I’ve chosen to look at what things help with recovery. 

I joined Galz Gone Wild after a Thursday evening crying to my mother about how miserable I was as a result of this year. I was worried, terrified, deeply unhappy with myself and very lonely. I had a habit of bailing, of going silent in fear that no one really gave a crap about me anyway – so I cut ties before ties could be cut on me. I couldn’t trust myself to make a single decision no matter how big or small.

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a note

a note

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I can’t wait to see the back of 2019. It’s been a horrendous year for many different reasons and it seems like everything around me has been affected in some way – my family, friends, relationships, my physical and mental health, my work, my hobbies – they’ve all taken a hit in one way or another. I spent the first half of the year going through family and relationship trauma that took me the second half of the year to process. And I’m still trying to figure it all out.

So really what I’m trying to say is that I’m tired.

I’ve learned that I’m so scared at being discarded that I put myself through a huge amount of emotional energy to self-preserve – at the detriment to myself. I blow tepid in fear of scaring people off. I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I view myself as completely unworthy for anyone or anything and it’s why I get so frustrated with myself. I’m aware of how other people’s behaviours towards me have reinforced this idea in my head. I learned that the undue stress I put on myself has started to take a physical toll. I know that living alone is lonely. I find it difficult to trust people. I’m constantly comparing myself with others.

This has been one of the darker years.

But with all of those things came the learning curves (yeah, the sappy ones) – the realisation that your self worth doesn’t rely on anyone else’s opinion of you, that it’s never too late to change, that sometimes people act in a way towards you that has nothing to do with you. That you do get through the things you thought you’d never get through. You do get over the people you thought you’d never get over.

I’ve gotten into hiking (from a recommendation of a great friend) and that has opened a whole new door for me of new people and opportunities of adventure. I’ve started seeing a counsellor again (who has changed my life – and after 7 years of finding the right one, comes as a relief). I’ve a much better grasp of my mental health; what the triggers are and how I overcome them, and I finally got my full driving licence which has given me a wealth of freedom that I didn’t think possible.

I think that next year a lot has to change because with the way things are going, it’s not sustainable. I certainly don’t want another 2019 setting the tone for the 2020s – I don’t think I could do it again. I’m still trying to figure out what it is that has to change before I can set about doing it. I’m hopeful for what’s to come but honestly, I am worn out.

But until then, I’m taking it day by day. Because what else can you do?

 

 

You Are Worth It

You Are Worth It

Hello

Yeah, I know it’s been a while but the truth is is that I had nothing to say. Out of all my lists of “post ideas”, all my scouring on the internet for inspiration, I couldn’t find one topic that drove me to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

I’ve become very comfortable with hiding away. The idea of being unreachable, uncontactable or just generally *not there* has become so attractive that I find myself going days without talking to my friends or engaging with other people aside from work and home. I like to think that I’m wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch but in actual fact, I’m just getting lonelier.

I started seeing a new counsellor who I’m making great progress with – she suggested that my need to hide away is product of my inability to express anger at what has happened this year and instead I turn it on myself. And wow, it kind of started to make sense.

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Landslide

Landslide

I was never originally afraid of change. It always seemed very attractive to me when it was pushed into the near future and I didn’t have to really worry about it much. In other words, I wasn’t afraid of the idea of change. But the next few months are a period of change for me and yes, I’m afraid. 

Stevie Nicks sang Landslide on Thursday night and I cried. Not only because that song was a big one in my childhood but because it makes sense to me right now. I’ve become quite comfortable with how my life has been the last few months and now that things are changing, I’m afraid of how it might change me. 

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Despondency

Despondency

I’ve stopped telling people how I feel. It has almost become a competition on who has it worse which doesn’t help anyone. I know it’s hard to remain objective when you feel like what’s happening to you is the worst possible thing but just like someone else’s beauty isn’t an absence of your own, your problems existing doesn’t mean others’ are trivial. So in order to deal with what’s on my plate, I’ve stopped sharing it.

I think that the best description on how I’ve been feeling lately is despondency. I am overwhelmed the point of being downright disinterested. The things that make me happy, don’t. The people I find comfort in, I can’t. I struggle to get up and go to work, to eat well, to get any kind of exercise, to read, to write. The only feelings I do feel are anxiety and frustration. And extreme fatigue.

Part of that is the medication I’m on, it kind of sedates you. I know if I take it in the morning, it knocks me out completely. Part of it is the emotion of the last number of months. Part of it is subconsciously knowing I have to move back home in a few months. Part of it is the constant managing of my finances so that I have enough to live on.

It doesn’t matter how much sleep I have, I will wake up tired.

So, in other words, it’s just the stress of life. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult to deal with.

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Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

When I told my American History Professor that I wanted to write my Michaelmas term paper on Buddy Holly, he looked at me funny. Not in a “who is that” kind of way but more in a “sounds pretty specific but ok” way. I wrote my paper on race relations and Buddy Holly’s music – spoiler alert: not a whole lot to write about there – but it was a paper I wrote more for myself than anyone else.

If you have read this blog long enough, you’ll know about my struggles with anxiety. In fact, I seem to be starting all my blog posts like that now. But this one is a little different.

When I was younger, Buddy Holly never meant more than a dorky kid with black rimmed glasses that tried his hand at rock and roll. I didn’t know any of his songs or his impact or his untimely death. I didn’t know he inspired Elvis or The Beatles or Bruce Springsteen or that he broke the foundations to what is now rock and roll. He just wasn’t someone I was bothered about.

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2009 v 2019

2009 v 2019

I see everyone posting their 10 year challenge pictures.

Ten years ago my life was widely different to what it is now. Sure, everyone’s is – be a bit weird if it wasn’t, right?  But ten years ago, I was preparing for my Junior Cert which  was a catalyst for some of the major issues I faced in my late teenage years and early 20s.

Up until 2016, I categorised my life before and after 2009. My life was calm, smooth and pleasant before 2009 and after, it became a chaotic, anxious mess. Because 2009 was the year that I first experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I’ve written about my OCD before. Numerous amounts of times. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re all sick of hearing about it because God knows I am. I can’t say I was an anxious child growing up – I don’t really remember – but if you had said I’d an underlying mental health issue, I don’t think I’d have believed you.

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Flaw

Flaw

This is a post that I’ve been thinking about for quite a while now and it stems from a long-growing issue that has been knocking around my brain for over two years. I’m going to say now that it deals with some pretty heavy stuff – weight, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-esteem, etc so if you think that this could be something that could cause you harm, don’t proceed. Your health is more important than this.

This is also a difficult one to write because I really want to broach it with extreme sensitivity. The last thing I want is to offend or come across like an ungrateful bitch because trust me, if there was a simple quick fix to this, you know I’d take it in a heartbeat. And if this does offend you, upset you or make you dislike me more than you might already do, I am sorry. It was not my intention and I hope I can change that perception in the future for you.

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Being

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It’s eight minutes past three in the afternoon and I’m in a local coffee shop with high hopes of “getting my life together”.

In fact, I’m sitting here, with this humongous weight on my chest. I’ve been struggling for a while about what to write, to bring to life the ideas in my head either for this blog or otherwise. I had great plans of figuring everything out but once I sit down, my mind falls blank.

There’s this catch in my throat. I’m feeling guilty about my life at the minute – it’s not something I’ve really experienced before. I rehash events in my head where I was the direct cause of something negative. I go through friend’s profiles, I try to remind myself that their beauty isn’t an absence of my own but it doesn’t work.

There’s definitely been a sense of isolation I have been feeling lately that could be as a result of my location, my job, my all-consuming hobbies, and maybe my lack of desire to do anything in between due to sheer tiredness. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was depressed.

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