Monday, 15 August 2016

Relapse and Coping | Let's talk Mental Health


Well it's been a bit of a while since I have posted anything on this blog hasn't it? I thought about writing a really brief message and leaving it at that but that felt almost slightly fake and I promised to be as honest as I can be. I spoke about Depression in a previous post and that has a huge impact on why I have been neglecting the blog so much recently. If you don't want to read this post feel free to skip it, my normal beauty/lifestyle posts should be resuming from this week. I'm going to steer away from having set days etc to stick to as I feel that will be adding too much pressure on myself. I will try get at least one post up a week until I feel more in control of it. Thank you for those who have followed this blog for a while and all your support - and new followers hey! Warning: this will be a rambly post! I apologise in advance. There is no structure to this post, I am just sitting in front of my laptop just typing so if it is jumping from parts to parts I haven't edited it further.

Depression for me is like a cloud that lingers but never quite fully goes away. It comes back when you feel down and it takes a lot of strength to not let it take over. For me personally the start of the year has been quite tough and I think I've only been processing what I've been feeling over the past few years in the last few months and it's just got on top of me. I do have a chronic headache disorder which impacts what I do majorly and it has resulted in me having to leave my nursing degree and just put a huge halt in my plans. It's funny though I started the blog (originally hdotxo) when I was getting really ill and it kept my mind occupied. So I left my first university with a diploma in health studies instead of my nursing degree. Since then I have tried to continue to finish my degree in health studies which I've had to stop once and restart last September. Not quite how I planned life to go! But that's life for you - forever throwing curveballs.
Without giving you a whole life story I just had a lot of personal problems at the start of the year. One being having to cut out someone who has been a major part of my life for reasons I can't explain much on here. I think that's what caused the relapse initially as that person was my main support lifeline. It's amazing how much we can depend on people. So that was one part of the problem. Another was my treatment for my headaches have not been as successful recently causing implications on progression at university. I've somehow managed to finish most my modules with my dissertation remaining. I also was let go at work because I had not been in for so long - not so much of an issue now as I do have a new job I'm now waiting to start.
But it's almost like all those things big or small were just adding up and suddenly about a month ago I just felt like I was drowning in all these negative thoughts. I'm going to be completely honest and say I got to a stage for a good few days where I just didn't want to move from bed and kept saying to myself what is the point? But somehow I have managed to kind of get out of this. I'm slowly making progress on improving. I know it's different for everyone but for me I feel like Depression will be one of those things that will never completely go away, there will be moments where I have patches like that. I just need to find what works for me and I will explain that below. I know everyone is different and what I suggest might not be helpful at all for some but it's worth saying I think. So here goes...
I think the main thing for me which is a lot easier said than done was reminding myself I have got through this before and I worked too hard to get out of feeling that low to fall back into it. I know what you're thinking - that sounds great but it isn't that simple. I know it's not but it's as if that little bit of motivation was coming from the fact that I never wanted to feel as low as I have done in the past. The thought of hitting rock bottom and the reminder of how that feels was enough to make me go you know what? No this isn't going to happen. 
Another major point for me was acceptance in a way. This is hard to explain but similar to the previous it was reminding myself it's okay to feel down, it's okay to feel completely overwhelmed and feel like enough is enough. The feelings are normal. I've accepted that it will always be there and some days or weeks, even months it will affect me more than others. And that's fine but now I'm more aware of it I know I need to try fight it more. Part of the acceptance for me is remembering it's fine to completely break down and cry. It's okay to stay in bed and just sleep for a day. It's just stopping it becoming a habit which you can't break. This moves onto the next though which is trying to keep as busy as I can. I found this the hardest, I didn't want to see people, I didn't want to be sociable, after spending hours and hours on the laptop for university I didn't even want to look at my blog and I just wasn't feeling inspired. But even getting myself outside for a hour a day or a 10 minute walk. Something to just break that routine of not wanting to do anything helped loads. Now I'm trying to keep focused on what I do have in my diary and if I don't have anything planned what can I do which will get me some fresh air. Sure this didn't work everyday but every single time I went outside for a while it helped. Every single time. 
Again following on from the previous another thing I've been doing which is new to me is talking. There is amazing support out there. As I've said I don't speak to the person who was my main support so I'm teaching myself to speak to friends and other people about it. It's okay to talk. It's important to talk. Even if you don't talk - letting someone know you're struggling so you're not alone is major. It's made me realised I'm truly lucky to have some amazing people in my life I wouldn't change for the world. Some understand more than others but even if I saw someone and just spoke to them about anything besides what was going on with me it helped. It distracted my mind. 
Lastly probably one of the most important parts that helped me was looking after myself. Physically as well as mentally. Something as small as a bath and pampering helped sometimes. Making myself exercise as cliche as it is has helped. For me it was completely about keeping the mind occupied. Whether this would be by reading a book, binge watching a series, doing yoga, anything that distracted me from my thoughts it helped. 
I think if you're struggling with depression the most important thing to know is you're doing okay. Whether all you've managed to do is get out of bed or got up to go to the loo you will be fine. Just try to talk, it's the most important thing. People are there for you and support is everywhere. You're not alone and a lot of people are going through the same. Little steps. I can't say that I'm feeling completely better or I'm out of this relapse phase but this past week has definitely been much much better. Also, if you do want to talk about it more just private message me on twitter or any social media platform. We need to be talking more about mental health and ending the stigma associated with it. 

So after that extremely long ramble I will be trying to get my blog back to normal or back into it. I have missed it I just didn't want to post posts that I didn't fully commit to. I promised honesty and that's what I'm going to keep at. Thank you again for your patience and all the positive energy everyone has been spreading.

Hana ♥
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1 comment

  1. You're so brave for being so open. I totally agree that if you're struggling, don't beat yourself up for not being 'productive', even getting out of bed or getting a change of clothes on seems pointless sometimes so you should really celebrate when you do, or when you have a better day. People always underestimate the toll mental illness takes on just day-to-day tasks, which is why we need to talk about it more. I hope some of your followers will be inspired to speak up about their experiences too and help end the stigma. Wishing you well in your recovery, sending love and positive energy your way! xx

    Sarah x
    http://www.scarletstate.co.uk/

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