Coping skills for living with a mental illness varies so much from person to person. So I’m just going to focus on my positive coping skills and what helps me when I’m struggling.
Art is something that I have always been passionate about. Whether it’s drawing, painting, writing stories or poetry. I love anything that involves creativity. When I was first put into hospital a few years ago I was in an extremely bad place. I couldn’t talk to people without my entire body shaking or feeling like my heart was about to explode out of my chest. Eye contact was even difficult in the beginning. So I kept myself to myself generally in the corner of the same room. I began to watch the other patients drawing and sketching and it instantly made me want to do it too. I got myself a set of pencils and a sketch pad and began to draw and write poetry. I kept my art very private as I was convinced it was all shit.
But it allowed me to escape.
It allowed me to leave and get away without having to physically disappear. I craved it! It seemed to give me some joy and purpose (no matter how small in the beginning).
I love to look after people. I just do.
I will go out of my way to make sure other people are OK. I am a ‘people pleaser’ I suppose but I don’t really like those words as I feel it brings about more of a negative feeling – but that’s just me.
It follows me everywhere. Present at almost every moment in my life.
I’m not just talking about the ordinary crappy mummy guilt that many of us feel. I’m talking take over your every waking thought causing anxiety and depression, kind of guilt!
When I first started to write this blog I made myself a promise that I was going to be honest. Years and years of lying and this is my time to be honest.
So, I do still have bad days! But it is OK!
Not very often but they do still creep up on me.
For the past few months or so I’ve been feeling good – maybe even really good a lot of the time. Holding things together personally and at home. Doing well in therapy. Focusing on the future. I’m off of my anti psychotic medication, generally doing well in all areas.
However, a few weeks or so ago something changed. I felt it the minute I woke up. I felt – different.
I have always loved Christmas. I didn’t matter whether I was a child, teenager or adult. I loved it.
Having my little boy has only increased my love for it. It’s magical. It’s exciting. It’s happy.
Well, that’s the idea anyway.
I guess I have always wanted it to be like this. That perfect Christmas where all of your family and friends gather, exchanging gifts, smiles and laughter. Honest, true happiness. But life isn’t like a film.
I have been thinking about writing my experiences with PND for a while but have been too nervous.
I have come to terms with most of my mental health issues but PND is still a struggle.
My pregnancy overall was pretty good. I had morning sickness for the first 13/14 weeks and a small scare at 30 weeks but overall I loved my pregnancy.
I have always struggled with my eating and the way I look but all of these fears seemed to disappear during pregnancy. I embraced my growing body and bump. My midwife even told me that I shouldn’t worry as I was the kind of person who’s body would just ping back in the few weeks after birth. So I relaxed. I ate far too much. As a result I put on 4 stone!
Some of you may have heard of Ana but she is normally a very private person. She has certainly been more of a ‘secret’ friend of mine for many years. But I’ve decided to let you know a bit about her.
She came into my life in my early teens. I was lonely and she found me. She was pretty and thin and funny – everything I wanted to be. She was always with me from that moment. Teaching me so much. Helping me decide what to do, what to eat how to cope with difficult times. She was my life line. I couldn’t talk to anyone else around me. I had no one really but her.
You are in a pit of tar. The pit is so enormous you cannot see any end to it. The tar is thick and heavy and is up to your waist.
You also have a huge thick bungee rope tied to your middle. It’s already stretched tight so any step froward is taking super human strength.
Your arms have weights strapped to them. Leaving them hanging by your sides.
You feel helpless.
You see a pair of scissors ahead floating on the tar.
If you could just get there at least you could cut the bungee cord.
You force yourself forward.
Through the pain.
You get angry.
You try to think positive.
You are exhausted.
Physically and mentally you are drained.
But you finally reach the scissors.
You manage to lift one of your heavily weighted arms.
But right before your eyes the scissors sink!
You are broken.
You can’t go on.
You want to give up.
This is too hard.
You want to throw your arms up in the air and let the bungee cord take you back.
That is the easiest thing to do.
But whats that ahead?
Another pair of scissors?
You can do it.
Yes! Yes I can.
One more try….
This was written during my relapse. One of my descriptions of depression and relapse.
This post is one I wrote a while ago but with my anxiety increasing tenfold at the moment – no idea why – I thought it would be a good idea to revist the subject.
Anxiety is a word that gets thrown around a lot. It’s thrown around without really knowing the debilitating symptoms that can sometimes come with real Anxiety.
Anxiety is fear.
In life fear is sometimes a good thing. Fear of a cliff edge or fire, for example will keep you safe. But fear of some everyday or perhaps unusual things can ruin your day, your job and even your life.
For anyone that is close to me you will know how many times I stupidly say “I’m sorry” every week, day or even hour!
I was sat with a friend the other day who was helping me on my laptop and I lost count of how many times I said I’m sorry! It was getting annoying.
Friend; “Amy please stop saying sorry!”
I didn’t even need to say sorry! All I did was mis-click a button or look too long to write something down! It’s ridiculous!