Unexpected can be damaging

This happened a couple of days ago.

I wake to hear what sounds like building work happening in my building, so of course, I am intrigued as to what is happening. So clad in pjs and some large cardigan, I go and investigate. Well..It turns out that what is happening is that the whole building is getting a new intercom system. Which, while yes this is an amazing thing, we will finally get the ability to buzz people in to the building without having to go up and down the mountain amount of stairs (old building no lift) and I can silence my intercom phone if some kids decide to take it upon themselves to constantly harass me.

The problem I have with this..no warning. The landlord did not inform us that this was taking place. So to be woken by it, and then have a hour to mentally prepare myself for the fact that a stranger will be entering my flat. It is basically bullshit.

I don’t come with unexpected changes, let alone having to allow someone entry to my safe place with no warning what so ever. If I hadn’t gone to investigate, I wouldn’t have even had that hour!

Yes what this guy did took maybe 20 minutes at most, that isn’t the point. I was uncomfortable from the moment I knew he would be in my home, that comfort level decreased even further once he was in there. I had to ask him to keep the door propped open because I simply would not have been able to handle it. Of course he looked at me strange, but I am guessing he saw the pure worry that plagued my face and happily obliged even though it made his job so much more difficult.

Once finished, he left, said thank you and I had my brand new intercom phone. But the entire day I was off. I felt violated. Which is entirely ridiculous I know.

But for some back story as to why I feel like this… (trigger warning)

A year and a half ago, an assault took place, with someone who abused their role, there are specific jobs which you have to give people certain levels of trust..taxi drivers, workmen who enter your home, even neighbours. And this trust was abused. So since then, me having to be in a situation in which I am alone with someone where a level of trust like that is required, I can’t do it, especially with no warning. I had such a short amount of time to compose myself.

If I am ever having anything done within my flat that requires workmen. I ask for the furthest possible date away that they can give me so I have time and can be ready mentally for it. But this time, I was stood there, in my pyjamas, feeling completely vulnerable.

It is a horrible feeling, but thankfully, its all done now.

But unexpected things can be so damaging to those who have been affected by something in that past that was out of their control. I am one of those people.

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Battling the wind, mentally and physically

Its well known that those with anxiety have an issue with “unexpected loud noises” –  fireworks, thunder, large crowds etc.. Well for me, I hate all of those things, yet the one I hate the most is wind. Wind terrifies me.

Sound off, well let me explain. The physical act of wind is fine, I can walk around in it everyday if I so wished (and there was wind available to walk around in). What I have the issue with is, that in my flat, I have a skylight in my bedroom, which isn’t as awesome as you’d think. This skylight is old. This skylight rattles. Now imagine what happens when a storm comes flying through the UK.

Currently, the UK is experiencing what we are calling “Storm Doris”. Well, storm Doris can go fuck itself.

It has been classed as a weather bomb, not something you really want to be around for particularly, this storm is also recording up to 100mph winds. Public transport has been stopped in places, certain areas are closed off due to the high winds, and in the north it has caused what the UK would class as blizzards.

Now picture having anxiety, with a serious hate for winds and the noise it causes. Now picture me. I had to leave my home, just to get away from the wind. This sounds ridiculous I know, but the noise of the skylight rattling so furiously was sending me into severe panic.

I am pretty convinced that I will go home and not have a skylight anymore, just a gaping hole where it used to reside. This would be a complete pain, as that would then require someone coming into my home, which I do not feel comfortable with. It really is a nightmare situation.

As I write this, it is late morning, the storm or at least the strong winds will continue well into the evening. I am actually living a nightmare.

But for now, I will remain cooped up in a coffee shop, where the only noises are that of light conversation, furious typing and the occasional coffee being made. And for now that suits me just fine.

Bullet Journaling..

So I have seen online, various you tubers and bloggers doing this thing called “Bullet Journaling”. I know it isn’t a new thing over all but it is definitely very new to me. I saw it originally just after christmas, so using a voucher I got for amazon as a chirstmas gift, I got my supplies

It took about 2 weeks total for most of it to come, I am still waiting on a couple of bits but I thought I should start the journal anyway.

For those who haven’t heard of it, who like me was completely in the dark, it is in my opinion a fantastic way to organise your life.

++You just take an empty notebook and take it from there, you create pages that will be helpful to you. For example, a few of my pages are a page that has everyones birthdays listed, simply because my memory is awful and I ALWAYS forget stuff like that, which in turn makes me feel rubbish.
++Another example is a blog writing ideas 2 page spread. Which i personally find very helpful. I mean the amount of times I have thought of an idea, not been able to write it down and then thats it, its gone. So now I have a specific place, in a notebook that I will always carry with me to write these ideas, which can only improve my blogging standard, right? Maybe not. But its still very helpful either way.
++Last example would be my habit tracker. Over 2 pages, i make a spreadsheet style layout, with various headlines down the side. Then at the end of the day, before I go to bed, I fill it out in relation to the day. As someone who has mental illness, and should probably keep track of various things, such as moods, the amount of sleep I get, whether I am tired during the day etc..It is very good. And for me to to this I have to do it a month at a time, So currently I am writing in Januarys, then once I reach the 31st, I will create februarys.

Now, what I have found that is very good with this whole bullet journal system, is that you do it to your own life. You create pages that are helpful to you. That will help you in your daily life. And there is so much more freedom that a bog standard two thousand and whatever diary that you buy in shops.

There is the ability to be as creative as you want, using colours, fancy writing etc, anything really, its yours to design how ever you desire. The best part is, you don’t have to be massively creative or goo at art to do so. I know I defitnitley and not very good, but I still love what I have done with mine.

It is such a great way to have fun, and get organised all at the same time! What could be better? Ive only had it for a few days, and this will sound silly, but just creating the journal, coming up with various ideas for pages has really boosted my mood. It has give me something to focus on, something fun to do that doesn’t require a massive amount of energy. I have felt productive, without the need to actually be productive. For me it is a win win situation.

Now, for those who might be interested, I will list some of the products I have used in the creation of my bullet journal

Lechtturn 1917, 249 Dotted Pages with back pocket
Cat style sticky notes
Durable sticky index tabs
Lechtturn 1917 pen loop
Multicoloured tape
Sharpie fine line pens
Pencils
Rainbow Ball Pens

Now of course, everyone has their own preferences for products they would like to use, those are just mine. There are hundreds of ideas online if you need a suggestionBu

Who needs sleep

When you can just wallow in your own self loathing.

For some reason, I haven’t been able to sleep. Its been a literal waking nightmare. Even with my medication which is intended to help me sleep. My own body has been fighting them. This means I am in some kind of limbo, not quite asleep, but not awake enough to actually do anything, its a technical paralysis.

I can’t do anything to make me tired, but I can’t sleep.

I don’t exactly know what to do, nothing can help, and the earlier I take the pills, just the longer I am stuck in this limbo until I do eventually fall asleep.

Have you ever heard of sleep paralysis? Well its very similar to that, although not as extreme, I don’t get the hallucinations or the paralysis as intensely, but it is along the same lines.

I end up just laying there, unable to occupy my self, just staring at the ceiling until I eventually drop off, and this process can take hours, and that unfortunately is not an exaggeration.

Which brings me to my very first sentence.

Wallowing in self loathing.

Being unable to doing anything means that I am just led there, thinking, as I am sure most people would do, yet those thoughts are usually “what am I going to do tomorrow?, what is for breakfast?, a to do list…etc” But as I am sure most of you reading this will understand, is that having mental illness means that those thoughts can be rather, to put it plainly…shit.

I think about everything, every small mistake, ever giant mistake. I can’t help it. Every bad thought that could possibly enter my head, enters it. This, as I am probably sure you know, isn’t a great thing.

It causes nightmares based on these thoughts, which means the quality of sleep is awful, and then the rest of the day is awful. It is an endless cycle. The rubbish sleep means that I am remarkably tired, but then as I am unable to sleep in the night, I am just getting more and more tired. I mean for some reason, I am able to function on very little sleep but that doesn’t mean I should.

Unfortunately I am completely out of ideas as to what to do about it, especially as the medications are supposed to help me.

I am feeling very lost and frustrated and am losing the will to live (possibly an exaggeration but you get my point)

I hope that non of you actually experience this, but if you do, I am sorry and I hope that you make it through to the other side.

Getting away for a few days

I am fortunate enough to have a friend and her dad live outside of Liverpool, they live in the North of Wales in a very nice little house.

Its warm, cosy and I always feel more then welcomed here.

Her dad, who’s house it is, is like a surrogate father to me, and knows pretty much everything that has every happened to me, and knows about all my mental issues. I am able to call him if I ever feel like I need to talk to someone. Its really so lovely.

Well, when I feel like I am in a bad place, or its possible I could be in one and I don’t want to be alone, I come here.

Which is why I am so fortunate. Sometimes what you need is to get away for a few days, and I am also lucky enough to have the luxury to be able to go away for a few days without it being too much of an issue.

It means I can come here an clear my head in a safe environment. Where I am away from harm, and not at risk of harming myself.

I don’t plan on doing anything different from what I do at home, I will sit, on my laptop, watching tv or films, but I can do it in a place where I don’t feel as sad or alone. Even if there is no one in the house while I am here, its the different environment that helps me.

If you have the chance to have a change of place even if its just for the day, please do so, it can do wonders for your mental health to get out of an environment in which you don’t feel okay, safe or happy in.  If not, let me know, I am available to talk. I can give you my email, or phone number, or even Facebook. We can chat until you feel okay.

I know what it is like to feel like you are trapped, and I know what it feels like to feel like you don’t have anyone there. I can be that person.

 

Stress is the enemy, but can I learn to love it?

Possible Trigger Warning

Stress, like am sure it is for a lot of people, is for me a trigger. I am not talking standard stress, like being busy at work, that stress I can handle. I am talking out of the ordinary stress, the unexpected, the abnormal, the things that don’t happen every day.

I can’t deal with it. It triggers my anxiety, it triggers my bipolar, it triggers my bpd. I just triggers me.

I have found that when this unusual stress occurs, I can hallucinate, become depersonalised, disillusioned. Its scary. Its like I cannot think or see straight.

I am not the same person anymore. I can feel things moving under my skin, making me want to self harm. (I am sorry if this is upsetting for some people, I do apologise),

It is such a complicated thing, and its all caused by stress, its remarkable really that such big things can be caused by what many may perceive as small and insignificant.

But mental health is such a wide array of things that people don’t understand, even those who have mental illnesses don’t truly understand. Its been 7ish years since I was diagnosed and I still don’t have a damn clue what goes on most of the time. Its a learning curve, for everyone involved. And while stress may be an complete asshole to me, I do like knowing that stress is a trigger.

Learning is what helps, learning helps me improve, learning helps me.

But overall, stress sucks. I hate it but it helps me learn and I am willing to fight the consequences of each and every stressful moment if it helps me beat this ongoing battle that is my mind.

Stress may be the enemy, but learning to love it, thats my way forward. Lets just hope I don’t go too far into the darkness first.

Annoying

Can anyone else feel themselves being annoying?

Because I can.

I can feel myself just saying simple things and knowing that people have just had enough of me talking.

I am trying to be nice. I am trying to let my dad know that he doesn’t have to stay awake because I am awake. But I just feel like I am annoying when I say anything. Its awful and soul crushing.

I feel like I can’t stop.

I need validation.

I want to connect with my family.

It makes me sad that I feel like the ultimate black sheep.

I don’t really know what to do. I am just being myself and it feels like I and an irritant and an annoying. Goodbye self confidence. They are my parents and I don’t even feel comfortable half the time. It sucks!

Edit: Has anyone ever said something, then told themselves to just shut up because their opinions are “invalid”?

 

Medication

Is it possible to actually enjoy taking medication for mental illness?

Because, for some reason, I am.

Sertraline 50mg
Promazine 50mg

The sertraline helps with my anxiety and depression and the promazine helps with the mood disorders and sleep.

The promazine if the first of that kind of type that actually helps me sleep, that doesn’t give me horrific restless leg syndrome. Its fabulous. It actually makes me happy to sleep. So for that reason, I actually enjoy taking it.

I do have a very strange side effect though…

Every morning when I wake up, for about 30 seconds, I shake uncontrollably. Its bizarre, I can’t help it, but I just roll with it anyway.

Despite it though, I do genuinely enjoy taking it.

Only issue, I am not allowed to really drink on these medications, but I do anyway. I mean, as I type this, I am sat in the living room drinking spiced rum and coke. Which is just delicious by the way.

It doesn’t affect me massively, just makes me more drowsy than normal, yet I take the medication at night just before bed anyway so it doesn’t make a huge difference. I think possibly if I had to take them in the morning, I wouldn’t drink as much but considering they have to be taken at night, I will drink away!

Ive rambled slightly, but the whole point is that I enjoy taking my medication, I think it is really helping…as much as medication can.

 

Self help handbag

People always talk about anxiety, and ways to help your self calm down when you are at home. But what about when you are out? What happens then? Usually those anxiety self help kits are too bulky, too conspicuous, just over all a bit much, and you cannot take them out. 

Well I’ve created my own, that I can take with me, that fits in most hand bags (like I am sure many people have done before me).

Obviously, everyone is different, and everyone has their own things that “calm them down”, so this is just a snippet into what helps me :).

In a small pouch (as to keep it together and accessible) I keep:

hand sanitizer

•hand cream

•a small notepad and pen

•vaporub 

•my inhaler

•a small tangle http://www.tanglecreations.com/

Now for me, keeping my hands busy grounds me. So rubbing them together using 2 substances gives me something to concentrate on, calming me, and bringing me round to the present. A notepad, because I like to note down my attack, maybe what caused it, help me identify triggers, because anxiety is about learning, to help your self. The vaporub again is to ground me, I smell something that I associate with calm. My inhaler because if the attack gets too bad, then my breathing is compromised so it is just logic. And a tangle, that is for the same reason as the hand cream etc, it keeps my hands busy and gives me something to focus on and again ground me.

The pouch isn’t fancy, it’s only simple, but for me it is a god damn life saver, and has prevented a severe anxiety/panic attack from happening, so far. I am of course not saying that it is a cure, because it’s too unpredictable for that. But damn does it help!