My life is spiralling out of control. I’m in all sorts of debt, I have no motivation in my job so I’m not getting the work done and now I’m 2 months behind. I’m worried I’m gonna get sacked which would mean I’d end up in even more debt and on top of it all I’m terrified that my partner is going to get fed up of all my failings and leave.
Today the internet has been cut off. I’m late paying the bill. If I don’t pay my council tax by tomorrow it will go to court. I get paid on Thursday but the amount of money owed out means I will be left with nothing for the month. Which obviously means more debt. I just don’t know how to get it under control.
The thing is I hide from my problems. Instead of facing up to things and finding a solution I bury my head in the sand and hope that it all just goes away. But I can’t keep living like this. Yesterday I had a panic attack while washing the pots. I don’t think I was actively thinking about my problems. There was just so much to do and someone had poured some grease or oil into the sink, over all the dirty pots, so everything was slimy and greasy and I started to get frustrated.
When I get frustrated at things I tend to get upset. I had a little sniffle or two but tried to just carry on through it. Within a couple of minutes I was hunched up on the floor, crying my eyes out, unable to breathe. I must have been like that for five minutes or so before my housemate came to check on me. For some reason, seeing another human being seemed to help me calm down but the feelings didn’t go away, they were just hidden. Throughout the evening I was tearful, crying over the tiniest things, or nothing at all. This morning I feel like the floodgates are bulging and any minute now I’m gonna have another panic attack. Driving to work I summed up the pros and cons of crashing my car and ending it all even though I know I’d never try. Now I’m at work I feel sick to my stomach, and very, very cold. Oh and the constant worry that I put myself through 24/7 has given me an upset stomach. And it’s “that time of the month” (which may be why my emotions are getting the better of me and not staying locked away in their little box).
I thought maybe writing it all down and getting it out of my head would be helpful but it just isn’t at all. But then I guess that’s because I have no answers. Just problems on top of problems. Every area of my life feel like its on the verge of collapse and I don’t know what to do.
The more I try and confront my depression the more I doubt I have it. No that’s not true, I think maybe I don’t doubt it but I expect other people to. Since starting this blog I have been looking into other blogs focusing on mental health issues particularly depression and I’ve been so surprised by what I’ve read. To see so many of my issues in black and white on the screen and written by some other functioning human just amazed me. It was like I read this article about someone’s daily life and just thought “Wow, I’m not making all this stuff up! Other people feel like this too.” And then the more I read the more I realised no one is really alone in how they feel.
The thing is I have this fear that if I told my family how I felt they wouldn’t believe me. I don’t know if this is based on actual memories or just my interpretations of what family members have said but I’ve always felt like my family have seen me as an attention seeker, maybe I was I don’t really know, but I feel as though if I really spoke out to my family they’d think I was just being overdramatic. My mum is one of the strongest people I know and she gives great advice, but the idea of telling her about how I really feel terrifies me. What if she thinks I’m just being stupid? What if she laughs at me or tells me to grow up? I don’t think I could take that.
I recently read somewhere that the only way to really know if you can trust someone is to trust them and I think that must be true, but bloody hell that’s scary. It’s making me want to cry just thinking about it. I have to take the leap, I have to jump and hope that whoever I’m talking to catches me. And if they don’t? Then I fall, and it’ll be that much harder to take the leap next time.
I think that maybe right now is not the time for me to be baring my thoughts to anyone. I know I’m biased but I just don’t feel like I could take the possible rejection. I’ve always been a little on the sensitive side – and I don’t mean fluffy bunnies and pretty flowers although I do love them. I take things very personally and as I mentioned in a previous post I often read into peoples words too much to the extent that I completely change their meanings. I think that before I open up, before I can actually allow myself to be so vulnerable, I have to work on my mind set. Maybe if I could look at things in a slightly more positive light I wouldn’t have to worry so much about people’s reactions.
I’m should be getting CBT soon and will hopefully have an appointment within a month or so. I’m really hoping that helps me start the process of changing my mind set. I’d love to feel like I could be open and honest about my mental health as I think part of what makes it all so difficult is the fear of reaching out.
I’ve tried two different apps for meditation. The first was Headspace which I came across on Facebook, I think. I downloaded the app, tried a couple of the guided sessions and fell in love with the idea. The guide’s voice was calm and soothing, the meditations themselves were very basic and easy to follow, which was great for a total beginner like me, and the app itself was well designed and user friendly. The only issue? The price. At £7.99 a month I just couldn’t justify getting the subscription after only a couple of days of meditation.
So I started looking for other options and found Calm.
Calm is another meditation app that works in a very similar way to Headspace with guided meditations that start off very simple. Calm also has a subscription service which is actually more expensive than Headspace at £11.99 but what really drew me in was the amount of features you can get for free. There is a 7 day programme with a different 10 minute guided session for each day, a meditation timer, a “breathe” feature that has bells to signal when to breathe in, out or hold and even sleep stories, 20-30 minute tales told with a soothing, calm voice to lull you off to sleep. It also had some taster sessions from the other side of the pay wall along with a few other fun bits.
I’ve now completed the free 7 Days of Calm programme from the Calm app and I really enjoyed it. It gave me a great insight into meditation and showed me how easy it is. So much so that I have now forked out for the subscription to access all the other features. Next is the 21 Days of Calm programme which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully these sessions will start to delve a little deeper into different meditation types and teach me a few skills that I can carry over to daily life.
Sometimes I feel like every conversation I have is a three way call – you, me and my internal translator, depression. You say “I watched an episode of that show while you were at work, but you can catch up,” but my translator feeds that to me as “your feelings aren’t important to me”. I try to say “I really wanted us to watch that together,” but what comes out is more like “I’d rather just watch it on my own anyway”.
You say “I’m going out to the pub with some friends tonight” but I hear “I don’t want to spend any time with you”. I try to say “that sounds fun, maybe I’ll pop down for a bit,” but what comes out is “Fine. Go out. Leave me by myself all night”.
The main problem with this is that I don’t usually realise it’s happening till after the event, so what can start off as a trivial conversation can turn into a full blown argument over something that is usually pretty tedious.
The other problem is that it gets out of hand. Quickly. Instead of having a conversation, I’m getting upset or mad over something that hasn’t even been said. By the time it’s all over I’m left picking up the pieces from an argument that only really existed in my head and the other person is probably very confused and maybe a little hurt. My little translator is sat in a corner laughing his head off and I’m left feeling like the whole thing could have been avoided.
Maybe that’s where my meditation could kick in. Time will tell.
One thing that I really struggle with is controlling my thoughts. I start off with one tiny, negative thought floating around my head and then all of a sudden I’m pacing backwards and forwards, hyperventilating or crying and feeling as if my life is going nowhere and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. Once I’m having a melt down there’s not much I can do to stop it. I just have to let it pass, which can take a while. And if there’s another person involved then things can get heated pretty fast.
Something that I thought might be able to help with controlling my thoughts is meditation. For the past week or so I have been doing short, guided meditations once a day. They last around ten minutes and centre around becoming more aware of yourself by focusing on your breathing without letting your daily thoughts cloud your mind. The aim of a lot of the beginners sessions that I have tried is to accept that you will become distracted while meditating but that you have control over these thoughts. When you feel yourself being drawn away by thoughts you simply refocus your attention on your breath – breathing in – breathing out – and repeat.
I do sometimes get frustrated when my mind wanders during meditation but I’m pretty sure that if I stick at this,that feeling will slowly transform into acceptance. And if I can learn to accept my thoughts and move on from them then maybe I can stop them from becoming a ball of anxiety in my head.
I don’t think that one week of meditation is enough to change my life but I do think that if I can keep this up it could really do me some good. Fingers Crossed.
Happiness is a funny thing. I often think I’ve mastered the art of being happy just to realise that I’ve actually still got a long way to go. Whether it’s relationships, work, family or my own thoughts, it seems like there’s always something that knocks me off course just at the last minute.
Sometimes I feel like happiness is an illusion, an impossibility. I feel like I’m forever trying to reach out and grab something that just isn’t there. The problem with depression is that I’m always trying to show how in control I am, how capable. I’m terrified of seeming inadequate or flawed so I put on an act.
In my previous job as a waitress the regulars were always telling me how much they loved my positive, bubbly attitude and how I was always smiling but, underneath that positive mask, I was often falling apart. At times like those what most people see is a young woman calmly swimming to shore. What they don’t see is that, under the water, my arms and legs are thrashing, my lungs are burning and my heart is racing. And instead of crying for help, I smile.
I’ve created this blog to try and keep track of my own personal wild goose chase – the pursuit of happiness. My loves, losses, troubles and triumphs will all find their way on to the world wide web and maybe, after carefully molding my reflections in to black and white text, they might just make some sense. Or maybe not…