Friday, 13 November 2020

Therapy: One Month In

When I say I got an incredible response to my last blog, I mean WOAH. Did not expect that! I really do appreciate every single message, DM, email, RT, text, phone call, and comment that I was sent. It was pretty overwhelming actually because I didn't expect so many people to be going through the same thing. I haven't got round to replying to them all yet, but I really really do appreciate every single kind word! I cried. A lot. But mostly happy tears. (I think!) Especially opening the door to 3 massive bouquets of flowers from my amazing friends. So unexpected and soooooo thoughtful. And such a nice reminder that I am loved when I wake up every morning and they're all in vases on  the chest of drawers at the end of my bed.

SO! One month in! I'm not going to lie and say it's been easy, the only real difference I've noticed now is that I don't cry at every party/gathering/night in with my friends, I actually manage to hold it in until I get home and just have a meltdown there instead. I still absolutely dread every therapy session. It's terrifying opening up so quickly to a total stranger. But every time I'm scared, or sad or anxious, I try and pick out one good thing from the situation. For example, if I'm opening up so quickly to a total stranger, then I must feel ready to do that, and to do some serious digging and understand myself and my thoughts and actions more. So there's that. I still cry for at least 75% of the sessions (sometimes 99% if it's a particularly bad week), but I feel like I've got a constant lump in the back of my throat at the moment which is ready to set me off bawling at any given second so it doesn't really surprise me anymore. I even cried at Twitter the other day when Burger King released a statement encouraging people to buy Big Macs to support McDonalds throughout lockdown. TRAGIQUE, my friends.

I'm sick of feeling sad all the time, and although I talk about it like it's normal behaviour for me now, I really am sick of crying too! I want to say I feel a million times better already but I just miss M so much every single day that I feel sick and guilty and horrible and every sad emotion I can think of. But I want this post have *some* positives for other sad sisters (and brothers) to take from it. So I'm going to share some things that have helped me get through each day.

1. Don't feel pressure to do ANYTHING you don't want to. We're fragile at the moment, and stepping out of our comfort zone is just going to make our anxiety go through the roof. Say no to as many plans as you want to. Don't feel pressure to text people back that day (or that week if you don't want to!) and don't apologise for it either. Take all the time you need to respond to people in your own time. They should respect that.

2. STOP DRINKING SO MUCH! Well, having the odd couple of glasses is ok, but try not to get hammered. You're gonna have fun at the time, and probably forget what's upsetting you for a while, but the next day you're gonna be greeted with a raging hangover AND raging anxiety. I started losing myself when I was drinking in the summer and would get so blackout drunk that I had no idea what I was doing, then the next day I would go through my sent messages/emails/call log and want to bury myself at the bottom of the ocean. Not cool. And very easily avoidable. 

3. Buy an Apple Watch. Seriously! (And no this ain't a *spon but I bloody wish it was.) I slagged them off to high heaven all year because they are sooooo ugly schmugly, but I actually bought one earlier this month because I wanted to give my motivation a kick up the arse with a little help from all the fitness/wellness/heart rate tracking stuff, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much it's stopped me being on my phone! I've always been absolutely GLUED to my phone constantly, but when I'm wearing the watch I can track my runs/rides/steps without needing to take my phone! I work in social media so I have to have it with me throughout the day, but on weekends I've been leaving it in my bedroom and only responding to messages in the evenings. It feels sooooo bloody refreshing to NOT find myself aimlessly scrolling and texting for no reason all day when I can actually spend that time having an actual real life conversation with a real life human instead! I mean, my group chats are funny, but nothing beats a proper belly laugh in real life with a friend. The best feeling! I'm spending more time living in the moment and not hunched over my stupid iPhone and I really can feel a difference when it comes to my mental health. Plus, it's Black Friday soon so there will definitely be some deals floating about.

4. You are worthy. Even when you feel like you really are on a one way ticket to rock bottom, please try and remember that you have as much reason to be here as anyone else. You do deserve happiness and you do deserve to have nice things. I've had a couple of moments lately where I've thought life is honestly too short not to send this text or life is too short not to eat a cheeseboard for breakfast at 10am, and it really is. I mean, non of the two things I've just mentioned went to plan (no reply to the message and non of my clothes now fit me) but that's no reason to cut it shorter. I woke up this morning, I have a roof over my head, a job I love and two parents that love me, and I'm grateful for that.

I think the main thing to take away here is just to understand what's real and what's fake in life. Fake things- drinking 'to feel good', feeling pressure to keep up appearances when it comes to social lives and social media compared to real things- investing in your mental health and spending time with people who love and support you. It's not as easy as it sounds and it is suuuuuch a grey area which I've struggled with for aaaaaages, so definitely something to start thinking about if you're feeling low but can't pinpoint why.