Mental Illness & Jealousy.

It’s a very real thing to feel jealous of other people. Most of us envy someone for something at some time in our lives. This is pretty normal, human behaviour.

We often make ourselves feel awful because other people seemingly have it better than we do. A bigger house, a nicer car. Children, pets, other wonderful things that we long for but cannot or do not have. The person you envy, may envy you for something in your life you have that they don’t. It’s all very relative. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling envious or jealous of people for things you wish you had, but don’t dwell on them either.

I’d quite like to just be able to say ‘yes’ to any invite, to be able to just go to town and shop or go out for dinner or to the cinema, but my anxiety makes it hard for me to achieve that. Yes, it frustrates me and I do sometimes feel jealous of people who can live spontaneously, like I used to before this mental illness took hold. I also feel grateful for being able to spend time at home, eating with my family and curling up in my bed to watch a movie with my pupdog. I can shop online if I need to and to be honest, I prefer that anyway.

There are people who have worked hard for things in their lives and people who you may think haven’t done so. Unless you know the person very well, you don’t have a clue what their adversities are, what their emotional well being is and whether or not they are truly as happy as they seem. We are all guilty of bending the truth now and then to make things in our lives seem better than they may actually be. Telling people you are okay, when really you’re everything but. So just take things with a pinch of salt. Everything is not what it seems and you may be surprised.

There are many things in my life that I wish were different but the biggest one is finding the old me again. I wish I could go on girls nights again, I wish I could have those friends back again, that I can just go and enjoy life – really enjoy it to it’s fullest. Go on holiday. Go and do a weekly food shop. Apply for any job and not have to worry about going there. Normal everyday things become a massive chore. Anxiety is hard to live with. People don’t understand it and often give ‘advice’ that is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I can’t just ‘think positive’ and ‘not worry’ that isn’t how this works.

I have noticed that I  find myself less jealous, the longer I live with my mental illnesses but every now and then, it creeps in and makes me feel like shit. I hate that I feel jealous in the first place which then makes me feel even shittier about the circumstances that made me feel the jealousy. It’s a huge, shitty vicious circle of negativity. I can be hard to drag yourself out of that tornado of shite but remember the storm will end eventually. The calm will swing by and you after spend a while cleaning up the mess it created, you can live to the best of your ability again. Enjoy the calm after the storm and try and prepare for the inevitable next one.

Life is hard. Life with mental illness is harder. Additional hurdles and obstacles are always in your way. Don’t beat yourself up for how you feel, life is a tough ride and you are doing great.

Confidence – I never used to have it. 

Ok. I’m gonna say this. I have always been self conscious, for the most part of my adult life but lately I’ve come to the realisation that I’m still a good person regardless of the body I am in. So I’m gonna be over here living my chubby life. 😂
I’m fat – I know this. I don’t need people to tell me that I’m not fat. I am not blind and I know that I could do with losing a few pound. 

I live in this body, I know it pretty well after 30 years. I also don’t care that I’m a fat bastard anymore. 
Could I lose weight? Probably. 
Is it your place to tell me so? Unless you’re my doctor [who probably doesn’t know what i look like seeing as I can’t get an appointment anyway] then NO!  
Should I do it for the benefit of others? Hell f*cking no! 
Being fat doesn’t mean I’m not healthy. Yeah I could be healthier but most of us could.

I also probably eat better than 50% of the skinnier girls you seem to love so much. If it affects your life so much then maybe you should do something about YOUR life because I’m living mine the best way I know how and my weight or shape [ROUND🤣]shouldn’t bother you.
You’re uncomfortable when my shirt rides up and my chubby belly shows? That’s a shame because I’m quite comfortable not sweating my balls off in this heat. 

I’m human too. I just happen to be a fatter one than you. Big deal. 
Don’t like it? Then see ya later, because I just don’t care anymore. I’m going to flash my Caspar white tummy all I want.

I’m not 100% confident all the time but for now I am, so I’m gonna enjoy it. 

The importance of quiet. 

Life with depression can have an almost deafening silence or a ridiculous amount of noise to it. Everything can quickly get too much and out of control. It’s important to make time for you, to be ‘quiet’.

To sit and read or listen to music, have a bath watch a film, whatever it may be – make time to do that for yourself. Something that relaxes you a little but keeps you engaged enough that you’re not asleep. It’s good for your brain to have that little time focused on something that isn’t taxing.

Thrive.

Breathing in and breathing out. 

Big deep breaths, release the doubt. 

Free your mind, empty your head. 

Get on up, up out of bed. 

Start the day with a grateful soul.

Too much sadness takes it’s toll.

Love fiercely, drop your guard. 

Push yourself and work hard. 

Follow your dreams, that’s what they say.

Open your heart, it leads the way. 

Push through the struggle, against the tide. 

Wade through life, it’s a beautiful ride. 

Soak up the sun, gaze at the moon. 

Live life fully, ’cause it all ends too soon. 

Oh but you don’t look depressed…

Blimey! I must be cured then. Thank you for that incredible remedy, you really should bottle that up.

I am stressed, my anxieties are through the roof lately and my black dog is back for a visit. Crushing me with the cuddle I don’t want. Life is a little bit shitty right now, and it isn’t made any easier by people saying all those unhelpful things, like my mental illness isn’t justified because I am not moping around crying. Incidentally, I am, just not in public and not all the time.

I don’t understand where the idea that depression has a ‘look’ came from. I can’t make out what I am supposed to look like. What the hell does depression look like?

It looks like ME, you, the guy down the road and your best friends uncle. Your sisters boss or the lady working the checkout at the local Tesco. Depression doesn’t have a look.

We don’t walk around with a big shiny arrow pointing at our heads. We do laugh. We have been known to smile – even daily. We go outside, we go to work, we eat, drink, shower and do all those normal things. Most of the time. We function, we fit in and we live.

Depression is an invisible illness, you can’t look depressed. Having a sad face or teary eyes doesn’t mean depression. That person is quite possibly just feeling sad. Depression is so much more than feeling a bit sad, looking a bit down and moping about.

I feel my depression like the ocean, sometimes I am just paddling in the surf enjoying my life with my emotions swirling happily around my toes. When the tide comes in it goes one of two ways. I take a few steps back and re-evaluate the situation, keeping that little pool at bay. Other times I am stuck. Glued to the spot, helpless. The emotions, the emptiness, the anxiety, the feeling lost, incomplete, lonely, sad, overwhelmed and pretty much completely hopeless crash around me. The tears stream and pool in the water. The water that feels as though it’s rising too quickly. The ocean swells, the waves get stronger, the water heavier, tugging and thrashing around me. And then it hits me. That final big crushing wave and all of a sudden I am drowning. Invisible, struggling and fighting with all my might under the heaving flow of water that engulfs me.

 

but I don’t look depressed…

 

How are you?

This quickly becomes one of your least favourite questions when you suffer from mental illness. The majority of people who ask this, generally mean in it in a pleasantry kind of way. Not in a literal, spill all your internal feelings kind of way.

I have got to the point now where I generally answer ‘Tired’ or ‘Getting There’ because I am not okay most of the time and the constant need to be positive is more detrimental than not.

When suffering from mental illness you tend to address things differently, you see things in new light. When I ask someone how they are – I am genuinely interested in how they are, regardless if that happens to be ‘My world is crumbling down and I don’t know what to do’ or if they’re happy as a pig in shit, having the best day of their lives.

I like to listen, I always have done. I’ve spent many years feeling like I am not heard, like nobody wants to listen that I always make it my goal to be the ears that do. To be the eyes that read that message and the shoulder to hold all those tears. I know what it feels like to not have it, so I have to do all I can to give it. Some days it’s harder to do that than others, but I still do my best.

Lots of people think depression means weak, scared, overburdened and many more of those awful negative things, and it is in its own way. However, we are still humans, still capable of that connection and are still loyal to our friendships. We may feel like the universe is going to suck the life out of everything we do like a Dementor, but we still have the ability to listen and communicate – for the most part. We still want to hear how you are doing, what life has in store for you. We can still celebrate in your happiness and grieve with you in your sadness.

Compassion doesn’t fade because the black dog came for tea. I feel like people are too scared to talk their problems with me any more, because it might be too much for me to handle. Most people would never guess I have anxiety or depression, I should win an Oscar for my ability to play the ‘everything is great girl’ to the general population.

Don’t feel like you are going to drown us by sharing your woes, you won’t.

‘How are you?’

Tired.

 

Overweight doesn’t mean unfit.  

I needed some new clothes, the seasons are changing and I just wanted to add a couple of bits to the wardrobe so I don’t die in this heat we’re getting. 

I loathe clothes shopping, always have, always will no doubt. Being a big girl with the addition of my anxiety and all that shit, going to actual clothes shops to try things on is a crappy task that I avoid at all costs. 

I got more and more frustrated – being a fatpie in a clothes shop isn’t very fun, but mostly I just couldn’t get over the clothes. Nothing seems to be anything I want, the ‘on trend’ fabrics are plasticy and hot as hell for this time of year or mesh. Like literal see through mesh. That doesn’t look good on the satsumas so it isn’t gonna look good any many humans. 

One woman was talking with my mum and we were discussing how frustrated I was, with the weird selection of fabrics, colours patterns and the bigger you want clothes the shittier they seem to get. Anyway…
She said ‘have you tried getting a bike.’ Like I need telling to exercise from a skinny person when I’m already pissed off.

I said ‘well I walk 6miles a day minimum on average with the dog, anyway.’ 

She looked so taken aback by the fact that a fat person does more exercise than she does as a skinny person. I’m fat, it’s not like I don’t know it – I don’t care if people judge me, but for crying out loud at least try not to look like I’ve just hopped on a unicorn when I say that I do actually exercise a bit. 
Yeah I should probably look at moving more and eating better choices but that is for me to decide not anyone else. I’m not unhappy because I’m fat. I’m unhappy because I happen to have a mental illness that thrives on me being that way. 
I got some shorts anyway and I think I will avoid clothes shops for as long as possible. Mostly because of the bloody people in them. So what if I am fat, I still need to put clothes on and it shouldn’t be such a chore to find basics in a multitude of shops. But it is.