Walk a mile in my shoes…

Every person in life will have a different journey. Though experiences may be similar, events, friends & family may be the same, the journey will always be different.

It’s all personal, the way each of us experience the same situations and encounter various people. We’re built up and broken down at different times and in different ways. You may be able to relate to certain things other people say, or do but you will never truly know exactly how the rest of the population experiences things.

People struggle with different things, and everyone has something they are dealing with, whether you know it or not. I happen to be very open with my mental illness journey, ergo many people already kind of know what’s going on with me. However, there are days and weeks where I don’t show just how I feel, where the wall goes up and the ‘smiley, I am okay’ Emily surfaces. This isn’t because I can’t say anything, but because I don’t want to.

I have gotten quite good at my Emily act and it’s very easy for my to keep the sensitive, troubled Emily Rose hidden away to the outside world. Many people who meet me are surprised when I reveal that I suffer with mental illness. It’s almost comical to see how their faces simply can’t compute the bubbly smile with an internal hatred of self. It’s a constant draining battle to keep that façade but ultimately, it’s the way of the world. Most people ask how you are as a pleasantry, not because they’re genuinely interested in the inner workings of your brain that day.

You see, despite most people knowing that I have mental illness, I still feel the stigma and I do feel [insert a million negative emotions] for the way certain things can completely change my mood. The happiest situations can still bring on a negative emotion in my head. Which is then followed with a butterfly effect of things that begin the anxiety fuelled spiral into the darkest depths of my beautifully broken brain.

I don’t think we will ever fully understand each other, but we still need to spend the time being open with those we trust. Sharing our experiences and feelings on the different things we all experience, even day-to-day things. It’s important to talk and to listen. To have that human connection and grow strong relationships with people who can help you along in your journey. To build each other up and support each other through the good and the bad times.

Walk a mile in my shoes!?  All this gets you is a mile travelled and possible sore feet because my shoes won’t fit you properly. However, your feet will heal and at the end of it, you won’t know me any better, you won’t feel anything like I feel.  My journey is mine and it’s never going to match yours.

 

One step at a time. 

I’ve set myself a challenge for May. To walk at least 45,000 steps a week. 

The weather is okayish and I have more confidence walking with the pupdog for longer time periods so I’m hoping that will put me in a good position to hit the target. 

I did have a day on Friday where I barely got out of bed due to a crippling migraine and didn’t actually put my tracker on at all. 

I think I made up for it yesterday though – I went for an evening walk BY MYSELF without the dog for an hour and I didn’t die! I also smashed 20k steps! I’m feeling pretty darn good about that, I’m not gonna lie. This year has been really shitty, so these small victories remind me that I will get there, one day. One step at a time. 

To do

My to do list seems to be growing and growing and I seem to just be too poorly, or too exhausted to get anything done. I’ve been unwell for the whole of this week and it’s grinding me down. I’m fed up, I’m exhausted and my dog, bless his heart, is being a pain in the ass. 

So many things have gone wrong this year, a few things have gone right, but still the bad is outweighing the good. So much for 2017 being my year. Maybe next year, eh?! 

Barely functioning…

This year feels like an unrelenting inundation of bad luck and crappy things happening to me.  I feel like I am just about keeping my head above the water. I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t even remember if I brushed my hair today or not. UGH.

Thank goodness for the dog dragging me into the outside world every day or I fear I would be determined to never go out there again. I am trying to keep myself motivated to get tasks done and not fall into a shitty routine of sleeping/staying in bed all day and be up all night doing too much of nothing, scrolling through the social media black hole.

Job hunting is such an arduous task when you are living with mental illness. It is just so limiting. Where do I even start. I need a job that is within walking distance or virtual based, doesn’t involve too much in terms of social interactions and allows me to come home to let my dog out to the toilet often enough that I am not coming home to a poopocalypse! It’s just not going to happen is it. I have been blessed to have my online based job this past three years or so, but I don’t think I will ever find something to fill that spec again.

Why Me?

This is a question I ask myself often. Probably too often if I am totally honest, but it’s one that I can never answer. Why me? Why not me? In fairness, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but that doesn’t matter. Mental health is taken for granted, and people who have never suffered with or experienced mental illness, in any form, will never truly understand those of us who do.

It’s non discriminatory, it doesn’t care what your background is, who your family are, what job you have, any of it. If it is coming for you, it’s coming and there isn’t an escape. So many people think there is a cure for mental illness and there just isn’t. Yes, it can go away, for long periods of time and it can be managed with various treatments, therapies and regimes. Adjusting your life to fit around it. Not the other way around. It nudges its way in slowly, little by little it takes more and more of your life away. Your freedom. Your spirit. Your drive. Your passions. It takes it all bit by bit and you have to fight for those things. Some days the fight is too much and sometimes, you’re there gloves on and ready to go all the way to kicking it’s ass.

When you are unwell with a cold or tummy bug or even a headache, a few pain meds some rest and ride the storm. You’ll be okay in a day or two, usually. With mental illness, you are riding that storm for the rest of your life. If you’re lucky, the sun shines down and you see many rainbows in the chaos, but for the most part, it’s drowning in a deluge of downpours, fighting against forces just to keep yourself standing and it sure as hell isn’t pretty.

I am a good person, for the most part. I do my best to be good to others, to help when I can and look out for my family. I try to do the best I can, in all situations and here I am, sat at home on a Monday morning, looking for a job that isn’t out there because I have a mental illness. I am stuck. I have anxiety so bad some days I can’t leave the house other than to take the pupdog out for a toilet break. I have low moods too often to count and I can’t seem to get a decent nights sleep. I try to be positive, but that isn’t actually helping. I try to pretend that I am okay. I try to push myself to work that little bit harder, but in all honesty. I. AM. TIRED. I am tired of fighting. Tired of feeling like that break isn’t going to come. I don’t want a lot from life, but I would be glad of a little bit more sunshine, please.

Why me?! What did I do to deserve this crippling disorder?! Why do I constantly feel like a failure and a let down?! Why am I trapped in this house?! Why does panic set in at just the thought of going outside?! Why can’t I just be happy?!

There is no answer. It just is what it is. I was chosen to ride this storm and I have to try to hanker down and wait it out. Surely there are better things coming for me. I hope.

Life is, well, it’s life isn’t it?!

I’ve been AWOL. Life has been – well it’s been life, y’know?! The dog has been ill, one of my siblings has been quite unwell – however both appear to be on the mend plus with the normal stresses of being a human with a nice dose of depression thrown in, I appear to have lost a few weeks. Autopilot kicked in.
Time flies when you’re having fun, but God only knows what happens to it when you’re suffering with mental illness, I’m pretty sure it was March yesterday.

I’ve been trying to force myself out of this slump of misery, but feel like just as I’m getting there, the curve ball comes and it’s back to square one. Can I catch a break now please!? That’s the trouble with mental illness, you can have all the positive will in the world but if it’s coming for you, there is no escape. It sucks. It really, really sucks!

Despite my desire to live in my bed this past few weeks, I have dragged myself out of it, mostly exhausted because I’m still not sleeping properly. Anxiety dreams and nightmares. Perfect. *sigh*
I’ve been busy painting and creating when I’m not working. I’m 23 days into my 100 days challenge and it’s refreshing to make time to create something everyday. I will have to continue on with setting aside a little time each day to get messy creative.

In other news I did finally finish sorting out all that craft stuff, and managed to binge watch 13 reasons why – which is a must watch. I loved it. Tempted to watch it all again, actually.

I’ve also been trying to push myself to go for walks without the safety net of the pupdog. It’s been terrifying, but I am managing to go short distances and not die, so I guess that’s progress. Even if it means I have to spend the next 5 days recovering from the exhaustion of all the emotions.

I keep thinking back on how different things were 5 years ago. How I could pretty much do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted and it wouldn’t even require a conscious decision, let alone a subconscious battering of panic. It does make you think ‘Why me?’

A LOT. It bothers me that other people don’t understand it, how I have lost friends because of it. how my life is just not what it was. Yes I am alive, I have plenty to be thankful for, but boy do I miss just going to sit round a friends or going to church or pub lunches and the cinema. It’s hard to live a life where you feel trapped by yourself. Stuck between wanting to get out of the house and not being to cross that threshold. UGH.

 

 

 

Organise, De-stash & Make More Space.

Sounds simple enough. It’s a great thing to put in your diary once every few months.

There is a problem though. This task with mental illness becomes very hit and miss. You can start it with all the greatest intentions in the world, and you may even complete it! Go you! However, I tend to find that I get about halfway and then it creeps in…’Don’t throw that doohickey you’ve had for ten years and never found a use for, you’ll probably need it tomorrow if you do.’

Then every other item you try to sort becomes a burden. A fight with yourself on whether you really do need to keep it, or whether you are being irrational – because your brain is telling you it IS worth keeping, deep down you know it’s just clutter.

This past weekend I set myself the goal of sorting through my crafting stuff and doing a little bit of a re-jig of my room to give me a bit more space and to feel a little less like I am trapped in a box.  BIG MISTAKE! I am a crafter – an artist and have been collecting hoarding! creative materials for well over 15 years!

I’ve been at it for days, I have been successful in some respects and have condensed it down by about a third! Yay! It’s just that now I have piles of things to sort and house, zero motivation & barely any space to put anything. Argh!

The voice is there telling me to just shove it all in a box for next time. Push it out of sight out of mind. My gut is telling me to just get it sorted. This is what happens. It becomes more overwhelming by the minute and soon becomes something that is more hassle than it’s worth. How do people do it?! I always get to this point, despite how much I tell myself I won’t. It’s so frustrating. I used to set myself a task of sorting and work my way through it, rationally, and bam job done. No problemo.

Now I just feel overwhelmed, burdened by stuff and completely at a loss. Almost certainly worse off than I was before I started. How can I throw a buttload of things away and end up with less space. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m stuck in some weird other dimension and I don’t like it.

I don’t have a tiny room by any means. I just happen to have a room that is my bedroom, where my dog also predominantly lives, a fish tank(100l on a cupboard!) and my whole entire creative business is housed – complete with packaging products! There’s probably somewhere in the region of 3000 envelopes in my room! Sheesh!

It’s ridiculous. So who wants to come finish it for me?

No-one?!

Ugh fine. I will do it then. *sigh*