The end or the beginning?

So I haven’t written anything in a while…..

2017 was a rocky year for me and I ended it with a positive view, that I could change and change my situation for the better, unfortunately I’ve had a rocky start to 2018.

The company I work for went into liquidation today…I know….rubbish! It was leading up to this but it came a lot quicker then expected and it was a job I didn’t even really like but money is money, right?

Prospect of unemployment and hard times ahead does not do anything for my confidence of self-esteem but I don’t want to fall into old habits and let this get the better of me. I want to stay strong and continue the positive thinking.

So yes, my job has gone and yes my income has gone but maybe this isn’t the end, maybe it’s the beginning? I didn’t like this job and you could probably argue it was holding me back and I let it because I was comfortable. Maybe these unfortunate circumstances force me to start making those changes, change my job, change my lifestyle, get out there, travel, learn. Finally start doing things, start living!

So I’m not treating this as a loss, I’m going to take the bad situation and turn it into an opportunity…hopefully!

I’m going to go into the unknown with open arms!

I’ve linked my instagram now and I’m going to try and post more photos and videos of the things that help me along the way. I feel a bit nervous about this, instagram has typically shown a rose tinted view of my life and this blog is much more personal but now I’m going to combine the two to really try to be more open about my journey and about mental health!

You know what they say ‘if it’s bitter at the start then it’s sweeter in the end’

Dreamworld.

Happy New Year!

It got to a point not so long ago where if things got difficult or I was struggling I would go home and hide in my bedroom. I’d play my music, watch something, read and just let myself slip into my own little dreamworld.

I could pretend to be someone else or be somewhere else and it felt safe cocooned within four walls and all tucked up. However really I’d been hiding myself away from the world, I was missing out on real life, how many opportunities had passed me by?

Well all that is changing and I’m ready to say goodbye to the old me. I’ve left a lot of me behind in 2017 but I’ve been glad to do it.

I’m welcoming 2018 with open arms, ready for change, growth, new challenges and risk taking. To help me stay on track I have my final two rules!

 

Rule no.4 Let things go

It is so important to let things go. You are only hurting yourself by holding on to them. Now I’ve had relationships I couldn’t get over, losses I couldn’t handle, resentment and anger I’d let build and I also carried shame over my own actions if I’d hurt people or behaved in a way I regretted. No more!

Stepping in to 2018 I’m wiping the slate clean. I’m forgiving the people that I can, letting go of the resentment I’ve held on to. I’m letting go of the people that are holding me back or who are not good people to have around you. I’m forgiving myself and asking for forgiveness from those I’ve hurt. I’m not carrying bad feelings forward.

Now I’ve been there where you think ‘I can’t move on’ and ‘It’s never going to get better’ but it does it just takes time. I’d have one good day where I’d think I’m moving on, letting go and then I’d have 7 bad days and tell myself I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Really that one day wasn’t a sign of failure but a sign of things to come, if I could have one good day then down the line I could have 2, then 3, then 8, then 20 and so on and so on. Just remember it takes time, baby steps are necessary, don’t put pressure on yourself to do it over night but just try an hour, a day , two at a time. Build it up slowly and you will get there. You will start to feel lighter, the weight you’ve been carrying is starting to lift and when that happens you will start to enjoy things more which has positive effects on everything, how you see yourself,  your relationships, attitude, quality of life.

So go for it and celebrate the victories instead of dwelling on the lows.

 

Rule no. 5 Remembering the good

Yes, the good! How easy is it to indulge in your misery? play the sad songs? watch the sad film? How easy is it to remember the bad things people say and not the good? How easy is it to remember your lowest moments instead of your highs?

Well this rule is all about focussing on the highs, remembering the good in your life to keep you focussed and keep you motivated. This doesn’t have to be much but it’s important to remember.

I have people who care about me, I’m an auntie and I love it, I also love my cats. I love my music and find great comfort in it. I have a job, even if i don’t like it, I still have one!

It feels good just saying it, reminding yourself there is some good there and that’s your base you start with that and go ok I have this and I’m thankful for it but I want to change……

Personal challenge: to remind myself each day of at least one good thing in my life be it friends, family, a work colleague, pets, art, music or exercise. Anything, it doesn’t matter just one thing that makes me feel a bit better.

Because there are times where I haven’t appreciated the good and I haven’t made the most of having the good either. This happens when you’re low, you can be very selfish and not see the bigger picture but a little reminder never hurts!!

The final two rules done!

I’m ready for 2018 and I hope you are too!

 

xx

Expectations.

It is so easy to develop great expectations of ourselves based others. You see someone else’s success or instagrammed life and you put that expectation on yourself. I should have that life etc etc and it slowly becomes why isn’t my life like that, why aren’t I successful. The result is you can be very hard on yourself because you don’t see yourself as good enough.

So my next rule for the new year…

Rule no. 2 Don’t compare yourself to others

Yep it’s a simple one but blimey…it’s not easy.

So stop looking at others and what they have what they’re doing. Stop comparing.

Truth is there is always someone who will come along and you’ll think they’re smarter or prettier or funnier or witter than me, whatever it is it will happen because that’s just life and somewhere along the way you will probably be that person for someone else. Taking that in to account think about the person who thinks you’re doing better than better them and the person you think is doing better than you! You see that nothing is as it seems, everyone is struggling in their own way. Instagram isn’t real, Facebook isn’t real, what you see isn’t real there is always another story.

So stop comparing yourself to false standards and ideals. It only brings you down and wastes your time. Think about what you want and focus on your goals and your achievements and don’t worry about how long it takes to get there!

 

Rule no. 3 Don’t let others influence you

People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like ‘be realistic.’

Dylan Moran

‘Be realistic’ Isn’t that awful?

But it’s true, sometimes people just won’t be as passionate as you, they won’t believe in you or they just won’t see what you see. So you need to remember that and not let people’s negative comments or doubt bring you down as well.

I think there have been times in my life where I missed opportunities because I let everyone’s opinion creep in ‘should you do that’ ‘what if it doesn’t work ‘what would they think if you did that’ the words can become a weight that drags you down and stops you moving forward.

It isn’t easy to ignore them but this year I’m going to try.

I think you should be unrealistic, be passionate, be crazy, be a dreamer, be whatever you want but just be you, do what makes you happy. Forget about what others will think or say and take the risk. Take the risk.

Even if things go wrong even if they fail miserably you will feel happy that you tried, happy that you did what you wanted with that confidence in yourself. You’ll be a stronger individual, you’ll like yourself more for it and if you stay strong and keep believing you’ll have the strength to pick yourself up and go at it again!

 

Starting now.

Starting now I’m going to put myself first. I said I would try to write some rules over the next few posts to try to prepare me for the new year. Now the rules aren’t strict and I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I break them once or twice. The idea is that they are more like guidelines, something to focus on, keep my mind in check and if I am feeling low it will be a good reminder of where things started and my want for positivity and change.

Rule no.1

Make yourself your primary focus

This may sound obvious but it can be so hard to maintain. It may seem selfish as well, it isn’t. I think when you’re feeling depressed or low it’s so easy to be ‘selfish’ but that is not focussing on you. That is an unhealthy relationship with your low feelings, indulging in misery, believing no one understands or has it as bad and seeing yourself as a victim, not showing happiness for others and not looking after yourself. There are lots of different ways people feel but this was my experience. It’s a terrible feeling. I’ve realised that when I’ve felt like or behaved that way I have put the depression first, not me and for other people who don’t understand mental illness it can seem very selfish but really you are neglecting yourself as well as those around you.

So no more. Starting now I’m first and this means looking after myself.

What do I mean by this?  Making sure you’re eating enough, making sure you’re not over doing any habits like drinking, etc. Getting up in the morning, getting dressed. These are all tiny steps that help motivate you to put yourself first. This is a journey about self-love for me, getting back on good terms with myself so for that to happen I have to want to like myself. During my lows I stopped caring about my appearance, my diet, I drank far too much, then I would feel low about my appearance, drinking etc. and I really didn’t like myself. Now for the past month I’ve been trying to make little changes eat better, less alcohol, make an effort with people when I can. Once you start you start to want to do things for you without even thinking!

I bought myself a top today in the sales and that is something I haven’t done in a while because I didn’t really care, I wasn’t going out and wasn’t bothered how I looked. So even this for me was a big thing I started to think about going out somewhere, wearing it etc. which meant I was also looking ahead, it’s was a nice feeling.

Personal Challenge:

to say or write one thing each day that I like about myself. It could be based on my appearance, my personality, the poem I wrote in school when I was 11, the confidence I had to say hello or that I went and bought a top. It doesn’t matter. Just a reminder of the good.

All these little things are what starts to change your attitude. I think it’s important to start small as they are more conquerable and when things move forward these small victories will be what enables me to go after that job I want, or move, or travel, anything! Soon the want for change will grow more and more and then one day that will change from wanting to like myself to actually loving myself.  Start small but have an end goal no matter how far away you think it is, that’s my plan.

One final note on this rule is that you should never feel guilty about putting yourself first. This is important and it is necessary,  I remind myself of this daily. This doesn’t mean you should neglect others, be happy for them when they’re happy don’t be jealous of it or think that it is unfair (another trait that can occur in depression) embrace it and you will find that it makes you feel better (I am learning this and loving it) but just remember you’re number one. You may have to say no to some people or let go of others if they are not helping you to get to where you want to go but when you do get there you will feel better about yourself and be in a much better position to help others!

 

An Introduction.

Truthfully I wrote this 3/4 days ago in a notebook, not long after my 28th birthday but I’ve decided to take the blogging plunge in the hope that it will help me. So here goes…

My birthday was a breaking point for me. I think once I realised and started to look back I’d probably been struggling since Jan 2015 but for whatever reason you don’t want admit these things or you tell yourself its temporary and I was doing just that.

Towards the end of Dec 2015 I had an awful break up, the kind that just goes from bad to worse so when January struck I was not handling things well at all. It felt like I was starting the new year on a bad foot and I was letting my previous relationship get the better of me. I did try, I tried counselling, hypnotherapy and it wasn’t working I wasn’t moving on and not letting go of things can ignite some pretty bad habits and even worse emotions. I’d never had this reaction to a relationship before so it made it all the more confusing and I wanted to stop but I couldn’t which started to make me dislike myself.

You would think by the 6 month mark this would be over but it wasn’t and at this point I also lost my job, the company I worked for was closing the offices in my city. I was devastated not only was it my income but it was also a distraction. I was unemployed for a few months before I found work again so this further damaged an already low self-esteem, my confidence got worse, I’d get panic attacks before interviews, I stopped going out because I had no money and I was embarrassed about being out of work and this overlapped into my personal life I’d struggle to talk to people and even my relationships with my family and friends became very strained. I’d shut myself down but I would tell myself it was everyone else, it was them leaving me or them not trying but really it was me.

Eventually I found work and moved into a house share with some friends this was good but eventually turned bad. We were young people all struggling in various ways and living together encouraged bad behaviour; drugs, alcohol, one night stands. If you’re already unstable these things will only make you worse, I just felt worse and worse about myself and I know my flat mates were not great either! I started to feel paranoid ‘do they want me here’? ‘do they like me?’ and so on. We left the house in August this year not on bad terms it was all mutually agreed and we keep in touch.

After that I moved back home to my mum and dads. I know I’m lucky to have a place to go but I didn’t see it like that. I was 27 living at home in the same room I’d slept in when I was 7, I hadn’t done the things I wanted as I had no confidence, my job (which I really don’t like but it pays) is at risk again with the company currently in massive debt and on its 3rd round of redundancies. I was not happy. My behaviour worsened, darker thoughts, selfish, mean to those closest, pushing people away and as a result I ended up spending my 28th birthday day alone in my room, crying.

Grim, right? And when you’re low like that it’s so easy to blame other people for letting you down or leading you astray but it really does come down to you. I cried and cried and cried that night, I was angry and upset and finally felt like I was at rock bottom and it was then that I just thought ‘who am I’ I didn’t recognise myself and I really didn’t like myself and for the first time in a long time I was telling myself it was my fault and I wanted to change.

I read somewhere

There’s a difference between wanting to kill yourself and wanting to kill the part of you that wants you to kill yourself.

I’m not sure of the author I’ve tried to find out but I’ve found different results in my searches, either way I like it. It’s extreme but true, in all my darkest moments I never really wanted to die, I wanted to live but to live better than I had been and that became my motivation.

I admit I’ve made mistakes and I’ve made things worse but that doesn’t make me a bad person which I thought I was for a long time.

So I’ve decided to start a club for myself, The Good Club. Where I will work hard to make positive changes and try to improve my life and myself. This blog will allow me to highlight my ups and downs, what’s worked and what hasn’t and I’m excited to start.

I’m going to use the last few days of 2017 to set myself some rules and come to terms with letting go of all the things I’ve held on to before starting afresh in 2018 with positivity and goodness. I’m hoping if anything this will be a good form of therapy.

I don’t know if anyone will read this but if they do, I’d love to know if people have experienced similar lows, if people out there who are writing about similar things or if you have a blog that you think might help? I’m new to this so I’m just going to see how it goes and want to find out more about what’s out there!

I know this was long but I wanted to give some detail as to why I was doing this

xx