My 2019 Mental Health Goals

In my adult life I have really been focused on taking care of my mental health. In 2019, I overall want to continue to stay in the place where I’m at right now mentally or maybe feeling even better than I do now.

1. Learn a new skill — For about 6 months or so I have been learning Japanese. I was really struggling mentally and wanted something to be able to focus on, to keep my mind from drifting into horrible places.

I chose to learn Japanese because I knew it would be challenging. I had to first learn Hiragana and Katakana which are the two main alphabets plus Kanji which are the fancy Chinese-based symbols. The Kanji and grammar are quite difficult but I’m trying my best!

So for 2019, I want to learn something else new that can challenge me in a different way. I’m not sure exactly what that will be but I’m going to figure it out.

2. Read More — I had the goal to read more last year and I did such a shit job at it. I have always loved reading but as I have become an adult, it has taken a backseat. So yes, more reading! I’m aiming to do 12 books so a book a month.

Reading gives me relief from my mental health struggles, it has always been a positive outlet for me.

Leave me a comment with your favorite book!

3. Save Money — This might not seem like something that would help my mental health, but it really has the potential to. I worry a lot about not having enough money for an emergency/retirement. I’m only 25 but I’m worrying about it now all of the time.

This year I had to spend almost all of my savings because my car was totaled over the summer and my laptop took its last breath. So right now I’m anxious about what 2019 will bring. I’m concerned that I will get in another car accident or my phone or DSLR camera will break.

4. Take Breaks When I Need It — In recent years I have learned that I need to rest regularly. To breathe for a moment and get some energy to continue on my journey. If I don’t rest, I get into a negative place where I don’t usually like being.

I am going to start a rewards system to help me rest and work. If I complete a task either at home or work, I reward myself by watching a YouTube video or an episode of a show I’m watching. (Right now I’m starting season 5 of Fairy Tale!)

This is what I have so far. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with all of these things I feel like I have to do in order to be a successful human. That right there is what my anxiety uses to tackle me to the ground and make me feel terrible.

What are some of your 2019 mental health goals?

How My Physical Health Impacts My Mental Health

If I’m not feeling good physically, I’m often not feeling good mentally either. There is some sort of correlation between the two, at least in my experience.

For about 3 weeks I have been really struggling with my asthma. I’ve had asthma since I was a kid but have never experienced what I’m going through right now.

I’m taking multiple medicines to help me breathe. Every 4 hours I have to use a nebulizer to relieve the tightness in my chest. Sure it is a nice way to take a break from my day to breathe into a smokey plastic cup but I’m mentally tired of it.

Because this is not my usual life, I’m growing frustrated with each passing day. It makes me feel hopeless, that I am going to have to live this way for the rest of my life.

My depression takes over and tells me that my worry is true. That I will have to take medicine this heavily for a long time.

I’m not sure what is causing my asthma issues because nothing has changed in my life. I’m living in the same house, working in the same office and I don’t surround myself with my usual triggers (smoke, highly fragranced shit).

I have cleaned everything and have kept up with it. I started cleaning my blankets on the weekends and mid-week to cut down on the cat dander from my long-haired fluffs. I even clean with a freaking mask on to prevent me from breathing in any dust particles or fumes from cleaning supplies (which I have changed to more natural options). Lysol makes me die.

I won’t find out what more I can do until the end of January when I see my asthma doctor. I feel hopeless that he won’t even know what to do. He will tell me that this is my life and I have to live my life in a certain way now.

Feeling this way makes me want to curl up in my bed and never leave.

I hope everyone else is having a fantastic New Year! May this year be one where we can all survive and thrive through our mental illnesses.

I love all of you who regularly read, like, comment or have subscribed. I seriously appreciate you all so so so much!

2018 Mental Health Accomplishments

I have come a long way in 2018 in my mental health. Certainly I have my horrible days where I struggle to get out of bed, struggle to focus at work and I use everything in my mental health emergency kit.

*Please don’t take this as some sort of bragging post especially if you have had an extra shit year.*

Thanks to my therapist affirming me, I feel like I can celebrate these moments.

1. Fewer Therapist Sessions — At the beginning of 2018, I saw my therapist once a week. As I continued to feel better, I went down to every other week for a good part of the year. Now I’m seeing her once a month which helps me stay on track and work through whatever is plaguing my mind.

2. Decreased Cutting — It’s been around 300 days since I last cut myself. This is something I have struggled with since 2011. I have done so good, I’m shocked. Sure I have had desires to hurt myself but I haven’t acted on them. It was difficult in the beginning but I hope I can keep this up. I haven’t gone longer than almost a year between cutting myself. Here are some tips about how to curb those urges.

3. Improved Mood — My mood has been pretty consistently good for the past couple months. I’m actually feeling pretty happy! Not every day is perfect, the other morning I struggled to get out of bed and some days anxiety doesn’t lose its grip. Feeling good has helped me realize that it is possible to take a breath above the rough of mental illness.

4. Very Few Anxiety Attacks — I always carry my bottle of Larazapam with me, it’s a medicine that calms me down when I’m having intense anxiety that I can’t shake. This year I think I have only had two anxiety attacks which is pretty good!

5. Decreased Suicidal Thoughts — 2018 is the first year since 2016 that my suicidal thoughts have not completely controlled my mind. I do sometimes have those thoughts but they are few and far between.

I think that’s all that I’ve accomplished. I have started writing this blog which has really helped me out in expressing myself and also relating to others who also have mental health problems.

I hope the last few days of 2018 are halfway decent for you! Stay strong, my readers!!

Stars in a Pitch Black Sky

I’ve always struggled with seeing the positive in my own life situations. If somebody else is telling me about an issue, I can usually grasp on to some sort of positive aspect to help that person feel better. But when it comes to me, I only see a dark sky with distant shining stars.

A few years ago I wrote a poem about how my depression is like a dark night sky filled with faint stars sprinkled throughout. It was to represent how I see the overwhelming bad in my life and see the positive things as so minuscule that they’re nearly insignificant.

I have been reflecting on 2018, trying to find some positives. It’s like the whole needle in a hay stack saying, I’m digging through all these negative thoughts trying to find a positive one.

I close my eyes and see shit like: my car being totaled in August, my current struggles with asthma, fights with my boyfriend, crying in my bed while watching Zootopia because I was so depressed, the numbers on the scale and all of the anxious/depressing thoughts that stick to my brain cells.

I wish I could see the good, I really do. Last week my therapist helped me see that I have made progress this year, check the post out here. I’m trying to see what she sees in me.

As I’m writing this there’s only 45 minutes left of Christmas, my favorite holiday, so I will be positive in this moment for Christmas. Today I felt happy to spend time with my family and show them how much I care for them.

Ok positivity over, back to our scheduled programming.

Do you struggle with finding positivity in your life? How do you find positivity within yourself? Leave me a comment! I would love to read it 🙂

Happy Christmas to my wonderful readers!!

When Will It Stop?

I am in this state where it seems that anxiety and depression are reaching their claws around my mind in a slow and dramatic fashion. Each day it all seems to be getting worse.

The negative thoughts, the inescapable self doubt and physical strain on my body is becoming more frequent. I’m getting to the point where I feel that I’m going to have a depressive episode to kick off 2019.

Who doesn’t love those? -_-

I am a professional ruminator. By that I mean during my low points I have the same few thoughts on repeat. Right now those thoughts are starting.

I’m reading so deeply into every single word and action of the people around me. I am reading everything as signs that they don’t really want to be speaking to me. That they wish I would go away and leave them the hell alone.

I keep thinking that they are sick of me being around. That they wish they never began speaking to me in the first place! That they wish they never started a relationship or friendship with me.

My therapist told me yesterday that just because I have a thought, doesn’t necessarily make it true. She said, “Pretend these thoughts are leaves flowing down a stream. Watch them pass by, don’t pick them up and hold on to them.”

My reply to that was, “I can’t not pick them up! I have a little basket and I collect those leaves. ”

Do you, my beautiful readers, ever feel this way? What do you do to stop ruminating thoughts? Leave me a comment and let me know!

My Therapist Made Me Cry

Don’t worry this is a good story!

This morning I had my monthly session with my therapist where we talked about my recent anxieties and how things have been going in general.

I’ve seen her for a little over 2 years and each Christmas I give her a present. I made her granola last year that she absolutely loved so I gave her a big jar of it this year! Plus a little belt thing for when she takes a run.

(Here’s the recipe if you want it.)

She then said, “Megan I got you something too.” Since she has so many clients she typically doesn’t give them all gifts. This year she gave me something, a bunch of cookies.

She said, “You have come so far this year that I wanted to get you something.”

I’m crying as I’m writing this, I am still so overwhelmed by her words and gesture. My eyes were like faucets, I immediately started crying after she told me that.

I recently had been trying to think of some good things that happened this year but the bad things were so much bigger in my mind. I kept thinking of broken friendships, fights, depressive episodes, car accidents and feeling like shit.

She opened my eyes to see that I really have come a long way in my mental health journey. I am doing so much better than I was at the beginning of the year.

I feel that I have accomplished so much more than I realized thanks to that gift and her encouraging words.

When I get off work I will more than likely go home and happy cry about these cookies.

I will do a post soon about the progress I have made this year in my mental health and another about some goals that I will set for myself for 2019.

Things I Do Because I’m Depressed

Whenever I make a mistake and I know that I’ve hurt somebody’s feelings, I immediately fall into depression. It catches me as if I was falling from the top of a building. It’s always there to catch me and wrap me in a blanket then whispers horrible thoughts in my ear.

When I’m in this state there are some things I automatically do as a way to protect myself. It’s a lot of shit that I’ve been doing since I was little.

  1. Hide: This is my natural instinct when something is wrong. Ideally, I hide in my room with my door closed and cover my head in blankets. My goal is to usually escape from whatever is going on either in reality or in my mind. I hide away until I can face the shit happening.
  2. Stop eating: When I’m very depressed or anxious I feel like I can’t eat. It feels like my stomach shrinks to the size of a grape, that if I eat anything more than a cracker I will feel sick. When I was really struggling two years ago, I would go sometimes for an entire day without eating anything.
  3. Sleep: If worries are buzzing in my brain, I can’t focus on nearly anything. Today I have a lot of those so I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on my work. But when I’m hiding at home, I often just go to sleep. I sleep to get away from the anxious thoughts, sometimes it is the only time I can find true relief.
  4. Cry: I am a cry baby. I cry about everything which I find annoying to myself. When I’m really overwhelmed or sad, I just sit down and cry. It can be silent tears or ugly sobbing depending on what is going on.

I know a few of these are not healthy coping mechanisms but I have (for now) kicked my most unhealthy one which is self-harm. At many moments in my life those urges to cut were so frequent that I was hurting myself almost on a daily basis. I am proud of myself that I have been able to work things out in a different way and curb those urges.

If you are struggling right now with your mental illness, I hope that you can make it through. And if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, I have a few posts about potential ways to silence those thoughts.

Stay strong everyone!