Mental and Physical Health are Important

In my previous post, I said I would be writing about some topics regarding Mental Health Awareness Month.

Our overall health is important. I don’t know where it began in the history of the world that if you can’t see the illness, it does not exist.

In school health class we almost exclusively learned about physical health. How we should exercise, eat healthy foods and all the stuff that everybody and their cat knows. I don’t believe we ever spoke about mental wellness though which is a real shame.

It’s honestly a shame that society puts a priority on physical health and neglects mental health. Learning about mental illnesses and how we can take care of our minds is essential information!

I think that mental and physical health go hand in hand.

If I’m very anxious or depressed, I often don’t want to eat or move at all. That can eventually effect my physical health.

The other way around, (my physical health effecting my mental health) I am experiencing now and did last summer too after a car accident. Today is day 3 that I’ve been in serious pain and can’t do anything besides alternate between laying down and walking at the pace of my 89 year-old grammy.

Mentally I’m getting to the point where I am frustrated that I can’t do anything. I’ve been limited to watching TV because I can’t really function. I can’t bend over or even sit up so I’m off work today.

I think finding balance in the cycle is essential to being well overall.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Have you experienced your physical or mental health decline because you were unwell? Leave me comments below!

Attempting to Be Social

As I’ve written in past posts, like this and this, I’ve spoken about how I’ve really struggled with socializing as an adult.

The older I get the fewer friends I have. It is partly because I have lost touch with friends I rarely see, got rid of toxic people and changed jobs two years ago. Now I would say I have 2 solid friends (maybe).

This morning my gas tank was on empty so naturally I went to fill up at the cheapest gas station. On my way I saw a sign for a cat cafe that will be opening soon! I was overjoyed because I love cats. The closest cat cafe is 30 minutes away so it’s not the most convenient.

I said to myself, “I could volunteer there. I could do that.”

So I emailed the place, submitted a volunteer application and will be attending their training this Saturday.

Working at a non-profit full time, I don’t often volunteer. I work with the volunteers that come to my work but I haven’t volunteered with a charity in a really long time. Going through so many ups and downs in my mental health discouraged me from doing anything outside my realm of comfort.

After working all of that out, I’m slightly anxious. Diverting from my normal routine scares me. It makes me uncomfortable when I have to do something different or when I have to be in a new setting. I’ve always had trouble with change even if it’s something small.

I’m going to give it a shot though. I think it would be good for me to get out of the house and maybe make a new crazy cat lady friend. Even if I don’t make a friend, I love cats so I will always have their company.

Do you have any tricks to help you through the anxiety of change?

Anxiety Attacks

Last night I woke up to my heart pounding in my ears, my dark room spinning and my brain was in fight/flight mode. I began to have an anxiety attack.

Yesterday I let my boyfriend down in a multitude of ways. I disappointed him. Then I was going to stay the night but decided to go home instead. The whole drive home I regretted it because I saw in his face how sad he felt that I was leaving.

I cried and cried all the way home. Every exit I passed I regretted that I didn’t take it to turn around to go back to my love.

Once I got in bed I fell asleep immediately. A half hour later my brain jolted me awake by suffocating me with an anxiety attack. A racing heart and the feeling of impending doom.

My anxiety whispered so softly that I could barely hear it. It didn’t call me a failure. It didn’t call me a terrible girlfriend/person. It whispered, “why didn’t you stay?”

Over and over my feelings of regret had me tossing and turning from the evening into the morning. I still am recovering from this long anxiety attack.

In the morning I had to take anxiety medicine to help calm me down. I laid in bed wishing to be wrapped in his arms where I feel the most safe and loved. Sadly last night I made the dumb decision that I didn’t want to be cuddled in the morning. Oh Megan!

When I feel regret I usually feel it pretty intensely. I think it all goes back to how I wasn’t being my best self and already feeling guilty about the choices that I made yesterday.

After all of that I am really going to step up my game for him.

He needs me to support him in his recent job promotion which has come with a big shift switch.

He needs me to work on my anxious thoughts that tell me that everybody hates me. It hurts him when I lash out because of my anxiety. It hurts our relationship in many ways.

Yesterday  I was saying how everybody hates me, his reply was, “Megan there is nothing wrong with you.” Writing that out brought me to tears. It means so much to hear the person I’m in love with say that about me despite seeing my every flaw.

He needs me to just be honest and be myself.

So that anxiety attack maybe was a strange, weird blessing because I am now able to see how I can improve and be better for my man.

Basically Friendless

For ages my therapist has been encouraging me to try to make some friends. She asks me on a semi-regular basis whether I’ve made any new friends or if I’ve hung out with any friends since I’ve seen her last (I have sessions once a month since I’ve been doing well mentally).

Often the answer is no.

Right now I have one good friend that I work with and speak to outside of work. We talk about our personal lives and text/call each other rather regularly. She’s really the only one.

It’s pretty sad when I reflect on the fact that I don’t really have any friends anymore. All of my best friends from high school live in different states, none of my college friends live nearby and former co-worker friends have drifted away.

I feel jealous sometimes because I feel like everybody has friends but me. I wish I had a friend that I could get coffee with or go shopping with.

As an adult I don’t know how you can make friends outside of work and religious gatherings. I don’t believe in any religion, I don’t join clubs, I’m not into the bar/pub scene and when I go to the gym I don’t speak to anybody.

My therapist has made so many suggestions on how to make friends but I shoot them down.

I often spend time with my family or my boyfriend when I’m hanging out with other humans. I visit my grandmother on a regular basis especially since she has been quite ill. I sometimes will take my younger cousin out for lunch or shopping. I spend time with my mom and brother pretty often as well.

Family is important to me but I think that concept only came about because I don’t have friends to occupy my time anymore.

I mainly spend my time alone.

I read books, practice Japanese, read the news, watch YouTube and watch tv shows or movies. I write on here too!

I’m more introverted so I don’t hate spending most of my free time alone. But there are times, like tonight, when I wish that I had a friend to hang out with.

So You Know (SYK)

So You Know (S.Y.K.) was created by Revenge of Eve. I always read the ones from Ashley from Mental Health @ Home so check her’s out too! If you’re interested in participating, here are the guidelines:

  • here are no right or wrong answers… Your answers = Your opinion = Your life
  • Answer a few or one, whatever you are comfortable with
  • Pingback to any S.Y.K. post
  • Use the hashtag #SYK to tag your post
  • Be real. If you feel a certain type of way, say it. You were asked your opinion.

This week’s questions are:

  • As a parent do you feel safe leaving the world in your children hands? Explain why or why not
  • If you are child-free, do you feel we (humans) are heading in the right direction, as a whole?
  • What do you consider the biggest difference in your generation and your parents generation? Compare the two using a positive impact and its negative effects.
  • Do you feel like an old soul? Or a youngster? Why?
  • What era would you chose to live in if given the chance?

1. As a parent do you feel safe leaving the world in your children hands? Explain why or why not.

Don’t have kids but I have three cousins in that range from mid-teens to nearly 20. I think one of them has a really good head on her shoulders so I think she will contribute positively to this world.

2. If you are child-free, do you feel we (humans) are heading in the right direction, as a whole?

I see a lot of things going in the wrong direction. The rise in white extremism, the deterioration of our planet, the lack of progress in equal rights and factory farming really weigh on my heart.

3. What do you consider the biggest difference in your generation and your parents generation? Compare the two using a positive impact and its negative effects.

I’m a millennial and my mom and dad are baby boomers. I think one of the biggest differences are the opportunities available (this is positive and negative). My mom was able to get a career that paid her well enough to live on her own plus have a cat! On the other hand, my college experience has left me in thousands of dollars of debt which has stifled me in many ways. I still live with my mom because I don’t make enough money to pay my loans plus a monthly rent.

But on the positive side, there are many more opportunities for people today than there were when my parents were in their mid-20s.

4. Do you feel like an old soul? Or a youngster? Why?

I feel somewhere in the middle. I don’t always understand the Instagram-centered life or why children today are so focused on making the next viral video or meme. I often long for simpler times with flip phones and MySpace. Yet I still feel relatively young.

5. What era would you chose to live in if given the chance?

This reminds me of a scene on “The Office” where Erin asks Michael when in history he would want to be a teenager. I think it would have been awesome to have my teen years go through the late 80s into the 90s.

Soothing My Worries

Lately I have been having a lot of worries. Hahaha I know what a surprise for someone with anxiety! But I have specifically been having financial worries for around a year or so.

Right now they’re moving to the forefront of my mind because my boyfriend and I are looking to move in together in September. He is about to get a very nice raise because he was just promoted he will begin making some great money. I’m so proud of him!

I don’t make all that much, I’ll be honest. I am hoping for a raise this summer but that’s far away from now.

In my mind I thought that if I don’t make enough money I can’t contribute as much as him towards our livelihood. I have been worrying about not being able to pay my fair share of everything. We have always spoken about how we split things evenly but if he’s paying for more then that’s not fair.

It goes against everything in my being to have him carry the financial weight. I also don’t want to feel like a burden on him and that make him not want to live with me. I don’t want him to think I’m some sort of mooch either.

So I did something bold.

I told my boyfriend my worries!

He told me that everything is going to be fine and that he understands that I don’t make the same as he does. He doesn’t expect me to put forth the same amount because it might not be possible for me to do that.

He told me he isn’t worried about it. Him saying that made me feel loved. It made me feel like he really wants to live with me and knows that I will do my best to pay what I can to make our life together possible!

Sometimes voicing your worries can make them go away.

 

 

A Letter to My Struggling Self

I am very inspired by Hunting Happiness who did this post on the Bipolar Writer Blog. She called it “A Letter to Myself on the Days I Feel I’m About to Drown.” I love that title and her idea to write up a letter to encourage herself when she’s struggling with her mental illness.

So I want to do the same! Sometimes the most encouraging person is yourself when you are feeling depressed or anxious.

Dear Megan,

Are you alright? Whatever horrible thoughts you’ve been ruminating on, press pause for a moment to read what I have to tell you.

Remember what your therapist said? Not every thought your brain generates is a fact. Your brain loves to lie and trick you, it loves to kick you when you’re down. It sucks to say but you can’t always believe your mind.

Because I am you, I know the dark thoughts that are buzzing around in your mind. Thoughts you’ve been battling since you were little. Just because you’ve been hearing them forever doesn’t mean that they hold any amount of truth.

Worthless? You’re absolutely worthy of existing. Everybody hates you? Also not true. Think about how much your mom, brother, dad, boyfriend and grandmother care about you. They would be deeply upset if you weren’t here.

Your writing has impacted so many people, even those who you don’t know! You have been able to positively impact other people’s lives with your words. Nobody else could have written those stories like you.

Your experiences matter. Your perspective is needed.

I love you and so do all of the important people in your life!

Love,
Megan

P.S. Pet your cats, watch “My Roommate is a Cat” and stretch.