Hooky or Mental Health Day?

I have put in my letter of resignation at work and will be starting my new job on Nov. 12 which is much too far away. The best way to describe it to the world is having senioritus at 26 and not being in school.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, at least in America, when you’re in your final year of high school or university people get senioritus meaning they don’t want to do any work. They’re bored and ready for the next step.

I don’t want to do anything at work right now. I am absolutely dreading going tomorrow which is a way I haven’t felt at my current job before. I’ve usually felt comfortable enough to get through the day when my mental health isn’t the greatest. If I can’t handle it, I go home early.

Feeling the heavy weight of depression for the first time in a while has really been challenging. I’m in that rut where the thought of leaving my house sounds horrible and all I want to do is chill with my pets.

If I choose to not go to work one of the days this week, is that playing hooky or taking a mental health break?

Sure I had the weekend to kind of chill, I mainly shopped and cleaned the house, but I want another day.

**This is where the post gets a little long so you can totally skip this part and I’ll let you know when to come back for the conclusion**

But there’s something else behind not wanting to go other than depression. I take photos as part of my job. I’ve been doing client portraits for the last couple months which has been rewarding for me. What makes this shoot scheduled for tomorrow different is that the client wanted to go to a nearby park to have a shoot with her twin babies who are 10 months old.

I told my supervisor about this and she scoffed, “You’re going to do a family photoshoot with babies? Somebody else is coming along with you, right? I think you should have someone else come with you.”

It hit me in a sensitive spot that has now developed a bruise. I feel incredibly insecure about my ineptitude with babies/young children. It makes me feel like a failure as a woman.

So I don’t want to go and feel like a fool trying to do a shoot with a family while a coworker has to babysit me. The thought of it is humiliating! Therefore I don’t want to go.

**We are back!**

I really want to take a mental health day tomorrow just to be at home. To relax, read, finish season 3 of Jessica Jones (omg it’s ssssooo good) and be with my pets. I feel guilty bailing (see my recent post about me being a flake here) on people especially since the client is counting on me! But I just flat out don’t want to do it.

Any advice, blogosphere?

Anxiety Levels on High

Overthinking every little thing is one of the things my brain does best. The best thing my brain does is make sure that my body is functioning properly. For that I thank my brain!

Lately I have been over analyzing a lot. I’ll be sitting in my office at work then read into every little pause and word in a conversation I’m having with somebody.

My mind immediately goes to, “They’re not texting me back because they’re sick of me” or “They don’t want to talk to me because they think I’m annoying and stupid.” Those thoughts have been spinning so fast that my stomach hurts.

These thoughts have been constant. I keep thinking that I’m not good enough which is why nobody actually loves me. It’s all pretend because people feel bad for me.

I’m at the point where I want to curl up in my bed and sleep for the rest of the day.

When I’m super anxious or in a deep depressive episode my automatic reaction is to hide. My fight or flight response is saying to flee this anxiety by hiding.

In these moments I forget all of my coping mechanisms. Do you ever have that experience? I’ve learnt all of these ways to help but then I get into the thick of it and my anxiety coping skills are gone.

I hope that you’re getting through an anxious moments that you’re having with finesse.

Getting Back to “Normal”

My period is over so I’ve, for the most part, returned to my “normal” self. All of my emotions that were at a peak have calmed down.

I met with my therapist this past Thursday and I cried the entire time. It felt so good to have a safe place where I could discuss my fears and cry with somebody who knows me.

Sure I pay her to hear me sob but it is worth every penny.

She helped me to rationalize some of my worries and put everything that had been frantically flying around in my skull into some sort of order.

By the end of our session I felt relieved. I calmed down before I left and set a session earlier than I normally would have if I was doing fine.

Yesterday and today I have been productive enough to make up for last weekend when I couldn’t get out of bed or shower. My mood is up and I’ve been eating vegetables instead of solely carbs, ice cream and chocolate.

It is such a whirlwind to be feeling like I want to end my life in one moment to feeling relatively content the next. There are so many ups and downs that it gives me whiplash sometimes. And I’ve had whiplash and it’s not enjoyable!

I am hoping that I can keep my depression and anxiety in check this week despite work being busy. In my two weeks of hell from my PMDD and period, I have found some new coping mechanisms! I’ll share them with you in case you are looking for some fresh ideas.

  1. Keep Items with a Happy Memory Close — I don’t think I thought about this before but having something that has a positive memory attached to it can lift your spirits. For example I put on a bright blue nail polish that I bought in Florence, Italy when I was on coach tour across Europe. I look at my nails and think of the amazing time that I had which gives me a little boost.
  2. ASMR — When this whole ASMR thing got popular, I thought it was kind of bullshit. But what I found was that I enjoy ones where they are cooking especially if there are crunchy vegetables being chopped up. What I’ve been loving is Peaceful Cuisine, it’s a Japanese guy who makes vegan food. Since I’m learning Japanese, it also helps me to read the ingredients in the language.

I hope that two little tips can help if you’re in a pickle jar right now. I’ll keep you all updated on how I fair this week!

Stay strong, everybody!!

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!

Tonights Meltdown

I’m having one of those evenings where I can’t stop my anxiety and depression from bullying me into a corner. They shout horrible things at me, the words that come from my own mind are like a punch in the gut.

Tonight my depression is reminding me that all of my mistakes make me a terrible person. That my errors are why people hate me.

Anxiety backs depression up by saying that everyone in my life is packing their bags and distancing themselves from me. That my mistakes and flaws make me unworthy of their presence.

They tell me my boyfriend is going to dump me because I am not enough. That I will never be enough. He wants somebody perfect, somebody who doesn’t fuck up the way I do.

When everything becomes too overwhelming I want to hide. That is my natural instinct, I’ve done it since I was a child. I want to hide from the people I have disappointed so they can’t look at me with eyes filled with pain that I caused.

I hope that if you’re struggling you can make it through. More than likely the sun will rise again in the morning.

My Fears: I’m Not Good Enough

Like my fear that everyone pretends to like me, I’ve had the worry that I’ll never be good enough. I think that is the overarching phrase of my entire existence.

As a child I never thought I was good enough to be a part of anything special or succeed in academics, sports or music.

I remember being in 5th grade, I was selected to be a part of the Four Mile Singers (the school was called Four Mile, hence the name) which was a special singing ensemble for 5th graders.

I went up to my music teacher and told him that I didn’t deserve to be in Four Mile Singers because it was for special people. I told him that I was not special therefore I shouldn’t be in it.

I have blocked that memory out for the most part but every once in a while it creeps back up in my brain. It’s quite painful to think about.

I loved playing the piano but I have never thought I was very good. I took lessons from kindergarten through 12th grade.

I would compare myself to the other students who took lessons from the same teacher. I would hear them play and think, “Wow, I wish I could play like them. They have so much talent!”

By the time I got to high school, I rarely performed in recitals on my own. I would become so incredibly anxious that I would fuck it all up. So my teacher would pair me with other students to do duets, duals and quartets. I loved doing those! I felt confident because I had other people around me to support me.

With friends and boyfriends, I have always thought that they secretly hated me. I’ve always thought that they would leave because I was not enough for them. That I couldn’t provide whatever they were searching for so they would leave to find somebody who could fill that void.

As I am growing up I am feeling this a little less. I am confident in my relationship with my boyfriend, I know that he loves me. I have only a few friends in my actual life (outside from social media and texting). The couple that I have will reach out to chat or even take the lengths to spend time with me.

Every day I have to work towards self-acceptance. I need to accept myself for who I am, not look at what I lack. I do not need to live my life to meet the standards of others. 

May 2019 bring some more self-acceptance! I will be doing a New Years goals list this month. Follow me so you can check it out!

My Fears: Everybody Hates Me

Since I wrote a few days ago about my fear of being fired from my job, I figured I would do a series about my different fears sustained by my anxiety. This one is about my fear that everyone secretly hates me.

I have thought that everyone hates me since I was a child. I don’t know where it originally came from but anxiety always told me that. I often thought my friends were friends with me for pity and not because they wanted to hang out with me.

As my mental illness developed as I grew up, I felt that way more and more.

I mainly have felt this way in romantic relationships. With my first boyfriend at the age of 15, I thought he was dating me for pity. I thought he was so cute, cool and 16 that there was no way he actually wanted to date me.

That feeling was solidified after I found out he was cheating on me with another girl. It told me that I am not enough.

Fast forward to 22 and I felt that way again with my ex and now at 25 I still have those feelings about my current boyfriend.

I worry that deep down he hates me. I worry that he is with me because he feels sad for me. I worry that he is always on the verge of breaking up with me especially if there’s an argument.

Whenever there’s a rough patch I think, “Omg, this is the end. He’s going to break up with me.” So far that hasn’t happened, we have been together for 2 years.

It’s this deep insecurity that I have always had inside me. That I am not good enough and not worthy of love. That my mental illness and other weird quirks are a turn off, making people run away from me as quickly as possible.

Anxiety screams so loudly in my mind that it is often difficult to tune out. On repeat it tells me that everybody hates me and is planning to leave me.

My therapist has worked hard to try and tell me that my anxiety is wrong. That there are many people who care about me, she even had me create a list once! She asked me to really think, without anxiety’s influence, about who I know does not hate me.

Maybe I should do that again but I’m not sure if it will curb these thoughts.

Hope you guys are all doing well!

— Megan