20 September 2017

THE AFFECT OF TIREDNESS ON MENTAL HEALTH


^^This gorgeous piece of work can be found on Etsy, by Ariana^^

*Before you read this, please know that I am talking about one extreme day here and, for the record, it ends well but you guys know I like to share and help people realise they are not alone, so if you don't like these sort of posts please visit on Sunday when there will be a lovely gratitude post up instead!

Seeing as my mental health has been fairly stable recently (other than the occasional hormone related meltdown) you can imagine my total overwhelm when I was hit with a severe bout of dark depression last week. It was nasty and came along with its best mate, anxiety. Anyone who has suffered with these two 'buddies' together will know how conflicting and paralysing they can be when they have a day out together. If you are not familiar, let me sum it up for you...

Depression, for me, can come along for no reason. It hits like a wave of overwhelming fear and darkness. For me it sings the tune of 'you will never succeed, you are not good enough, you should give up on everything, what is the point of you being here?'. It makes me feel tired, emotionally numb and, sorry for the honesty, somewhat suicidal at its worst. Anxiety, on the other hand, is like a hyper alien, jumping about in my brain. It never stops chatting away and fidgeting about inside my head. Between the two of these things they push and pull me one way and then the other and, let me tell you, there is no winning whatsoever. Both are equally exhausting. The conflicts they cause can be so frustrating, for example...

Me: 'I am so tired and I haven't really eaten anything... I should get something'
Depression: 'If you eat you'll get fatter, you already look like shit, look at you... actually who would want to look at you!'
Anxiety: 'You should eat lots and lots, it will make you feel better... go on, do it, you know you will feel better... go on!'

Me: 'I haven't been to the gym for a day. I know I will feel better if I go'
Depression: 'What's the point? It'll take more than a gym session to make you look better.'
Anxiety: 'You should go, what will people think of you if you don't go? They will think you're a failure. But if you do go, they will all stare at you and know how anxious you are...but if you don't go they will judge you when they see you again because you haven't been'

Yep, it is exhausting isn't it? 

However, these days I don't let it get away with turning my brain to mush as quickly as it used to and I certainly will not let it wipe out an entire week for me. When I realised what was happening to me I forced myself to sit quietly and think through what had changed, what was different and why I could be feeling so terrible and I suddenly realised the big thing that had changed... sleep. I had taken on a big piece of work and was getting up at silly o'clock to get it done and still going past midnight with barely any time off. I didn't think about the affect it would have on my mental health at all. How ridiculous is it that such a small thing can switch everything around in such a significant way? It served as a massive reminder that I do still have mental health issues and they haven't disappeared. When I am super productive and happy with what I am doing, I barely notice anything is there and it would be easy to forget that it exists, but as soon as something as small as a few hours sleep is different, and it hits me face on from nowhere, I get taken aback by it and it reminds me how awful it can feel.

The upside? Well, this is rare now, and that is a huge achievement. I am able to identify what the cause is most of the time and 'get over it' much faster but that has come from years and years of dark days that went on and on and on. It has come from listening to my body, eating right, exercising, reading useful and inspiring books and having people around who 'get it' (or at least try to get it!).

I know many of my readers resonate with these posts so I will always share my experience. I also share it because I am sick and tired of it being a stigma because it still is. I do have some people question why I put it all on the internet but, honestly, I don't care because if it helps one person get themselves help or just realise they aren't alone, that is all I need to know.

As always, make sure that if you, or someone you know, is suffering at all with any mental health concerns that you/they seek medical attention. It is super important and it can be helped, I promise you that.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your personal struggles with depression and anxiety. You HAVE helped at least one person (me) to feel a little less alone today and a bit more understood. I've never followed blogs or blogs or anything, but the other day while doing one of my favorite hobbies- planning my imaginary dream vacation of a costal walking holiday in north Devon and around Cornwall- I stumbled across your YouTube vlogs and have been binge watching your life like a complete creep. :) I think you are a completely lovely person, inside and out. I wish you all the best.

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    1. Thank you SO (so) much for taking the time out of your day to leave me a comment, it means so much more than I could ever tell you. I know how lonely it can feel and I still have really lonely moments, it's so hard, but come back over to this space and chat if you need (or email me fromlucywithlove@outlook.com). You should defo come walking to Cornwall, it's gorgeous... have you ever been? x

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  2. Thank you for sharing Lucy, I know it can be difficult to put something like this out there. But I'm so glad you did because every time someone speaks honestly about mental health, it chips away at the stigma. I think you've got a brilliant attitude and I really hope you're feeling better now, and being kind to yourself.
    Much love! X

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    1. Thank you so much honey. It's the one thing that I really don't care about 'over-sharing' as it is beyond important to me! If I had my way I'd shout it from the roof tops! :-)
      Hope you are well lovely lady xx

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