Good morning, spoiler alert: this will be quite an open post.
How is your mental health everybody? I'll start- mine has been shit.
I will also start with an outrageous statement: I used to not believe in therapy. I thought therapy was for the weak.
Little I knew that the biggest weakness is realising that you have a problem and to not do anything about it.
Both my parents were of the old school of thought that if you have a problem "you grin and bear it", some sort of philosophy that if you can't power through your problems, you are in some way flawed. They have since changed, having witnessed first-hand mental health issues in the family, and I most definitely changed my mind about it.
It started last year. Initially it was a subtle, lingering stress that would creep in before I was due for a long day at work. It would make me snappy, short-tempered, and overall miserable. Before a night shift I would feel so low to the point that I wished something would happen to me on the way to work so that I had an excuse not to go in.
And then the sleepless nights came. Truly, never-ending nights in which I would not sleep for one minute. And I still would load up on caffeine and be on the ward by 8 AM for a 12 hours shift. It dragged like this for months.
The sleepless nights became more and more, and we all probably experienced those. The exact term for what I was experiencing would be RUMINATING, which by definition is repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion. Just one of the thousands marvellous ways in which anxiety can get hold of you.
Comes August 2019, and after a sleepless night in which I did seriously ponder whether to jump off the balcony so that I would finally get some rest, my boyfriend made me phone sick at work and I made a GP appointment. I was then referred to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)- and it had helped me greatly. This was pre- COVID as a Critical Care nurse in a Major Trauma Centre in central London, destined to become the COVID centre for east London. I am honestly thankful that I had some CBT tricks under my belt that kept me going through 2020, but I can feel I am struggling again. I think most of my colleagues are, although is hard to tell- as the Critical Care mentality can be a bit stoic at times ("I've seen worse, the last shift was a piece of cake, what about that time when..." ETC. You get the point).
I loathe running. I am not cut out for sports. BUT it helps. Initially I was doing Crossfit, which really helped in boosting my confidence. I am sadly not going anymore as I feel too tired, all the time. But I run. Not much, mind you; I will never run a marathon or anything like that. But I can comfortably run 5 km whilst ranting in my head and thinking what to do with my day.
I am truly a terrible runner. I smoked a pack and a half a day for years and only recently quit, so my lungs are shite, it's cold, it's rainy, and it's so so so hard to find motivation, but it makes me feel better. Willing to try? the NHS podcast Couch to 5k really helped me get moving.
As I said previously, make-up and clothes give me joy as it is something I can be in charge of in a time in which we can't control A.SINGLE. THING.
Which is why I created this blog. I might not make a dime out of it, but it is giving me an outlet in a very suffocating and relentless year.
Let 2020 be the year where we leave shame, and hatred and embarrassment behind- turns out life really is too short for all of that.
Also, if you are struggling, please feel free to text, DM me or whatever suits you. Also visit https://www.frontline19.com for professional, and quick! help if needed.
And please subscribe (I believe it is in the login section).
Take care out there