#1in4

You know life sometimes is like a video game,

Each day comes as a new level, nothing is the same.

Aside from a secret underwater kingdom portal,

A chance anyone could take in a bid to be normal.

And I know where it is, I try getting through every time,

To try something new, I just want to see the excitement that’s behind.

But it doesn’t always last.

There’s something in my mind,

And it causes me to glitch,

And I’m not one of a kind.

I press X 61 times,

hoping for resolve,

Wild Dog mode comes on and my brain doesn’t do as it’s told.

To the point where I shout and tear everything apart,

Shit songs pour out my ears and I’m sent far away from the start.

The screen turns black.

I’m in curled in the corner and I’m crying,

Watching the countdown screen,

And here come the options to sort out my wiring.

Press circle they say to go off and cower,

Search for one way tickets to Canada for an hour.

Press triangle they say to go right off the mark,

Go out with no phone all alone in the dark.

Press square to cry until you can barely breathe,

So much you drift off into a sleep hoping when you wake the thoughts leave.

Press X to teleport to NHS tower,

Go see the wizard for potions for a happy hour.

Press UP and travel to mindful mountain,

And a parrot over 10 weeks will stop you from doubting.

Press R2 to talk to a friend,

Then constantly worry you’ll drive them round the bend.

Press R1 to commence battle with your twin,

About all the mistakes you’ve made only to never win.

And the final option,

Is to press nothing at all,

Countdown goes to zero,

Watch as the black screen falls,

And then you realise you can’t just press pause.

I’ve tried every option,

I even let the countdown get to 3,

Before things got in the way and I internally screamed what was the matter with me.

And everyone always says never wear your heart on your sleeve,

Because when you do they’ll take advantage of you,

They’ll grab your throat the second you’ll close your eyes just to sneeze.

Please tell me what’s so bad about being free,

To say how you feel if any of you have ever felt like me.

Anxiety depression and panic disorder,

When are we going to discover a new outlook is in order?

And I’m not just talking about guessing games when your heart is involved,

I mean when your life is on the line and nobody has been told.

I call bullshit and it makes me angry,

When somebody doesn’t show they cry because it looks more “manly”.

They say it costs us our identity and our pride,

If we ever bother to show what we have inside.

Well I say just take mine, and serve it up hot,

I’ll say exactly how I feel when I feel if it means I’m here, and that’s all that I’ve got.

One day I hope society can see the bravery,

Behind breaking free from emotional slavery.

I hope when someone says they are looking for a “man”,

The answer always is if that means I’m open and honest then I am.

So here is to being one of the 1 in 4,

And hoping that next time they tell you suicide is the number one killer of young men,

That it’s only to say there’s been a change in the score.

Saving our lives is more important than our prides.

Last thing we need is another death to suicide,

The more we talk about it the more we stop letting it slide.

How Far I’ve Come…

Now realistically, I should be in bed. Actually I should have reheated my Chinese takeaway by now too. But, I just couldn’t help it, I had to write a blog post! Final year is taking its toll, but I’m keeping rolling, and applying to a few jobs so I kind of know what I’m doing with myself. Anyway, this lead me onto making a few more of my previous posts public instead of private! So have a mooch and see if you find anything new you fancy reading! But specifically, I came across my original ‘List’ post. OK OK…I’ll slow down here.

So back in 2015, I made myself a list. Yep, I fail to complete most lists these days and never really do, and then wind up up at 10 to 1 listening to Jamelia wondering when I can be bothered to reheat my dinner on wordpress…But this list was to do with the steps I wanted to take to improve my life, and start living it! A.k.a. kick anxiety in the teeth and tell it to leave me alone! It was all part of my self-help journey, and I couldn’t believe it when I came across this list just now. Because, honestly, I actually (in a way) completed the list…

“Note to self, to change yourself, you need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

1) Join gym (Check). Make sure you swim twice a week (I barely have the time!), Zumba once and Belly Dance once. (One hour a week, and now I’m Vice-President of the society!)

2) Make a happiness diary (Check).

3) Walk more. (It’s the only way I get anywhere nowadays!)

4) STAY organised. (To an extent…)

5) Get into meditation. (All the time, with the addition of aromatherapy…mmmmm)

6) Read more (much more.). (Are you kidding me? I haven’t put these graphic novels for my dissertation down…but seriously, since this post I’ve read a tonne!)

7) Learn how to combat caring about what other people think. (To an extent, but in comparison to this point in my life, I have definitely had a fair few ‘I will do what I like and I am entitled to feeling how I feel and don’t really care what you think!’ moments.)

8) Don’t compare yourself to others. (We are here to lift each other up, not put ourselves and each other down. Everyone is drastically different in so many ways if you take the time to notice. Nobody is perfect.)

9) Try wearing your brighter lipsticks, it’s time to feel more confident step by step. (But are you kidding me?! Brown is my favourite!)

10) Don’t dwell on the negatives. (Sometimes, I do, and that’s ok. I’ve relapsed since this moment, but it’s important to know that sometimes you can slip into these ruts. But it’s always possible to get back out of them. I feel like I’m better at finding the rope that gets me out of the rut.)

11) Don’t dwell on the past. (I try not to, but see above.)

12) Learn to stand up for yourself. (I’m sorry, there was a caterpillar in my desert and you haven’t taken 10% from the bill?!)

13) Eat better food, continue to avoid lactose and cook well. (Those who know me well, will know that I do eat much much better food now, hoorah for vegetables and finally eating egg yolk. However, avoiding lactose…)

14) Try to be less angry. (I use that anger to fuel things with positive outcomes, and address that I am just incredibly emotional and passionate.)

15) Try to think more before you speak. (Certainly. Although not after a few bevvies…I need to work on that one…)

16) Get to sleep earlier. (This one still needs working on.)

17) Avoid negative people. (Drain the swamp!)

18) Embrace positive people. (They are my closest friends, and they are the reason I feel so incredible and supported right now in life.)

19) Remember that it is a long tough journey, but Frodo managed to throw the ring into mount doom so it is always doable no matter how unfavorable the odds. (Damn right!)

20) Remember dreaming big is ok, but if you want it to be a reality you have to work for it. (Hence why I’m here at 1am, attempting to make my short-term dreams a reality.)

And working towards my dreams can only begin once I’ve started applying all of the above to my life and improve my anxiety.”

Here is to hoping my big dreams come true once I do officially master that list! Definitely recommend digging out an old list, and checking out to see if you set yourself up for a big task, and whether you eventually managed to achieve it all. And years down the line, I’m pretty pleased I made this list, because I can see how far I’ve managed to come after being so low. Starting the ball to self-help was by far the best thing I ever did, even if I was useless at times, even if I did eventually relapse. But don’t give up! Everything seems so daunting when you first tell yourself all these changes you’d like to make. But be open to any ideas you have, and take on that list one bullet point at a time, and more importantly, don’t give yourself a time limit! Hey it’s two years later and I still sneak lactose heavy goods into my gob! (shhh.)

Keep going!

Whim xoxo

The Beginning

You made a choice to click on this and give this a read, right? Course you did. Something in your head was like “Yano, I’m gonna give this blog a bit of a read.” or maybe even, “I’m gonna search for happiness on the web and see what comes up.” or, “I’m gonna give anxiety, mental health and depression a search and see what pops up.” Now – for the latter, personally I’d rather you be here than the other places of your mind, and I hope this blog gives you some solace.

So. It’s 2017. People say new chapter, I say new book. You can’t fit a year into a chapter. But besides that, it’s a new beginning, right? Starting all over again. New year new me, and the remainder of what hashtag trends online to let people believe that we are all starting afresh. Life doesn’t work like that. There are elements of 2016, which will in one way or another impact on 2017. There are things that we cannot shrug off. But nonetheless, a new year is a moment of motivation for all of us. We feel like because it’s the start of a new year, we can become motivated to be a new person. Go to the gym. Go vegan. Get up earlier. Get a new hair colour. We feel like we can reform. I like the beginning of a new year, because of that sense of motivation. Because motivation otherwise, especially in certain scenarios, can be difficult to find, when the outcome feels so big and impossible.

To get motivation to feel like you can manage your mental health takes time. It doesn’t come out of a new year, and just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean it automatically washes away. It stays, niggling away, and you may feel motivated to go get a new hair colour, but who is to say you won’t come home and have a heart to heart tear sesh with yourself and your stuffed gorilla.

There are times it feels impossible, or too big a thing, to manage your mind. We wind up in dark, horrible, irrational mindsets, that persuade us to think that what we have become, or how we feel in this moment will be like this forever. But I did not want to live like this anymore. I still don’t now. It’s a completely consuming illusion, and it can make you forget about all the things that you still have, despite feeling like you have already completely lost who you are. That in itself is what eventually motivated me, to want to try and change what was going on with my mind and my life. I want to feel like I have the power and control to recognise and escape the illusion, and I want everyone else to feel like that too. And it’s what is motivating me now to try again.

But aside from hating how I was living, and who I’d become and wanting it to change, I wanted to get myself off of tablets which at the time I relied on to make me a ‘normal’ functioning human. I needed to work out my own way of self-management. Here is the first thing I did to get me started on finding other options in managing myself, which I am now repeating based on my relapse phase.

‘My Favourite Moment Of The Day Journal’

Now this is just food for thought. You might be thinking, that’s probably the cheesiest, instagrammable thing you’ve ever heard. It might be. But I feel like it works. You see, when I’m stuck in my dark bubble, it’s because there have been crap parts of my day and they manifest into this big ball of ‘argh’ and then I end up in a complete meltdown moment. So, what I used to do, and what I’ve started again, is the journal. Write a thing, or a couple things, that happened in your day that made you feel good. It can be anything, whatever you can think of that brought a smidgen of positive stuff into your day. But it means, next time you hit a meltdown moment, you have a selection of memories and things to read back on to remind you what keeps you going, or you can try extract those moments from the terrible day you may have just had.

It’s a book that reminds you to keep going, and to begin to see positive bits in your life, when you feel like you don’t so much anymore. It allows you to remember to appreciate the things, and be grateful. It can potentially begin trying to manage your mind. 

Begin with small steps. It may feel like the end. You may hate yourself, to your absolute core, because of what mental illness makes you feel. But it’s those moments I tried reminding myself of the reasons I should stay, not just why those irrational illusions made me want to go. Just because it might consume you now, doesn’t mean it will consume you forever. It’s a battle that you have to somehow, be motivated enough to win now, to win in the long-term.

You don’t need a new year, to tell you that you should be making huge, impossible seeming changes to your life. Motivation is hard to find, and I may also find it hard to find myself, and be writing this all again now because of that. But once I found it, I managed myself. I am desperate to do that again. Not just for myself, but so I can potentially in any way possible help someone else. And I can tell you, that once you have found it, things will slowly but surely start rolling.

I think, personally, you deserve to go out and treat yourself to a book, to end each day with a grateful heart, to prepare for future meltdown moments with just that tiny step. And maybe, this can be the beginning of learning how to outsmart the illusionist.

Stay Smiling,

Whim xoxo

 

 

Stay Smiling

This is the first, of what is soon to hopefully be, the first of many podcasts in link with the posts I write on my blog. Think of this as a kind of draft/pilot before the real seriousness begins. I’ll give you all some extra information in the next few days, but enjoy the first one, and have a very Happy New Year! – Nat xoxo

Mum said to me this week, “You’re the one that never plans anything, you never want to have expectations and this is how you wanted to live your life, what has changed?”

As a rare hobby, I have fortune telling cards. I tell the fortunes of my friends using cards, though In my beliefs tell me it’s something more psychological than real, maybe in the eyes of others something more believable.

It’s been some time since I’ve told my own fortune, and today was the first time I’d done it in some weeks. My main card was a snake. They say the snake, if speaking about you which is what the central card does, is it demands wisdom. It explicitly suggests, in relation to the other cards I pulled out, that I must be cautious and to abruptly turn around onto a new path. Though this is all really, to me anyway, a psychological way of deciphering my thoughts and getting me to use these cards as prompts, in my mind I know it’s gotten to that point in my life where something must happen, now.

You see, we might believe that there is a destiny out there for us. We might set ourselves up to getting certain grades to getting onto the supposedly right path, or the path we want, or the path others want us to be on. Well, what happens when something interrupts the path? What happens when we are forced to go a different way to the way we thought was destiny?

I stopped believing in life having plans for us, and my way of life in living with no plans in mind came about from all the times I was disappointed, and all the times my pathway diverted completely. Every time my plans didn’t go to plan.

I was going to be a graphic designer, and use my mild skills in drawing to create characters for the gaming world. I was going to go to a good college with an amazing arts department, study graphic art. I changed my mind, in hindsight based on a boy, and ended up dropping graphic art from stress in the first few weeks of it. I found my passion in English, which I naturally always seemed to do decent at, and wanted to go into creative writing. My obstacles in education meant that I was rejected from my dream course, and English with Serbian became an accidental option. I got in, with the idea of working in the education system, to become a teacher after a PGCE year and combat the struggles I had with teaching in my own education. Then it got to the second year and my mental health collapsed from an unexpected situation, and I lost passion for everything, and my plans. I didn’t want to do it anymore, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do either. I focussed on the time, and I focussed on finding myself and being better. When that eventually happened, I went onto my year abroad, and stopped blogging, something I also thought I’d go into. Life changed again, and someone I thought I was going to spend my life with became an acquaintance, and I began living more so by the no plan rule. Subconsciously, making plans the entire time. With the constant desperation of “you should find someone and get married” being shoved down my throat every five seconds and “you don’t know what you want to do with yourself? Why are you living like this?” though I was content, I’d made plans still, too close to the time that hadn’t gone the way I’d liked. Which has lead to this podcast.

I subconsciously decided, I was better. I was better mentally and I planned a life of fun, friends and an easy final year of university where I would be going out most nights, discovering new places and studying hard. And though it’s taken me far too long to admit, the denial has ceased. I expected I would never reach this part of my life again. I told my own future, despite telling myself it would be ok to do so because I wasn’t thinking as far ahead as when or whether I’d get married and to who, or what job I’d have, it turns out this planning comes into other baskets as well.

I don’t plan, to avoid disappointment, because when it happens I have something of a breakdown. Sounds bizarre, but that’s really why I don’t plan. I don’t allow myself to dream, to think ahead, to imagine the things I could do with my life. This idea got worse, the worse my mental health was getting this past couple months. It made me angry, and frustrated, the more I regretted my life, the more I thought what if, the more I regretted what I could have done or said better. What’s worse is I didn’t expect to get this low again, which has made me feel like I failed.

A great inspirational guy called Robert, told me this was something called approaching anxiety. I am anxious of what is or hasn’t happened yet. To the point where the worse it gets the more I restrict myself in how I can think, all because I want to save myself the emotion.

What I am yet to understand, is that just because planning upsets me, expectations upset me because I often face disappointment, that I shouldn’t restrict myself to dream or punish myself for doing so.

But it’s in times like this, at my lowest, that I realise it’s time to do something about it and pull myself back up, instead of handing myself the cord.

So I can’t tell the future, so I can’t predict my fortune with a bunch of cards. I can’t make plans because usually it doesn’t work out that way. Things go wrong, mistakes get made, and sometimes it seems and feels like all that ever happens are a bunch of plans that get thrown out the window. Just because destiny may or may not exist, doesn’t mean we should restrict ourselves in saying we have control over the path we take.

This is me, taking control. So I was thrown curve balls, all the way, and I have entered so many new paths I feel entirely lost, scared and unsure about what my future and fortune holds. I don’t want to make plans, or at least I don’t like making them for now. Maybe that will change one day, maybe I can overcome that to not be so scared of when those curve balls happen.

But today, I plan on being here. And today I plan on being here until it naturally comes to me. I do not plan to give up. Though I don’t know where I will end up, I won’t let the story end up here. Not this time. This time I was ready to recognise what was going on, despite the denial because it was going against my plans. I’ve been given this curve ball. But I won’t let it tell me what my destiny is, based on the past.

This isn’t how I planned my blog would be, after all this time. This isn’t how I thought I’d be feeling. But to feel like a failure for it is wrong. Failure, is not talking about it, and not trying to turn something horrific and traumatic, into something strong, positive, and beautiful.

Stay Smiling,

Whim xoxo

Realising Something BIGGER: The Understand Me Award

Hey all you lovely readers! I just wanted to say a great big massive thank you to you all. Why? Because my ‘Understand Me’ award is going awesomely and is putting a smile on my face. But something else too…

Namely, I read the following Understand Me posts: QUAYLACHEERS & EDGE OF NIGHT.

And these two lovely girls made me realise something really special. You see, although the understand me award is supposed to be focussed on mental illness, these two girls have stretched this out and have made me realise something further I want to share with you all.

Being misunderstood isn’t just a problem within the mental health field, it’s in life.

I hope more people take on the same route these ladies took, because not only did they discuss mental illness but they discussed misunderstanding in general. Which I think is incredibly special and important. I too was misunderstood often at school, and still feel like I sometimes am amongst the friends I live with, my parents and others. I remember being at school, and people thinking I was strange. A lot. I guess I am, but what these girls pointed out is that the understand me award can raise awareness with that too.

I think this is also important, because this is where anxiety begins in my opinion. Certainly social anxiety and depression. When you feel like everyone that looks at you and talks to you is against you, or they are doing it entirely openly as a bullying/picking/make fun of gesture, this can actually cause serious damage to people.

The nasty words of others can make us miserable. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share. I’m sure I’ve written a post about it before, but I’m sure when my teen stories become my blog theme after my 20th Birthday it’ll open this up further. But it’s merely because we are misunderstood, not the norm if you will.

I’m here to tell you there is no norm. Everyone is so so completely different, and we need to embrace that, not make that person feel miserable. All that does is send them down a negative spiral, but makes us a nasty negative human being. I can’t explain enough how important it is to embrace the differences of others, it’s something I’m also really strong about.

So if you’re wanting to take part in the award, I fully encourage you to all talk about being misunderstood more openly as well as mental illness. Because altogether, misunderstanding is something we should battle alongside the stigma behind mental illness. Because being misunderstood is commonly where this all starts.

Very serious note there, but I was very touched by this all tonight. I really hope I make a difference, even if only a little one. That’s good enough for me 🙂

Goodnight inspirationals, I’ll see you soon once I’ve got some more work done. I’ll try not to get too distracted! Remember to post a comment about someone’s understand me post because I’m so useless with technology! (Whim you’re 19, get a grip!) I promise i’ll learn. Remember to use #understandme, #understandmeaward or tag with similar tags so I can find you! (somehow!)

Keep smiling,

Whim xoxo

It’s Complicated But Please, Understand Me

From One To The Next’s Understanding…Another wonderful piece! It’s really hitting heart reading all these and I really hope that the awareness to understand mental illness is strong! I can’t wait for the page to be all built together – Check this one out! This is about From One To The Next’s experience with depression, panic attacks and anxiety. Give it a read!

From One To The Next

Whim from Words On A Whim has created something truly amazing that I feel, deserves as much support as it can get. I was amazed when I came across her idea to help promote mental illness and to give support and acknowledgement for those who have suffered or currently suffer with a mental illness. That is why, I have decided to take part and help to spread this wonderful and thoughtful campaign. Here goes:

For years, I have struggled with a few mental illnesses of my own. At first, I just thought it was normal and a part of life that everyone just dealt with at some point or another. It wasn’t until I found myself feeling completely isolated and alone that I started to question whether it was really as ‘normal’ as I thought. Those feelings of being alone and thinking that the world was waging its own war…

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I Award ALL of You! It’s Time We ALL Understood Mental Illness

So I have a CRAZY Birthday idea that I would like you all to help me with…read on, please let me know what you think! It’s my birthday in 4 weeks. My 20th to be precise. Meaning I’ll no longer be a teenager, and I’ll be spending the rest of my days wishing I was one! One year of my teen life, (precisely the whole year I’ve been blogging) has been tarnished by my development of anxiety and panic disorder, one whole year of my teen life. That means, 365 days of my life has been spent being anxious, and slightly less than that has been spent having panic attacks. That is a long time, which is why I want to start something special.

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Thoughts Whilst On Hold…

I’m genuinely on hold with npower to query a surprise bill I discovered yesterday. Oh the joys of adulthood…but the powerful ballads, piano solos and bongos are keeping me sane for now.

So I haven’t written a blog post recently, as you can tell, but I have been writing for myself. Though I’m genuinely on hold with npower, I do somewhat feel my life is also on hold. After a sort of half diagnosis I’m suffering from anxiety and possibly depression from the doctors last week, I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere, yet nowhere, at the same time.

I need to head off for a 24 hour ECG soon to double-check my heart, which is in five weeks time. So it pretty much feels like I’m here on hold, waiting for my life to kick-start and most importantly, waiting to get better.

I think the worst part is my family are finding my behavioural differences frustrating, and I am too! It’s odd, it seems one day I’m completely able to have a full relaxing positive day where I feel nothing can go wrong. But one day I’ll get up and things will just begin crumbling in my direction, I’ll begin to stress out, cry, wail, weep, panic, have chest pains and palpitations and eventually fall asleep – and those days are exactly why neither me or my family can cope!

However, I am off to uni again in a couple of weeks! So hopefully the stresses at home and my annoyance to my family will disappear. The thing with anxiety is that it’s a constant fear of the unknown. Some of my worries are that my uni family will feel the same as my family at home regarding my behaviour. I don’t know how they will cope either. But again, I’m sat here slowly waiting for when that day will come and what it will be like.

Overall, this post is about anxiety. I guess that is what suffering from severe anxiety is like, and the best way to describe it, would be that life is on hold. Everything seems to stop, and you’re waiting for all those bowling balls life still have yet to throw at you and you’re worried for what will happen because of it.

Everything seems to be waiting on next week, when I finally move back to uni, take my third driving test, have all this npower switch over sorted and organised. Then life will hopefully commence for me.

I’ve been writing all my worries in a notebook recently too – hence why I mentioned writing for myself! It’s a great way to organise anxiety. I get to look at my list of worries and go “hey, come on, pull yourself together, sort it out.” or “what the hell are you worrying about that for? like seriously it’s not worth the tears.” so it’s another way I can kind of feel like things are working out and going forward. It’s a shame my list just builds up every day! But then again, things also get crossed off. Like they say, tomorrow is a new day.

Though I’m currently stuck in a sort of limbo, there’s nothing like thinking on the positives, putting a face mask on, watching a Disney film and eating so much chocolate you explode to help you get through it slowly but surely.

Keep hoping,

Whim xoxo

 

 

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” – Robin Williams

One in five people, never, or have rarely, felt loved. Despite how many people surround you, if they are unloving people that don’t respect you for who you are, you could wind up feeling more alone than if they weren’t in your life at all.

Robin Williams’ death today has filled me with both sadness and knowledge. I’ve gained knowledge in that people that have it all are not always happy. Depression is a serious mental issue that needs to be addressed more than it is currently. And I’ve gained sadness, in that someone who appeared to be one of the happiest human beings on the planet, wasn’t.

Depression needs addressing. Depression is difficult.

Just imagine, you get home to your loving husband or wife and they hug you, kiss you, and tell you that you are their world. But this doesn’t make you happy when it should. You dwell on the bad things in life, and let them get in the way without addressing the good things you have. And although you may have it all, mentally the sadness, anxieties and stresses are so powerful they counteract your happiness.

I’ve had my fair share of battles with depression in many forms. Both my mum and my best friend have had to take anti-depressants for their mood swings. I’ve had texts from my best friend at 3am trying to kill herself on a long walk and saying her goodbyes. Depression affects everyone. Not just you, it affects your loved ones too. But that is not and never has been your fault. This is what I can’t quite come to terms with yet during my states of anxiety recently and in my opinion, is one of the many battles with depression that is most common. It is not your fault.

When faced with anxiety, stress or depression, people around you may or may not actually be able to understand how you’re feeling. It’s difficult to deal with depression, but its almost as difficult for your loved ones and the people around you who don’t know how to act/behave around you. They are worried with every line they say in case it triggers you off or doesn’t improve your mood when they feel obliged to do so. They love you. They wish you were not feeling this way too. They just don’t know what to do.

Depression is not just a more impressive title than “im feeling sad today.” Depression is a serious mental issue, which is hard to combat. It involves being unable to be happy, and not knowing how to make that better. No amount of hugs or smiles or hobbies can distract you from yourself.

“No doctor or pill that can take the pain away, the pain’s inside and nobody frees you from your body.”

I can only wish after this gloom of a day, that the people at the top wake up and realise depression needs addressing. Not one day, not soon, now.

Love all those around you as best as you can, that’s all you can do.

Whim xoxo