#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.

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

 

 

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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Meditation VS Medication

In more recent weeks, I’ve took it upon myself to cross off more things on my big list. In overcoming my anxiety and panic attacks, I’ve made it my task to try and get better following the new year and to stop living in a big depressing hole. I just figured one day, if I’m going to be here, I don’t want to be here and be miserable, so lets try and make being here better!

Among my big list to help control my panic attacks was to start swimming and frequent exercise, keep up a happy journal, stay organised and other bits. But my recent feat has been meditation.

I started meditating a week or so ago, using an app called Headspace which is also available online.

I sampled out the beginning session, and I have to say, it was such an odd feeling. I rarely ever find time to myself, or to just chill and do nothing. It just isn’t a thing in my life. I’m constantly battling work, making dinner, doing things. I have a day to day list and it seems I’m always busy. Meditating is incredible, and I seriously should have started it sooner.

For ten minutes, you have to listen to this mans voice (which may sound really patronising and frustrating, but he is only there to help and he is actually super soft with words which is good! I find his voice quite soothing!) You have to go through various exercises. Some you close your eyes and try scanning the feelings of your body from head to toe, or you listen out for sounds. The whole process of what you can do with your mind in ten minutes is incredible, because seriously, I feel so much clearer after I’ve meditated. There are some cute animations with the app, it’s easy to use (and adorable!) – it really makes you feel calm from the second you open the app. There is just something about it. As the name suggests, it’s all about giving yourself some more head space. Everything they do is all very scientific too! Read here.

It sends this weird sensation through your body, like, it feels like you’ve been asleep for a long time but got up nice and early enough for a good hearty breakfast. You feel incredibly refreshed afterwards, and I love that. My mind does feel so much more…floaty? It’s difficult to describe!

Anyway, because I only have 10 free sessions with the app, because you have to pay, I’ve been using it sparingly. Yesterday I put it to the true test. Will it or will it not calm down a panic attack?

I’ve been quiet recently due to having coursework to hand in this week (and when something needs to be done, I don’t stop until it’s done, and done well.) I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I don’t have working controlled very well at all. Naturally, the past couple days I’ve noticed my anxiety attacks have been a lot worse than usual. Recently, I’ve got used to them and they have been extremely minimal to the point where I haven’t needed a tablet now for nearly three weeks (YAY!) however, I felt like yesterday I was a little desperate. So, I decided to meditate instead of take the medication. I was close to taking it, but I thought I would give it a go.

So I opened up my second session, meditated for 10 minutes using Headspace, and boom. My panic attack was pretty much completely tamed. I’ve still found one trying to creep back, but I can cope and forget about it. It isn’t one that’s going to have me huffing and puffing all day and wanting to hide away because I feel like I’m going to explode. Which is a plus!

So, I decided against the medication to keep up my streak. Although my medication has helped me in the past, I feel taking it now when being without it for so long may cause me to feel quite drousy as it’s been a while. But I’ll let you know if and when I cave in. For now, I’m enjoying meditating, especially through this app. Might actually purchase it for good after the 10 sessions if they prove to continue this lovely feeling! It certainly makes me feel a lot better knowing I can turn to something else that isn’t medication, and since I have it as an app that’s even better for if I’m desperately needing to calm down somewhere other than home. Although it’s probably best in my bedroom environment, I feel like I’m protected wherever I go.

Does anyone out there know any other good sources for meditation? 🙂 I’d love to know! Please comment!

Find your inner peace,

Whim xoxo

Spontaneous Sleepless Thoughts

Living with anxiety is confusing. It can be expressed in so many different forms and ways, sometimes it lasts only within a moment. Sometimes it’s everlasting. Sometimes it’s frequent, but you can’t distinguish the times of anxiety between what real normal worry should feel like.

I’m unable to sleep. Which happens sometimes. It could be that I haven’t rested properly, my sleep pattern seems to have become terrible. It’s also because I’m worried. I have things on my mind, and when I do it keeps me awake.

But when one suffers with anxiety and can’t distinguish these worries, the effects just seem to feel tripled. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I have lay awake at night over worry. When one suffers with anxiety, it becomes a habit. It becomes a regular thing. They may be big or small worries, but the size doesn’t depict the size of the outcome. At least in my experience. I’ve had a worry full day, even over small things that shouldn’t even bother my mind at all. And yet here I am. Awake at half past midnight, ruining my sleep pattern, not eating when I probably should.

Worries are never just simply over the matter itself. It’s over the unknown. What are the consequences? What is going to happen?? How long is this going to happen for? When will I know? What will they say? What can I do to fix this? What do they think about it? What have I done? Thoughts and thoughts bombard my mind in these moments, and that’s whats happening now.

We fear consequences, we worry this much because we are obsessed with the outcome and how other people will be affected as well as ourselves. This is why I can’t sleep.

I wonder, is anyone else out there awake now over worry? Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is a new day. Life goes on.

Whim xoxo

20 Things To Keep In Mind…

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, Zumba once and Belly Dance once.

2) Make a happiness diary (Check).

3) Walk more.

4) STAY organised.

5) Get into meditation.

6) Read more (much more.).

7) Learn how to combat caring about what other people think.

8) Don’t compare yourself to others.

9) Try wearing your brighter lipsticks, it’s time to feel more confident step by step.

10) Don’t dwell on the negatives.

11) Don’t dwell on the past.

12) Learn to stand up for yourself.

13) Eat better food, continue to avoid lactose and cook well.

14) Try to be less angry.

15) Try to think more before you speak.

16) Get to sleep earlier.

17) Avoid negative people.

18) Embrace positive people.

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.

20) Remember dreaming big is ok, but if you want it to be a reality you have to work for it.

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

Whim xoxo