#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

 

 

Fighting With Fitness

As part of my journey into trying to bring the life back in my life, I joined the gym! And yesterday was my first Zumba class.

Now, I do go to belly dance classes – I’ve been doing them over a year now and I enjoy them SO much! They are just so fun and crazy, but I’ve always really liked dancing.

So, I bought a gym membership last weekend and decided to start some Zumba classes as well as going swimming. Since they are included in my membership! So, here is what happened.

I had to leave belly dance early by like 10 minutes which made me feel a bit awful, but I was excited to go to Zumba. I speed walked across campus, not realising just how far the sports centre was (20 minutes away from where my belly dance classes are held) and I was already late. I finally reached the centre and came across a woman in our uni sports kit, and she turned to me chewing her gum as if I was really getting on her nerves already! I asked her where the Zumba classes were since I had never been, and she directed me.

I swiped my card and nervously patted through the corridors until I finally reached the “Multi-Purpose Room”.

As I swung the door open, I saw a woman in her 50’s dressed in bright pink with giant golden hooped earrings and a face on her like she was in utter bliss. I had reached the Zumba class. They were all dancing around in a Russian way, but I stood on the side for this dance since I was new. The rather eccentric woman didn’t greet me, but she carried on doing her thing. I joined in on the next dance, it kind of felt like just dance on the Wii to be quite honest (so I was seriously in my comfort zone, the Michael Jackson one is my favourite!)

As we all began copying the vibrant teacher in front of us, I noticed some girls were just doing whatever they felt like. I guess with Zumba, so long as you’re moving you’re having fun and there is no shame in doing so. I began smiling into this first dance, I felt comfortable, and though I didn’t converse with anyone this entire time, it didn’t matter.

As the session carried on I was getting more tired, I could feel my muscles pulling but it was a good feeling. I didn’t worry about how I looked, or even what I did, I just felt like I was in my own little world having fun. It kind of reminded me of jumping around dancing to yourself in your room (does anyone else do that?!) it was such a comfortable feeling – I really enjoyed myself. And though it was late by the time I got home, I felt good for going and I intend on making exercise a regular. I couldn’t stop smiling. 

That in mind, I did so much booty shaking that I’ll be well disappointed if I don’t have a bum like Beyoncé at the end of the semester…

Go and grab those endorphins, and take that step into doing something new no matter how much your body gives you reason not to do it! The fear comes during the build up, but where does it go once we throw ourselves into the scenario?

Whim xoxo