Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt.

Beckie over at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

has a weekly series on her blog called Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt, and now is week #3 of it, and I thought I’d join in! Here’s the prompt for this week and my answers. If you haven’t participated yet, I encourage you to check out her blog and to do so. 🙂

 

Here are a few coping statements, do you agree or disagree?  Even if your answer is yes or no, please explain:

  1. This situation of sitting on a fully packed train either makes you feel uncomfortable or unpleasant, but I can accept it? – Yes, I can accept it if it’s just the crowd. It will make me feel a bit uncomfortable and anxious and I simply don’t like crowds too but as long as I don’t feel overwhelmed by other stimuli, am generally doing well and don’t have to interact with those people I will deal with it.
  2. Can I ride out the wave of anxiety, or do I feel like I need professional help now? -I suppose I could benefit from the right professional help, as some things can be very difficult for me to deal with and figure out on my own, I’d been in therapy for many years but had to change therapists a year ago and stopped working with a therapist with whom I worked for many years and whom I really trusted. Since then I had two therapists and didn’t have the best experience with either, I’ve also had some experience before I started to work with that therapist whom I trusted so much and it also wasn’t particularly positive. So I feel a bit conflicted here. Part of me wants to reach out and figure out things and get professional help, but part of me is scared of trying once again and feels very sceptical, and there are other things that complicate it slightly. So I’m trying my best to deal with it on my own, with the help of my family, friends and some medication which I take on an as needed basis most of the time.
        1. Do you practice coping skills? If so, what works best for you? – I do. The coping skill that is most important for me is being around my Russian blue cat Misha, cuddling with him and spending time with him, he really helps me. Listening to music always works for me. Distracting myself with a good book. Good quality sleep if I can get it. Comfort food. Writing is the easiest way for me to express myself, so it helps too. Talking to my Mum or reaching out to friends, I think I’m gradually getting better at it, reaching out for support used to be incredibly difficult for me and still oftentimes is, I’ve always felt pretty uncomfortable reaching out to people or telling them about my problems because everyone already has plenty ofthings going on for themselves so I didn’t want to bother them, and I used to strongly disagree that talking about your problems makes things better and easier as many people say and thought that it can actually make things worse, now I can see it does help sometimes although it’s still a challenge for me to talk to people. Doing something funny that makes me laugh helps too, or listening to sounds that soothe me.
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Question of the day.

What have you been up to these days, besides work and/or school?

My answer:

Not much really. My Mum’s been on intermittent fast for about a month now, she wants it to be her lifestyle and just a part of her normal life now, and she wants to keep in shape with it. I thought I could do that too, and started on Monday, not because of any dieting or such and not with an intention of doing it like all the time, just kind of detoxicate a bit, maybe a week or two. And I wanted to do it for spiritual reasons as well, I find fasting very helpful for me in a religious way, your mind is clearer, but fasting like fasting, not eating anything for a day or even more, is challenging for me because I start feeling very weak easily and my blood pressure drops even more than normally so that doesn’t make a lot of sense to do that. If you don’t know what intermittent fast is, it’s basically like you set yourself a time period in which you can eat, and have a usually 16-hour break when you don’t eat anything, so for me it was like I finished all the eating at 6 PM and had my first meal at 10 AM. Might sound very difficult and horrible if you are used to eating a lot, or eating very frequently, but it’s easy to get used to it and in my opinion not a big deal. But I didn’t stick to IF for longer than until today morning. It’s steaming hot here, also since Monday, so in a way you eat less because you aren’t as hungry, but I found that if I’m not eating anything at all other than drinking water or teas for so long it gets draining together with the heat and I feel exhausted and really not well. Although maybe it’s just a coincidence. But I thought I’ll wait with it for some time that will be easier for me, if I’ll be still up to it then, it’s not something I have to do or feel like I need to, just out of curiosity mostly.

So as I said it’s very hot here, and I’m not liking it very much. Warm is fine but I hate the heat and am not getting along with it one bit, today I laid in bed with a migraine for most of the day, I still feel lucky it didn’t last longer. My room and Olek’s are particularly roasting hot but I don’t like the idea of moving somewhere else for the time of the heatwave, and living in the living room for example, where it is much calmer but also it’s an open space and everyone walks in and out so I’d go mad. 😀 So we have to share a fan with Olek and I’m seriously considering getting myself an AC and regretting that I didn’t do that in winter when they are not quite as pricey, even though I thought about that last year. 😀 Yeah that’s a dilemma. 😀 I probably will have to if it keeps like this. I hate that I don’t have the energy for doing much at all these days but that’s probably also due to the heat, so I’m really not up to much.

I also feel pretty low and just out of tune overall recently and have a lot of anxiety and ruminate just about anything for ages and can’t stop it which is exhausting. Don’t know why that is, I mean generally if there was such a profession as ruminator I would be a billionaire by now but that thing now is far worse than I am normally and is really stressing me out, I can literally zone out and just think about the worst, gloomiest or scariest things, and I just feel very easily overwhelmed and unsettled and kinda like I’m overreacting emotionally to everything. I’m currently on my period which is certainly not helping things but it’s finishing so I don’t think it’s just that. The positive thing is that my sleep cycle is surprisingly good these days, it’s not normal for me when I’m feeling low and anxious like that. I mean it can take me quite a while to settle for sleep and get out of Ruminland at night but when I do, I sleep without waking and it’s restful sleep. We’ll see what it’ll be like today though, because I slept a lot during the day with the migraine, and mentally didn’t feel like there could be anything better than sleep that I’d feel more up to, but I still feel pretty tired so hope it’ll make me sleep at night.

So, how about you? 🙂

]

Iselin – “Bathtub”.

I’ve shared with you all another song of this young, Norwegian singer last autumn, it was

“The Wizard Of Us”.

But today, I’d like to share with you something newer of hers. I actually really like this song, I think it’s one of my current favourites, if I’d have something like a list of my monthly favourites I’d put it on there. This is a song that Iselin wrote intending to promote self-care. I’m in my lower than usual, depressed and self-loathing phase right now so at such times self-care is always difficult. So I thought I’d share this song as a bit of a boost, both for myself and those of you who may also struggle with it currently. And somehow it even goes in hand with my current questions of the day topic in a way. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Question of the day.

What kind of drunk are you?

My answer:

I thought this question was fun, but before I answer it, first of all, I have a bit of a trouble with the word drunk. I guess I don’t know what it exactly means for sure, like whether it is that you’re just under an influence of alcohol strong enough that it changes your behaviour somehow, or that you’ve drunk too much for your body’s criteria and it significantly impairs your cognitive functions and consciousness. I even looked it up in a dictionary but it looks like it could be both… So, well, if it’s the latter, I’ve never been drunk. I’m too much of a control freak, emetophobic, and I don’t know what else, to do that. If it’s more like the first, it depends really, how much, with whom, where etc. I really like the comfort of being in control of myself and whatever I’m doing, so even if I’m drinking I’m not letting it go too easily. Another thing is also that alcohol tends to make me anxious. It can help me relax for a while so I used to have a drink or two as an anti-anxiety remedy but after a while I’m often more anxious than I was before that. That doesn’t help in social situations. But if I’m not anxious, or not yet anxious, I tend to be more chatty and expressive than I normally am, especially if in a favourable environment. Sometimes I get a bit hyperactive both physically and mentally. My thinking gets completely messed up in terms of the language and gets completely multilingual like I have all my language thrown into one sentence and sometimes I don’t even realise that I think in all of them. Multilinguality of thoughts is not a novelty for me anymore, especially since I’ve been blogging in English etc. but when I’m tipsy there’s a real chaos and it had happened a few times that I talked like that too before I realised it. 😀 It also happens wen I’m very tired that I think in all languages at once and if I were thinking more coherently then, it would be real fun to observe it more closely, but I rarely think about it when it happens. I laugh very easily and at everything, however although I’m a depressive person overall I do tend to laugh a lot when I’m my normal sober self as well. At the beginning after I drink, I often feel like I’m actually more witty and very bright and perceptive, but that’s of course short-lasting. As many of you may know, I have balance and coordination problems and they get worse quickly after I drink even a bit of alcohol, so even when I’m doing fairly well cognitively I might be already barely able to stand/walk straight and am really clumsy and disoriented and dizzy and hating it and regretful that I was drinking at all. On a more negative note, besides the anxiety which can be real real yuck after I’ve drunk something with alcohol, I feel messed up emotionally overall, feeling a lot of stuff at once and like I’m close to one of those emotional overloads that I sometimes have, it can trigger it from what I’ve noticed and a couple times I ended up cutting myself after drinking, I also often feel very panicky, both straight after drinking and the next day as well. I normally don’t have a tendency to have full blown panic attacks even though I’m an anxious person with lots of kinds of anxiety, but after a drink I feel very close to it. I often feel some sensor oversensitivity and like everything is so intense – stimuli, feelings, people’s reactions – which if you’re in a social situation is incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve noticed that even my synaesthesia sometimes becomes more intense and my perception related to it kind of clearer, but not quite as much as when I was using Doses (sound drugs) as a teen, that was really intense, and this is actually a very cool thing as my synaesthesia is a cool thing. Sometimes I feel a bit foggy which I always hate. And OMG sleep! I always have some sort of a problem with sleep afterwards. I often feel very sleepy at some point and sometimes I get a couple hours of nice heavy sleep, but then I wake up and can’t fall asleep at all and am very anxious. Or I have sleep paralysis.

So, as you can see, a lot of quite bad stuff. And that’s why, although theoretically I do like a drink once in a while, a few months ago I decided that I’m not going to drink alcohol, even if it tastes good, like my favourite Jack Daniels, it’s not really enjoyable with all that mess. I suppose I might have some sort of alcohol hypersensitivity or something actually which my Mum also seems to have. We both tend to have very very bad hangover even after just a little of it, we both often feel nauseous after drinking and have sleep problems.

A bit off topic, but what’s worse in my opinion than the thing with alcohol, is that recently I also figured out a sad truth that my big life-saver – coffee – doesn’t seem to help my mental health either. I love the taste of coffee, but the thing is also that I have low blood pressure most of the time so often feel like without energy especially in mornings, so coffee helps at least a bit with that. I usually drink one cup of very strong black coffee in the morning, but recently I had a break from that for a couple of days and realised after some time that I’m actually much less anxious in the mornings than I usually am at this time of day, and my mind isn’t as racing and I’m less jittery. And when I started drinking coffee again, it all came back, but I didn’t make the connection until I saw a YouTube video of a Polish mental health and wellness vlogger where she was talking about how coffee impacts how she feels especially anxiety wise, it was then that something clicked in my mind and I had a break from coffee again, then came back to it and saw it clearly that I’m more anxious after coffee. Weird that I didn’t see it earlier, but maybe I just didn’t want to, that’s very possible, I really love my coffee and even now as I know that she doesn’t like me as much as I like her, I still drink coffee once in a while, but try to do it rarely. I must admit I’m a bit disappointed with that and haven’t yet found anything as effective as coffee to help boost my energy, even though coffee was just a half-measure too, but other things I’ve tried don’t work for me at all, while real strong Coffee with a capital C does something at least.

So, what kind of drunk are you? If you have mental health difficulties, does it interfere with them in any way? 🙂

Question of the day (17th April).

Hi hi hi people. 🙂

I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter. 🙂 Let’s start with our overdue questions of the day, shall we? I might not manage to catch up on them all today as I’ve been up for ages and it’s late now so I’ll be soon going to sleep but maybe we can do the few of them. 🙂

A bit of a philosophical one now, which I find very difficult, especially at the moment, even thought about changing it but decided that it can be interesting anyway so here goes.

Who do you think you are?

My answer:

That’s very difficult one for me. I think for all of us it can be difficult to figure it out, more or less. Recently, I guess I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis, not a rare thing at my age I guess or any age when some things are changing for you. Although my identity was always a complex topic for me. First, because I am a complicated person and don’t even really fully get myself, I often feel very confused about things regarding myself even though I am a fairly introspective person and theoretically have a lot of knowledge about myself and other people around me, or so I guess. I know well what I like, what I dislike, I know what I feel most of the time unless I’m overloaded, yet most of the time I don’t feel like I truly know who I am. Other people don’t get me either because well how can they if I can’t figure out things myself, and most of those that I’m relatively close with seem to agree with me that I am pretty weird and complex, be it positive or negative, depends really, or as my Mum once put it very interestingly: “I guess God was trying out some new type of clay when He was making your brain”. 😀 In a way that sounds brutal, and explains why I feel inadequate a lot of the time or some other alien syndrome stuff, even though Mum meant it as something positive because she thinks I’m “remarkable” and somehow very outstanding etc. but in a way I indeed do like my different brain and, although I generally don’t like myself, I guess I wouldn’t change my quirkiness andcomplexity if I had a choice, or not much of it, perhaps just the more troublesome stuff. That’s also why, even though I am not autistic or anything like that that I’d know of, in some way I relate to that whole neurodiversity thing even though I’m not sure if I even can hahaha but that really speaks to me and explains the way I feel about myself, because I seem to think in a different way than most people do, and perceive things differently (in which also my blindness plays a huge role obviously so that changes a lot of things too and I wonder whether blindness itself, plus that other stuff like synaesthesia for example that I have, doesn’t make you neurodivergent in a way). As those of you who have stuck around here for some time probably already know, one of the mental illnesses I have is AVPD which stands for avoidant personality disorder, which also adds to the mess regarding my identity, as it makes me feel inadequate as well as having low self-esteem, bordering on self-loathing a lot of the time especially if I’m very depressed or something like that, even though I feel like with a change of environment and help of other people I’m already in a much better place than I was say 3-4 years ago or earlier. That prevents me, I suppose, from having a clearly objective and rational idea about who I am, even though I like to be objective about things as much as I can so I do try to be. There are things that I do like about myself more or less, and my self-esteem shifts slightly, as I guess it does for everyone, depending on what is going on and my mood and anxiety levels and some other things, but from what I can observe in other people, I have an impression that even what for me is feeling good/neutral with and about myself is different from how it is for others, ’cause I always have that Maggie the Inner Critic (you know I call her Maggie don’t you? I guess I wrote about it one day but can’t remember for sure, so, in any case, my inner critic’s English name is Maggie 😀 ) very active in the background. So if I’m feeling neutral/good about myself, for me it means that I’m not hating myself or am able to be more kind for myself in a more genuine way, or at least can pretend to be self-caring a bit more than it’s necessary to survive and appear normal and not too scary for other people to be around. 😀 If I do something real great I can be proud of myself, like recently I was all ecstatic because I finished my Welsh course, and since I can develop my languages I am feeling much better with myself, but Maggie is still there and even when I’m all happy with myself she won’t let me forget about herself, or will jump at me after a while. I hope it all makes some sense for you, I don’t really know how to explain my brain to someone else so that they can get it. I know I’m sort of walking around this topic all the time now and not really answering the question but I want you to see how it is for me. I guess that there are so many things that I think I am, some even quite contrary, and a lot of them shitty, and I’m still figuring it out and am not sure if I ever will, I guess lots of people don’t ever come to that point in their lives where they know who they are and have some clear idea about it even if they are less of a mess than me hahaha, I’m not even sure if it’s really so necessary to know that, anyway it’s a difficult topic. Also, if I was to tell you who I think I am, it wouldn’t look too appealing at the moment. I’ve had some yucky depressive mood lurking somewhere in the back of my brain for a couple of days and have been feeling it coming, guess without any specific external factor, and today, although I’ve had a very nice day, I’m feeling rather low and not getting along with my brain, so I don’t think you’d like to hear what I’m thinking at the moment. 🙃 I guess when you’re depressed you can’t be too happy with yourself anyway, AVPD or no AVPD. I’ll tell you what I think after I finish my advanced Welsh course that I’m doing right now, and will move on to Cornish, OK? 😉 I actually rarely talk about such stuff with people because, well, that’s a very sensitive and a rather vulnerable topic, and I never talk about it in details because honestly I feel like many people could perceive it as not only overwhelming, but also attention-seeking, you know, like I want them to deny it and say that it’s not true what I think, some people are like that, that they self-deprecate in front of others just to hear how great they are. I don’t want to be like that because that would make me feel even more shitty. I just wanted to show you a little bit about what it’s like for me, as me and as a person with mental illnesses, and if you have a mental illness yourself I’m curious whether it has also impacted your self-image.

So, who do you think you are? Is it easy/possible for you to define it and if you have a mental illness how does it affect your self-image? 🙂