For those of you out there that clicked on this because you relate to having mental health issues, I’m so sorry. If you are just curious and maybe want to learn more, you are still welcome here. I will just warn you though, this won’t be a particularly fun post.
When I was originally diagnosed with anxiety & depression, my counsellor told me, “You will get better at managing it, but it will never really go away.” Instead of taking this as a cautionary tale, I jumped back into work. Then slowly, but surely, I slipped into my old bad habits.
What are these bad habits? In a nutshell, I overwork myself. I’m so afraid that any opportunity I get will never come around again, so instead of thinking it through I just say yes to everything. I don’t think about what I already have, I focus on what I still need to do. Which is my bucket list, the arbitrary list of things I want to do before I die.
No one is watching me, or evaluating me. If I don’t get through the list nothing bad will happen, there is no finish line or prise. Yet my ambitious doesn’t just rule me, it screams at me.
My sleep has been destroyed as a result. I lay in bed planning to perfection how I’m going to fit it all in, then have panic attacks in the dark. My body is sore and tired, and it needs a break.
I’m here today to tell you that Thinkingmoon.com will be slowing down for a while. I bit off more of the Moon than I could chew and sent my anxiety into overload.
My priority is and always has been my PhD, but lately, I’ve been overextending myself. Taking extra jobs to pay bills (proof reading), writing this blog, filming YouTube videos and spending waaaaay too much time on Twitter.
I’m not going away completely but I will only be posting once a week, on my original day, which is Friday.
When I feel better and more grounded I will post some extra days again. When the mood strikes or inspiration cannot wait, but this will not be permanent. Not until at least next July 2020.
In the meantime, please use meas your cautionary tale if you are struggling. Your health is more important than anything else. Go rest, then reevaluate. What is important to you?
I’m going to make everything really awkward for a bit so buckle up. Last week I was very ill. It was spent alternating between crying and feelings of numbness. Immediately after that week, I had 24 hours of pain in my abdomen. Thinking I was constipated or something (despite the large amount of fibre in my diet) I proceeded to eat plenty of beans and bowel friendly food.
I wake up on Tuesday morning and boom. Period in my pants. Less than 25 days since the beginning of my last one. So, in order to make myself feel better, I apply makeup and do my hair. Less than a year ago. This would not have been the case.
By the way, this blog post was not planned. I actually have my blog posts planned until pretty much 2019. (I haven’t necessarily written them, but there you go). Also if you don’t feel like reading all this today, I have a link to my Youtube video below explaining everything.
I want to talk about: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Now although I have not been diagnosed with this, it would appear that I have many of the symptoms, especially in regards to depression.
I’ve been keeping a journal just monitoring my general well-being and moods. It appears that the week before my period, my depression is heightened. I’ve always had some form of depression and was only recently diagnosed in 2016 / 2017. I will be bringing this evidence to a gynecologist as soon as I can.
When you think you’re doing everything right by eating well, maintaining healthy relationships, working in a job you love, you feel like depressive episodes shouldn’t be too frequent. For me though it’s always bubbling under the surface. The symptoms are as real as any other disease and there is no definitive cure. So if my period is making it worse, well then I’m going to try everything in my power to, A) find ways to alleviate the pain, and B) build a better internal dialogue with myself.
Women are often ridiculed, “Oh don’t get so offended, you must just have your period.” Which, besides deserving zero response, is not fair. If our internal workings are really affecting some of us so deeply, shouldn’t we at least be allowed talk about it like adults?
It’s been 15 years since the beginning of my period and the realisation of its effect on my life has only recently clicked. When I said earlier that less than a year ago, I wouldn’t have bothered with makeup and hair to make myself feel better, I’m being honest. The general feeling during my period was self-blame. You shouldn’t feel sad, just get on with things, stop being such a baby.
This is not ok. Remember, if you are suffering from depression, regardless of how it is caused or exacerbated, repeat this to yourself. “It’s not my fault.” That’s like saying your auto-immune disease is your fault or the symptoms from the flu is your fault. It’s crazy and it’s pointless.
If anything I’m going to continue to make people uncomfortable and talk period talk. Especially if I spend up to a week beforehand alternating between crying uncontrollably and feeling completely numb.
The mad part? A lot of friends and family will read this, who were with me last week, and they will be super confused because I didn’t let any of this out in front of them. Which is just exhausting, let me tell you. I’m always exhausted.
Magic has been banished to the past. It has been overshadowed by science and its meaning twisted to fiction rather than fact. Humanity has voiced magic for millennia. I like to believe magic is within us all, only we’ve forgotten how to invoke it. When I call out my mental illnesses, voicing to the world their impact on my body, my pain is allayed. That is the magic through words and declarations. We need to be open to magic, and let it flow.
Throughout my life, I appeared to be a happy and contented human. However, I was not always a happy child, nor teenager or young adult. This passage I present to you is not to lay blame, there is no magic in blame. There is magic in self-reflection, and I am lucky to have been a writer for most of my life. I can look into the past to see myself, who says magic is impossible? My writing wasn’t for others, most of the writing appeared in a diary form, for comfort and understanding. Now I am more or less comfortable in my own skin, and maybe that only happens after a certain age. I can’t help feeling my rediscovery of magic helped.
Below are excerpts from a diary between 2007-2008 when I was 17. I was in my first year of college, and unlike most, I was miserable. I’ve decided to post it for me at 27 before I turned 28 next week, so I could see a girl who was hurting. Writing these entries was the only way she could soothe her sores. I want you to know that I don’t hurt nearly as much or as often anymore. The emotions that caused these fragments are no longer my master. Their control has weakened, and although I am still not fully formed, I know who I am. I look into the past to see, someone who is no longer me, because now I have compassion for her. When I was her, I could not forgive her and her demons. It’s calming to see how I formed, not just through my happy moments, but through adversity. In between class notes, and assignments, I wrote the following words.
“Observe and learn. I’m wearing my ring the right way around, and I’m running, not walking down one way.” – 16.10.07
“I’m running away, but I don’t get that far, the blue calls me back, and the voice is my scar.” – 18.10.07
“I just need to get some stuff out of my system. I haven’t eaten… I’ve bruises on my wrist, I know how I got them.” 19.11.07
“Soon everything will work out right? It has too, I’m trying to be strong (failing miserably), but it seems I’m failing in every aspect of my life.” 19.11.17
There is this Othello quote, I need to include it because I was with someone I wasn’t in love with. I was so young I didn’t understand that consciously, but my unconscious self-connected with these words for a reason:
“My love doth so approve him, That even in his stubbornness, his cheek, his frowns… have grace and favour in them.” Desdemona. Act 4. Scene 3. Line 20.
“Can’t wait for my days to be over.” – 22.11.07
“I feel like someone beat me up and left me to die.” – 27.11.07
“The pain! I’ve pains everywhere lately. Chest, stomach, head. Stress is a killer.” – 27.11.07
“I’m in the study room again. I really like it in here, it’s quiet, warm, and you don’t look like a freak for being alone.” – 4.12.07
“I wish I was home with the 3 idiots I live with. Idiots only in the sense that I love them to bits and they’re really special. I miss them too. I miss home.” – 4.12.07
I guess I understood cause and effect when I was 17 but often choose to ignore it:
“I haven’t eaten in a while so that’s why I assumed it had something to do with how crappy I felt. That or the fact that maybe I’d too much to drink last night.” – 17.12.07
“We have to live and grow. Some things have to happen as a natural part of the process. See the concept is crystal but the execution is elusive, and mostly the result is resounding. Either in a very good heart-warming way or, just killing every good thought you have that day. Or week.” 11.02.08
“I hope we don’t fail. I think that should be the motto. Or maybe something a little more uplifting? I believe that failure is not a factor.” – 11.02.08
“I can’t stop writing complete waffle. There has to be something good and worthwhile in all this crap.” – 11.02.08
“I’m confused, really I wish this was all over.” – 13.02.08
“I see the desert red, in my mind it helps, you stand.” 13.02.08
“The blanks and the blanks are just part of that process.” 14.02.08
“As a story begins, so does the whole new world. Growing so fast.” 21.02.08
“Can’t control it. I’m not the only one whose ever felt this way, but you’d have to feel this way to understand.” – 3.04.08
“You know I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this year, if it hadn’t been for this journal. It gave me solace, and a place to voice my thoughts. I’m so glad Mam and Dad gave it to me.” – 23.04.08
“I actually don’t know if all of this is good or bad for my state of mind. I’ll just have to hope it has a strengthening effect on it. It was always fairly week before, I always wished it could be stronger.” 23.04.08
Listen to this poor scared girl:
“It’s 20 to 1 in the morning. I’m sitting on my bed, near tears but none will come. I’m sick, of the mind. I wish my mind would shut up, stop haunting me. I hate human feelings, they are human right? Not the issue, I can’t let go, I’m afraid, so afraid of people leaving, of not seeing and loving what I have, please, please take me away, give me some purpose, you don’t owe it to me but I owe it to you. I can do good, I can learn how to do good, I’m not evil, I’m normal. Sad and normal. It’s extraordinary people that achieve. It’s all relative, I just want to achieve good. Is darkness affiliated with evil because people can’t see what’s really happening? If so the world must be shrouded in darkness and it continues to fall until the world is pitch darkness.” 02.05.08