Just warning you now, this post isn’t cheery. It’s honest and it’s real, but it isn’t all that happy. As you can probably deduce from the title, I’m not doing very well.
My mental health has really knocked the wind out of me recently. As you can also probably tell, this has effected my productivity and my ability to motivate myself. Since coming back from Seoul (which was like… wow almost 2 months ago) I’ve had depressive symptoms and varying levels of anxiety. This has made me feel exhausted all the time, has given me insomnia, has made me loose the will and energy to do, well, anything and has basically meant that I stayed in my room all day alone, unless my very kind and very patient and supportive family got me to do something with them. But the scary thing is, I didn’t even notice it was happening until my family told me.
I just thought I was tired and stressed. I’m in the process of writing my dissertation, and I’m wanting to write and produce content more regularly, so my brain sometimes feels pretty busy. I’m also still trying to improve my Korean and I’m also working my hardest to earn money any way I can. I thought I was okay. But I wasn’t. And I’m not.
Nowadays, living with my particular mental health issues is… weird. It’s like I have a permanent internal dialogue happening all the time. I simultaneously feel crap, stupid, worthless and/or unattractive while also knowing that actually I’m not those things. That in itself is a big step forward from how I used to be, cause there was a time where I wasn’t able to tell myself that I wasn’t crap. Now I can catch myself, usually, when I’m feeling depressed or anxious and I can explain why I am acting/feeling that way. “Oh, that’s why I’m so short tempered.” “Oh, that explains why I felt like crying and hiding all day.”
But recently, I clearly didn’t catch it.
To be honest, I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s gone this far and it took this long for me to clock on. My family noticed ages ago, but didn’t want to push me or make me feel worse. I think they thought I might get out of this particular funk I was in like I normally do. But I’ve had to ask for their help.
There are somethings that I always find really difficult. I’ve always found maths difficult. My brain just can’t do it. Times-tables are still a struggle for me. Telling my left from my right, again I struggle. I have to make an ‘L’ shape with my fingers to figure it out. Learning new languages, another thing I find difficult. But the thing I find most difficult is having to admit that I’m not doing good and that I need help. I hate seeming weak or un-able to look after myself, and I hate feeling like I have let others down. My mum also thinks I’m overly hopeful and try to make the best of situations too much. I don’t look at what is happening now, only what I hope will happen in the future. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice how bad I had got.
But I don’t think that having hope is a bad thing. I think sticking my head in the sand and ignoring whats happening around me is a bit daft and I’m making changes to get better at being more self aware (which I will get into later) but I’m always going to be hopeful. Because if you feel like it can’t get any worse, doesn’t that mean it can only get better?
So yeah, sorry guys,not the most cheerful post. But I wanted to keep you guys in the loop and I wanted to be completely honest. I also wanted to tell you about the changes I am making in order to feel and live better. So here we go, here are the changes:
- I am reducing the number of Blog posts to minimum of 1 a week. This is opposed to the 3 a week I have been attempting. This gives me more time to write, to plan and to do other things other than stare at a computer screen which I’m doing a lot of anyway because of my dissertation.
- I am being more honest on my social media. Some of you may not know but I am a recovering bulimic. I have always had a rough relationship with my own body and recently my self-esteem has been taking a hit. I am slowly and surly trying to loose the weight I put on after I initially stopped my unhealthy habits, but I still find myself hating how I look in photos. I’m admitting on here and on my social media that for the past year I have edited my photos. I shouldn’t have because it projects and contributes to the unhealthy ideals and standards of beauty that society tells people that they have to meet. I think it has added to my own thoughts of self-loathing and body shame and I’m not going to do it any more! I need to practice what I preach and be open and content with who and how I am. Spots, split-ends, double chins and all.
- I am limiting my tech time. I find myself hiding from the world and from myself behind the screen of my phone. I fall down endless YouTube rabbit holes, get lost in my Netflix binges and become worryingly invested in the profiles and pictures and tweets of the people I follow. So much so that I miss the real world. I’m not doing my hobbies as much and I’m not talking with people as much as I want to. And I miss people. I miss interaction. So I turn off my phone when I need to work, and I have made my bedroom a completely tech free zone (except for playing music). At night, I charge my phone elsewhere and shut out all screens. It’s actually helping already.
- I’m exercising more. This will not only help me loose weight healthily, but also just makes me feel better almost instantly. I feel I have achieved something after I exercise, the endorphins make me feel happier, I can release all my tension and stress by pummeling whatever equipment it is that I’m using and then I can shower the day off me afterwards. It’s cathartic. I’ve also started doing yoga in the mornings with my mum to help me start the day relaxed, balanced and calm. The other added benefit of exercising more is that I’m so tired that I can’t help but sleep better.
- I’m taking more time to count my Little Victories. Again, this is a practicing what you preach thing. I’d lost sight of the things that make me happy, and I wasn’t appreciating or celebrating anything. I just didn’t care. I’m working really hard now to notice, appreciate and enjoy things everyday now. Whether it’s getting work done or tidying up or even enjoying a nice cup of tea; I’m taking the time to celebrate it and to remind myself that the effort behind it is worth it. I am worth it.
I guess this post was about holding myself accountable to you guys. I really want to help others and I want to make and see changes happen when it comes to how we talk, act and respond to mental well-being. But in order to do that, I need to help and challenge myself. Some of my changes will be harder to stick to than others, but I’m hoping that with your encouragement and your continued support, I will be able to feel better soon.
How are you doing? no, how are you really doing? Please take the time to post a comment or email me if you need to chat. I hope you are well. 어떻게 지내세요? 아니, 정말이야, 어떻게 지내? 채팅이 필요하시면 시간을 내어 댓글을 올리거나 이메일을 보내 주세요. 나는 네가 잘 지내길 바라.
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