‘Sorting my life out.’

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You hear this saying often from people who are having mild stress or issues with relationships or money; “I need to sort my life out.” I have said this many times and felt that I had been undertaking the correct steps in which to actually do it for real. Just lately, though, I have entered a bit of a downward spiral and thought if I write about it, it will show people that it is absolutely fine to have a lapse.

The past couple of weeks have been difficult for me and I anticipate that it won’t get easier as I break up for work and endure the long 6 weeks holiday approaching. I find it difficult to motivate myself when I am not at work and judging on how I have been feeling lately, these summer holidays will be harder than ever.

A personal post.

Self-esteem

Hello. I haven’t posted in a while, though I’m not sure why. I have had lots of ideas and reasons to post, but I simply haven’t found the energy or the time. It’s a busy period at work at the moment before the summer holidays draw their way in so perhaps that is why. Today, though, I wanted to open up a little about how I’ve been feeling.

A few weeks ago, my CBT ended. I was sad and disappointed to not have the face to face chat each week with my therapist, knowing that I wouldn’t be judged and that useful advice would be given. I’m not going to lie, I’ve found it difficult sometimes to apply the CBT that she provided. I went back to the doctors and was prescribed citalopram, as when I had fluoxetine it made me feel sick and ill. I did this in the hope that it would give me a helping hand in feeling better whilst I practised applying the skills I’d been taught. I’ve been taking them for a couple of weeks now and don’t feel any different.

I know what triggered this depression and anxiety. I have never blogged about it and rarely open up to people about it. But today, I will.

Reaching out.

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Every day is a new day...

When you’re feeling depressed, anxious, angry, confused (insert other emotion here) it can be scary. You feel like you’re the only person who feels this way and that it’s not normal. You look at other people’s lives and they seem perfect in comparison to your own. But did you ever think, if every person put their own problems in a pile, you’d probably take yours back? Everyone is fighting a battle, some bigger and more challenging than others. Something that seems so trivial to you may be a mountain of problems for another. The thing is, some people feel able to reach out whereas others don’t, can’t or feel there’s nobody to reach out to.

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You’re never too old!

Happiness.

As a child I was OBSESSED with horses. I had so many horse-themed things in my childhood, from key rings to fact books to a set of Barbie’s stables. I absolutely loved them. Until the age of 18, however, the closest I had got to riding one was at Skeggie beach on a donkey.

I came from a big family (I am one of 8 siblings) so a hobby as extravagant as horse riding was just something we couldn’t afford. My grandma paid for me to take up piano lessons, but nothing ever really made up for the fact I couldn’t learn to ride. It was all I wanted! 

When I turned 18 I went to university and met one of my closest friends, Holly. She had learnt to ride as a child and also loaned a horse for many years. I was lucky enough to visit the stables where she loaned her horse and got to sit on one for the very first time! After that I was eager to have real lessons. At university I joined an equestrian society and had a handful of (expensive) group lessons with the girls from uni. However, it was just too expensive for a student to maintain and the stables that we rode at were also really far to get to via public transport, so I had to stop learning.

Years went by and I left university, took up teacher training and started my career. I was busy and didn’t have time to think about much else… until depression hit me last year (alongside the horrible anxiety that I still have now). After that, I couldn’t even get out of bed let alone think about hobbies. Just having a simple smile on my face was a challenge.

After my partner told me that I needed to get something for myself ‘or else’ I knew exactly what I needed. (I know he just wanted what was best for me and at the time I really was just sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.) I googled stables in my local area and booked my first riding lesson with them.

This was a few weeks ago and now I really enjoy my private lessons. The first few lessons I had, I joined a group lesson but this was usually made up of children (because generally adults don’t really go and learn new things it seems!). I’ve quickly learnt the basics and how hard it really is to  control a cheeky horse with a strong mind of its own!

The biggest lesson I have learnt, however, is that having a hobby is so important when you’re battling a mental health problem. Just knowing that you have that one thing that you can escape to can make a world of difference. People told me that exercise is good for you and I always hated the effort of going to the gym, but I finally knew what they meant when I began riding lessons. No matter how low I feel, every time I’ve had a lesson I’ve felt much brighter and happier than before. 

I’m so lucky to have something that I enjoy that is all for myself. It’s easy to look at how I progress and I can’t wait to see what I will be able to this time next year or in ten years. You’re never too old to learn something completely new! So do it today! 

YOU time.

Self help

I woke up this morning to the awful news of the terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. My heart goes out to all those affected by such a tragic incident that should never have happened. It got me thinking, as most tragedies do, about how we should all keep our loved ones as close as we can because we never know what is going to be round the corner. I truly hope those parents with missing children or have lost their children can find peace. I cannot even imagine the pain they must be suffering. We saw some wonderful acts of kindness as all people fled to help, with taxi drivers offering free fares to safety and hotels opening their doors to people who needed it most. Know that although something so evil has happened, there was love and kindness around at the time and this can help people to try to remain positive.