When Life Gives You Lemons

I say fuck the lemons, just give me the tequila! (totally irrelevant and ironic)

 

It’s safe to say this year for me so far has not been the greatest… Let me break it down for you…

  1. I ended up in hospital after drinking a litre bottle of Famous Grouse and attempting suicide for the 4th? time.
  2. I was then admitted into a psych ward (a Spanish one I might add) for 48 hours due to the continued self deprecating suicidal thoughts… (Stay tuned for a special blog on this one)
  3. My boyfriend then broke up with me and fucked off back to Manchester the selfish little prick, so yes, another relationship bites the fucking dust… yes it was a “new” relationship but one I had yet again invested myself in all the same.
  4. I had to start therapy again, and after a good year or so without it, anyone who has been there will know it feels like taking ten steps back and it fucking sucks.
  5. I lost a couple of clients with my little “cleaning business” but then I guess I did gain a couple too, so maybe this one doesn’t count?
  6. I was also in the process of trying to find a housemate to share with me where I currently live so I didn’t have to stress too much about the cost of rent and bills all by myself… I found someone, a great guy actually, who unfortunately pulled out last minute as he got onto a personal training course back in the UK. Something which I SELFLESSLY told him to pursue but as it transpires, it’s s course you can basically do from anywhere in the world (anyway, minor details)… regardless… you wanna know how I know you can do it from anywhere in the world? I did my own research for my own benefit because it is something I have always been interested in . Going to the gym really helped me overcome addiction and gave me coping mechanisms that helped with my depression and anxiety.

 

Anyway, Long story short…. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason.

Why did I meet this guy, this “potential housemate”? Why did he talk about personal training etc that INSPIRED me to push myself and pursue my own fucking dreams of becoming a personal trainer myself?

Firstly I wouldn’t have met him had I not been in Spain, not looking for a housemate and almost certainly if I had still been with my boyfriend.

At the time the pain of another heartache was all too much to bear but now, in hindsight and what a beautiful thing it is, has showed me that it ALL HAPPENED FOR A REASON. I have been through all this shit to find my path again.

I lost my way. Again. Had my heart broken, Again. But this wasn’t all for nothing I guess, because now I feel like I see my own future again. Me myself and I.

Life teaches you a lesson and you hopefully learn from it and move on.

Well fingers crossed, this time next year I could be running my own fitness studio, or as I pointed out to my parents earlier, this qualification combined with my university degree in creative writing…. I could end up writing for a magazine such as women’s health.

See?

I think everything does happen for a reason?

And you know what? Fuck the lemons, give me that shot of tequila any day.

Medication: the good, the bad and the ugly.

There have always been many taboos surrounding mental health; if you go to therapy that means you’re crazy, or if you self harm you must be dangerous, or if you hear voices, that must mean you’re Norman Bates in the making. But one of the biggest qualms we all seem to have with mental illness is medication. Whether you’re a sufferer or not, medication seems to be the thing that solidifies the fact that you are “sick”. Yet ironically, people still don’t value mental health as a real problem, even when there is medication as a sort of “proof” of the illness being real. Crazy right?

When I was first diagnosed with depression at eighteen I refused to take any medication for it. Luckily at that point in my life Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was enough to help me make it through the really tough time I was having. But as I got older and life inevitably got tougher, I eventually had to succumb to the fact that I needed medication to help “stabilise” my moods and get me on the road to recovery with my BPD. However, it did take me a few tries on different medications to find the best one for me. It was a long and tiresome process over the course of about three years.

I was first put on Sertraline which I found really awful; it gave me terrible acid reflux and I lost a lot of weight due to the pains in my stomach. I also found it made me more jittery which obviously didn’t help with my crippling anxiety. I was also given Diazepam (Valium) and Zopiclone to help me sleep as I was also suffering with severe insomnia. Unfortunately with these medications they can cause addiction so the doctors never gave me too many at one time. They were a “quick fix” and they shouldn’t be used long term. The next antidepressant I tried was Seroxat/Paroxetine, which did an okay job for about a year and a half. Then finally and currently, the doctors put me on Mirtazapine, which is an anti depressant and Quetiapine, which is an anti psychotic. When I first started taking these meds, the side effects I had were drowsiness and just generally feeling “zoned out” like a zombie, but these along with DBT have helped me the most I think.

Another thing I would like to say is that with regards to coming off your medication, you should be really careful and obviously discuss this with your doctor or someone from your local mental health team. There are side effects of coming off medications and sometimes they can be quite severe if you come off them too quickly or go “cold turkey”. People can have whats called “brain zaps” or you could get night sweats. Worst case scenario you could really unstabilise your mood to the point of feeling suicidal. Obviously everyone is different but it’s good to be aware of these things when taking or coming off medication. If you do things properly and take advice from your doctor, side effects should be minimal. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t had too much trouble with lowering doses or changing medication, the main thing for me was the change in my mood and night sweats to the point I would have to change pyjamas three times a night.

Just remember everyone has different side effects and different meds work for different people. And yes it is a tiresome and life draining process (sometimes), and you may or may not have to try lots of different medications to find the right one for you, but all I can say is that be patient and don’t give up. The majority of the time medication isn’t there to cure you but rather there to help you “level out” and be able to cope with things a little bit better. You WILL find something that works for you eventually, I promise. I have to also point out therapy is a GOD SEND. If it wasn’t for the six months of intensive Dialectal Behavioural Therapy I’ve just undergone, I am not entirely sure medication would have been enough for me, but combining the two together has quite literally saved my life. Just try to find what works for you and stick to it. It will take some work and commitment but if you want to get better you have to try. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy, but trust me it will be so fucking worth it.

Big girls (do)n’t cry

So today I had one of my one to one therapy sessions that I usually have once a week. We always start off with some mindfulness which, if you haven’t tried it, is pretty damn amazing. It usually helps to calm me but for today some reason I just couldn’t focus and my mind kept wondering off. It wasn’t until my therapist asked me “how have things been” that I realised why I couldn’t focus; as soon as he said this I just burst into tears. I sobbed, quite hard. I realised I had been bottling these tears up for some time and hadn’t let myself cry or let anything out for the sheer fact I was embarrassed to. I was afraid of being judged, of judging myself but mostly I think I was afraid of opening “Pandora’s box”. I know for a fact that once I start, I can rarely stop. And that’s with basically anything I do – eat, take drugs, exercise, drink alcohol…. you name it. But that isn’t my main focus here – it’s the fact that I was ashamed to cry. To express my feelings and emotions and to let my guard down.

Ironically, I grew up surrounded by emotionally unstable people, telling me that I was “too sensitive” and I needed to toughen up. So it’s no wonder that now, as a 28 year old woman, I struggle with showing my deepest emotions and my sensitive side. I try to hide it and lock it away, allowing it to build up and subsequently blow out of proportion. I was told in not so many words that it was “bad” to cry and “wrong” to show people what you were feeling or thinking. But as I’ve grown older I know that this isn’t entirely the case. I was just never around acceptance enough when I was younger. Rewiring my brain to think otherwise? It’s virtually impossible.

What I am trying to say is that it’s good to have a cry sometimes and let stuff out. Even if it really fucking hurts. We shouldn’t listen to other people telling us how to be, think or feel. We are who we are and we should be fucking proud of that.

So next time you feel yourself welling up, just let it all out. Take a deep breath, have a cuppa, and move on. It’s important not to carry these emotions with you; it’s only you who can feel all of that pain.

Stay blessed x