REFOCUSING

Monday, 7 August 2017



if you follow me on instagram you will have seen me open up about my mental health over the last few weeks, which is something a bit out of usual for me. i mean, don't get me wrong: i love a good moan, but the last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle for me. i've been taking anti-anxiety medication for about a year now, after finally seeking medical intervention when daily panic attacks started to rule my life. i mean, i get it: life is stressful, but mine isn't more stressful than most, it's just i don't cope with it well.




i have borderline personality disorder, and i'm a total introvert, so there are a lot of things that cause me anxiety; my appearance, relationships, specific emotions, people depending on me for things, deadlines, making plans too far in advance, having no plans... and there are days when my mood can be so low that i struggle to get out of bed, i can't face going to work or seeing my friends, and when i'd sooner do anything that involves other people. i have always preferred my own company to that of others, and i used to put that down to being an only child. it's not. it's because people stress me out.

the medication i'm on was a dream in the beginning, and rather than evening my moods out, i really became more "me" than i had felt in a really long time. i'd been putting off getting medicated because i was so worried that i would become a zombie; worried that i would become numb to my emotions, when actually the very opposite happened. i was more focused at work than ever, my internal pr went through the roof, people wanted to actually work with me, and i lost the reputation as the moody bitch of the team, when i actually started contributing to things. people noticed an incredible change, and i could have kicked myself for not doing it sooner. 



then about six months in, i met ben. and this is in no way his fault, because he's great, and we have a lot of fun together, but being on this medication and being in a relationship don't really go hand in hand very smoothly. i still find myself a bit nervous around him, and feeling a bit edgy - for absolutely no reason other than he's still "new" to me, because we don't see each other as often as most couples do. we fit each other in when our individual lives allow, and it totally works for us. but, because of that lack of over-exposure, i do very much still feel in that "new" stage where i must be on my best behaviour at all times. but that's just not possible.

the anxiety has been building up for a few months now, and last week reached tipping point. i had a panic attack at work, then another on the way home, then i lay in bed all afternoon, crying for no reason. it was one of those proper full-on sob-cries, where your body heaves and sighs, where the tears pour out, where the sobs come from somewhere deep inside. it was a real low for me. the lowest i'd been in a long, long time. and it wasn't good.



the next morning i called for an emergency appointment with my doctor, and while i couldn't get one with my regular gp, i was offered a video appointment. this was new for me, but i was desperate, so i took it. i sat in a side room in the practice and talked to a doctor sat in a surgery somewhere else via web cam. i told her about the symptoms i'd been having; idle scratching and picking in my sleep, low mood, difficulty relaxing into sleep, weight gain, body negativity, difficulty focusing at work, and she agreed: my medication wasn't working how it should any more. and then, she doubled my dosage, and suggested i book some cbt for being able to deal with triggers better in the future. which i think is a great idea.

and, after a few days of a higher dosage, i'm starting to feel me again. i spent the weekend with some friends, having some of the girls around to mine on saturday for a garden party (despite the thunder storm), and i went and frolicked in the lavender fields in surrey on sunday, which was something i've been wanting to do since we were in marseille. i laughed a lot this weekend, i slept a lot this weekend, and i rested my brain a bit from things that stress me out. and... i'm feeling a lot better. oh, and i've started back with my personal trainer, and am already feeling the benefits of sweating it out in the gym. so, i'm hopeful that i'll be back to normal in a week or so, and those draining mental health posts can finally stop on my instagram account.


on that note, i want to say a quick something to those of you who have reached out to me after reading my posts, those who have told me that you're in the same boat but feel like you can't say anything to those around you. there's nothing to be ashamed of. mental health is as important to talk about with your friends or doctors or professionals as sexual health, and dental health, and eye health, and general health. it's part of your general health. if you're affected by a headache, you tell someone. if you're affected by anxiety, you tell someone. honestly, mental health is not something to joke about, to put down, to disregard, or to "get over" - it's a real thing that affects more than 8 million people in the uk, let alone globally. 

so thank you to those who've left kind messages or stories of hope and wonderful words for me over the last few weeks; you'll never know how much it's all meant to me.




*dress and shoes c/o debenhams

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