It Might Not Be A Good Day, But Have A Day

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When suffering with depression getting through the day feels like running a marathon, it’s draining. You feel physically exhausted, let alone the mental battle you go through, the guilt of feeling like you’re just lazy, the feelings of wanting to totally give up, I could go on. If you’ve  made it through another day suffering with depression, OCD, anxiety or any mental illness, give yourself a pat on the back. Stop being so hard on yourself for not having the most productive day that you feel you SHOULD have had or everyone else is having or asking of you . Even if you’re not suffering with depression and you’re simply having an awful day,, where events have happened so you feel upset and unable to take on the day, this still applies to you.

You might have days where you feel better  and that’s amazing treasure those, but don’t let the bad days take those away from you. I love this quote so much at the start of my mental health journey the good days were few, and I was always being told by people ‘do this and do that, it will help you get better, it will be a positive thing’. When you have depression the simplest thing to a healthy happy person seem like such massive task. So as the quote says I won’t tell you to have a good day but please look after yourself as best as you can.

The first thing I’d say is,  if you think you or someone else is suffering with depression then get them or yourself help, that’s the biggest step to getting better. You need to find someone to speak to and someone who can advise you on the best ways to help yourself get better whether that’s medication, therapy,  or both. If you don’t think you have depression and you’re just feeling down because of a negative event, or your just not feeling yourself, make sure you find someone to talk to aswell, venting and getting advice of a loved ones is always a good idea.

Now you’ve done that the next most important thing is to feed and water yourself as obvious as that sounds. As I said above the simplest of things can become a huge effort when your suffering with a mental illness and some people neglect themselves of the most basic things. Your body needs food and plenty of water, so if there’s one thing I insist you do it’s that. I’m not asking you to be a chef and cook up amazing nutritious meals (although nutritious food is known to help a blue mood)  but you need to eat and drink whether you feel like it or not.

So you’ve gotten help, you know there’s a problem and you’ve acknowledge that, that’s a big step. You’re feeding yourself because that’s a basic human need whether you’re suffering or not, that’s another step, even if these are your first achievements you feel able to do currently then that’s great. No matter how small the steps or achievements they are still positive and thats all that matters. If you’ve done those above things the next thing to try to do is clean yourself,  I’d recommend running a hot bubble bath that you can just lay in and get clean then put some clean comfy clothes on, you’ll feel so much better for it once it’s done. It’s another positive basic human need to achieve when having ‘your day’. The final thing on your list of goals for the day is to survive and not give up. Keep fighting through those awful days like I did, it can get better.

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop – Confucius”

If you have a day where you get up shower, eat, go to therapy, go to work and get something productive done then amazing be really proud. If the next day all you do is feed yourself  because you’re having a bad day and your mental health is bad then that’s fine to, your mental health comes first, never beat yourself up for this. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or taken a step back it means your surviving you’re doing what you have to, to get through the days. Recovery and getting better is not plain sailing, for a long time It felt as if I would never get better, and then just when I thought things seemed to be looking positive the next day it would all come crumbling down. Please don’t see this as failing everyday is a building block to recovery good or bad. I’m not saying settle for a life of doing the bare minimum always, I’m saying be proud of the little things you achieve when your suffering, that its ok and you don’t need to beat yourself up, but of course always strive to get better and don’t give up.  For some people with mild depression they may be able to function almost normally, for others it will feel almost impossible, everyone is different and it’s important not to make yourself feel bad for how you’re coping.

Please check out my other mental health blog posts for more self-help and information.

Need someone to talk to? Look in the contact me section, I’m all ears.

Hang in there,

Anna-Marie

Hope For OCD, Anxiety And Depression Sufferers

Calling all OCD, Anxiety and Depression sufferers, or anyone suffering with a mental illness, who feels as if they are at the end of their tether and there is no hope in them ever getting better. (Insert dramatic music) I am here to let you know why this is not true and I have bought PROOF…(myself).

So, I have some pretty big news, I have just got a job!

I haven’t held down a job since I left school and my last job was in 2011. I’d go into a job or college course and end up quitting because I couldn’t seem to hack it, my brain and body just didn’t seem to cope with normal life, that also goes for going out and having fun to. During school and since leaving school I have suffered with severe debilitating OCD, Anxiety and Depression, check out my OCD Story and Depression Story for a more indepth insight. OCD took over my life, I was suffering with terrifying intrusive thoughts and had lost all independence due to compulsions. I was at rock bottom. I remember thinking I would never get better, this was my life now, I didn’t see how I’d possibly become OCD free or even manage it to the point life was bearable.

I had various CBT therapy sessions during this time and also started medication (Sertraline) an antidepressant which I am still on now. It wasn’t until I found a therapy that worked for me in 2014 that I started to see hope for myself. You can also read about my therapy story to find out more on that. I started to fight OCD and my depression seemed to no longer be a constant black cloud over me. Since having therapy, I have started my blog and started to recover, but a job has been the biggest thing for me and my family, I still needed to achieve. Sometimes I thought I was ready and even had interviews, other times my OCD seemed to be creeping back in so I was focused on that. Since leaving school I haven’t had much of a social life which means my confidence is pretty low. Suffering with mental health problems can also send your self esteem to its lowest point, this also played a part in my fear of getting a job. I will admit I did get comfortable, I was in my comfort zone and I had got lazy. On top of that I was just terrified of working again and putting myself back out there, after the stress and hurt I went through of quitting and feeling like a failure after every job.

I can finally say I have a job after 4 years. I am terrified I won’t lie. I have thought about ringing up and saying that I change my mind about accepting the job, but I’m not going to. I will do it this time. I will be successful, it might not be easy and I’m sure there will be days where I struggle but I feel positive and happy, that this is the start of something for me. Which leads me back to there being hope for suffers like myself. I didn’t think I would get to this point whether it be getting a job, living with OCD but managing it or not being completely depressed and never wanting to do anything ever. I had such severe OCD It didn’t seem possible but it is. Am I completely anxiety and OCD free? No definitely not, but I’m not imprisoned by thoughts and compulsions like I was.  Which means you reading this or your friend or family member can also get to this point with the right help, support and patience. Please never give up because you can fight this to. I was in your position, I know how it feels. I know you feel like giving up but you can’t. There is hope and there can be freedom.

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I can’t tell you when you will recover and I won’t tell you it won’t be hard. You might relapse but that’s okay, because once you’ve got there, it will be worth it and you will see how strong you are.

Keep on fighting,

Anna

Letting Go Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Care

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Something I’ve struggled with for a long time now and still do is letting go of scary OCD thoughts. I feel like if I just let go of OCD thoughts or rituals where I worry something bad could happen, it must mean I don’t care about the consequences or if I can let them go easily it must also mean I don’t care. I am starting to accept and learn that this is not the case and you have to give yourself permission to let go of things, it doesn’t mean you don’t care. Easier said than done right?  When your emotions are telling you letting go of certain thoughts and worries is bad and if you let go you’re a terrible person it’s really hard not to listen. I know OCD will try to do anything to try to keep me sucked in by it, because that’s what OCD does it wants to control people. Which is exactly what it’s doing by making me think if I let go and don’t perform a ritual that I don’t care and also that something bad might happen.

The reality is as soon as you get that thought ‘If you don’t do such and such something bad could happen’ and you then feel anxious or worry about not performing the ritual, that is the sign you do care. The fact you’re worried about letting go of that OCD thought or ritual, means you care if you didn’t you wouldn’t be thinking about it or worrying about it. You don’t need to carry on thinking about the subject or perform a ritual to know you care. You need to allow yourself to let go and become free because you deserve it. You can acknowledge the fact you’re feeling anxious about not performing a ritual or feeling anxious about not trying to work out what that bad thought you just had meant about you and accept that is you caring.  You don’t need to torture yourself any more than that, you’re  allowed to move on, you just need to let yourself.  Thinking about things more and more or performing rituals is keeping you stuck in the place you are right now, stuck being controlled by a pest called OCD in your head. One of the steps to freedom is to know if you’re worried or upset about letting go you care, but you don’t need to hold on to things or perform rituals. Allow yourself to fear letting go and allow yourself to recognise you care. Then let go because you don’t need to be afraid you don’t care because you have proved to yourself  you do.

Stay Strong,

Anna

Feel Good Friday: Your Day And Clouds That Get In The Way

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So on today’s Feel Good Friday blog post I’m going to talk about not letting small negative things ruin your whole day. I’m not talking about serious, life changing events because I know this can’t be applied to certain situations  I know all to well that sometimes we let ourselves get so down and effected by little things that go wrong from day-to-day and forget all the good stuff. It’s really easy to do, your be going about your day and one thing will happen such as you break something, someone’s nasty to you, you eat that fattening piece of cake or you’re late for work etc and you let it effect your whole day. I really like this quote I found on Tumblr, I think its such a good way of looking at things, and decided I wanted to make a little picture to go with it and write about it. Think of the whole sky as your whole day and the cloud as that bad thing that’s gone wrong. You wouldn’t look at the whole sky and see one cloud and think today’s weather was awful, you would think at least it’s not blocking the sun, at least it’s just one cloud, at least it’s not raining or at least it’s still warm etc. If it was raining would you let it take over your whole day? No you would think ‘oh well it will pass and the sun will come out soon’. The same thing goes for bad things that happen within our days, those little annoying, inconvenient things that get you down. Why let one thing or a few small things completely take over and ruin your whole day?

For instance just today I have binge eaten on all sorts of bad foods whilst I’m trying to lose weight, I instantly feel like a failure and that I have ruined my diet now. But there is also some good things that have happened today, its sunny, I’m healthy, my family are well, I have had a productive day, I had a delicious Costa, I cuddled my dog and my anxiety isn’t too bad today. These are all good things that seem to get overlooked by the one bad thing that happened. Another the example is I will have had a good day and then in the evening a OCD thought makes anxious and scared and suddenly think what a bad ending to a good day or well that’s ruined my good day! It’s such a negative way to think, the good day still happened and one bad thing shouldn’t affect your whole day.

We often tend to have the mind-set of ‘okay yes today has been a good day BUT that bad thing was worse and ruined it’. The only reason that bad thing ruined or over powered the good things were because we allowed it to, we pay it too much attention to the bad and not enough to the good stuff.  We are quick to notice the bad things but not quick enough to appreciate the good things. No matter how small those good things still happened and having some bad things can’t change that unless you let it.  Just imagine that bad, inconvenient thing as a cloud passing by in the background of your blue sky (which is your day. When I look at the picture above I don’t notice the little grey cloud first, I notice the pretty daisy, the bright green grass and the vibrant blue sky. Notice the beauty and good things surrounding you and start paying less attention to the negative things, don’t let them ruin your whole day. Acknowledge them but don’t give them your whole days worth of emotions, allow the good emotions to be the ones you focus on that’s how we learn to appreciate the little things.

Happy Friday beautiful people,

Anna

A Poem: If OCD Had Its Own Identity

 

If OCD Had Its Own Identity

 Just another little poem I wrote about OCD. Hope some of you guys can relate to it and understand it from an OCD sufferers point of view. I wanted to think of what OCD would be like if it was a person or had an identity rather just a name of a mental illness. Like I said in my last poem post, I’m not a pro poet. I’m never sure what exactly makes a poem a poem. A lot of people say its different to everyone, different words and poems speak and mean different things to different people. So I hope you like it and let me know in the comments what you think!

 

Evil eyes that look straight through you,

The feeling it knows you, oh so well.

It knows your fears and it uses them against you,

Stripping you of confidence with each tear.

Powerful and stocky build, looking down upon you.

 

Enticing voice to make you believe it’s all for your own good,

Power craving attitude, wearing an intimidating hood.

A bully who persuades you he’s keeping you and your family safe,

You’re the puppet and its the puppeteer.

Dark sunken features and grey gloomy aura.

 

There’s no point in running, it can run faster,

The stories it tells are nothing but nightmares.

Injecting your veins with fear,

Faster than anything that can be explained.

Throwing its toys out the pram when it doesn’t get its own way.

 

Feeds of your thoughts and handcuffs you to a chamber within your brain,

Like an unwanted companion, a stalker that sucks out your strength.

Grabbing your attention like a whiny child,

Deep down it’s as insecure as you, if not more.

Manipulating you to make itself feel mighty.

 

Look a bit closer the hard exterior gets weaker,

Stocky build no more, When you close it’s door.

Its bark worse than its bite.

Remove its ugly disguise,

See what reality in fact lies beneath.

 

A evil but cowardly and feeble beast.

That’s got nothing on you.

 

Other poem I wrote

A Little Poem About OCD

 

Anna

 

Feel Good Friday: A Reason Not To Give Up

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I love this quote, its inspiring, thought provoking and it speaks a lot of truth! You know when you’re struggling with life’s general ups and downs whether it be a problem with mental health, school, weight loss or anything tough your trying to come out the other side of or succeed in and you feel like it’s all too hard and you feel like your going to have to give up? DON’T. Tomorrow could be the day you succeed and come out the other side of the that mental or physical struggle you’re battling with. If you give up on something you will never know how close you were too succeeding, it could have been a week or a month away and yes you can start the whole process again, which is also good but just think you could be so so close to that goal!

Keep reminding yourself how close you could be to success, why give up right now, keep going until you find success in what ever area you’re seeking it in your life. It may of taken longer than you’d like but imagine how good and strong you will feel once you reach where you want to be! No genius has ever stopped trying, no matter how many times it took they never gave up and that’s how they became an inventor, genius or recovered from a mental illness whatever it may be, that could be you, hang on in there and keep fighting!

Happy Friday beautiful people,

Anna

Mental Health: Being Told To ‘Remember There’s Other People Worse Off Than You’

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Ever had someone throw out the classic ‘There’s people starving in Africa and you think you’ve got it hard?’ or ‘There’s people with much worse mental and physical disability’s than you and they cope!’ line? I know I have and I’m pretty sure most people suffering from any mental health problem has! I understand why people use that line because it is true there probably are people ten times worse of than I am or any of us are, but that doesn’t change how we feel. As long as we know we have some things to be grateful for and can recognise we aren’t the worst off person in the world that’s all that matters. Unfortunately whether we can recognise that or not does not change our situations and the mental struggles we  go through, telling someone this will only make them feel guilty, worthless and very alone for not being able to cope with their situation when there are people struggling more than themselves.

Using this comparison is like a friend coming to me after they’ve broken up with their boyfriend, being in floods of tears needing someone to be there for them and me simply saying ‘Your crying over a break up when I have to fight OCD everyday?’ I would never dream of saying that. It’s not a competition and at the end of the day whether I have OCD or am going through tougher times than my friend, it doesn’t change the fact she is upset and needs someone. If it was as easy as someone telling you about how Joe Bloggs down the road is coping with such and such a problem better than you and they have it worse off, then everyone would be ok. If saying this helped or shocked people into thinking they shouldn’t be depressed or not working or giving into OCD rituals etc everyone would get better very quickly. I can’t say to my brain ‘OCD did you hear that, there’s someone worse off than me, there for you should stop bugging me now and making me depressed’ it just has a negative effect and makes me feel stupid and guilty.

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At the end of the day there will always be someone worse of than you in life, but this doesn’t make what your upset about or struggling with any less. You are still struggling and there’s no switch to switch that emotion off, you can be grateful that you don’t have that other persons situation and maybe take some positivity from the fact you have things a little better but it’s not going to change your situation. I know sometimes you feel like someone’s over dramatizing their problems when you have a lot more stuff going on but try to remember what they feel is real and although it may or may not be as bad as what you’re going through, they still need someone and making them feel bad about feeling the way they do won’t help and at the end of the day everyone deals with stuff differently!

Anna