Vicious Circles

Dear Reader

I’m giving you a heads up as in this post I’m going to be talking about depression and anxiety.  Reason why I am giving you a warning as I know that for some reading this will possibly trigger your own thoughts.  However before you disappear please click here as it gives you tips on handling anxiety.

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Over the past few years or more on and off I have been suffering with bouts of depression.  Mostly during the winter months and obviously as a woman the monthlies when the hormones rage. Over the past couple of years it’s got worse and anxiety is becoming an issue. So much so that last year the doctor wanted to put me on medication.  I decided that there must be another way.  So I went first for counselling and then for CBT.

Counselling helped to some extent as it gave me someone I could talk to about my issues, my worries and concerns over OH illness and it’s implications. That had to stop when the CBT course started. 

It took a few attempts to get onto the course as since I was not suicidal I was considered low down on the list. The course was a roller coaster but a light bulb did go off. I took on board what was said and carried on. 

However somewhere over the past few months things have gone awry. I know they have as well basically my body is now telling me that I have to tackle this head on. I have to make changes.

For the past two months I’ve been suffering with chronic pins and needles.  I thought that it was connected with the problems that I’ve been having with my hip. The doctor was convinced that it was lack of vitamin B12 due to my Coeliac Disease.  The blood results came back fine.  So she referred me to Neurology.

I saw them yesterday. He basically said that my pins and needles are caused by anxiety. By getting my anxiety under control they will get better.

So I need to make positive life changes. This means I need to watch out for my triggers. I’m beginning to understand the things that trigger my anxiety. Baby steps is what I have to take in order to tackle it bit by bit. 

Surrounding myself with positive people who I can talk to. This means surrounding myself with people who build me up not knock me down.  Those who give back and not those who take. Those even if they are going through bad times can still support me because they are for me not against me.  I need to avoid those who drain me and are negative. 

Keeping up my exercise and increase it. I find it hard to switch off my brain so I’m going to introduce yoga into my timetable as I’ve read that this is supposed to help you relax.  Also I’ll be focusing on the moves and breathing so hopefully no thoughts will get in.

Time management is a key.  One of the things that set me off is lack of time.  I always liked to be busy but being busy has many draw backs. I’ve decided to limit myself and plan my time better.  So I’m making a few rules to limit myself –  no more then 3 nights out a week (including Zumba and knit night) and having a TV/PC curfew of 9.30pm.  Hopefully this will help free up my days off so I can focus on chores.  OK so chores may not be a big deal to some but for me to get the motivation to do them is and if they aren’t done I get anxious and stressed.  By keeping closed lists doing little each day will also free up time for me to de-stress and chill, to have a laugh and to work on goals.  It should also enable me to get to bed on time and get enough sleep.

It’s going to be a long journey but a journey that I want/need/willing to make. Step by step I can do this and I can beat it.

On loosing my reading mojo

Today I came across this article here

It spoke to me an awful lot as I can sympathise with the author.  I used to be that reader who ate books and it was the norm for me to regularly read a book in 24 hours. However a few years ago when my husband’s health took a bit of a turn I lost my reading mojo.

My head space also became not so good. I spent much time deep in thought and worry. If I tried to take my mind off things by reading I found that I couldn’t concentrate.  I would spend ages re – reading the same line over and over again, with nothing being absorbed. 

It didn’t matter what I tried to read.
Even reading my Bible became difficult. My favourite authors also couldn’t break through this fog that I was going through.  Whatever was suggested to read I struggled to finish a book.

Although that was a strange time and it’s going back awhile,  my appetite for reading has changed. No longer am I ravenous for a book.  A book has to be really gripping to hold my attention, to keep me entertained and enthralled to the end. It’s a rare thing for me to read a book within a couple of days.  If I do, you know it must be a good one.

I know that there’s many health benefits associated with reading and it is supposed to be a way of elevating depression.  My advice through the dark days is keep trying,  and if you can’t , don’t beat yourself up over it. Find something else that will assist in lifting you up. For me knitting became a lifeline.

The other thing I recommend is don’t be afraid to seek out help and speak about how you feel.  I know the road is hard and long. There will be good days and bad days. Eventually things will get better – just keep believing this and show yourself some love.
Blessings x