On this freedom day, I want to practice my freedom of speech by starting a conversation around mental health. While this is an uncomfortable discussion to have, the more we talk about it, the less uncomfortable the conversation becomes. Forget the highlight reels for a minute and let’s have a real conversation.
Guys let’s face it! Life is hard. Even more so now, with everything that is going on in the world. We are losing loved ones, our livelihoods and no one has job security right now. To be honest, the past few weeks have been difficult for me. I am being tested, both professionally and personally, and I just can’t seem to catch a break. It’s safe to say I’ve lost my spark and I’m trying to get it back. I’ve been in a dark place for the last few weeks, trying to plan my next move but nothing seems to be going right.
What’s going on?
I’m off my game, I’m struggling to cope with the workload, the stress, and the negative feedback. I saw my doctor two weeks ago, he has prescribed Lexamil to help take the edge off. As well as Urbanol, for meetings that I know will be particularly stressful or on days when I feel like a panic attack are just moments away.
For the past few weeks, I feel like I’m about to have an anxiety attack daily, and land up in a puddle of tears just about every day – the medicine helps with my anxiety, but it makes me tired. By the time 5 pm comes, I feel like I’ve run a marathon and need to rest and recover. So I’m logging off then, as I’m pouring from an empty cup and literally have nothing more to give right now. Being tired means I’m struggling to work longer hours, which is making me fall more behind in my work, which is giving me more anxiety. And so the vicious cycle continues.
There are so many good things happening this year and that’s what I’m trying to focus on. My sister is having a baby, I’m getting married and we are looking to buy our first house at the end of the year. My fiancé is so supportive but I don’t make him a priority right now which I feel guilty about. Truth be told, I haven’t made him a priority for a while now. He’s been my rock throughout all this, cooking dinner every night, making coffee in the morning, running baths, and planning date nights. All I do is cry and complain that I’m not coping. Even when we went on holiday to Cape Town recently, I worked, and we fought about it. I’m a terrible fiancé right now and I don’t want to be.
I just want to be in my own little world, in a safe place of series, Nutella, and bubble baths. The thought of leaving home in the mornings has never felt so daunting before. So I psych myself up, pump a bit of Drake and Carli B and get myself to the office when I need to be there. Then my goal is to just get through the next hour, then the next hour, and then the next hour, until I can leave and come back to my safe space.
If you suffer from anxiety, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t suffer from anxiety, then you’ll never understand what I’m talking about. You’ll read this post, empathise with the feeling of being down and feeling overwhelmed, then you’ll move on. Because you can. I know this is true because I’ve never suffered from anxiety before until I did.
My coping mechanism for dealing with stress before has always been- Nutella, sleep, and time alone. I’ve never been miss congeniality, I’ve never had a million friends, I was always different from the other kids. I enjoy spending time alone or with someone one-on-one. I don’t particularly enjoy large groups, loud music, things people my age would typically consider to be fun. Being alone and figuring things out on my own, has always been my coping mechanism.
I don’t know what triggered this feeling of self-doubt, but what I can tell you is that I’m hurting. I’m not OK, but I’m trying to be. And in time I will be. I am doing everything I can to take control of my life again. Part of my process is staying at home as much as I can, where I feel safe. This process is great for now, but I know I can’t do this forever. Also, I’m too funny, too much fun, and too cute to be locked up in my PJ’s all day feeling sorry for myself and crying myself to sleep.
Let’s get it, girl
As of today, I’m reclaiming my power back. I’m making time to go to the gym, to go on date nights, and to have spa days. I’m spending time with people who lift me up and I’m seeing things clearly again, so I can plan my next move. I’m doing what I need to do, to be me again. I’m cutting out sugar and processed carbs (it’s a process and it’s difficult) and I’m trying to get more sleep every night. It’s time to find that strength from within. Things were not always this bad and things are not always going to be this bad. Right now, I just need to weather the storm. I’m going to learn and grow so much from this, I’m almost excited for it. Be kind to others, you never know what battles they’re fighting.
Watch this space guys…. I’ll be back, all sparkly and bright in no time.
Do you suffer from anxiety or have you ever felt this way? Let me know what your tips are.