The Black Dog and Their Friends

Ill mental health is something I have been very open about for a number of years now, and something I have been openly battling for just as long. However, much as anyone with any form of mental illness will tell you, it is a marathon and not a race. Beating ill mental health is not an open and shut case, it takes time to improve and a lot of work to be done.

I mentioned on my apology post that my head hasn’t been a great place to be of late. I have been struggling a lot and today I’d like to talk about why, what techniques I have used or might want to try, and what my future plans are in this area.

CN: depression, anxiety, anger, feelings of worthlessness

image
Image is not my own, only the edit with words is

Trigger’s
I do hate the term trigger, I feel it is bandied about a little too often now, but unfortunately it is the best term I can use to describe what sets me on a downward spiral. There are two main triggers I have. 

Money
Money is a major trigger for me and can really stress me out. Even the thought of not being able to make a payment on something can send me hibernating away from the world. I hate that I am not in a position to throw money around without a care. I have just started a new job which should begin to improve, my financial situation but it is nowhere near enough.

Loneliness
Tyler was away for two weeks in January, in theory that wasn’t a problem, but in my situation at the time I was between jobs and seriously stressing out. The flat seemed empty without him there and I tried to busy myself but any down days I had were awful.

Experiences at the moment

Of late I have felt overwhelmed. I have just been struggling with a lot of different things all at once. I have changed jobs, been alone for a while, changed medication and just generally been struggling with money as usual.

I have felt some really deep periods of depression, but my anxiety has been worst. I keep finding myself convinced that things are being said in a certain way against me even when they are not, I have been struggling with going out socially, and I have been convinced things are being said about me all of the time even by friends.

Plans to tackle it
I was meditating for a period of time before Tyler got back and that was helping somewhat to calm down. But I drifted away from that, being unable to pay for the subscription service I wanted to get. This is my number one thing to do, subscribe to headspace meditation. I think the main thing that was helping me with this was a constant knowledge that I would be doing it soon. Meditating once a day at least was helping to calm my thoughts, I was able to look at things objectively and was learning to watch my thoughts pass by, just like watching busy traffic. I was observing my thoughts rather than being run down by them.

I also need to talk to my doctor about medication. I recently got a repeat prescription of Mirtazapine, the medication that I was put onto instead of Prozac, and I know for a fact it is not helping my anxiety as much. Instead I am just exhausted constantly (I am unable to get the recommended 8 hours sleep the medication requires due to my new job) and I am paranoid everyone is talking about me.

One thing I have felt helpful is the constant visiting of my therapist, Virginia. She has been a rock for me, and being based out of a trans group she is fully trans aware (despite being cis herself). This means she does not focus soley on (or ignore completely) my gender identity. It is just a part of me that impacts my daily life from time to time. So I think regularly visiting my therapist is something I need to keep doing.

Finally, blog. This is something I’ve been sorely neglecting of late and it really hasn’t helped at all. I need to keep up to date with my blog as a place to organise my thoughts and hopefully then alongside the other items listed I can get my head in a better place.

That’s all for this post now, but I will do another mental health update at a later date. I am working towards being a better person and to do that I personally need to sort my head.

Expect more posts very soon, this entry was holding me back a lot and now I have completed it, it should be all systems go!

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