I’m not ready for 2016

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2016 is supposed to be an exciting year for me. Graduation for a lot of people is something to celebrate but with graduation comes a minefield of uncertainty and basically leaving me on the verge of panic attack central. As the days creep closer to the new year I feel like I’m digging my heels in and just saying no, no, no, no.

I’m not feeling happy or confident about graduating. I don’t like not having a plan and knowing what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’ll graduate with, I don’t know if I can get a job or if I’ll get the one I want, I don’t know if my MA will run or if I’ll be able to afford it. Where will I live? Will I be able to deal with doing my MA and working at the same time? All these questions are running around my head and my anxiety is attacking me like a laser.

I’m hoping I’ll calm down and take it day by day, month by month but you do get asked a lot of questions. Everyone is interested in a kind way but it’s still stressful. Knowing that in a few months people will be coming to view mine and Ali’s home for the past few years and that I’ll have to start boxing things up again…To say that all this makes me emotional is an understatement and this is all probably a lot work because I’m tired and generally emotional at the moment.

It isn’t all doom and gloom. Some nights I think about exciting things and plans I have and ideas for the blog or the book I’ve always wanted to write. I guess it’s all ups and downs. I’ll try and go into 2016 with a day by day attitude because there are going to be a lot of changes coming my way and I am really anxious. I’m hoping I can work on my techniques and keep fighting the anxiety because I really do want to enjoy what I have left of my undergraduate degree and hopefully there will be good things to come in 2016.

 

 

Picture from Pinterest

Living with a mental health condition at Christmas

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Ah mental illness, you little pest, of course you want to pop your head up for the holidays. I’ve been thinking a lot about mental illness and christmas time, I say thinking and I mean getting anxious about it. I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time but almost couldn’t find the words for what I wanted to say.

For most people Christmas equals joy and happiness, right? For some of us though our mental health threatens the celebrations every year whether we like it or not. Not only is it hard for the person dealing with the illness, but also the people around them and so I’m going to be frank. One day of the year doesn’t make a mental illness magically disappear, it doesn’t work that way.

In the past I’ve been ill on birthdays and ill on Christmas day and it sucks. I’d probably call it one of my absolute worst points of the illness. I was 16 and even though I loved all the gifts that I’d gotten and my family I was on a low and it wouldn’t shake no matter how hard I tried. So my family got a ‘meh’ response, I cried, my Mum got upset and my Dad was confused. It was Christmas, why was I upset?!? This was long before any diagnoses or medication and I felt like I was drowning. I hated myself for not being excitable like I normally was. A phone call changed everything though. I spoke to my Gramps on the phone and we talked, I cried again and he said not to worry Christmas can be an overwhelming time. We spoke more and by the time we ended the conversation I felt better and hugged my Mum to tell her it wasn’t anything she’d done at all.

Thankfully the further I’ve gotten into my recovery the better Christmas has been. Last year I woke up before my little sister and woke her up in our matching onesies. This year after assignments I was finally excited, singing christmas songs and getting excited about presents. Am I anxious about lows? Sure. Right now though I’m doing things to combat it, I’m getting as much sleep as I can, eating healthier and will be exercising this week at home.

I have to point out I’m at a stage in my illness where this is all possible. 16 year old me was too absorbed by it to do anything. So I guess what I’m trying to say is if you live with someone with a mental health condition they’re not doing this because they hate christmas, because they want to ‘make things difficult’ or because they’re not trying. They doing it because it’s a part of the illness. So if someone is depressed, anxious or struggling with their food just let them deal with it the way they can. If someone with an eating disorder needs to have something else at the dinner table, don’t make a fuss or judge. If someone needs half an hour of alone time because things get too much then let them. Basically they need to do what they need to do to get well.

As a message to the others who are anxious about the holidays. It’s one day ofthe year, it may seem like the biggest thing but next year there will be another christmas. The most important thing is taking every day one by one and that is what you will do. I’ve been there, when you feel like you’re going to ruin everything and people would be better off without you but that’s not you speaking, that’s the illness I promise.

So as I travel home for Christmas today, I just want to tell people to be kind. Love no matter what this Christmas and remember a hug can mean more than a million words. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas before we hurtle into 2016!

Chloe

P.S I’ll still be blogging every day over Christmas! Don’t think you’ve gotten away from me that easy!