Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Thirty-Eight - The Week I Wanted To Give Up

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Thirty-Eight – The Week I Wanted To Give Up

Well, what a bloody week. It’s definitely one that deserves a large gin…or three. I think this has been the toughest week for me, mentally. Literally as soon as I woke up on Monday this cloud of sadness was above my head. I couldn’t think and all I could feel was my foggy brain and a tidal wave of emotions. I have been SUPER fun to live with (sorry Ali).

This was the first time where I just felt like giving up. I couldn’t focus on anything, I didn’t have that much work to do and everything just felt pointless. I’m pretty sure the weather didn’t help as I noticed a LOT of people mentioning a dip in their mood.

I’ve always had a thing about wanting to to be doing something productive most of the time. I’ve mentioned before that I find it hard to relax and switch off which I’m working on but when I’m not in a great mental state it goes out of the window. To feel useful I have to be doing something, right? I know I’m not alone in this.

That was until Wednesday afternoon, all my calls were done and Ali decided we were going to start our Marvel marathon whether I liked it or not. He got pillows, the duvet and put on Disney Plus. We ended up spending the next 6 hours watching Captain Marvel, Captain America and Iron Man before eating burgers together. Thursday was pretty similar.

Today was much better and I knew it as soon as I woke up. I just felt more capable getting out of bed. There wasn’t a struggle to get dressed and showered. I grabbed my laptop and made a to do list. I think I’m getting through.

Whether you’re someone who’s had dealings with depression before or these are new feelings it’s hard and it can feel so completely overwhelming. Everything and nothing feels too much.

Needless to say I’m not giving up but I wanted to write this to be honest. Because there will be people who are also struggling and feel bad because of it. There will be people who can’t be open and honest with people at home about how they’re feeling for whatever reason. I wanted to say it’s ok. It is ok. Next week is another week. We’ll get through this.

Mental Health, my story so far

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So, to kick start Mental Health Awareness Week I thought I would share with you my own personal mental health journey. I’ve written a lot on this blog about how I live with my mental health, what helps me and some of the not so great times.

If you don’t know me or my blog hello and welcome! I’m Chloe, a 22-year-old blogger, graduate, writer, musician and mental health campaigner. I’ve been living with Depression and Anxiety diagnosed since I was 18 but undiagnosed from around 15 (it took a long time to get a diagnosis).

I’ve had quite a lot of time to think about myself and the fact that I am more than an illness, more than a diagnosis. I struggled throughout my teenage years for a lot of reasons, I was bullied a lot which definitely kick started my illness. I spent a lot of time isolated and desperately unhappy, with no professional help. That was pretty shit. Moving on to college I was slightly better with a new start but still struggling with my mental health, I did have some councilling at the time and sought out my diagnoses, which I got at the age of 18.

Little after that, I went to university after starting my first trial of medication, freaking out and not taking it (not something I’d recommend). I spent my first year pretty sick and being incredibly unhealthy with my mental health, I’d spend days locked in the dark of my room alone, not eating and avoiding people. Towards the end of that year I went back on medication because I was at a really low point, where everyone had noticed.

For my second and third year I was better with the help of my mentor who I had talking therapy with once a week for 3 years. I also started to speak out more about my mental health and working towards educating others, I was also lucky enough to make a speech (watch here) which made my passion even stronger.

I will admit I’ve had a really rough time in the past year since graduating with figuring out who I am, getting used to not having the professional support I had at uni, trying to work on being a graduate and getting used to new doctors (not my fave).

So, that’s a little bit about me. My illness is a part of me, but not all of me. I’m hoping you’re going to enjoy this week. If you have any questions for me drop me a comment below, email me at chloefmetzger@gmail.com, or tweet me @chloemetzger. I can’t wait to hear from you all!

Sunday Seven: Seven Things You Should Know About Depression

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I wanted to write about depression tonight. It’s an illness I’ve had since I was a teenager and it’s definitely misunderstood, especially in young people. So here are seven things I think people should know about depression.

It impacts everyone differently. 

Depression is a very personal illness. For come their depression makes them feel irritable, teary or numb. For others their depression may mean they will work and work to make themselves better. Everyone has different triggers and emotions and everyone has different routes to recovery and feeling better.

It’s exhausting.

Mentally and physically depression saps energy. Whether or not you suffer with insomnia, which I do when I’m incredibly stressed, it can impact the quality of your sleep. So even if you’ve had a perfectly chilled day, you can still find yourself wanting to sleep for hours, or being tired at odd times.

A lot of people have jobs and lives whilst having depression, other people don’t, it’s not a competition. 

There’s a common misconception that people with depression stay in bed and don’t leave the house. Sometimes, that is true, personally I’ve been at the point where I’m so sick I can’t get up or haven’t gotten dressed for days. Some days I have to fight those feelings because I have a job and I know that I need to just look after myself a bit more on days like that. Like I said before the illness impacts everyone differently and it doesn’t mean anyone’s depression is better or worse, it just means that people have different ways of dealing with it.

Medication is a personal choice and not for anyone else to judge.

It works for some and not for others, depression is an illness and some illnesses need medication, I don’t understand why it’s judged so much. Would you judge a person for having an inhaler?

There doesn’t need to be a reason. 

A lot of people think there needs to be an event or trauma for depression to happen, but this isn’t always the case. My depression was started by bullying at school but I was also more prone to it anyway. Life can be going incredibly well and you can still be depressed, it’s just a part of the illness.

There are good days and bad days.  

Some days I will be in a great mood, chatting, laughing and going out with friends. Other days I need to cancel all my plans and have a day to myself because the slightest thing is too much. It’s all about good days and bad days.

I’m still me. 

No matter what a person with depression is still the person you know and love. They may be a little lost for a while or not act like the person you know but try not to treat them differently. There are quite a few people who have deemed me a bitch or not wanting to bother when I’ve had a particularly bad time, not understanding that it’s just a rough patch and I’m still the person I always was, just struggling.

What Dark Clouds Can Do

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If you live in the UK you can’t have failed to notice that our summer time isn’t doing so great at the moment. As I’m writing we’ve endured battering winds and almost constant rain all day, and it doesn’t look like tomorrow is going to be any better. Why am I giving you a weather update? Because for me, and for many others out there the weather can have a huge impact on their mental health. I know that for years now I’ve always found everything a little harder when the weather is bleak and miserable.

My depression is something I’ve lived and worked through since I was in my teens. I’ve written about it a lot and I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to reach out and help others get through the tough times. When I talk about the weather it doesn’t mean that when it’s warm and sunny I don’t get depressed, but there’s the choice to try and take a little walk and go outside, or even just open a window if that’s too much. Also, it’s known that sunshine is incredibly good for people with depression and the chemicals in your brain.

When it’s raining, windy and cold it’s easy to let the darkness overcome you. When you are struggling to get out of bed in the morning, it’s dark and howling a person who isn’t depressed isn’t that keen on getting up, when you have depression it can feel impossible. With the changes in weather it can be exhausting for someone with a mental illness, I know it is for me.

While it doesn’t mean that this weekend I’ll be on a huge low (because they come and go depending on a lot of things) it does mean that if someone you love is a little off or struggling a little more it might not be you, it might be as simple as a change in the weather making things a little more difficult. Having a mental illness isn’t easy, but educating people and having them understand makes it a lot more bearable.