I’m in a funk, have been for a while. It’s annoying, but it’ll pass. Here’s the thing about living with a mental illness though, it makes being in a funk stressful. The second guessing, the over-thinking, the ever watchful eye checking to see if my mood has turned into something other than a run of the mill funk. When is a funk no longer a funk? At what point do I really get concerned that this is an episode of depression or the beginning of a hypomanic phase? I often lack motivation before I’m suddenly full of the stuff, in the worst possible way. It has taken work, but I’m pretty in tube with my mental health and this doesn’t feel like anything than a funk. Yet, the thought is still there. This is why having a mental illness is exhausting, even when you are well you’re on the lookout for signs that you might not be. This is just a funk, I know that, but I wish it would bugger off.
If you have spent any time on the internet in recent years, you’ll have heard of self-care. It’s everywhere. At its core, self-care is “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”
New Year Resolutions and I never really got on. The only one I’ve stuck to is the one I made three or four years ago about using up skincare products and make-up before purchasing new ones. I used up my, not insignificant, stash and largely stick by a one product in, one product out system. Yet, in the run up to January 1st I found myself full of ideas.
I’ve been struggling to write, with any real meaning, this year. Sometimes I write, but when read back it feels forced. Sometimes I write, but it goes round in circles until I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Sometimes the words flow easily, like this post about grief. For the most part, I’ve spent my time staring at a blank screen. My mind is full of ideas, but I can’t make sense of them on paper.
Enter Laura Jane Williams and her #AskTheQuestion series. These weekly emails, where Laura is honest about the things in life that are hard to do (emotionally and physically) and poses the same question of her readers that contributed to the story she shared, sounded exactly what I needed to reignite my writing spark. Laura is one of my favourite writers. Her writing is raw, honest and often times heartbreaking. It always makes me think and sometimes makes me cry when I didn’t realise I needed to, but it’s cathartic. Her ebook, The Book of Brave, helped me let go of the guilt I felt about some of the mistakes I’ve made.
The questions from weeks one and two definitely got me thinking. They got me talking, during therapy, but the writing still didn’t come. This week’s question is different. This week’s question hit me hard. The answer came immediately. The answer is part of the reason why writing has been so hard.
The question – What truth must you reveal to yourself, so that you might let somebody else in?
I’ve been staring at this page for so long that I no longer know where to begin. No, that’s not true. I’ve never known where to start, hence all the staring.
World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day have been and gone. Both of which would have been good times to write about this, but I couldn’t find the words because it’s not my story to tell. Except it is. At least parts of it anyway.
The disturbed sleep, the dreams about organising a funeral, the fear and panic whenever the phone rings and it takes a couple of seconds for the caller ID to register who is calling. Those are all my stories to tell. They’re not the beginning, but they’re what I’ve been left with.
Time is a funny thing. Sometimes it seems to drag on while other times it flies by far too quickly. Either way it’s moving and it only goes in one direction. Forward.
This time a year ago I wasn’t in a very good place. So I did what I usually do when trying to make sense of things, I wrote about it.
I was heartbroken, sleep deprived, on the rebound and once again facing into the dark hole that is depression. Not a good combination. I was a mess. So I wrote about it some more.
I was pretty lost but turning to words helped me get through. There were plenty of times when I couldn’t verbalise how I was feeling but when I sat in front of a computer the words poured out of me. Some of it I published, some of it I only shared with particular people and some of it will never be read by anyone but me.
[Note – the font is still all over the place and now the paragraph spacing has gone wonky, apologies. I’ll fix it as soon as WordPress starts doing what it’s supposed to. :-/]
There are two things that have been on my mind, a lot, lately. Not surprising, really, but they’ve certainly gotten me thinking.
The darkness has descended, again, and I don’t much like the person I am right now so I’ve gone and done the one thing you’re not supposed to do…I cut myself off from people.
Here we are again, it’s gone 5 am and I’m still awake. If previous nights are anything to go by then this means there’s no chance of me sleeping at all.
Insomnia is something that has visited my life over the years, usually in short bursts, but it’s been a constant foe (I almost said companion but it’s not exactly friendly) since January.
Last week I was all gung-ho about feeling the fear and doing it anyway and this week…well this week isn’t going so great.