anxiety depression life lifestyle mental health wellbeing

Be brave my child, be brave

Wednesday morning…

I’m walking to work. It’s not that cold today so I can feel the extra layers of clothes weighing me down.

What if my mum gets dementia? What if she can’t remember me?? I teared up just thinking about it.

I watched a video yesterday with a woman talking to her mum in sign language in her car asking her if she recognises her. They have a minute long conversation and towards the end the mum asks the daughter:

Did I give birth to you?

She nods and they hug.

What if I die? My gums are still sore, what if it’s something serious and I end up dying here, now, away from my nearest and dearest? Every time anything hurts and doesn’t go away fast (and it doesn’t the older you get), BOOM, my mind is almost immediately imagining the worst possible scenario and anxiety levels reach new highs.

Am I a failure for considering moving back home for a while? Am I being ungrateful for wanting a change? Why am I not happy with my life as it is? Am I even good for anything else? I manage depression well nowadays unlike anxiety, but every now and then it finds a way, of course it does.

What is the point of living anyway if we’ll all die in the end? Julie’s death shocked me. A perfectly healthy early 50s year old who’s completed over 100 parkruns and had ran 10k a day before she suddenly collapsed and never woke up.

Now tears are streaming down my face and I’m almost at work.

Pull yourself together woman!  At the end of the day, any decision will be scary. It’s never going to be a good time. So just be brave. And do what you feel is the best for you. You can’t do everything, you can’t live 100 different lives, so just do something, anything. I tell myself and walk in.

All this during a 15 minute walk, intermittent with actually listening to the music in my headphones before the next intrusive thought.

Oh no, don’t cry, it’s in your heart
So dry those eyes, keep holding on for your dear life
Be a soldier of hope!

I once took a picture that somehow sums up how I feel when I’m IN the upside down. It’s as if I’m trying to cycle through the park, in a misty morning, I can’t see much, all I can see is the post in front of me I’m terrified I’d hit, but the reality is, 5 minutes later? I’m out, the mist is lifted, I didn’t hit the post and I can now see the gorgeous lake.

This is only an example of an episode and it can happen multiple times a day.

I know this is just not me, I know you go through the same motions. We all do. So let’s talk about it.

Let it all out. I’m not weird, you are not weird. We are humans and that’s how our brains work and the more we talk about it, the more we can help each other and get rid of the stigma around it once and for all.

Since I started talking about it, I realised that I’m not crazy or the only one going through this, we are all in this together. It feels better almost instantly when you share.

One thing that helps me remind myself when I go through an episode is what Matt Haig beautifully put together in a few sentences.

Image may contain: text that says "You are okay You may feel like shit. Your mind might be beating yourself up You may think you aren' t going to make it. But just think of a time you felt bad before. And think of something good that happened in the interim. Some good shit will happen. Just wait."

I’m more confused than ever and I keep changing my mind about things every minute of every hour but one thing is for sure, I’ll never stop talking about mental health.

Eleni

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