I’m well known amongst my family and friends for being famously hard on myself for just about anything. Pushing myself to the very limit until I’m teetering on the edge of my fifth breakdown of the month and then wondering why.
Whether it was forcing myself into posting religiously three times a week on my old blog and stressing myself out about it to the point where all enjoyment was gone, or booking myself into five gym classes a week and feeling guilty if I was too tired to make all of them, I can just never seem to give myself a break.
I’ve learned my lesson the hard way over the last six months. As summer ended and we began to head into autumn, the impending fear of my SAD kicking in, so I immediately threw myself into just about every extra-curricular activity I can. I started back up at the gym, took up pole fitness lessons, got a second job, found a ballroom and latin class, threw myself fully into my photography and all while going out with friends drinking every weekend. Not to mention a few sick days off of work I had to take because I’d burned myself out so badly that I couldn’t get out of bed for how ill I was.
Putting myself through this from about October to February is what it took me to break. Being constantly stressed and under pressure and emotional pushed me to seek help once again. Going to the doctors for the first time for my mental health was a relief in a way, having what I’ve been feeling in myself for the last three years finally validated and defined.
I’ve been on anti-depressants for about a month and a half now, and by no means is it an instant fix. Which means I’ve also had to work hard on… working less hard. Cue some weekend lie-ins (probably more than a lie-in, it’s usually til about 12pm), learning to say no, and taking the time to appreciate being by myself, something I used to struggle with, whether that be hibernating on the PS4 for a while, a nice long Lush bath or a quiet night reading in bed. I’m still a work in progress since I seem to be allergic to getting early nights (although I did go to bed at 10pm last week and it was BLISS), but I’ve started focussing on me just that little bit more.
Differently to how I usually would. Instead of the usual “how am I progressing?” or “how is this helping me move forward?” it’s much more “do I need to take a break?” and “is this going to help me unwind?”. The gym is a distant thought in the back of my head while I focus on pole, I spend waaaay more time at home (which also helps with the money issues), I can focus better at work and overall I just feel… happier.