Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week - An Update On Me.

It has actually been a while since I sat down and wrote about how I'm doing in terms of mental health and to be honest that's mainly because I just get on with it without thinking. 
I'm the suffer in silence type which is so stupid because I know that speaking about my problems really helps me process them. To be honest I don't really talk about my mental illnesses unless I have to. I've become a bit cut off when it comes to myself.

Is it possible to ignore yourself?
One of the biggest challenges I've faced recently is dealing with grief alongside my mental illnesses. If truth be told I haven't been dealing with it. The grief itself has left me with added problems.
I have never been a panicker. Sure, I've had anxiety attacks but never full blown panic attacks but since losing my uncle they've become an almost natural response to high anxiety or situations where I feel uncomfortable or that are out of my control.

Since my uncle passed I have been left with many incredibly irrational fears: one of which being private ambulances. Seeing one gives me a panic attack which isn't great considering there is a funeral parlour just up the road and a guy on our street drives one and frequently parks it 2 doors up from me. I wrote a little bit about panic attacks and their uniqueness in August and they seem to have escalate quite a bit since then.
I'm slowly managing the attacks by rationalising the situation in my head but sometimes they're way out of my control. If I'm having a bad day in terms of mental health of grief then panic attacks can come on just like that. It's actually really scary and I'm having a bit of a shit time with it.

In the last few months I have been prescribed Diazepam to be taken when I need it but no more than twice a week. I've yet to try them because taking a new medication scares the crap out of me. I'm a worrier so I assume i'll take it and die... Because apparently my brain loses all sense of rationality and thinks that is the only potential outcome of taking them. I haven't always had a fear of taking medication but a while back I tried Paroxetine in a bid to curb my social anxiety which has been getting increasingly worse (especially now I've started having panic attacks) and I had an adverse reaction to it.
About an hour after taking it the right side of my body began to tingle and my face felt heavy. Lifting my arm was a challenge and I felt like I was trying to float out of my own body. It was such a weird and terrifying experience that I haven't quite got over yet. I think it'll be a while yet.
Since that experience I have feared taking any new medication, having a reaction to medications I'm currently taking and I have been avoiding taking anything unnecessary. It's something I'll overcome in my own time but for now I have the Diazepam just in case I really need it.

A big things that I've been doing is neglecting myself. It was only when the weather began to perk up and my mood lifted a but that I realised how much I had been ignoring my basic needs and wants. Suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn't been giving myself time or doing the things I love like blogging or writing. I'd been completely focused on getting over to the next day that I was forgetting to live in the moment. Self care is one of those things that you don'd always see the benefits of until you stop doing them. They're so vital in helping to climb out of that pit of despair I find myself in far too frequently. 
My current medication Lamotrigine has been a life saver and does stop me hitting rock bottom but boy have I been close in these last few months. It certainly has been turbulent to say the least.
Going out in the sun was a lot more stressful than it should have been because I was so self conscious. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see me sticking two fingers up to my brain and insecurities by posting lots of pictures of myself and embracing things for what they are.

I don't love myself but I should.
I've been through a lot and I need to start giving myself a break and taking credit for getting through each day the best way I can. I deserve my own love.

I apologise for not talking about my mental health more. I have been neglecting that side of my blog just like I've been neglecting myself. Brushing thoughts and feelings under the carpet is no good for anyone. Speaking out just makes you feel so much more free. Like you're unburdening yourself.

I hope that all of you are doing well and if you're not and you need someone to talk to then there are many websites you can visit which I'll list below. Alternatively if you just want someone to talk to then I'm always here. You can contact me via my email or my social media. 
I'm more than happy to lend an ear.

For help and advice:


  1. As holistic therapists we can advise you to let go of any fears and stress, accept who you are and all the emotions you may have, they exist for a reason and the best way to deal with them is to visualize them, understand how they make you feel and then let them go :) Try a 10 morning meditation everyday, focusing only on your breathing and try to imagine what you'd like to do in your day and what you expect from it!

    Patricia & Miguel

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Louisa! It's not an easy task. I see so much of myself in you it's crazy! I also have fear taking new medications (or any for that matter) because of a sexual trauma experience I had in my teens, and ever since then I automatically think all medications will harm/kill me over time. I also have fear of hospitals and ambulances. hate the siren, especially! I'm so glad to hear the medication you have now works for you!

    1. Thank you for sharing a small part of your story here Kayla. I'm really sorry that you relate to me but if you need anyone to talk to about anything then I'm here x