"I Want To Be Better" | Mental Health

Someone sent me a message on Instagram (@theintrovertarchive and @elyssajane_ just FYI) and among the niceties they mentioned that I hadn't posted an update on my mental health in a while and after a quick scroll through my past few blogs I realised they were right and it was definitely time for an update after a bit of an absence the past few weeks. Life got a bit hectic with final TAFE assignments and you know just life things, but I have returned with a mental health post, holla. 

Late last year I was extremely close to hitting rock bottom yet again. My mental health was plummeting like a spaceship unintentionally hurtling back towards Earth, and much like that situation I was going to have a pretty hard landing if I didn't do something to better myself pretty quickly.

In January Brodie had four weeks off, which meant it was holiday time. This helped, not as much as I wanted it too, but it did help. I found myself still doing work and still writing posts, so I never really switched off and enjoyed the holiday as much as I could have. We spent nearly two weeks in Kalbarri, six hours away from home- no matter how far away you go you always end up running into people you know, always. 
As per usual I started to long for home by the end of our two weeks away which was adding some weight on my shoulders, my anxiety began to build. We ended up coming home a few days early, because as we found out sleeping in a swag for more than two nights is the actual worst, better still we were camping in the middle of cyclone season, A+ planning on our behalves. We both enjoyed ourselves, it was the most time we had spent together day in day out since we've been together and we didn't even attempt to drown one another, so proud of us. I'm going to add in some photos of our holiday below because Kalbarri is so pretty!

So how was rock bottom?
I don't know, because I didn't get there this time. 
Bloody gold star for Elyssa because I successfully stopped myself from hitting the lowest of lows, I recognised that I was headed for the dead end and without the help of Google Maps and her "at the next right make a U-turn" I made my own U-turn and bettered myself, and today I thought I would tell you a little it about how I saw the bottom looming at me and how I am still working to get back up.

The warning signs.

After over six years with depression and anxiety you would think by now I was down pat with recognising my warning signs and knowing in myself that it was time to start working on myself again.
I struggle with recognising these warning signs because I go into denial and start pretending that they aren't there, if I can't see them, they aren't there, right? Wrong.
Looking back now I can say "oh yep, should have spent that one" but again I was in denial, I didn't want to be that person who was depressed again, I didn't want that label stuck on my forehead again.

One of the first things I should recognise in myself is I start being harder on myself. I stop listening to my body and force myself to workout even if I just need to sit down and take a break, I start being stricter on my eating, I get mad at myself more often. 
Another warning sign is that the above only happens on the weekdays and the weekends see me writing myself off, I drink until I don't feel anything. I drink until I can safely go home and sleep because sleep is rare when I am getting bad again. I drink until my mind stops doing cartwheels and just shuts up with the thoughts that I can't deal with anymore. 
Continuing on with the sleep factor- I loose my sleep routine entirely. I won't sleep at night like a normal person, I sleep best during the day. And when I sleep I wake every so often with the weird dreams my mind leads me too. 
I will look for any excuse to not leave my house, I go into a shell and its damn hard to come out of it. I've gotten better at this one now that I have an actual group of friends but I still get to a point where I will just want to stay in bed forever and not leave it. 

The breakdown

The last step I get too before I hit full on rock bottom is the breakdown. 
Sometimes I'll get a silent breakdown- no tears, no anger, just the same thoughts and taking to the bed for a few days.
As I said that only happens sometimes, because most of the time it will hit a massive cry and the throwing of some random objects around the room. This breakdown will last anywhere from an hour to the whole night (lucky Brodie) and is usually the point where I think "well fuck, time to drag myself up and be better."

being better. 

Once I've gone through the breakdown stage I know in myself that I can't keep going like that and I need to get up, dust myself off and be better. This is my current stage that I'm in. I want to be a better person, I want to feel better, all around I just have these ideals of being better. So how the hell do I accomplish that one? Good bloody question. 
The first step to being better is deciding that you actually do want to be better and knowing why. If ou don't have the motivation and the will to be a better person then there is nothing to keep pushing you in the direction that you want to go in. 
I work better when I write things down in a place where it can hit me in the face regularly, and act as a reminder that 'hey! You're trying to be better, get your shit together.'
I write down my goals and why I want to be a better person in my planning journal where I plan out my life/my blog posts, as that is something that I look at more than once a day. 
I know that I can't be better all in one go, so I devise a plan. The areas that I can work on first followed by the areas that I can wait to improve on. To give you an idea on what my areas look like I'll list a few of the things I am currently working on below.

I want too:
-Be kinder. When I get myself in a state I lose all interest in being a nice person. I can't do the whole "pretending to be nice to people", I just have absolutely no patience for people and I have no desire to be their friend when I don't like them.
-Get off my arse and motivate myself. I fall into a rut of "I can't be bothered to do this, I'll do it later." and "Yeah, I'll do it tomorrow." and then it never gets done. I stop working out as much, I stop getting out of bed as much, I stop cooking, I stop doing anything. 
-To be happier. I think if I pretend to be happy for a while, I will be happy eventually. 

Once I have the plan I know where I am headed and how I am going to get there, it helps to have some kind of direction. I'm currently still in the "following the plan" stage. I'm still trying to get better, to feel better, to be better. Its a slow process and not one that you can rush, there are set backs and bumps in the road that you have to overcome before you reach the end point.