Therapy.. and why I’m done

Throughout our IUI/IVF TTC/Fertility journey, we (in particular, me) were encouraged several times – well meaningly – by some of our lovely nurses to see the therapist. And every time I refused. I just do not see the point.

Yes, I was often a crying mess. Frankly, I’m not sure I know many couples where at least one of them is not a crying mess to have gone through/be going through the hell that is infertility. But;

No therapist in the world was going to make me pregnant.

No therapist in the world is going to change my mindset. In my opinion, therapists help but no one can change you.

At the points in which I underwent counselling, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and CAT (Cognitive Analytical Therapy), I was just learning to talk about these things. These feelings and emotions and behaviours that had essentially been locked up for most of my life – ALL of my adult life! I had bottled them all up for so long that they caused huge breakdowns in me, and so talking to a therapist felt like the only option. At that point I couldn’t have discussed some of those things with anyone, and the leading questions you are offered from a mental-health trained therapist to get you talking are next to nothing expert level! At that point in my life, that’s what I needed. But now I’ve learnt to talk, and write openly. To not be ashamed or scared of what my mind is telling me. It’s still not always easy but I can discuss things far easier now with those around me, than ever before. But often because, everything I’ve been through is quite open, so everyone knows. Everyone else is now almost-expert at leading questions/being open and accepting of discussing subjects that may not have been discussed before! I’m definitely a pretty open book now – nothing is off limits for discussion here!

Don’t get me wrong, my therapists were great. And some time in the future I may need therapy again. But I’m quite picky about what I need from a therapist and wouldn’t just stick with anyone if it wasn’t right for me. But right now, I’m back to Karen. I’m pretty good at talking to anyone and everyone about anything and everything, so therapy is just not needed here. The question of “will our baby have a severely mentally ill mum?” Has crossed my mind. But for now, I’m good. I’m not worried about post-natal depression, but I know if it happens that support is out there.

A favourite extract from Matt Haig’s “How to Stop Time”. ❀️

Work

I was faced today, with a question I think about quite a lot. As usual, it (along with most subjects!!) peaked some emotion… and got me thinking. Got me thinking because the answer I gave, didn’t entirely match with the zillions of thoughts flying around in my head when asked the question (and still now, several hours and distractions later);

Do I miss work?

Yes, is the short answer. But I never do short answers, do I?! I think that would surprise some, given the black hole of a person that I was at the time I finally quit. Given the seemingly careless “life of Riley” I mostly get to lead now (β˜ΊοΈπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚)!

Yes, I miss work. Despite the nightmares and agony, I was faced with for [almost] a year whilst in my final job pre “retirement”, I still miss it. I had multiple daily panic attacks, I couldn’t think, eat, exercise or function straight. I was constantly terrified, increasingly isolated and always self-punishing, one hideous way or another… one of the final straws saw me collapse – and I am forever grateful to the GP that essentially saved my life and got me out of there as early as he could…

But, I still miss work.

I miss the routine. I miss the fast pace where I seemingly (used to) function at my best (Ok, this came more with Primark than Clarks!!) and the fashion, the retail and the numbers, the analysing and the forecasting and the sense of achievement when you cracked it. I miss the conversations with like-minded adults (even if we ever have kids, I had hoped to return part time). I miss the banter that at one point I had with my colleagues; the brother/sisterly relationship I had with a previous line manager, and I miss that if I needed a hug, one desk away was a so-called “best friend”… I miss being the heart, life and soul of the team {that’s not me being big-headed – far from it, (I don’t have that kind of self-confidence or belief) I was actually told this by my boss… as an almost-but-not-quite πŸ™„-sandwich style “compliment”; that ended with essentially the statement that my mental health was also now ripping the entire team apart (yeah, I know.. he was never a great people person!). At 25, when I’d joined a team that had been in existence for who-knows-how long, I was the one that brought it together. And at 27/28 when I was crippled with anxiety and depression, I alone “ripped” it apart}.

I miss the confidence I had – the knowledge that I knew what I was doing and that I was good at it. I was once good at my job. I fell into my career knowing I’d love it – and I did. I miss that I was “sparkly” karen. I had independence, a decent salary and didn’t constantly rely heavily on my husband – for everything. For money, for the mortgage, some days just for a conversation, for help to answer questions because I can’t just be asked a straight question anymore without often looking to him when I answer, rather than looking the person who asked straight in the eye (including today’s question). I don’t trust myself still to get the words out that I mean [largely why I write this blog!] without jumbling them up and making little to no sense (which often happens; I confuse myself!) Don’t get me wrong – James doesn’t begrudge me a single thing, he never has and never would, he’s happy I’m happy, and alive, and almost ~ sometimes ~ back to normal.

I miss it – I often wonder, if I could turn back the clock, could I have changed things? Could I have fought harder, persevered? Continued to make myself more and more ill? After all – who knows if the infertility is something I was born with, or due to the 20 odd years of on/off ongoing anorexia, or, simply, due to that one nightmare year when I crumbled into barely even a shell of my former self? And the struggles I still face with that now.

I thought leaving was my choice, finally, after several months of encouragement from my husband, my family, friends, and even my GP, I thought I had finally made my mind up… but just over a year on, I looked back and realised I was bullied out; rumours rife about me started by the most-evil of line managers I was unfortunately dumped with at a critical time, meant no one talked to me. I drove in, alone, often having panic attacks and our-of-body experiences whilst driving, unable for weeks to even walk into the building without her (line manager) walking me. I did what I could manage to focus on, keeping quiet and hidden, and forgotten. And I drove home again, with more panic attacks ensuing. I couldn’t eat at work, I couldn’t/didn’t before work, and I ran through my lunch breaks as well as before/after work.

Could I have remained bleak, despondent and that ill – with the occasional “I like it when you laugh again” comment from my long-suffering husband, who tried so, so hard, and yet those comments were so, so rare, and incredibly devastating to hear – all he wanted – all we all wanted and needed – was the “old” karen back. The one who “shone” and sparkled and who was constantly organising fun and keeping busy. The one who never missed out on trying anything once, who lived hard, because life is all too short.

So yes. I miss work. And I guess I miss it more because it wasn’t, really, entirely my choice to leave. Yes, I was the one that quietly went in as late as possible one day to hand in my notice and accompanying sick note for the notice period (to minimise the amount of people that would be around), wordlessly emptying my draws of personal belongings two nights before, so no-one would know, or suspect or be around; but I was left with no choice – I didn’t have another job to move into, and I still can’t now imagine going through an interview process ever again. I can barely focus enough some days to watch a TV programme that I WANT to watch, or read a book, let alone seriously considering the further studying (in almost literally EVERYTHING) I’d love to do, because I don’t have the concentration span, memory or functionality anymore… my previous employer stripped me of that, and I can’t ever see myself getting it back.

I still miss work, but I also know how incredibly fortunate I am that I could leave – that financially we could remain stable and not *need* my income. There aren’t many people lucky enough to be in that situation, and who have to battle through – and I guess I’m sorry to my family that I didn’t take it up sooner, instead leaving them crushed and completely at a loss as to how to help. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel lazy. Particularly with all the fertility hell – I wonder what on earth I can possibly be here, on this earth for? I don’t work and I’m not a Mother..

Clarks stripped me of my confidence that even the mere thought of a job interview fills me with dread. In the midst of my second breakdown I was attending job interviews left, right and centre but absolutely making myself look like an idiot that had never done the job before – I struggled to understand or answer questions or even think straight. My concentration remains poor at times. My vocabulary regressed and I find myself convinced I am stupid on many days. But, there are glimmers – we’ve shedded the friends-who-aren’t-really-friends, made new ones, and we help and support each other as much as possible.. I never thought we’d see the “old karen” again, but occasionally, I realise.. she’s right here.

πŸ’›

An open letter to my therapist..

Today I had my last therapy with my current therapist. I won’t say what kind of therapy it is I’ve had – as knowing this would have put me off at the start and I wouldn’t want to do that to anyone, because it is worth it – but you are asked to write a letter to your therapist in the final session – and they write one to you too.. you can write anything – even just one line – but we all know I’m a writer…!

I was scared because you read the letters to each other (unless you really just can’t, somehow, through tears I managed it!) the writing wasn’t an issue, as usual. 

As I was writing it though, I thought about how it wasn’t necessarily just personal to him. A lot of it just makes sense. The Time to Change campaign are running a “what do you wish people knew about your mental health problem?” And whilst writing, re-writing, reading, and re-reading what I’d written to my therapist, I thought it fit in quite well.. so here it is.. my own words, to my therapist (with a couple of little bits just added)… but what I want you all to know..

Dear Richard,
Well, as per, I have no idea where to start, or end, or what to say full stop! If I’d have known this was coming I probably would have run a mile (or 26… did I mention I ran a marathon?!) 7 sessions ago! Even my husband came out with the understatement of the year in saying it sounded “scary”!
Writing isn’t really a problem for me… I can – and do – go on for hours! It’s more the speaking/saying it out loud. I don’t know if it’s even that I’m just scared/don’t want to/don’t like to – I just feel quite terrified.. but also perplexed – because at school I quite often wrote and did readings – sometimes with a friend, but also sometimes alone. I had forgotten I had ever even done this until going through boxes of my old school “stuff” recently. It highlighted to me, that at some point I must have had an element of self confidence within me, I guess, to have been able to do that.
I have enjoyed our sessions – and this therapy process in itself.

I don’t know whether “you therapists” (Rachael was the same!) “mimic” your patients – as such – but I always found it amusing/calming/warming how we would find the same things funny and despite my crazy mind we could still share a giggle over how much constant holiday you {never me πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚!} get!! It’s the daft little things I guess!!
I am surprised at myself too, because as I got utterly desperate for help in the months prior to me being offered therapy with you – I eliminated male therapists from my search. I am a real girly, girl’s girl and I was convinced I needed a female therapist again. They didn’t tell me when I was initially offered the appointment over the phone that my therapist would be male – it was only when I got the letter that I realised (panicked!) but I then figured that I may as well give you a chance! I am glad I did – proud of myself, if you like! – you gave me an unexpected, different and somewhat calming approach.. despite being male!! However, you, or I, should really write down my “homework” as I often forgot on my return home!
I like {this} therapy. I think it makes sense – I just think the time isn’t enough (or maybe I am just extra complex – I suspect so!) especially just 8 sessions on the NHS, although I appreciate the constraints! I kept meaning to ask you if you worked privately so I could at least get the longer (infinite!!) time I felt/feel I need(ed), but, I don’t think you do. I feel, perhaps, like I have wasted our sessions: they’ve gone so fast and yet I don’t feel like I’ve progressed. That’s not through fault of you though! I don’t know if it’s my “never good enough” talking, or because time has gone so fast, or even just from where I don’t feel as “high” at the moment. I seem to struggle to concentrate, take things in and remember anything whatsoever when my mind strays into that black hole of… literal emptiness!! I’ve felt the same from my CBT sessions – again, not through therapist fault, but just because my mind is a mess, I guess. 
I wasn’t consciously aware of being upset in our second to last session because I knew therapy was coming to an end – but perhaps subconsciously it was playing on my mind more than I realised. I’ve found myself thinking in the last couple of weeks that I just can’t do this “on my own” despite being surrounded by family and friends who love me unconditionally and just wish they could wave a magic wand to “fix” me.
I write down a tonne of thoughts and head to bed, yet everytime I put my head on the pillow, my mind starts spinning with more. It is never ending. How do I break that cycle? I can, sometimes – or at least “after” – identify rational and irrational thoughts. What is ridiculous and what is stupid. I know hurting myself in any way won’t help, and that, despite the feeling of being in control from doing so, that that couldn’t actually be any further from the truth: that by doing so I am letting my negative, irrational mind win. But I just can’t stop the thoughts or stop myself from “playing up to them”.
It feels impossible to change those age old habits – they are older than I am an adult. They feel like me – even though I am also conscious – to an extent – of not wanting to be like this. I feel like a child. I feel constantly like I have regressed. I feel like I need regular (an improvement from constant!) support and help to crack this. I guess I just feel I need a bit of aid and encouragement to get the old brain cogs working!

And I am scared, but, I think, most of all I am scared of how much this all, still, controls me – what I do and who I am, yet I cannot give it up. It is obsessive and a compulsion, and I am petrified of the “what if’s”!! After all – who am I outside of this crazy mind? Who is Karen underneath all these many years and layers of anxiety with depression? Without compulsively under-eating and overexercising, without having something I can “control”? I know what my friends and family – particularly my Mum and Dad – will say. They will say I am kind and caring, loving and loveable, a worshipper of the sun and warmer weather, a girl who lives and loves to travel and explore the world! They’d say I am a fighter and have been since day 1; be it fighting for myself, or for others who I feel have been subject to injustice. 

But what if I am not? What if this kindness and caring and excessive love I give off is actually a result of anxiety and depression? Of how I have been treated? A result of my many layers; because I know. I know what it feels to not be treated kindly, or be cared about or loved; even if my experience of that has come from someone (some people) who really, is (are) nothing to me. And what if I can’t keep fighting?
I feel like a hypocrite, as, just the other week, in light of all the terror attacks, I wrote a brief post about how we cannot and will not lock ourselves away “just in case” of the “what if’s” – and yet, really, here I am, locked away inside my own compulsive little (nasty!) habits, inside of my own head. Ruled by a negative mind.

I stole the quote “what if I fall? Oh my darling, but what if you fly?” yet, despite finding myself regularly suggesting/helping/being there for others struggling with their own [mental] health, I cannot completely help myself. And worst of all, I worry. I worry that what if I don’t really want to help myself? What if I don’t really – can’t – loose this controlled/controlling part of me? In which case, why am I even doing any of this?!
It’s *almost* funny- but if someone says something self depreciating/negative/I don’t like/feel is true about me, I won’t stand for it, I’ll fight it and be fuming – and yet I’m negative about and towards myself consistently! Nothing anyone ever says or does or writes to me resonates for long enough to remind myself that I am enough. And even as I read you this letter, and you waited for me to finish, you remembered – somehow – even what I had said right at the start in order to respond. Even I couldn’t have remembered what I had said – and I wrote it – yet I know you responded in a way in which to remind me once more that I am enough, but already I cannot remember how or what you said….
And now, I don’t know where, or how to end this. As appears to be my forte – I’ve gone on for quite a while. I’ve been writing this on and off for the last two weeks, the main bulk of it done immediately after our seventh session so I didn’t forget! I’m not sure if I have said everything I want or need to say, or, as usual, if it is “good enough”, but with less than an hour until our final session, I guess I need to end somewhere.. Although I do have a couple of unexpected pages left, so I expect I will have a “P.S” or two somewhere!!

I’m also unsure how to “sign off”. A “sincerely” feels too formal, and I am also used to signing cards and letters to friends and family with outpourings of “lots of love” etc, but that feels even weirder! So instead, the only option feels to me to be a great big thank you, for your understanding and help, and for making me less “wary” or whatever it is I’ve previously thought or felt towards male therapists.
Karen x

There was, in the end, no P.S. I think I said everything I had to say for now. The only thing I’d like to add to Richard now (though it unlikely he’d ever see it!), is how funny I found it when he accidentally let an “f-bomb” slip.. I can’t even remember what context he used it in – it was definitely appropriate, but beyond unexpected, but being that I constantly feel like I’m swearing unnecessarily (and I hate it!) it certainly made me feel better, and giggle. β˜ΊοΈπŸ˜‚

x

Little ray of sunshine πŸŒ€

Sunshine on a rainy day 🎢

One of my old Clarks colleagues (and I feel at some point soon there will be a blog about the whole horrendous Clarks experience, because; therapy.) suggested to me that he had had “depression for 8 weeks once” but “didn’t feel the need to write about it, let alone share it”. Admittedly this was said some time ago but it keeps popping into my head.. particularly after I’ve been forced to go through EVERYTHING on my phone and delete due to “lack of memory space” 😫.

Anyway – there’s a *few* (understatement of the year) things wrong with those words.

The first is that, you DO NOT just get depression for a mere 8 weeks, and then all is fine and la-de-da again forevermore. Nope, nuhuh, no way, soz 🀚🏾. Depression, or indeed, any mental health illness, lives within you forever. You either have it, or you don’t. You’ll have better spells; days, weeks, months, maybe even years (if you’re really lucky!), but it will always be there, lingering, ready to to come back and shatter your world. I suggest – ex colleague – that you were just a bit down in the dumps for a few weeks over something or other [dumped? Clarks being their usual selves?!], but, despite being no expert, I can confirm you most certainly were not “depressed” if that was your first and last lifetime experience of it. And if it is something you continue to struggle with, I encourage you to seek help.

Second/third/fourth issues are; well, that’s just mighty good for you not feeling the need to write or even “share” about your experience. Maybe you’re not a writer. Maybe you deal with things in other ways. Maybe you didn’t want to talk or share your experience; that’s all fine; as a human being in a free world that is your choice. As is my choice to write and share. Ta very much for your *unnecessary* opinion there regarding my choices. πŸ‘πŸΎ [note; sarcasm.]

Little bit in love with Bryony Gordon ATM 😍

I feel the need to write. It’s part of my self-therapy, it’s part of getting it out of me and it’s part just what feels right for me; just like running (although I think I fancy a little break from running… 😬😱!!). And, somewhat most importantly to me; it’s often a little ray of sunshine for others. πŸŒ₯


Others who feel they can’t [yet; because I too was at that point, for a long, long time] talk or write about what they are going through. Others who are suffering in silence; which I don’t recommend but I 100% understand because I’ve been there, {and sometimes I continue to find myself there because it really is an absolute nightmare to tell the people you love the most, that despite your seemingly perfect life; you just aren’t ok.} Others who have been brave enough to tell me, in confidence, that they aren’t ok, and are kind enough to tell me they always read my blogs, and that sometimes my words are enough to remind them they are not alone.

I am not for a second big headed enough (although apparently I sometimes come across like this, and I’d like to remind you that not only did I A) go to drama school but that B) mental health battles are all about the hiding it and faking it and pretending you are “ok”) to think I’m all that: that my ramblings are enough; I am just merely repeating what others have told me. And I thank those people whole-heartedly, because as a typical “millennial” it makes me feel like I have a tiny, incey-wincey bit of purpose.

Biggest fair weather lover you’ll know – but this kind of has a point 🌈

Most of the time my mind wonders enough to form words to write when I am walking the dog. Let me tell you it is not easy to walk the dog across fields and write a blog… I wish my brain had the power to think this clearly and concisely when I was sat at a computer/laptop! More than once I have almost sprained my ankle falling down a rabbit hole [pun intended] whilst thinking and writing; and let me tell you all once and for all this is EXACTLY why I do not run cross country but instead stick to the knee-damaging tarmac of roads and pavements..!!
Anyway – as per usual karen tangent..

I don’t write for others. I write for me. I share for me because I’m tired of not sharing. I’m tired of fighting things alone, and I think we all know from my overgramming (πŸ“ΈπŸ˜) that frankly, I love to share! Sometimes I still find myself having those dark days alone, but sharing and being open and having support – no matter how difficult it is at the time – reminds me I can do this. As can you. β˜€οΈ

I know more than anyone it’s not this easy.. but dance freely and make friends ☺️

In other news – I am a fully grown-almost 30-year old adult who for the second day in a row has spilt food/drink down her top.. this is an improvement on in my hair.. and yet, on putting on a new top I have discovered a twig somehow entwined within the sleeves… πŸ™„ #ICantAdult 

Fat.

We all individually think we are fat. Beyond Gordon hits the nail bang on the head with the hammer when I read ~ just yesterday ~ her words in “Mad Girl” {and oh, my, gosh do I resonate with SO MUCH of this book..!} of 

“For young women, fat is more often a mental state rather than a physical one.” 

We all individually think “others” are perfect.Why do we judge ourselves so harshly when we wouldn’t judge others this way? Alright, I know theres a few nasty bullies out there who judge others instantaneously – not gonna lie; I’ve probably definitely done it in the past… we all have… but I have noticed myself more and more following “kindness is magic” because you just don’t know what others have/been/are going through and thus don’t judge a book by its cover.. but by and large, we are extrodinarily self critical whilst viewing others in this positive glow of perfection that simply isn’t true.

Why do we see ourselves in one light and others in a more positive light?

We are πŸ¦„.

I’m noticing this a lot recently. It’s good, because it’s what I’m meant to be doing as a result of therapy; catching myself thinking negatively about myself and really assessing, well, me. Not just in terms of “I’m fat” but generally under this all round umbrella of “not good enough” that I’ve placed upon myself; but there is no upper limit to what is “good enough” so I am constantly a failure to myself; because myself doesn’t even know what is good enough… genius, right?!

In a group conversation with two of my bestest πŸ¦„ girlfriends the other day, we were all individually berating ourselves. Calling ourselves fat, or flabby, whilst the other two said “you’re not, but I…” etc, etc. We do it a lot – not just us 3; women in general. But we aren’t. We are all different and unique. I have bigger thighs. Francesca is just all round tiny [Well Rosie and I think so at least ☺️]; and we don’t know how because my-unicorn (don’t believe in god πŸ˜‰) she is one hell of a baker, and if I baked like her I’d be absolutely enormous from taste testing the goods/licking ALL the bowls πŸ‘…πŸ€£ . Rosie, on the other hand, is “top heavy”: she has bigger boobs (guess the guys/her bf are/is happy πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚), and she’s dubbed her “belly” “Krispy Kreme Castle” and butt πŸ‘ “Mars Bar Mount” which is so cute and funny, and made me laugh out loud that I can’t help but join in with her on it. She’s still tiny. Her legs are long and slim and her butt looks pretty good to me and not so Mars-Bar-Mounty… me? Well I have tiny hands and feet and I’m warming to the rest of me. My stomach often looks reasonably flat despite ALL the food, and I prefer my smaller boobs (although they never feel so small πŸ˜’).


So here we are. Krispy Kreme Castle bellies and all; terms of endearment. I don’t think we really care anymore though; this is just who we are. We exercise/don’t exercise as and when we want. I run; I love it. Francesca doesn’t; because her asthma is waaaay worse than mine and she doesn’t so much love it 🀣. Having said that; she was pretty good running in France this week and has seriously good form! Rosie does ALL the gym classes and has discovered that if we play the 90’s Christina Aquilera “Fighter” then she totes adores the boxing even more!! The funny thing is – we all wear pretty much the same size clothing..!

I’m Karen. I’m 29 [fighting 30 in a few months.. 😱] and I’m 5ft 5″-ish.. and I tend to sit at around 9 and a half stone. Sometimes just over (ugh) and sometimes just under (yay!). I’ve fought that for years, I’ve fought and continue to fight the anorexic thoughts that have been present within my mind for more or less 30 years. I’ve said before I don’t truly believe they will ever completely go away; they may come back stronger than ever, but right now I am learning to appreciate what I’ve got and live, love and laugh with it. Clearly 9 stone 7 pounds [ish] is where I’m meant to sit. And you know what? That sits right smack in the middle of “healthy” for my age/height/sex. That is, those magic words; “good enough”. As I’ve typed that I’ve realised it’s a classic time for me to “catch myself” again. That is good enough. I am good enough.

Obviously (“ugh”) I am not ok with the ‘slightly’ over 9.7 stone, and ideally I’d maintain the 8 stone I was at around 2-3 years ago, but I can’t. I can’t maintain 8 stone or just under. I can’t even seem to maintain just under 9 stone. And I think I’m learning to deal with it. If it’s unmaintanable then it can’t be right, right? I want to live and be happy: not fight myself day in day out. I’m not gonna lie – This isn’t easy for me to say or deal with, but I’m trying to for the sake of life and happiness which is super important. The most important. I am learning to be ok with it. I am living; eating and drinking and moving as others do. For the first time since I’ve had the t-shirt, my “running = more cake πŸŽ‚” tee is actually more truthful than laughable. Running used to equal more running.. running used to equal allowing myself dinner..

I have stretch marks too from puberty. I hate them – but actually they are mostly faded now and, you know what? I was so, so relieved when Francesca said to me the other day that she “hates these stretch marks on her thighs” because I’d never noticed hers. I’d have never said she had any until she told me. We home in on our own “faults” and fail to realise that actually they are just part of being human, they aren’t abnormal, we are NOT all perfect, photoshopped images, and they/we’re ok.

I’ve noticed this last week I’ve got the beginnings of some tiny varocous veins forming… not best pleased for not-even-30… but maybe, just maybe, by announcing this “out loud” will make someone else who is struggling with noticing this in themselves be ok with the fact that I too, am not yet 30, and not best pleased – but what am I to do?! They are forming. I don’t know much about them as they aren’t something I’ve spent years worrying and pouring my soul into researching like every other aspect of me – but I know my mum has them, and I’m sure the googling will soon ensue…

Something inside me is changing. Maybe its age/maturity. Maybe it’s the amount of beautiful weather we’ve been having (/I’ve taken myself to!). Maybe it’s the Cognitive Analytical Therapy [CAT]psychotherapy that I’ve been undergoing, or the citalopram I’ve been taking, or because I ran a marathon, or been talking to therapists/everyone and anyone who will listen about everything and anything. Or maybe even the amount of doctors/nurses that have had probes/cameras/catheters/speculum’s up my vagina in the last few years. Who knows – whatever it is [& I do suspect a strong element of maturity; perhaps induced by the citalopram] I’m changing. Topless in front of friends/my Mum? Don’t care. Or one of my besties, Rosie “I’m-not-going-to-walk-in-on-you-naked-in-the-shower-oops-I-just-did”… I just don’t seem to be fussed. I just don’t seem to care anymore: we are all human. We all have bodies. We are all different but we all have our pros and self-perceived “cons”. And more and more of us are realising this, and that life is just too short to not enjoy it…Man I wish I had felt this age … 0 onwards….

So..!

So – the 2 pages I did actually manage to read yesterday:


Relevant. So relevant. Especially that second to last paragraph on page 16… I have lost count of the number of times ignorant* people have said to me “but you’ve got everything! You’ve got a lush house, job, car, husband, dog, good figure, fit, healthy” blah-de-blah-de-blah… are you for real?! I mean cheers – that makes a mental health sufferer feel 150 bazillion % WORSE. And guilty. SO GUILTY. I know – believe me I know how bloody lucky I [mostly!] am – I am fortunate. I am physically (mostly) and financially wealthy and comfortable. That doesn’t mean my head isn’t fecking mental, and thus I do not need reminding why I seemingly have nothing to be “anxious” or “depressed” about. 

It. Is. Not. A. Choice. 

I wouldn’t wish the hell I have been through on even my worst enemy – and believe me I can be pretty mean like that, so: why on earth would I then choose it for me?

Sometimes, I do think mental health is more important than physical health – because the state of your mental health can dramatically impact on the state of your physical health. I keep going back to this recent saying from my primary school teacher – Mrs Cooke you have really got me thinking here!! “mens sana in corpore sano” ~ “a healthy mind in a healthy body” 🌚🌝

*if you actually say the words “I don’t understand it” or “I’m bored of trying to understand it – then, I’m sorry; you are an ignorant plonker. Sorry, not sorry. But I’ve heard it and its just absurd. Do you understand Cancer? Me either. Parkinson’s? Same. How about Poverty? Aids? World hunger? Human trafficking? Nope, nope, nope and nope: me either. Do you try to understand, and empathise? Yes. The world is full of shitty things no one should have to go through; mental health illness is no different. 

It isn’t easy to help someone. I see that now in me in hindsight, and in desperately wanting my friends to feel better now. A typical reaction for someone struggling with mental health is to entirely withdraw and isolate themselves. It’s not obvious to the sufferer at the time, it just happens. You think you are screaming out for help, but in fact you are withdrawing and quietly freaking the hell out. Just be there for people. Listen if need be. Be nice. Be patient. Give hugs. Or flowers. Love. Be kind. I like all of those things…. there really is something about this kindness being magic which makes everyone feel better…
Couldn't agree more!
^ couldn’t agree more!