On a day when I have seen more posts titled “freedom never felt so good” than I would ever have liked to have done, I am not feeling the same buzz of excitement that everyone else seems to be fully embracing. Quite the opposite. The last couple of weeks have been difficult for me and one way I know to get out of my echo chamber and make myself feel better is to tell you.
I have been on a low for the last couple of weeks. A funk that isn’t wanting to leave me very quickly. I have been more anxious, had panic attacks, cried a lot, stared into the distance, procrastinated and not slept very well. A couple of times I have not helped myself either. For example, drinking too much on a day when I had a panic attack and then having the dreaded hangxiety the following day. Overall, though, I want to pat myself on the back. I have refrained from drinking when I feel low, (as Reece Witherpoon says in ‘How Do You Know’; “Don’t drink to feel better, drink to feel even better.”) I haven’t reacted in the ways I would have done before at times when I was triggered, and I have made contact with someone who will hopefully become my new therapist.
On top of this I have made steps that Leah of yesteryear would never have been brave enough to take. Details of which I won’t go into, but my god, 2018 Leah would be so fucking proud of me right now. I forget how far I have come, because I have focused too much on how far there is still to go, hence the somewhat pessimistic title of this blog. (Thank Simon Pegg in Spaced, he said it). Are happy endings a myth? Do we work on ourselves, taking steps forward and the occasional back, in vain? Do we get to that precious happiness we’ve heard so much about, or is it just something we hear of but never see?
Now I am not meaning to come across as miserable or ‘cynical’ as I have been called today, but having worked on myself and my mental well-being for a good five years at this point, I am feeling pretty tired by the way I feel currently. Sisyphus pushing that boulder up that damned hill comes to mind again. Once you’ve opened the Pandora’s box that is your mind, your mental health and your well-being and start sifting through the evils within, can you stop? Is there an end or are we doomed to a life of therapy and boulder pushing?
I like to think that even if a life of therapy is in my future that there will be happiness in that. I am not unhappy now, I am both overwhelmed and underwhelmed, I am sad, I am lonely, I am fatigued, but I am also happy, grateful and willing to put up a fight. I am sitting in all those feelings and feeling deeply uncomfortable, but the discomfort is better than the fear of those feelings.
I hope that it is evident from my ramblings that working on yourself and your mental health is hard work, but it is also rewarding. It’s important to take stock of your achievements as well as looking to the future. I have learnt so much the last five years and that’s with minimal help, but now I need to let others help me continue this journey. It’s time for me to take my own advice, let myself be vulnerable and let others give me a helping hand for once. I am strong, but with the help of others, I’ll bet I can get that boulder to the top.