Trying to remember the ‘old me’

If you haven’t seen the featured image on this post then here it is again;

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This was me in 2011 the night before I flew away to Norway for 6 months of volunteering, an impulsive but life-changing decision that I would definitely do again.

By this point in my life ( 20 Years Old!!) I had experienced my fair share of death and loss, anorexia, bulimia, self harm and abuse. Most recently I had experienced heartbreak and had moved back to the family home. I was getting by (luckily) by not having to pay rent and working a caring job and bar work and Christmas jobs at Marks and Spencer!!

Fast forward to me now and things are very different, but I do miss the ‘old me’ – I was sat thinking about this the other night and then it dawned on me that I could not really remember the old me.

The old me;

  • Happily worked at least 2/3 jobs as well as study.
  • Only experienced pain when I injured myself.
  • Was a little anxious but got on with things.
  • Could cope with 2 hours sleep and get up and head out for the day.
  • Exercised several times a week.
  • Had people around me.
  • Was motivated and enthusiastic about my future. ( The inability to get into Nursing or Midwifery at Uni started this downhill spiral).
  • Could get by day-to-day without anxiety, depression, illness, pain or life getting in the way.
  • Was happy (ish)

Don’t get me wrong there are positives in life now, but the fact that I looked back to remember the old me and I couldn’t, really hit me. Looking at 2017-Present Day it is difficult to see how a bout of anxiety and depression and other difficulties has made me change so much as a person and made me a shadow of my former self. Factors such as physical illness, workplace bullying, mental health and the realisation of what happened to me as a younger person throughout my life only just becoming a reality and really getting in the way has made me change. I am still unsure whether this change is completely good or not, yes I do get very anxious and depressed, I am in pain a lot of the time and struggle to get to sleep, stay asleep and function normally but I find it so hard to discuss these things as people simply do not understand. You can be the most caring person in the world but unless you have experienced certain things you really cannot understand them. I am tired, it is not tiredness that will be fixed by a decent nights sleep, although that would most likely help it is not going to cure everything. I lie in bed and have to have the tv on in the background because otherwise my mind is at 100000000 miles an hour, it hurts, it is tiring and sometimes scary and upsetting.

I am a shadow of my former self.

I am a working progress.

I do have a plan.

I am working on it.

Just bare with me.

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Mental Health Monday – Monday August 6th 2018

Today’s post is a new edition!! Planned to run every Monday until the end of 2018 (maybe even longer) I hope that I can get a post out each Monday, however this may change depending on circumstances.

Todays post is: 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Brought to you from Mind (You can find the post here). But here are some screenshots;

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AND REMEMBER;

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Today I did the dishes

Today’s accomplishment was the fact that I did the dishes, well the dirty ones we have used anyway.

I have not included all the stuff still packed in boxes that has to be washed before it is put away, purely because it has been in boxes so long it is dusty and needs a good soak!!

I still feel like cr*p and my chest hurts, not to mention I still cannot hear out of one ear!! My body hurts, each joint hurts, especially my knees – must be a sign of getting older and being overweight!! With the infection and cough running has been a big no-no so please do not ask how my half marathon training is going!!

On that note, if you can spare any pennies I would massively appreciate any donations to my page ( see link below ) every single penny goes to Mind – for better mental health.

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If you are a UK Tax Payer, please remember to tick the gift aid box.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StacieMai

Today I may have stayed in the house and only done the dishes, but I got up and did something – I could have stayed in bed all day!!

Some things learnt when I temporarily lost hearing in one ear;

As you may or may not know I went back to work after about 7 months off; I lasted 2 weeks and came down with a horrendous viral infection that of course went straight to my chest….then my throat, nose and then boom……….

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Suddenly I had no hearing in my right ear. I thought it was due to the infection and thought it was running its course, I left it about 5/6 days before I went to see my GP (I needed a note for work anyway) and I have an ear infection. I don’t really remember having them as a child and as an adult I had a few painful incidents behind my ear but nothing like this. Even though my other ear still has hearing it has always been a bit muffled (although hearing tests have always been ok) so now I find I cannot use my mobile unless it is on loudspeaker, the house phone is a definite no and volumes on everything are higher than they usually are – plus the subtitles are being used most of the time.

I know it is only temporary (I think!!) but I have learnt some things about hearing loss.

Cherish what senses you have because when you lose one of them (even if temporary) it has a major impact that most people will not understand. I have missed ‘I love you’s’, the dogs asking to go out for a pee, phone calls and a lot of words being spoken.

I have learnt that when people say they have an ear infection, they can really be struggling, I understand the medical aspects of ear infections but realistically had no idea the impact it has on your body when your hearing deteriorates.

Also, ear pain really hurts!! Not only does the inside of my ear hurt, but the outside. My neck is sore and my head throbs and the bone behind my ear is all big and painful. I am hoping to be back in work on Monday (touch wood) I just hope my hearing returns as I am usually struggling to understand and hear people anyway, having hearing in only one ear is making life difficult. My fingers are crossed for my antibiotics to kick in and help

I do not live with hearing loss every day of my life and I really admire those of you that live a life of limited or no hearing. I think this was my wake up call to really sit down and learn Sign Language, I have been saying since primary school I want to learn but never have.

2 Weeks!! That is all it took….

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I know what you are thinking, corny Dear John quote, but nope another sucky health post.

I lasted a whole two weeks at work before someone gave me their unsanitary germs. As I am lying here typing this  I have no sense of smell (although my nose has stopped running so that is a good thing), sore nostrils, sore throat, lungs that feel heavy and are producing a lot of, well crap!! Sweaty, hot and cold at the same time and to top it all off, I am deaf in one ear and suffering with ear pain and a stiff neck, along with numbness in the (deaf) side of my face and a headache of all headaches – looking at the screen is even painful.

Whoever passed me these germs, I WILL FIND YOU AND….

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But not literally of course ( I am far too nice for that). In all seriousness I feel like death warmed up, who gets ill in a heatwave – that would be me!!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get better soon and how to bring my hearing back I would appreciate it.

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Returning to Work following sick leave

TW : This post can be triggering.

I do not really know how I am feeling at the moment.

I have gone back to work after being off for the entire period of 2018. (Literally!!)

Was I ready?….No

Was it necessary?….YES!!

Thoughts I have had since being back at work;

  • Wanting to self harm.
  • Thinking I would be better off dead.
  • That I am useless, weak and stupid.
  • That I am making work for people.
  • That I do not deserve this job.

And so many mixed feelings of anger, frustration and sadness.

Being off work is difficult, if your partner works then you cannot get financial support because “your partner earns too much” and when you finally get told to apply for Universal Credit to help they tell you sorry “too much money” – after weeks of waiting, meetings and appointments!! PIP takes months and I hear more about them rejecting claims than anything and ESA you cannot get if you get SSP (although mine ended in June so I could have applied for this during my time off but didn’t as I was told I had SSP until August.)

Money is a b*tch!! We all have bills to pay but I find it a real shame that people who struggle and are going through a hard time get very limited support. Yet I know plenty of people that cheat the system and get more money than my annual income from working. (I am not judging people who do not work and that receive benefits, I am talking about several people I know that receive benefits and do not work when they could work but choose not to)

Now that rant is over. I am back at work part-time and should be building things slowly. We shall see, hopefully things improve.

To be continued….

 

 

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 31st May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 31 – The Final Note

I finally beat the writer’s block and finished the task I set myself for this month, this post is being updated late but during this month of letter writing I have had several likes, comments and new followers and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I planned to write a really long and well-written post for my last post but I am keeping it short and sweet.

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Please remember to check out the Get help and support page for links to services that can help ( please let me know if there are services I can add to the page as it is under construction).

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 30th May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 30 – To MIND

Mind has really helped me over the last few months and I am so glad they are there. I have used their InfoLine, Legal Line and have some email addresses and telephone numbers for support.

There is also the chance to get involved, volunteer and fundraise.

Visit https://www.mind.org.uk/ for help and support if you are struggling with your mental health or supporting someone else.

You will also see my face in the Stories section;

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There is also the online support community Elefriends (seriously, give them a visit)

Mind really do not give up until they are able to help you, unlike several other services that say they do not give up or judge, but actually do.

Thank You Mind, for being there, helping me and allowing me the chance to speak up.

 

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 29th May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 29 – To my next challenge.

I have decided that I need to sit down and make a new bucket list, I have always had lists here and there of my goals but I have decided to sit down and write it down properly – to visualise the goals.

What I have also decided to do is create a ‘Mental Health & Self Care’ bucket list along with my A-Z Book challenge.

The A-Z bucket list involves me reading a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

The bucket list and mental health & self-care bucket lists will be 100 goals each to help me reach goals in life.

What a good idea (if I do say so myself) Let me know if you are doing a similar thing, what is on your bucket lists?