What’s your experience with mental illness?
Does anyone in your family suffer from such issues?
Do you deal with any mental health problems?
Would you like to share about your experiences?
What’s your experience with mental illness?
Does anyone in your family suffer from such issues?
Do you deal with any mental health problems?
Would you like to share about your experiences?
Hello Fellow Bloggers,
I have been talking about my struggles with anxiety, depression and ,possibly, Bipolar Disorder Type II since I started this blog a year ago. I was never ashamed to put it out there. I mean, I’m lying. I was NO LONGER ashamed to put it out there. There was a lot of shame once.
There was also loneliness.
That is why I decided to start this Facebook group where we can all talk, support each other, vent, complain, share experiences and frustrations, all with people who DO understand.
I know many of you struggle with mental health issues as well, so I thought we could all be together in this. Will you be my shoulder to cry on? I will be very happy to be yours.
Look for the group, share with your friends who needed us as well.
Love you all.
I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday and she said I looked like a different person. She said I’m so much better and that she was very happy to see me. She reduced my medication and so I’m no longer on Bupropion and Mexazolam, which I have been taking for the longest time.
I’m just so happy about this.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a real improvement and reduction on my medication, after years of increasing it, changing it, trial and error. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression since I was 18. I was diagnosed and first medicated at 22. I’ve been through 2 psychiatrists, 5 therapists and I know 75% of antidepressants, mood stabilizers and anti anxiety pills on the market.
I wish I didn’t have so much information. But since I do, I need to make sure I share it with others. And I promise you I’ll do that. For those of you who are still struggling, I’ll share my detailed experience and do my best to help.
Today, I just want to tell you it’s possible to get better. I’m not cured and I don’t know when/if I’ll ever be, but I’m finally so much better.
Trust me, I have seen the darkest side of life. I’ve felt it. I’ve lived with a huge cloud over my head for years. I’ve been through life carrying a backpack full of rocks for way too long. I’ve hated myself, everyone else, life itself. Everything has seemed pointless. Everyone has looked like an enemy. Death has been a wish.
I know it’s difficult and sometimes unfair/hard to compare, but I can tell you I had one of the most serious and difficult cases of clinical depression. I know quite a few people who have suffered from depression and they all got better so much easily, faster, sooner. That was frustrating and I would get angry because I seemed to have it worse than everyone else. I actually did. Years of extreme stress, heartbreak, responsibilities, growing up too fast, taking care of others, being strong for them, a bad childhood, among other things had collapsed on me, so I was dealing with 20 something years worth of trauma, damage, exhaustion. I wasn’t having an episode of depression. I was having THE episode of depression I had been holding inside me forever. It hit me hard, with no mercy.
God knows how much I’ve been through because of my mental health.
God knows how much Rui has been through because of it.
That guy is a saint.
I don’t say this because I love him, I say this because I know him. He is a rock. He’ll take care of you, provide you with whatever you need, comfort you, be there for you emotionally, know how to handle an anxiety attack, do extensive research on all of your medications, make sure you take care of yourself, cook for you, clean for you, understand when you simply cannot get out of bed, cuddle you, give you hope, say you’re beautiful when you’ve put on 60 pounds, make you laugh when you really want to cry, protect you, tell you you’ll find the best possible doctor and care, no matter how much you’ll have to spend or how you’re going to find the money for, do his best to make you smile, be your shoulder to cry on, defend you, tell people who think “depression is in your head” they’re fucking idiots and ignorants who should go and get some information, be your mother’s best friend, your sister’s big brother, be there for your appointments, get you the things you like because they’ll make you a little happy, get really angry at you because you don’t eat properly, be your absolute best friend, caretaker, boyfriend, husband, lover, confidant, partner, fan, the one who makes up for whatever is missing.
I think everyone should have someone like Rui in their lives.
We’ve been through thick and thin and we’re still together. We’ve really been through some real “grown up” problems for the past 5 years we’ve been together. There was never cheating, jealousy, cellphone checking, lying, issues with exes. We’ve been dealing with real, hard, old married couple problems since we were about 22 and 22, up until now. I guess we’ve passed the test.
What I really want to say is, I’m not cured. I may never be. I don’t mind really, as long as I have the proper care. But today, finally, I can say that I am far BETTER. Better is a beautiful word. So I’m happy about better. Better is more than enough.
Thank you for everything, guys.
If you’re going through a similar journey, we’re together. Talk to me. Let me be there for you.
Good afternoon guys,
How are you facing Monday?
It’s a hard one right?
May your coffee be strong and your chocolate be plenty.
I’m actually fine. I don’t care for the Super Bowl, I haven’t watched THAT episode yet (Lord help me) and I’ve been googling “Kylie Jenner pregnant” every day since September, waiting for news so I’m pretty satisfied. I’m not joking about the google part.
I really want to go back to my early morning planning and before bed journaling and update on how my day went and how I tackled my to-do list. I know you guys enjoy it and I feel more organized when I do so.
I would like the planning to be published at about 8 a.m and the update to go up at about 8 p.m. it would be nice to have somewhat of a schedule. I hope I can pull it off.
About the weekend: I did nothing. I was expecting it so I am fine with it. I needed a break. For real.
I have this huge freelance writing project to finish until the end of the week so I’m working on that.
I’m so much better than last week, thankfully.
See you soon, guys.
WEEKEND RECAP AND PLANS FOR THE WEEK
First of all, and before I share my plans for this week I should give you some sort of weekend recap. Bloggers do that, I guess.
So, what happened this weekend?
Nothing much and nothing too interesting. I washed and folded a ton of laundry, which we had to take to the wash station to dry since we don’t own a dryer and it was a rainy weekend. My boyfriend washed a ton of dishes from last week and cleaned the kitchen. We cleaned some more and took care of a few things around the house and thought about changing the position of our bed but decided it wouldn’t work, so we kept it the same way. Saturday night we ate pizza for dinner and watched American Horror Story.I think we only have an episode left from the third season… now that it was finally growing on me. We also watched a movie “keeping up with the Joneses“, which was okay. I’m not a big fan of comedies. I slept a lot and after that I took naps. We did some grocery shopping and on Sunday night I cooked for the week. Boring, right?
• Put away all the laundry that I folded and iron a few things;
• Find a new psychiatrist and therapist for a second opinion and to try a different approach. I think that I should be feeling better by now and I am not, despite taking so much medication. I take anti psychotics to help with my nightmares but I have them anyway. Bad ones. I take sleeping pills but I don’t sleep that well. I sleep many hours but I never feel rested. I take something that it is supposed to help me with my energy levels and well, did I tell you about the sleepy and exhausted part? I also take mood stabilizers and antidepressants but I think that those actually help, so no problem there. My therapist… I love her but we just… talk. My psychiatrist suggested that I should try some kind of therapy that goes a little deeper and makes a bigger impact, otherwise I’m just paying to talk about my problems, something I could do with a friend. I will do some research and schedule an appointment with someone else for a second (or third) opinion.
• Sign up for a gym membership or at least decided what kind of option I want to go for. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while but lately I almost feel the need to move and to do something… sporty? I don’t know how to explain it. It is as weird as my Brussels sprouts craving from last week. Am I getting “healthy” with age? Ewww. One of this days you will find me doing a whole-30 and crossfit. Just kidding. that would never happen, right? Right??? Anyway, I want to do something and I definitely need it because 1. depression makes you gain weight; 2. depression medication makes you gain weight; 3. I sit all day; 4. I have back issues; 5. my knees hurt most days so I guess I also have knee issues; 6. It helps with depression and anxiety, they say; I love swimming and I love yoga and Pilates and anything that is kind of slow and does not require running, so that’s probably what I should sign up for. And find time for. Before my boyfriend kills me. You guys, he’s the sweetest, most amazing man in the world and keeps telling me that my health is the most important thing right now and that I should focus on trying to get better, no matter how much we have to spend or sacrifice. Love you, babe.
• Find time to take my dog to get her vaccine. Which is a huge drama. Our vet described her as a “difficult patient” because last time she broke two muzzles, bit me and my boyfriend, ripped his jeans and 4 people were needed to complete the task of giving her the shot. I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. She also needs a bath, ideally before going to the doctor. I like a clean, good smelling pup.
• Meet up with one of my besties Rita for coffee. She used to have a job that allowed her to meet me during the day when I had a break or when some student cancelled the class and I had a little time to kill. Now she has a new job (that she loves, congratulations honey!) and is only available maybe after seven, which is difficult for me because I’m rarely done before nine. But I love her and miss her so I need to do some magic and find the time!
• Answer the emails from people asking about English lessons. I don’t know if I can take anyone else so I need to check my schedule and maybe do some adjustments to see if I can fit in more people. Again, boyfriend will murder me.
• Bake a cake that actually grows!
• Cut the sugar!
• Drink more water. During the Summer I am great with my water intake (1,5 to 2 l each day) but in Winter, I forget to drink water and only drink it when I’m really thirsty or when my throat hurts from speaking for many hours while working;
• Eat a ton of fruit and veggies. This will be easy because I grocery shopped and cooked with that in mind;
• Start a book; (reading one, not writing one. I can barely handle the blog)
• Watch some of the Oscar nominees. Please! I need this.
Happy Tuesday. Better than Monday right? Well, not for me. I’m having the shittiest week and yes, I know the whole week will be shitty and it’s only Tuesday.
I had THE WORST day yesterday. I can’t really get into details for privacy reasons (not mine, I’m not exactly a private person). Family issues just suck in general but even more so when someone you’re close to and someone you’ve known for your whole life and done EVERYTHING for, turns out to be very different than the person you thought you knew. Man, it hurts all over. I’ve cried my eyes out, missed work and am pretty sure I’m going to have a relapse. I thought I already knew all kinds of suffering and pain but, it turns out, there’s always a bigger, deeper one. Shit, how can I describe how much it hurts? I’m sure you all love someone with every fiber of your being. You know the feeling, right? Imagine you suddenly having reasons to doubt they love you as unconditionally as you love them. It’s life changing. It’s physically painful. They say you can’t break a broken heart but, trust me, you can. Over and over. I’m sorry I’m being so secretive, I know it’s annoying but I need to vent.
You know what’s funny? Even thought they have hurt you so deeply, you still feel bad for every little bit you might have hurt them. This person I’m talking about, I slapped them yesterday. Twice. Yes, me. I can be a bitch. They’ve hurt me so bad and I feel like the devil for those two slaps. I feel like I’ve slapped my soul. That’s how much I love them. Damn, I can’t seem to catch a fucking break.
Anyway, life goes on, I guess. I’m off to work now, there’s laundry to be done. I eat, shower, just like every day. It just hurts to work, eat and shower.
Let’s just get over the depressing and try to talk about normal stuff for a while, shall we? I’ll do a weekend to-do list update. Don’t expect much, we were pretty lazy.
1 PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND:
Things I must not forget:
• To drink my 1.5 to 2 l of water;
• To eat my fruits and veggies;
• To take my pills on time;
• To make sure I take at least 10.000 steps. (I only aim for 5.000 on the days when I work out)
• Remember to insert all of this information in my health app (including meals), which is the best thing I’ve been using ever. Lifesum
• Go and get my eyebrows done (for crying out loud)
• Cut my hair, my ends are very dry and thin.
• Shaving. I’m in a public pool several times a week, they don’t need to endure hairy legs, armpits and lady bits. (I rhymed)
Self-care things I would like to do:
• A green clay mask, as I haven’t done one in God knows how long.
• Take 2 big nature walks with the mister and the little four-legged lady. (Probably not gonna happen, being honest here)
• Do my favorite yoga routine before bed, I’ve been waking up about 3 times each night.
• Do some kind of foot scrub.
• Apply some clear nail polish on my nails so I won’t bite them.
Things we actually need to do:
• Finish tidying up the house. We have moved the furniture we intended to, which means Rui’s desk is in the living room and I have an office space in our bedroom. Our former office is now a “closet” (Our wardrobe, shoes, bags, coats are in there) and a guest bedroom. When you make such drastic changes, objects need to be moved as well, so there are lots of clothes and random objects that need to be put away.
• Laundry. Besides our regular laundry, we have a few blankets, pillows and clothes for my pregnant friend that need to be washed, as well as a few sheets. We also have a ton to put away.
• Clean the kitchen.
• Do some general cleaning around the house. (I’ll tell you what we got done when I do my update on Sunday)
• I need to move some of my plants inside because they don’t seem to like the cold and rain.
• Rosa NEEDS to go to the vet.
• We need to cook and prep for the week ahead.
• I want to read some blogs.
• I want to get my planner ready for the week (would you like to take a peek at my planner?)
How was your weekend, people?
I have an hour and a half before I need to work so I thought I might drop a few updates in the form of random paragraphs, I guess. I haven’t really talked about my life, which I used to do every single day for many months. Speaking about months, this month my blog turns 1. What? How did that happen? I clearly remember the day I sat down an wrote my very first post, thinking no one would ever read it. How has it been a year already? My blog’s anniversary is on the 24th. What do you think I should do?
I just have no idea. I’ve done all of those in the past, to celebrate months and followers and all kinds of milestones and happy occasions. For my blog’s first anniversary I’m out of ideas so I could use a little help.
My anxiety and depression have had ups and downs. I’ve been doing well, most of the time and I do feel better. There were some moments when I had to deal with very complicated situations which caused some minor relapses.
Christmas was very hard. As you know, some of my family members are batshit crazy and that can be a problem. I think you may also know that my grandmother has dementia and, on Christmas eve, she didn’t remember who I was for the first time and was acting very confused in general, which left us heartbroken.
I take those things pretty hard and I’ve yet to go back to my “before Christmas” self. What does this mean for me? I’ve been sad, off-balance, nervous, stopped writing, reading and watching movies and shows. I prefer to listen to podcasts, they’re just easier.
Just before Christmas, when I was feeling really well, my doctor decided to increase my medication for some reason, which was a very bad idea. I was suddenly taking twice the dosage of Bupropion (300 mg), some crazy pill that was supposed to stop my hands from shaking (which I didn’t want to take because if I start taking medication to control my side effects from my other medication I’ll be eating pills instead of food pretty soon) but didn’t (I can’t remember the name) and this Topiromate to decrease my appetite.
Pretty soon I was feeling extremely weak, dizzy, nauseous and sleepy all the time, but especially after I took my medication. I was feeling very sick and kept waiting (too long) for it to go away. When it didn’t, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment and she decided some of them were lowering my blood pressure and causing my symptoms. I went back to taking only 150 g of Bupropion and I’m free of the one for the tremors. It took me just a few days to feel so much better.
I have no idea why she decided to increase my medication when I was feeling so well.
I’m trying to get back to where I was before all of this crap. Going to water aerobics classes, swimming, trying to establish a routine, trying not to care about stupid shit (very difficult for me) and such. I think I’m getting back on track and will be feeling like myself soon.
I guess that’s pretty much it, the short version.
How about you?
Any health issues lately? You can share, even if it’s just a nasty cold or a backache.
Talk to you soon, hopefully.
I’m coming to you a bit later today, for no special reason. I have just been doing other things this morning. Plus, I have already posted my 7th Student Wisdom post a couple of hours ago. Many readers and friends have told me how much they enjoy this series and how it makes them laugh every time. Since the kids and their crazy minds are not going anywhere and because they are very good at providing wise material each they, I will keep these coming for sure. I really love them too. I think of them as a little record of my daily classes as well.
First of all, and because I have forgotten about it several times, I need to tell you about my new dry shampoo. This is not a sponsored post at all because 1. I’m not that famous and 2. I’m unfortunately not getting any free stuff and 3. I’m no beauty blogger at all.
My can says “Britain’s nº1” so many of you probably know this product already but, because I live in
Portugal a cage, I had never seen it until now. I found it at the grocery store for 3 something because it was 30% of, I think. Yes, I should know exactly how much it cost and the exact discount and all but, as I’ve mentioned, I’m no beauty blogger. I do have the receipt so I can find out if it comes to that.
Why do I love this product?
Well, when I first heard about dry shampoo I was pretty confused. Dry? I mean, how does it make any foam? Duh…
Anyway, I bought my first can of dry shampoo, after actually realizing what it was and reading about it on several blogs and websites. It was something fairly new here (at least to my knowledge) and I could only find one brand. If I remember it correctly I think it was either Syoss or Tresemmé. It was kind of expensive for the amount of product. I paid about €5, I think and it didn’t even last a month.
I know what you’re thinking: “you should wash your hair more often you dirty pig” and I can say, in my defense, that I was THEN washing my hair every other day and using it only on day 2. Still, it was kind of expensive. I fell in love with it but can’t remember if it got discontinued or if I gave up on it. I have recently been looking for some dry shampoo (because I’m a dirty, dirty pig) and couldn’t find any options so maybe there aren’t that many to be found at grocery stores. I decided I would buy baby talc, since I had read about using it as a cheaper (and cancerous) option. The day after I bought said carcinogen, I found this lovely product.
Finally… (finally) why do I love this product:
It works well (when it comes to wackiness) if I use the dry shampoo before bed, brush it, wet it a little but (NOT close to the roots) and sleep with it on a braid. Next day my hair is clean and cute enough to wear down.
So, how many times a week do I wash my hair with actual water?
I read on someone’s blog (from blogger not WordPress so not one of our million family members) that they only wash their hair once a week. That’s my dream. Less hassle, less time in the shower, less hair damage. I washed my hair on Monday morning so I’m actually dumb and this is not day 4 but 3. I would be very happy if I could wash my hair on Sunday night and never again (for the week, not in life). That would be really awesome. Can it hold that long?
I’m probably try it anyway so I might as well take pictures and let you know, right?
Sorry, for wasting exactly 785 words on hair. Moving on.
As the title of this post suggests, I decided I would give you a list of the things I have been doing right and the things I have been doing wrong, meaning where I have improved and where I’ve been a bad, bad girl.
I’ve just remembered I never told you about my last Psychiatrist’s appointment which is stupid because I kind of started this blog to talk about my mental health and all that.
My last appointment went really well and my doctor was very happy about my improvements. I do feel SO MUCH BETTER. I have been in a very dark, deep place. More than once. More than twice. Sometimes for months, even years. I now feel better than I have felt in a long time. Sure, I had moments of improvement, excitement and I thought I was cured. Then I had relapses and realized depression (bad, though, deep clinical depression) is not “curable”. If you have it in your genes (I do) and if you have had it more than once and for such a long time, it is probably something you will have to live with for a long time/ever. That and the fact that I have been diagnosed as bipolar type 2, even though we are not 100% sure about it, have made me think of my depression as alcoholism, for example. Once you become an alcoholic, you are always an alcoholic. You need to monitor your addiction and to be very careful about your health and mental space.
That’s what I need to do. Take care of myself, body and mind, identify triggers and stay away from them, take care of small symptoms before they become and actual crisis and manage (as much as I can) stress, emotions, pressure, tiredness and my workaholic tendencies. I also need to make sure I do exactly as I am told, when it comes to medicine, keeping appointments and all of those things that are the foundations of my mental well-being.
So basically I’m doing better than I have in years, my doctor is pretty happy about it, people are starting to notice my improvement and I’m down half a pill a pill each day (it’s something!!).
To-do list update: (There won’t be one today because it’s already 4 p.m)
I’m already at over 1700 words so I’m just discreetly leaving the room. Goodbye. Love. x
Do you have it too?
This need to make a huge, exaggerated list of plans, that you need to get done as soon as possible? This need to be busy at all times, busier than anyone else? This striving for perfection that you cannot control?
Well, I do. I’ve always had it.
Before, I was not good at making things happening at all, so I wouldn’t care anyway.
With the years, experience and changes, I became productive and someone who can finish projects, really DO things, plan and accomplish. With these changes, came the stress and need to be super productive and organized. I can be, at times. I can multitask and actually focus on everything that I am doing, despite what people might say. I’m usually blogging, watching/listening to a YouTube video and texting, for example.
But, I have a tendency to overdo-it. To push myself too hard and to be my worst enemy.
My psychiatrist says this is one of my symptoms of Bipolar 2. Being extremely productive when well, entrepreneurial and independent from a young age. If this doesn’t describe me, I don’t know what does.
The thing is, I’m not going to give this away. I’m sorry. I don’t know who I am if I’m not busy and being productive. This might be part of some mental illness, but it is still me. It happens to be my favorite part about myself too. The type A, overachiever, “do-it-all-right-now” type of person. So I won’t give it up. Ever. But I have learned two things:
This is the best compromise I can make with myself. I continue to be exactly who I am, but I relax and give myself some grace, when needed. It takes a ton of weight of my shoulders, and I don’t feel like I need to change, just adapt.
With that said, I’ll come back soon with my July wrap-up and my August goals 😉
Thank you so much.
Hey there dear friends,
Is it me or a bunch of people are taking a break from blogging?
Maybe because it’s Summer? Or because everyone is a little tired?
I told you I would come back today with part II of my list of things I need to take care of before September. Yesterday was School and Work (Academics in general too) and today I’ll talk about personal and health related tasks. Some of them I’ve been putting off for a long time, you’ll be surprised to know I haven’t done some things I’ve been talking about for the last six months yet. Welcome to my procrastination side.
Well, I think that is mostly it. Meaning, I need to organize my things before I go back to work, so I won’t struggle with stress and over doing.
See you tomorrow for part III.