So a little under a year ago I posted about some of my troubles with mental health. Since then things have improved massively. The existential quandaries caused by my IBS have all but completely passed with only small moments of existence related anxiety returning every few months. I still have anxiety, I still have to constantly work at telling myself it will all be fine and to ignore my brains constant reminder of failures and suggestions things will never succeed. The dull weather we’ve been having has only exacerbated this issue.
Thing is, these aren’t the things that cause me the most psychological bother. It is the connections and friendships I’ve largely ignored, ran from or pushed away in the last few years that cause me the most frustration and feelings of utter helplessness. I have no way of fixing the situation, I just don’t have the tools or knowledge to work it out. I don’t feel like my mental health is an excuse for my behaviour, I still need to take responsibility for actions I’ve taken and the things I’ve said. So gradually I have to try and piece things back together, but I have to acknowledge that I can never get back some of what I lost if not all of it.
I’m also finding that I am trying to take on too much, some of it to aid recovery, such as volunteering for activities which get me outdoors, studying, and all of this. Which in turn ends up making me increasingly stressed, which makes me frustrated so I end up getting very little done which makes me stressed and around and around it goes.
So what can I do to sort all of these issues out, or at least mitigate problems and ease stress? Firstly I am probably going to have to slap myself (metaphorically) every time I get frustrated about something I’ve lost, there is nothing I can do about that and it is very unhealthy to continually dwell on problems without solutions. I am going to have to evaluate my workload and decide what will have to be cut out, and learn to manage my time more efficiently, have specific hours for things and get into a routine. One of the most important things for me now is that I also have to realise that things don’t just happen quickly, if I am doing something and it takes longer than expected I need to have patience and realise that it is more taxing than expected rather than becoming frustrated and rushing it off. I probably need to move somewhere with a more…positive…climate. Most importantly though I will need to keep up all the techniques I learned at CBT.
It’s amazing to realise how far down the rabbit hole your brain can take you if you don’t ask for help, and it’s surprising what it might cost you. Please talk to someone if you’re in trouble.