What goes up must come down.

Everything was going so well.

Now I’m a mess. Sobbing my heart out into my duvet. I can’t stop thinking that im in everyone’s well, holding people back, a big inconvenience.

I want to hurt myself and drink until I don’t feel like this any more.

I’m so angry at myself for being like this  and for being able to get better and stay better. I don’t want to be like this anymore

The Eagle has landed (for the moment)

After nearly a year of my head having been on a “holiday” with the black dog left as a poor replacement, I finally feel like the old jen has been dropped back into my body and the imposter disappeared.

It dawned on me yesterday, I feel like me again.  The happy funny silly me that really does love life. I’d almost forgotten what this feels like.

I noticed it flicking through the daily thought diary I keep. One of the most thoughtful presents I’ve ever received, a beautiful little red leather diary with a gorgeous filigree pattern on the front. So pretty I can’t not use it! Good work boyfriend! The pages are small which force me into being concise, pinpointing my exact feelings and thoughts for the day. Often when I’ve kept these kinds of diaries before I’ve waffled for page after page listing all my worries and woes like a depression shopping list and it almost makes things worse dwelling on them and focusing on them in such a way. I’ve found it’s often not helpful or productive to look back on and reading it can send me back into a downward spin. With short pages I have to really think about the trials and tribulations of each day and in doing so I’ve often realised the unnecessary worries and thoughts I’ve had and allowed me to quite effectively manage how I’m thinking.

On the top of each page as a general guide to monitor my moods, I’ve placed an arrow. Either up, down or both. Looking back this allows me to see my progress and it really gives me a boost whenever I look back and see how many up arrows there are and how long ago it was i last had a down day. It also allows me to look back on the down days with a new perspective and think about what was contributing to these bad feelings and how can I prevent them. Also I can see if any patterns arise in both good and bad days and to help me get into a good routine of things that are helping my mental health.

Now I need to try and maintain this new chapter of my depression life cycle, I’m going do everything I can to fend off the bad days. I know there will be bad days, but that’s natural – everyone has bad days. This is important to remember. And I feel like I’m now better prepared in dealing with them, should one arise.

I’m going to keep the diary even now I’m feeling a lot better. I still Have a lot of work to do and I’m determined to not let some of my new habits slip. I really get a kick out of seeing up arrows on each page and I plan to keep it that way.

This feeling right now is the best feeling in the world and I’m going to do whatever I can to keep it 

Sod the little victories. Today was a biggun!

Today was a good day!

but it almost got off on the wrong foot and merrily down hill from there

Today I had an interview & training session for some temporary admin work. Its not as daunting as starting a new full time role and Its not particularly taxing work for the money so ticking all the boxes at the moment. It’s also not far from my parents house which means less expenditure on fuel and will allow me to get on top of my finances a lot quicker and work out which way I want my long term career to go (fingers crossed!)

The day didn’t start on the best of foots. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I slept in. My hair was uncooperative. I was stressing I don’t really own any smart work wear suitable for an interview any more. My go to black blazer (the smartest thing I have) had a very obvious tear in it. I don’t own smart shoes. The heels I wanted to wear made my look like a tart with the dress I’d chosen. Even just a few weeks ago, this combination of unnecessary stresses along with the normal interview/new job anxiety would have sent my head into a spin and I barely would have made it out of the front door without being engulfed by a panic attack.

I could feel my nerves bubbling and I took this as an opportunity to test myself in how much I’ve progressed. And I did it! A few deep breaths and a camomile tea to calm me. I forced some breakfast down despite my lack of appetite to stop my “hunger hulk” making an unwanted appearance. I practised a little meditation from my mindfulness program and a gave myself a bit of a talking to in the mirror.

“What you think is what you feel” I kept repeating to myself the whole drive there. So I told myself to feel calm, refreshed, focused and confident. Do you know what? It worked!

When I got there, nerves and anxiety had completely disappeared. I was warm, friendly, bubbly and vibrant, much like my lucky red office dress I was wearing.  I engaged in starting off conversations, asking questions about my new colleagues without it sounding forced like it was an awkward silence filler.

Normally when learning something new, I like to take in all the new information first and leave my question asking til the end. This means my good sensible questions are snapped up by others and they get the pat on the back for my timid curiosity leaving me kicking myself. Especially in front of people I don’t know, I’ll be too scared to ask questions in case it’s thought of as stupid and I get laughed at. Today during the training part of the day, I was asking lots of good sensible questions, suggesting more efficient methods of working, correcting my colleagues without sounding like hermione granger and significantly impressing my managers. I hope it’s not just a fluke.

Its been a rocky road to recovery over the past year but I finally feel like things are slowly starting to fall into place.

I don’t quite know where this vast improvement has come from, but I like it. Starting to feel like the old jen I remember!

The weepies

Something I seem to be suffering from pretty strongly today. I know it’s not productive or helpful and it’s not going to make me feel any better. But I just can’t stop blubbering away on my own in my room.

Its my first “low” day in over a week, which is a massive achievement for me  and I should be really proud of how well I’ve done. I can’t stop thinking of all the work I still have to do and the big fundamental parts of my life I have to conquer in order to allow myself to really benefit my mental health.

At the moment I have no job, which means no money. No money means debts are piling up, my phone is due to be cut off any day and I can’t even afford fuel to get to job interviews. No money means I’m stuck at home a lot of the time, dwelling on the above, how unhappy I am being at my parents (it’s really not a productive environment at all for making the crucial steps in my recovery) and how much I’d just like to get out and do something happy. No job and no money also mean I’ve got very little opportunity to get back on my feet, save up and make the move into my own place with my own space where I can concentrate on getting better.  Working would not only benefit finances but also get me out of the house, get me meeting new people, build up my self esteem and ultimately help my anxiety and depression.

Bit of a vicious circle of static unfortunate circumstances which right now I can’t get out of my head.

I need a break. Both a change of scenery to gather my thoughts, refocus and refresh after the hellish few months I’ve had. And a break in financial and career stresses where I can finally shine and make something of myself, instead of a well worn bum print on the sofa.

Short term, what I need right now? A hug X

5 foods that can help with anxiety and depression

teacher dreamer traveler and believer

A little while back a friend of mine sent me this link and it is really interesting that what we put into our bodies by the way of food can contribute to our well being. Click the link below to see how oily fish, raw cacao, chia seeds, acai and hebal tea can help with anxiety and depression.


Peace and love Sammi xx

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Progress makes perfect

I’ve been a little quiet over the past week or two and there’s been a reason for that.  I’ve been making a lot of progress with my self care and negative thoughts.  Normally this would be the perfect reason to right a blog and shout my victories off the rooftops, but I’ve noticed recently when I’ve noted a positive change, I’ve got overexcited and almost scared it away experiencing a massive negative drop and severe low moods shortly after.  This time I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just another tease and to see how long I could keep it up for.

There’s been a lot of small changes that have gone on over the past few weeks that have all contributed in some form

  • water and healthier eating- i’ve really tried to keep my water intake high and my brain hydrated as well as not eating as much crap, which is very easy to do when you’re unemployed and crave a bit of comfort food to keep you happy
  • job applications – despite still being frustratingly unemployed I have got 4 interviews lined up this week which has given me focus and a much needed boost to my self confidence.  keeping everything crossed but don’t want to be too optimistic
  • distance – whilst I love the support and encouragement within the online mental health community I had noticed it was starting to have a negative effect on me. On low days or dark moments, I’d find myself obsessed with reading over everyone’s posts on their struggles, constantly refreshing my twitter timeline to see if any new tweets would appear from other mental health sufferers. I’d find it impossible to think about anything but my health an how down I was, struggling to get out of this mindset. In setting up a separate account Its helped me to keep that part of my life separate, leaving me reassured the community is there when I need it and also without worry of potential new employers making any discoveries
  • walks – I’ve set myself the aim of going for a walk every day. even if its just round the block with the dogs, a combination of the fresh cold winter air, a change of scenery from the sofa and allowing myself time to clear my mind and refocus on the positives
  • medication – following my cbt assesment two weeks ago, I’ve been taking Trazadone morning and night.  Its an antidepressant with a sedative so helps me sleep at night and keep anxiety at bay during the day. luckily this time I’ve not really had any nasty side affects – just a little bit of sickness and the first few days i experienced a bad “hangover” from them
  • Mindfulness meditation – although I’ve not been as strict on doing this as i should be, so far i’m into week 3 of the 8 week meditation program and i’m starting to see an improvement in being able to calm my anxiety and my awareness of the thoughts and feelings within my own body. will post a more detailed blog when I reach the half way point
  • therapy – from today, I’ve started a course of CBT which will last for about 6 sessions.  In it, unlike my last course of CBT, its all focusing on the future and how to manage future times of low mood and high anxiety & depression.  i’ve got a booklet with tasks to complete myself outside of the clinic.  so far i’m really impressed with the course as it looks to be a lot more proactive and looking forwards rather than talking at someone for an hour about my past.  the therapist i’m working with is lovely and friendly, as well as mentioning she experiences a form of anxiety herself which is reassuring she understands and can sympathise fully what is going on.  As well, I find it a lot easier to talk to her than my previous therapist as the current one is a lot closer to my age and I never felt like the previous lady (who was just about to retire) fully understood my career or lifestyle choices
  • WUTIWUF- this may look like some sort of prepubescent text language, but its actually a really useful tool i’ve learn from mood gym.  It stands for What You Think Is What You Feel.  So if I think I’m low, having a bad day, everything’s against me and I’m not getting anywhere, then that will be reflected in my mood.  Contrastingly, if I tell myself I’m happy, positive, calm, and can conquer the tasks ahead of me then I’ll be in a lot more productive and motivated state of mind.  It really has worked.  In times when I know there’s no need to be anxious or worried I’ve pretended to be confident and not worried and it really worked in changing my train of thought
  • routine – trying to get up early and be productive has been a bit of a lost cause over the past 6 weeks as i’ve not been working and not really had anything to get up for.  Even though I still don’t have anything necessarily to get up for, now I’m making myself get up dressed, out of bed and looking presentable ready to take on whatever the day throws at me.  This makes me feel better and more like being productive and also stops the self pity I often get once I’ve slept in late and wasted half of the day.  This gives me chance to apply for jobs, eat properly, go for a walk while its light and also helps me get a good night sleep at the end of the day

Whilst none of these are radical changes or groundbreaking revelations, the little improvements each new thing offer are all starting to take their influence on my health.

I always knew there would be down days and tough times ahead and these steps have certainly prepared me better in dealing with them.  The past two days I’ve been anxious about money and my current uninspiring living situation.  Today I’ve had the first depressive feelings in weeks and cant stop the feeling of wanting to have a little cry.  Normally these feelings would rapidly escalate and I’d soon be hiding a crisis situation in my bedroom locking myself away from everyone.  But, thanks to all of the recent progress I’ve made, I’m able to manage my way out of it.

Hoping this is the start of a big step in the right direction

Stay Safe

J x

Anxiety and Teeth Grinding – Anxiety


Years ago I used to grind and clench my teeth pretty much all the time. I just put it down to a nervous thing. I’ve noticed it’s cropped back up again and a habit I’ve slipped into at times when I’ve had a lot of emotional unstability.

From the moment I start doing it, whether it’s morning, evening or afternoon it’ll be a subconscious habit I’m unable to stop for the rest of the day. The only thing that stops it and presses the re-set button is by going to sleep, which isn’t easy when I’m often in quite a bit of discomfort.

As the day progresses and I’ve been clenching for a long time not only does my jaw, teething gums hurt and feel out of line, it gives me a saw throat, dry lips, puts me off my food, makes my jaw crack if I yawn. At its worst it’ll throb behind my eye, causing headaches and sometimes a twitch, feeling like my face is almost a little swollen and numb. It can also affect downwards giving me neck and shoulder pain, even affecting the nerves down my arm and into my fingers.

Its horrid. I feel like I’m destroying my teeth and I hate that no matter what I try I just can’t stop it

I have a session of cbt tomorrow so we’ll see what’s said there and what advise she can offer. I’ll make an appointment with my docs too to see what they suggest. They’ll both probably recommend the dentists which I don’t have an can’t afford so will just have to wait and see

In the meantime will just have to keep my head busy with happy distractions

J x

The power of talk and starting my journey to positive thinking

Something I’ve struggled with since being diagnosed with depression is being able to accurately describe my thoughts, feelings and what’s wrong. I don’t normally have a problem with opening up and sharing personal information but for some reason my depression has had me tongue tied. Whether it’s embarrassment, shame, denial, fear of not being understood or laughed at or a combination of all of them somethings held me back from laying it all out on the table to the people that can help the most. Even doctors and therapists I find myself struggling to summon up exactly the correct thoughts and feelings, kicking myself later when I get home “why didn’t I mention that…” and “I should have said this”

Yesterday I was due to start a new job. A trial waitressing a nearby newly opened pub. Whilst it didn’t exactly offer the greatest prospects money is money right now when I’m in a state of unemployment and the social benefits of getting out of the house, meeting new people were really exciting thoughts. In my previous post I was really looking forward to making a positive step in the right direction. I didn’t make it. Despite pep talks from the other half and myself I fell apart. Anxiety took over, a panic attack spread throughout me and before I knew it I was curled in a ball on my floor with a blanket crying uncontrollably for a out an hour. I couldn’t put it into words where this had come from and I could barely fathom myself what was going on.

Truth be told I’m not sure I’m quite ready for work. Certainly not when my moods and head are so unpredictable. Who’s to say if I was fine and had made it to my shift that a panic attack wouldn’t have happened in a day or a weeks time. I just can’t trust my health at the moment to be relied upon for work. While I’m eager to get back to work for the financial and social benefits I have to take a step back and make sure I’m in a state fit enough to do so, so the same doesn’t happen again. The guilt I felt yesterday for not being able to go and feeling like a failure was horrid and it was only through giving myself a good talking to that I’ve managed to shake off my relapse so quickly. Spending time with my partner talking over my plans for the next step in my recovery has given me a massive boost. He’s the one person I can talk to candidly about everything I know he’ll not only listen, offer support and show understanding but he’ll also offer feedback which helps me put my actions into perspective. whilst I’m not seeing any professionals and my support network of friends and family to have real life conversations with is limited, these talks with my boyfriend are crucial in being able manage my illness better myself and be reassured in his understanding. Speaking with him has given me the confidence to speak with my doctors and cbt in the same way – both big daunting appointments I have upcoming this week about my care.

My mindfulness meditation book and the course itself are helping to change my way of thinking and approaches to tasks in every day life. With advice I’m getting from the happiness project book I’m trying to make lots of little adjustments to my daily routine which will coax me back in the right direction and help me make the most of the choices I have. With my parents away this week I have a free house to focus on my health and getting better without the normal distractions. Little bits of exercise, getting into a routine getting out of bed, eating a bit healthier and continuing my reading, mindfulness programme and happiness project with all help me make the initial positive steps I need to take to help find my jen-ness again

Will keep updating with how things are going.

Stay safe
J x