A lot of things have taken hold of my life, turned it upside down that I have had very little or no control of; from redundancies, housemates stealing off me, bad friends, bad relationships, bad jobs, being attacked…all of which have had a negative impact on my mental health and left me repeatedly “getting back on my feet”. With yet another “fresh start” (most overused and underrated phrase in my life!) looming, a new job and a move back to a city I love, I am doing everything possible to claw back control over my own life and hopefully steadfast me into keeping it that way…..not letting it loose again so easily! The last thing I need right now is any form of my anxiety or depression to start flickering.
First off the job and the move itself is something I have been in control of. All too often over the past couple of years, I’ve made career moves I’ve not been 100% happy with but have had to take because it’s been the only offer on the table at the time and I unfortunately don’t have the privilege of being able to afford being unemployed. This time round I chose the best option for both my career, my personal/social life and my finances from a range of different options; dismissing some very early on in the hope that I’d find something that would perfectly fit…and I have! It’s a brilliant opportunity and driving home from my interview and trial shift the other night I had a silly grin on my face like the kind you get on a giddy loved up first date (you know the one!) I also know this move will be good – city I have lived in before and feel comfortable in, where I have a lot of friends both in and out of my line of work as well as it only being 40 mins from my folks if I want to come home. Ticks all the boxes!
Next on the list is being in control of whats going in my body. Over the years I’ve been prescribed numerous anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, beta-blockers, sedatives, contraceptives, as well as the anti hepatitis and AIDS tablets I was given in November (which made me feel worse than any anti-depressant). Each one of these has come with their own side affects and left my body confused as to whats going on. I’ve taken a stance to as much as possible not put any synthetic chemicals into my body. No painkillers, no anti-depressants (despite the doctors recommendation), and no hormonal based contraception (now using the IUD). I’m also where possible eating no junk food, processed food or take aways. Trying to drink as much water, green tea and eat as much fruit and veg as possible. I’m a lot more aware of where things are coming from and trying my best to buy free range/organic produce across the board. It’s tough but already I’m feeling such a difference. I’m also trying my hardest to source natural skincare and make up products too, may as well!
On the theme of being in control of what I’m doing to my body, I’m really trying to exercise. Even just taking the dogs for a walk and getting some fresh air is really making a difference to my mentality. I’ve downloaded a fab app called Track Yoga which has easy to follow routines and allows me to be competitive with myself. I’m also about to renew my Headspace app which I’m finding difficult to stick to but I can see is having some benefits to my focus and motivation. I’ll be more able to develop these areas once I’m in the routine of my new job and settled in my new living space. I’m also really trying to get back into my reading. I seem to keep buying a lot of books but not doing a lot with them.
I’ve noticed historically, when I’ve felt like I’ve been losing control on my life, I seem to have gained a piercing or tattoo. These past few weeks it’s been a very near thing adding my collection of metal bars but as of yet I’ve managed to steer clear of this. Given I’m technically unemployed still, I’m soon to be commuting 100 miles a day, my car is pretty much illegal and don’t quite know when my next wages will be, I’ve probably got better things to be spending my money on. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sensible and grown up in my life! I’m going to start seeing these things as treats rather special-Jen coping mechanisms. Next wage packet I get, I’ll be heading straight to a piercing shop!
Finally, as mentioned in my previous post I’m having problems with counselling (surprise surprise!) and that my current form of therapy is making the most of the amazing supportive friends I have. Unfortunately, over the past few months in all the drama that’s gone on a few have fallen by the way side but I think that’s to be expected. Amazingly though an awful lot of people I’ve not spoken to for years have got in touch which is incredible! As I currently can’t get counselling I’m going to promise myself to make more of an effort with the wonderful people in my life and not just in supporting me but I’m really being as pro-active as possible in helping them in their lives as well. It’s very easy when you’re going through a tough time to become self absorbed (something I’ve definitely been guilty of before) and I find I’m always very good at letting the black dog talk me out of seeing plans through, so I’m making a stance with myself and vowing to always stick to plans and try to start giving something back to the people I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life. Why have one counsellor that I pay when I have a lot for the price of a brew and a cake!
While all of the above are just little simple changes, and a lot of them make common sense, for me it’s not necessarily the changes that I value but the control I’m now having my own life. It’s made such a difference. While some things are still very much out of my control, are weighing on my mind and probably will be until the court case is all done and dusted, at least I’ve got the mechanisms in place to hopefully stop my head spinning out.