I’m currently propped up on the sofa with a bad back. I’m hoping it’s not my advancing years already! But breathing hurts right now. So I thought I’d use my time wisely instead of scrolling through Instagram comparing myself to everyone.
Thank you to everyone who messaged me or commented on my last post about friendships and feeling like you have a temporary existence. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one, it can be a very lonely place inside your own head. Thankfully, very slowly, talking about mental health and feelings is becoming more commonplace. There is a long way to go but it’s all going in the right direction.
I always feel better when the clocks change and the days get longer. I am also being kinder to myself. For two reasons, firstly, I was listening to The Fringe of It, again, and they were discussing the difference between how you talk to yourself and how you talk to friends. This hit a nerve with me, I never sugar coat anything with friends, and always tell them the truth, but I definitely put myself down a million times more than I ever would a friend. I seem to have got into a habit of only ever seeing the negative in myself. I rarely, if ever, celebrate something I have achieved or if I happen to have a good outfit/hair day. I’ll only notice what I perceive as negative.
It takes about 25-30 photos to get one I actually like of myself. If I’m photographing something else or someone else I’ll take less than half. I do not photograph well at all. I don’t care what anyone says I have much photographic evidence. It may seem so silly but it genuinely gets me down sometimes. I am fully aware there are hundreds of worse things, but lately, along with my anxiety getting worse, I have felt more and more unhappy about my appearance, especially in photos. So I am slowly trying to teach myself to be kinder and stop hating on myself so much.
The second reason was because I happened to see something someone shared on Instagram. It was so simple but completely changed my outlook. It simply said ‘Don’t believe everything you think.’ The last few weeks that simple sentence has stopped three panic attacks. As I said, my anxiety has been slowly consuming me lately, it is so easy to believe every awful thought that comes into your head and let it eat away at you. So now I am trying, each time I have an attack or a chain of horrible thoughts to simply repeat that sentence and question what I am thinking, instead of losing control.
I know everyone has their faults, but I used to like who I was. I suppose this is all still part of the recovery process, but I constantly feel like I am mourning the death of myself, or who I was. I have had many incredible opportunities and adventures since then, which I am so grateful for. And I have some of the most wonderful people in my life, but I feel like I’ve had a soul transplant. Like some weird sci-fi movie. I know a lot of people didn’t even know me then and those that do, probably wouldn’t really notice the difference in me. Mostly because I kept everything hidden for a long time and also I was and still am, so conscious of the fact that it is all a lot for friends to deal with. A lot of the time I feel like it is my problem to deal with, which it is, and if I shared with people how many times I think about it I’d send them over the edge with me. Nothing will change what has happened and I am trying my best to cope and get on with life. I just need to learn to love who I am again and sometimes I am unsure how to do that.
I need to stop waffling! Basically what I am trying to say is, I am trying to be kinder to myself and so should you, because there is only one of me and one of you!
Enjoy eating ridiculous amounts of bank holiday food. Much love as always!