Most people who happen upon this blog will not know me well enough to know that I have an anxiety disorder. And those that know me will, generally, be surprised to hear that I am diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. It’s complicated.
In a week’s time, I will have had my last session of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) with a lovely therapist named Polly. It has been fucking wonderful, distressing at times and deeply rewarding. For anybody who struggles with achieving happiness or contentment, or maintaining sound mental health, I can’t recommend it enough. Unfortunately, mental health is not top of the agenda in our society and in many societies across the world; thus, we have a disparity between services available and people suffering. And a record number of people in the UK are turning to anti-depressants. Blackpool had the highest prescription rate in 2012/13. No shit Sherlock!
Events that I initially considered to be unfortunate have in fact revealed themselves to be extremely beneficial. Yes, I have some metal in my ankle. But if I didn’t suffer a little I would have never gained such speedy access to private mental health treatment, and for that I am extremely lucky because it has changed my life unimaginably.
So I’m not really sure where I’m at here, as per, but let me hit you with some knowledge- I chat a lot of shit. Where my mind is at various points of the day, let alone the month, is anyone’s guess. I have written, typed and verbalised many ideas and opinions that, actually, aren’t me. And I don’t know why! Well, I do. But anyway… a few months ago, after being on some BOLLOCKS SSRIs (Citalopram, it’s wank) for some time, I decided they weren’t the answer for depression, anxiety or negative thoughts. That was a absolute bollocks. At that point, I must have had some mad rush of adrenaline after recovering from the hit and run, I dunno. But they do work IF you find the right one for you and IF you have talking or meditative therapies alongside.
I started on Sertraline a few months back, because my councillor suggested that it would be a good idea, to help get my head back in the ZONE. In my ZONE. And today I was two days late collecting my prescription. And GET THIS I chatted loads of bile, felt really down on myself and am still a little convinced that nobody likes me. Coincidence? Sure sure my brain has got used to having enough serotonin or whatever the fuck they do, so I guess it was withdrawal blah blah blah but actually yeah.
‘Is this going anywhere?’, I hear me cry!?
Ummm Oh yeah. So I’m not really sure where I’m at here because it is SO. BLINKIN. DIFFICULT. to keep track of what is going on in my mind, especially when I lose a thought in the silent abyss that fills the gaps (it’s like getting put on hold; pretty sure that’s the meds)
Please don’t think that I think that I’m some messiah of depression and that I think I can cure you of your anxiety. I can’t, and it would be great if somebody telling you ‘Oi! The way to inner peace is to love yourself’ actually BOOM made you the most content person ever, but unfortunately we don’t learn things from hearing them once. I’ve heard Rupaul say ‘If you can’t love yourself how the hell you g’on love anyone else’ *at least* 30 times and it STILL hasn’t sunk in.
I believe we’ve all been let down by the education system, been moulded into anxious little beings who struggle with the concept of happiness. We see it as something achieved outside ourselves. We have been educated that gaining wealth, possessions, praise, friends, lovers, medals, diplomas WHATEVER will bring us happiness and fulfilment. But they don’t.
With each year that passes and each book I read and each meditation I try, I have realised that only inner peace and love can give you happiness. If you are not compassionate to yourself it’s so difficult to be so to anyone else. Conversely, somebody who detests themselves until they are deeply unhappy will set out to do the same to another human/humans. Sometimes there is hatred inside and it makes me angry. I hate myself, and it drips out until it pours and in the aftermath I’m ashamed and brimming with regret.
Polly told me today to be compassionate to myself. To take my time, live in the present. And to draw up a plan of how I’m going to cope when I feel the self doubt lurking. Realistically, you can’t stay in therapy forever. There aren’t enough affordable therapists, for a kick-off. There’s homework and crying and appointments and… stuff.
I’m terrible at linking my writing together despite most of my degree directly pertaining to that very study, the study of writing, writing in English. So I’ll end on a few points (in colour!1!!!) that I think it will be helpful for you if you are like me, or you might think it’s a load of vague hippy bollocks if you’re even more cynical and unhappy than I am…
- Don’t strive for perfection, perfection doesn’t exist. If you can be bothered, strive for excellence, and if you can’t that’s fine too.
- Be kind to yourself. And you’ll find yourself acting like a cunt less and less. Eventually, you will love who you are and be friends with yourself and never be a cunt to anyone ever again.You’ll be like Jeremy Corbyn!
- Be more like Jeremy, but not Clarkson or Kyle. NEVER them.
- Good vibes reverberate.
- Understand that equality means different things for different people, and act accordingly (not related to above ramblings, just sound advice whilst I’m capable)
- Put you Christmas decorations up whenever the hell you want if it makes you happy.