Mental Health Journey: On Having A Life To Look Forward To

Here’s a more personal one for you guys. Most of you have been around for my mental health journey and what I’ve documented so far. So I thought now was a good time to give you a bit of an update.

mental health journey 1On Leaving Teaching

Fuck I miss teaching. I miss my colleagues. I miss the kids. I miss the relationships. I miss the laughs. I miss having 28 children in the palm of my hand and hanging off of every word. I miss the sparks of learning glimmering behind their eyes. But I don’t miss the state of my mental health.

I don’t miss the anger I felt at the system, at stupid colleagues, at harmful parents.

Teaching made me extremely disillusioned and bitter.

And it tired me the fuck out. Blogging is a full-time job. And I do work REALLY hard at it. And I used to do it on top of working a 60 hour week, trying to maintain friendships, a relationship and shaving my bush more than once every 6 months.

When I first went full-time with the blog, my mental health took a sharp nosedive.

Suddenly I was lonely, out of routine and constantly worrying about whether I’d make rent.

Fast forward two months and I’ve got more energy than I’ve ever had, I’m developing a routine and money has been good.

My biggest mental health triggers are worrying about money and panicking that I’m wasting my life and currently neither are hanging too far over my head.

On Future Plans

When my mental health has been in its deepest, darkest pit, it’s meant that I’ve never really planned a future for myself. Feeling so low and worthless all the time convinces you that nothing good will ever come your way. That life just isn’t meant to play out how it’s meant to play out.

And as dark as that is, that’s always how I’ve felt. I’ve never been one for planning too far ahead because I’ve never been one to see myself too far ahead, if you catch my drift.

But there’s been a huge shift in that this year. Things look way more promising and way less bleak.

I’ve started getting holidays in the diary for longer than a couple of months in the future.

I’ve started planning my ‘business’ and wondering how I can diversify and future proof it and it bloody feels good.

On Getting Engaged

I never thought I’d get engaged or married, as explained in this post here.

But being in the haze of wedding fever has again given me something to look forward to. Not just a wedding, where I’ll inevitably buy a dress I love and 5 minutes later hate. Or a wedding where Barry from Eastenders wants to charge us 5k to attend (we really want him OK) but to a marriage and building a life with Ben.

We’ve been discussing where we might move to in a year or so, where we’ll holiday over the next few years, what our puppies are going to be called (Beppe from Eastenders and Barry from Eastenders FYI) and generally we’re very excited for our future together.

On What’s Holding Me Back

Mental health is a journey and a spectrum. Everyone has ‘mental health’ and everyone has a spectrum of how well it’s working for them at any given time. Mine ranges from being, ‘fine’ and ‘coping’ to ‘devastating’, although at the moment it’s more at the ‘fine’ stage. But there are things that are holding me back.

I often suffer from complete and utter self-loathing. Where elements of my appearance, personality or characteristics physically repulse me. And that’s really hard. Sometimes I’ll be ‘fine’ and sometimes it’s the actual worst.

And every so often I’ll revamp my wardrobe or get a haircut and feel fine again for a bit but it always lingers and it’s something that I really need to get around to addressing.

Then there’s the self-doubt. On a good day I know I work hard, I’m good at what I do and I deserve the good opportunities that come my way. On a bad day though I feel like a complete failure, that will never make anything of my blog or business and that I might as well give it all up and climb into a hole somewhere.

This is something I definitely need to work on as I hold myself back from a lot of great things out of worry that I’ll be shit at it. Or I don’t push myself enough and then get annoyed that things haven’t gone as well as I thought they would have.

Well there we are…

So there’s a mental health update for you – where are you on your journey? I really hope to document over the next few months and years the different stages of this journey and the thing I want most in life is to write the post where I tell you I’m finally happy within myself. Let’s hope I can get there!

Top is a gift from Joanie Clothing – you can get one here.

mental health journey 2

mental health journey 2

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