Thursday, 10 August 2017

Automatic Negative Thoughts, Mindfulness, Mental Health Awareness, Depression, Anxiety, Nicki Kinickie

I made a promise to myself that when I didn't feel like writing a blog post because of my mood was exactly when I would sit and write a blog post. Not only because it is good for my mind but also I think it is good for others to read.

When you are in the middle of the storm so to speak, you can describe exactly how you feel first hand and what your day to day life is like. Not only is it good for me to look back on on better days and praise myself on how far I have come but hopefully, it will also help others and reassure them that how they feel or think is not unique to them and they're not alone.

For some reason my mood has blackened these past couple of weeks and I don't know what has triggered it. I haven't been sleeping well (in fact one night was up from 2am till gone 5am) my anxiety and meaningless thoughts have been driving me crazy and for some reason I have been overthinking every single little thing.

My mood has been very low. I have that awful throbbing in my chest of dispair, worthlessness and sadness. My head is so heavy with a dull ache from the endless thoughts going around in it. My day to day routine is ruined and for some reason I find every simple task too hard and get overwhelmed. Either that or I just don't have the energy or can't be arsed to do it so the house becomes a mess and washing piles up.

(My house definitely reflects my current mood: Clean, tidy and organised means a tidy and organised mind but a messy house means a messy mind.)

Does anyone else feel like there is a block in their brain when feeling low? No sensible thoughts can get out. I can't concentrate on anything or work things out. Everything turns into a big tangled mess in my head that I just can't make sense of.


I feel as though I don't want to see anyone or speak to anyone. I am not good company, I don't have anything interesting to say and have no clever input into anything. I am on auto pilot and just 'exist'.

Yesterday morning my mood was particularly low. I dunno if I am hormonal of something. I never keep a track of my cycle and I really should. At 32 - nearly 33 years old - I should know better now but hey ho. Anyway, we had the in laws coming over and usually when you feel this bad the last thing you want to do is tidy up the house (and in this case also finish unpacking from holiday) and get ready and socialise. But I knew it would do me good. I needed the distraction and I needed the company.

I did all of the things my mind was trying to talk me out of - shower, moisturise, put on a bit of slap and sort my hair out. All of the things I would want to do normally but get no joy from when feeling this way.

They came over. We had a lovely catch up. We ate nice food and it made me feel much much better.

Don't get me wrong, the feeling is still there. The mood is still there. I woke up this morning with it still lingering like a house guest that won't bugger off home but I made myself get straight up. No thoughts. Just up. The kitchen was a shit hole this morning because we couldn't be bothered to clean up last night and usually that isn't a problem because I whizz through it all without a second thought but this morning it overwhelmed me and my first thought was I didn't want to tackle it. I could feel myself getting frustrated as I often do when I feel this way (it is normal to get angry and frustrated with depressive moods) but I stopped myself.

Don't listen to those thoughts, get on with it and get it done and you will feel so much better.

As I write this it is nearly lunchtime and I have played Barbie's with Savannah, done two wash loads, cleaned up the kitchen and made breakfast. I even cleaned the dishwasher filter (which was minging by the way) It was difficult don't get me wrong, I didn't pressure myself to get it all done at once just in my own time. I am pretty fucking proud of myself too. Once upon a time I wouldn't have been able to fight my dark mood like that and get shit done. I would have (for want of a better word) wallowed.

While it hasn't cured how I am feeling I know that pushing against those dark thoughts that make me just want to hide away and do nothing will help lift my mood and eventually I should feel better. I just need to take little steps and not put too much pressure on myself to get lots done as normal.

It is harder when you are at work I know, I am dreading going back to work at the weekend simply for this reason. I feel I don't concentrate as well or take as much in as I usually do. I also feel if it is busy I will get overwhelmed and miss something or make a mistake. I tend to find making more notes than usual and then writing a list of what needs doing that day helps me get through it a bit better and taking the time to double check what I have done. I also try not to rush through tasks as there is more chance of making an error that way.

Just writing this blog post has helped me actually. I hope it has helped you too, whoever you are reading this. Sometimes no matter how 'in control' of our mental health we become it can still get the better of us.

Sometimes I forget to monitor my thoughts or ask myself how I am feeling, I forget to praise myself for getting through tough patches or actually, forget to just generally praise myself for being an awesome human being. Because I am. Like you are too. We all are. When I don't do little things like that or things for myself I find my mood can lessen. I am not paying attention to what is going on in my head and therefore those naughty thoughts can work their way back in un-monitored.

Then when they crank up the volume I have to work harder to stifle them again and show them the door.

It can be done though. I guess what I am saying is needed is to adjust your thought process depending on your mood and adjust your task list. Sometimes you have to be tough on yourself and sometimes you have to kind to yourself. Only you know what treatment is best for your current mood.

Anyway, I feel I have waffled on enough now and it is lunchtime so I need to feed people. I also need to finish some freelancing work and want to take my time with that too to ensure it sounds good and there are no mistakes!

Apologies if any of this doesn't read well or there are typos! I rushed through ;)

Speak soon x

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