Today is #worldmentalhealthday and for me it’s a day that has a very personal meaning. Normally I have no interest in days like this but because I have suffered from depression for the last ten years I feel like I should at least do a small part to remove the stigma attached to mental health. My journey to changing the quality of my mental health started at the beginning of this month because I knew there was something wrong and it wouldn’t do my weight loss journey any good if I didn’t try to do something about it.
I didn’t tell my Granddad the true reason I’d booked an appointment at the doctors solely because I didn’t want to give him another reason to worry about me. What good would it do if I did tell him and it turned out to be something else entirely?
Turns out I was right, it is the dark cloud of depression that I’ve been trapped under, but the scariest thing about this is that I’ve been trapped in the dark never-ending spiral of depression since I was ten years old. The reason for my massive weight gain, anger, suicidal thoughts, hating myself, and having a lack of emotions finally makes sense.
In telling my Granddad what the doctor had said two things happened. Firstly, the first thing my Granddad said was “Is it your life making you feel that way?” It’s not my life that’s made me hate myself. It’s being a victim of nasty bullying at school because of my weight, it’s feeling like I have no control when it comes to eating because I’m a binge eater, it’s losing my Mum at the age of fourteen and not dealing with it in the right way. Why wouldn’t I feel depressed with all that to deal with in my teenage years?
Secondly, I learnt something very important about the female side of my family. My Mum and Nan, who were both my best and only friends, had never told me and probably because they were both embarrassed. My Mum and Nan both suffered from depression when they were the same age as me. Maybe if they were still alive I could ask them for advice that would help me deal with my low moods a lot better.
I would love to be able to tell people about my depression but the fear of being judged for it and have them see me in a different light because of the stigma attached to people’s opinions of mental health. It puts me off wanting to socialise with the few friends that I do have and all that happens is I isolate myself from the world even more.
I understand why there is a stigma attached to mental health; it’s not an illness that you can see and not have to ask sometimes invasive questions about. My attitude towards mental health has only changed because I’m suffering from depression, but if I didn’t know that I have depression I don’t think I would try to understand it. It’s not a disease like cancer or a physical disability. How can people be expected to understand something when they can’t see the symptoms?
Lots of love,
This week’s post is a short one because although life has been very chaotic for the last month or so, none of it has been worth blogging about. I’ve tried to write something but with a lack of motivation nothing comes of it.
Thursday marked the end of my ninth week at Slimming World, which happens to be the longest I’ve stuck with something like Slimming World to lose weight. I’ve tried Weight Watchers, a complete nightmare that I don’t want to repeat ever again, I’ve tried SlimFast milkshakes because it was something I remember my Mum using to lose weight, I’ve been tricked into trying protein shakes by TOWIE celebs and YouTube reviewers, I lasted about three months and having two shakes a day didn’t work in the slightest.
I joined the gym and it made a big difference. I lost four stone at least four times and kept finding it again. Its kind of become a curse for me to lose four stone and not get much further; even when I know that it’s now or never and it probably didn’t help that I hadn’t stopped binge eating on crisps and sweets everyday. But something changed in my head on my cousins birthday back in April this year and I started taking my fifth attempt at loosing weight a lot more seriously.
My cousin’s sister-in-law to be suggested to me that I try Slimming World and for once someone else’s advice on losing weight actually worked, but only if you don’t count what happened on the scales in the week before my birthday. I’m not proud of it but I gained 4.5lbs that week, what a great twenty-first birthday present that was.
It might sound very strange but having the gain, which I knew would come eventually, made me more motivated to do everything I can in between group sessions to get the biggest losses I can. So I’ve gone from not wanting to lose more than two pounds a week to wanting to lose as much as I can every week. So, my group leader was right when she said that I could be losing a lot more weight each week; I didn’t have the motivation to achieve big losses.
I’m very proud to tell you that I lost 3.5 pounds this week, which is the most I’ve lost in the whole ten weeks! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another good loss like this, preferably above 4 pounds but as long as it’s a loss that’s the most important thing.
Lot’s of love,
Yesterday I had my first session with a therapist and I feel like I actually got some advice that is going to help me improve my mental health to a certain extent. I don’t have the best history with therapists or councillors so I’m taking everything she tells me to try with a pinch of salt. Her advice was to get out of bed at the same time every morning no matter what time it is so that my body clock understands the difference between waking up and going to sleep everyday.
When I go to bed it isn’t to go to sleep, I go to bed to watch TV programmes that I know my Granddad doesn’t like in the slightest and chill out. I go to bed not feeling tired, spend a few hours playing around with my laptop and I don’t get to sleep until at least three in the morning. Normally, my thoughts and worries keep me awake at night.
Last night I decided to make a change and actually give her advice a try. So, I took a sleeping pill, found a notebook and pen and started to write until I fell asleep. It took an hour and a half, but I did eventually fall asleep at half past ten at night. I haven’t fallen asleep at half past ten since I was in high school when I would get up at six in the morning. I woke up at half past eight and strangely felt very refreshed; for once in my life I actually wanted to get out of bed.
I hate getting out of bed when I actually have to let alone when I don’t need to. Having said that I’m going to carry on forcing myself to actually get up instead of rolling over and going back to sleep because I don’t want to get up. I don’t enjoy having to take sleeping pills every night; so maybe writing things down and changing my sleeping habits will be what helps with my weight loss and my depression?
Well, today marks the end of another week at Slimming World and with every week that passes I enjoy the process even more. This week I lost half a pound and I’m very proud of my achievement because it means that in six weeks I lost half a stone (that’s seven pounds if you live outside of the United Kingdom). To some of you half a pound probably isn’t that big of a deal but to me it’s another achievement in my weight loss journey to getting my life back.
I’ve come a long way since the start of my journey; when I think back to how I used to look I don’t feel anything but relief and pride. Relief because I’m not that person anymore and pride because of how far I’ve come both physically and mentally. I’m very proud of how much I’ve changed on my own; but the cycle of being overweight is stopping with me. I am not going to allow my own children to make the same decisions I made because I don’t want them to hate themselves as much as I hated myself. That would probably be the biggest mistake I could make as a parent who knows how hard it is to be that overweight especially as a teenager.
I was thinking about how much weight I’ve lost all together and after some very complicated converting of weights I was very shocked when I worked out that I’ve lost 3 stone 9.5 pounds (51.5 pounds or 23 kilograms) in the last five months.
While this is a big achievement it is slightly dampened by my own fears; I’ve never lost more than four stone, every time I do I hit a brick wall and I gain the weight back again. I’m 4.5 pounds away from that number and I’m worrying about how I’m going to get over that hurdle; I don’t know how I’m going to do it, especially with my birthday being two weeks away, but I do know that I’m not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of me leaping over that hurdle.
I hope that sticking with the Slimming World will be the thing I need to make that happen.
It’s been seventeen days since I last posted anything and I’m sorry. It’s no excuse but I have been on sleeping pills and antidepressants since the beginning of this month and I feel like I’ve been walking around in a daze ever since.
I’ve grown up in a time when having a diary or journal was a big deal; it was like a sacred book that teenage girls only shared their inner most thoughts with. They held secrets of teenage crushes, daydreams and silly little things that would probably make us cringe and wonder what we were thinking when we wrote the entries if we flicked through the pages ten years later. It was a book that no one else was ever allowed to read and was normally hidden in a draw, under the bed or under the mattress.
I was one of those girls who always bought a journal, with every intention of writing something, no matter how random, every day for as long as possible before it would be forgotten about in the chaos of everyday life. My journals always had a padlock and key on the side to keep my secrets safe, but the padlock would remain locked and the pages would remain ink free. I didn’t have the kind of attention span that could be dedicated to something like a journal when I was a kid.
I love being able to write my feelings down through my blog posts; but I want my blog to be more than just a world where I force myself to write something based on a random word. I want my blog to be a world where I share my life and my inner most thoughts; I want to be able to express myself in a way that can connect with people, I want to find something that could go towards helping to ease my mental health.
I’ve tried daily blogging before but it didn’t work out very well because I didn’t know what I wanted my blog to be or where I wanted it to take me, I didn’t know the first thing about blogging when I started. But now I feel like I’m ready to dedicate time to my blog and develop it into everything I want it to become.
Maybe using my blog as a journal will be my answer to that?