‘Sober October’

October is the start of my 365 days of self care. This month is starting it off by doing ‘Sober October’ which is ran to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. As well as raising money, I’m doing this to improve my self care and mental health.

It does say on the lil’ leaflet in the anti-depressant box, to not drink alcohol, but on the good days, whats a pint or ten? ‘Alcohol may seem to improve your mood in the short term, but its overall effect increases symptoms of depression and anxiety.’ Why do I keep drinking knowing its adding depression and anxiety, to my already existing depression and anxiety?

By no means am I dependant on alcohol or feel the need to drink on a daily basis, but I am one who’s very partial to a cheeky Gin, or a cold cider and black when I’m feeling stressed / want to have a good time. But, I always find that- not the day after drinking, (the hangover day) but the day after that, I am that low I cant pick myself up.

Yes alcohol is a depressive and yes they are right. I know people can be a crying drunk and I fall into this category. I have had countless nights out where I’ve ended in tears, being the one that needs to be taken home. Drinking heightens my emotions, makes me more paranoid and makes me over think. The days after I feel my overthinking gets worse, I start to question if I want to be here anymore and just overall feel groggy. My mom has even noticed  a pattern, that I only have irrational thoughts and strong hurtful feelings once I’ve been out and had a drink.*

*(Im talking going out and having excessive amounts, not a pint down the local)

Having 4 years of uni, I don’t even want to think about the amount of alcohol that has gone through my body and every time I’m wrapped around the toilet, throwing up through ’till tomorrow the words ‘I’m never drinking again’ have been said too many times.

I’m doing this month sober to see if actually I do feel better without alcohol making me dip a couple of times a month. It’s been noted there is lots of other added benefits; better sleep, better skin and a better bank balance! Look likes its a mock-tail for me this halloween!

I would love to hear of other peoples thoughts on alcohol and anti-depressants, or own experiences of going sober!

S x

Update: 1st week

I had my first sober night out out, which actually, considering a lot of people are like “I could never go out out without having a drink” I thought it was completely fine. At pres, I told the host I was doing sober October and he offered me some nice mango juice, which was v nice. I held conversations with new people I which I can still remember, and found out I don’t need alcohol to be confident. We went out to a cool bar, and ordered a pint of lemonade, to which the bar girl was like, with Vodka? and a concerned face. Funny how its weirder to order a soft drink than it is a treble vodka. I had a good dance and had good fun and at no point in the night did I feel the need to have a drink. I came home this evening after surviving 2 nights out this weekend with no alcohol and I feel fresh. Im not low, I’m not regretting drinking, to which I know can see its very likely it is alcohol that leaves me feeling shite at the end of the night.

You Are Worth So Much More

Last night I put my mom through hell.

Friday night I went very bad. My dark thoughts were telling me ‘I wasn’t good enough’ ‘Im all on my own’ ‘Nobody is wanting me’. These took over and I made myself feel physical pain. I didn’t want to be here anymore.

Saturday was spent curled up in a ball, until I decided to go out with my friends. Anything was better than staying at home on my own and having a night that turned into the same as the last.

The night ended with me out till 8am, after taking something to make me feel like I was escaping. The desire to not feel myself anymore was too much for me to cope with. I went home on my own, slept till 5pm and woke up being violently sick. I was red hot, my heart was pulsating like crazy and I felt like I was about to pass out. My mom was on her way to get me, as was the ambulance. They both arrived together, and I ended up being taken to a&e to see the crisis team. I was ashamed, disgusted with myself, guilty that I was putting my mom through all of this with me.

We waited a long time, which actually allowed time for me just to speak to my mom about how I’ve been feeling lately, why I did what I did. She’s my absolute rock and I’m so lucky that I have someone so strong behind me, supporting me everyday.

I saw this lovely lady, who sat and chatted and asked me how I felt. When she asked me what I thought triggered my depression and anxiety, and I said it all started after a  bad break up, she looked at me, shook her head and said;

You beautiful girl, don’t you dare cry over any boy. You are worth so much more.

Her words I will repeat to myself again and again.

She explained that life isn’t a book, no one knows whats coming the next day, but its up to me to live my life. Its up to me to have the life I want.

Im now being referred to a charity to talk about coping techniques and how to deal with the dark thoughts. Spending time in a&e was not fun, but admitting I was not okay and needed help was the best thing I could have done to help myself.

My plea to anybody feeling like this, to not go down my route and go to extremes to escape, but to reach out to someone. Talk to whoever you can, because as I found out, escaping didn’t work.

S x

When Anxiety Leads To Trust Issues

Yes I’ve had my fair share of shit boys, Yes I’ve been in a relationship where I thought the only person they were seeing with was me, and yes I clearly put 100% in and got absolutely nothing back. Naturally my trust levels went to 0. But a year on, more people come and go and theres one big reason why they don’t stay.

The vicious thoughts that run through my head when they don’t reply, when they leave me on read, when they give me one word answers. My mind starts asking questions that are completely over the top,

Why hasn’t he replied, who’s he with? Has something happened? He hasn’t replied because he’s with another girl.

He’s online but hasn’t spoke to me? Who else is he talking too? Why hasn’t he been online all day, who has he spent the day with?

Who’s that girl in the his photo?

Why was he last online at 3:34am? Who was he talking too at that time?

My thoughts escalate into me making up situations in my head, that normally are very extreme. These thoughts ruin my day, they eat my alive to the point where I end up asking them, making me look like a complete ‘psycho’ girl as they say. Even with a truthful answer,  my anxiety demons in my head tell me he’s lying, that he’s actually sleeping with someone else. The thoughts get so strong that it affects how I am in a relationship, it makes me question their every move, makes me question where they’ve been all day. This is not the intensity a relationship needs in its early days, and it normally sends them running.

What my anxiety shows me is that I need continuous reassurance, and most people don’t understand that. It shows me that my mind overthinks every little detail. It seems to others that I’m just being jealous girl that has severe trust issues.

I’d love to know if anybody else feels like this and how they deal with it because i’d really like to improve this side of my anxiety. Either that or I’m picking the wrong guys that i shouldn’t be trusting anyway…

S x

I’ve come back to add to this post because all those thoughts I had, the paranoia, the thoughts that there was more going on than just a Facebook photo like….all turned out too be true. I was made out to look like I was completely going mad and he proved that everything I thought was actually correct. Thanks for making my anxiety 1000 times worse.

Is living in the city bad for your mental health?

Its moments like that when i realise that ‘everything will be okay’.

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Being a ‘brummie’ and having lived in the West Midlands all my life, a trip to the seaside has to be planned organised trip. With bad days coming unexpectedly, its not that easy to get up and drive over 2 hours to nearest beach when I can hardly get out of bed.

In the city there is nowhere to ‘escape’. When it all gets a bit too much there are very little places that actually give you that feeling that you are away from everything going on. Especially in a city that never sleeps. I try to get my 10 minutes of ‘Headspace’ in a day, but the constant sounds of sirens, traffic and noisy passers by, makes it impossible to find silence. When the bad days come, the thought of not being able to go anywhere without being surrounded by strangers is enough to keep me inside.

Don’t get me wrong, being in a city can be brilliant. And for some people, they actually prefer to be in the hustle and bustle of everyone else lives. For the good days, theres lots of good places to eat, there is normally lots of unique events (I’m very excited about the Gin Festival which is coming to town soon!) and lots of different places where I can sit with a cup of tea and people watch. Another benefit is that when I am able to be around others, or I need instant communication with a friend, they don’t live too far away and can be with me pretty soonish. But when my anxiety rises, even a simple train journey into town becomes a daunting task. I get crippled with the thought of being surrounded by people rushing around on their daily missions. I get the feeling everyone has somewhere they need to be and fast. When I need a day where everything needs to be 10 times slower and easy tasks take a hour, this is a environment I don’t want to be in.

Being lucky enough to own my own car, I can drive myself to escape areas and recently I’ve had a few seaside trips that have involved me just sitting by myself watching the waves. It gave me the feeling that they were washing all my bad thoughts away and it gave me a sense

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 of being free. I felt calm until the thought of having to return home, to the city where I would lose the peace.

I met up with some friends, had some Gin’s and watched the beautiful sunset. Its moments like that when i realise that ‘everything will be okay’. It might not be okay right now, but it will be. I am still trying to decide whether these good feelings were temporary, and that if i was fortunate to live by the sea, would these good feelings be with me daily. But all I know is that being by the sea gave me the chance to sit alone, have my 10 minutes of mindfulness a day and just take in that I’ve made it through another day.

S x