Partners

This one is for the partners.

My head doesn’t hurt today, so let’s do this.

Without partners, many of us wouldn’t be here today. So many of us owe our partners our lives and our health, however much of that we have.

Who’s we? Could be anyone. I’m referring to myself as someone with mental illness. But it could be anyone with a physical disability, a handicap of any kind, some issue that needs regular treatment and support.

In the background, often silent, are the pillars that we lean on, often heavily, to stay upright.

I don’t think these amazingly supportive people are known and recognised enough. They deserve all kinds of medals, and recognition, and prizes, and awards.

But that’s not why they do it. They simply love us, even in our un-lovableness, and do their best by us and give us the greatest gift ever; someone who will stand by us through it all. That is amazing!

What’s even more amazing? In a lot of cases, they didn’t sign up for this.

They committed to us long before they knew, or we knew for that matter, that we were going to be a burden on them. They could be excused for feeling “I didn’t ask for this, I shouldn’t have to do this, this isn’t fair!”. But that’s not how they react. At least not outwardly, and who would blame them for thinking this inwardly??

They give us love and kindness and support, and that is a beautiful thing! They have such a capacity for longsuffering, even when we are a real trial to them!

Speaking for me, my husband has had to deal with panic attacks, paranoia, depths of depression including being suicidal, not showering for a week, doing nothing around the house, hypochondria, manic episodes, non-existent romantic life, sleeping all the time, having to come home from work to cook, clean, do the washing etc, me not working for 16 months, my absent memory and recall function…I could go on. But this isn’t about me.

This is about him. Sure he occasionally gets frustrated, angry, fed up, feeling overworked and underpaid. I’m not surprised! This is a thankless job! I’m trying to make it more thank-full. And he gets worked up a lot less often than he could!

But without him, I really do often feel like I would surely fail.

He stood by me in the emergency department arguing my case when I was beyond being able to argue anymore. He sat at home for days on suicide watch. He’s been to countless appointments, suffered through my drug side effects, tried to coax me along when I was cranky as anything because I felt lousy!

I’m trying to stand on my own feet more, and I am, a bit. I’m trying to notice the dishes, the washing, the cooking, the cleaning more and do a bit more. Because it means something to him mostly. Also a bit because it makes me feel a little less worse about my uselessness around the house.

I’m back at work, and it’s going well. So I’m contributing to the household a bit more, and feeling a bit more confident in myself.

All things that I do not think I would have achieved by myself. Maybe I would, who knows? No way to find out.

But I do know this. The support, the encouragement, the listening ear, the pep talks from my husband went a long, LONG way to getting me to where I am today.

My GP, my psychologist, my psychiatrist have all commented about what an amazing support he is. I sometimes think my psychiatrist likes to see my husband more than me! Haha!

But seriously, it’s a hard gig when you suddenly have someone on your hands who’s mood is liable to change before you’ve even got a hang of the last mood! In fact

Who is useless with deep depression, sleeping, eating and not showering; who is bouncing off the roof with boundless energy and babbling at 100 mph with mania; who has weird turns of suspicion and paranoia about how the partner is out to get them! This one gets my hubby the most, and afterwards I can completely understand why! After all he has done for me, which is unable to be actually counted up because it’s so vast, for me to turn and say he’s out to get me? That goes like a knife to the heart. Of course it’s not something I even feel, let alone would say on any normal day, but this paranoia has really shown me again who’s boss in my brain, and it isn’t always me!

I’m sure the same applies to many other situations. The question of ‘what would I do without them’? I have another example. A paraplegic man, twice the size and weight of his mother who has cared for him, to the detriment of her physical health, for 40 years!!

How can you thank them enough? How can you ever repay them? How can you ever begin to even out the balance of power?

They don’t ask for thanks, or repayment, and they don’t even consider the balance of power. They just give, and give, and give. What can we do to make it up to them?

I don’t know the answer, but for me it feels like the repayment is getting better and staying better, and getting back to doing my fair share, and giving him a break. How about that? Let’s give that a go.

Of course I’m a lucky one. Not all people can get better. I don’t know the answer in these cases. Maybe it’s one of those challenging things in life that you somehow have to eventually make peace with. Of course I can’t make myself better for life, it will recur at some point, but I can do as much as I can when I can, I guess.

At this point I remember all of the people going it alone.

I feel for you! I don’t say that because you are alone you can’t do it. I think you can. I think maybe you are stronger because you lean on yourself, not anyone else. But I wish that for a little while I could give you the relief of someone to lean on, someone to do the things you feel you can’t, someone to give you a break.

So partners.

Thank them today.

They are amazing, their role in improving our health is immeasurable, and most of all they do it out of love and don’t begrudge us the effort and time and strength that it costs them.

I can only aspire to be such a selfless, loving, caring, forgiving, understanding, giving and undemanding person towards others! Well that list certainly gives me a lot to work on!

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Nil

No post today.

My head hurts!

So many ideas, so little follow through, can’t deal with editing several posts with minimal result.

Maybe later in the week ūüôā

See you then! D x

A little less

[Started 10th September, 2015]

Okay, time to be a bit less serious.

Sun, glorious sun!!

Sun, glorious sun!!

There has been too much D&M lately. Meaning deep and meaningful, of course!

My bad. As well as causes, I love issues!!

But it’s spring, and there’s something in the air. I walked home in broad daylight tonight! That’s exciting! I’ve only been working 8 weeks and already my walk home has gone¬†from almost pitch dark to sunlight. Yay!

Walking out into the sunshine! Perfection!

Walking out into the sunshine! Perfection!

So let’s have some fun and enjoy the light, little, fun things in life.

[Continuing 12th September]

A cheeky lorikeetHere’s a cheeky Rainbow Lorikeet playing peek-a-boo and considering acrobatics to get you into a playful mood!

Today the air was warm. I put a foot outside, and it was warm; not cool, not chilly. So unexpected. And how exciting! My pilates teacher back in Warragul said once that she loved hot days because it felt like the air was giving you a cuddle. That’s a beautiful way to think about those hot, cloistering days. Wrapping themselves around you and keeping you cosy and warm.

There is no magic cure

There is no magic cure

Isn’t this just the way to think about life??

I’m not there yet, but I really love this meme, and this saying.

When life is overwhelming and having to go forward feels impossible, wouldn’t this saying just help to bring you back from snowballing thoughts, and overthinking, and digging yourself into a giant sinkhole? Or at least it might send you in that direction.

I do so relate to the aims of this theory!

So many shades of yellow in the wattle bursting out all over the place

So many shades of yellow in the wattle bursting out all over the place

  1. An easier day.¬†I have loved the feeling of bliss and achievement that is an easier day than yesterday since I’ve started back at work. Since I started bike riding. And less noticeably over the course of my getting better, but I notice that in hindsight over months not days.

Getting fitter and stronger, having more stamina and energy, and coping better feel like great victories compared to recent life that has been lived on the couch! I’ve only been back at work for 8 weeks, but I can feel my progress every time I go back. Which is so delightful. I wish I could share this feeling with every person every where, because it is so powerful and so good for you, and gives you a feeling that you are good for something after all.

Cygnets hiding in the grass

Cygnets hiding in the grass

2. An unexpected laugh. Nothing is so wonderful as an unexpected laugh when you¬†didn’t think you could possibly!

I called one of the help telephone lines once, can’t remember which one now. My husband was away for the night at a work thing, staying away til the next day and I was braving it at home. This has always been something that’s difficult for me: the night, monsters, shooting people, muggers, rapers, people breaking in and stealing stuff etc. Yes my mind works in drastic ways! I had not long been diagnosed with depression, and my anxiety had really flared up again. I’d had a panic attack the month before, and I knew I was fragile. So I tried to look after myself, made a nice tea, had some good snacks, watched a movie to distract myself.

Swamphen chick last spring at the Botanic Gardens - check out those huge feet!

Swamphen chick last spring at the Botanic Gardens – check out those huge feet!

I chose Sunshine Cleaning or whatever its called with Amy thingamybob, bad idea! It’s most sub-textual but in the past the mother had committed suicide in the bath by bleeding to death, and one daughter has learned to cope and the other sits under the railway line having her ears blasted to death while she cries about it. Obviously by the end of that movie my thought processes weren’t in a good place or heading in a good direction, and it wasn’t too long until I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t call hubby tonight, extra panic. And so on until I was in a pretty nice state!! I had these numbers from different depression websites, so I called.

And the lady was brilliant. I wish I remembered the details to give her feedback because she was truly awesome! I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe, I was so distressed and she calmly spoke down the phone to me for a good 10 minutes before I could really participate back. And when I could talk but started to flare up again she kept on talking. And then she made me laugh! I don’t even remember how, but she had found out a few things about me and knew enough to get on my wavelength and then she made me laugh! It may have been a wet, sobbing/gasping laugh but I felt that laugh and nothing could be more powerful to giving you the idea that you are going to be okay.

Masked Lapwing, or Spur-Winged Plover baby being all kinds of cute last spring

Masked Lapwing, or Spur-Winged Plover baby being all kinds of cute last spring

You just laughed. How amazing it that! You’ve been so distraught but you laughed! People don’t laugh when things are really bad. Therefore things must be getting better, all because you laughed. It is a true gift to give to anyone at anytime; give them a laugh.

Not a condescending laugh; oh look at you, silly billy, making a big deal out of nothing.

Not a laughing-at-you laugh; look at how seriously you’ve taken all of this, just admit that you got carried away and acted crazy.

A genuine, I’m-with-you-in-this, here’s some common ground that will make us both feel better and that will lead us to better things.

A little trickling waterfall is always music to my ears

A little trickling waterfall is always music to my ears

I sincerely, genuinely, honestly recommend help telephone lines for anyone and everyone. Nothing is too small, not serious enough, not a big deal. Why wait til it gets bigger, more serious, a really HUGE deal? Just call. There’s no reason not to. Just call. If you just need someone to talk an issue through with, to commiserate with and to understand just how you feel, call.

Obviously don’t abuse their volunteer service, but if you have a shadow of a doubt that maybe you should, just call!

Being on top of the world!

Being on top of the world!

3. A mirror that doesn’t matter anymore. The mirror thing is an ambition of mine, ¬†and maybe one day it won’t matter anymore, or at least not so much as it has.

I’m not going to go down the mirror path in this most uplifting (I hope!) post…but seriously, mirrors are conspiring against me! I just get an outfit sorted that I think sort of flatters me, then I walk past some window and got a shock! a fright! a surprise to find that the once thinner me actually has a big butt and bigger belly! Where’d that come from?! How’d that get there?! When did that appear? That’s not what I look like in my mind! I thought I’d gotten rid of that. Well, yes, you did get rid of it, in your mind. But then you woke up today and because you haven’t done anything actually about it, it’s still there. Huh!

Golden afternoon light on my subject; best way to end the day!

Golden afternoon light on my subject; best way to end the day!

I hope you have enjoyed some photos of some of my favourite spring things! And hopefully you’ve found something here to feel good about, or at least to get you going in a goodish direction. Till next time! D x

Causes

One thing that is probably fairly obvious to those of you reading my rants here or on Facebook, or hanging out with me in person is that I’m a causes girl.

By that I mean that I tend to have a wide open beady eye for noticing causes that need championing (or so I love¬†to think) and long, elastic arms for latching on to them with all I’ve got, for better or for worse. With a very tight latch, and a very high threshold for considering myself to be¬†on a downward spiral and that it’s time to cry ‘I’ve done enough’! It’s never time, is what I’ve previously thought, and I’ve pressed on harder than ever, hardly noticing¬†the sensible people on either side who have put down their arms, and are getting back to daily life. ‘Never’!! I cry.

I’ve always loved to advocate for the under dog, the misrepresented, the needy, the worthy cause. As seen by my eyes of course.

No fire blight for Shepparton; ban New Zealand apples and pears from export into Australia! Stop Coca-Cola Amatil’s takeover of SPC/Ardmona! Donate blood, you could save 3 lives plus¬†a free lunch and gifts! Mental health awareness…I’ve been going at that since early high school, and you all well know that I ain’t done yet! Discount shopping and outlets and money saved; that kept me going all through uni! No cuts to pharmacists conditions in the EBA! Start running our pharmacy department like a clinical service, not a mattress store! That was the killer.

I’ve always loved to represent, educate, plug, publish, promote etc.

Which is fine of course, that’s in my opinion obviously, but it’s tiring. It can be exhausting. And it can really wear you down to the bone when you get nowhere, and have no prospect of getting anywhere, and the only vision is of defeat, at length, despite pouring heart and soul into it!

This is where my last campaign almost did drive me to despair.

I didn’t know when enough was enough, or when to call it quits, when to hang up my hat, or how to even evaluate the outcome, and whether I’d won or lost. I just kept at it, and at it, and at it!! Ad nauseum probably, to anyone around me!

I lost sight of the relative importance of the goal compared to the rest of my life. I threw disproportionate resources at it and wasted away until I was barely a functioning human. I mean this quite literally from a mental health point of view.

This war¬†and the way I (mis)handled it were either the chicken, or the egg, or both of my mental collapse. Part way through the fighting I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. I don’t know whether the anxiety and stress and adrenaline from the situation depleted my mind to the extent of breaking down. Or whether the anxiety that was developing in me due to¬†generalised anxiety disorder starting to show itself at a time and place where it was natural to feel more than anxiety than usual, so that I didn’t cop on that something was wrong until I was a mess and on the verge of collapse.

I couldn’t get to sleep, and when I did I would dream about the situation: the aims, the battles so far, the battles up ahead and over and over and over I would dream about how to win. How to conquer, how to win, how to get one over them, how to stick it to them, how to destroy them. Yes it got to that. One on one, to the death! In my head anyway.

It took me a long time to learn; a long time to see the lesson.

I didn’t give up, I didn’t surrender.

I drove myself on, I kept whipping up the anger in me more and more so that I had something to show that this was a big deal, this was serious.

I was driving 40 minutes to work and do you suppose I was calm and steady, ready for a days work? Nope my heart rate and blood pressure were already up, my pulse was letting me know things were at a critical point, and I was rehearsing.

Rehearsing over and over and over. How to answer their ridiculous questions that showed their ignorance, how to rebut their stupid arguments that didn’t make sense, showing that had no idea what they were talking about. I had them all down pat, clear and concise in my mind, at the ready for instant use if they were needed.

If it happened to be the day of the staff meeting when the ignorant one would be attending, I probably hadn’t slept all night, I felt like I’d been sucker punched, I’d skipped breakfast because I felt crook, and I was speeding to get to work because I was running late after my busy, hectic night of preparation.

Obsessed.

I think that much is clear.

I didn’t know I had disproportionate anxiety levels, that no one should be this worked up over work issues that were, yes a) justified and b) relevant and c) obviously underestimated by management and etc. But it was work. Yes it did affect patient care, and no that wasn’t acceptable but I wasn’t going to be the one woman power force that changed all of that. No, Danika, you’re not. It just doesn’t work that way.

No one said that to me, other than my husband. I should have remembered that his advice is golden and to be heeded, or not at your own peril. But just one more this and one more that and I might be able to something else. No, Danika. It’s not your job to do that, it’s not your responsibility to carry this, the blame doesn’t sit with you over another thing.

These are the most liberating, relieving, peace providing, freeing words, if you listen to them! Which I did not do. Actually, I couldn’t. Well I felt like I couldn’t. I really truly did not think I could apply those lovely words to myself. Because I did have to fight. Who would fight if I didn’t? I couldn’t just stand by. What if something happened and it gets held to me, even though I couldn’t do anything to prevent it? And everyone has told me how well I’m fighting, I’ve taken some leadership in this, who will they turn to if I’m not xyz?

Ah. The old indispensable line. I have to be there, it will all fall apart without me. How will they cope without me? I’m the only one who can A, and without me no one can properly B or carry out C properly. Really? You’re that important? Says who? No one ever? Oh yeah, that’s right!

It took too much time and came at too much of a cost. Medicated for generalised anxiety disorder, teary at the least emotion, struggling to manage the day to day of life, run ragged, exhausted, just completely wrung out. I came to the end of the road, and I quit. It was all that was left. I couldn’t give in and stay there and be walked all over by those evil people. And I had run out of capability to fight. I still wanted to but it had killed me.

I had myself convinced I was playing 8 roles: pharmacist, intern supervisor, intern manager (overlooking 3 interns and managing their education), OH&S rep, chemotherapy provision manager, senior pharmacist, pharmacy student manager, temporary/honorary technician liaison. Okay, so several of these are invented and some I took on myself at no urging from anyone else, or even in an official capacity. I was slightly conscious of this at the time, but I felt the full burden of each role immensely and that is no fault of any of the wonderful staff members that I worked with. Everyone of them supported me and helped me and would have done great things to help me if I had only known what it was I needed help with.

But I didn’t. I only knew how awful I was feeling, and that I needed to justify why it was I was feeling so bad. There had to be a reason, right? Surely it must be because I was expected to fill all of these big huge roles consecutively. That was too much to ask of me, no wonder I feel so bad.

I did take this list to the temporary director of pharmacy at some stage, to explain why I was in such a state of overload and why this many burdens couldn’t be carried all at once and therefore some of them had to go. He rightly pointed out that a couple of positions carried no actual workload, and that some weren’t even my responsibility and so I could just go about my regular job without so much drama.

That was one of the first times when I knew that something was wrong. I was already medicated and everything, but the first one hadn’t worked so I’d been changed to the second one. But now I realised that I was actually making up extra workload than what I had, to make myself feel better about feeling worse! I was making stuff up. That wasn’t me! I’m a fact stickler, apart from when I’m telling stories of course, and now I was being a drama queen over issues that didn’t exist? That wasn’t right.

And so I realised that things had gotten way out of line, our of kilter, out of touch and a remedy was needed. Quitting wasn’t the remedy, but it was part of the therapy of withdrawing myself from a toxic situation that had helped me along the way to a nervous breakdown.

I went through the process of making myself let go, and it was very hard. I’d been so attached so long to this fight, and I’d given so much towards it, and was so ingrained in fighting, that each step backwards away from it felt like tearing away sticky bandages. It left marks and it hurt and it was a difficult thing, but I did it, I walked away in one crumbling piece and here I am today.

It took longer to stop drafting speeches in my head, and thinking up vicious letters to the management team. I did actually send one carefully couched letter. I’ve thought up many others, but then, of all things, the CEO went and got cancer, and you can’t very well send a nasty letter to someone with cancer! Typical of their style, to thwart me at every turn!

I think I’m in remission now. I hardly ever have enough of a strong feeling to the point that I start drafting, rehearsing, mentally dictating letters, speeches, responses etc. I think I’m nearly over it. I’ve told enough people, written enough public statements, and time had gone on. Life has gone on.

For me that life has gone on in the form of a total nervous breakdown, but I don’t begrudge that. I’ve had experiences, learnt things, developed skills, made emotional progress and become mentally stronger than I would have otherwise.

And I’m back at work, the real point of this essay.

Back at work with it’s imperfections, its irritations and it’s flaws.

Back at work with beautiful people, lovely environs and the thrill of being back home in my pharmacy/hospital jungle!

The new challenge: note the good, the bad and the ugly. And move on. I’m new, I’m green, I’m restarting my career. What I need now is knowledge and experience, not causes and fights. Yes, some things aren’t ideal. Some things are done poorly. If you can mention to someone who can do something about it, good for you. But…do not take up the fight! It’s not the time, it’s not the place; just do your work, and go home. At peace, relieved of burdens, and calm and restful. Yes!

Perspective

[Written in 2014, finally finished today!]

One of the techniques that I’ve been working on is looking at life differently.

My psychologist first got me onto this with a technique called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which tries to redirect thought processes.

For example, people with anxiety and depression often catastropise. I would have a thought like, I’m not working at the moment, which would then lead to, I’m not contributing to our finances, my husband is looking after everything and I’m doing nothing, and, what if I never work again and become a vegetable, and I’m totally useless and live forever with other people having to take care of me, and hating me!!

Obviously, to an outsider this is a drastic way of thinking and a rapidly snowballing thought process! Which is not¬†even factual, as I’ve never had it suggested to me even once that I will be doing anything but returning to my previous active, contributing life. Neither is it at all likely! But depression just has to nut out the worst case scenarios and get you to think, ‘what if’?! And the thing is, at the time, you can’t see it for what it is. It feels totally real, and scary, and awful even though other people may dismiss it as illogical.

Depression, does not have logic.

But depressive thoughts can be changed. It isn’t easy, but if you work at it in the right way, you can slow or stop the snowballing and start to prevent the catastrophising.

Around the same time as I started to see my psychologist, I was already involved in the 100 Happy Days photo challenge that I’ve talked to you about before. Happy. Depression. The two don’t naturally go hand in hand. They’re kind of opposites. Making this a real challenge! This involved, every day, taking a photo of something that made you happy. I knew I was suffering generalised anxiety when I took it on, and during the course of the challenge got diagnosed with depression and bipolar.

Finding something in the day that makes you truly happy takes a real change in thinking. It takes noticing the detail in the day, the little things that are often overlooked, appreciating what is often taken for granted.

These were not the happiest days of my life! Needless to say. In fact, some of the worst days that I have ever experienced were smack bang in the middle of the challenge. But did you know that it never once crossed my mind to not go on with the challenge? I never once considered not doing the challenge, even when I was sitting in the emergency department beside myself with suicidal thoughts and in so much mental pain that I didn’t know how I would live. My happy day photo that day? I was wearing my favourite dress with the huge rosettes around the hem and I was eating my favourite Snickers bar!

There’s always something. That’s what the challenge taught me before I was even conscious of it.

Depression is called depression because it’s depressing.

It lowers you down, it lowers your mood, it lowers your mind. It’s the mind version of walking along in life looking at the gutter. All you can see is the dirty, the trashy, the boring, the bleak, the wasteful, the dead, the mundane.

I’ve always been a stare at the ground in front of me and watch for snakes kind of girl. You know, just in case. But now, instead of physically looking down and stomping along to the train to go to work, I started looking up, casting my eyes around me and began to see all kinds of things in that 10 minute walk alone. The wood ducks nibbling on grass beside the path; never even knew they were there! How beautiful the pond looked shimmering in the morning like. How green was the grass, how blue was the sky. How beautifully kept that lady’s roses are so close to busy Box Hill Central!

And it got me mentally looking up. Instead of snoozing my alarm until the last possible minute, and dragging myself begrudgingly out of bed, I started to wake up wondering what I would see today that would make me happy. There is no mistaking that my mental health was in a dire situation, but at least for a few moments of the day there would be something that I found that would give me a glimmer of a smile, a bit of satisfaction because I found it! That thing that could make me happy. And the memory of it could be taken with me throughout the day. It truly proved to me that if you put yourself to the effort of looking up, mentally or physically, you will surely be rewarded.

So in an effort to lift one’s mind’s eye to a more beautiful view¬†we try this technique of purposefully, intentionally looking up. Some call it mindfulness, some call it practising gratitude, some people call it thankfulness; doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s a thing. A method to get out of the grunge and into the pretty meadows, or paddocks since this is Australia.

Probably this is the most powerful method of changing perspective, although I’ve way under used it! I came to it as a compulsory part of my insurance, and having someone tell you that you have to do something that you think is stupid is never a good starting place!! But I had to change my thinking. I had an amazing logical sensible teacher who was on my wavelength, and the lessons I learned were incredible!

Mindfulness teaches you to slow down, to take more time to take in the things that we usually just rush by. By doing this, you get greater fulfillment out of life.

I’ve also always been a person to try to scrape the most out of every second, minute, hour, moment. I always got up at the last possible moment, showered for as long as possible til I absolutely had to get out, dressed as fast as possible and left the house only when leaving a minute later would make me nine minutes late instead of eight! Because I was always rushing I’d often leave my lunch, my wallet, my phone, my brain at home! I always squeezed the most time possible into my breaks, felt jibbed every time I had to go back, put off going back to bed so I could fit more into the day. Etc, etc!

But anxiety made me realise that this is not a feasible way for me to live anymore. The extreme anxiety I feel when I’m rushing, late, overcommitted is so awful with the nausea, the sweating, the palpitations. And mindfulness reinforced this again. What if you could walk slowly and calmly without a care in the walk on your way to work? How would that be? Wouldn’t that be nice? Mindfulness is kind of addictive in it’s own way, because it’s highly rewarding to your brain. Of course then there’s the real world, but for a little while, you are in total control and that is amazing!

Mindfulness also teaches you how not to judge yourself and others!! Could there be a more powerful tool than this? In mindfulness, you sit with yourself, which sounds funny to start with, but you just sit with your thoughts and all you have to do is acknowledge each thought as it comes, without it being “good” or “bad”. Do you know how often we are bagging ourselves out in our head and we don’t even consciously know it? It’s terrifying! That’s the worst 3 second wrap ever, but I do highly recommend it, and not only for people with mental health disorders; it can help with a lot in life.

Changing perspective.

Looking for the happy, the good, the joyful things in life.

Some people call it being positive, but I’m not a fan of that description. I feel like being positive is ignoring the reality and the badness,¬†and trying to paste over it with being chipper and perky and upbeat!! Maybe that’s unfair but I feel my arm hairs raise and my spine tighten when positive comes up!!

I prefer to fully acknowledge exactly what is present, what the problems are, and try to work with that to change it for the long term good, not for the short term glossing over¬†it. I’m sorry if that’s offensive; but I feel that if the problems aren’t realised, the treatments won’t be effective so it’s important to be honest.

Changing perspective is hard. It’s hard.¬†It takes effort. It takes perseverance. It takes time. It takes motivation. It takes emotional energy, sometimes physical energy.

Most of these are the things that depression takes away from you. Before you even have a chance to notice, depression whisks away your energy, motivation, ability to exert effort. And leaving you a blob sitting in a chair, staring at a wall wondering what to do next, and how on earth you’re going to¬†do it?

Looking up. Changing perspective. Mindfulness. Gratitude.

The outcomes are so worthwhile if you can put yourself to the trouble.

I highly recommend engaging a psychologist, a mindfulness coach, a doctor trained in CBT because it’s much easier to be guided than to have to do it all yourself. If the session is pre-booked and all you have to do is turn up and be coached, you are already on an easier path, from someone who knows.

Of course you have to participate, and at some point in time you will have to do it on your own, but let’s focus on getting started and you will absolutely benefit from whichever path you go down.

100 happy days is different. You can do this on your own, and unlike me doing it all through Facebook, you can do it by yourself in a notebook and nobody has to know. I can’t recommend blurting everything about your¬†journey onto Facebook like I did; it worked for me, but not so sure about all the poor readers, and it might just not be something you are comfortable with. It’s your call, and there are lots of other options out there.

I wish you well on your perspective changing journey!