Sadness

So as you can probably tell this 31 day challenge isn’t going very well..

Instead I have decided to continue on with this series with the subtraction of the time restraint. Writing about emotions is more difficult than I imagined it to be, with a lot of the darker emotions becoming more and more challenge to discuss.

However just because something is challenging doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it so this post is going to be about sadness.

Sadness is an emotion of have come across a lot in my life. I would like to say it is a very temporary emotion but it can take a life time fending off. The reason why I often say ‘happiness is an inside job’ it because sadness, anger  and grief isn’t. I initially created this blog to ward off those feelings.

Sadness takes no work, and no effort. Being sad is easy, almost like a job where no experience is necessary.. you can start right away. Why is this the case? Why does it take me daily positive affirmations, lots of work and lots of effort to be happy?

The simple answer is I don’t know. It is easy for me to fall into a pit of sadness. It is for my mind to make all sorts of nonsense that will in turn make me sad. It is for me to hold a magnifying glass over all the flaws and holes in my life. It is easy for me to see the bad in people and myself whilst completely ignoring the good. It is super easy for me to stay in bed all day, watching shitty soaps and movies and cry about why my life isn’t like that.

What comes easy isn’t always right.

As easy as it is, it also so painful. There is a good reason why you resolve to not let sadness rule your life. It’s no fun. Sadness is like leech or vampire. It sucks up everything good. What is left is just a hole, a shell of your former self. A shell no one wants to invite out, a shell that no one will hire, a shell that no one will love.

Moments of pure joy and happiness are our biggest tools to combat this feeling. Whether you are sat sharing an inappropriate joke with your best mate, having a cuddle with your partner or eating dinner with your family – you experience a few moments of bliss. A second or two where that hole is no more. That smile on your face is real and your brain momentarily forgets about your woes.

In these moments it is all worth it.

This time last year I was awfully sad. I had resigned myself to nothingness. I had no hope of a better life. I was going to be unemployed and living with my parents forever. But an experience change my mindset. I began to chase after those joyful moments. I decided that happiness was an inside job, a job I am more than willing to dedicate my life to.

Ever since then I have been running. Running towards happiness, running towards those amazing moments. I have been planning. Planning on staying this way. Planning my next moves – now that I have found happiness, how will I be holding on to it? I have been still. I have stopped and started enjoying life. I have been calm and accepted that I cannot control everything. But as for now, I am happy. The moment is here and I am going to bask in it.

Sadness is not far away, it is lurking behind every corner. That is okay. Sometimes it will come. But if I have anything to do with, it definitely will not be staying.

I know for everybody it is not as easy as warding off a feeling. The sadness runs a lot deeper than my own experience of it. I know a bit about mental illnesses such as depression but not enough to talk about. Finding peace does not come easy. It is okay to not be okay. . You and your feelings are important and valid, and your life is worth so much. There are people trained to help you find your peace. Nothing says you have to find it alone because you are not alone.

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help

Stay Bliss, Laura

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There ain’t no party like a pity party

‘There ain’t no party like a pity party’

..well this pity party has come to a much-anticipated end.

This last month has been a pretty rough one and I still can not put my finger on what was actually wrong.

What I can understand from it all, is that there was so much going on at the same shitty time. My work life, personal life and body all came to ahead and I was neck-high in a sea of emotions. The best way to describe is to say that I was drowning. Drowning in my negative thoughts and drowning in my immense workload. I was 100% focused on the negative, as I was only committed to thinking about how terrible I felt and how nothing would make me ever feel better.

This got me thinking about the different practical ways we get over a bad stint. It is impossible for us to be happy 100% of the times and entirely natural to go through prolonged moments of sadness. We all develop different ways of lifting ourselves out of these stress caves. It has been super interesting hearing different people’s’ tips and tricks for how they manage these.

One of the most popular suggestions was music.

 

Music is such a brilliant escape and has the power to really make you view your current situation in a better light. Some artists are born with the immense gift of getting others to feel what they feel. They somehow get you  to connect with them speaking to your heart as well as your soul. It can transport you to a different time of your life and give you the ability to look at your life through the artist’s lens.

I know for me personally music has always been the way I escape the stresses of the day. As soon as I get home from work its hair up and headphones on. I have an hour or two where I completely let myself go through the music that reflects my mood. I have to many cringey moments where somewhere has walked in on my dancing around like a  drunk butterfly and (trying to) hit the high-notes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Gold Lion’ – well, not very well! But I get over it because it does me a load of good and by the time I’m ready to take off my headphones I am in a much better place.

Another of the opinions I received was to have a reliable support system. I found myself in such a state that I forgot I could ask for help. I forgot that my friends and family have been there too. No two situations are the same but you truly realise how much your loved ones can relate to your struggle and that can be the key to you overcoming it. For example, my mother has worked in the NHS for 25 years. I often make the mistake of still seeing her as the authoritative figure in my life that still will tell me off for misbehaving. But as I grow into an adult our relationship has shifted slighty as she becomes more of a friend. After weeks of avoiding the subject of work for fear of being told to ‘stop misbehaving’ I finally cracked and told her everything. I told her that I was struggling with my workload and how mad at myself I was for feeling this way as this was all I ever wanted. What never occurred to me is that she’s actually the BEST person to ask anything about the NHS to. Well she of course gave me sound advice – ‘don’t worry, you’re a very new junior member of staff, you’re not accountable for any major mistakes you may make.’ After this I opened up to my girls, they also completely understood and some were struggling with their work to.

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The lesson I learnt from this is that I am not alone. There are so many people who are going similar struggles or have already been through them and have many wise words as to how they did.

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The most practical response I received was from a friend who keeps a CBT diary. From my understanding this is a form of cognitive therapy. The idea of it is to effect self-change by taking steps to change your process of thinking. You can read about it here.

It is honestly something I have never tried in this way, but I can do a great deal of help. You evaluate every situation deciding how you felt at the time and how you felt about your reaction. You can then use this as a tool for self-improvement. You can change they way you react in a similar situation the next time round and then evaluate whether the improvements made you and the outcome better.

Getting everyone’s opinions on how they pull themselves out of a bad funk was certainly insightful. Now having got through it and seeing things a bit more clearly the key thing I’ve learnt is that it’s okay to not be okay. More often than not you convince yourself that you’re being weird and dramatic and no one has time for you. When you push through this and swallow your pride and ask for help you wonder why you didn’t just do this to begin with. Realising that people not only relate to your struggle but can help you in ways they were once help is taking a proactive step to getting yourself better. In terms of your mental health the solution isn’t so simple. It becomes less about pulling yourself out of a funk and more about asking for professional help.

thinkingMy first thoughts on my very first post were ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn.’ As silly and cliché as this sounds, it is very true. I still am struggling but I am happier for taking the time to talk to people and write this as I work my way through it.

And I wish the same for you. I hope you are happy. I hope you are working through your struggles and doing everything it takes to make yourself happy. No one is above help and sometimes you can be happily surprised at the advice and support you may get.

Stay Bliss, Laura