Tis’ just me here again for another little ramble.
Now I’m going to be real with you all- I have written out this post about 3 times now and I just couldn’t seem to get it right before. This is such a personal issue and I feel like there are people out there possibly reading this who will understand…. but really, who knows?
So I’m just going to bite the bullet and put it out there! #bebravefortheblog
Mental Health… it’s a tricky one… and it’s probably been blogged about to death, but I feel its something that can also never be talked about enough?
There are so many areas to consider when addressing it – and as a whole its something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. I’m not trying to sound all sad or to get anyone’s sympathy- I am very much used to dealing with mental health. And I am okay. But I feel that others may need a little helping hand or virtual hug- so here I am writing about my experiences. just for you! how lovely:)
Since moving to a new place and starting my new job I have been struggling specifically with Loneliness. However before I jump into it all- let me clarify some things real quick.
- Loneliness is not the same thing as physically being alone.
- Loneliness is not always about friendships or intimate loving relationships
- Loneliness cannot be simply solved by ‘getting out more’
- Loneliness is not the same as feeling sad.
I only feel the need to bring up these things as I find those are the most common misconceptions that I have run into recently. although I feel there are definitely others lurking around the internet somewhere…. its a big place you know.
As I said I have dealt with mental health issues my whole life, and I plan to make this the first post in a series about Mental Health and my experiences with it.
So with THAT out the way, let’s get back to me, shall we?
In truth, It’s a roller-coaster- some mornings I wake up ready to whip out of bed and start the day. I’ll get up and saunter on over to my shower I’ll pick an outfit that makes me feel amazing. I’ll make breakfast and have a cup of tea. ill turn my laptop on and write before work and just be so pro-active, productive and positive.
Then there are those ‘other’ days… when I feel like I am being constantly followed and slowly consumed by a huge black hole that is always two steps behind me. I’ll wake up and be exhausted as if I hadn’t slept at all, my eyelids warm and heavy, my whole body aching, yearning to stay in my horizontal position. Instead of getting up ill close my eyes and fall into a restless, uncomfortable sleep-like state that I’ll gain absolutely no energy from.
I’ll realise I am late for work and feel absolutely nothing about it. I love my job- but on those mornings I won’t care. I would rather hide away from the general population, put my phone on silent so no one can reach me, and just stop existing for a day.
Of course, I can’t do that. because even in THAT mindset I am still painfully aware of the empty void that is my bank account. And this girl has bills to pay.
So instead I drag myself out of bed at the very last minute, throw on anything (knowing that ill probably hate myself for the outfit choice later; when I inevitably catch a glimpse of my reflection at work) I’ll leave home without a shower or food. Then ill pretend all day to be the person that I am when the darkness hasn’t taken over, feeling worse and worse with every fake smile and joke I make to add to the facade. Unfortunately, it’s a game I have become good at playing. Fortunately, I haven’t had to play it in a while. not to that extent.
Since Graduating and moving to a new place I have started having a bit of a battle more specifically with Loneliness. I have experienced loneliness before but not quite like this. it makes me overwhelmingly sad sometimes. and I feel the need to go back to long gone friendships and attempt to rekindle them (i haven’t done so… some people are just plain toxic).
Actually, it made me realise how hard it is to make new friends as a young adult who is out of the education system. Your 20’s are supposedly meant to be the best years of your life- but that feels entirely dependant on the size of your friendship circle. And turning work friends into friend friends is an entirely different challenge altogether! can you ever really break that wall down? if I left this job would I still get messages from them? I can feel my Imposter Syndrome sinking back in just thinking about it!
Loneliness, I find, can also be an incredibly hard thing to find the specific cause of, it can feel like something is missing but your not sure what that thing it. It’ll drive you mad becoming the only thing you can focus on, having this power to suck the happiness out of everything until you are completely immersed in this one feeling. it’s hard!
However on a lighter note- once you figure out what that ‘one thing is’ you can turn it around pretty sharpish!
so without further ado here are some constructive things that help me when I get into a Loneliness slump.
The first thing I’ll do is check myself. have I spent too much time on social media lately? or have I been unintentionally isolating myself? either one, for me personally, isn’t good. I find with social media sites that I go through waves of being ADDICTED to them, currently its twitter (go follow me @whitneyistyping, gotta love a shameless plug)
Although sometimes its perfectly fine to enjoy endlessly scrolling and harmlessly retweeting- other times I get massively obsessed with the numbers, which is when it becomes a little bit of a threat to my mental health. Adding a pinch of imposter syndrome to the pot which, of course, just feeds into the loneliness issue.
So that’s number one – Turn off your phone and take a breather.
If social media isn’t really a contender then ill reflect a little and think ‘what is my life missing? what am I lonely for?’ Usually for me its friendships- especially since graduating and moving into a new place- away from family and old friends.
In general making and keeping friends has always been a struggle of mine, and I don’t really know why? Every time I try It seems the friendships never last and eventually somehow they’ll become distant and disappear; Like none of it ever happened. I just don’t understand? I could talk about this for ages so ill move on now but ill definitely chat about it in more detail soon.
The constructive solution I have for this, however, is to Make an effort with the friends you have if you have grown apart then try to reconnect. Got work friends? put time and energy into those relationships.
I know that I for one, am guilty of forgetting to reach out to those I love when life gets busy. so step back for a minute and send that message, make that phone call. Its hard as an adult working full time, but try and meet weekly or every two weeks if that’s all you can do. ring once a week and have a little rant about your awful boss, that random thing you brought, the scandalous thing that you heard that girl from uni has done. Connect and talk to people, make the effort. Don’t wait for others to do it for you.
Also, Picking up a new hobby, creative outlet and finding a new community worked wonders for me. That why I started this blog in the first place!
If you’re like me and you’re very creatively inclined then you could be feeling loneliness if you are missing having a creative outlet. When I was at Uni there were so many creative demands on me and deadlines, I was expressing so much creatively… and then… I graduated. And suddenly, nothing. No characters to work on. No essays. nada.
I found it really hard but I didn’t know what to do about it, I needed somewhere to go with all my thoughts and creativity, somewhere to express myself. so I came here! and before too long I found the most supportive and inclusive community of bloggers and its really helped. I’m not saying everyone needs to start a blog or youtube channel- I’m saying that you should try to find something new to put your energy into. If its something that you get something out of too- then that’s even better.
When all else fails, talk to someone You do not have to figure this out on your own! tell your partner how your feeling, ring your mum, text a friend or if you are really in a slump; talk to a professional. I find that sitting down with a hot cuppa tea with my partner, chatting about how I’m feeling and speculating as to why I’m feeling it sometimes does half the job. And then he will help me with the rest, even if it’s just by texting me through the days to see how I’m getting on.
if anyone out there is anything like me I find that if I feel something negative and keep it to myself, whether its Loneliness or anything else for that matter, then I end up isolating myself further. which really is just me being my own worst enemy and standing in the way of myself feeling better. Its okay not to be okay sometimes, but not talking about it makes it worse. share the burden.
That’s really all I have to offer right now. but all those things really work for me so I hope maybe they help someone else. or even if now you just understand this all a little bit better then I am happy with that too. I could keep typing about this for ages so I’m going to wrap this up pretty Soon before I bore you all.
So that’s a wrap everybody. its been a pleasure as always. I hope you enjoyed a slightly more serious, personal account from me today.
stay happy, keep talking and spread some positivity in the world.
xox Whitney xox
-If you liked this post why not follow to get notified when I upload! –