Thursday, 30 January 2014

A Personal Battle

My vision for this blog is to create my little corner of the internet where I can write about things that interest me, things that move me and to talk about different aspects of my life. I want to be honest and authentic which is why todays post is about something I am struggling with - anxiety and depression issues. 

This is where I am at right at this moment. I have been having anxiety issues on and off over the past few years and it generally has passed quite quickly but I have been a worrier for my entire life. Last year things deteriorated and my anxiety got much worse over the last 6 months of the year. What worried and frustrated me at the time was that there was nothing causing the anxiety - no relationship, family or employment issues. I'm lucky to be able to say I have a pretty blessed life filled with love and support. But that doesn't change the fact that anxiety has become a big part of my life.

With the increased anxiety over a long period with no none cause or trigger I started feeling quite down and when I spoke at length with my Doctor he explained that what I was feeling was really a mild form of depression. Over Christmas I began taking a small dose of an anti-anxiety antidepressant. The first 2 weeks were some of the hardest times of my life with severe side physical side effects. I wasn't in a great place but persevered with the support and constant love from my unbelievable husband and close friends and family. 

Starting taking medication isn't something that I have hid from those close to me and I in no way regret my decision, a decision I did not take lightly. I realise that some people feel that mediation for depression/anxiety is a sign of weakness and taking the easy way out but that is just not true. Im not ashamed to be on medication as it has honestly changed my daily life and outlook - I feel more myself then I have in a number of years. I can now see that the anxiety really has been heavily impacting on my life for longer than I thought. I was missing that spark that made me excited for life. I was too caught up in my own head and negative and worrisome thoughts to actually live my life.

I am now 5 weeks into my medication and whilst things really are great and much improved I still have the occasional off day, today is one of those days in fact but I know it will pass. I am also having very vivid dreams but I know this is a side effect which should settle down once the medication has been in my system for a little longer.

don't really know what I want to achieve by writing this post but I just felt I had to. I don't think i could write constantly happy posts about going overseas and about great aspects of my life without also talking about the bad times. I mean after all thats what life is really like - we all face challenges and battles. 

Writing this post has been difficult as i guess it always is when we talk about our own weaknesses,  shortcomings or battles. I think that mental illness is so common these days that people really should feel comfortable and open in talking about it. I know that chatting with my husband, friends and family is something that has really helped me. If you feel someone in your life might be dealing with mental illness open a dialogue with them and you may just make someone feel less alone. There is also a lot of access to free professional help these days.

The name of this blog, The Year Of Life was something I intentionally picked to remind me to live every day. Already this year I have had some of my best moments in a long time and memories I will treasure. I feel proud of myself for a lot of positive changes I have made. I know that everyday might not be rosy but I can now see the positives in the future and the experiences I have yet to enjoy. I want to make the most of everyday.

To end this somewhat heavy post here is an adorable photo of one of my cats because he is just too cute!


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