Once Around the Lake

I had to get up early today after only a couple of hours sleep in order to get to my doctor’s appointment. The doctor wanted to see how I was getting on with the antidepressants before giving me any more.

I thought back on how I was feeling just a few short weeks ago, and it honestly feels like a fog has lifted from my brain. My main problem when I was feeling my most anxious was ruminating, which Psychology Today describes as repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion. These thoughts completely consumed me to the point where I felt I couldn’t take it anymore. And that’s when I went to the doctor’s for help.

I’m not saying medication is right for everyone or will even work for everyone (scientists still aren’t sure exactly how antidepressants even work), but during week three the side-effects subsided and I’m not saying I felt immediately OK, but I did get a sense of clarity back.

I can think clearly again!

One thing I was thinking over and over, is that I was a ‘completely useless piece of sh*t’. They were the exact words in my head. Now I can remember the things I do like about myself, and although I’m not perfect I can see that I’m made up of a mixture of good, bad and everything in between. Just like everyone else. It seems glaringly obvious. It IS glaringly obvious. But when you feel like that you just can’t tell yourself these things and actually believe them.

The doctor has said he’ll keep me on this dose for six months with a view to weaning me off of them at the end of the course. I’m happy with that. What I do want, after a rollercoaster of a year so far, is simply stability. I have my routine back, I’m happy, and I just don’t want anything to change (too much) for a while.

Of course change is essential, we can’t grow without it, but some things I’m happy to keep as they are just until I’m positive I’m back on my feet.

But the future’s looking bright anyway!

I only had one pill left so I put my prescription in straight after getting out of the the doctor’s. It was a 45 minute wait, so even though I was pretty tired I decided to get the day’s exercise done right away and headed for the park.

The park was very quiet – I felt the odd spits of rain so I guess most people didn’t want to risk it. I have recently started hoarding an umbrella in my bag because it’s still too warm (most of the time) for a coat, however it would have been completely useless with these winds we’re having. They aren’t too bad here but if you are badly affected, then please stay safe people.

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Luckily it didn’t chuck it down, not that I would have really minded anyway.

Most of my walking was done getting to and from the park, so once I was there I just did one lap around the lake. But that lap took quite a while, because I was very busy getting tons of Boomerangs of fallen leaves (every time I pressed the shutter button the winds mysteriously dropped) and I look even longer getting distracted by pretty leaves.

A passing lady smiled at me as I was jumping up and down in order to grab a branch that was out of my reach. I never succeeded. Bad times.

I also scoped out a few horse chestnuts because after a friend mentioning conkers on his blog the other day I now really, really want some. I am so easily influenced.

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Damn, They’re not quite ready yet though. I’ll just have to keep checking back.

As it happens in terms of active minutes I’ve already smashed this week’s Gold Body Magic goals (twice over actually), but I still need another two active days in order for it to count. I’m feeling very outdoorsy lately so believe me, that will not be a problem.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Doctor’s Orders

Last night wasn’t the best in terms of my anxiety levels. I had an unpleasant fluttering in my chest throughout my shift and generally felt quite panicky, even though I’d had a nice evening. An old friend called me for a very long chat and, as usual, saying things out loud made me think ‘what the hell have I been doing these last six months? I know what I need to do, and I can do it.’ But then literally an hour later, the incessant (and very loud) negative thoughts had returned and everything felt terrible again.

I think that’s why I need help – I know that logically everything is going to be fine, but my brain keeps trying to convince me the world is ending.

The doctor has given me some anti-depressants and I’ll see him again in a month.

As it happens it’s the same doctor I saw about my knee, and after an already very thorough talk about my situation I didn’t think we’d be discussing it. In fact it’s been quite painful still but I thought that I NEEDED to run, for the sake of my mental health, so I had decided to just run on it anyway.

But this very good doctor asked me how it was, and I thought it would be silly to lie. He said that I must stop running on it until it is fully healed, so running is totally off the menu for the foreseeable future. And I know he’s right.

I could sit here and sob into my cup of coffee, but I’m not going to.

What I am going to do is trust in the Slimming World plan. The last time I lost this amount of weight, in 2012, I did virtually no exercise and still had good losses. It is entirely possible to be a successful slimmer without the ‘Body Magic’.

Even when I’m bang on plan I spend a lot of time feeling guilty over portion sizes and, lately, even having my full allowance of Syns. This isn’t healthy and it has to stop.

The Slimming World plan works, so I need to just crack on and follow it without worrying about all that crap. It just makes me want to eat more! If I find I’m not losing weight for no apparent reason, then I’ll start thinking about portion sizes or whatever. But until then, I just want to enjoy my food without worrying.

I will still keep up with walking (gently) but I need to be concerning myself with other healthy habits too, and getting enough sleep is a very high priority right now. I simply won’t have time to make up for the lack of proper training with increased walking, and I cannot start beating myself about that. I must be kind to me!

I’ve been thinking about it a lot this afternoon, and I think I’ll completely rest my knee and restart running when I hit my target of 12 stone 10 pounds, which is 1 stone 11 pounds away. That sounds kinda reasonable, and gives me extra motivation to get to target.

It’s hard to find them sometimes, but there are always positives. Now when I’m out walking I’ll have more time for taking photos at least, whereas when I was running I wouldn’t stop because once you’re in that zone you really don’t want to get out of it.

I did run yesterday, although I had to stop near the end because of my knee, and only got two pictures.

I do wonder why that poor horse has to wear a mask…

Anyway, you can certainly expect to see greater visual representation of my days in future.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

The Absolute Truth

I’ve got to be honest here, I was thinking of taking a little blog break because I’m feeling so down in the dumps. But it’s so, so important for me to be straight up in this little corner of the internet here. I’ve been wanting to start this post for a while, but getting out of bed has been a big enough challenge.

Thankfully this evening I’m feeling a little more with it.

I thought I’d feel better once some changes had been made in my life, and I was really looking forward to getting some time to myself back. But the problem is… me and myself aren’t great friends right now.

Over the last 6 months or so my self-esteem has gone from being pretty damn good to slowly getting to the point where I basically despise myself. I know it’s a temporary feeling, but at the moment all I have to keep me company when I’m alone is guilt, shame, disgust and other lovely things along those lines.

Being with people is better, but not great, because I can’t concentrate properly on conversations, and if there is background noise/more than one person I’m finding it almost unbearable. Texting is best, and my sister has been brilliant. Plus my mum and brother have been super patient and always available for hugs.

Work has been tough too, but there are also some good, good people that I can speak to there who have been great.

Up until recently I had someone in my life who was not so supportive, and one particular colleague really hit the nail on the head – he said it’s like I’m carrying around a really heavy backpack, but this person keeps adding rocks to it. And is trying to trip me up at the same time.

He gets it.

I haven’t been following Slimming World at all. At 9:30pm Saturday night, even though I started work at 10pm, I was literally crying into a tub of (vegan) ice cream. Of course that’s only a very temporary way of making myself feel better, and I have to stop doing that RIGHT NOW.

So what the hell am I going to do about all this?

First of all, I’m going to keep talking. I had a major breakthrough with my brother and sister who have been helping me get my thoughts in order, and my main problem at the moment is that I had someone in my life who was larger than life (mostly not in a good way) and even though I know I’m better off without them, I’m left with this massive gaping hole that I don’t know how to fill.

I used to love my own company, but thinking back on it, that was something I had to learn how to do. I need to relearn it. If I did it once, I can do it again.

Secondly, I have a doctors appointment on Thursday because it can’t hurt to get a professional opinion. I do think I would benefit from a little chemical assistance to ‘level me out’ a bit. I’ve taken that route before and it’s worked for me in the past, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t help again.

Thirdly, even though I don’t feel like doing anything but adopting the fetal position, I’m going to eat healthily and continue with my running. In the morning I’m going shopping for supplies straight from work (to hell with my budget, staying healthy comes first) then I’ll go for a run in the afternoon. I know it’ll make me feel better once I’m out there doing it.

Finally, I’m going to be strict and get my routine back, because it’s something that I’ve sorely missed. I like structure. I need structure. And it will help everything else fall into place.

I already feel better getting this blog up, and taking a little time for myself. That includes a vegan-friendly clay face mask from Superdrug. I’m not sure how much they really help my skin, but it feels nice and refreshing plus it makes for quite interesting selfies!

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Once I’m feeling better in myself, I can crack on with things I’ve been meaning to do since the beginning of the year. It’s nice to put others first sometimes, but not all the time, and my own things that I wanted to do have recently gone right to the bottom of the pile.

If I can get some concentration back then starting on my ‘to be read’ pile is high up on the list. This doesn’t even scratch the surface though, I haven’t even thought about what’s on my Kindle.

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Plus I really can get back to my Slimming World group which is way, way overdue. I’m going to be in for a huge gain, but I need to take that on the chin and just get on with it.

Everything will be ok in the end, I just need to keep fighting.

Here’s to never giving up x

Cleaning House

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being more open with my blogging, and perhaps (shock horror) I may even let some friends and family know that it exists. The problem is, there are things written here that I don’t want them to read.

I started to go through my old posts and edit them, but that would have taken an age. I like having a record on here of what I’ve been up to, so deleting them isn’t an option either. I then found that you can set a post to private, so when you are viewing your own blog everything appears chronologically as it normally would.

That seemed the best option, but again doing that to every post with sensitive information would still have taken forever.

Going forward, I will still write as open and honestly as I can, but I’ll start archiving those old posts and eventually only stuff from this point onwards will be live.

I can’t imagine that anyone would be that interested, but in case anyone did want to know the timeline of what’s happened since I started writing, I’m going to create a post detailing just that. I reckon it’ll be quite fun for me, and therapeutic to see how far I’ve come.

That should keep me occupied for a while, anyway.

In the meantime I’m still feeling very positive and have enjoyed this day off work immensely.

My car is currently undrivable (the wheel may actually fall off at any given time) and I can’t get it sorted until next week. So me and the brother driving somewhere interesting in order to have a nice walk on Sunday is off the cards.

However, we have instead decided to have an epic bike ride to Southend-on-Sea. Assuming my bottom, which hasn’t been on a proper saddle in some time, can take it!

My brother is lending me his commuting bike, but I was missing one vital piece of equipment. As such I took a lovely walk in the sunshine to the nearest Halfords…

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I am way too accident-prone. Being without a helmet is simply out the question. My brother did suggest I wear my full motorbike gear, but I suspect it’ll be a little too hot for that.

It’s a 28 mile round trip, and y’know, given enough time, I reckon I can make it. But if I can’t, then we’re basically following the train line home anyway and can hop on if we need to. I don’t think we will though.

For the rest of the afternoon I took Pea out in the garden, got the picnic blanket out and settled down for a good read. I’ve been meaning to read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig for months, but even though it’s been said to help people (it’s even been called a lifesaver) I just couldn’t face reading something so real, personal, and very close to home. It’s about the author’s battle with depression and anxiety, so no light subject that’s for sure.

It’s very good though, and I’m pleased I finally picked it up. I’ll let you know the verdict when I’m finished. I suspect that won’t be too long in the future!

Then I had a delicious dinner (still reading, can’t put it down) of Linda McCartney scampi-style pieces (vegan friendly, 5 Syns for half a pack).

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Now all that’s left to do is watch Thor with the family, if I can stay awake long enough, then I’m looking forward to a damn good early night.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Hayley x