Hello to anyone who kindly takes the time to read my first ever attempt at a blog.
I will jump right in, I have been fighting chronic depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life, (or since around the age of 7 as my psychologist and I worked out). My reason for starting this blog is mainly because my facebook and instagram posts are starting to get so long, I’m going to run out of characters, soooo I thought maybe a blog would allow me to be more expressive and hopefully reach a wider audience.
Both depression and anxiety are very isolating illnesses and on top of that, I am disabled (Osteoarthritis in my spine) AND because some powerful magical being clearly hates me, I also have chronic fatigue syndrome.
For those of you who don’t know, CFS basically means I am eternally exhausted and the slightest activity causes me to need the Grandmother of all naps. It’s not really conducive to having a sparkling social life.
My life has changed hugely in the last three years since I became disabled following a fall. I used to be out several nights a week doing gigs as a singer/songwriter, I saw my friends as much as possible and was working full time. Currently I haven’t done a gig, played my piano or guitar or written a song since my back died on me.
I partly haven’t written any songs for so long because 4 years ago one of my close friends, took his own life. It hit me really hard as it came out of nowhere a couple of days before my 30th Birthday. I became suicidal myself following my friend’s death. Thankfully I asked for help and got it.
I was referred to the local mental health team, who arranged for me to see a psychologist and complete a course of Cognative Analytical Therapy.
I found C.A.T. to be so helpful. It was much more in depth than C.B.T. (Cognative Behavioural Therapy) which I had tried several times previously. We talked about my childhood experiences, which brought up some memories and realisations I had never thought about before. We discussed my family, how I relate to and make friends past and present, as well as romantic relationships. This all went towards creating a chart of compassion that I can refer to any time I need to.
The compassion chart is a circle of feelings. One feeling leads to the next and the next and shows you how circular anxious thoughts are and how they make you worse and worse until it can lead to a panic attack. Overlooking these feelings is a compassionate eye. This eye is there to remind you to acknowledge the cycle of feelings, but to be compassionate to yourself, give yourself a break and realise that you are not these negative thoughts and feelings, thereby breaking the cycle.
I have found it really useful, in particular when I ‘hear’ the anxious negative thoughts in my head, it reminds me to stop,tell them to shut up and realise that I am being awful to myself and I need to stop.
Finding myself disabled has hit me really hard too. I am still trying to work through it. It has triggered both my depression and anxiety and I have had to be signed off work for most of last year and all of this year so far. It has been so isolating, both not being at work and not being able to socialize either.
I am trying so hard to get through this, but I have good days and bad days. I recently came off my antidepressants to change to a new one, and it seems to have made a difference. I am really hoping it will help me get back to work and back to myself as soon as possible. I will be keeping you informed of my progress.
Thank you for reading. This first installment is more of a background info blog more than anything. I hope you follow me as I try to figure this crazy thing called life out.
The Faraway Girl