I’ve been writing posts for this blog in a bid to raise awareness for mental health for over two years but sadly last week I got hacked and I lost everything.
Although I was thinking of ways to take the blog in a different direction in the weeks to come it is a shame to lose everything in that way. The posts i’ve written during the last two years have filled me with pride as I received messages from numerous people, a lot of whom i’ve never met, saying it helped them out.
That said I am hopeful and confident my plans going forward can do the same thing.
This year has been like no other for all of us but back in March, leading right up until lockdown, I was attending weekly therapy sessions for the first time in two years. I’m not going to go into too much detail about why as yet but when I told friends and family that I might not be myself during this time there was one comment that I received a few times which really annoyed me.
“Your therapist clearly didn’t do a good job if you still get depressed”
Out of the handful of people I told about returning to therapy five or six of them came back with that, but i’m sure many others thought it and it is an attitude shared by many which I think speaks volumes about the awareness of mental health conditions in the UK.
I owe my therapist so much, it’s scary to imagine where I would be without her help and whenever I reach a point similar to where I was early March I will not hesitate to phone her up and ask for help. She knows me and I trust her.
The reason I find that statement to be such a naive outlook on the entire situation is because, and it seems obvious to say this, our life situation can change like the flick of a switch.
We could lose our jobs, be crippled with financial debt or loved ones could pass away. All of those plus many more can have a massive impact on our mental wellbeing and they can happen at any moment.
For most of this year the nation, as well as large parts of the world have had to go through an anxiety inducing time as lockdown measures were implemented in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. Yet 12 months ago it didn’t exist as far as we know, we certainly weren’t worried or prepared for the damage it has done and continues to do.
The entire battle against coronavirus and lockdown affected people in different ways. Some people thrived in lockdown, others really struggled, some people put in extra effort to help those who were struggling while others acted like it didn’t apply to them, I know a number of people whose actions during that time ticked all of those boxes.
For the type of person I am lockdown went as well as it could go. I live by myself and to be honest that made it a lot easier. I could focus on my work and studies during the day and in the evenings I could light a scented candle while I read a book or rewatched some of my favourite films.
I’m also very lucky that where I live there are some nice running paths and county roads that are great for a bike ride, both of which made it a lot easier.
The hardest part was without doubt not being able to see friends and family during those months, especially considering how sociable I like to be when my mental health allows me to be, but we’ve been reunited since restrictions were lifted and it’s been great like I always knew it would be.
I wouldn’t say I thrived during lockdown but I managed it well and feel a little wiser because of all the alone time. My diet was healthy throughout, i only drank alcohol during social Zoom calls for quizzes/watching football and my 5k times got pretty good.
All in all I felt like I was in good health… until I fainted on July 22.
Coming out of lockdown – the new normal
The biggest concern surrounding my faint was whether there were any underlying health conditions that I was unaware of. Thankfully there weren’t, the whole thing was as a result of lot of little things, just bad luck really.
One thing that played a role in that incident is one which, to be honest, I was always aware of and it got a little worse during lockdown as the lethargy kicked in and that was I wasn’t eating enough. I was eating the right stuff but the calorie count was way to low for someone of my height.
I want to improve on is my overall fitness goals and to move forward from the tall skinny guy cliché that I find myself falling into which is something I have been working on since gyms reopened. I’m not going to overly document that with photos in the weeks to come because that’s not what this blog is about, i’m just pointing out that as an area of my life I want to improve which I think will have mental benefits on me as a person.
One of the things I thought long and hard about during lockdown was where I am going in life. I have an idea of where I want to go, that’s not the problem, the problem is i’m not too sure how to get there.
Which is what I want the blog to focus on coming out of lockdown.
I want it to be more current which I feel it wasn’t before. Over the past two years it has mostly been me reflecting on a time where my mental health was particularly bad or how I approach a situation differently because of what I have been through.
Going forward I want it to be about the here and the now with an eye on the future.
I’ve always said that depression is an illness I will have until the day I die and although I truly believe the worst days of it are behind me I still have a long way to go and through this blog I’m hopeful people can pick up a thing or two and the overall awareness will be even stronger.