To say 2016 was a crap year for me personally is a gross understatement. It all started well and good and in May I had a fantastic trip to Japan with a friend and learnt so much about myself. It was a very inspiring and empowering trip, one I will share with you all one day. However when I returned to Sydney it just seemed to go downhill for so many different reasons. From very expensive ‘special levies’ introduced on my investment property and the rising cost of living in Sydney, it was causing financial stress. Work was, and still is, incredibly stressful and my issues at work were having a huge effect on my life. A common problem I would later find out for people such as myself who works for their family’s business, is that there is no separation from work and personal life no matter how hard you try. It is a topic that always gets bought up around the family dinner table.
I tried everything to cheer myself up. I paid the bills and rejigged my budget with success. Still bummed I knew it wasn’t finances holding me back as it was surprisingly a quick, empowering fix. I changed my diet and found some self help books to try and inspire me with no luck. Fortunately my GP noticed my mood changes during a couple of routine visits and suggested I tried seeing a therapist again. I saw one 2 years ago at his request but I didn’t like them and quit after a handful of sessions. When I started seeing the new therapist I immediately liked her. Our first session was just a getting to know you conversation. I didn’t feel as though I was to be blamed for my problems and she has really listened to me and even gotten me to open up and talk about things I would not have considered. Unlike the last one she didn’t start a ‘mud map’ on all my past relationships and draw up a family tree and immediately blame my problems on men!
Earlier this year, to make a long story short, she formally diagnosed me with severe stress, depression and anxiety and I was put on medication to help get my brain back on track. Your whole perspective on life changes with a diagnoses like this. You see things differently and I took it in my stride. I have been very lucky to have a GP and a therapist who have been very supportive and in the last couple of months I have started to turn around for the better. Even better I have lost 10kg this year with a healthy eating plan. One thing I promised myself is I wouldn’t be one of those people sitting on my arse at home in front of the TV feeling sorry for myself and eating my feelings. A healthier diet has made a huge difference and I feel great. Despite what Homer Simpson says, you can make friends with salad!
This year I have come across some great You Tubers such as Lavendaire and Sugar Mamma which have been incredibly inspiring and motivating. I find myself frantically taking notes and trying to learn as much as I can from these two! I opened up to a good friend and we make an effort to catch up when we can and go for a hike somewhere such as the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. I have a passion for hiking now as I am loving the challenge of the walk and getting in touch with Mother Nature. My parents and brother have been helping me where they can too. It is new territory for them and they have listened and helped where they can. I have to remember to control my temper if I am having a bad day as I take it out on them when they are only trying to help. As we all work together they are first in the firing line. Battling mental illness although a personal battle, effects everyone and everyday I am learning and getting better. I feel I am starting to get my mojo back and then some. I have had bad days and the week after Easter was a shocker. I came down with the flu over the long weekend and had to cancel all my plans. This had me spiral downhill as I have been working so hard to look after myself and actually get out of the house and try to enjoy life. It took me a week to get over the flu and 2 weeks to reset myself. Lessons were learnt.
One goal I wish to pursue again is what I am doing right now, writing my blogs. I started early in 2016 but with everything else in life I lost interest at no fault of my own. My brain was on the fritz and I was having a major case of writers block. I had a list of things I wanted to share with you all but as soon as I opened up a new blog I was blank. I was uninspired. Not anymore. I really hope I can keep up with weekly or fortnightly blogs.
If you are having issues I recommend you see your GP. Speaking to a professional who isn’t within your inner circle is very beneficial and unbiased. Don’t let any stigma of mental illness hold you back. I won’t.