A spark of motivation 

Working in the field of mental health, I spend 5 days a week trying to support clients with their mental health and suggesting goals – try mindfulness or write down three positive things everyday or make time for self care. I often find myself coming out with gems such as “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and “you are always focused on others, but what do YOU want?” 

Hypocrite. 

Yep, I am a massive hypocrite. 

But no more. I am going to try and take my own advice. I am going to try and be more positive, make time for self care, be selfish sometimes. 

Now I am not going to sit here and pretend that a bit of mindfulness here or goal setting there is going to cure anyone because that would be bullshit. You know that, I know that. But it’s about doing things that help, even a little bit. It’s about building confidence, helping someone develop their identity – things they do or don’t like, enabling people to get that sense of achievement when they meet a goal. It’s about small steps and sitting with that person and really listening (because so often people don’t listen) So now it’s time to support myself.  I’m going to work on being the best I can be, and to help myself be a little bit happier again. 

One of my lovely blogger friends is doing 100 happy days at the moment, I tried it once before and didn’t manage it all, but I’ve been inspired by my blogging friend so I’m going to try again but in my journal this time, a little more manageable. I’m on Day 3 so far, I am managing and I won’t worry if I don’t manage all 100 days in a row!

 I have started my mindfulness again lately (I did 25 days in a row but went away for the weekend and lost my streak – but I started it up again today). I have a bullet journal, I find it very therapeutic but for some reason I stopped*, I will get that going again. 

A little bit of motivation has surfaced today! 

I am going to do some blog posts on the things that help me such as mindfulness and bullet journaling. What helps you? Is there anything you would like me to write about? 

Love,

Ellie xx

*When I start feeling unwell I stop all of the things that actually helped before. It’s counterproductive but the motivation goes and before you know it, all the good things have been left behind and you’re wallowing even more! 

This Blog

I started this blog when things were bad, I was feeling low. I posted quite frequently, and built up a network of blogs which I read everyday. It helped me feel better when I felt low, and helped me get some perspective from people who really understood. But now I’m too busy to spend all these hours on WordPress. I still read the blogs that I follow, but sometimes it takes me a while to get to posts. Sometimes I don’t read every single post, sometimes I miss things. And I’m sorry about that, but I am still here, I’m still listening (reading.)

Now I don’t feel like writing that much. I feel like I don’t have a lot to say most of the time, which is to say I don’t have that much to complain about at the moment. It’s a good thing, but I don’t want to stop this blog. But it doesn’t really do anything anymore. I keep saying I’ll do this and I’ll do that, but I always procrastinate my way through things, so it takes a long time for any of it to happen.

So I’m just saying – I’m still here, but not as much. Just bare with me. I know there aren’t that many that read my blog anymore anyway, but for those who do, thank you for being there, it means a lot. Maybe when I have some time I’ll have more to say, maybe once I get on with this mindfulness (if I ever get round to it) then I’ll have more to say.

I don’t want to just disappear, but I don’t want to keep writing posts like this which just say that I don’t know what to say.

Finally caught up!

Ellie is finally back up to date with blog reading!! I managed to get nearly 2 weeks behind at some point and I didn’t want to miss any out, so what better to do on a Friday evening than read lots of blog posts? And then I thought I haven’t posted in a while either – I really want to sort this out!

I’m approaching 2 weeks since I arrived in Germany now and things are still going reasonably well. At times I miss home, S, friends etc. and at times all the new and different things can be overwhelming, particularly trying to understand and make myself understood in German, but all in all I’m ok, things are good.

But although I am a lot better than I was months ago, I know that I still need to look after myself. So tomorrow, I am finally going to start the mindfulness book which I bought a while ago. I plan to do it everyday (or as much as I can anyway) because I really do think the mindfulness helped me when I was doing it with A.

(Although actually, having said that, I’m going away from Monday – Friday so I won’t be able to write or do my mindfulness then!)

I feel like I don’t have much to say/write anymore and I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just tired from all of these early mornings, or maybe it’s because there’s so much in my head that it’s all jumbled up and I don’t know how to make sense of it all.

This is turning into a strange rambling post so it’s probably time to stop writing soon. Maybe I will try to do some creative writing over the weekend while I have time – maybe a poem or something.

I don’t like goodbyes

Goodbyes are inevitable over the next week, I’m going in just over a week.

But I hate goodbyes, they seem so final. And there’s so many people I’m going to miss.

Yesterday was my last day at my volunteering place, they got me a ‘thank you’ card which was really nice. Sunday is my last day of work, so that will be more goodbyes. Then comes Monday when I will see Owl for the first and last time this summer, and after that I’m meeting up with some of the girls from my old school, and then my scouty friends (busy busy Ellie!) On Tuesday I’m having lunch with another friend, and I’m also meant to be meeting up with my oldest friend (Twin) at some point next week. I’ve also got to fit in more goodbyes, packing and making sure everything is organised for my early morning flight on Monday! 

So I’m very busy, and it’s a bit overwhelming. My head is overflowing with too many thoughts and ideas, and I think all this stress is causing my migraines to flare up. I’m scared of things going wrong and I hardly seem to have time to actually be excited!

The worst goodbye will be saying goodbye to S. I have seen him a lot recently and I always rely on him when I’m feeling low. But I won’t be able to do that when I’m away. It was hard when I was in Lancaster, but from Germany I won’t be able to phone as often.

I guess I will have to learn to be more independent this year. It’s probably a good thing, but I’m worried about if I feel worse again, will I be able to look after myself? I think this will be a good year for me (to develop as a person) as long as I am well enough to look after myself and be strong. 

Well at least there is one goodbye I don’t have to say – I won’t be saying goodbye to you guys here on WordPress, I want to continue my blog while I’m abroad. My posting may be a bit sporadic (as if it wasn’t already!) at first because I will be busy busy busy (as usual!)

Just a little post

Hi everyone,

I am back from my trip to Amsterdam which was lovely (more details to come soon in a dedicated post!)
Unfortunately my laptop is currently away being repaired so I can only get to wordpress from my iPad. I don’t mind reading blogs on here but I prefer writing my posts on a laptop really (not sure why) so this is just a short catch up post! My laptop should be back at the end of next week so then I can get back to my regular posts! But this week there might be a couple of posts if I can deal with using the iPad for it (the app does seem to have improved recently actually!)

Things are a bit wobbly over here… I’m fine but have been feeling very low for the last few days, with no real explanation. I think part of it is nerves about Germany, and then there is the “normal” ups and downs of depression anyway. I am going to see the doctor on Thursday but I doubt she can do anything – no time for therapy before Germany and I think I’m already on the max dosage of my medication… Hopefully my mood will lift soon. I was fine/good while I was away, and my mood always seems better when S is around (as pathetic as that is!) but everyone has ups and downs, so hopefully things will feel better soon.

This started off as a short post but now I’ve started I suddenly have lots to say!
The last few days I have spent most of the days in bed (not good!) but I managed to go climbing on Sunday which was fun (even if I’m still aching now, more than 2 days later!) Today after a morning in bed, I actually got a few things done – applied for my new passport and started the massive task of unpacking/tidying/clearing out my room… (Despite the fact I’ve been home for a month now, I had been putting it off!) it’s looking a lot better already and I know I will feel better with a tidy room!

There’s lots to do in the next few weeks before I leave for Germany… All very exciting and scary but I am really hoping this year is going to be good for me. S says he thinks it will help me as I will have to be more independent and I will see that I can do stuff by myself. A year off from exams will be lovely too!

Anyway that’s enough of my rambles I think… I feel as if I should change the title now as its a bit of a lie… But never mind.

Good night world,
Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

CBT: Get up and get out!

No don’t worry – these were not words said by my therapist to me (or vice versa.) Yesterday I was feeling pretty down and really didn’t feel like doing anything. But my appointment was at 2pm, so having finally dragged myself up at about 1, I called a taxi and went to my CBT session.

And I’m glad I did, I felt a bit better afterwards. And once you’re up and about, things normally feel a bit better. If I stay in bed hiding all day, what have I achieved? Nothing. But by getting up and out and going to CBT, I have (hopefully) helped myself a bit. So that’s the advice: Get up and get out! 

I was pretty tearful in my CBT session yesterday – the realisation that it’s coming to an end is scaring me. Then I have to cope by myself!! I have 2 more sessions left, then I’m back home in London until September, and then the big move to Germany – eek! The fact that I won’t have A to speak to anymore is a bit scary, especially because I think the CBT is helping, but there’s still a lot that hasn’t been dealt with.

A said there are some things I am still not ready to deal with. She said in the future I will be and then I can have some counselling/therapy to help me deal with it. She said when I get back to Lancaster I can get re-referred if I need to.

A gave me another CD with some guided mindfulness meditations on it. There is one called Mindful sitting practise and one called 3 minute breathing space. I’ll write about these sometime this week when I’ve done them a few times.

We talked about the way the mind works (according to CBT.) We have the situation or event and the emotion/feeling, but inbetween there is the thought which triggers the emotion. So I am working on spotting the thoughts and seeing – is this a fact or a thought? This is of course easier said than done, but it’s work in progress.

We talked about my insecurity and constant fear about S leaving me. This is rational to some extent because my previous experience (with the ex) has shown me that people can leave me. However, this does not mean everyone will leave me, and it does not mean I am not good enough (which is the thought that goes with the event: ex leaving me and the feeling: depressed/lonely/scared.)

A has asked me to write down how I am feeling each half day, and more importantly the negative thoughts that come with the feelings. Then I can look at them and say – fact or thought? Do I have any evidence of this? The chances are, probably not!

The other thing I am meant to look at this week are when I have these thoughts that S is going to leave me. We have established that seeking reassurance doesn’t really help… it may help for a brief moment, but soon afterwards, the thoughts will be back. And I know they must be irritating for S, to constantly reassure me that he’s not going anywhere, he’s not going to hurt me, and yes he does love me. So the aim here is to identify these thoughts and look at them without engaging with them. Using mindfulness, the idea is to see the thoughts as thoughts (and not facts), not engage with them, and ignore them. But baby steps – this week I’ve just got to identify them as early as possible.

A used the analogy of the “thought train”… so once the thought comes into mind, it starts a trail of destruction, with each thought encouraging the next, until I’m in a massive negative spiral and I truly believe that S is going to leave me because I’m just not good enough. So instead of this, I should try to identify the thoughts early and get off the thought train. Another analogy was “putting on the same DVD”, so once you have had the thought (put the DVD on), the same thing happens (the same DVD plays) and it results in the same behaviour and feelings each time. So instead of letting the same thing play out each time, it is better to catch the thought early, and throw away that DVD 😉

Anyway, enough about DVDs and trains… me thinks this is more progress.

Oh – and A said she thinks if I use the mindfulness stuff we are learning and use the book I have bought (The Mindful Way Through Depression), I will be ok in Germany without any therapy. I hope she’s right! But I have my blog too, which I think is therapy in itself!

One down

One exam is done (yesterday) now there’s 5 to go until freedom for a year and a half!! It’s strange to think I won’t be taking any exams this time next year, as I’ll be on my year abroad!!

Revision is not going too well, but hopefully the information will get in my head and find its way onto my exam paper at the appropriate time!

In other news, I went climbing on Saturday with Owl and we did a short course so we are now registered to go climbing when we want without supervision which is nice 🙂 

We went climbing again today and managed to get through it without any falling off!

I have caught up with everyone’s posts from the last few days too, and have probably spent too long procrastinating from revision over here today! (oops!)

Shall be back soon,

Lots of love

Ellie xxx

Oh dear…

Today I started trying to make a revision timetable (I’m not sure why I’m bothering, I’ll never stick to it anyway!) 

I guess it’s good to have a plan though.

But it’s made me realise how much there is to learn – way too much!

For 1 exam, I can get away with learning 2 out of 3 topics, which is by no means easy but not quite so bad as learning the entire syllabus, but for others I have to learn EVERYTHING. There is an essay question (pick 1 out of 4) and short answer questions (pick 3 out of 4) meaning you can’t do targeted revision… damn!

I’ve made a list of the topics I’ve got to learn and it’s a bit daunting to say the least! And now I’m procrastinating by blogging instead of revising… oops!

At least most of my exams are quite spread out, so I guess I’m lucky there! 

And just think, come the 28th May I will be free from exams for over a year (because of my year abroad!) 

I am very thankful at this moment that I am feeling much better than I have been for most of this academic year. Although the amount of work seems daunting and scary, and my motivation levels are not as high as they should be, I am in a much better position now than I was a couple of months ago, and I think I can do this.

I may not be able to do as well as I want to, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I’ve had enough of letting depression beat me, and I feel like I can fight it. I’m so glad I’ve got my CBT as it really seems to be helpful (even if it does result in A LOT of crying!) so hopefully by the end of my CBT I will be feeling much better.

I know there is still a long way to go. For example last night I walked home from my friend’s house (owl) and got genuinely scared by a car park ticket machine! I jumped and gasped, thinking it was a person! The rest of the walk home I was hyper-aware of everything, and anxiety levels were high, who knows why! I felt pretty silly after, it (obviously) didn’t even move and it made me jump!! 

But overall things are pretty alright at the moment. And I’m back to blogging which is nice – I’ve really missed it!

I’ve caught up on a lot of reading but I don’t have the time to read over a month’s worth of blogs unfortunately, so there are some bits I’ve missed, but now I’m up to date, hopefully I’ll be able to keep up better now!!

Anyway, enough Ellie rambles for now… back to do some work I think!! 

Lots of love,
Ellie xxx

Long Journey

Today I packed up my books and assorted belongings and made my way back to Lancaster.

The journey normally takes under 3 hours, but today massive delays meant that my total journey time was nearly 7 hours!!

But I made it in one piece and my heavy bags did too!

Had a Chinese with 2 of my housemates which was nice, and now we’re sitting watching TV. 

I wasn’t looking forward to coming back, and I am missing S already! (Pathetic aren’t I!)

I’m hoping things will carry on getting better even though I have exams coming up, so I will probably be very stressed! But I will now be back on wordpress much more regularly (I’m going to try and get myself into a proper routine which will of course include blogging!) 

So I am back in Lancaster and for a change it has been a sunny afternoon! 

Glad to be back!

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx