#21 How to understand how someone with a Mental illness feels going to work

I believe most people don’t like going to work…getting up early when its cold outside? No thanks! But, for those with mental illnesses, it can be torture and takes all their strength and energy to get out of bed. A typical day for me in the past in a retail pharmacy job would be something like this…before I decided to finally get help…

The thought of making small talk with people you might not really like or know is tortuous. Thinking of who will be in the lunchroom with you during lunch time is daunting too. What if your boss asks to speak to you?

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The struggle to leave the bed

Maybe you should just stay home today?? But, we can’t do that! That means explaining to your boss that you don’t feel week and that’s lying and what if they fire you? You can’t tell them you have a mental illness, they won’t care, they won’t understand, they will judge you and label you as crazy, they will think you are faking a sickie. No one is going to hire you. You worked so hard to find this job. You thought that you could join a place that is ‘against discrimination’, but we all know that the stigma still exists. It is safer to be quiet, to be silent and to fight the battle alone …for as long as you can.

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You count the seconds that you can get home

But today, it’s different, the depression comes back…it’s always been there…but you have been fighting it. You are barely able to muster enough strength to go to work. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. Counting down the hours, minutes and seconds till you are back in the comfort of your bed. Where you are safe, where no one can harm you, bully you and make you feel like you are nothing. You don’t know if you are overreacting or if it’s the depression.

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Lying that you are Fine

On the off chance, someone might ask you how you are. “I am fine thanks. Just tired” That’s the best you can come with. If they ask “Why are you tired?” …”Oh, couldn’t sleep”…Due to my racing thoughts of suicide and anxiety. But you can’t say that, can you? They are being ‘nice’, but hey I am not going to unload to some stranger…Work really isn’t the place for that. I think. Please don’t look at me. I don’t want people to notice my sadness. I don’t want to be noticed, I just want to pretend everything is okay. I don’t think you really care.

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You are not productive at work

You are surprised you haven’t broken down on the floor crying. You hold back the tears. You feel guilty…There are sicker people who come to get medicine for all sorts of terrible diseases, yet they are still smiling. Yet you, faking that smile, feel like you are dying inside. So many people are on anti-depressants, but I don’t want to get help…what is work finds out? I work full-time…there’s no time to go see a doctor or a psychologist. These things are bloody expensive as well! No one can help me. It’s just a phase…I will get better on my own. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can sleep through it.

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I can’t deal with small issues

When something small doesn’t go to plan, I just can’t problem solve anymore. I feel like there’s no alternative, there is no way. I am going to get fired for not being able to solve this. I am afraid to ask someone for help, they are going to judge me and look at me like I am stupid. It’s all my fault…I don’t know how to fix this! Why am I so useless and dumb?

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My memory becomes like mush

My brain is constantly fighting with itself, flight or fight. My heart is racing and I am sweating. So nervous… I forget things easily, wait how many boxes of Sertraline do I need to order again? Was it 2 or 4? What was the password again? Oh, I left my keys in the car again. Oh, I also left my phone at home…Why I am so forgetful? Why am I stupid…repeat above. Why do I feel like I am going to cry over this small thing?

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I feel ugly and I hate my reflection

I can barely wake up in time to get to work, let alone care about how shi* I look. My hair is a mess, it’s too long, but I can’t bring myself to get a haircut. It’s too much effort. Who cares anyway? The makeup doesn’t even hide the eye bags due to the constant lack of sleep. I feel like I’ve grown older. I stare at the mirror… Who is that soulless person that stares back at me? I don’t even know her? Why does she look so sad? Why is she so ugly?

No one is going to like her.


I feel apathetic

The normal me, before I became severely depressed, was happy, outgoing and chatty. But when I started at this toxic workplace, I lost it all. I became someone who I didn’t know. I didn’t care about the patients that walked through the door, I couldn’t handle the rudeness with a smile anymore. I just froze and fought back tears. My resilience was gone. The terror of the increasing number of mistakes made the anxiety worse. It made me even slower and made people doubt my abilities even more. I get taunted by the bully, “You are too slow! Why are you so useless?” You don’t need to tell me, I already know.

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The depression makes you stay where you are because it feels even scarier to change

Familiar is not always good. When you stay in a toxic situation, it’s like being in a room full of Carbon Monoxide, it will slowly kill you. The depression lies to you, the bullies lie to you, you can move. You are more than their taunts, you are more than what you think you are. But you don’t know this. You only find out when you leave the toxic place and realise, that a good workplace might exist.

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Well, that’s all the blabber from me today.

I am sure there are benefits from working, income, kill time, learn things and make friends…That can be another post.

Sorry for the emo post! Sorry not sorry.

Joy to the World

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#20 How to isolate yourself from social media

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I took part in an experiment which measured the use of social media in a week, my randomised action was that I had to delete the Instagram app on my phone and not use it for a week. Though I was tempted a few times, I quickly asked my self, is it necessary to show the world where you are? What you are eating? Who you are with?

After some deliberation, I think not. So why do people like to post so many selfies of their face on Instagram?

I found the answer on this wonderful article on Loneliness here 26 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’re Feeling Lonely: *Recommend you to read!*. This is also a link to some ‘brutally  honest’ statuses on facebook…35 Brutally Honest Facebook Statuses

I have to admit, I didn’t realise that I was so lonely, until I deleted a lot of my apps, Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram and realised this is the way we ‘communicate’ with some many people. It is what connects us? Yet, also tears us apart. Is there going to be anyone who wants to meet up with me to catch up instead of sending a message? Truly, I am not sure if the world is closer than before or even further away.

So many people are isolated and lonely…and they can sit in front of a computer or phone screen scrolling through the ‘happy’ snaps that their ‘friends’ are posting of their ‘family’, their ‘holiday’ or their latest ‘home’ that they bought. While I am not saying these things are bad, but do you know what you are doing? Are you trying to rub it into everyone else’s faces that you have it better than them? Are you even genuinely happy or do you just want attention?

As I said, I am full guilty of this…I am insecure, I want attention, I want to fool my self that my life is happier, more interesting and better than it is. I don’t want people to see me down, to see me sad or lonely, I feel like people would criticise me…belittle me.

Recently, I have realised that well-meaning ‘friends’ have offended me greatly.  I read a quote today,

It is easier to forgive an enemy than forgive a friend.

William Blake

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It is true though…because we actually care what our friends say and when they make us feel like shit without knowing it, you ask yourself are they even your real friend? They don’t know the struggles you are doing through and are insensitive bitches. This is why I boycotted pretty much all social media. I feel like I am dead, like hardly anyone talks to me now, except family and a few selected friends overseas through Line and Wechat. When did our world become so involved in facebook? Instagram? Snap Chat? When we leave it, it’s like we are dead and forgotten in the world. When we meet someone new, we don’t ask for phone numbers or emails anymore, no we ask for Facebook accounts. SO what if I don’t have one? Are we not going to keep in touch?

It feels weird sending someone a text and them not replying and you not knowing if they have ‘seen it’…but what can we do?

Man, I am getting so hyped up typing this.

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So…. back on topic…how do you isolate yourself from social media? Just delete your apps, log out, delete and deactivate your accounts. Hopefully, those that you are actually close to, will call your phone or send you a text.

Addiction to social media is draining, stupid, harmful and time-consuming. It can definitely lead to FOMO and low self-esteem. Live life how you want to live it and stop looking at what everyone else is doingwhat happened to human interaction? When did we become part robots with phones attached to our hands?

Joy to the World-

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Article Recommendation!

Hi,

I just read an article which helped put into words some of the things that I really want to say. Though it is not written by someone in Australia, some of the things the author experienced, I too experienced myself while trying to navigate my way in the mental health sector in Australia. If you have about 10-15 minutes, please read this article! It is quite long, but very detailed, personal and emotionally interesting. She details how (and I am also guilty of it), how mental illness has became somewhat ‘mainstream’ as in people are talking about it, but the thing is the mental health sector isn’t keeping up. There are massive waiting lists for help, the costs involved are great and the medications are expensive. When we tell someone that there is a lot of help available, is there really? I feel like we have come a lonnnng way from a 10 years ago, but there is still A LOT that can be done.

‘It’s nothing like a broken leg’: why I’m done with the mental health conversation –Hannah Jane Parkinson

Here’s so quotes from the article to bait you in!

“It’s never been easier to open up – but hashtag healthcare doesn’t help people like me…”

“Throwing a ball of wool to one another in a circle might be helpful for some people, but it absolutely wasn’t for me…”

“Amy Winehouse, voice of a goddamn goddess. We’ll allow. Kathy, 54, works at Morrisons. Not so much..”

“Enough awareness has been raised. We – the public, health professionals, politicians – need to make our actions count”

Let me know what you thought of the article in the comments! (if you want)..!

Take care,

 

Be- Joy-Filled

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#17 How to deal with controlling people

Hi All,

Hope you have been keeping warm in this insanely cold winter ( in Adelaide :(). I am currently wearing 4 layers of clothing and a scarf to keep myself warm…!
Anyways, a topic came up among some of my friends in regards to “Controlling behaviours” in their relationships with their parents in particular, but I know it can also happen in relationships between significant others or even friends. It can lead to you feel entrapped in a snare of someone else and it doesn’t feel good at all 😦

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It could also be a controlling boss, parent or kid that is messing your life up…and it IS hard to deal with because they mean something to you and you have to somehow deal with their behaviour.  So basically, from what I have read on the internets, we cannot control the way they behave, BUT they believe they are able to control the way we behave. No one has full control over someone else, so it is like this, even if you point a gun to someone’s head and tell them to “SAY THEY LOVE YOU”, they don’t have to, they have a choice to die instead, but most of the time I guess they would just listen..maybe..

So, often for the person being controlled, I don’t want to call them a victim, but I guess they might feel that way? Which is not good! You are allowing other people to walk all over you. I’ve been bullied in high school and in the workplace and I know how bad it can be and how hard it is to stand up to bullies…I wish I was an expert at dealing with bullies and controlling people, but I am not… I have also been guilty of being somewhat a bully/controlling person to my younger brother, in primary school, and in some relationships. I guess what goes around comes around?

But anyways, no point living in the past, that is in the past and now is a new future which we shall build for ourselves, to not be controlling and not be controlled!

So, I have mentioned before that we need to realise:

1. We belong to no one in particular and it is important to develop our own self-worth.

While being in relationships are great and all, you also need to know who you are and what you like. Don’t feel peer-pressured to doing what everyone else is doing just because you want to fit in all the time. Know that it is okay to do things that you like alone-hey it is even better to make new friends this way.-Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.

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2. Know that dependent on one person is not good-Strive for Independence

If someone forces you to rely on them for everything, that is not a good position to be FOR YOU. What happens if that person dies the next day? You won’t know how to do anything, because they NEVER taught you, because they wanted you to depend on them. IT’S BAD! Even if that person never teaches you, LEARN TO TEACH YOURSELF! YouTube, ask others for help and advice and if its a workplace, probably best to move workplace. They might think they are doing you a favor by doing everything and not teaching you anything, but they are not, they are sabotaging your future as someone that is independent and CAPABLE. They are looking down on you and not helping you up. Sometimes parents may do this unknowingly, but your child is not going to grow up properly, they might be a child for the rest of their lives 😦

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3. Make some plans to improve your position in this controlling relationship

This may mean that you may need a break from that relationship for awhile until you get stronger or think if this relationship is worth it. This can be particularly hard for significant others or Parent-Child relationships…This is why it is important to start planning early, if you lack the funds to move out from your parent’s home, look for a job and start saving up and plan to move out! Ask friends about places to rent and start looking at properties etc. Sometimes distance from that controlling person, helps you realise how suffocated you actually are and how sweet freedom tastes.

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4. Be the bigger person-Age is just a number and experience is subjective

I have been in the situation where I was belittled for being young and inexperienced. I think this is particularly a big thing for people from Asia, they believe that wisdom always comes with age. Some are stubborn and refuse to accept that maybe young people may be right and they aren’t always right…Sigh…It’s hard to communicate with Asian people with their traditional ways of doing things…sure as a kid I didn’t know any better and also believed that Tiger balm heals everything! But, now having completed my 5 year program to become a Registered Pharmacist, I know many things that can help a migraine instead of rubbing Tiger Balm on my head…though maybe the placebo effect is still important… ANYWAY, back on topic. It is good to still be respectful in the way you act towards controlling people, be the bigger person. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say, but you don’t need to escalate and fight back with spiteful words, you don’t want to sink to their level. Good guys always win in the end right?

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5. Do your best to negotiate and bring in a mediator/therapist if needed! 

If all else fails, you might need to get someone to help you communicate! An emotionally intelligent individual/close friend may be able to help. If not, a good therapist may help to restore or help resolve certain issues between two people. Looking back at my experiences of being bullied, I can see people who were insecure about themselves and wanted to bully those they felt they were better to feel better about themselves. They projected their own insecurities onto someone else and hence felt some sort of enjoyment in that.  A psychologist could help them come to terms with their own problems and that hence stops the bullying or controlling nature- in an ideal world.

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Like I said, I don’t think I am an expert in this area, but this article was quite helpful in helping me get ideas for this post: Wiki-How to cope with a controlling parent. A really good anime movie I would recommend would be “A silent voice”-which touches on the bullying behaviours of high school kids, a really good watch!

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Anyways, if you guys have any experiences you would like to share, please comment below!

Take care and good luck!

xoxo

Joy

I made my own PodCast Style Youtube Video-Titled White Noise

Hi,

So I invested in a microphone for recording Audio…so I recorded myself for 25 minutes long…and have shortened that to a ten minute talk about my favourite motivational/self-help books!

I called it White Noise Podcast, because I literally fell asleep listening to my self talk for 25 minutes…hence I shortened it to around 15 minutes max…hahah

You can watch/listen to it here:

Let me know what you think!

I am not much of a video or animator to be honest…so hopefully voice will still be fine!

Take care!

Joy

#16 How to have more control over your life

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Well, recently I have been thinking more and reflecting on what it means to be an “adult”. As Wong Fu’s video on adulting put it as it is about having control over your life and not letting life control you basically. Life is like a game, you need to have control over your player (i.e. you).

I thought that makes sense! But I hadn’t really thought about it much deeper than that…What does it mean to actually have control over your life? I mean, isn’t there a bigger person up there who does all that for us anyway?

I have had a bit of brainstorm and have been reflecting on a few habits that I have picked up lately in my quest to become a proper adult.

1. Control over the use of my time

Putting this first because lately, I have started realising how much time I ‘waste’ on staring at my phone and laptop. More so phone… I think I have an addiction to my phone 😦 While there is no drug or cure for this condition yet, so I have had to take matters into my own hands and decide to set limits on how much I am allowed to use my phone, especially when I am in my bed…

Rules that I have set for myself include, timing how long I spend each night or day using my phone in my bed and recording it on a piece of paper. I have also deleted certain apps and accounts for some social media sites in an attempt to curve my addiction, this includes saying goodbye to my original facebook account and my YouTube mobile app… Not to mention they also kill my data ..R.I.P

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2. Set limits to what time you want to be out of bed and in bed each night…and stick to it as much as you can!

For me, as I am pretty lenient on myself. I usually am up around 7 or 8 am, but I stay in bed for half-an-hour and a half longer…using my phone ..yup so bad. So I have decided to stick a limit of 9am being the latest I can lie in my bed! The latest I want to be in bed is by 1 am… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully, I can make my sleeping time earlier…It helps setting alarms to not only wake you up but also to remind you to sleep.

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3. Record your spending

I have touched on spending and saving more in another post about “How to Save Money when you don’t have any” and one of the things I had mentioned was that I like to keep a log of everything that I spent money on. So petrol for the car, groceries, gym membership fees, phone bills and everything else. The cool thing about the app (I use Pocket Expense-which is free), is that is has a budget you can set on certain things. However, I do often go over my budgets, but its all a learning process!

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4. Record what you eat

 I only recently downloaded an app that lets you record down your meals, it is pretty cool! I haven’t been logging everything as of yet, but I think it is a good idea to have an idea of what you are eating every day and see what sort of nutrition you are lacking or bad food that you can cut out or reduce to enable you to have a healthier life.

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5. Keep a health diary or a diary at least…

I love diaries and I love blogs! These things enable us to look back in time and remember what things caused what. You can use it to record how many times a month you had a headache, record when your period is (or get an app like I do) and just other stuff…you know emotional stuff too. When you see things for what it really is, it helps you know yourself and the way your body and mind work better.

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6. Have a plan and goal for each day

Do you ever feel like you achieved nothing in a day? Well, head over to the other blog post about how to stop procrastination at it’s worst. Having a clear goal or sense of what you want to achieve in a day, leaves you feeling satisfied and will help you towards your bigger goal in the long run, it also helps you be more disciplined and feel more in control.

7. Make time for the things yourself, the things you love and the people you love

When you are trying to achieve presidency or trying to reach Mars, it can be easy to forget those that are around you or those still on Earth. Don’t forget to schedule in quality time with your loved ones and for doing the things you love. It is not the best feeling in the world to get to Mars and realise that you have no one to share that incredible news with. Don’t forget to #LOVE YOURSELF

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8. Make time to look after your body to do EXERCISE 

Exercise is super important and you shouldn’t neglect its valuableness as a natural anti-depressant and mood lifter! It is important for your physical and mental health that you do exercise regularly. Apple watches, Fitbits, and other fitness apps are making it easier to do and plan workouts! They also make it more fun by making it more interactive and competitive (who did the most steps this week?)

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9. Know who your true friends and fake friends are

Who is there when you are not at your best or at your peak? Who calls you for help and then when you need them, they don’t pick up? Take time to develop and cultivate close connections with those that you treasure. A good friend is really hard to find and is more precious than a pearl…I think I requoted a bible verse here =s?

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10. Allow yourself to be random and uncontrolled…once in a blue moon!

It is okay to have one day where you sleep into like 5pm or a cheat day every now and then. Life isn’t meant to be all serious and adult. When we embrace our inner child, it is a beautiful thing…But as an adult, we can’t be like that all the time…At some stage, we have to put back on our adult mask and trudge on with our healthy food and those squats.

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I am sure there are many other ways we can have more control over our lives….so if you have any suggestions, leave your comments below! 

 

Other than that, take care and I will see you next time!

 

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#14 How to make hard big decisions

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I don’t know about you, but I personally think I am a very indecisive person. I take a longggggg time to make a decision and even after I think I have made it, doubts come to my mind and I start to question myself.

I think this all comes down to me thinking life is black and white and that opportunities only once and that this might be it. This kind of thinking doesn’t help in my opinion, you never know when a door that you weren’t expecting to be opened is opened…

Anyway, enough rambling about my indecisiveness and let’s go through what sort of steps and questions you should be asking yourself when faced with a major (or minor decision). Would you like chocolate on top of your ice cream? 

  1. If someone asks you to make a big decision, ask if you can have some time to think about it before giving them an answer. This could be things like “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”,  “We would like to offer you this opportunity to work for us”, or even “Buy this limited edition BTS sweater and only pay for the shipping!”. Asking or taking time to think over a decision allows you to weigh up the pros and cons about that thing.
  2. So as mentioned, make a list of pros and cons of each thing you are deciding and really wrack your brains ( and someone else’s-if you have friends) about all the different pros and cons. Usually, you will have one list that has more pros and cons and that might be the best option for you.
  3. If you have someone that you are close to, share with them and discuss your options with you. Having some fresh insight from someone you respect can give you the perspective that you might not have thought of or having them be behind you can make you more confident in your decisions.
  4. Think about you end goals or the vision or place you want to get to at the end. What is going to help you get there and what might make it harder to get there? Sometimes, this might mean giving up something you really want, just because right now might not be the right timing. It’s like that experiment where children were given one marshmellow in front of them, they were told, “You can choose to have one marshmellow now, OR you can wait 10 minutes (or however long) and you can 10 marshmellows but you can’t eat the one in front of you now. If you put it like that, it will help you make that tough decision of doing something that benefits you in the long wrong but it is painful at the moment. YOU JUST WANT TO EAT THAT MARSHMELLOW THAT IS in front you-but no, you be patient and just wait for something that is coming.
  5. Live a life of no regrets! It is better to have tried, rather than not have tried. try not to stereotype every situation into something you have experienced before. For example, if you worked in a really bad environment in the past- you might take that experience into every other job that feels similar. Let go, learn and remember to keep trying new things and never stop.

    Anyways, time to write out my pros and cons for the big decision I need to make this week.

If you are in Australia, keep warm and dry!

The question of the day: Is there a big decision that you need to make soon?

Take care,

 

Joy

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