#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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#11. How to lose yourself in the moment

I’ve recently become more interested in becoming more mindful and aware of what I am doing through meditation and attending yoga classes. This post is sort of a follow on from my previous post about finding your ‘purpose’ in life. One of those purposes I listed was experiencing certain sensations or feelings which make you feel ‘alive’.

Sometimes, you can feel like life is going by, day after day, week after week, month after month and you feel like you haven’t been present at all. If someone asked you what you ate for breakfast, you can’t even remember anymore! Probably the same thing you always do… Weet bix crunch or wait did I even eat breakfast today?

Anyways, a lot of people say they feel like they live when they go on holidays or when they go away to some beach and relax. For people suffering from mental or physical illnesses, it is sometimes good to try ‘distract’ yourself to forgetting your problems.

Everyone does this to certain extents I believe. I’ve had a brain storm of different ways I believe people distract themselves from reality.

1. Living in denial, just pretending everything is okay. Having false hope is better than no hope? Having temporary amnesia…problems? What problems?

2. Moving their body! This can encapsulate (just wanted to use this long word) things like dancing, exercising, jogging or other forms of exercises and sports. For me personally, when I am doing Zumba or hip-hop I feel like I can forget myself for the moment and just focus on trying to not look like a flapping bird flamingo.

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3. The wonderful world of art and music! Whether they lose them-self in an art gallery or artistic indie film, art was formed to represent a world that might not exist. This also includes animation, movies and dramas. If I don’t like where I am, I rather lose myself by imagining that I am someone else and live someone else’s life. Some songs also can take me away to another place, whether to a particular memory or specific time when I heard that song. Beautiful music is like dessert for the soul. When you attend the concert, it feels like you are in another world, staring at your favourite idols on stage!

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4. Similar to the arts, literature is also a great way to escape. Whether you are a reader, writer or both, this is an excellent way to escape from reality and to lose yourself in another world. You can be instantly transported into the realm of Harry Potter or into the majestic land of Frodo. You can spin stories of alternate universes that can only exist in your vivid imagination and creativity.

5. Pleasure and self-gratification. I guess pleasant experiences belong in this category, maybe you have eaten a delicious cake, got a sensual massage or had sex. Anything that pleases you and helps you forget the pain, or maybe you are addicted to the number of ‘LIKES’ you got on your latest Instagram photo.

6. *I just want to put it out there, I don’t support the use of illicit substances and their abuse of alcohol. I am just stating that this may be some people’s coping methods with stress and their ‘escape’ from reality.* Substances such as alcohol or drugs  to numb the pain (*cue Linking Park-I’ve become so numb song here*). Sometimes when you can’t sleep at night or feel like you can’t escape from all the feelings, people turn to medications-sleeping tablets, tranquilizers or alcohol to be able to sleep and to relax and to help them sleep.

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7. Sleep and the dreaming. I only recently learn more about Lucid Dreaming, basically this is basically where you teach yourself to realise that you are in a dream and then you can basically control what happens in your dream, instead of letting the control to you. I don’t know much about this topic YET, but when I do I will make another post on how to try have these lucid dreams. I believe it is a way that you can learn more about your sub-consciousness and to redo things in the past.

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8. Charity and the addiction to doing good. People tend to forget themselves when they are so busy doing good to others. For example, if you have a gout in your toe, but you suddenly find yourself in a war-torn country, are you more likely to care about those dying around your or focus on your pain? I guess this can extend to the career driver people aswell, who are just so busy with work, they forget themselves.

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9. Relationships-unhealthy and healthy ones. Sometimes people live for their relationships, whether mother and child, son and father or love etc. People live for the sake of pleasing or being with other people. A hug with the right person, dog or pillow could erase the troubles of the day. Or even a healthy relationship with you bed can help too!

10. Have you seen the free sky show in the evening each day? it is more beautiful and grander than anything that we could recreate by humans. Nature is beautiful, perfect and designed by a master. It often takes my breath away, when I give it a chance to!

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Question:

What recently took your breath away?

 

Take care,

Joy

#8 How to Love Yourself

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Howdy! Hope you guys have been well? If not, I hope this post will cheer you up!

I have been getting lots of inspiration for future posts lately! From friends, family and from watching or reading other people’s works…some of the upcoming posts will be about…how to be happy, how to not procrastinate and also one about things we wish we were taught in high school.

But, before I do these other subjects, one subject that hits close to home and that’s about learning to Love Yourself. 

Before we can learn to try love others, I think an important thing to do is to learn to love yourself, in my opinion, I don’t think you can’t truly love someone else, without first loving yourself first. I think so many girls and boys crave a relationship because they feel unloved, unfulfilled and they believe that by finding someone to love and to be loved, that they will become more loveable?

But this is not true…finding that significant other does not mean that all your troubles, insecurities and bad habits disappear…far from it if you ask me…more insecurities, troubles, and problems come than go…

Anyways! Here are my top tips for learning and taking the step to loving yourself today!

#1. Reflect on your past and give yourself a clap on the back in how far you have come.

You might not be there yet, but you have come so far and I am so proud of you *clap clap*. You may think you have not achieved anything, but did you graduate primary school? High school? Uni? Get your license? Get your own car or house? A part-time job? You’ve done more than you thought!

#2. Look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate how you look right now!

You won’t ever look this young or old again! You are you and people will see the real beauty if they get to know you more.

#3. Be grateful for the things you have.

It is easy to get jealous or unhappy that you do not have the latest Michael Khor handbag or can’t afford that awesome cute mini cooper that girl at work has…but hey you have your little trusty grey 2012 Toyota Yaris and it still works! Hurrah!

#4. Take care of the wonderful beautiful body you have been gifted with!

Take care of what you put in your mouth ( make sure its nutritious!), exercise, do meditation or yoga to look after your mental and stress levels…and remember to laugh each day! 🙂

#5. Notice and realise when you are having negative thoughts about yourself or if you start to compare yourself to other people.

You can write in a blog or diary to help clear your mind of negative thoughts. Negative thoughts don’t need to be killed, you can acknowledge them and then choose not to act upon them, they are just THOUGHTS…they will not control what you do, UNLESS you act upon them.

#6. Remember, you are YOU and you are a work of art, you are a masterpiece.

People like you for who YOU are…not who they “THINK” you are.  Find people who think like you and have similar interests, who don’t put you down for being YOU. They don’t deserve you! Coz you are awesome!

#7. Don’t take yourself so seriously!

So, you failed…so you screwed up? It is not the end of the world! Lot’s of successful people screwed up when they first started doing something, the reason why they are successful is not that they gave up or had it easy, it is because they did not give up when the going got tough…the tough get going!

#8. It is never too late to start again or to start something new.

The only regret you can have is not trying at all. It is easy to make all sorts of excuses that it is too late, I am too old, I can’t do it…These are negative self-talk to stop us from leaving our comfort zones! This stops us from making progress to things and goals that matter to us, it is never too late…okay! Unless you are dead. Then its too late.

#9. Try smile once a day!

You look beautiful with that smile! And you will also make friends too 😉 [Read my How To make friends post ]

#10. Remember, you are awesome!

If you can’t think of one reason why you are awesome, I will tell you now…You are reading this post from some random person you may have never met and you are going to share this with one friend who you think needs to love themselves!

#loveyourself

Thanks for reading and please remember that in order to love others more effectively, yo have to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!

See you next post!

LOVE YOU! ❤

Video to be up soon!! (When I am feeling better zzZ)

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