I’ve used these Progress Updates as outlets when my mental health has been overwhelming and I needed a place to release some of my anxieties. I never expected many people to read them and that was generally always the case, up until last month. All of a sudden the number of people that read my blog tripled and as a result are aware of how emotionally unstable I can be, especially in light of recent events. Whilst this is true and I will always be honest about my personal struggles, my last progress update was written when I was at my lowest point, perhaps ever. So whilst it was a true representation of how I felt at the time, I promise I’m not always like that. Usually, my stellar wit camouflages my feelings of self-loathing.
I was feeling pretty stressed recently because I had an essay deadline that was fast approaching and I was struggling to find any motivation to do any work, much less work that counts for 40% of my final grade. I was back to crying almost every night, having panic attacks during the day and hating myself for not doing the work earlier, even though I would have had just as little if not less motivation then. I managed to submit it on time, but with a likely subpar quality and a close to minimum word count, I can hardly imagine that I’ll get a grade that’s worth writing home about.
Turns out though, an Instameet is superb for helping me to forget all my troubles. After the dreadful week that involved non-stop essay writing, I had an amazing weekend to make up for it. As new social situations make me uncomfortable and enhance my awkwardness, I’m surprised by how at ease I felt with people I consider to be a lot better at photography than me. It was great to get back in a stride and feel like a productive blogger again because I hadn’t felt that way for so long. The weekend put me in a really good mood and I rode that high for a week. I even went to the gym and ate slightly less chocolate, as a result of how motivated I felt.
However, being me, feeling positive can only last so long. Having one negative thought for a fleeting second creates a passage for all destructive thoughts to come back with a vengeance. This causes a sudden mood drop that’ll probably stay with me for a few days until I can pull myself back to normality and a less critical way of thinking about myself. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m lying to myself whenever I think I might actually be happy because I know it will hardly last. Last week people asked me how I was doing and I replied with, “I’m actually doing okay for once,” and now I’m not sure if that was true. I just managed to suppress my feelings of worthlessness for a small period of time to get a glimpse of what my life could be like if I was in a better frame of mind.
One of the main reasons I want to improve my mental health is because I hate burdening other people with my problems. As I’m desperately trying to move forward, I signed up for the university’s counselling service to help me learn how to be less dependent on others. I had an assessment session a few weeks ago and this Thursday, I have my first appointment. In my assessment, we talked about how I’ve potentially been in a bad state for a couple of years or more rather than just recently and ways that I have tried (and failed) to improve my mental health. In a way, I’m quite looking forward to proper sessions because I’m so ready for a change in my life and I think that counselling can show me the best way to do this.
If all else fails, I have Christmas to look forward to. I’ve been in a festive spirit for at least a month now and have been counting down the days until the Edinburgh Christmas Market opens. The wait is nearly over as this weekend it all kicks off including the Christmas Lights switch on. This time of year always makes me feel better because I have so many fond memories associated with it, apart from maybe last year when I was extremely isolated in student accommodation. I intend on eating so many mince pies and pigs in blankets that it’ll hopefully motivate me to go to the gym in order to keep off the holiday weight.
For those of you who started reading my Progress Updates a month or so ago, I hope you realise that whilst I may be sad a lot of the time, I really do want to push through it and make a better life for myself. Thank you to everyone who messaged me during my social media hiatus to make sure I was okay. I am but I’ also not if that makes sense? I’d like it if you could all stick around to actually hear my improvements for yourself and that you don’t just picture me as the girl with the sad blog.