Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Struggle - #BellLetsTalk

My mental health struggles are not something I generally talk about, but in an effort to help myself and hopefully others, I am going to share a little bit here.

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day - it is an initiative to remove the stigma surrounding mental health problems. Hopefully it results in more people talking about mental health and shows others that they can reach out too if they are struggling.

This time last year as a result of Let's Talk Day, someone very close to me reached out about their struggles, and are still here today because they were able to get help.

This year, I am struggling. Almost everything in my life is going well, but I still struggle. Many things in the past year that were causing me great anxiety have resolved, but I still struggle. My inner dialogue is not a nice one - "If everything is going right, why do I feel so bad", "you shouldn't feel this way", "snap out of it already!". I am very good at taking care of everyone else, but when everyone else is doing ok, and I have to turn around and look at myself, that's when things fall apart. Over the past few months, my issues came to a head. I was getting anxious almost everyday, sometimes turning into full blown panic attacks. "I am an idiot", "why can't I calm down", "it's so stupid that anxiety is stopping me from doing everyday things". I would get so angry at myself, so angry that panic attacks turned into fits of rage "what's wrong with me", "make it stop", "I hate myself", "I can't do anything right!". The anxiety also turned in to checking, lots of checking, and then irrational thoughts - "what if I put my cat in the dryer", "what if when I was checking the stove, I accidentally turned on all the elements". Sometimes I drive away from my house and have to turn around to check everything just one more time. "you are being so ridiculous". I lost enjoyment in the things that I normally enjoy doing. I just stopped doing anything, because everything made me anxious, but doing nothing made me angry - angry at myself.

2 months ago, I broke down, I couldn't do it anymore. I took a week off  of work and I finally asked for help. I saw a psychologist - it was awful. I was prescribed meds - I didn't take them. I was in fight mode, and didn't trust that there was anything that could help. I felt hopeless. Then as a last ditch effort, I got in touch with Mental Health in my city. They provided me a caseworker and access to a psychiatrist and therapy - luckily it was just the help that I needed. My caseworker is awesome - finally someone that can understand me. She helps me to go easier on myself. I am working on changing my negative inner dialogue and it is really helping. I saw a psychiatrist, and he was really good to. I have been to psychiatrists before, and they are so quick to just write you a prescription. But this one actually listened and understood my fears. Things are starting to get better. I still struggle, I am still anxious a lot of the time, but it's not almost always anymore. I still check, but it's not nearly as bad. And I still get down on myself, but I have some better tools now to turn that around. I have OCD, Anxiety, and Fibromyalgia - all of these work together to make some days unbearable. But more days are good now. I've also started to do more things that I enjoy - and that helps too. "I am a good person", "I can do lots of things right", "I can do lots of things well", "It's ok to feel bad", "I don't need to be perfect".

If you are struggling too - it's ok, don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone can't be their best self everyday. But do get yourself help. You may have to try many different things, different doctors, counsellors etc. - just don't give up.

Here are some resources that have helped me:


There are many other resources out there - feel free to post links if you have any to add :)


  1. When I got pregnant I went cold turkey on my anxiety medication and had the worse panic attacks I have ever had. I missed a week of work because I could not function. I saw the doctor on the 2nd or 3rd day and was able to go back on medication and she also asked that I call the mental health facility in town, which I did and also started regular counseling The doctor said she was very proud of me as most people she recommended this to would not do it. I wanted to try anything to feel better. Normally I would take Xanax before my regular anxiety medication took effect again, but I couldn't. The one thing I could take was Tylenol PM which only helped for about 2 hours, but I had to wait 6 hours to take again! I am really grateful for the support I received through counseling while I was really struggling.

    1. Thanks for the comment :) Glad you are feeling better. P.S. I love the kitty cat pics on your blog,

  2. Ach, daar ben je weer. Wat fijn om weer iets te horen (lezen). Ik hoop dat je je snel beter voelt.
    gr Elise ( Nederland )

  3. Thank you for your courage to share your story.