#WeekendCoffeeShare: Thinking Happy Thoughts

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m starting over again, brick by tiny brick. This last year has been a difficult one for both of us: we’ve had to weather some extreme storms and it feels like we’re only just now coming out the other side, but not altogether unscathed.

In all honesty, I reached breaking point a month ago and it really scared me. I’m not Mr Glass Half Full but I have a base level of optimism that normally sees me through. I’m the one who everyone else turns to; The one with calm self-assurance who remains unfazed. Overnight it felt like that was all gone and, whereas before my armour was thick enough to deflect dark thoughts, it suddenly wasn’t there and I felt incredibly vulnerable. I didn’t recognise myself.

I submitted a referral to the local mental health service and.. well, nothing actually happened. The 48hr response window came and went. The only acknowledgement I received was that the service would be merged with another in a couple of days so I think I was lost in the transition. This was a week before our trip to St Ives so I instead focussed on that. I also had the help of a close friend whose words made so much more difference than they probably realised (you know who you are).

Our time away was brief but I think it was the breather I needed. A time to unplug, recharge and self-reflect. Nothing in my life has changed since we returned but I’ve felt happier and stronger. I’m getting back on top of things and practicing good self care habits; focussing on doing the things I enjoy and spending time with the people I care about.

The biggest shift for me – and one I’d lost somewhere along the way – has been reframing my problems as opportunities and accepting that trying is so much more important than succeeding. I do make a difference to the world around me just by being me.

The mental health service rang me back out of the blue this week and I had my initial screening call yesterday. It was emotionally taxing as it meant dragging up thoughts and feelings I had already tried to resolve, but it did reaffirm that I’m in a much better place now than I was before. Regardless, they’ve suggested some self-help sessions that I’ve agreed to, but the waiting list is two and a half months which isn’t really helpful. I know I’m making progress though and not all by myself. I have a strong network of people who care about me and I need to remember that.

As we head towards November, writing and crafting are two things I want to focus on this winter, as well as getting out and about more. I’m appreciating the beautiful autumn colours and i’ve already picked up some new hiking shoes and lined up some cycling lessons. I’m also entertaining the delusion of attempting #nanopoblano again..

Do you have any recommended self-care habits? What’s on the horizon for you?

3 thoughts on “#WeekendCoffeeShare: Thinking Happy Thoughts

  1. I don’t have any self care tips as I am trying to figure it out for my own health right now. I make myself busy, so I forget so sad I feel.
    But it makes me sad to read that the NHS is really that stretched that it couldn’t help you as much as you needed it.


    1. They were really lovely when I did speak to them. Not patronising and in no rush to tick off boxes. It was alarming that had I not sought help elsewhere their help would be a month late, but I was grateful for the call all the same. Our NHS does so much good work.

      I’m heading back towards keeping busy; doing all the things I was doing before, though I’m mindful that part of what led to my downward spiral was absolute burnout. I wasn’t sleeping due to worry and working long hours. The only constant these last few weeks has been my new (vegan) diet though before that there were days where I hardly ate anything.

      I’m trying to focus on doing creative things. I’m my biggest self-critic so I’m trying to ignore that pressure to turn out a masterpiece. I also enjoy walking and really haven’t gotten out and about as much this year so getting some regular fresh air is one of my priorities.

      Thank you for your comment all the same. We all need to know that we’re not alone x


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