You might not know this about me, or maybe you might… but around seven years ago, I went through a bit of a tough time… the end of February 2012…
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I probably went through a bit of a hypomanic or manic phase. I was full of life and enthusiasm, thought I was full of good ideas, probably over training, over thinking too much and not sleeping much.
I’m usually a positive and optimistic person, and maybe this feeds into it a little, believe the best in people, in life and the world. And maybe this happens with lots of people, they struggle with life, but don’t let it show. But that’s where I was at, and it took a lot for me to learn how to get over it.
Here’s what it is – ‘Hypomania and mania are periods of over-active and excited behaviour that have a significant impact on your day-to-day life.’ – see more here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/hypomania-and-mania/about-hypomania-and-mania/#.XNcdzYrTWhA
I felt amazing for a while, but then after not very long, I burned out and crashed. Then followed weeks and months of recovery. I had to learn the basics again, and I had to lean on those around me.
– – – See the link at the bottom of the page to see what it was like for me. – – –
Then I worked to learn what the triggers might have been and how to get a real balance in life… between stress and relaxation, training and rest, work and play. I battled with insomnia, and when I didn’t sleep it tended to make things worse.
Looking back on my life, it probably happened in 1999 when I was blown away in New York and my colleagues noticed a rather eccentric side to me then. Ups and downs… the make up of life. Talking helped, and over time I got better insight into how to get a balance and get better.
Recently life has been a bit unsettled. I’ve been between jobs and trying to find my place, and continue my career. I’ve applied for a few jobs in the last couple of months, all in the BBC, and I havent secured one yet. There’s still hope yet, but the whole thing took its toll on me.
It’s just one part of my life, and maybe it shouldn’t be so big, but to move from one role where I loved it so much, to not knowing what would happen. It all took over and I struggled to let it go when it was all so important to me. I was trying really hard, and trying to get a balance… and not let it all get to me.
Then I noticed a few weeks ago that the symptoms were back, overthinking, not sleeping, talking too much, to too many people. Then at a low point, about two weeks ago, I felt totally and utterly helpless, out of control and I wanted the world to swallow me up. I wanted to disappear or run away. But I didn’t.
I leant on others close to me, and I knew it was time for me to reach out for some counselling through my work. It should help me talk things through and get my head straight for the challenges that might lie ahead at work – get me in the right place to succeed.
I took time out with friends and remembered what was important. I rested, took time out and when I’d lost motivation to train in the last week or so, I didn’t force it, or feel guilty, I just took a break from it and tried not to be glum about it. It’s not the end of the world.
And now I look forward to some more holidays where I can totally switch off from it all and just live and have fun with family. And in June I’ll refocus on training, rest, fun and work.
Anyway, it’s mental health awareness week next week, and my first counselling session too. A lot of people know about depression and the black dog, but maybe people don’t tend to know about the invisible struggle some people have when mania takes over, and then the crash that can cripple as the burn out happens.
I’ve managed to get back on track with, plenty rest, time out and fun, and with a strong support network to help me through.
Exercise as usual has helped to make me feel good, but I’m now always conscious not to overdo it. Hence why I always place a strong importance on rest. Fun with friends, plenty of sleep and looking after myself.
I thought I’d share my story with you – ‘Everything is Awesome?’
It’s a bit of a long read, but hopefully and informative and positive / inspiring one. If you want to know more about it, click the top link in this blog.
Everything is awesome. I just need to open my eyes, relax, let the magic happen, and take it all in. Life is good.
It’s ok not to be ok, but I prefer to be ok.