Me, myself and I

As I’ve said before I struggle to ignore the negative voice in my head that takes every opportunity to put me down, especially when I don’t do something I said I would. Yesterday I snapped, mentally I mean.

I’ve been finding it difficult to get up when I mean to ever since I moved offices, especially as half my week is working from home during Ireland’s third lockdown. Anyway, I skipped my run on Tuesday due to the heavy rain. Normally I wouldn’t use rain as an excuse to avoid running but I guess I really couldn’t discipline myself enough to do it that day. My inner negative voice (I should give her a name) made me feel like crap, especially when I got the bus to work rather than walk.

Come Wednesday and, despite working from home, I couldn’t get myself up in the morning to do my strength training. My inner voice kicked in with its criticisms about being lazy and such. As I was getting dressed I just stopped and stood still, mentally screaming ‘SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP!’ I’ve heard you should address your inner voice with a kind voice when contradicting it but this is years of having to deal with this bitch building up. Once I shouted in my head, I told my inner voice that I will still have an opportunity to do my strength training after work before dinner, that there’s no rule that I have to do it in the morning or not at all. And guess what? I did. I even got a nice lunchtime walk in the snow/sleet.

Unfortunately I know this won’t mean the end of my negative inner voice taking digs at me but it was a small victory as I try to adjust myself to a new routine in my new situation. I got out for my run this morning but I got up later than I meant to so it became V a bit of a rush. Tomorrow is more strength training and my alarm is set for 7.00am. Let’s hope I can get up in time but if I don’t, I can do it after work. No big deal!

To be liked

I’ve moved offices within my company and it was definitely emotional. Tuesday was my last day and I did the obligatory goodbye email to the team. I had a feeling there would be some replies but I guess I wasn’t prepared for just how touching they’d be. I was expecting generic messages like: ‘best of luck’, ‘wishing you all the best’. But they were very personable and I also received cards from both my managers. For someone like me, who is convinced everyone around me can’t stand me and just pretend to be nice to me, to receive such amazing messages and to realise that perhaps I was liked in my office was just…I honestly can’t describe it.

And to top it off, on Thursday I came home from my new office to my leaving present which was SIX books from an independent bookshop near where I worked. I’m such a big reader and that’s perhaps what I was most known for in my old office. Thankfully I’ve read or bought none of them. The boxes also had a message thanking me for my hard work and that I’ll be missed which is going into a scrapbook. And a card. It was such a thoughtful present.

I won’t lie, I was quite down on my first day in my new office, missing my old team so much. I’ve met most of my new team (primarily on Zoom) and they all seem very nice. It’ll take some time for me to adjust but I can’t deny how great it is to leave later in the morning and come home earlier in the evening. I know deep down this is for the best and it was never going to be easy. This week will be my first full week in my new office/team so I’ll have a better idea of what to expect and hopefully get to know my new team a bit better.

Like I told my old team, I only really needed to say goodbye to the office building because we’ll still see each other at company events, be it online or in person. And I fully intend to retain them as friends if they’ll let me.

Time to go

Today was my second last day in my office, on Wednesday I move to an office closer to home but still in the same company. I’m sad, nervous and excited. Sad to be leaving such a great team – it’s actually the first time I’ve ever been heartbroken to leave a workplace and I told them as much in our morning meeting earlier.

I’m nervous because change is not something I handle very well. It’s probably held me back in more ways than I care to imagine and it’ll take an adjustment. It helps that my soon-to-be ex-manager has told me the door will always be open for me. Unfortunately there’s a high turnover in my role no matter which office.

And of course I’m excited about what a shorter commute will mean, how many steps I’ll get when I walk to and from work, the days when I can cycle to work.

I’ve been granted a short day tomorrow which will give me a few more hours to reconcile the fact that I’ll be walking into a whole new environment on Wednesday. I’m dreading the goodbyes, I’ve never been good at goodbyes. Even today when everyone took turns wishing me well in our Zoom meeting I wanted it to be over. Of course I appreciated what they said – even though at times it felt like they were talking about someone else – I just never know what to say. I only wish my Lexapro would’ve allowed me a tear or two when one of my managers made a touching speech about me.

It’s not goodbye forever, I will see everyone at times during the year for company wide stuff, even if it’s just on Zoom, and I’m hoping to create a couple of friendships. It’s just going to be tough not seeing them every day.

Think yourself better

I didn’t go for my run this morning and I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. The temperatures have dropped and paths are icy in the mornings especially and I could’ve done myself an injury and not been able to run for the foreseeable future. And yet the voice in my head is telling me that I’m lazy. The same happens with other stuff I don’t do such as writing. I seem to have this mentality whereby if I don’t do something then I obviously don’t want to do it, e.g. if I don’t write then I don’t want to be a writer.

This topic was broached with my psychotherapist last night but it was near the end of our session so we didn’t explore it properly. I’ll aim to bring it up first thing next week.

Back to running, I doubt I’ll be able to run on Thursday either because we’re due several nights of low temperatures so I don’t know what the paths will be like, plus it’s supposed to be misty. And I thought all I’d have to worry about was running in the dark. You see I’ve been using the gym on the dark mornings to run on the treadmill but now the gyms are closed so I’ll have to brave the darkness (with keys between my fingers).

I’d run in the evening when temperatures are a bit higher and my surroundings are a little less secluded but it takes me so long to get home and M insists on waiting for me before putting on dinner so I just feel bad making him wait. I’m hoping when I move office locations in two weeks I might have more time in the mornings to run (and the ice is gone) or I could run in the evenings without making M wait for too long.

Everything is a dilemma with me that I strive to figure out.

Normality, sort of

Today is that last day of my Christmas holidays, though some big change is coming up. It’s not official yet but I’m due to move to a new branch of my job on the 18th, which is much closer to home. I already know I’ll be very down when the time comes (though it doesn’t make me look forward to returning to work tomorrow) because the people I work with are amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever left a job and felt truly torn up about the people I left behind. In my last job, most of the people I enjoyed working with had already left and part of me wishes this was the case now. Another girl has announced she’s leaving the organisation altogether in February/March, so I got part of my wish!

This week will all be about catch-up from the week and a half the office has been closed, and then next week will be me training my replacement who starts on the 11th. I hate training new people because I know in my head how stuff is done but have a difficult time explaining it to others. It’s why teaching never appealed to me. Then I’m gone, closer to home with a team that’s relatively new but most of which I’ve met before. But will it be the same? My manager assured me if I decide I don’t like it and my position pops up again in my soon-to-be old office then I’ll be welcomed back with open arms. This is comforting but I know I won’t miss the long journey into the city and back.

Ironically enough, the journey home on my last day before my Christmas holidays saw me stuck on the tram for over TWO HOURS due to a car getting stuck on the tracks, and get this, two tow trucks got stuck trying to retrieve it. Then my tram terminated four stops before mine. The next tram wasn’t going in my direction so I had to wait further for the right one. And it wasn’t the first time that’s happened so you can imagine how much of a plus it will be when I don’t have to take that anymore. Instead I can walk, cycle, get the bus or drive (if I pay for parking).

It’s the people I’ll miss. Whether there’ll be tears I don’t know, my Lexapro might prevent that but I know I’ll be bummed out. I just hope it will be for the best.

And we’re back

Ireland has gone into its third lockdown as of today. I don’t see why we can’t just do what New Zealand did and close our borders. We’re an island so we have that luxury.

I’ll be honest I wasn’t in great form on the last day of 2020 compared to those excited to see the back of it. I started the day off by attempting to go for a run. I say attempted because my Fitbit decided not to connect to GPS the entire way. I was near tears again but tried to reassure myself that it was for the best because the paths were icy and I may very well have caused myself an injury. So my run turned into a long walk. I was still a little bummed about it and it wasn’t until M said that missing one run isn’t the be-all and end-all that I felt a little better.

The rest of the day I spent doing almost everything from the comfort of my bed, which I try to avoid for the sake of sleeping better at night. My sleep pattern is all over the place as it usually is when I’m off work for an extended period. God help me on Monday when I have to get up at 6.00am.

Today, however, I felt positive. I got up late, yeah, but I did my strength training and stretches, added jade-rolling to my skincare routine (that’s for another post), I hoovered and mopped the house and I tried raspberry yoghurt for the first time.

This last one is a big deal because, if you remember, I have terrible food anxiety. I was convinced I hated yoghurt, I’ve tried it in the past and I was convinced it tasted the same no matter what flavours were added to it. But I need probiotics and ideally not just from supplements, which I’m taking also. So I decided to purchase some Activia gut health yoghurt in both vanilla and raspberry – both flavours I love in ice cream. I tried the vanilla yoghurt on Wednesday and it wasn’t bad, a bit sweet but edible. I put off trying the raspberry one until today because I was convinced “not bad” was as good as it was going to get. Well, I tried it today and oh. my. god. it is delicious! It tastes just like ice cream and I finished the pot a lot faster than I did the vanilla. I honestly can’t believe I like yoghurt, this is something I never thought possible. Then again I used to hate porridge and peanut butter but now I love them too. It’s always extra special when I like things that are good for me.

Now I just need to like a few more vegetables…!

A lack of consistency

I came back from my run today crying. My progress took a nosedive and I partly blame it on technology. You see, I noticed my Fitbit wasn’t accurately tracking my distance when suddenly the same route I always run seemed to get longer and longer. After some Googling and testing it out myself, I realised that I was beginning my runs before my Fitbit had a chance to connect to the GPS. On Sunday, I waited and it connected within seconds so I thought it was solved.

Today, however, once I’d done my five minute walking warm-up I hit the Run option and it wouldn’t connect. I kept walking, way past my starting point and it eventually connected after some minutes. My run was terrible and I wound up stopped at just 2.6km (my personal best so far is 3km). I know I can’t blame my Fitbit on my running progress and I wonder if it’s psychological that I wanted to stop at my usual stopping point even though I still had some distance to go. Not helping either was my relatively new, fully-charged earphones dipping in volume before going off completely. I thought perhaps someone was trying to call me but nope, they just decided to act up.

Tears came as I walked the rest of the way home and M tried to comfort me as I cried, which is rare for me considering I can’t really cry due to the Lexapro. I cried last week due to memories of one of my late dogs Jessie but before then I couldn’t tell you when I last cried.

I know I wish I could be great at everything when I first try it but I’ve been running for a while now, not always consistently, but regular enough that I thought I’d have better progress by now. I did make it over 4km for a time but I was left feeling very ill that I thought it best to slow it down a tad. Also, due to the dark mornings I’ve had to use the treadmill at the gym and I don’t know if that’s helping or hindering my progress.

All I can do is keep trying, I suppose. The worse thing I could do is give up, though sometimes it’s quite tempting.

Motivation against procrastination

It’s been so long. It was seems to be this time of the year when I lose my motivation to update my blog, convinced I’m depressing anyone who reads it and avoid writing in general. Well the second part is something that’s been an ongoing battle for too long. In fact, I’m using the Apple Magic Keyboard M got my for Christmas that I asked for in hope that it’ll be another kick up the bum to get me to write my story. My writing class teacher reckoned I’d have my first draft completed by October of this year. How wrong he was.

I wish I could tell you things are going well at the moment, that I’ve overcome my struggles and forced my way out of the darkness, and while I have made some personal improvements, things are so bad right now in my family. Perhaps I should start with the negative so I can perk you up with the positive afterwards.

My dad is slowly killing himself. He’s been in and out of hospital due to his lack of movement and caring for himself. He has COPD and weighs about of a quarter of what he used to. My dad was never obese but he was quite heavy, now he’s skin and bones, refusing to eat or go outside. He says he doesn’t want to go back to hospital and yet he’s doing everything that will send him right back. And then there’s my poor aunt who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that has spread to her liver and lymphnodes. She wants to live and my dad wants to die. It’s terribly tragic.

Some good news is that I’m going to be an aunt again for the fourth time. My sister is pregnant with her second child and it was completely unexpected because her first child is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. I honestly thought she was content with just one child. I’m praying for her as she’s going through a little bit of a health scare with the baby which will be hopefully sorted in the New Year.

I’m running again and going to the gym. I’m also doing strength training at home three days a week though I do struggle with motivating myself, especially on the days I’m in work. I’m transferring within my job to a branch closer to home. I’m truly going to miss my team, I’ve made such good friends, but this is the best move for me. Sorry if I’ve already mentioned some of this stuff, I meant to read my previous entry before writing this.

For now, that’s my general update but I hope to continue to update this regularly again so I can go through stuff in more depth rather than spilling it out in one entry.

I hope everyone is well, chat soon!

The other shoe

I’ve been afraid to admit to myself that ever since I opened up about my mental health struggles with my colleagues and my doctor I’ve felt…lighter. I feel a bit better in myself and it started before I began taking Lexapro so it may or may not be attributed to that or a possible placebo effect. I’m not saying I’ve suddenly had a spring in my step but I’ve definitely felt a lot less down in myself.

My headaches have been slim to none. I do still get anxious but not nearly as much as I did. I’m hoping that the mixture of medication and being open about my problems, as well as all the other new stuff I’m trying, is finally having a positive impact. But at the same time I’m afraid of that hope being crushed like it has been so many times before.

Unfortunately I’ve spent most of my life expecting the worst whenever something good happens. I think I’m feeling better and then something goes wrong and I feel hopeless again. And I’ve had stuff go wrong this past week and thankfully I haven’t let it get the better of me. I’ve still got the negative voice inside my head telling me it won’t last.

Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Back from the blue

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged and I’ve likely missed out on some great posts by those I follow which sucks. I haven’t been feeling great these past few weeks. Work was the initial cause due to the stress of dealing with the backlog from lockdown but my manager helped us find a system to ease the pressure and it’s worked quite well. I thought I’d feel better.

Then my sleep got worse. My anxiety attacks became more frequent resulting in multiple headaches and subsequent nausea. Then the tears. I started crying over trivial things or sometimes over nothing at all. Of course I’ve talked about it with my psychotherapist and we’ve been digging into my past to find the triggers for my anxiety and depression, but I couldn’t help but feel if now is what I should be focusing on.

I joined a gym and have so far attended four spin classes (I’ve another booked for tomorrow). I want to get back into running but I know I need to give myself more time. I’ve all but given up on the Joe Wicks HIIT Workouts because I just don’t have the self-discipline for it. I still meditate almost every day. I do the basics of what people say you should be doing to feel better, and yet I feel worse than ever.

So I made an appointment with my doctor which was today. I also confided in some colleagues at work and I really think that helped immensely. My doctor listened to me and we agreed to go back to a medication that I was on previously – Lexapro – because I don’t like the one I’m on now (Lustral). We’re starting on 10mg and hopefully if things go well I can reduce it to 5mg. It’s been so long since I was on it I can’t remember the side effects I may have experienced. But what I do know is that I relied solely on it, no therapy, no exercise, so I’m hoping doing all that with the medication will make a difference because I don’t want to rely on them forever.

And that’s it, that’s where I’m at. I don’t know when my next blog entry will be because I’m still trying to figure so many things out but I will post again.

Thank you x