"I can't sleep!" It's the story of my life. I always complained about this when I saw a therapist to talk about my mental health, and sleep medication doesn't help me either. My sleep pattern lands me in a bad mood, not great when you have to study, write and clean the house the next day. Many of you will understand when I say this problem can make you feel agitated when you are a parent having to do the school run the next day. Luckily I don't have that issue at the moment, but when the clock is ticking, come morning you lay there, confused because its daylight before you know it! I have another problem with lack of sleep and going to sleep, it causes issues with restless legs. You know the one! The one where your legs want to move all night for no reason, and whether your tired or not, you just can't control it.
I went through many different cycles of abuse, during my childhood, at school and in adulthood. Up to the age of 22 I was physically and emotionally abused. I am a friendly person, and very sensitive. It seems my sensitivity was seen as a vulnerability for others to use against me. I went through many different cycles including physical violence, rape , break ins and people took advantage of me left, right and center. Some of it I spoke out about and reached out for help, but that fell on deaf ears, landing me in a very vulnerable position where I almost died, and I have spoken about that in my article 'I found love on a Psychiatric Ward.' This is a follow up from that article, and talks about how these issues affected me in more detail.
It is very quite on my street at the moment, and it has been like that for a while now. Normally I am at the beach, out in town or meeting people and helping them with mental health problems. However, like many in this Covid-19 pandemic, I am staying at home, helping to save lives. My world is upside down and my mind is pretty chaotic. Going to the supermarket is stressful because there are markers and social distancing rules. Going outside is suddenly scary again.
I am not in qaurantine, and I do not have the virus. However like many, I am going out of my mind with boredom. Normally I am doing therapy for my mental health outdoors, but all the places I use including leisure centers are shut. I also have a condition that means I have to socially distance myself. This is really difficult, because in the thrall of severe mental health problems many years ago, it took me a long time to socialize again, and isolation became my best friend until I learned that my world was safe to go outside again. Recently I was restricting myself to visiting shops and going shopping in the car, but now I find myself bound to my home and my garden for quite some time so that I can protect myself from the Corona Virus. In fact it is crucially important as I am in the early stages of pregnancy and I have a health problem which makes me vulnerable. It was Mothersday yesterday, and my Mum is distancing herself because of her own condition. Its not where any of us chose to be, but it is really important to protect ourselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable from the virus, which as we know, kills people too. However, it doesn't mean that we all become hermits, it means we stay safe and protect others who may be extremely vulnerable too.
The last place I wanted to find myself in, in 1998 was on yet another psychiatric ward. I had been admitted so many times in the past, but this was a different kind of admission. This story may be triggering for some.
Taking care of our mental health and well-being is not something we should do when we just develop mental health problems. It is something we should all do everyday, whether we have had mental health problems or not. Some mental health problems can be brought on by the stress we face in every day life, and they can occur even if we have never had a problem before. Self-care is really important when it comes to our mental well-being, even if we feel there is nothing in our lives that can cause a problem. Doing self-care can reduce the impact of everyday stresses like work, parenting, studying amongst many other things, in return it can also help us to reduce the effects that these things have on our mental well-being. Over the years, I have had many issues with my own mental health, some of which have been complicated, others brought on by everyday stressors. Below, I will share the tips that I use, that work well for me when taking care of my own well-being.