Reclaiming my Mental Health

I wrote a post a few years back, Maintaining my Mental Health, which was a post I wrote about my own warning signs and what I need to do when I recognise my mental health slipping.

It has stood me well over the years and I still read over it from time to time to remind myself of where I have been before and the steps I need to take to avoid going back there again.

Of course, you can’t always avoid going back and I have found myself back in the throes of depression this year, with an added pinch of stress and anxiety thrown in for good measure.

Obviously maintenance is the goal, but how do you overcome and recover your mental health in the first place?

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It’s all about reclaiming yourself and therefore reclaiming your mental health by acknowledging you have an issue, accepting your limitations, asking for help, committing to change and recognising your self worth.

Sounds SO easy, doesn’t it…?

I’m currently attempting to reclaim my mental health by focusing on these areas but it is by no means easy. I’m still struggling – some days I feel almost normal again while others I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic over something small and trivial. That knot of stress and anxiety is still in my chest, despite my best efforts to shift it.

While progress is slow going, there has been some progress which gives me a glimmer of hope that I’m on the right track.

So here’s my plan for reclaiming my mental health.

Acknowledging I have an issue – this one is not easy and took me many months to accept. I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling again. I didn’t want to look too deeply and see the real cause for my declining mental state – me. But acknowledging that I do have issues to overcome and being honest with those around me is the first step to recovery and to take the action required to get help.

Accepting my limitations – this was a hard one for me. I hate accepting that I can’t do something. For me, it’s akin to quitting, even though in this case it is not good for me to go on with all my existing responsibilities. Accepting that I cannot not do it all and that I am not Superwoman and that I do have limitations has helped me move forward. I don’t like it, but it appears I am human after all…

Asking for help – again this is not natural for me. This time around I have been starkly reminded of my own stubborness and inability to delegate even the smallest of tasks which has caused me significant issues both at home and at work. I am a control freak and, according to my psychologist, a perfectionist too. I need to let go and one way I have done this is to delegate shopping and cooking to Nathan. I need to make more progress in this area but I finally truly understand that it is okay to ask for help and to share the load.

Committing to change – I’m still in the early days of this one but I do want to change myself and my life for the better.  As stated above, we have made some changes at home and I am taking on a new position at work so I no longer have people reporting directly to me. It was a hard conversation to have at work, to admit that I couldn’t continue in my manager role but I am proud that I had the courage to tell them and so grateful that they responded in a positive way to my cry for help.

Recognising my self worth – I want to believe that I can be a competent mother, wife, friend and worker again. I have felt so low and so incompetent in all areas for so long now. I need to believe that I am a good person and that I am making valuable contributions across all facets of my life. I’m hoping by recognising my limitations, asking for help and committing to change that I will feel more in control and more competent in the coming months.

I’m being aided in these areas by regular visits to my GP who has prescribed an anti-depressent for me and referred me to a psychologist for more specialised help. The psychologist is concentrating on my stress and anxiety levels and is already honing in on my big issues – perfectionism, need for control, inability to relax and poor self esteem. None of these are new to me and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to completely change my stripes but I’m hoping to learn some techniques to help me manage these traits in the future.

What tips do you have for reclaiming and maintaining your mental health?

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Joining in with Jess for another round of IBOT!

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25 Responses

  1. It really is hard to step back & acknowledge when things aren’t working for you isn’t it. Even when you do realise, life still keeps moving around you & you just have to keep pushing yourself to keep up. Good on you for recognising & taking such positive steps for yourself – you are very courageous!
    Jodie@FreshHomeCook recently posted..Quick Recipes – Sneaky Vegetable Pasta Sauce

  2. big hugs hon – you have shared this so well and i appreciate your honesty with your journey. Trust that you can change those stripes as it is very freeing – the biggest changes for me that have helped are the ones you mention – letting go of control, letting go of the anxiety and worry, being okay with imperfection (i am actually able to celebrate it now), asking for help although i do su much less now and that was more important to me. glad your work were receptive to your request – how brave of you – love, deb xx
    Deb @ Home life simplified recently posted..Simplify your life – next steps to a book

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Deb, especially for showing me that it is possible to change – I need to believe that I can too – thanks so much!

  3. Janet says:

    Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good handle on things and are looking after yourself. My psychologist finally got it through my thick head that near enough IS good enough!!! Hmmm I can feel a blog post coming on…
    Janet recently posted..Red Shoe Shuffle

    • Kirsty says:

      Maybe we should write a joint post Janet, as long as you can wait long enough for me to truly accept that near enough is good enough!

  4. It’s a sneaky little bugger isn’t it?

    I’m glad you are getting the help you need – it’s not easy and something you should be proud of.
    Liz @ Clover Feet recently posted..Weekend Prettiness

  5. We have written similar posts this week. Hope you find your way back. Your post is very inspiring x

  6. Pip says:

    I agree – it always ‘sounds’ easy but taking control, looking out for the signs and doing something about it are another thing entirely. Hope you’re feeling more like your old self once all these things come together. X
    Pip recently posted..Falling Softly

  7. Big hugs to you, but it sounds like you’re getting on track, and I suppose accepting that we’re not perfect, able to do everything is one of the hardest things, especially as a parent. Hang in there, thanks for sharing – Em xx
    Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted..On being a bitch, a lover, a saint and a sinner!

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Em. It’s been really tough to accept that I’m not okay and that I can’t do it all. I still feel like I’m failing but I’m trying to take a more positive and realistic view of my life. It’s going to take time and effort but I’m hoping to eventually get there – thanks for your support Em, it means a lot!

  8. Bronnie says:

    I think you have a great handle on things. And I think that’s the key – being aware of your health and taking action when it is needed. And that is such a sign of strength and wisdom too!
    Bronnie recently posted..Making memories

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Bronnie – I certainly don’t feel strong or wise at the moment but at least I can see some progress and that’s good enough for me right now.

  9. You sound like you are on top of things and knowing the signs and then what to do is they key. xx

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Jodi. I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to get here – at least I’m on the right track now 🙂

  10. Rhianna says:

    Good on you for being so self aware and wanting to take control of it all. And super good on you for sharing it here as well. There is nothing more inspiring and moving than women being real and saying how they really feel.
    You are totally awesome in my book.

    Sending lots of love filled fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way
    Rhianna recently posted..Happiness is…

  11. Me says:

    I sat here nodding my head as I read your post – it could have been me writing it.
    All I can say is that there is light at the end of the tunnel – I know because I am there – and you will get there too. If you ever want to chat – I am only a phone call / e-mail away !!!
    Huge hugs, love and positive energy to you !
    Me
    Me recently posted..The Week That Was

  12. I love your honest post and how you have identified ways to help the way you have been feeling. So many people don’t do anything and don’t recognize key signs or choose to ignore them which only makes it worse.
    The Plumbette recently posted..Women deserve Respect not Harassment

  13. Kel Dunning says:

    Thank you for linking this article in your current article. It was a great read and I am about to read through the others. Having suffered several times through bouts of depression and anxiety, its reassuring to see I am not alone.

  1. October 9, 2014

    […] Reclaiming  my mental health […]

  2. September 5, 2016

    […] – I would not discount that possibility at all, considering my history of depression, anxiety and stress-related health […]

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