Whilst at school, we’re told repeatedly to enjoy these, the best days of our lives because, one day, we’ll have to deal with “real life” and it’ll be a shock to the system.
Not to mention that many kids are dealing with very real issues even whilst they’re at school, I don’t think anyone would suggest that “real life” post-school is the same as what we’re used to in our childhood and teenage years. We all know and have experienced just how different the two are and, for lots of us, that difference is jarring for many reasons.
I’ve been thinking an awful lot about one particular reason that school life and adult life feel so different for me, and maybe it’s the same for you too?
As I write, I’m already back home in the UK. I thought about sitting down to write this last diary entry whilst I was still in New Zealand but, honestly, the last few weeks were just a bit manic and I thought I’d have a different perspective on it once I was on the plane home.
That’s certainly true.
If you live with a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, it’s probably not unusual for you to feel like you can’t, or don’t want to leave the house sometimes.
Tell me if this is familiar:
You go to bed determined tomorrow will be productive. But, when you wake up, you feel different. It’s one of those days. No matter how much you tell yourself to get up, get on with it, this is silly, you have so much to do; you just can’t seem to. It’s like there’s something physically stopping you. The thought of going outside is overwhelming.
Plastic has become my new enemy no.1. Even before I watched Blue Planet II.
In case you aren’t aware of the extent of our issue with plastic, however, here are some not-so-fun facts for ya. Share the crap out of them.
So, I quit my job. It is both the most and the least adult thing I have done for a long time.
You may have already worked this out if you follow me on Twitter/Instagram, and you might be aware that I’m currently trotting about the ol’ globe like a recent graduate. Or, if you happen to snoop on mine & Claudia’s conversations, ‘cause she’s the only person I’ve told in actual words. On Twitter, ofc.
You may have seen some of the travel snaps on Insta and thought “ay up, she’s got some cushy job that allows her to travel” or maybe “she must have some holiday allowance”.
Ha, nope, unemployed life.
I can’t seem to say ‘no’ to alcohol without fear of negative response. I’m a little worried about myself.
I guess it’s come up because Christmas and New Year are generally times where we, in the UK, drink an awful lot. There are parties and celebrations and lots of “go on, since it’s Christmas”.
I don’t drink a lot. Honestly, if someone told me today that I could never have alcohol again, it wouldn’t even register. I wouldn’t care.
I don’t mind the odd glass of wine with a meal, and I’ll happily go to the pub for a few hours and have a G&T. I have had a lot of fun being drunk.
But, right now, I’m not enjoying the hours and hours of drinking.
I don’t find it fun, and I don’t like the effect it has on my body so, really, I don’t want to do it anymore.
However, putting that into practice is a different matter.
You may wonder why I’m asking you that question. There are two reasons.
One is that I am a huge food nerd and I love to talk about it. The other reason is that, according to the WHO, iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world.
Iron deficiency can cause anaemia, which affects around 2 billion people (over 30% of the world’s population!), so it’s definitely worth considering whether or not you get enough iron.
Depression is an absolute horror of an illness. 1 in 4 of you will know that first hand. I want to talk about it. A lot.
It’s terribly sad to read the stories of sufferers on blogs and social media; although it is encouraging that people feel they can safely share these stories to reach out for themselves, and to help others.
I know that it’s also incredibly difficult to watch someone you care about struggle, and fight, and give in, and come back with depression on a daily basis. We all need a support network from time to time, to help us through the difficulties that life can bring; however, that is especially true of someone with a depressive illness. But, how do you actually go about creating that supportive atmosphere for someone?
It can be difficult to know what to do for the best.
Therefore, I’ve compiled a few things I’ve learned about trying to help someone with depression, in the hope that it might help some of you, too.
One of the biggest lies we’re told as children is this:
Do well at school and you can get into university and then you can get a good job.