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  • Writer's picturefollowingflamingos

It’s been so long...(sorry not sorry)

I am not sure how to start writing again as its been so long since my last post.

I think it was from before the summer holidays.

In some ways not much has happened. In others lots has changed. My mental health continues to be up and down, with a little less of the former. But at least to most of my family and friends I probably appear to be functioning normally and those closest to me continue to tolerate my moods.

I recently shared a post on social media about high functioning depression and wanted to say a few words about it on here and see if any one else has a similar experience.

The article appeared in the Metro online here and I think perfectly relates the experience of someone managing long term stress-related mental illness.

In particular the piece explains how the low mood and cognitive load of depression (and I also include anxiety here from my own experience) affects day to life, but that people can become very adept at hiding even severe symptoms. Taking time out between stressful parts of the day, practicing a lot of self-care and sometimes cancelling plans or taking a day out to rest, sleep or cry are something I have fallen into as part of my own self-management of my illness.

The fact I can take time out (and am fully supported by husband) probably means I come across as selfish and a even little spoiled And causes me no end of additional worry and sadness.

Going back to the article, I was taken by the succinct description the author gives of how she manages with ‘medication, exercise, therapy – and let’s be honest, alcohol and crying.’

My regular readers will know why this stood out to me - I have been alcohol free and sober for a year. For me the veil dropped when I realised that alcohol would always get away with pretending to help, whilst stabbing me in the back. Best off out of it, in my case.

I wonder how many others are out there who manage mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed) with the similar combo of meds, exercise or other outlet, therapy and crying and then add an alcohol dependence into the mix like I did? The author doesn’t mention any details of her drinking habit, but the admission of it as a strategy alongside these other helpful approaches to coping lets me believe it may be normal for others too.

Get in touch if any of this resonates.

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