I’ve neglected this blog for the last week. I’ve not been in the best place in my head during this time. Wednesday I hit boiling point and I went off the rails a little. The usually calm, passive, nothing bothers me person that is me had disappeared for a short time. An angry, emotional person appeared – enough to the point I had to take a walk to cool off.
Wednesday night was an all-time low for my mood and how I feel. Never before have I felt so angry, but what makes it worse is I can’t pinpoint as to why. It doesn’t seem it was a single thing that made my head snap, it must have been an amalgamation of ‘stressors’ that had caused my little episode.
I’ve since spoken to a counselor via a service I get for free via my employer. There are some perks to working for a huge international company. I’ve never spoken to a counselor before, but my dad has used this service previously and highly recommended them. I didn’t know what to expect at first, all I know is I find it hard to talk about me when talking face-to-face with someone – stranger or not. As this service is over the phone I thought I’d give it a go. So on Friday morning, I gave the number a call.
I’m glad I did call the service though, Andrew (the nice guy I spoke with) didn’t sound judgemental, didn’t take sides with how I was feeling. He just listened, asked why I felt I did at the time, understood when I said I didn’t know why. I immediately felt better after the phone call, I felt a weight was taken from my shoulders like there was something which I no longer felt I was carrying around.
One thing that the counselor spoke about was how to release pressure stress that is building. I find it ridiculously hard to speak to people about my feelings face-to-face, so that was basically out of the question. He advised maybe writing down how I feel, at which point I mentioned I started a blog about my weight loss journey and cycling. We’d already identified that my weight loss struggles could be a contributing factor the outbreak last week, so he asked about the possibility of blogging about how I’m feeling every now and then, release that pressure a bit.
There are only a small number of people who read this blog often who actually know who I am, and they’re either family or people I would call friends – I’d like to think friends who don’t judge me. A lot of other people who read this blog don’t know me at all. That gives me a little sense of anonymity which I feel will allow me to write about how I am feeling.
I’d like to point out that what I have been experiencing this last week is not depression – it has not been diagnosed as depression but has been diagnosed as my GP as stress. I have seen depression first hand and although I was not in a good place, it’s good to know it’s not because I’m depressed. I don’t mean that in a bad way – but I’ve seen how depression can consume someone and I’m just glad that my family doesn’t have to see me go through that. There is nothing saying it will not lead to depression, but it depends on how I deal with it now that matters.
My GP upon diagnosing me with stress has signed me off work for a week. This is with the idea of putting me first for a change. All the time I put my family and work before myself, which the GP has said needs to change – not all the time, but I do need to think about my wellbeing more.
There have been three really large ‘stressors’ in the last 12-14 months, all of which the GP believes has contributed to last week.
- A little more than a year ago we moved house, away from where we were living back to where I grew up. It’s great being around family, but we moved into a much newer, much larger house – so naturally, bills increased and create a big financial impact. Financial doings are apparently a huge factor in stress-related breakdowns these days.
- My wonderful wife gave birth to our awesomely handsome baby boy on New Year’s day this year. Anyone with kids knows kids being a whole load of stress, those with more than one know that the second brings a whole load of added stress on top of the one you already have.
- My daughter turned four earlier this year, which meant she started Primary School in September of this year. Gone was my routine of the last three years of having a little pal go most of the journey to work with me when I used to take her to a nursery.
These three major ‘stressors’ combined with the usual day-to-day stress of working, running a household and raising little ones likely got on top of me and I just got to a point where I couldn’t just hold it in anymore.
Hopefully, over the course of this next week, I will be able to find some peace with myself. Forgive myself for my outburst and realize that I shouldn’t be embarrassed by what happened. I can’t turn back time to avoid it happening, but I can make changes with how I deal with stress to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This post is only the beginning of that process.