Coping With Stress

It was a Tuesday Afternoon

I waved goodbye to my colleagues as I closed the door behind me, “see you tomorrow, Lise,” they called after me. I doubt it. I mumbled under my breath but called back, “yeah, see you soon.”

To friends and colleagues, I passed on the stairs, it looked like I was breaking up for the holiday of a lifetime. The smile I plastered on my face, the cheery waves and the jaunty, “see you later’s,” I was calling out as I exited the building. But, I wasn’t, I was going to the doctor. If indeed, I’d make it that far.

The knots in my stomach felt like a coiled spring and my heart felt like it was about to jump out of my chest.

Stress, Anxiety, depression

I don’t remember the journey but, I made it to the doctor’s. I filled in the requisite ‘how are you feeling’ form which I could have summed up in one word. Shit. That’s how I was feeling. I didn’t want to be here, on planet earth, I’d had enough and couldn’t cope. Even the smallest of tasks, washing up and chipping a mug, felt like the end of the world. I was in the right place. I was going to get the help I needed. Or was I?

I handed the form to the doctor who diagnosed stress, anxiety and depression. I nodded and stared at him. Waiting for him to wave a magic wand then all would be right in my world. He didn’t. Instead, he handed me a prescription and told me I would receive an appointment with a counsellor in a few weeks.

With my prescription and instructions to ‘go and enjoy myself,’ I left the surgery, lost and bewildered. I wandered around town looking for inspiration.

Healing & Self-Discovery

This was the beginning of my journey of healing and self-discovery. I took the tablets for a short time then decided I needed to do this without medication. It’s been a challenging journey, but a necessary one.

The universe called me, it showed me the Tai Chi and relaxation classes I did straight after my diagnosis. It connected me with many people who would help me on my journey: counsellors, coaches and therapists. I owe a debt of gratitude to them all and some have even become friends. I’m very blessed to have met them all.

It’s been over a decade since then and I’m still learning about myself.

When the world went into lockdown in 2020, I believed my mental health would spiral downhill again, but, it didn’t. I had off days, doesn’t everyone? But I put my time to good use. I wrote my debut novel, Katie, A New Chapter, based on my life experiences. This was again part of my journey of healing and self-discovery.

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Do More of What You Love

More recently, I have taken time out to reflect and I’ve been quite shocked by my realisations. During my mental health battles, one thing was missing. Me. I was doing what I thought I ‘should’ because that’s what we do, isn’t it? I wasn’t enjoying most of what I was doing personally or professionally. I look back now and think Is it any wonder I was ill?

I have stopped doing things I don’t enjoy, (like scrolling through Facebook.) I’ve discovered new passions, (I’m currently writing a children’s book, I’ve found an exercise class I love doing, and I’ve started learning to play the keyboard again.) By standing back and assessing my life I’ve made some small and some drastic changes and feel much better for it. I’m not the perfect human being, I don’t think we ever reach that stage but I am happier than I’ve ever been. If I can do it. So can you.

I hope this blog has inspired you to stop and ask yourself, are you being true to yourself?

I want to make a couple of notes here:

*No one can help you unless you are prepared to help yourself.

*Help is there if you need it, but, you need to ask.

*Being yourself is hard. There, I said it. We are expected to act in a certain way or be something we aren’t. You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole as they say, and you shouldn’t try to.

Click here to download a free pdf of “The Interview,” from Katie, A New Chapter. 

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.

Lots of love & gratitude

Lisa xxx💖💖💖