The February Blues

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I knew February would be a rocky month for me, it has been for the last couple of years. February doesn’t like me, and I despise it just as much, but as low as I feel I’m not letting it get the better of me. I started to notice the changes in myself a few weeks ago. I didn’t feel like going out, I just wanted to sleep all the time, I wasn’t eating properly and I just didn’t feel happy. And that’s scary for me, because I knew just how bad my mental health was capable of getting again. But this time I’m taking control of my own happiness, I’m not letting my mental health deteriorate.

The problem with taking control of your mental health is that a lot of the time, we leave it too late. We fail to recognise the signs that we’re falling down a slippery slope and by the time we realise, it’s too hard to get back up. We feel like we’re stuck in a bottomless hole, and it’s impossible to get out. So many people don’t seek medical help until they’re really bad, which is why it’s so important to help yourself from the get go. This time, I’ve been trying really hard to make myself feel better.

I’ve been leaving the house, even when I really don’t want to. I’m still going to all my lectures, because I know that skipping class makes me anxious and that’s what I want to avoid. When I skip a class, I don’t know what’s going on in the next class, which makes me anxious to go to that one too. It’s easier to just get up off my ass and prevent that happening in the first place. I’m making sure I see my friends, and I’m trying to go out and have as much fun as I normally would. The latter isn’t working out too well at the moment, but hey, I’m working on it, there’s always room for improvement.

I’ve been keeping myself really, really busy. I have a tendency to spend my spare time lying in bed, overthinking, but I’m not letting myself do that this time. I have a to-do list on my phone of all the things I should have done over the last week, but let go over my head. I’m currently ticking away at those and the shorter the list gets, the better I feel knowing I’m getting things done. Plus, it gets me out of bed and into the library, doing something productive with my life.

If I could, I’d be working my ass off in the gym at the moment. After walking 22 kilometres in the pouring rain in Amsterdam, I have a chest infection that’s caused me to very nearly cough up a lung about five times now. So yeah, I’m taking a break from the gym until I get better, which isn’t doing much for my mental health at the moment. But next week I’m going to get back into it, because I know it’s the one thing that always makes me feel better.

As with all illnesses, prevention rather than cure is key when it comes to mental health. I know that my anxiety is going to get bad again if I let it, but I’m taking small steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. Just because you’re starting to feel down again, doesn’t mean you’ll spiral into a deep depression once more. Just because you’re feeling anxious, doesn’t mean you’ll be too scared to leave your house in two weeks time. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, and it’s all about doing the best you can to make yourself feel okay again. Remember that no matter how bad things are, they always get better.

Ghosting – When He Falls Off The Face of The Earth

You’ll never appreciate an ending until you don’t get one. I used to be one of those girls who got upset if the guy I liked, told me he didn’t like me. “It’s not that I don’t like you, I just don’t want to complicate things” and “Well, I don’t want a relationship if that’s what you mean” are two of those instances that instantly come to mind. But now I’d almost leap with joy at the fact that I’d received a little bit of honesty, and could move on with my life. Because anything’s better than being ghosted. ghosting1

Ghosting is when a guy falls off the face of the earth. Everything seems to be going well, heading towards a relationship even, and then BAM, three strikes and you’re out. He opens your snapchats and doesn’t reply. He ignores your texts. He goes out of his way to avoid you. Heuston, we have a problem here. Where did I go wrong?

First comes the “making up excuses” stage, where you’re still defending him a little. You reassure yourself that maybe he’s just busy with college work, or maybe his phone is broken. But that doesn’t last very long, and soon you start to blame yourself. When you’re given no reason, your imagination is free to make one up itself. Is it because I’m fat? Did I come off as too keen? Does he like somebody else?

ghosting2Although you don’t hear from them again, the door is never fully closed, and that’s the annoying part. The disregard is insulting. The lack of closure is maddening. You move on, but not before your self-esteem takes an almighty hit. You spend ages moping around the house, constantly checking your phone in the hope that maybe they’ll make contact again. But no, unfortunately nothing, nada, zilch.

So why do guys do this? Well, after a horrible ghosting experience a couple of months ago, I decided to ask one of the guys. And his answer, the response we’ve all been waiting to hear? It’s because they’re scared, simple as. When a guy has seen a girl more than a handful of times, they know that there’s the possibility of it getting serious and progressing into something more. And that of course, can bring complications. Cue the fear of being tied down and losing their independence, and we have a ghost on our hands. Sometimes you get so worried about not getting your own heart broken, that you don’t really care whose you break along the wayghosting4.

Also, ending things can be kind of awkward. I mean, what do you even say? It’s hard to just be honest, we’re a generation that find it hard to express our feelings after all. Sometimes it’s easier to just ignore and hope they get the hint, even if it is kind of mean.

So what should you do if you’re being ghosted? Well, when somebody sees your messages and isn’t responding you should probably take the hint. But if you’re feeling ballsy, just ask them about it. It always helps to be honest (that’s the motto of this blog post, kids) and you never know, it might just fix things when you know where the other person stands. Has done for me once or twice.

ghosting3But if things don’t work out the way you want them to, there’s no point in getting hung up about it. Look at it this way, you’re just making room for the right person. Things can’t work out with everyone, after all. If you want to know something, just be upfront about it. It’s always better to know the truth.