TIP #18: Birthday and Healing

This episode is a bit interesting because one part was recorded before I went to the doctor and the other was recorded after I took medication for my issues. I talk about my last year of my 30s, my doctor visits after recording my last podcast episode, my mental health, and how important it is to get mental issues checked on before things get much worse (though it is quite hard to make the first step).

A few weeks and I’m feeling much better. It’s only the very start, but I’m pretty confident that things will get better from here on.

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  • NOTE: This post uses the new web player so it might not function or look correctly. I’ll be working on it when I have time. (The default is to use the built-in browser media player. If you’d like to switch to the themed player, look at the preferences by clicking the menu button in the upper right, and change the themed player setting to ‘Yes’.)

Disappearing Incompletely

Hi everybody.

You may or may not have listened to the last podcast episode. If you have listened to it, you’ll know and understand why I’ve been away. I have a little more to add to that. If you haven’t listened to it, let me tell you what I’ve been going through for the past few weeks. These posts are always really difficult for me to write, mostly because it sounds extremely close to what I talk about in my podcast.

I’ve been away for a while because I am really struggling with my dangerously high levels of anxiety and starting my new job. I basically cannot function at the level I need to at work to do my job(s) effectively and that scares me quite a lot. I tend to overthink and worry about the smallest things. After one thought finishes making a round in my head, another comes. They never stop lining up. That’s a calm day. The way that my brain has been going lately though, it’s constant and these thoughts (usually very negative ones) and worries come several at a time. It makes concentrating so hard.

I am not just sitting around doing nothing about it. Like I said in TIP #17, I have an initial doctor appointment set up and I’m using an app called Woebot to get rid of some of the negative thoughts and feelings i have which, in my opinion, are leading me to a life of high blood pressure and fear. My partner has been a very big part of my getting better and he’s been awesome. I don’t think there’s anything he wouldn’t do for me. He’s been absolutely fabulous and I’m lucky to have such a supportive and loving husband.

I will get better. I know that for sure. Just by talking about it here and in my podcast is therapy enough. You might have noticed that my demeanour changed slightly from the beginning of it to the end. That’s because I talked about it.

Talking about feelings is probably something that men to do more of because whether we want to accept it or not, we have certain emotional needs and wants. We can’t just ignore them and keep building up all this sadness, anger, stress, etc. We need to get these things out and you know what? Sometimes we need help–and that’s okay. That’s perfectly fine.

I will be stronger and I know that I can do it. It will just take some time, and again, a little extra help.

Take care of yourselves, everybody. 🙂

The title was originally “How to Disappear Completely”, a Radiohead song from Kid A. I don’t want to disappear completely though. I want my anxiety to go away or to be manageable at least.

TIP #17: Therapeutic

This was supposed to be my “Happy Thanksgiving” episode, but I’ve been in a bit of a rough spot lately. I talk about a few of the problems I’m having, how I’m struggling to deal with those problems mentally and emotionally, how I’m planning to deal with these problems, and also, to say a few thanks. I get a little bit emotional during this.

As of this posting, I’m doing okay. Not incredibly great, but talking over things helped a bit. I just want to say a big thank you to those of you who have been listening. Really, I thank you.

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  • NOTE: This post uses the new web player so it might not function or look correctly. I’ll be working on it when I have time. (The default is to use the built-in browser media player. If you’d like to switch to the themed player, look at the preferences by clicking the menu button in the upper right, and change the themed player setting to ‘Yes’.)

Cards of Life and CBT

The cards I’m dealt with… (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite cartoons…)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Call it laziness. I haven’t been sitting idly though. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about life in general and tried to find some way to explain it to people and finally came up with an explanation. Life’s like a never-ending game of cards.

Sometimes people get good hands, and sometimes people get bad hands. The good thing about the bad hand is that I think it’s possible to discard some of the “cards” and hopefully get better ones. For example, one of my “cards” has been that I am getting weaker, strength-wise. Well, should I hold on to that card? No. I should replace it with another that will make me stronger and that’s what I’ve done (or rather, in the process of doing). Instead of holding on to the more negative “cards” in my life, I have tried to replace them so that I am a better “me” in future.

What seems like a terrible card or hand, doesn’t really have to be so terrible. I really believe in finding the good from the bad (and sometimes, I go in the opposite direction). I think that it’s good to come up with something positive to replace a negative. If that’s not possible, I try to replace a negative with a neutral. Focusing on negative aspects in my life won’t do any good, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. I am one of my own harshest critics. Sometimes I am absolutely brutal, but as long as I develop that kind of thinking where I am replacing bad thoughts with good thoughts about myself, I think I will be all right.

I think that my life is as miserable as I allow it to be and this kind of thinking has saved me many times getting myself really down. My depressive episodes have gone down a lot and generally, I am a happier person from it. I’m not insanely happy or anything, but I am much, much better. It’s a huge improvement from where I was ten years ago.

It’s still close to impossible for me to take compliments or really understand that I am appreciated in people’s lives though. I’m getting a little better though. I do feel like I mean something to many people and when you get to that point, it’s a really good feeling. Even when I thought no one really cared about me, I know that people do care. It might not come from the direction you want or expect it to, but I really think it’s there floating around or something.

What I have been talking about is actually called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT – don’t giggle). For me, it’s worked like a charm. If you’re interested, there’s a little program I have done a while back that helped. It made me sit back and think: “Yeah, I could try to stop thinking so negatively about myself. It’s not doing any good.” It’s called Moodgym.

I’ve been pretty big on mental health lately because I’ve seen what being in poor mental health can be like and looking back, I really wouldn’t want someone to suffer the same way that I have. I think that it’s really important to nip this stuff in the bud as quickly as possible so it doesn’t become a huge problem later.

The process of feeling better about yourself isn’t an easy one, but I really feel like it’s important to start as soon as possible. If you’re feeling miserable, try out the CBT stuff. It really helped me out.