Time, IMO.

I’ve mentioned time before on previous blog posts. You’d think I’m obsessed. As a philosopher, it is a very exciting topic to pick apart, but as are so many others. I think time is relevant to anyone dealing with recovery from anything. As the saying going, time is a healer.

But that’s actually not really what this post is about, actually quite the opposite. I’ve been thinking about time this evening, and for me it’s a crazy concept, and it boggles me that we genuinely believe we have a “true” measure of time itself.

To be brief, I personally believe time is measured by quality of experience.

Take for example, another well known phrase; Time flies when you’re having fun. On the other hand of that phrase, when you’re not in a good place, time feels like it moves 3x slower.

Our experience of time, whether in totality (from death to birth), or our experience of a day, is what time actually is, the closest to being a real tangible measurement. No measurement can be put on time when you’re waiting anxiously for something, or when you have a limited time doing something you love. The experience of these examples feel massively different for most people.

For me, months can feel like a week. It can feel like a day has been a week long but the week finishes in a flash. How much attention we pay to how we spend our time, is really the closest to a real personal measurement of it.

Just a thought, anyway…

Self Help

So I tried something out of the blue, and it really helped!

I am forever on self help apps, journaling pages and finding self help worksheets and info books on Insta or the like.

I decided, instead of searching for one that works for me, I should try making one that I would possibly find useful. Some techniques I took from therapy, others I thought I would just find helpful as an activity anyway!

I decided to share it here, and so if it helps one more person who stumbles across it and suffers with Self Esteem Issues like myself, it’s worth sharing!

I’ve never posted anything like this before and I am not doing it for any followers or response. However, If there is trouble opening the document, or any comments from viewers, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post providing feedback, but pls be nice. 😂

Progress.

Difficult to track. Harder to accept.

I am proud of myself; today We made pizzas for tea. It was fun to make and I kinda enjoyed it, I managed to eat about half.

It was progress; like every mouthful is. But it still just niggles in the back of my mind that i’m not doing the right thing. Then I get so involved in my own thoughts that I question whether it even is progress, with the amount of feelings it conjures up?

How do I track my progress? My memory fails me a lot these days; I’m told that’s because 1) my brain needs more calories to work effectively than I provide my whole body with on a normal daily basis, and 2) Suffering with mental illness of many kinds causes a loss of memory. Maybe because you’re not completely present so you didn’t actually cognise the surroundings in the first place? Maybe it’s a chemical reaction type thing?!

Either way, my memory fails me a lot these days; And it makes it difficult to navigate how well I’m getting on lately. I don’t remember what I ate, how I felt about it, or when, or why; most of the time I actually don’t remember how I came to eat things.

I guess it’s a choice I need to make, to either pay more attention to how I’m doing, or to give up trying to track my progress and just keep going anyway.

*** This post ended up long winded, veering off of topic; and I’m not sure it has an actual point. If you read all of that and I made your brain hurt; sorry 😋***

Spending.

*Message about this post: first, I did Philosophy, ethics and religion at university, and from that I have a lot of different wild ideas, and whenever I’ve mentioned this to anyone else; they have made it clear this is one of them times. Secondly, I did not research figures from scientific avenues as they are just for arguments sake and are averages anyway, Links to sites I used at the end*

Spending; we only use this word about two things. Spending money, and Spending time. So that’s always got me thinking. Do we spend them in the same way? And if spending itself means the same thing, and we do spend them in the same way; how do the do equate?

Secondly, when you spend something, it implies that you give something a specific value; or a worth.

For example; When you get paid hourly for a job, it puts a price on how much our time is worth. so in the Uk, for 21-23 year olds, on hours work on minimum wage, is £8.93. so if we take that as a ball park figure and apply it to the average amount of hours a human has in their lifetime; ‘The average human spends [note the ‘spend’] roughly 79 years or 28,835 days on Earth. So, there are an average of 692,040 hours in a lifetime.

Thats roughly around £620,0000, if you money was spent like time. We spend 227,760 hours asleep. That’s a lot of time, and so would be a lot of money if they were spent the same.

This is where people think this thought process gets a bit wild; Say, you’re 18 and you go out and spend 2 days getting extremely drunk, and end up spending £400. You had an amazing time, made memories you’ll never forget and more importantly will never regret, you don’t question how much you spent, time or money wise. Arguably, thats because the happiness and memories it provides are worth the amount spent in both senses.

But, If I spend 2 days in bed because getting out of it is too hard, due to mental illnesses, once i’m a bit better and able to reflect on the time rationally, I always regret it. Neither is more productive than the other. Neither got me further in life or helped me grow, or did they? again, I’m on the fence about that one.

So, pretty much in conclusion of this big ramble, which I could definitely go on more about but wont for the sanity of anyone still reading, (thanks if you are), I often wonder whether because we spend both, do they actually have the same worth? who came up with the numbers that decide our minimum wages, and does the wage matter more or less if you enjoy the work you do?

I often think about how much time I’ve spent feeling low, repeating negative eating habits, criticising my own body; the list goes on. They are hours spent I’ll never get back, which seems irrelevant to money. My situation is what makes it relevant for myself. When I became too ill to work, and then a few months later starting having quick glances at jobs to apply for; not only did I realise how my time is more valuable than any amount of money for me. I will not sacrifice my health, by doing jobs which have difficulties for me, for the sake of earning money.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what you’re spending, time or money, it’s really all about the quality it brings to your life.

*https://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/your-life-in-numbers-infographic/ , This is the site I used for the numbers!*

Loneliness

Unlike other emotions, loneliness doesn’t have a slow onset for me. When I get happy, angry, or maybe even sad; most of the time it starts slowly and builds up. Sometimes building to a weight too heavy to carry.

Loneliness is different. It just appears, and has the most ironic presence about it. When I feel lonely, it’s like there’s someone invisible making all the physical sensations stronger and colder. It feels like all the other emotions I usually battle have a hand over their mouths; still there trying to get their own say in, but a bigger noise and feeling just overshadows them into nearly silence.

It’s overwhelming. I don’t like being alone anyway. Jean Paul Sartre said, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company”. I understand that and believe it myself. But it begs the question of loneliness when other people are there.

Loneliness, for me anyway, feels like the darkest of all emotions. It’s not just when nobody is around, but it’s being around people and feeling the weight of their completely separate reality.

It’s being sat feeling in such turmoil, but simply observing that everyone else is having their own thoughts, feelings, opinions and problems. They have their own imagination, their own sense of what these emotions feel like. It’s because our realities sometimes weigh so much that we forget to observe that.

But when it is observed, and someone asks how you are, what they can do to help and the like; and loneliness is still there. That’s why loneliness is the darkest emotion I feel. Its not a case of not being asked how you are which makes you lonely. Its a case of knowing even when you answer, and give your best explanation of your feelings, that for them it’s just another story that they get time away from. It’s another ironic reminder that sometimes talking doesn’t help.

This has sounded so depressing, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for talking about negative emotions but I do. I can’t get a sense of reality without personifying that loneliness, giving it its own appearance mentally and most importantly, separating it from being a part of who I am. That philosophical thought alone, that loneliness is not a part of me but a visitor to my mental state; has kept me going more than telling someone how I feel. Sometimes. Other times, it doesn’t work; but I get a smidge of control back every time I remember I don’t have to give it the attention it craves.

End of Therapy.

My group therapy ended today.

I don’t know how to feel. I feel lost, scared and ready all at the same time.

I was starting to slip with my attendance anyway, but it not being an option has started to feel quite daunting, but I know it’s an overall positive.

I made friends, I learnt things. I got from therapy what I set out to get and that’s all that matters in the end.

Update.

I haven’t written as much as I’d originally planned. I planned to write here pretty much daily, but the same way I plan to spend some time focused on recovery every day, it doesn’t actually happen like that. I try, and when I remember, I always at least plan to.

Nothing much has happened though. Dolce is still the best dog in the world, and another little sister of hers is arriving shortly hopefully. I love taking her on walks, even though she’s very strong and pulls a lot, so I can’t actually walk her alone yet until she’s trained to walk besides me.

Her little sister, is the same breed as her, but just a few months younger. She is just as gorgeous, but she’s a testable chocolate and merle mix. She is going to be called Dior, how fitting. Pictures to follow!

One thing I’ve been doing, which makes me feel better about myself, is my own acrylic nails. I used to spend a lot of time and money getting my nails done like claws to make myself feel better about at least a little part of how I look. I’ve always bitten my fingernails, and then worried that my hands look like the hands of a boy, which is an extremely irrational and strange insecurity to have.

Anyway, I bought a nail kit for less than (£10), which is a lot cheaper than going to get just one set done (£35+ every time!), and I’ve really enjoyed spending the time on a little seemingly insignificant act of self care.

Speaking of something seeming insignificant, I’m starting to realise, things are only insignificant if you don’t pay enough attention to the amount of time and type of energy you’ve put into these things. For someone like myself, who will naturally spend their time and energy focusing on really draining and negative things, any kind of positive thing I manage to, or want to do something nice for myself, that’s actually quite a big deal.

Writing here is really helpful, and I really should start using it more. Its therapeutic to write about things, and it forces me to pay more attention to the words and phrases I use about myself, and question which things that are my priority.

For you.

I have been thinking about recovery a lot, and who I’m doing it for.

I asked for help a while ago waited a long time to receive it.

I got it. And it does help.

but, who am I actually doing it for? for me recovery started for other people I think. People must have needed me to get help, and as much as I understand why they asked because they care for me, they asked me for themselves to stop the worry. That’s why I started.

I’ve been attempting recovery for a few months. And by that I mean I’ve gone to therapy. I do well with it, and I’ve learnt some handy coping skills.

But again, idk who in actually doing it for? Is it to get myself better for my sake, or the sake of everyone else?

I’d like to think that I’m more doing it for myself at this point, but only when I’m actually at the therapy session, I find it very hard to actually practise the methods I’m taught when I need them most. I guess that’s part of the process, learning when and how to use it?

Work.

Bit of a back story; I was a support worker for a while over the past year. I loved caring for people and helping people be independent, there’s nothing nicer to see than someone happy because of help you’ve given.

I had to leave work, as the pressure of helping people eat, preparing food and washing up dirty food became to overwhelming, and it had gotten me quite sick.

I was also working 12 hour shifts, 5 days a week, on minimal food consumption. I lived off of energy drinks, and as I felt unable to eat while I was actually at work, it wore me down quite fast.

So I couldn’t carry on. I got sent home from work with really bad mental health and couldn’t return. I wanted to, so bad. I felt like I’d failed.

That was a while ago now, and I’ve been off of work for quite some time. So I started applying for similar jobs in care homes, like cleaning, and activities coordinator.

And the whole point behind this post; I got an interview. I’m not getting my hopes up, who knows what’ll happen yet. But to have gotten this far is the achievement I’m grateful to myself for making possible. I’m in control of how it goes, and I expect to feel anxious. That’s my greatest tactic to cope, to be aware of the possibilities.

Anyway, it’s an exciting opportunity, and it sounds perfect for me. I hope it goes well!

Dolce 😍

I haven’t written anything for a while, but that’s because I have a new doggy daughter. She’s a Sixth month old Pocket bully and she’s the cutest thing. She’s making it very easy to feel distracted and happy.

I’ve been worried about my little boy pablo, my cat. He’s not taking it the easiest but I’m sure he’ll get there, he’s coming around slowly.