The final push

I thought my last semester in my undergrad would be great. However, I have little motivation to really try, I’ve already got accepted and paid for my program that starts in May. I have very little motivation to put in a lot of effort into my work both at my actual workplace and in my school work very type

I am very typeA and this lack of motivation really bugs me. So to help me get through lack of motivation slump I have been dealing with for the last 6 weeks I have used my personality to kind of help.

I have created mini goals each day that helps reach an even larger end goal. Each class, work, banking and other obligations have a colour in my planner, so I fill out each week and use different colours for each task. This helps also with visual learning.

I would like to know what other people do to help themselves when they are unmotivated, please leave a comment below!

Advertisements

How can I help?

One of the most frustrating things can be trying to help someone who refuses your help. My brother has needed help regarding his mental health for years, but has always refused. When he was younger my parents took him to various psychologists and counsellors in hopes that someone would be able to help him, or at the very least get him to open up. But every time it was the same thing. An hour would pass and he would walk out of the room having not said a single word. He would then repeatedly tell my parents how much he hated them for forcing him to see a “shrink.” We also tried family counselling, but here my brother felt as though he was being integrated and threw a fit. We left the session early and never returned.

Once my brother got a little older it became impossible to get him to even go to his appointments. And now that he is an adult he still refuses to seek help. He has been told by numerous family members and close friends that he should talk to someone and get the help he needs, but he still refuses. It has gotten to the point where myself, as well as my parents have stopped trying to convince him to speak to somebody, as it is too frustrating of a task and always ends the same way.

If anyone has any suggestions as to try and help someone who constantly refuses help, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear any and all suggestions you may have!

how-can-i-help

BLOG CONTEST!

contest

Want a $20 gift card for Tim Hortons, and UOIT Ridgeback swag?

Here’s how to enter:

1. Read the Student Mental Health Services Blog (https://uoitmentalhealth.wordpress.com/)

2. Leave a comment on a BLOG POST stating something that you learned from the SMHS Blog. Include a way that we can contact you in the comment.

3. Be a UOIT student with a valid student ID!

Contest closes on March 13. A winner will randomly be selected from the comments and contacted using the information that they provided.

Bell Let’s Talk About Stepping Out Of Your Comfort

For Bell Let’s Talk day, as many of you know, the Advisory Committee ran a booth with speech bubbles to promote positive mental health and share words of support. Bell Let’s Talk Day is a significant day to me. I have struggled with my mental health for many years now, and oftentimes only the closest to me know. This time around, I thought I would change that and step outside of my comfort zone.

Last semester, I struggled with suicidal thoughts – it seemed that was all that occupied my mind. I let my best friend know, however their lack of care and support made things worse. I sunk deeper and deeper into my depression until I felt like there was no way out. However, with the help of a new course of anti-depressants and help from one of the counselors with UOIT Mental Health Services, I am in a much better place than I was.

I was making considerable progress until the middle of December, when I had a personal crisis and, at 1:00 AM, was the closest to suicide I had ever been. I had distanced myself from the best friend that didn’t care, and moved closer towards another friend. I called her, and she was able to talk me off the – metaphorical – ledge and calm me down.

Then, for Bell Let’s Talk Day, I finally opened up to everyone around me. On one of the speech bubbles, still displayed well into mid-February, I wrote about my suicidal ideation and the fact that I needed to reach out to help. I wrote my name and my faculty on the bubble, not that it mattered because I have a unique name and my campus is entirely for my faculty. But I did it. I put it out to the world that I am NOT perfect, and that I have struggles as well, as much as I like to put out to the world that I don’t.

Since then, I’ve had a couple people come up to me and talk to me, ask me if I was okay, and just offer their support. It’s really hard to talk about suicide, especially when you feel like those around you don’t care. And it’s even harder when you’re supposed to be someone who has their life together. But even us on the Advisory Committee aren’t perfect, and we all have our fears and reluctance to share our vulnerabilities. Sometimes though, you’ll find that opening up opens doors to so many more support networks and people who can help you.

Am I home sick or is it stress?

Coming back to school after the winter break has been especially hard for me. I don’t really know 100% why but it has been tough trying to get back into the groove of things. I have always been a person who loves school and learning, but lately I always find myself asking why am I here and is this what I really want to be doing. When truth be told I just want to be home with my family. I have always found myself to get home sick, and living away from home hasn’t really been easy for me. Trying to deal with new roommate and trying to get comfortable somewhere that just doesn’t feel like home. Let me tell you it sucks. I’ve never really been a person who makes friends easily, and it’s not because I’m mean or cocky or anything, but more that I am an extreme introvert and unless someone full out makes the attempt to talk to me I’ll just keep to myself. Out of my three years at university so far, I find that returning to school now has been the hardest and most stressful time yet. I find it hard for myself to pay attention and stay focused because all I want to do is be home with my family. My family and I have tried to see if me commuting every day would be worth it, but it is not. I live far and I actually would spend double the amount of time commuting, than the time I would spend in class, so that was out of the question. So it was either live in Oshawa or switch Universities, yet I do love this school and don’t want to change. So it is as if I am having a tug-a-war with myself and its draining me so much that I just don’t have any energy left for school. On top of it I am always stressed, I’m talking stressed about things that there should be no reason to be stressed over. So between the wanting to be home and the stressing over my school work and just school in general, it is as if I have come to a fork in the road and cannot decide which way to go if any, or if I should just turn around. My parents have asked me if I would like to take the rest of the year off or if I need a break, but the issue is I don’t know what I want. I don’t know if I am just going through a phase of feeling alone and actually missing home, or if the stress and exhaustion that school puts on me is doing this.

All this to say that I guess I am only to take it one day at a time, because how am I to make a decision if I don’t actually know what I want?
If you guys have any tips on being home sick or stressed please share 🙂

485117_1056338107750386_5648858581520958105_n.

Roller Coaster

Image result for roller coaster quote
Sometimes it feels like I’m on a roller coaster that doesn’t stop, a series of ups and downs. As soon as things look up there’s always a 5ft drop.
The year after high school ended and going into college, I started becoming super close with my friend and her family who lived in my hometown, they were like a second family I guess you could say. Before I started college, even when she was at school, I’d be there with her parents and siblings. Most nights I went to sleep there, and most mornings I woke up there. It was like a second home to me. I spent every waking moment and chance I had with them. My parents during this time seemed rather annoyed that I spent all this time with them and not my family. During this time my depression and suicidal thoughts were on the rise. My “second family” was always there to support me, and even at one point brought me to see a counsellor.
Summer 2012 I had a falling out with these friends, this was difficult for me. Going from spending every moment with them to not at all was a big adjustment for me. I tried endlessly to work things out with them, but every time I did I made things worse. That summer, they ended up calling the police on me. I guess you can say when I tried to work things out, I was a little bit persistent with it. I’ve never been one to give up on people or let people walk away, even when they tell me time and time again to leave them alone. With summer coming close to an end and me moving to Peterborough for college, this was a positive for me. I’d have something to do, and would meet new friends. But as the school year started my depression and suicidal thoughts continued to climb. My “second family” eventually came around shortly after school started, on weekends I would go there. Slowly, the good started turning bad again with them.
With the end of first semester rolling around I learned that math and science wasn’t for me and dropped out of the pre-health program that I was in. I later applied to the Child and Youth Worker program for the winter semester.
Over the Christmas holiday marked my first suicide attempt that brought me to the hospital. I ended up over dosing on Tylenol and my sister brought me to the hospital. I spent a couple days in emerge, and a couple in the intensive care unit. This was a hard time for me over hearing doctors that I might need a new liver if things didn’t improve, and the concern my family had for me was really hard. I was so glad to be alive, it made me realize that I would never want to put my family through losing me. Eventually I was released from the hospital.
January 2013, I was back in school and meeting new people again. My parents were constantly on my case post-hospital visit and didn’t allow me to see my “second family” as much, along with that “second family” didn’t want me there as much. I think they were worried that things would go bad again. Slowly but surely, I lost them again. This was difficult but I managed to push through it this time, and even started seeing a counsellor at school. The child and youth worker program wasn’t for me either, but I applied to Police Foundations for the fall of 2013.
Fall fast approached and I started Police Foundations at Fleming College. I started making new friends, I got more involved in school, and my grades were well. Things were good, I had a group of friends at school that supported me, I found a program I liked and was happy with where I was at. But the roller coaster I was on went down again.

Continuing the Conversation

Every year on Bell Let’s Talk day we hear thousands of individuals discuss their mental health. People feel as though this is the best day to come forward and share their experiences with mental illness. It makes it much easier to come forward and talk about our own mental health when we see others doing the same, especially over social media where we can hide behind our screens. The numerous posts with the familiar hashtag #BellLetsTalk make us feel like everyone will accept our mental illness and applaud us for sharing. But this is not how we should feel.

We should not feel as though only because it is Bell Let’s Talk day our friends, family, and followers will support us and be there if we want to talk. It seems like this is the one of the only times we reassure our friends and family that we are here for them if they want to talk about their depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. We should be doing these things everyday. A day should not go by in which anyone feels although they cannot talk about not being okay.

In order to stop the stigma we need to discuss mental health on a daily basis. We need to accept that everyone faces different struggles in life and some cannot be seen by the eye. We need to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.

And that is why I love this blog. It provides an opportunity for individuals to talk about mental health in a safe and judge-free environment everyday, not just once a year. It allows us to support one another and reassure each other that we are not alone. It allows us to continue the conversation.

It’s okay not to be okay

Living with anxiety and depression can be extremely difficult at times. There are days where even getting out of bed feels like an impossible task….. But that’s okay. I spend so much time trying to be the strong one, the one who is always there and can give people a shoulder to cry on; that I forget that sometimes I can be the one who needs someone to talk to.

It doesn’t happen too often anymore, but I do have days every now and then in which I have no motivation, or will to go about my normal life. The anxiety becomes overwhelming which leads to a period of depression. Next thing I know, I’ve missed 2 lectures and due date. The days following this, I am constantly beating myself up for being so selfish and missing important commitments; but now I see that taking a day off every now and then to benefit my mental health is okay! As students, we are under a lot of pressure which takes a toll on our minds and bodies. So it is imperative that we listen to ourselves and allow time to relax and give our minds a well-deserved break.

Now I am definitely NOT saying to skip class whenever you just don’t feel like going, please DO NOT do that! But what I am saying is, if you are finding something draining you of your mental stability, please take a break and do something that you enjoy doing to help get back into the right mindset. But just don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes out of your day to ensure that you are okay, you deserve it!

When Eating Disorders Attack

One of my friends from high school faced a challenging battle with anorexia. At the beginning of high school she was a healthy weight. Over time she began to loose a lot of weight and it wasn’t until prom of grade 12 that I became aware of how much she had really lost. (I went to a Catholic school, therefore we had a uniform. The uniform was quite baggy on most students making it hard to notice when someone gained or lost a few pounds.) On the night of prom, we were all piling into the limo when I noticed that you could see every bone on her back. My mom who was standing about 20 feet away also noticed this and pointed it out to one of the other moms.

Only a month a half later at graduation it was clear she had shed a significant amount of weight since prom. She was skin and bones. Throughout the summer and into the fall, she was in and out of hospitals until she finally flew across the country to seek more help. She was extremely depressed. Her eating disorder had truly taken over her life. Weeks on bed rest, a feed tubing, and countless pills a day. That was her life.

Isolated pills

623556d1e6aebbfb83925b44add83613It was extremely hard for myself, as well as numerous others we went to school with, to learn about her disorder. All we could do was follow her ups and downs through social media and wish her a speedy recovery. I know she received a lot support while away for recovery, and still does to this day. She has fluctuated in weight since this all time low, but for the most part has been able to remain a healthy weight. She is overall happier with her life, having learned to fight through some of the toughest times of her life. I am so thankful that she was able to receive the help she needed before it was too late.

YOU CAN DO THIS.

Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, it can happen to anyone at any time in their life. Sometimes, all we need is a little support and reassurance that we are not alone and that we can do this.

Here are 15 positive affirmations to live by when you live with depression, anxiety or any other mental illness to remind you that you are a warrior.

  1. Self-forgiveness is essential for self-healing.
  2. Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what can be.
  3. You are enough.
  4. It is okay to ask for help.
  5. It is a disorder, not a decision. Be kind to yourself.
  6. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
  7. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.
  8. You were given this life because you are strong enough to handle it.
  9. Pain is real, but so is hope.
  10. Always remember that the future comes one day at a time, and so does recovery.
  11. Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times.
  12. You are loved.
  13. You have a right to heal at your own pace – you are allowed to take your time.
  14. Whatever it takes. You can make it through it.
  15. Your circumstances don’t determine where you go, it merely determines where you begin.