Update on my Mental Health Journey

Update on my Mental Health Journey

Hey y’all! Last time I updated you on my mental health, I was in a dark place. I really was struggling with my depression episode and it seemed like it would last forever. I was concerned it would never get better. Well, since then, I am happy to report some progress. After some self reflection and a talk with my boss, I have decided to take a leave of absence from work. I am using this time to work on my physical and mental health and hopefully prioritize myself. I will be spending the next 5 weeks working on me and spending my time focusing on my needs.

One of the first things I started doing for myself is admitting that my relationship with alcohol was toxic and out of control. After speaking with my family doctor, we decided I would go to AADAC (Alberta Alcohol & Drug Addiction Commission). Since going through my intake with them, I have been attending classes and lectures about addiction, recovery, and preventing relapse. My doctor and I are confident that I can become a casual drinker (1 or 2 in a sitting, no more than twice a week), I just need to work on changing my relationship with alcohol. I use it as a coping mechanism and it’s an unhealthy way for me to deal with my emotions. Another down side is that it messes with my medication. I am on an antidepressant and two anti psychotics. These medications are rendered ineffective if mixed with a depressant such as alcohol. I also learned in a health lecture at AADAC the reasons behind this.

Addiction is a tricky thing and a very slippery slope. It changes your entire outlook on life. I stopped seeing the beauty in waking up every day next to someone I love and having such a wonderful life given to me. It truly leads you into darkness. But there is always a light in that darkness, as long as you continue to have hope and strength.

Another new development is that I have decided to really focus on my physical health. Being overweight causes many different health issues for me such as migraines and stomach problems, not to mention the low self esteem. I have started boxing more often (3x a week) and am planning on adding on more time at the gym and changing my relationship with food, which I also use to cope with my emotions as many people do. I have realized that I will never get my mental health in check if I do not get my physical health better as well. The two go hand in hand. The more overweight you are, the less things your body is able to naturally produce (I won’t bore you all with the actual science). The more likely it is for you to be depressed. The more likely it is for you to be tired and fatigued all the time, hence rendering your want to work out often. Although my mental health is always my number one priority, my physical health needs to become important to me as well and not be overshadowed.

Since being sober, I have noticed a huge difference. I am no longer bloated all the time. I have a lot more energy and my sleep has significantly improved. My mood has been on the up and up which is what I am most excited about. And I am starting to feel like myself again and reflect on my choices the last few years. I am hoping these next 5 weeks prove to be good for me and I can return to work new and improved. Physically and mentally.

Thanks to those of you who read this and enjoy hearing about my progress.

One Reply to “Update on my Mental Health Journey”

  1. I’m happy to hear things seem to be on an upswing for you! Your plans are ambitious, but I bet you can see them through. Seems like defining exactly what “casual drinking” means to you will help avoid the slippery slope of having just one more…

    (And I’m sorry to be *that person* that always comments, I just get excited. I’ll be quiet now.)

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