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My Project Happiness

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Project Happiness: avoiding anti-depressants

I have lost my sparkle. I feel like I'm in a hole and I can't get out. I am struggling to keep all of my 'work' 'mother' 'wife' 'friends' 'family' and 'money' plates spinning together and feel a bit overwhelmed by life in general. If I haven't been at work, I've been asleep and that doesn't leave much time for anything else.

I have also been feeling odd symptoms of mental 'fogginess' aching body, difficulty concentrating, irritability, mood swings and a tendency to burst into tears at any point, with or without good reason. I can't sleep, despite feeling knackered all the time and my brain seems to have trouble locating the switch as soon as I climb into bed, in fact that's probably the most awake I am all day!

I've lost almost 2 stone since the start of the year and I think I had always assumed that as soon as I was lighter, I'd feel amazing and, unfortunately, this just doesn't seem to be the case. I feel the same, but in smaller clothes.

I have days when I feel like I could crawl back into bed at any point and go back to the sleep I haven't quite woken up from. I don't have the energy to exercise, although I know this would probably boost my mood in the long run - I had got myself into a vicious cycle and I decided last week that enough was enough, so went to see my GP.

I'm not entirely sure what I though the outcome would be, but I ended up being offered anti-depressants tablets. Now, I don't think I'm depressed. I think I may be on the verge of the abyss, certainly, but I'm not sure tablets are the answer and I have a fear of becoming dependent on them, so I politely declined the offer.

I read a lot about what I could do to boost my mood. I found loads of information by Googling and set about streamlining what I thought would work for me. There were a few articles about being 'tired but wired' and I thought that may be the case for me, as I find it hard to switch off, so the first thing we did was impose a 'technology blackout' in the evenings. No Facebook, Twitter or surfing the web for an hour before bed. I did read about doing a 'digital detox' but I need my phone for work, so that wasn't practical.

Our phones (which used to charge by our beds and be alarm clocks) now charge downstairs and we have an alarm clock by the bed. It is angled so I can't see the time, as I wake up in the night and either go 'I only have another hour, There's no point going back to sleep‚' or 'it's only midnight, I have 6 more hours' depending on what it says. Now, I have no idea what time it is, so I go back to sleep - even if it is only for a few minutes.

I know that exercise does boost my mood and I signed up for a gym membership that has personal training as part of it, so I can book the sessions into my diary around work and then I will have to honour them.

I also remembered a session we had through work with an amazing and inspiring lady called Kim Ingleby, who talked about keeping a 'positivity journal' to record things you are thankful for every day. The idea behind this is that by looking for things to be thankful for, your brain automatically starts to look for positive things and thus you become a more positive person as a result. As I am a fan of documenting things and thought this could link into my blog, this really appealed to me and #everycloudeveryday was born.

Wish me luck!

I am a slightly overweight, slightly underwhelming, slightly too-honest, 30 something, happily married mummy of a beautiful toddler.

Twitter: @teagossipblog

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