Smiling when I’m sad

I’m fine 🙂; I’M FINE 😡

This is a bad day.

Depression has been creeping up on me and made a lovely appearance this morning.

I’m fine; I’M FINE – this has been me for the last couple of months. I’ve been seeing my friends, going to the gym, going to work. I’ve been treading water.

Yes I have done lots of things to move forwards and get myself better, but today epitomised depression’s grasp on me.

I was driving to work and I wasn’t concentrating on the road. I was balling my eyes out and had to pull over. I rang work and told them I couldn’t come in. Then I was ridiculously anxious about pulling out into the traffic to go home. Mum had to pick me up.

You may wonder- Why does she feel this way?

I’ve had depression for four years, and I went through a difficult patch in my teens, when I was about 17 too.

Sometimes you just feel shit and you don’t know why.

For me, I find that significant changes in my life can trigger it. It could be from being ill, getting frustrated with my body because it cant always do what a normal body does as often. Or it could be something like a change of living arrangements.

This time it was a number of things…

  • I came back in March after 2 months of travelling.
  • After a few weeks of being a couch potato, I started doing bar work whilst applying for other jobs – however bar work was taking its toll on my KTS leg.
  • In May, I broke up with my boyfriend.
  • Also in May, I got very poorly from cellulitis.
  • In June I started a new job.

Now it’s like all those months of changes have finally caught up with my head and I feel overwhelmed and exhausted and sad.

So I went to see the doc – she said that I wasn’t fit for work today…and to relax and do something like taking the dogs out. She also recommended counselling (which I’ve done before)
and upping my anti-depressants.

Counselling I’m 100% up for, yet more anti depressants? Not so keen. I’m very anxious about falling into the anti-depressant trap.

I’ve been so determined to sort myself out that I’ve been pushing how I really feel to the back of my head, and now it’s surfacing. The doctor said this to me and she said that maybe I should’ve accepted I needed help sooner.

Fake it ’til you feel it

  • It’s okay to accept help. It doesn’t make you any less of a person or weaker. It takes strength to admit that something is not quite right.
  • If I’m smiling and looking like I’m enjoying myself it’s me trying to do exactly that. I’ve had the mentality fake it til you feel it if that makes sense. That whole idea of smiling when you’re sad and eventually you’ll feel better is an ethos I’ve been living by. It’s scientifically proven that smiling boosts serotonin. Also exercise does this too.

Which is what I’ve been doing. But this week, I’ve been exhausted, waking up tired (well I’ve been like that for a while) and coming home ready for bed. I had to give the gym a little break.

The other niggles for me is the state of my room. I haven’t properly sorted through everything since I left uni. So in affect my room has accumulated 4 years worth of stuff from my uni days. This isn’t good Feng Shui (something I really do believe in) . I have attempted to clear it, but I only got so far and then distracted.

So plan?

🌞get counselling arranged
🌞keep up the gym
🌞gut my room (do a little bit every day- a bag a day keeps the doctor away haha- stepping stones!!!)
🌞keep seeing my friends
🌞accept help from loved ones
🌞Mull over going on a higher dosage of ADs

G▫️👣

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Thou shalt moisturise!

Every time I visit the lymphedema clinic my nurse is impressed by the condition of my legs. Inside I do a silent fist pump, because I am so pleased that my moisturising efforts are taking effect. And since I had my lymphedema nurse’s approval, I thought I would share my moisturising tips on here…

I am by no means a dermatologist, so if you are suffering with dry skin, please consult your doctor. I am just stating what works for me.

I moisturise every day without fail. I go through about 200-300 ml of moisturiser per month, this means I can buy a new bottle every month. I like to change up my daily moisturisers, and when my legs are in good condition, I have more choice of what I can use. When they aren’t good (sore, or infected), I like to stick to creams especially for sensitive skin. Moisturising is very important as it stops your skin getting dry. Dry skin– when your skin loses moisture- can lead to cracked skin. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria, as the cracks let microorganisms and irritants in.
This is particularly dangerous (yes dangerous!) for people who suffer from lymphoedema, varicose veins and other circulatory conditions. Dry skin lets bacteria in, bacteria causes infections like Cellulitis, or folliculitis. If you have areas in your legs which have poor circulation, they become nice , stagnant places for the bacteria to live. Also, every infection you get damages your lymph vessels a bit more; which over time leads to more swelling as the vessels won’t work as well as they used to.

Below is an example of skin infection on my leg.

Bacterial skin infections, without treatment, can cause septicaemia. Septicaemia- in layman’s terms- is when your body cannot fight an infection, so instead of it being in one area, it enters your blood stream. You can die from septicaemia. So for people like me who have a dodgy leg and poor circulation, moisturising is COMPULSORY.

How my leg should look! Moisturised and rash free.

Here is a list of the current moisturisers living in my beauty cupboard…

A Thick, Lovely Scented Cream
Nivea Creme £2.50 ish, Savers
Ooh this is a treat for me, the rich, heavy duty creme takes a while to apply, and you really must dry yourself properly before applying, as it doesn’t mix well with water. I absolutely love the smell of Nivea creme, its very nostalgic (I’m sure my mum used to put this on me when I was little) and its just the best feeling slapping this on my legs after a long bath, then cosying up in my pyjamas. One thing I would say, is there is a hygiene risk as you must dip your fingers into the pot to get the creme; so keep this creme to yourself and make sure you have clean hands when applying! Another infection is the last thing us lymphies want on our legs!

For Delicate, Sensitive skin
Norwegian Formula Neutrogena deep moisture body lotion sensitive £3.59 (special offer!) at boots.com
This is great as the application is hygienic and if my legs are feeling a bit delicate, or they have any rashes on them, I would choose this to moisturise over other creams, as sometimes fragranced creams can aggravate any rashes etc. If you have dry skin, avoid using a creme with fragrance, as it can sep into the cracks and irritate the deeper layers of skin, causing itching and burning sensations. Stick to thick creams to start with, such as this one.

The Budget Friendly Option
Cien light feeling body lotion £2 or under, Lidl
Well I discovered this in Lidl the other day and thought I must try it! This cream is very easy to apply, the smell is lovely and if like me, you go through moisturiser like an elephant drinks water, it’s easier on your wallet. I probably would be careful using this on any red skin, as I feel the fragrance may irritate it.

For your Holiday
Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula £3 ish Savers
This cream is great, It smells lovely, which is a bonus as I avoid wearing perfume when im in hot countries as they attract bugs, so a softly fragrance cream is a good alternative. This cream can also be used as after-sun, and my boyfriend uses this too to keep his tattoos in good nick!

To Achieve Silky, Shiny Skin
Avon Skin So Soft £1.99 atm, it’s on offer! Avon.com
I was supposed to take this on holiday but I didn’t make an order in time! This dry oil is amazing as it doubles as a bug repellant. I’m not entirely sure on the science behind it, but what I do know is that after my evening showers when I went to India a few years ago, I’d put this on my whole body (except my face) and I definitely didn’t have (if any) many bites.

That’s me worded out for today, which moisturisers do you like to use?

G▫️👣