Pay attention to the red flags!!

For someone who had therapy for years and is quite in tune with her moods and anxiety triggers you would think by now I’d be able to spot a mental health wobble from a mile off. Spot it creeping forward in the distance and be able to get out my weapons and strike it down in its prime? Most of the time I can do that too. When I’m paying attention , when I’m concentrating. It seems though that when I take my eye off the ball I don’t sense it creeping up until it’s there on top of me suffocating me.

Last week I woke during the night which is unusual for me anyway but as I lay in the dark all that was passing through my mind was bleak. Dark thoughts that are really out of character for me . I pushed them out of my mind to sleep and when I woke up the next day I felt the biggest sense of relief. Like the weight of the world had lifted. Then I realised how awful I’ve been feeling the past couple of months. You know when you don’t realise how down you’ve been until you’re feeling better??

The thing is the signs were there . My ‘Kelly you’re not quite yourself ‘ red flags had all shown themselves in bright vivid colour only I’d not paid attention to them , thinking I could just plough through and really the self aware part of me that does exists knows this isn’t possible.

Red flag number one – I’ve lost weight unintentionally

I know this sounds like living the dream , couple pounds off just in time for summer-brilliant. People have commented have I lost weight and I’ve been saying not on purpose because I haven’t. Only when I’ve gotten to thinking I realised I’ve not been eating,not properly. I’ve been feeding the kids thinking I’ll eat later then not. When I’m suffering from low mood my appetite disappears. Now as someone who classes eating as a hobby and a favourite thing to do in the whole world this should have alerted me.

Red flag number two – lack of enthusiasm

I’m someone who gets an idea in her head , no matter how nuts and runs with it. I’m forever hatching plans and plotting futures. Only I haven’t been. I haven’t been doing much at all actually. I’ve not blogged in ages and my blog does bring my joy and satisfaction but no part of me could get motivated to write recently. There are theatre shows coming up that have my name written all over them but I’ve not planned to see them . I’ve lots of summer holiday plans with and without the kids that I should be enjoying making plans for but haven’t. As someone who can get giddy over the tiniest thing this again should have alerted me to the fact all is not well in the head of Kelly.

Red flag number three

This one isn’t just a red flag. It’s a whole army of people dressed in neon with a red flag each performing show tunes so attention grabbing it is.

The absolute absence of energy.

There’s a certain kind of tiredness like no other that washes over me during a down period. Totally knocks me off my feet. Sleep becomes the holy grail that’s all I need and want . Even in the absence of all the little pointers I’ve now come to realise were present (touch of self loathing with a side of numbness anyone?!!) The tiredness alone should have had me triggering emergency crazy alert protocol and bringing out my best weapons in the fight against the dark.

I’m not saying noticing all the signs would have made a huge difference. I always say my mental health on the whole is pretty predictable and often even when I am hyper vigilant there’s little to do but ride it out. However because my mental health IS predictable I do know what actions I can take to ease it slightly. To make the down periods bearable and make the ride back to full health comfy as possible.

So after a rough couple of months I’m feeling a bit battle scarred but so much better and I have certainly learnt to not ignore the warning signs in future. Especially when they are so glaringly obvious! I think because I’m generally better these days and that the blips are few and far between I’ve become a bit cocky thinking I can just power through when actually I just need to take care when things are rough.

You live and learn so they say !!

Onwards and upwards!!

18 thoughts on “Pay attention to the red flags!!

  1. I hope that at least addressing those red flags, naming them, has helped you to stand back and see them for what they are: states of mind, not permanent truths. I find the distance of naming things and describing them can lift my own self out of the doldrums. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is very true 🙂 This is a season not a permanent state. Knowing that sometimes helps working through easier. Or spotting a season before it arrives and being able to mitigate it slightly

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good for you for being aware of the problem and trying to be proactive. Too many people are in denial about their mental health and either never get the help they need or wait until its too late. I admire your courage #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to hear you’ve recognised your red flags but so sorry to hear you’ve been having such a tough time of it. Really hope this is a turning point and the coming months are much better, thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofblog


  4. I have been going through a low period myself lately, I too should have seen it coming but didn’t. I was going to bed every afternoon which is what I do when I am low, it took my other half to point it out to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kelly
    excellent insight you have to your own condition. I to lose unawarness & ignore the red flags that the fog of darkness Is hovering close. I think the misconception people have (un sufferers) with depression or anxiety is that we all walk around not seeing any beauty in this world. for me i love life ..done lots more than many ( un sufferers) have. that’s why mental illness is so hard because when the thick smog of darkness surrounds you you just can’t see thru it. all that you found amazing in the world just becomes distant & black. I know my mental illness inside out..should do after 25 years now im 48 😊 but it still baffles me & always will .i still have to read others experiences everyday even when in a good zone & bad but still it’s cunning for sure. I think when you gain acceptance that you arnt well in yourself then it definitely becomes more manageable…that if your aware you have red flags that you can be a bit kinder to ones self rather than screaming ” why me”. just is I’m afraid but I truly beleive that certainly people who suffer with depression .. have good souls good insight ..a little to much probaly & are not wishing this condition on their worst enemy.
    live by this saying also
    onwards n upwards
    best wishes to all

    Liked by 1 person

      1. defo for sure …be an easy condition if we were aware all the time but sometimes for me certainly it’s nice when you get a restbite from the battle in the head…i get glimmers of feeling okay ..but I know ill always have it

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I go through this from time to time. It’s usually when I’m under a great amount of stress that my triggers flare up and the mental red flags show but I don’t always catch them. It’s good though to still be able to look in hindsight and know that next time you’ll be more on top of it. But even if you aren’t remember you are human and we humans make mistakes, even with our own self-awareness. #ABloggingGoodTime

    Liked by 1 person

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