How Is Your Mental Health Today?

Now and again I ask this question on the blog, and I thought now was as important a time as any, given the current world we live in. As we emerge from lockdown at various paces and with varied levels of success, many of us bear the mental as well as the physical scars. Some of us have coped better than others, some have thrived, others have struggled and barely made it through. It’s been a battle and none of us have been unaffected.

Let’s start with me, then, as I’m sure many of you are awkwardly twiddling your thumbs and staring at your feet, praying for someone to break the interminable silence. Well, thanks for asking. I’m back at work full time and slowly feeling my way back into the office environment. Initially I was anxious about returning to the daily grind. I quite enjoyed being at home with my family…although my family may beg to differ.

The thing I have struggled with most are my concentration levels. My job is quite intense where I’m required to analyse and assess large amounts of dense information, manage a team and make detailed decisions in respect of strategies and policies. I’m paid well for it and I’ve worked hard to reach the level I have within the organisation. But a lot is expected of me, I’m expected to deliver. It’s not life or death but my actions and decisions do impact lives.

I’m slowly finding my feet again and regaining my stride. My OCD is under control although I’m ever conscious the next flare up could be just around the corner. We can’t take our mental health for granted any more than we can take our physical health for granted. If we don’t exercise, eat badly and pollute our bodies with toxic substances then eventually stuff will start to go wrong. Our minds are no different.

So I still studiously avoid certain situations and people. I can’t be around them for to do so is exposing myself to emotions and experiences which aren’t healthy. Some might find my lifestyle a bit dull. I don’t party, I don’t go to the pub, I don’t really go out a lot besides going to work and with my family. My circle of friends is a fraction of what it was. I keep to myself and try to live as good a life as I can. I’m not perfect, but I try.

I’ve been off the rails and have no desire to return to the darker periods of my life. It’s a work in progress and I can never rest on my laurels, given my propensity to press the self destruct button. I run, I read and write, I watch Netflix and drive Fionnuala and the kids insane with my odd ways. I try to be the best husband and father I can. I know I can do a lot better, but I also know I’ve been a lot worse. I’m getting there.

But enough about me, what about you? How is your mental health? Are you 100% and loving life or is getting out of bed a bridge too far at present?How has the global pandemic impacted upon your life? Are you excited, joyous, anxious or frightened? What steps are you taking to look after your mental health? Counselling, medication, meditation or good old fashioned physical exercise?

Have you a faith? Does it help or hinder you? Does it offer you comfort and strength when you are at a low ebb or do you feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the high standards your faith community seeks to maintain. Does it make you feel inadequate and unworthy? A lot of questions there, and plenty to chew on. I’ll stop now and open the floor to you all. Wherever you are, stay safe, enjoy your day, and please don’t take your mental health for granted.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

33 thoughts on “How Is Your Mental Health Today?

  1. This has been quite an interesting time. I think as Dickens would have said, “It was the best of times… It was the worst of times.”

    It is so important to care for our spiritual and emotional health. There is a fine line between living and life. We can’t have one without the other. Good diet, good exercise, and a caring smile for those you love give that spark of living to the life we create. We should take care to tend to those needs, and the rest of life will see us through towards a moment that we can truly say, “yes, it was the best of times.” Prayers and blessings friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your post resonates, especially this line: “So I still studiously avoid certain situations and people. I can’t be around them for to do so is exposing myself to emotions and experiences which aren’t healthy.” This plays a significant part in my request to continue working remotely through the rest of the year. That request has not been approved yet but I hope so. I agree with and appreciate what you wrote — thank you.

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  3. I’ve been a hot mess as of late! Have been up all of this night with anxiety! But yes my faith is strong and I take comfort at the cross where I know my salvation and healing lay. Thanks for the reminder to keep meditating and exercising. It is so truly beneficial to well being🙏🏼

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  4. Thanks Stephen – I’m not depressed, but let’s just say everything is “diminished” – whatever that means. My wife and I are all but isolating and have been since March. Occasionally we have to care for grandchildren and we deliver meals at our church, but that’s about the extent of going out. We order all supplies on-line and do grocery pickup where they put in back of car for you. We are both Christians and our faith it keeping us strong. We have a hope that transcends all of this. We hurt, we cry, we care, sometimes we just push on, but we rejoice in the hope and strength of Jesus.

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  5. Stephen, thanks for asking. My mental health is taking a whipping lately. The pandemic, health issues and, most recently, my partner’s alcohol problem. But, I am leaning into Jesus more than ever and keeping afloat. I appreciate your honesty.

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  6. Wow, I don’t think I could have much faith in something that kept me intimidated and overwhelmed. I don’t think Jesus wanted us to live up to someone else’s high standards. Something about the plank in my eye keeps me from looking too deeply at the speck in others’. I do enjoy exercise as a balm, soothing or numbing the pains of this troubling time.

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  7. Thanks for sharing what’s gonna g on with you and your mental health. It’s good to see you’re being proactive, knowing yourself and doing what you need to do to stay ahead.

    Initially, I was unprepared for the onset of the anxiety that descended upon me. I felt rudderless until I stopped and looked for ways to dig myself out. Faith became a large part of my leveling out of the anxiety (which I didn’t know I had!). I think it’s stronger than it’s ever been. I used some other techniques to help and I feel like I’m winning. It feels good to say that. It’s been at least four weeks since my last episode.

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  8. My mental health depends on the moment you ask the question. I feel like my emotions are on a psychotic roller coaster. I am fine, then I’m anxious, I feel okay, now I’m depressed. I can do anything, I can do nothing. I think working from home has been a blessing in some ways (only have to dress up with my shirt and no uncomfortable shoes) but in other ways it has been dragging me down because I feel like the work day never ends. My job is high stress and I am so tired at the end of the day. I try to take time for myself here and there but it’s hard. My faith sustains me and challenges me in this time but I have a great pastor I can talk to anytime who really doesn’t push me in one direction or the other. He will share what he thinks the Bible is saying and if I choose not to have that same opinion on a topic, he still respects me and doesn’t shun me.

    I love how open and transparent you are my friend. It makes me feel like it’s okay to not be okay all the time.

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  9. Thank you for asking I’m glad you are chugging along well. As many including myself find themselves saying; nothing in life worth doing is easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.

    When I let my wellbeing fall by the wayside, I turn to my faith. My supportive faith community, some of whom are my closest friends, provide support and encouragement as I know God does when I pray. I am fortunate to live with caring people too, my wonderful sister being one of them. Actively choosing to rest is an important part of looking after my mental health too. Not mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or trawling YouTube, but reading or listening to calming music or spending time soaking in the silence.

    Thank you for posing some thoughtful questions we would all do well to all ourselves, and answer honestly, more often.

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  10. I have a very strong faith and it has been a significant source of guidance for me. After having COVID, I was not prepared for the emotional impact of feeling *responsible* for the people around me. I mean, I feel that way with my immediate family all the time, but venturing out to the store, or office for the first time caused me to devolve into a full-blown, ugly cry panic attack. I felt overwhelmed by my responsibility to keep the people around me safe, but not really knowing how to do that. It was a difficult day, but one that I am glad for. I was not prepared for my response and it took me aback, but now I have more respect for the emotional and psychological impact this confounded virus is having.

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  11. My faith keeps me grounded, and when I feel the depression coming on, like today, I go to Scriptures, to be reminded that it will be alright. I realize, too, that this is a dark time, so it may not be a mental health issue as much as a living in America during the time of Trump issue. So, I remind my self that ultimately, God is in control, not politicians, and that no matter what may come, this too will pass, and I have to not worry about what or whom I cannot change. I have to not give others power to de-energize me.

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  12. Been doing good through all things, all things considered. The pandemic hasn’t phased me much, mostly because I’m a homebody to begin with. If anything, it’s helped me. I’ve gotten a ton of the little projects done, I’m well into two novels, and an anthology I’m writing,

    It’s helped my prayer life and education.

    I’d say the hardest part has been unable to attend church.

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  13. I have faith. I am a Christian. I still struggle with anxiety and depression. In 2015 until 2018 I was in outpatient therapy. I wish I had access to mental health therapists, but I don’t have insurance.
    Stay well. Thanks for sharing about this important topic.

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  14. I have had periods of anxiety and depression over the past few years. The Corona pandemic hasn’t made things any easier. I have had long spells of unemployment, that are only broken by short term contracts and internships since graduating in late 2017. I was laid off due to the Corona pandemic, from my last temporary job. My struggle finding more permanent better paying work, and the resultant financial worries that come with that, especially because I’m 28, have left my mental health, in a state of struggle. To add on to that, I’m experiencing cabin fever. Corona has been present in Kenya since mid March and after 4 months, of being confined with family, I have had it. Too bad I can’t go anywhere. I was actually thrilled to get my glasses fixed and spent the whole day away . Spending too much time with family without breaks for school or work isn’t as Rosy as it’s made out to be.

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  15. Thank you for posting this – I don’t feel quite as alone as I have been. This has been awfully daunting for the last few months with being elderly and stuck in a city alone – no family in the area and my husband tends to stay up all night and I am a “day” person in the highest order – so, I turn to WordPress and my friends on here to make myself know that there are people out there that do care.

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