"Finding a new normal?"

Receiving a diagnosis of a mental illness can be shocking, and can turn your life upside down. When this happens, it can become a case of finding a new normal. Don't get me wrong, that's not an easy feat by any means, but it will make life an awful lot easier.

For me, finding a new normal involved learning my boundaries. If I work too hard at something, I can hit burnout very quickly. When I hit burnout, it makes it very easy for physical illness to take a hold, as well as providing depression and anxiety with the perfect opportunity to creep in. I'm naturally a hard worker, so it was difficult to accept that I had to slow down.

I also used to be able to stay up most of the night and still have energy the following day. When mental illness became an issue for me, that changed. Even now, I can sleep for 11 hours straight and still be tired the following day. So I've to make sure I sleep properly, or exhaustion will just take over, again making me more susceptible to illness and a flare up of anxiety and depression.

One of the things affected by my depression was my appetite. I regularly forget to eat because I don't feel hungry. Just a few months ago, I felt myself going downhill rapidly in terms of my mental health. I later realised I hadn't eaten in 3 days, and had only slept 15 minutes in 48 hours. So I have to make an actual effort to eat.

How about you, did you have to find a new normal?