My book was published in the USA and Canada today.  Notice the lack of exclamation mark that accompanies great achievements or events in life.  That’s because I don’t feel happy about it.  I don’t feel anything about it.  I know I should feel happy about it.  Or excited, but I just don’t.

To mark the occasion I was scheduled to record an interview this evening for The Outspoken Cyclist Podcast (USA) but I explained I was having a low mood day and suggested we reschedule because I simply couldn’t make myself sound happy.  Or of course we could record the podcast and touch on the subject of mental health and how low mood doesn’t give a damn about the awesomeness of having a book published in USA and Canada!

The host Diane Jenks was super cool about it and said whatever I felt was best – so we rescheduled to Friday.  Then I began sobbing.  I try so hard.  I’ve always tried so hard.  That’s why I have achieved so much.  But my mental health always seems to hold me back from achieving what I know I am capable of when not feeling this way.  Sometimes it’s not even my mood – it’s just my brain doesn’t work.

As I sat in a midst of tears, an Olympian messaged me asking how I was and how the book was doing.  And it was a ‘blaaaah’ messenger moment as I wrote the words …

I’m so frustrated because I try so hard but my mental health seems to hold me back from achieving what I know I am capable of when I’m not feeling this way. ‘

And then those words in reply; ‘I know exactly what you’re talking about.’

Okay breathe Ishbel …. someone else feels the same.

I’ve always been a firm believer in that the only limits existing are the ones you place on yourself …. I’ve believed it so much I’ve said it out loud to audiences all over the country in my talks.  But right now … I’m not so sure … does that statement still apply when dealing with mental health?

I use mindfulness on a daily basis.  I have done for years … way before mindfulness was a buzz word on the internet.  I’ve been in therapy for over a year now.  Indeed … that’s what I did with my book advance – I blew the lot on therapy!  Best decision I ever made.

But.

Is it possible to achieve what I think I’m capable of or do I need to change what I think I am capable of?  For my own sanity.

So … I’m on a mission to find that out … and I’m going to blog about it the whole goddam way.  Who knows where the journey will take me but I’m going to face it head on – a live showdown between me and my mental health.

I’ll start by registering with a doctor and making an appointment!  (I’ll be changing names and locations to protect identities throughout blog).

Mental health has had a huge impact on my life since I was a child.  My main caregiver said there was something wrong with me.  I was assessed by psychiatrists and they were adamant there was nothing wrong with my ‘brain functioning’.  Which would have me think my problems were behavioural.  But then ‘professionals’ said there was nothing wrong with my behaviour.

But then as an adult I again tried to find out … is there something wrong with me?  But having suffered so much trauma before I was a fully developed adult means mines is a complex case and I have been diagnosed with bipolar, depression, PTSD and anxiety.  All with different medications.

With multiple diagnoses I still don’t know what is wrong so I haven’t gone down the route of medications and learned instead what is now called mindfulness and I use a holistic approach to nutrition and exercise.

I’ve known for some time now that I wanted to write an honest blog about my life and mental health and what better day to begin than the day my book is published across the pond and  my new mission begins … is there something wrong with me?  If there is what can I do about it?  If there isn’t what can I do about the difficulties I’m having?  Because I want to know …

Is it possible to achieve what I think I’m capable of or do I need to change what I think I am capable of?

Here goes …