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Focus

Well, many months have passed since I last blogged, and several times I have started to write, but I got bored, or it sounded stupid, or I just couldn’t focus for long enough. I’ve also changed the theme several times, hoping that by doing so I would be motivated to write.

Coming up to Christmas and just after I was starting to feel a little more positive, that was until NJ decided that he was going to get ill, and he didn’t want to just spend time in bed, he also wanted to spend time in ICU. So as you can imagine, whilst I mostly kept it together whilst he was in hospital, not long after he came out I was really struggling again.

So the first half of the year has been a bit of a struggle, but we have managed holidays away, and I’ve even enjoyed myself some of the time!

Now we are into June, and a milestone birthday (40) for me tomorrow, and for some reason I am feeling quite down, but I don’t think it has to do with my birthday, as I’ve been struggling for a few weeks. I am carrying on with life, doing what is needed, I’m even carrying in with my direct selling business. But I feel like I have lost all focus for life. I’m not sure where I am going, what I want to do with my life and how I am meant to find that meaning.

I know I have 3 great kids (well most of the time) and a very loving husband, but as my youngest has just turned 5 and coming to the end of her first year in full time education, I find I still have no direction in my life, when I’m feeling good and positive I feel alive and think about working with pre-school children, but right now that just seems too hard to even start looking at!

I seem to have no focus on the future, nothing to make me go ‘yes’ that’s what I want to do, that’s what I would like to be able to do, that’s what I would like to do with my life. And then those thoughts lead to further negative thinking and the gremlins get in my mind, and I start to think ‘what’s the point?’.

My son is being particularly difficult at the moment, which isn’t helping, but I think he just needs help with dealing with his emotions, it’s almost like the emotions overtake him and he doesn’t know what to do.

So whilst I am in a better place than I was this time last year, I’m still struggling with life and all that brings with it.

Who’s ‘Me’?

It’s been 4 very long and very hard years since I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety, at the time I thought if I took the pills they offered within a couple of months I would be back to ‘normal’, how wrong I was!

I have had some good times, with my mood appearing to improve for short spaces of time, but it never seemed to last. It has possibly not been helped by my very strong desire to come off medication, convinced that it was making me worse. Unfortunately instead of things improving this year that have just gone from bad to worse, and after a stay in hospital, (in March this year) I just haven’t been able to secure my footing on life.

I’ve got lots of input from services, CPN, Psychiatrist, PALS (Fitness), Pathways (Group Sessions) and also the help of family and friends. But unfortunately nothing seems to be working, I can’t seem to motivate myself, I can’t seem to see anything positive in life, and even though I am doing things, I am just going through the motions.

Because of all this I have forgotten who I am, I’ve forgotten what I used to be like, I don’t know what has always been me and what is me from the illness. I know I will never be ‘the me’ I once was, but I don’t even recognise myself these days. I struggle to remember what is happening in friends and family’s life, and therefore I am not usually there for them when they need support. I struggle to plan anything, and lists just make me anxious. I used to like lists and being organised, but it just isn’t happening at the moment.

How can anyone actually like me, when I don’t like myself, when I don’t even know who I am. I know I used to be fairly confident, and had some self belief, but now all that has gone. I find it very hard to believe that anyone really needs me as a friend, but I think I have always thought that. I guess I have never felt good enough for anyone to want to be friends with me.

My life has become a very small place, with me doing very little, and I know that the more I do the better I should feel, and I am trying, but actually it is not always that easy, and even though I have been doing things in recent weeks, apart from a very small flicker of light, I haven’t seen any improvement.

How do I get ‘me’ back? How do I find things to enjoy, how do I wean myself off playing on the iPad & iPhone and stop watching films throughout the day? A lot of people say be kind to yourself, take time to get better, do things that make you happy, but I don’t do anything all day for anyone but me. And it’s getting easier and easier to do nothing, and the feelings of guilt are just floating away. I’m not sure if that’s good or not, personally I think it’s not a good thing.

Then everything comes back to the same place, the same thoughts, the same gremlins, eating away at my mind. The gremlins that set my mind on the negative path of self destruction, the thoughts of not wanting to be here start getting stronger. I know I won’t give into the gremlins, but it’s tiring having a constant fight in your own mind.

I am hoping that one day I will get better, I will be able to function better, and I will start to find ‘me’ again.

Dark, Dark, Pit

Today I feel like I’m in a very dark, dark, pit. Last week I was feeling just a bit more positive, I thought I could maybe see a light, only very faintly, but there definitely seemed to be something. Today though all that seems to have gone, actually it started on Friday, but today it seems worse.

I want to be able to just give up, I want to just wave the white flag and say I surrender, I can’t take anymore. But I can’t, I have to keep going, for the sake of the kids and nj. My gremlins say they would be better off without me, but my sensible brain tells me that’s not true.

Being back on quietapine is some of the issue I think. I am just so so tired, all the time. Then I can’t sleep at night, which then adds to my tiredness and I end up sleeping during the day. So take today for example, I took the kids to school, and when I got back I tried to watch a bit of TV, but I was dropping off, so I went to bed and didn’t get up until after 1. Then I had no desire to do any housework. Which then makes me feel crap!!

My psychiatrist has suggested ect therapy, or lithium, as we need to try something more aggressive. Neither of them seem particularly great options, but I may be running out of choices.

It is so hard when you want to run away from everything, but the main thing I want to run away from is my brain, and I don’t think that is physically possible!!

Healthy Living

It is well know that eating healthily and doing some sort of exercise is good for your mind, unfortunately when you are in the deep depths of depression eating healthily and having the motivation to exercise are sometimes just too hard.

Over the last 9 months I have found life incredibly hard, I’ve changed meds, I’ve had a stay on a psychiatric ward, I’ve had the Crisis team involved, and my weight and any enthusiasm for life has gone to pot.

I have been signed up to PALS (Practice Activity and Leisure Scheme), which gives me some support to get fitter, but also gives me access to cheaper gym and swimming sessions. I have just done week 5, and whilst I am not overly enthusiastic about going, I am continuing to swim mostly twice a week. There is a basic circuit session that I could go to, but I haven’t built up the confidence yet to go to something like that.

My eating has been awful, eating biscuit bar after biscuit bar, then eating chocolate spread on bread (many times), then sweets and chocolate. It is no wonder that my weight is going up and not down. I’ve tried to do the 5:2 way of eating, but when I keep binge eating on the normal days it’s really not been healthy. However yesterday I decided I was going to record what I ate, and so I ate sensibly and today (so far) I am doing the same. I’m hoping that my mind may be starting to realise I have to take control of what I eat.

I’m not saying I have turned any corner, or that I am getting better, but I do think there may be a slight tiny little flickering light in my brain that is starting to see some positives.

I am hoping by writing about my healthy eating and exercising I may stick to it better.

25th September 2014

Once again I haven’t written for awhile, so I thought it was time I put fingers to keyboard and get some words down on screen!

A new chapter has started in this house as our youngest (TJ) has started full time school. So you would think that I would be much happier, more relaxed and enjoying life again, unfortunately that isn’t the case.

I saw my psychiatrist last week and as I haven’t made any real improvement he has suggested that it is time to try Lithium or ECT, neither of which seem particularly pleasant. For now though he has put me on Quietapine XL at night, it’s making me drowsy, but as yet (it’s only been a week) I haven’t felt any improvement.

I have started swimming twice a week, and I seem to be finding it easier as time goes on, but as yet I’m not getting any real enjoyment out of it. I guess it takes time to effect my well being with exercise?

So today I have spent most of the day on the sofa, watching netflix and eating food, whilst also playing games on the iPad. This seems to have become the norm for me over the last few weeks, when I’m in the house alone I seem incapable of doing anything!! Today was no different to most, except I have just felt down, fed up, and wanting to cry for no particular reason.

I have spent most of the summer holidays wishing I wasn’t here anymore, but I am because of the children and NJ. It’s been draining and hard work to deal with the constant battle in my brain. It’s also hard work when I am so short with the kids, I seem to have no tolerance, and I snap at the kids, and then complain when the eldest does the same to me and her siblings.

I have had enough of feeling like this, of feeling like I am just treading water, getting nowhere with my life, never being happy with anything. I am trying, but it feels like such hard work, and I feel that I am constantly failing, failing at being a wife, mum, friend, and failing at living life. I don’t know what to do anymore, have I just got to live with how I feel, learn how to say that everything is fine, should I stop telling people how I am feeling? I feel lost and alone, and stuck in a pit with no way out.

It would be good to know peoples’s experience with Lithium or ECT, my diagnosis (I think) is depression and anxiety.

9th July 2014

It’s been a while since my last post and I have tried several times to post, but the words haven’t flown and my mind has just not been cooperative! It will be interesting to see if this post gets published!

So it’s been over 3 months since I last posted, and I wish I could say life has been so busy that I just haven’t had the time, but unfortunately I can’t, my life has just been consumed by depression. Since leaving hospital I have tried to move forward, but it just hasn’t happened, I’ve been given new antidepressants, and had the dose increase several times up to the maximum, but as yet I haven’t seen or felt any big improvement.

My motivation is at an all time low, and how I feel about myself is not far behind. I look around my house and see so many jobs that need doing, but I just don’t have the energy to do any of them. I know I need to start doing things, but I just don’t know where to start, when nothing gives you pleasure or a sense of a achievement then it is hard to be motivated.

I have tried to cut down on how much I play on my phone by deleting some of the games I’ve been playing, unfortunately a couple are still on the iPad so I’ve still been playing them today! I got books from the library, but I’ve not managed to start reading any of them yet. I have put an order through for Phoenix Cards, but even that hasn’t perked me up.

It is possible that I am (subconsciously) waiting for something big to happen, something that makes me go YES I have enjoyed that, but I think it is more likely to be a slow drip of things getting better. My CPN has referred me to something called Pathways, which is somewhere that does lots of different activities and is for those people who have struggled with depression and other mental illness to help them get back out and doing. I’ve no idea what it will be like, but I know I need to do something. I’ve also been referred to the local health and fitness support, which I start in September, so will see if some exercise might help me?

As well as the above 2 things to help get me out and doing I’ve also got a Family Support Worker who I met for the first time today, he is going to work with me and the kids to help me get back some control and hopefully make the house happier again. I think this is probably the major area that will help me in the long run. I struggle so much with how I am with the kids and how they are with me, that the more i struggle the worse it gets, they know how to get their own way and because of how I’ve been feeling it’s been easier to just give in and let them get on with whatever they want to do. So it will be interesting to see what is going to happen, and what I’m going to have to do.

I guess I should be pleased that I have managed to lose a bit of weight, I started doing the 5:2 diet again, and I think I have done about 3 weeks now. I’m hoping that I don’t ruin it all with the school holidays coming up. Unfortunately for me though I wanted everything to be instant, I want to fit back into my old clothes and I want to be able to eat what I want when I want.

So that is me at the moment, I have managed to write a post (finally!!), I know there is not much substance to it, but hopefully it will be easier.

Almost a step too far.

Trigger warning, some people may find this hard to read as it mentions suicide.

 

I’ve been struggling badly with my mental health for well over a month and last thursday (27th march), things just got too much for me, I struggled with the kids, not doing as I asked, but to be honest I don’t know what they were or were not doing, I just know I was struggling with them. I had decided to go out once NJ got home, but a slight remark by him re money and not doing something I asked him to straight away, something snapped. I got the kids to bed and then went out. Nj wasn’t pleased with me going out, he wanted to know where, I just said ‘out’ I need to just get out! I thought he wouldn’t give me the car keys, but he did (but not particularly willingly it has to be said).

So off I went, I made a stop at the coop for some water (it was going to be something stronger but my purse wasn’t in my bag!), and off I drove. I parked up not too far from home, and the weather was in touch with my dark mood, it was very windy, rainy and kept hailing! I couldn’t see the point in living, I couldn’t see how things would ever improve, it’s been nearly 4 years and I continue to cycle with my moods, having more bad than good days. I had been trying so hard to do things, keep trying to find the happy things, but I was getting pleasure from nothing. I was also making everyone around me miserable, I thought that their lives would be much happier and easier without me around.

I sat there with my bag of pills not sure whether to start taking them or to ring the intensive home based treatment team (IHBTT), something made me make the call, maybe I didn’t want to die, maybe I knew it was wrong, maybe I was scared it wouldn’t work and the repercussions? I really don’t know, but I made the call and spoke to a bloke for maybe 20 mins, he wasn’t overly helpful, but I guess it stopped my knee jerk reaction. I contacted a friend and went round for a coffee. I let nj know I was safe, I just couldn’t face going straight home.

I am lucky to have this friend she was there ready to listen and not judge, I think she struggled to know how to help, she wanted to DO something, for me she was doing plenty, just being there. I realised that I was going to have to speak to nj, it had gone too far not to tell him the truth.

I got home and we sat down, I assumed that he would have had done idea of what had been going on, blogs I had written, things I had said, but even though he was worried about me and wanted me to come gone safely, he still said he had no idea and was shocked when I told him what I had nearly done. I can’t say I’m surprised, it’s not something I would have wanted to hear from him, and that is why I had never mentioned it to him before. There was upset and tears, anger and frustration, followed by a difficult night of not much sleep for either of us.

I was out in the morning with TJ and some friends, Nic turned up as he couldn’t face work, he stayed for a short time, then as he was leaving we kind of talked / argued. There was not much I could say, I had reached out for help, I couldn’t undo or unsay what had happened. I let a couple if friends know things were really bad, but tried my best to relax for the rest if the morning.

When the team member from IHBTT came (Nic was with me) we discussed what we should do, hospital was mentioned, I wasn’t keen, but I also knew I probably wasn’t safe at home either, and I didn’t want nj babysitting me. (I think I would change this attitude if I had my time again!). It was after lots of deliberation that they would try and find me a bed.

It didn’t seem to take long (possibly a couple of hrs), but the realisation that this wax happening was beginning to sink in, it wasn’t a nice feeling. Then there was the organising if childcare, which nj dealt with, I was in no fit place to do talking or tell people what was happening.

So after saying goodbye to the kids, with fj being really upset, we set off to a hospital, it was all very surreal. Once there nj wasn’t allowed in the ward so we said our goodbyes and I was left alone in a very strange environment.

I know it was the safest place for me, but I still couldn’t get my head round how I had ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

I’m an informal patient, so in theory I should be able to come and go as I please, but because I pose a risk to myself I have to be accompanied if I want to leave. It makes me feel like a prisoner, but that’s another blog post to write.

I hope if I ever get in a bad place again I can speak up quicker, tell nj what is happening and not put the family through the hell I am.