3 Years On

3 Years On

I have just had a message from Word Press to tell me my blog is 3 years old! Doesn’t time fly! Unfortunately even though I have had some highs along the way at the moment I don’t feel like I have moved on at all since I started my blog.

I know in reality I have moved on, the issues that I struggled with back then are not all the same as they are now.

This is all my first post said

“I have decided to write a blog to put down what has happened and what is happening to me with regards to my mental health.

Over time I intend to write about the birth that tipped me over the edge and the events that happened before all of that which I believe contributed to my mental health problems that I am now experiencing.”

When I first started writing it did seem to help, I began to become a small part of the blogging community, unfortunately as I was very intermittent in my blogging I never really became really involved and blogs that I enjoyed reading soon slipped by and I’m not sure how much my blog was or is read.

I’m not about to make any grand resolution to write once a week, or everyday, but I think I do need to blog more often. I enjoy blogging and writing, it helps to sometimes get things out that are in my head, and I hope that maybe someone who reads it may feel like they are not alone.

When I started this blog I don’t think I would have ever dreamed that in 3 years time I would still be feeling the same and still be struggling with depression and anxiety. Maybe I can try and make the next 3 years different? Maybe I can finally get a grip on this illness and find the right medication and support to get me to a much better place and then maybe I can be of some help to others that are just starting on that horrible journey of depression, anxiety and any other mental illness.

Hmmmm

Hmmmm

I want to write, I need to write, I have so many thoughts and questions going round my head that I need to get out!

I feel really out of sorts, but can’t put my finger on why? I saw my CPN yesterday and we talked about how I was feeling and from things I said she said that isn’t depression it’s your emotions that you are struggling with. Which I’m now thinking about all the time. I was confused enough before I saw her, now I’m even more confused. Do some people have long term depression and learn to live with it? Am I just wasting resources and should be managing on my own? I just don’t know what to think any more.

I have realised that I need to make more time for me, take time out for things that I want to do rather than doing things that need to be done, or things that the kids want to do. I’m not sure what those things are, but I need to start thinking what they are and find the time to do them.

I also need to plan my business better, I need to make it work because I know it will make me happy, I need to succeed in something in my life.

But knowing all these things doesn’t seem to make my mind any clearer, I guess I just have to keep plodding on and hope that one day things will seem clearer.

It’s Been Awhile!!

It’s Been Awhile!!

Ok, its been 2 months since I last blogged and since then my emotions, depression and anxiety have been all over the place!

After trying to come off Venlavaxine I only last a couple of days before I gave up, the withdrawal symptoms were horrendous – and no one had any wise ideas of how to improve it, or make it easier. So I went back to 150mg. I see my psychiatrist at the end of Feb, so I will ask him then what he suggests.

Leading up to Christmas I started to get into a really positive mood, everything felt great and I was feeling good about the future and me, I felt strong enough to battle the gremlins in my mind, they were still there but I could push them away. I wasn’t feeling as negative, I wasn’t feeling so down on myself. During this time I saw the 3 health professionals who have seen me the most; CPN, GP and Psychologist and all 3 said I was looking and sounding really good. My CPN said it was the best she had ever seen me. All of this made me feel even better, I felt I had finally started to turn a corner, I knew there would still be a way to go, but I also knew that I was finally getting stronger and coming out of the darkness.

Unfortunately that didn’t last, I’m not sure if it was just before or just after Christmas, but I felt my mood drop. There is nothing specific that I can pin point to say there was a trigger, my mood just seemed to slightly drop. From then on my mood was low, grouchy with the kids and fairly useless around the house.

I saw my CPN last week and  it transpired that I was missing my closest friend and also jealous as she had got a part time job from the New Year and she had also got a puppy after the summer holidays. I ended up in tears, but it did make me feel slightly better to have off loaded some feelings, even though I hadn’t realised they were effecting me so much.

Then last Friday I had a day out at a conference (of sorts) for my business, it was a really good inspiring day and I came away with lots of positive ideas and thoughts. Monday saw me planning what I would get done during the day, having coffee with friends (whilst the kids played) and then a productive afternoon. Tuesday was a very productive day, I had a meeting with my mentor and then I spent the afternoon on my business and also got the news that I might have someone who wants sponsoring. I felt great, I was really inspired, I was motivated and felt really good.

As always it didn’t last, Wednesday saw my mood drop – just because a friend wasn’t able to meet for coffee and another was already busy. I felt unwanted, un-friended (not sure that is a word??), and generally down on myself. The urges to self harm were strong – but I didn’t act on anything. Then again today my mood feels flat and down, I feel empty.

I have so much to live for; I have 3 great kids, I know they can be pains and I want to shake the eldest to get her stirred up about something, but she can still be very kind and loving and I know she is great when she is with her friends and at school. I have a good business, that I believe could be great and give us the income we would like – I just need to work harder at it! I have a husband who really loves me – something that I don’t deserve, but he’s stuck by me over the last few years and I should really be more grateful and realise that he does actually like me!

So why, if I know these things, do I feel so down? Why do I sometimes feel I just don’t want to be here? Why do I want to constantly harm myself with something sharp? I know no one can really answer this questions, but for me it is mind blowing. I can go from being so high, to so low in a matter of hours and even though the rational side of me knows that things are good, the other side of me just says how rubbish everything and everything about me is.

So yes, its been awhile since I last blogged, but my mind has been all over the place and so many times I sat to blog and the words just didn’t flow. Hopefully I have broken that barrier for now and I will try and blog more frequently.

Triggers and Questions

Triggers and Questions

I have stupidly watched the 3 Bedlam episodes and an episode of 999 What’s your Emergency, which was about MH, yesterday and today. It really wasn’t a good idea as it seems to have triggered some anxiety and mild thoughts of sh. Its the first time that I’ve really noticed something making me feel bad, but what is worse is I realised this morning what it was doing, yet I felt compelled to carry on watching it!

I am also triggered by any stressful situations, my kids shouting and not listening to me, my husband getting cross with the kids, my husband being disappointed with me, there are probably more, but mostly it’s triggered by my inability to parent the children and it makes me feel so useless.

After watching the programmes I found myself needing to talk, but who to and what I about I had / have no idea. So I’m hoping that blogging my bring some comfort to my brain!

I seem to have so many questions and thoughts running through my head, that I don’t know what is relevant, what does anyone want to read, why would anyone be interested in me, what will help me, why doing I keep thinking about me all the time?

The last time I saw my psychologist and we came to the conclusion that maybe even after 3 years I have still not totally accepted that I am ill. I am happy to accept that depression happens and other  mh illnesses, and it is no ones fault, no one brought it on themselves, but I can’t accept that for me. I feel that I am to blame, that I just need to pull myself together, get over myself and then everything will be ok. He said that in order to get better I need to be able to accept that I am ill, through no fault of my own, but that is where I struggle, I feel it is my fault I am where I am.

The trigger for my mh demise was having a 3rd child, I struggled through the pregnancy, and then had a traumatic birth – this triggered the depression and over 3 years later I am still struggling. I didn’t have to have a 3rd child, we had 2 healthy children, but it was my desire and NJ was happy to go along with it. I wouldn’t be without TJ now, but what would life have been like if I hadn’t got pregnant? Would I still have sometime through my life ended up in a crisis situation?

I don’t believe that my anti depressants are really helping me anymore and I want to come off them, I need to see what I am like without them – will life go back to ‘normal’ then? My GP, CPN and NJ all know that I want to stop, I’ve just got to convinced the psychiatrist tomorrow that it is a good idea. I know that the antidepressant I’m on (Venlavaxine) is terrible to come off, but that shouldn’t be a reason to stay on it. I know that I may struggle, but hopefully I will have the support network to help should that happen. I also know that I could be fine, and life will start to seem better again. I need to know what is me and what is the medication.

I also need to know why I think like I do, I get paranoid if a friend doesn’t want to meet up, I get paranoid if NJ seems cross, it must be my fault, I’m not a nice person, they are fed up with me etc etc.

I’ve had a bit of an emotional run in with my family over Christmas, it is kind of sorted, but no one has actually acknowledged that I have been upset over it all – no one has said sorry that I was upset. Which makes me think that I’ve always had my emotions and feelings pushed aside by my mum and sisters. When I think about it, I still get upset by the whole thing.

I am trying really hard with the kids to make sure they never feel like they are not listened to when they are upset, that they know their feelings are justified, and to talk to us so we can help. I am also always telling them that I love them. I don’t think my mum or dad has ever said they love me.

So now I have thoughts of not being good enough, I’ve always been the average kid, nothing interesting or spectacular, I’m never missed if I’m not around and contact from people is few and far between. I know there is nothing wrong with being average, but I guess I have always wanted to be outstanding in something, which means I have generally failed at everything I’ve done. I am not got the right personality or mentality to be outstanding at anything. Maybe this is why I always feel I am failing at being a parent and a wife? I will probably never be as good as I want to be, but I don’t know what that person is either.

Anyway, I’ve still got questions and thoughts floating round my head, but maybe they can wait for another day to be outed?

What am I?

What am I?

Earlier in the week I blogged about not knowing who I was, I still don’t know who I am, but I do know what I am.

I have realised that I am selfish, all I think about is how I feel, how what the kids do or say makes me feel,  how what my husband might say or do might make me feel. I have forgotten to listen to everyone else and see how they feel, how what I am saying or doing is effecting my family and friends.

When I see my CPN and Psychologist I seem to say the same things over and over again, I can’t cope with the way my children are behaving, I don’t know how to control them, I have nothing to aim for, I have no goals in life, I don’t know what makes me happy. It’s all about ‘me. me, me’!! I need to change, and I need to do that now.

Maybe if I stopped thinking about me, then I would get better, or at least spend less time thinking about my thoughts and feelings and therefore I wouldn’t have the time to dip into a big hole! I would get more done around the house, I would get more done with the business and I would have more time to spend with the kids and my husband.

I need to start now, but not sure how I will achieve it, I’m not sure if I’m able to do it anymore. Before I was ill I always thought about others, how my actions affected others, but I also got on with life, the housework and spending time with the kids.

Was I happy? I don’t know, my husband might have an answer to that, I can’t remember. I do know that I wasn’t happy in my job at work, and I struggled with not having friends, but was I happy at home, and with the kids, I’ve no idea. It’s hard to remember a time before I was ill, and maybe that’s the problem, I can’t remember what it’s like to not be ill and what it’s like to not know about depression and anxiety, I also can’t remember what it’s like to not have health professionals just at the end of the phone or only a week away from an appointment.

I read and talk to others who have got mental health problems, and I wonder why I have been supported so well over the last 3 years, when there are so many others that are not getting the same support but seem to be in a much worse place than me. Why is it seemed that I need this support – do they see something that I don’t? Or is it  just that the selfish person I am is clinging to something that I no longer need?

I don’t have any answers, except I know that I have become selfish and self absorbed and I need to change. If anyone has any good suggestions on how not to be self absorbed please let me know!

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day,

3.5 years ago, I would have thought nothing of today, it didn’t apply to me and it didn’t affect me. I was sympathetic to those that had a mental illness, but I don’t think I put depression and anxiety in with the title ‘mental health illness’ anyway. Now though I know more, much more, more than I really want to know, through my own experience, from reading blogs, talking to other people and from on-line conversations. I know now how debilitating having a mental illness can be, I also know that there are many many people who can function and get on with their lives even though they live with a mental illness.

I am still struggling with my own mental illness, but find talking to other suffers helps lessen the pain that I sometimes feel, I have found solace in places like Elefriends, an on-line community for mental health sufferers (and their carers). It is a safe haven to talk openly about how you feel, to get support when you need it and to also give support when you feel able.

I have also often used the Mind website to get information about how I am / was feeling to help understand what was going on in my head, and to help me realise I wasn’t unique in how I felt. I’ve liked them on Facebook too, so I get notifications of things happening and any blogs that have been posted.

I have also made a pledge with Time to Change, I can’t remember what I pledged, but I did and I sent it onto my family and friends, they are a brilliant organisation trying to change people’s attitudes to mental health. I have also liked them on Facebook, so I get to know when blogs have been written and when things are happening.

I hope that by having a World Mental Health day, more people will find out about the various mental health illnesses there are, and think twice before condemning the person down the road that ‘isn’t quite right’, and find out what is wrong and support them in anyway they can. I know that since I have suffered with depression and anxiety I have become more aware of people’s feelings and struggles and taken a couple of minutes to think before I judged someone, where before I might have been too judgemental.

What does World Mental Health day mean to you?

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I think I may have forgotten who I am, I feel ok at the moment, well I don’t feel down although I have had a difficult few days and had thoughts of sh, but generally I am doing ok.

BUT who am I? What do I like, what makes me happy? I feel like I have forgotten how to act, how to have normal conversations. I feel like I have been away for a long long time and everything has changed, and I don’t know how to fit in.

I’m hoping to go to a singing group tomorrow which my therapist reckons will help me find something to enjoy and therefore my thoughts of sh and having no direction will go, I have my doubts especially about the thoughts of sh.

I have my own business, selling cards, but at the moment that’s not giving me much feeling of usefulness, or belonging, or even enjoyment. I no longer seem to know what my path is, I know that some of it is that I am in a new chapter of my life, (no more babies in our family), but it doesn’t explain it all.

There was more to this post, but from writing it on my iPhone and trying to add tags on the desktop I seem to have lost the end of it. As I wrote this last night I can’t remember what I wrote, actually last night I couldn’t remember what I wrote, so there was no hope today. So I will leave it as it is, except to ask the question; how do I go about finding myself?