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.

Changing

Changing

Today I took a reduced amount of my Venlavaxine, I have gone from 150mg slow release to 75mg slow release and 37.5 normal. Unfortunately I have felt the effects of the reduced amount, something that I don’t remember when I went from 225mg to 150mg (having the same 37.5mg to help). I don’t feel horrendous, but I do feel woozy, tired and a bit icky.

I know that Venlavaxine is notoriously hard to come off, but for me that wasn’t a reason to stay on it. I hope within a couple of days I will begin to feel better.

Since stopping Quetiapine and the short spell on Pregabalin, I can happily say I no longer feel sedated nor do I have a fog all around me. It is quite strange what being sedated can do to you, and how coming off a medication that is not necessarily helping you can make you feel. I feel stronger and more determined, I know what I want now and I am capable of asking for it.

I have started to do more around the house, as sitting around makes me feel uncomfortable, and it feels wrong. This is in a change to me feeling guilty that I wasn’t keeping the house tidy. I am by no means there yet, the house is still a mess and today I have done very little (although have been out most of the day), but I feel that my mind is going in the right direction.

My psychologist asked if I felt that this was the right time to reduce, did I feel that I was getting better? My answer was I don’t know, but I just need to come off the medication so I know for sure if it is helping me or not. I hope it isn’t and I will start to build my life back up without being medicated.

I have no problems with taking any medication if it is actually doing me / my mind some good, but I refuse to take something this is not doing me any good or enhancing my life. If I discover in a few weeks that I am not able to cope on a lower dose then I will speak to the professionals and accept that my life for now will be ruled by medication.

I do believe though that I am changing, and I just hope that I can keep going on the same path that I am currently on.

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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!

3 Years

3 Years

It’s almost 3 years since I started taking antidepressants, 3 years since I admitted that all was not okay with me, 3 years since mine and the rest of the family’s life was changed forever.

I would like to say that the changes have been for the better and that I am now a stronger better person, but I can’t, not yet. I am still on that journey to find ‘me’ again, to know that who I am is good enough, and that I am worthy of being loved.

I have talked and talked over the last 3 years to health professionals and my friends, and I guess it has made me take a look at myself, to try and see what is wrong with me.

My sisters are both doing okay, one suffered with depression many years ago, but is now okay and seems to be handling life really well. My other sister has never suffered depression, but has been sympathetic and kind of supportive. So this leaves me questioning my original thoughts that it is all about my upbringing and the lack of emotional support whilst growing up. I have come to realise that it is me, and how I was programmed before birth, I am just not very positive about myself, I have no confidence in my own abilities and constantly question my role in life.

I saw my psychologist today and we are going to work towards helping me understand why I am like I am, and also learn how to deal with the kids and accept that as long as I show them love and affection, telling them off will not make them hate me, or feel unloved like I have.

3 Years ago I thought by October everything would be okay, that things would be back to normal, how wrong could I be? The health professionals all said there was no time limit on getting better and that it would be a journey, but that I would get better. I know things are much better than they were, but I still feel like I am treading water most  of the time, and almost waiting for the next major dip.

So the journey continues, if anyone has any good tips on making the journey easier please let me know.

Normal?

Normal?

I’m starting to struggle again and I don’t feel like I have anyone to turn to. I’m fed up of feeling like this, I know I have got friends, but what they see doesn’t seem to go with how I feel on the inside. Also, I am fed up of being the one who is still not right, the one that is still saying I don’t feel great, that I’m having negative thoughts, that sometimes I wish I didn’t have to deal with life.

I know I’m being selfish and everyone has their problems and it can’t always be about me, and I don’t expect it to be about me, in fact I don’t want it to be about me. I want to be ‘normal’ to not be constantly thinking about how I feel, is this a little or big dip, is it just a blip? I wish I could go back out the door I walked into 3 years ago and forget everything I have learnt. It almost feels like a curse knowing so much about depression and anxiety, constantly being careful about other peoples feelings and emotions. I was always the person that thought of others before myself, but now I think more about how they might be feeling, that something might have happened, that they may have their own emotional issues.

I would like to erase my knowledge of CPN’s, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and any other health professional that I have had dealings with. Maybe if I could do that I could start to lead a normal life again? I’m quite sane and know that the above is not possible, but we all need our dreams. I would love to be transported back to before I started feeling like this, how did I feel, how did I feel about the children? How did I feel about NJ? What were my thoughts on life? I have so many questions that no one can answer, and I don’t think I will ever be able to answer them either.

In 2 days it is the school holidays, so it will be 3 years since I realised that all was not right with me, although it took till the end of the holidays to take the step to get some help, but maybe that was the wrong choice, maybe I should have battled on like I always did? Maybe then I would now be leading a ‘normal’ life (not sure what that is though!).

For now though I guess I have got to just get on with the life I have, and try and stop feeling sorry for myself and enjoy the sunshine and having the kids at home!

Mindset

Mindset

At my appointment with my psychologist yesterday he talked about changing my mindset, I need to change from having a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. So instead of thinking ‘how much have I achieved in my career, family life, etc’ it’s thinking ‘where am I heading as I grow towards my potential? and what lessons am I learning?’.

We also talked about trying to change how I talk and think, I need to stop saying ‘I should’ and have more ‘I want’. The theory is that the more I do things that spark my passion, such as my business, the more energy I will have and more ability to deal with the children.

It all sounds sensible and my CPN agreed with what has been said, she is also encouraging me to get into exercise to help with my energy levels.

However in the cold light of day when I haven’t got my CPN or psychologist sat there talking to me it is not as easy to do, I know the things I would like to do, but it is so much easier to just sit and play candy crush, or watch the TV, or go on Elefriends, or write a blog! I know that doing things that I like and have the potential to be doing something for me are good and will hopefully lessen my thoughts of sh, but it’s such hard work, to change the way I have been thinking for the last 3 years, to think about me and stop worrying about the house or the family, or even what other people might think of me.

One thing I would love to know is how was I before all this happened? What was my mood like, how did I talk, was I as negative then as I am now? It would be great to talk to a health professional who knew me well before all this happened, but that is not possible.

My other issue I have is that I don’t seem to be being a particularly good friend at the moment, I seem to have forgotten how to listen to other people and give advice and support, I read on Elefriends and I seem unable to give any words of advice, I seem so caught up in my own self pity, as if I am the only person who is suffering, that I have forgotten how to be supportive to others.

So I need to change my mindset, I need to become more aware of my own desires and dreams for the future, but I also think I need to be more aware of the people around me (including my children and husband) and their issues and their lives.