Living in a Void

Living in a Void

What should you do when you feel like you have nowhere to turn? And the reason you have nowhere to turn is that you have pushed everyone away, or shut out anyone that has tried to care.

I don’t even know what is wrong or why I feel down, just something doesn’t feel right, so if I could talk to someone, I have nothing to say because I can put into words how I am feeling.

I feel empty, I feel void of emotions, I feel my head won’t stop chattering to itself, I feel like my stomach is in knots, and all of this seems so trivial when others are dealing with so much more. Others have real problems, real illnesses to deal with, I have nothing except my own self pity.

Which in turn makes me think what’s the point? Why be here, alive, what is the point in life? Yes I have children, a husband, a nice house, a car, a garden, so I have much of what others want, and think would make their lives happy, but it doesn’t. I won’t do anything drastic, I could only do that if someone had a magic wand and could make everyone forget about me. But, at the same time that makes me feel trapped.

I’m not happy, but I don’t know what would make me happy. I’m a coward as I won’t do anything to get away, I’ll plod along with my uneventful life, and I will put on my mask to say ‘I’m fine!’.

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Almost a step too far.

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.

 

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?

Depression?

Depression?

What is wrong with me? Why am I so lazy and useless? I don’t and can’t believe that this is all an ‘illness’. I have stuff to do around the house and for my business, but I can’t get motivated to do any of it. I need to find myself a focus a goal, but I can’t seem to get my brain to dare to plan. It seems ok to plan for others and events, but not for what my future might hold. My youngest (TJ) starts school next September (see I can think ahead), but I have no idea what I will do with my time. I am pretty sure NJ (Hubby) will want me to be making some money to help fund our life, but I’m not sure if I will be making enough with my business, but I’m also at a loss to what I could do. I would want something to fit around the children, which narrows it down some what!

My head feels a mess at the moment, no real focus, no real aim in life. I can do the basics, I get up, showered, eat, sort lunches, get the kids to school, get washing done (eventually) ironing (again eventually), feed the kids, get them to bed. But the stuff in-between doesn’t seem to be making any progress. I really good friend spent time on Friday (time she was short of) helping me to do a time table for my week, to help give my some structure and manage to get rest, do jobs and play with the youngest (when she’s around), but so far I have failed to even look at the timetable, let alone try and achieve any of it.

I’ve no idea if this is all to do with the change of meds, which I doubt it is all to do with it, and is the medication I am on making me any better anyway? Would I be better off without taking anything? At least then I would know for sure if I was ‘ill’, sent ‘weird’ with the medication or actually there is nothing wrong with me and I can go back to the life I once knew. (And for the record, I have no idea what that life was).

I am eating better now, and have been for a few weeks, but it has not changed my mood or my motivation, and I don’t feel any healthier. I am going to continue with eating better as the only good thing from it is I am losing weight. So I am trying, but maybe I am not trying hard enough, maybe all this is in my head (well actually yes it is, apparently my brain), but maybe there is no chemical imbalance, maybe it’s just who I am, and I pretended to be someone else for so long, that now I have been on the other side subconsciously I don’t want to go back?

My CPN asked me last week what I would say to a new health professional about how I felt, I was a bit stumped, where to start? It would be no good going back to the beginning, because although TJ’s birth was the catalyst for how things have been, I don’t think it’s about that anymore. I do know that I feel unmotivated, tired, unable to cope with stress (even small amounts), I feel unable to deal with the children, which in turn makes me feel useless and a failure. When I read that back it doesn’t seem worthy of being on medication and having regular visits with a CPN, but I know that there is more to how I feel. I just don’t seem to be able to find the right words, to explain this empty feeling inside, the loneliness when you are surrounded by people, the need to have people around, but at the same time wanting to be alone. The need to self harm to feel something, the feeling of wanting to run away, but not being able to because of the people around you. Okay, so maybe I did find the words for some of it?

I thought writing things down might of helped, but it hasn’t. My head still feels foggy, full of cotton wool, also feels empty, but full of thoughts all the time (see I’m really not normal), I hope others that struggle with depression (if that’s what I am suffering from), can maybe empathise with how I am feeling and struggling.

What’s worked for you with finding the motivation to do things, and to help with your recovery?

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?