Into the system…

blogging, work, mental health, therapy, disability, benefits and more…

Long overdue post…

with 16 comments

I thought it was time to explain where I’ve been, but I am not planning on staying long. Just a quick hello and goodbye for now. I feel bad it’s taken me so long, but I wasn’t sure what to say and kept putting it off.

I guess I have just been busy in the real world. That and the fact I had therapy. It seems that having a one hour session a week to contain any mentalism and to whine and moan, meant that I didn’t feel the need to come here. I have just 2 sessions of therapy left now, so by the end of August that may change. Maybe I will come back sometime, but I don’t know. My therapist was never keen on me blogging whilst I was seeing her and although I wanted to continue, in part to rebel against her disapproval, it just didn’t happen. I seemingly ran out of things to say.

I’m not sure how useful therapy has been. We have hardly looked very deep or at anything especially long-term. The therapy itself was neither very long term nor intense, but that didn’t surprise me. It might have been what I supposedly needed, but the NHS was unlikely to ever provide it. I will have had a total of 20 sessions, spread over 8 and a bit months. It would have ended a lot sooner had my sessions not been on a Monday, meaning plenty of missed weeks for bank holidays, my holidays, her holidays, sickness, her training etc. She’s away again next week. I can’t wait for the sessions to end and to get my Mondays back.

So aside from therapy I’ve been busy in the real world. My mood was really quite crappy in Feb and it got to the point where I gave in and started Mirtazapine on top of my other meds in the hope it would lift my mood and help me sleep. I wasn’t keen on the idea, but it seemed to help with the mood at least. It knocked me out for all of 2 days before the insomnia returned. Coupled with the arrival of spring, my mood recovered sufficiently that I stayed in work throughout the mini-episode, albeit on just a few hours a week.

Since then my mood has continued to improve and I’m now relatively “well”. My hours at work have been increased steadily and I’m now working part time, roughly 22hrs a week on some vaguely proper work rather than mundane tasks. I’m still internally based, but the work I’ve been doing has been pretty interesting and I’ve even had colleagues to work with, although we were at different ends of the country most of the time. I did get to spend a couple of weeks in London with them though delivering some training, which was awesome and I’m down again for a few days this week. I’m back to more mundane stuff again over the next few weeks though, but generally my employer have been good at finding me things to do and helping me to get back. I genuinely love my employer and my current HR team. They have been pretty instrumental in keeping my mood afloat and life feels hopeful. Dr N (GP incase you’ve forgotten in the last 6 months) said to me the other week he’s amazed at how well things are going and I’m inclined to agree.

The only remaining issue really is my sleep. It is still poor at best. When I have been working away it has been worse than poor. There have been nights where the whole experience has been painful and fear-inducing and I just wish night never happened and that my body didn’t need sleep at all. I take forever to get to sleep, when I do get to sleep I am drifting in and out of consciousness and dream worlds. I have frequent nightmares and strange dreams. Sometimes I am unsure where reality meets my dreams and everything becomes very strange and scary. I wake up and fall asleep dreaming and wake up and fall asleep and dream and wake up etc on a roughly 10 minute cycle for a few hours and then I can’t get back to sleep again and then often it’s time to get up. Or I am just awake for hours and it is only 6am or something when I fall asleep and then I should be getting up and can’t drag myself out of bed. There seems to be little to no sign of improvement, even after reducing the reboxetine in June. I explained how desperate it was making me to Dr N and he gave me an emergency supply of Temazepam in the hope that if I had a back up plan it might help reduce my anxiety about sleep. I’ve taken it on one occasion and it didn’t seem to help, but I’m too scared to take it on a night when I need to be awake the next day incase for some strange reason it decides it might work for once and I can’t get up! Benzos have never been much help though, but at least they don’t seem to make the whole dream/hallucination thing worse like the Z drugs do. Sleepers just don’t work. No chance of me ever getting addicted.

I’m still sleeping badly and basically just putting off the time when I should try and go to sleep this evening by writing here. I’m in a hotel again, which makes it worse. At home I’m made to go to bed at the time when my bloke dictates he wants to go to bed and I am forced to stay there so I don’t want to wake him or the dog up too much.. If I wake up from a nightmare or anything he helps to bring me back to reality quicker and his presence calms me down. Usually his snores are a reminder that everything is fine and normal and the wardrobe isn’t full of strange men trying to chase me (or whatever else decides to infiltrate my dreams and reality that night). Here in a strange hotel room the boundaries between reality and nightmareworld are a lot more blurred because there is no one to calm me down and I can never quite remember where I am. Monday night was bad. Just wide awake all night. No sign of sleep and increasing frustration at the lack of sign of sleep, which never helps. Yesterday was better, but still not great. I had a lot of dream stuff going on and the every 10 minute waking thing, but at least I got some sleep. I’m meant to be trying to keep a sleep and dream diary for the next fortnight for the therapist, but the problem is I often wake up panicked and even screaming, having no idea what it was that was making me scared. I rarely remember much content. I’ve been trying to keep the notebook by the bed and jotting things down, but that wakes me up even more and just prolongs the wakeful periods between the dreamfilled ones. The problem is though none of that sleep is quality. It isn’t restful and doesn’t recharge the batteries. Eventually I have to get the sleep somehow. During the first weekend of the last 2 week stint in London (a month ago) I just crashed and slept a lot (at least by my standards! I was in bed a lot). The second week was not so bad. The first week at home was better and last week less so. This week has been worse again. I could do with crashing and catching up again, but that is unlikely to be an option any time soon with a wedding to attend on the weekend.

If I could just get the sleep issue fixed I really could be convinced that life is getting back to normal and all will be well and good. Life is getting there. This may be “recovery”, but this is definitely holding me back. It still makes the prospect of full-time work scary and possibly impossible. My shortened days at the moment make the sleep issue less of a problem – I start work late and that seems to help.

Anyway, I should stop writing. I was only meant to be here to say bye and sorry for not saying it sooner. I seem to have written a massive post. Maybe I haven’t lost the ability to blog after all. I don’t think that means I’ll be back though.

I haven’t read many blogs of late either. I am very much out of the loop in terms of the madosphere and haven’t even read any TWIM since it moved. In fact I went weeks without looking at a single blog post, but I’ve read the odd one since, just to check you’re all still there. There are a few of you I miss a lot. Some I am in touch with in the real world. Some whom I’m not. If I’ve stopped reading, it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you. I do appreciate everyone who has been reading and around for me when I needed it and everyone that ever commented here. I feel a bit guilty for not being around for you, now that I don’t need it so much. Sorry.

I shall sign off. I may be back one day. I may be back another day. I may never be back. I don’t know.

Take care xx

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 3rd August 2011 at 10:46 pm

16 Responses

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  1. *waves*

    What is it with the NHS and Mondays!? (My group therapy is on a Monday, too, and it means lots of interruptions, despite how much stress our therapist puts on the importance of continuity. For me it’s a real pain as I’m dependent on public transport to get there so even if the group is on it doesn’t mean the buses are.)

    I’m *really* pleased work is going well for you =) I’ve thought about you and wondered how you’re’s good to know that you’re doing (relatively) well. I hope things continue to go well for you and your sleep eventually settles down.

    In the nicest possible way, not the Christmas card kind, best wishes xx


    Wednesday, 3rd August 2011 at 11:13 pm

    • I kinda chose Monday because it meant it didn’t interuppt my working week. I was initially meant to be having it on Thursdays at 9am, but a) 9am seemed too early and b) another client wanted to swap to a 9am appointment so I agreed.

      Scotland’s bank holidays are confusing too what with the local variations, so I bet that makes it even worse.

      Hope things are going okay for you :)


      Friday, 5th August 2011 at 10:38 am

  2. So nice to hear from you and such a nice, newsy post too.

    I’m curious that your therapist didn’t want you to blog- my entire team read my blog though I could argue that this serves several purposes for me and possibly doesn’t aid my treatment in quite the way they all think. You’ve given me something to think about there.

    Sleep- ugh, I can’t even talk about it, my sleep is an absolute mess. I am terrified of going to sleep but I am shattered. My days can start any time after 3am- even when I delay “sleep” until after 2am. I have a new psych, he’s very good and he’s going to have a think about what he can do.

    I’m impressed by how much you’re working and pleased that you are doing so well. The madosphere misses you, I miss you but this community thrives on being opt-in, not opt-out and when you’re here I’m pleased to see you, when you’re away I hope you are dong well. As long as you know we’re always happy for you to come back if you need us.

    Thanks for taking the time to update, hope you find the sleep magic-wand soon.

    Much love


    Zoë Smith

    Thursday, 4th August 2011 at 5:48 am

    • Thanks. My team found out about my blog whilst I was in hospital and there were some reservations about it then. The psychologist was reluctant for me to keep blogging whilst in therapy because she was worried I wouldn’t bring any of my immediate thoughts and worries into the sessions and would instead use my blog for them. I think she was also worried about me critiquing the sessions. I get the impression she wanted our sessions to remain private between me and her and for me not to share the details with the outside world.

      Sleep sucks. Mine keeps saying she will think about a solution but comes up with none. I’ve tried so many sedatives, which fail to sedate and the only thing that has actually worked for me, haloperidol turns me into a zombie, defeating the whole point of taking anything.

      That said, I actually slept okay (I say okay, meaning I got about 4-5hrs instead of my current average of about 2-3hrs) on Wednesday and I slept pretty well last night (at home!), although the dream world was still a little distressing (I dreamt about my sister having breast cancer and I was witnessing the operation to remove a lump. Horrible!).

      Thinking of you xx


      Friday, 5th August 2011 at 10:58 am

  3. Glad you’re doing better. And you can always call me xx


    Thursday, 4th August 2011 at 7:58 am

    • hehe. ditto – although I don’t guarantee to answer as phones suck. ;) Texts/email/OC though definitely! :)


      Friday, 5th August 2011 at 11:01 am

  4. I’m so glad I’m friends with you in the real world now. :D


    Thursday, 4th August 2011 at 9:23 am

  5. Glad things are better, was wondering about you, I too am in that recovery but with still some negative symptoms such as sleep, like yourself. I do hope things continue to be positive for you and you get back to full time work soon if thats what you want. Look after yourself. x


    Thursday, 4th August 2011 at 1:43 pm

    • Thanks. Really glad to hear things are more positive for you. I was pretty worried about you a few months back and feared you’d never improve. Hope the recovery continues for you too. xx


      Friday, 5th August 2011 at 11:00 am

  6. […] Into The System has been busy: […]

  7. Like like like that things are good (except for sleep) xx


    Monday, 8th August 2011 at 3:18 pm

  8. Glad things are going well at work though sleep problems really suck. Benzos don’t really work for me either – but after decades of terrible sleep problems have discovered that happily Agomelatine does – no side effects. Worth discussing with your psych?


    Wednesday, 10th August 2011 at 5:34 pm

    • Glad you’ve found something! I’m pretty reluctant to try any more meds, because as at least my mood is pretty good at the moment and I’m scared of rocking the boat. They never work the same for any two people anyway, but it may be worth a try if these lot stopped helping my mood.

      Take care xx


      Thursday, 18th August 2011 at 8:39 pm


    Wednesday, 1st August 2012 at 7:38 pm

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