Into the system…

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

Posts Tagged ‘colleagues

Bad to Worse…

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Last week was tough. I went from bad to worse and the end of the week included a visit to my consultant and a review with my key worker. Both events were guaranteed to increase my anxiety and make things worse.

I saw Dr G on Thursday lunchtime. I’d written some notes beforehand as I am fed up the anxiety that ruins every appointment. I arrive at her office and anxiety grabs me around the throat and renders me speechless. My chest is pummelled by fear and I find myself gasping for breath and flailing hopelessly. She speed-read my notes, punctuated with sharp intakes of breath every few sentences. I hate that waiting whilst she is reading my words, reading my mind. I glance around her consulting rooms looking for things to distract myself with. Reading the titles on her bookshelves. Staring out of the window. Avoiding her eyes.

When she’d finished, she turned to me. As always, she took medication first. She upped my Topiramate. 50mg in the morning and 25mg at night now. No surprises there. I had expected my Venlafaxine to finally get the increase she has been promising since November, but still she holds off.

She suggested that suicidal ideation for me has become an almost habitual response to my depression. She suggested that I use  it as a coping mechanism, like a pressure valve, that if things are getting too much I begin to think of ways to release it and suicidal thinking gives me that. I don’t know how I feel about her suggestion. To a certain degree she may be right, but I feel she almost trivialises it. I found myself almost wanting to prove to her that I was more serious than that. I know how screwed up that sounds, but I know I’m not exactly thinking straight at the moment anyway. I do wonder when the pressure will push the valve though. One day it might just give.

We talked about work. It seems Dr G thinks I should take a slow approach to returning. Just dip my toe in, by getting in touch with some work colleagues and finding out what’s going on from those on the ground. I guess we’ll see about that. I’m not sure who I’d see. My closest work friends have transferred office or been made voluntarily redundant. I don’t know.

Other than that I can’t remember much. Dr G seemed pretty keen for my one-to-ones to start. She seems to pinning all hopes of recovery on them and thinks they may fill the gaps in my treatment.

After groups on Thursday I saw my keyworker for my review. She had some beck inventories for me to fill in. Both anxiety and depression. I think the anxiety was okay, but my depression scores must have been through the roof. I had no idea what to put on my review form. It asked if you felt worse or better than you did 4 weeks ago. I feel so much worse I cannot describe it. I can’t even remember what it felt like 4 weeks ago. I just know it was better than this.

Friday was more of the same. Therapists seemed concerned about me. They kept asking me if there was anything that had triggered the relapse. If there was anything that had made my mood drop. I don’t know. I don’t really know why I am here again. I just know it isn’t fun. I am frustrated of course. I am always frustrated.

This weekend has been okay though. I have just tried to forget the bad week and try to be normal whilst my bloke is around. It’s not been too bad, although last night I thought my head was going to run away, my thoughts were racing so much. I kept wanting to bash my head against my pillow because it was just driving me so mad.  It often happens like that at night. My head feels like it is racing away and I cannot get a hold of it. I lose all concept of size and shape and it just feels so strange.

Tomorrow is another week. A week until I am 23. I cannot believe it is almost my birthday and I am not yet back at work. That is another reason that I feel I have failed. I expected to be back by now. The last thing I expected was to be in this place again. I hate it.

I have to try and see my GP tomorrow. More medication. All I ever do is collect prescriptions and pills. I’m fed up of it.

London Bound…

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I’m traveling down to London this weekend for a friend’s birthday. I’m sat in the first class lounge waiting for my train at the moment. I am glad I booked a first class ticket. It’s far more civilised than cattle class.

I’m a little apprehensive. I had to promise I would keep myself safe this weekend and although I said I would, I don’t know if I can 100% guarantee that. I hate that I can’t promise and know for sure, hand on heart, that I will be safe. There is no guarantee that I won’t flip out and do something impulsive, but I’m hoping I won’t. I know I am putting myself in a situation where the temptation could be there, but I know I need to face it. My nurse on the ward would talk about empowerment and how I have to face it. I know that I’ve been okay up to now since I left the ward and I just have to keep it up, but this is my first weekend away on my own, so I hope it goes okay.

I looked at my thoughts around this in my CBT group this morning and it was helpful. The therapists worked with me to come up with some ideas and plans to put in place to make myself safer. I just wish I didn’t have to do that. I resent it. I did find the session helpful this morning. I just wish there wasn’t this negative commentary in my head counteracting every rational and sensible thought I have and making me want to rebel against the safety measures. I’m going to try and help myself. I really am, but I have to fight to stop my mind from undermining me.

The weekend should be enjoyable. I hope my depression doesn’t make that impossible. I will be staying with good friends and we have fun things planned. I just hope I can feel the enjoyment and not be too negative.

There are a few pitfalls I have to avoid. Tomorrow, I will see a lot of my work colleagues that do not know that I am ill and have been on sick leave for six months. They will be asking questions of me. What client have I been working on? Why wasn’t I at the last conference? etc. and I will need to respond. I think most of them are fine and I will probably be honest with them, but it still might be a bit weird. I certainly don’t want to bring the atmosphere down and talk about my illness when we should all be partying, but then I will have to give my justification for being very careful on the drink front. Just one or two makes me drunk on these meds and I know it does nothing for my mood, so I need to be careful.

I hate this illness. I hate how it means every situation needs thinking about. The risks need to be considered. I have to think about how I am going to keep myself safe. I wonder if I will enjoy things, when usually there would be no question. I worry about the consequences of things. I have to think about what would be best. I resent having to keep myself safe. I hate the fact that I don’t 100% trust myself. I hate that my partner doesn’t trust me and worries about me. I hate that my friends feel they need to keep an eye on me. I don’t want to be a burden and someone that needs to be looked after. I don’t want to think about these things.

I should be back on Monday.

From next week my therapy days change. I will be going Tuesdays and Fridays as opposed to Monday, Wednesday, Friday. There is an extra day to face, but I know I just have to do it.

Shock to the System…

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I knew it would be like this. I knew my return to work would be a shock. It has been and I’m not sure I am up to handling it, but I don’t know what else to do. I know I should take all of your advice and go back to my GP, but I don’t see how sitting at home is any better. I don’t see how anything can be any better. I don’t see the point in work. I don’t see the point in life.

Being back in the office has both benefits and issues.

People keep asking me where I’ve been or how I am and I genuinely don’t know how to answer. I am not better and I know that, but I don’t want to disappoint people. They expect to hear that you’re fine and glad to be back. I’m not fine and I’m not sure if I’m glad to be back.

I hate how visible my role is. I know everyone and it’s a big office. There are literally hundreds of people, all wanting to know where I’ve been. People are nosy. Some people knew where I’d been. Others had no idea – some thought I was on holiday or I’d left the project. My reappearance in the office has made people suspicious. It does make me wonder if I should have had a new start on a new project, but then I am glad for my friends. The news seemed to travel fast. Before I’d even told people I was back, they were popping over to my desk to see me. It was nice to be welcomed, but I couldn’t deal with their questions. I didn’t want to tell them how I really felt. Seeing people is nice, but it’s all too much, too fast. After seeing virtually no one for weeks, it’s weird to see everyone again.

In terms of the work. The distraction is good. Yesterday, I focussed on clearing out my inbox and that was easy. I just had to keep answering the queries, clicking the buttons and making things happen. I could do all those things on autopilot and I was distracted from my thoughts and feelings for a few hours. If work was like that all the time I could handle it. I just had to keep going.

The problem is when the distraction stops. Last night I lay awake, thinking about the day, about work, about life. I kept thinking about how pointless everything is. My thoughts are all negative. I see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Today has been harder. I’ve almost run out of monotonous tasks. I’m now being required to think. I am incapable of thought. The thoughts that I do have are negative and so far removed from the productive, work-like thoughts I need to be creating I just don’t know how. Intelligent thought is impossible.

Conference Calls are painful. I hate calls at the best of times, but today was impossible. I was aware that I sounded like a gibbering idiot; someone that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I was frustrated with myself. I hate the fact I’m only a shadow of my old self. I hate that I’m not as quick and knowledgable. I hate that I can’t order my thoughts, because my mind is dominated by the black cloud hanging over my head. I got away with it today. The call wasn’t important and I still knew more than my colleagues, but I can’t keep this up. I will be found out. I will slip up. I will break down.

I don’t know what to do. I am back to where I was before my sick-leave. I am no better than I was then. I hate the fact that I am no better. This lack of progress makes me want to give up. I don’t want to admit there has been no progress. I don’t want to go back to my GP. I don’t want to go home and wait to feel better. I don’t want to do any of this.

I can feel myself losing hope. I see no future and no point.

p.s. On a happier note. Thanks to those who nominated me for the awards doing the rounds. I appreciate it. I will do mine soon, but I’m not quite in the frame of mind, sorry.

Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 31st July 2008 at 4:45 pm