Into the system…

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Posts Tagged ‘distraction

Argh! So Busy…

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I really am so busy at the moment. I have a list of 101 things I need or want to do and although I seem to be doing lots, the list isn’t getting any shorter. I feel a little like I’m drowning in it all, but I am trying to keep going.

I’ve been at various appointments over the past couple of weeks (Occy Health, Dr M, Dr N, New Social Worker etc). We took our dog to Crufts a couple of weeks back. We had the Creative Remedies exhibition launch last week and I was busy getting things ready for that. We’ve had a couple of circle meetings. I’m on the committee for the local Youth & Community Centre, so have been doing bits and pieces for them. My little sister turned 21 last weekend, so we went home for the weekend. I’m helping get things ready for the event in the village on Easter Monday. It’s been a bit crazy really and there is plenty still to come.

The busyness is generally distracting me from how I am feeling. When I’ve seen Dr M and Dr N they ask me how I am and all I can say is “busy”. I feel pretty disconnected from my mood and emotions at the moment. I am too busy doing to think. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. I guess at least it means that the blackness isn’t all encompassing at the moment. The thoughts are pushed back and less intrusive than they were.

If I do stop to think though, I feel a little overwhelmed and anxiety hits me. I’m worried I’m pushing myself too hard or taking on too much. I worry that things will fall apart or my mood will fall off a cliff and I will have to drop everything, letting loads of people down. I worry that I will give in to the impulsive thoughts and just give up on everything.

I also worry about things going the other way. I worry that if things improve and I get well enough to go back to work, I won’t have time for everything. I’m involved with loads of voluntary things at the moment and although I know I can’t do it all, I don’t want to stop doing them and I don’t want to let people down.

Back in December/January when I was planning my suicide attempt, I found that one thing which held me back was knowing that people were relying on me to do things and I didn’t want to let them down. It wasn’t enough to stop me, but it did make me think twice. I guess by committing to more things, I am putting up plenty of barriers to keep me here. I just hope it works that way and doesn’t have the opposite effect of overwhelming me and making me just give up.

I guess the fact I am hoping this will keep me here shows there has been an improvement over the past couple of months. I am not sure how much I truly hope, but I know a few months ago it was impossible for me to hope for life at all. All I hoped for was death and as fast as possible. I am not entirely sure what I want now, but life feels like an option again and that’s got to mean something.

This was going to be part of a much longer blog post, but it is long enough already and it may be better for me to stick to one topic per post. I have quite a lot to catch up on and it will be quicker if I do a bit at a time! So busy that I am finding it hard to find the time to write, even though I really want to.

Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 1st April 2010 at 8:33 pm

Knowing how it feels…

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As Chouette pointed out, it is no secret that I met up with her, Kate, Colouredmind and Eccedentesiat this weekend. It was good to attach real people to the blogs and stories that I read. I enjoyed the meet, however brief for me, but am conscious I was talking far too much. It is a trait that comes from nervousness and agitation, but one I struggle to keep under control. Thanks though. I hope we can do it again.

It was great to just chat about everything and anything. Although we all know how it feels to suffer at the hands of mental illness, it was good that we could be “normal” and talk about other things too. We all know what it is to be students and to live in the city that we met. We all have a life aside from this. I think it is good for all of us to remember that. My partner thinks that I have become too wrapped up in being ill and that I shouldn’t spend all my time with “depressed friends”, but I think doing just that has helped me to remember the other side of life.

That said, I also appreciated being with people that know how it feels. I agree with both Hannah and Chou that we have all lost much to this illness. I too, have a list of wishes and a collection of regrets. I too, wish I didn’t have to take medication to live and sleep, wish I could find enjoyment in things and wish I could erase many things from my memory. I wish I didn’t have to spend days in therapy. I wish I could drive without being a risk to myself or others. I wish I could spend time alone without someone worrying about me. I wish I could turn off the negative thoughts that infiltrate my mind. I wish I could return to the career that I loved and not head straight for a nervous breakdown. I wish I could get on with life and want to live.

I have all these big wishes, but it was weird. The thing that struck me most from Hannah’s post, was the line:

I want to wear my hair parting on the otherside and not have scars to hide underneath my hair

I too wish for this. Worse, I wish I could part my hair anywhere and not show the scars of a lifetime of destruction. This is something I am so ashamed of, yet I still continue to wreak havoc. I have scratched my scalp to the point of bleeding and picked at every scar, every single night, for as long as I can remember. My hair no longer grows in the worst places. Elsewhere, it grows in tufts, as it tries to recover from the abuse. I cannot get a haircut, for fear of what the hairdresser might say when they see the mess that is my head. I am deeply embarrassed by it. My scalp constantly hurts and itches and I can feel the blood in my hair. I hate it, yet I am unable to stop. It is a compulsive act of nervousness, a compulsive act of self-destruction, a compulsive act of distraction. It is worse than ever at the moment. I lie awake at night and give in to the urge to hurt myself., leaving blood on my pillow. I sit in therapy and find my hands wandering. I hope no one notices, but fear that they do. I stand at the mirror and look at the scars. Most of the time I don’t even realise I am doing it, but I am painfully aware of the consequences. I wish that I could stop. I wish that wish was enough and I’d have the willpower. I know that I don’t. It is another one of those wishes, but I think it’s another one that is hopeless.

Yesterday I saw my consultant. I didn’t know what to say to her. I said that I’ve been frustrated that I feel no better. I said that the insomnia has returned. Her only answer was sleeping pills, Phenergan (Promethazine) again. I tried it on the ward and don’t think it helped, but it’s all I can try. I refuse to take Zopiclone, Promazine had no effect on me and Trazodone gave me all the silliness and uncoordination of drinking five pints, then left me with the hangover to match. Diazepam is off limits outside of the ward, as she doesn’t want to leave me with a nice addiction at the end of it all. She looked through her bible of psychotropic drugs at the sleep disorder pages, but didn’t find any other suggestions. Only Mirtazapine, which she discounted with a shake of the head. She went through the sleep hygiene list with me, but she knew better than to push that one. Admittedly, the fact I only had an hour or two’s sleep at most last night, was probably exacerbated by the diet coke I’d been drinking, but nevermind. Anyway, I have a note to give Dr N on Thursday, so my green slip will have the new one on the end.

Back to Dr G. She wants to put up my venlafaxine, but is scared of the consequences. The constant background agitation of the past few weeks makes that seem like a bad idea. She wants to put up my quetiapine, but is scared of the consequences of that too. My chronic apathy and considerable numbness are the issue here. Instead, she has done neither and left me in limbo-land with meds that don’t seem to help. I am fed up of the medi-go-round. I just want them to work. She is waiting and hoping that they kick in soon, but I’ve been on these for over 7 weeks now. Surely if they were going to work, they would be by now? Maybe I need to have more faith. How is the placebo effect going to work if I don’t believe in them? It’s still frustrating though.

She seems to think the way forward for me is therapy though. She isn’t holding out too much hope on the meds front. I wish I had as much faith as she does that splodging some paint around, talking about my life story, or getting annoyed at CBT will do anything to help me. It may be a short term distraction, help me to be more honest with myself and others about how I feel and give me a chance to think about stuff, but at the end of the day I still feel like crap and still battle day in day out with the intrusive thoughts. I don’t know how much “working through my issues” I can take and where it is going to leave me ending up.

I am chronically frustrated with this chronic depression. When will things change? I keep ending up in the same place. I keep waiting for things to improve. I am fed up. I feel like screaming it.

Awards Season…

with 5 comments

I tried to write yesterday, but gave up. I can’t put into words the things going through my mind at the moment. I might try again later.

Instead, how about a bit of distraction?

I have been meaning to do this since the lovely Chuckle and Em (Eccedentesiast (did I spell that right?!)) nominated me, but things haven’t gone as planned. Better late than never though, eh?

Like Em, I’ve decided to shrug off the rules and in line with keeping my blog “graphically sparse”, I’m definitely leaving out the ugly award picture! I’ve also given up trying to limit to five and unlike Chuckle and Em, I’ve even given up limiting it to six!

So what follows is a few words about some of my favourite blogs. Like the others, I could have easily written about all of my blogroll and perhaps soon I will add to this, but for now here are a few. If I have left you off, I’m sorry. I really do think that every one of my blogroll and no doubt many other blogs aside, are worthy of awards.

Anyway. Without further ado. I present the awards (in alphabetical order!):

Action Replay – Dee may be older and wiser than me, but I see a lot of myself in her writing. The corporate IT and financial services background and her frantic need to be busy are things I identify with strongly. Her mental health history is an added dimension and I enjoy just reading about her day to day life.

Coloured Mind – Hannah makes me realise just how small this world is. Put it this way: we’ve shared a few coincidences. Her writing is fantastic; honest and interesting. Oh and she loves Jelly – I hate it, but the way she can write about it makes me want to like it.

Eccedentesiast – Troubled (Okay, we’re all troubled here), but fascinating; I enjoy reading about Em. Local girl, so I see bits of my history dotted through her writing. Skilled with words, she can make anything sound poetic. I worry about her though (again, I worry about everyone here).

Life of Chuckles – His words on therapy sum up a lot of my feelings about the matter. He is clearly a great bloke and I thank him for his continued kindness and support. Oh and he’s a designer – never a bad thing!

Simple Harmonic Muddle – I have found myself in a similar place to Chouette, at a similar time and I think that’s what makes her writing special. I see my thoughts on the page ahead of me. A physicist; clever and articulate.

The Exact Science – One of the first mental health blogs I started reading, the Exact Science can be a rollercoaster of a read. I may not know him, but I feel that I do and I hope he can hold on for the ride.

The Secret Life… – Finally, the queen of the mental health blogging world. Seaneen is the reason I read all of these blogs. She resides in the centre of a whole community, that I never dreamed existed before I stumbled across her corner of the internet. For that I am thankful. Her writing is still some of the best I’ve ever read and I really do hope that her thoughts will be published eventually.

Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 7th August 2008 at 4:11 pm

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