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Posts Tagged ‘DLA

Home Alone…

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Time keeps passing. I don’t know where it goes to.

This weekend has been somewhat strange. The bloke is away for the weekend at a stag do and I’m home with just the doggy for company. I don’t remember the last time I was here on my own overnight, let alone for a whole weekend, so I don’t really know what to do with myself. Aside from my trip in the summer, there have been so few times when I’ve been without the bloke for more than a day since we went to uni. I was “well” in the summer too and now things are not so easy. I am managing, but it has made me realise how used I am to having him around and how much his presence keeps me functioning. Without him here, the temptation to give in and give up is so much greater.

Getting up and dressed is a struggle at the moment and I feel even less urge to conform when I don’t have reminders from the bloke. The guilt wears on me when he’s about and it serves to push me into action. It was only the desperate requests from the dog to be let out, that dragged me out of bed this morning. The thought of having to clean up any mess was enough to force me downstairs, but I climbed back in when she was sorted. I had to get up in the end as I was going over to a new friend’s for her kiddy’s 1st birthday party, but it took me literally hours to work myself up to that. Without that commitment today, the temptation would have been to stay in bed all weekend.

Food is another problem. The bloke is the cook in our house. I can bake cakes, but when it comes to a proper meal I don’t tend to bother. I don’t have the best appetite these days, but when food is presented to me I do tend to eat. Without the bloke around to cook for me, I don’t tend to bother. I’m even less inclined to cook at the moment as both our oven and the microwave are broken.

The dog is a commitment too and she does keep me going, but she isn’t as effective at nagging as the bloke is and I find the commitment straining. She did get me up this morning and she gets me into the kitchen, prompting me to eat at the same time that I feed her, but she is also tiring and I feel guilty when I just want to stay in bed and ignore her. She also got me to go outside for a walk, which I know is good for me, but at the same time I wish I didn’t have to. It’s so tempting not to bother, but I cannot deny her a walk for long or she turns into a great big bonkers thing, which is even more draining to live with than the walk.

I’m really tired. I want to sleep forever, yet sleeping for just a few hours seems to be enough of a challenge. It was late when I finally dragged myself upstairs to bed last night and I sat and knitted up there for a while because I couldn’t sleep.

Before the bloke left, I had to promise I’d be safe this weekend. He has been somewhat paranoid over the past few weeks that I’m suicidal again. The last two years have been particularly difficult at this time, in the run up to my birthday, so I know he is on edge. He doesn’t trust me at all and although I know his fears are not unfounded and it is only because he cares, it is still hard. One day last week I had nipped out and wasn’t home when he was due back from work. My mobile phone battery had died so he couldn’t get hold of me. I’d even left a note to say that I’d be back in a minute, because I worried that without my phone he would wonder where the hell I was, but he didn’t see it and just flew into a tailspin instead. He completely jumped to conclusions and panicked that I’d gone out to kill myself.

I’d actually nipped out to rescue the dog’s ball because she had lost it on our walk and I couldn’t get it out of the brambles and control her at the same time. She has a habit of diving head first into all the brambles and rose briers to rescue her ball then getting stuck – we both end up cut and bleeding, as I have to battle to rescue both her and the ball. I literally had to drag her home, shut her in the house and then go back out to dig out the ball from the bushes. By the time I got home I was greeted by the bloke just about to drive off in my car to try and find me, ranting and raving with anger. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but it the first time in a long while and I was disappointed that things had not moved on and that the trust hasn’t been rebuilt by now.

It turns out that he mainly panicked because he had been reading my mood log. I was updating one online and I had no idea he had been reading it. I tended to keep my notes in there very short and they were only for me, so a note mentioning suicidal planning thoughts did not necessarily mean what he thought it did. I was angry that he had invaded my privacy again, but I know it only comes from fear and concern. I don’t feel able to update the log any more though. It was meant to be for me and no one else. A reminder of how things are, because so often I cannot remember what my mood was like a week or a month ago.

But anyway. I agreed that I will be safe. I am safe, but it doesn’t mean the temptation isn’t there. My mood is low and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. This weekend would have been the perfect opportunity and there are times when I cannot help the thoughts, but I have resigned myself to sticking around for a while yet.

I know the fact it is winter and in the run up to my birthday can’t be helping. I have been in hospital at this time for the last two years, and both times I was desperately suicidal and determined not to be around for my birthday. This year I seem to have accepted that I will be around and although I am not overly happy about it, I’m resigned to it. I am low and I don’t really want to be alive, but I feel the obligation to be. Also, I’m not sure why, but being 25 seems like a much better idea than 24 anyway – something about round numbers I think. My worry is that I’m already having to battle the thoughts that 25 is a good age to die. I have no desire to see 26, even if I am sure I will see 25. I hope that my mood will pick up before those thoughts get too strong or that the approach of my 26th birthday gets too urgent.

As for my 25th birthday, as Seaneen will recall, my invite for a smear test arrived. I went and had it a couple weeks ago and it was fairly painless and straightforward, although I bled quite a bit afterwards. Unfortunately though I got a letter on Thursday saying the result was “inconclusive” so I have to go and have another one in three months. I think this was just a case of not enough cells, at least that’s what I’m hoping, but it’s still pretty annoying to have to wait before they do it again.

In other news, I’ve had a review form for DLA to fill in for a couple of weeks now and I’ve failed to do it. I wrote to them before Christmas at the same time I wrote to notify the DWP that I was starting work part-time for ESA purposes, to say there had been *some* improvement to my condition since my initial application for DLA. I felt I had to, as I have been receiving Higher Rate Care and I am not sure I should be getting that rate any more. They sent me out a review form and I started to complete it, but I made a complete mess. I filled in my surname in the first name section, my date of birth wrong and made mistakes all over the place, because I couldn’t concentrate enough to fill it in and my memory is so shoddy I kept forgetting things. After some frustration, I rang them to ask for another form because I had made so many mistakes. I got this replacement two weeks ago now and I have still not even started it. Thankfully because I requested the review rather than them, there is no deadline for me to get it back, but I know I need to do it. I can’t face it though. I can copy across the stuff that was correct on my first attempt, but I don’t know what to do about the rest of it. The form is overwhelming and I don’t know what to write, especially as my mood has been so unstable of late. Sometimes I look at the form, think nothing is wrong and answer everything as if I was fine, but other days I look at the form and realise I can’t do any of the things it asks, including filling in the form for that matter. I know you have to say how your good and bad days very and highlight what the worst case scenario is, but I just don’t know what to write. I don’t even know what to put in the diagnosis section. Should I have told them that my diagnosis is under question back when it was first questioned a year ago, or can I just tell them I don’t know any more? I guess the latter is the truth, I don’t know, but I’m not sure if I should have told them I don’t know. As far as DLA and ESA are concerned, I assume they think my diagnosis to be Bipolar II disorder, which is what it was when I applied. As I don’t know what it has been changed to, I guess I can’t tell them, but I worry about what Dr M or Dr N will write when asked. I hate having to evaluate how bad I am. I honestly don’t know.

Hmm I don’t know what else to write. There are things I keep thinking about to write, but I just don’t know what to say. It has been the same all week. For weeks really. I am meant to be keeping a diary for therapy again and I haven’t managed to write anything properly. I just don’t know what to say. Brain is mush. I cannot think, I can barely feel. I just want a new head.

I am feeling increasingly agitated this evening. I am not sure why. Maybe now is the time I stop and knit for a bit to see if it calms me down. I spent a lot of yesterday knitting – I made a hat for the little boy’s birthday today and started a frilly scarf and it kept me busy and distracted whilst I was on my own. It’s the first thing I’ve done for a while. I haven’t had the motivation or the concentration for a while. Sometimes I get the urge to knit and think of a million projects I could be doing and other days I cannot even comprehend lifting the needles. There has been a lot of the latter lately, yet yesterday my head was buzzing with ideas of things I could knit. I can only knit so much though and when my concentration is so crap lately as much as I want to make these magical creations, there’s no way I’m actually able to. I end up having to undo as much as I do.

hmm. Head is starting to spin. I’m both tired and agitated and feel like I may need to throw things soon if things get any worse. I don’t know why I am feeling like this. I have been good lately and I’m avoiding caffeine in the hope that would ease the occasional agitation, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Maybe I should just go to bed and try to sleep or maybe I should have a bath. Perhaps I’m just grouchy and tired. I don’t know.

This is a bitty post. I don’t seem able to write properly at the moment. I started writing this about 4pm and it’s now 11.30pm. It’s not even very long. I have found it really hard to try and get things down or to concentrate on it. I have watched bits of TV and fed the animals and stuff in between, but the rest of the time I have just been staring at the box wondering what to put in it, or more likely how to slow down and speed up and unravel my thoughts to try and type them. Some of the time it feels like my brain is like treacle and the thoughts are just so slow and other times they are bouncing around and rattling off the sides and at the moment both is happening at the same time and it just feels like a big ball of mush. It all makes no sense.

Anyway I am going to stop and kick the dog outside. She’s already taken herself to bed, but she needs to go out or I’ll get woken up very early in the morning! I don’t intend on being up early. The bloke isn’t due back until at least mid-afternoon and I think I’m leaning towards a morning of hibernation.

Yo-yo…

with 5 comments

I’ve been up and down like a yo-yo this week. Since the crash back down last weekend I was up again Sunday night and quite hypomanic, giggling unnecessarily and unable to sleep. Monday was a slightly more even day before a complete meltdown on Tuesday. I was highly emotional, stressed out, suicidal, angry, hyper and generally out of control. I couldn’t control the agitation or my emotions and ended up crying and laughing hysterically. It was almost as if I just couldn’t cope with the tension that was mounting inside me and I didn’t know what to do, so my mind and body went totally crazy. I was all over the place, felt really out of control and generally not in a good way.

My meltdown on Tuesday also saw me telling my other half that I wanted to break up and couldn’t cope with our relationship. I just want things to change and at the time it felt like the easiest thing to change would be for us to break up. I clearly wasn’t thinking straight (breaking up would be far from easy!), but it does scare me that when I get like that I want to push him away so much. I really was hysterical and I wonder if my out of control emotions are trying to tell me something. I don’t really know if I can cope with this relationship much longer, or rather I don’t know if this relationship can cope with this illness much longer. I suspect my doubts are just another sign of me wanting to isolate myself so it’s easier to do the deed, but I don’t know.

I find myself wanting to be on my own for many reasons. Yes, it would be the loss of another “protective factor” and would make it easier to kill myself, but I know that our relationship didn’t stop me trying in the past and when I’m in that state of mind it wouldn’t stop me again. I do want to be on my own though and not have to worry about how my behaviour affects my partner. I wouldn’t have a battle every time I want to stay in bed a bit longer because the illness is holding me there. I wouldn’t be feeling like I was a child under his control because I’d be able to go out whenever I wanted without having to ask permission. I could learn to cope with things on my own and I think that would help me to re-engage with life again. At the moment I don’t feel that I can.

There are of course many reasons to stay together and for balance I guess I should mention those too. We’ve been together a long time and been through a lot and there is no reason why we can’t get through this too. I do love him very much and although I struggle with that love a lot of the time it is still there. There are practical things like we live together, have joint bank accounts etc that make division difficult – we can’t just stop seeing each other. Generally, splitting up would not be easy even though sometimes it feels like the easy option.

Seaneen once wrote that her illness, or rather the possibility that she might kill herself, is like a lodger within her relationship and I know what she means. There’s this third person that gets in the way all the time and makes things more complicated. This illness, especially the risk of suicide, is something that intrudes on every aspect of your relationship and makes it very difficult for things to be okay. There is always going to be that fear and this means there’s an imbalance of power. For us at the moment, it feels like it’s the illness in control and the illness with all the power. I feel like the lodger is getting in the way all the time and I don’t know if we can learn to live with it. My partner just wants everything to go back to how things were before, but that just isn’t going to happen. I don’t know. I hope we can get through this in one piece, but I’m not sure it’s guaranteed.

Anyway, Wednesday was a really low day. I was getting fed up of the turbulent nature of my moods and just wished that things would sort themselves out. I had no motivation and just wanted to hide from the world. Hibernation would have been nice. Suicide would have been nicer. I just had no desire to live. I still don’t most of the time. I wonder when that is going to change.

Thursday was a day of medical appointments with me seeing Dr G and Dr N. Dr G’s appointment was fairly uneventful. She didn’t want to increase my lamotrigine again so soon as it has to be titrated up very slowly. She did however add an extra 1mg PRN to the haloperidol so I’m taking 2mg regularly now and the additional 1mg if I get agitated.

We did talk about a few practical things though. It seems I do need to notify the DVLA about my condition and it is likely my license will be taken off me. When I last asked her about it a long while ago, prior to the suicide attempt in February and my Bipolar diagnosis she told me I didn’t have to, but things have changed. I guess my condition is taken more seriously these days.

We also talked about Disability Living Allowance. Dr G says I should be receiving it. It seems I should have applied a while ago but I didn’t know. It’s a shame that it cannot be backdated either. I spent Thursday night trying to put together my application. The form is a complete bitch and took me hours and I still don’t know if I’ve told them enough to convince them that I am deserving and ill enough. It doesn’t seem very geared up for people with mental illness. Lots of questions about personal care and mobility and little opportunity to explain just how much of a bitch living with mental illness is. I just hope that Dr G and Dr N can convince them for me. I’m dreading a medical assessment as I just don’t know if I can be honest with a new doctor. I suspect I would come across as too high functioning or maybe I’ll just be so anxious I can’t speak.

My trip to Dr N was disappointingly brief, but I had little to say really. Not much has changed. He just looks at me with pitying eyes these days whilst administering the necessary prescriptions. I only realised afterwards that the haloperidol supply he’s given me only covers 5 days if I use all the PRN. I haven’t been doing, but even still that’s not ideal. I don’t want to have to go back to him too soon. I feel like I am wasting his time. It’s bad enough being on weekly prescriptions and having to waste his time seeing him every week when I don’t really have anything new to say to him.

My mood on Friday was up and down just in a day. I started the morning low, but felt better by lunchtime. I had a good afternoon with Chouette, Kate and Hannah. It’s nice to talk about things and know that they understand, but it’s also nice to chat about normal things like university and living in Manchester. In the evening I went for a meal with some uni friends and although it was nice, I was tired and struggling to engage. My mood was falling throughout and by the time I got home it was on the floor again. I had to try and keep up appearances for a little longer whilst people were around.

Afterwards, things became difficult. My partner was upset and wasn’t talking to me. I don’t know what I had done to deserve that. I felt awful and couldn’t find out what was wrong. I was exhausted and wanted to go to sleep, but couldn’t because again our relationship was struggling because of this illness. I am fed up of it.

Yesterday was a long day. I was so busy it was hard to know how I felt mood wise. I was low but distracted. I’m just glad it is over I think.