Into the system…

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

Posts Tagged ‘friends


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It has been a long time since I last posted. I’ve been popping onto twitter to write a few 140 character updates, but that’s all I’ve had time for. I think the amount of woe on there will suggest how things have been though.

Sadly there was plenty of backlash from the confession about my meds. I had feared it, but hoped it wouldn’t materialise. My bloke was upset. As is often the case when he’s angry, he ignored me and wouldn’t speak to me for a while and then he had a go at me. I know it is understandable that he was upset, but I get fed up of the same argument.

Apparently I don’t want to get better and my illness is all some “stupid teenage fantasy”. It seems I want to think that I’m ill so that I fit in with all my “whiny teenage girl internet friends”. He thinks that we all encourage each other to get worse and that we all want to be part of some stupid mental club. Basically, the argument always boils down to the same thing. Blogging is evil and that everyone that does so is a whiny, faking moron.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t exactly go down well. I try to argue back, but it’s pointless. I can say that I don’t choose this illness. I can say that I am definitely not trying to fit in, but that I appreciate knowing I’m not the only one going through this and the support helps. I can also say that not everyone who blogs is a teenager or a girl and that not every blog I read is about mental illness, but it makes no difference. His mind is set and he will never be happy about my blog.

As well as the argument, he tried to stop me coming on here for a while. He also banned me from meeting up with Em and Kate. We’d arranged to meet up when I had my appointment with DP before Christmas. Instead my bloke took the afternoon off work and drove me to and from the appointment so I couldn’t see them. I hate that he treats me like a child.

I find this so hard. I don’t know what I would do without this space and without the support of my readers, but I am fed up of the arguments. He makes it uncomfortable every time I try and come on here. He moans at me every time I open my laptop. He refers to twitter as “twatting”. He belittles the whole thing and doesn’t see or care how much it hurts me. I have always found the internet a great source of support and he seems hell bent on ruining that.

I’m not sure posting this is a good idea. It will probably only add fuel to the fire, especially so long after the event, but I’m still feeling the consequences. I feel guilty whenever I come on here. I feel like a naughty girl defying her parents, and it shouldn’t be like that. I wish it wasn’t.

I have other things to post about. My last appointment with DP, Christmas, the end of the year/decade… but I don’t suppose I’ll get much chance this week.

To illustrate the point, he just came over, looked at my laptop and saw I was writing. Then said “for crying out loud” and walked off. Just these little digs all the time are making it all harder.


Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 30th December 2009 at 12:15 pm

A long week…

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A lot has happened in the past week. I kept meaning to write, but time got away from me.

I saw Dr G last Tuesday and was disappointed. It was a fairly pointless appointment. I did mention my dip in mood in the weeks prior to seeing her, but she didn’t have much to say. She increased the Lamotrigine again by the minute amount of 25mg, so I’m now up to 125mg b.d. She asked me about the hand over to the NHS. She seems ready to hand me over and doesn’t seem to want me to continue seeing her once I’m in the hands of the NHS. She thinks it will complicate things, which it would, but I trust her a lot more than I trust the NHS and I appreciate the constant input. I’m worried about the frequency I will be seeing the NHS psychiatrist. Talking about this with my social worker today, she said that if people are “stable” they will only see the psychiatrist every 6 months, even if that stability isn’t a particularly nice state to be stable in. She said I may see them a little more often at first, but even then it may only be every 3 months or so. This terrifies me. At the moment I always have that “if I can get through the next fortnight until I see Dr G, things may be okay”. This can keep me going. Knowing I’m on my own for months may be enough to make me give up again. I know I can ask for a rapid access appointment if things get scary, bad, but I’m not sure that’s enough and I can’t be asking for one every month or so!

On Tuesday night I learnt the bad side of knowing lots of people with mental health issues. One of my friends who I met in The Priory texted me to thank me for being her friend and to apologise for the fact she was going to kill herself that evening. I didn’t know what to do as I felt powerless to intervene and hypocritical for wanting to do so. She had been a long-stay patient in hospital and I believe was on overnight leave at the time. In the end I contacted the hospital she had been at and told them what she’d said. They wouldn’t discuss it with me due to patient confidentiality or even acknowledge what I had said, but I hope it alerted them and was of some help. They told me to call the police instead as they would have the power to intervene, but I didn’t want to do that. She tried to call me a couple of times in the evening but I missed the calls and when I called her back she didn’t pick up. I was worried but I did what I could. I was relieved when she later texted to say she had been picked up by the police, although worried for her. The hospital she had been in have chucked her out, presumably for breaking the rules of her overnight leave. I’m shocked and appalled by this decision as she’s at her most vulnerable at the moment. The people who are meant to be caring for her have dumped her when she needs them most and she is now alone and extremely ill. Last I heard she was staying with some friends and I just hope they can keep her safe.

This whole thing was triggering for me. I wanted to help her and intervene with her decision, yet I myself wanted to do exactly what she was doing. I was jealous of her at the same time as worried for her. I was angry at myself for being so hypocritical. I knew that if I was in her position I’d have been frustrated if she had intervened, but then I still wanted to do something. I couldn’t just stand by and let a friend die. I was comforted by the fact that she had contacted me. It suggested to me that she wanted someone to do something. She’d have gone alone and quietly if she was completely determined to succeed.

Wednesday started with a trip to Dr N so he could steal my blood for the mood disorder research. He struggled to get anything out of me. Spent ages trying to find veins in my arms and used my wrists in the end. The first attempt failed and has left me with terrible bruising and some wrist pain. The second attempt was eventually successful, but painful as he pushed the needle around in my wrist. We got there though in the end.

After this it was a trip to my office. My work laptop was due to be upgraded so I had to go drop it in to the IT department. It was weird to be in my old work environment. It made me realise that I really missed it. I wish I could just go back and do my job.

I had Creative Remedies in the afternoon. It was visual arts this time, which boils down to painting. I was disappointed by the class as it is restrictive. We had to start with a “colour wheel”, which made me feel I was in primary school. I know very well which colours mix together and what primary and secondary colours are. For our first project we have to choose images from a selection of Japanese, Egyptian and Art-Deco pictures and use these as inspiration. It feels very much like art at school, which is frustrating as I’d rather paint whatever I liked. I was impressed with the materials on offer though. We get a portfolio folder and sketchbook, access to good quality acrylics, watercolours and gouache paints and canvasses to work on. It’s all free so I can’t really complain. The teacher does seem to be experienced and the outreach workers are the same as on Monday’s session, so we should be able to develop a good relationship with them. I’ve been getting on well with one of them in particular already. It is basically just an art class though and not art therapy at all and although it gets me out of the house and doing something it doesn’t seem therapeutic. I miss the emotional freedom of art therapy at The Priory and the therapists there.

Wednesday evening saw us heading over to Snowdonia for a few days camping. My parents and grandparents had rented a cottage over there for a week, so we joined them for a couple of days. It was nice to get away for a few days, but I was feeling a bit flat a lot of the time. A good campsite near Beddgelert, we enjoyed nice food at The Goat Hotel on Wednesday evening.

The highlight of Thursday was a trip to Harlech castle, but a further reminder of my illness. Disabled admission was one such reminder. A bonus in that it was free, but even still I feel weird asking for it. I find it hard to think of myself as disabled. The second reminder came from climbing the towers. I felt uncomfortable at those heights. I am not scared of heights in any way, but I wanted to jump. If my parents and partner weren’t with me it would have been a huge temptation. I don’t think I could do that in front of them though. The image of my fall would haunt them for too long. Aside from this though it was good. I’ve never been such a big fan of ruined castles, but the views were fantastic.

Friday brought beautiful weather and a trip to the beach. We struggled to find one where our dog was welcome, but eventually stumbled across a beautiful little cove, with golden sands and shallow water. The beach was almost deserted with just one other couple there most of the time. We went for a swim, which was of course cold, but good. It was lovely to see our puppy swimming properly for the first time. I felt like a proud parent. There were also lots of little silver fish swimming around, which was unusual but made me a little squeamish.

We came home on Saturday, amidst drizzle and murkiness. A real downer after the lovely day on Friday. Our tent was soggy and I hate packing at the best of times, so I felt pretty awful. I’ve just felt pretty low all weekend and have had little motivation to do anything. I just want to hibernate really.

The highlight of today was another trip to Creative Remedies. I have enjoyed it and I think I will continue to, but I am still unsure of the therapeutic benefit. I wonder whether the vast amount of money that is being spent on this should be put to better use elsewhere, especially in reducing the waiting lists for other therapy.

My social worker came over today to check up on me before we both go and see the NHS psychiatrist tomorrow. She had some paper work to read and sign – mainly my risk assessment and enhanced CPA. It was weird to read a catalogued list of risks and declarations of my suicidal thoughts. She asked me what I wanted from the appointment tomorrow and tried to set some expectations. It seems that we will go over history and recent mood. It is apparently unlikely that the psychiatrist will change my medication on the first meeting and it is likely that I won’t see them again for a while. I don’t see the point in just going over my history and not actually doing anything. He can find the history in my notes and I’d rather use this appointment to make some changes that may help me to recover. We will see though. Wish me luck. I really fear I am going to need it.


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I’m still in The Priory and I’m feeling really stuck. I just feel numb and empty, unable to know how I feel and unable to think. I just feel rubbish.

ECT is going okay so far, but I don’t feel any better. Last Friday there was an incident with my canula and I bled everywhere! My memory remains intact. They are now using bilateral rather than unilateral and have increased my dose so they are hoping it will have some positive effect after the next session or two. I still felt no improvement after Tuesday. I wonder if I am hoping for too much. I just want to feel okay.

I saw a friend today which was nice. She brought me some magazines, grapes and some chocolate. She looked fantastic. Olanzapine has worked wonders on her. Three days and things just turned around. I wonder if I will ever get that with any medication. I wonder if I will ever find the wonder drug that fixes me.

I hope everyone is okay. I’m thinking of you all. Take care. X

Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 12th March 2009 at 5:15 pm

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.

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.

Into the community…

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So I was discharged on Tuesday, following four weeks as an inpatient on a private acute psychiatric ward. I was not ready to be discharged, but my insurance had a 28 day inpatient limit, so there wasn’t much choice. I certainly can’t afford to self-fund!

So I’ve returned to the community and so far it feels a bit strange, but I’ve been okay. If I’d been chucked out on Monday there might have been a different story. My mood was on the floor, suicide the only thing I could think about. The same horrid scenario replayed over and over in my head, blocking out all my thoughts and stressing me out. I couldn’t comprehend leaving the ward in that state. Luckily, my mood picked up around Tuesday lunchtime and I’ve been “okay” since. Still low, still struggling to think, but not too bad. For once, my mood shifted at the right time!

In terms of where I am now. I’m still not formally diagnosed; this episode of illness just has the vague description of “depressive episode”. Whilst I was in hospital, I had two short periods of hypomania, demonstrating the clear shifts of mood I’ve been experiencing for most of this year, but this still hasn’t been enough to solicit a diagnosis. My psychiatrist is hedging her bets a little. She believes I do suffer from a mood disorder, but she is not being more specific than that. She said that the predominant picture is one of depression, but that this is complicated by the fact I do have obvious shifts of mood, suggesting that perhaps my diagnosis lies within the bipolar rather than unipolar spectrum. She is still uncertain though and won’t commit to this. She also added that my condition appears to be somewhat complex, due to added complications with my personality (perfectionism, passivity, workaholic). I suspect she is weighing up the decision to slap on a personality disorder diagnosis or two. I’m sure my symptoms could be moulded to satisfy one if she deemed fit. This lack of diagnosis is both frustrating and a relief. I am glad she isn’t rushing into things. I’m glad she hasn’t just wheeled out a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder because I self harm and have been difficult to treat. Yet, at the same time I wish she wasn’t being so vague. I want to know if I need to accept this is a chronic condition that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. I suspect that it is, but I can maintain a state of denial until she confirms this for me. I want to know what it is I’m facing.

My current medication regime is as follows:
8am: 225mg Venlafaxine (Effexor XL) & 50mg Quetiapine (Seroquel).
4pm: 50mg Quetiapine
10pm: 250mg Quetiapine

So far, I am unsure how much it is helping or not. I suspect the Quetiapine is helping with my sleep. The drowsiness kicks in fairly soon after taking my nightly dose and although I am still waking fairly frequently and not feeling all that rested, I am definitely getting more than before. I think it is also helping to level me out a bit. My mood isn’t spiking as much as before, but just seems to swing between varying degrees of lowness, instead of going from very low to a little high. I started on a tiny dose, but almost every time I see her she adds more!

I do not know if the Venlafaxine is helping. My mood is predominantly low at the moment and the suicidal ideation is still around fairly often (which I guess could actually be the fault of the Venlafaxine – it has a reputation for increasing suicidal thoughts), so I suspect not, but then if I wasn’t on it would things be different? I wonder what her next move will be with this. She has upped my dose a few times to get to this point, but I suspect she won’t up it again.

I start day care tomorrow, attending Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next six weeks. I will be continuing with some of the groups that I attended as an inpatient and starting some new ones. I am looking forward to some of them, but apprehensive too. Therapy is hard work and often makes you feel worse, not better.

Tomorrow, I have group CBT and Expressive Therapy. I am still to be converted on the CBT front. I’m not sure CBT is all that helpful to me, but the group is quite good as there are two therapists, which ensures everyone gets some individual support. Expressive therapy is a bit like going to playgroup and is different every week. We may be painting, playing games, doing role plays, singing or whatever, but it’s usually quite fun. A bit of light relief for a Friday afternoon anyway.

It will be really good to see people again. I should get to see some of the people who were inpatients at the same time as me, as well as the day patients I’ve met in group. You find that you make close friends easily when you are in a hospital environment or group therapy situation. You learn things about people that you’d never share in the outside world and become intimate friends very quickly. The empathy between patients is something that’s hard to find elsewhere. The only other place I’ve really experienced it is in this blogging community. It’s not just between the general psychiatry patients (depression & anxiety) either. Even the addiction and eating disorder patients have that sense of shared experience and empathy. I do miss the fact I could just walk into the lounge and there would always be someone you could talk to that would really understand. I think so far, that is the hardest thing about being in the outside world.

Generally I think I should be safe over the next few days assuming my mood stays roughly like this. I’ve got a friend coming over this afternoon so that should be good. Although my bloke is out this evening I think I’ll be okay. It’s a bit weird being on my own after 4 weeks of almost constant supervision, but so far I’ve not been too worried. Tomorrow I am in day care, which I am looking forward to, although I’m a little worried about how I’ll feel when I go home after a day at the hospital. Therapy can be draining and it might leave me feeling weird without the safety net of the ward to go back to afterwards. The weekend brings visiting friends and bonfire night, so I should be suitably distracted throughout and Monday brings a return to day care and a review with my psychiatrist. I dread the review a little as I am terrible at getting my needs across, but I will try and prepare a little beforehand.

I’m not sure that “being safe” should be all I’m aiming for, but it is all it feels I can aim for at the moment. I guess I should be pleased that I can feel safe. It is an improvement. A couple of days ago I really didn’t think I’d be safe in this outside world and so far I have been. I am still uncertain though and still don’t trust myself completely. I think I do generally feel as if I may be existing for existence’s sake. That doesn’t make things easy. I get close to giving up more often than I probably should, but it is incredibly draining just going through life for, what feels like, the sake of it. I just have to keep telling myself it will be worth it. I just have to get through this period of crapness and hope for things to change. Not easy though.

Anyway, I have written enough for now. I will update on the weeks before my admission sometime soon, although I don’t really know where to start. It has been a crazy few months.

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

work, work, work: life before March…

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I started a post about work a couple weeks ago, but somehow never found the energy or time to finish it. It was made up of lots of little thoughts about work and how that relates to my depression. Returning to the post now, I’m struggling to make it a coherent whole. My thoughts and feelings surrounding work have been fairly complicated over the last few months and I’ve paid passing mentions to work and related frustrations throughout previous posts and comments, but I wanted to try and bring this together somehow.

This started to get so long that I’ve now split it into parts. This first part covers a lot of the background information, including what I actually did and how work-life was prior to my latest episode of depression. It touches on mood and my understanding of “normal”.

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Written by intothesystem

Monday, 14th July 2008 at 4:34 pm

no interest in life…

with 2 comments

I’m feeling low this morning. I’ve woken up with a headache and can’t find any motivation to move. I managed to grab my laptop from under the bed and that’s as far as I’ve got.

Wednesday was a nothing day. I didn’t make it to the pool. Ben folds was more than disappointing (sound quality was so bad we left before he finished). Thursday was better in the morning, descending to rubbish in the evening. I made it to the pool first thing, as I had to give my bloke a lift to work. Swimming does help, albeit temporarily, but it can still be so difficult to motivate myself to go. In the evening, I was meeting a friend for dinner and a catch-up. It was difficult. I wasn’t feeling very sociable and conversation was fairly awkward. Had dinner, dropped him back at his and then left early. The rainbows were beautiful though. My drive back was probably not all that safe. I felt terrible and wasn’t concentrating properly. I couldn’t see any point in making it home and was tempted to just keep driving, driving up the motorway, past junction 7 and not stopping until I reached the sea. I didn’t and I made it home safely, although I think this was more autopilot than will. I do scare myself sometimes. I wonder if I should be allowed to drive when I’m at my worst. I’m not sure I would if people knew what I was thinking.

I still want to run away. I think about driving off somewhere, just driving and seeing where I end up, seeing what happened. The thing is, in this state of mind I suspect the result wouldn’t be pretty. I wouldn’t want to bring anyone else down with me and I wouldn’t want to bring out the wombles (reference to Top Gear), so I tell myself not to. I think about just taking a train instead, but wonder if it really is possible to just disappear and start again. I suspect it wouldn’t be any easier. At least if I was dead, I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences. It would be the easier option, but still not easy. I know that. I’m not sure I can do it, but I wish I had the courage. As I’ve said before, a failed attempt would be worse than just carrying on, so it makes things harder, but then what if I could ensure it wouldn’t fail? Would I be able to then? It’s all fantasy, but it’s one that I find myself obsessing over. I have a plan and means, but no time frame at the moment. I have no stress, nothing to trigger that “I must do it now” moment, but I wonder if I’m losing the need for that trigger. Work used to be my trigger – something went wrong and I wanted to do it there and then, but at that point I rarely had the means.

I find myself thinking about the future and being scared that I don’t see one. My friend last night was talking about how things will probably change dramatically in the next five years and he could see himself finding someone, getting married and having kids. I don’t see any of that. I’m engaged, but I can’t imagine making it to a wedding, certainly not my own. My sister keeps asking me to start planning – sending me links to possible venues and dresses and I have no interest, none at all. I wish she’d shut up and leave me alone, as she doesn’t know she is only making me more desperate for the nonsense to stop. A friend of mine just had a scare – an ectopic pregnancy, resulting in emergency surgery. She is okay and I’m glad. She didn’t want a child and didn’t even know she was pregnant, but I think it has shaken her up. It shook me up too. I can’t imagine having children. I don’t feel capable of making babies, but that was a reminder that I am. I don’t want that reminder. I couldn’t be a mother, not like this, although I know my partner wants them and not even far off in the future, but in the next few years. I can’t do that. I think about my return to work, my career and I can’t even imagine that at the moment. I love my job, but I can’t face it. I see the emails about work and it makes me want to cry. Worse, the thought of going back and dealing with them makes me want to die.

I really do see no future. I see no point in carrying on with this endless battle. I don’t want to fight.

Part of me of course does want to fight. I wouldn’t write here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have seen my GP 4 weeks ago or whenever it was. The thing is, that part isn’t strong enough. I know I should go back to my GP now and tell her all of this, but I can’t. I know I should give in and accept medication, but I can’t. I know I should get out of bed right now and go to the pool and feel better, but I can’t. I will. I will do it, but I don’t know where the fight will come from.

My partner forces me to fight. I complain when he tells me to do chores and stop wasting my life, but ultimately my fear of making him angry and disappointed does tug on a little bit of me and make me do things. I don’t want to and sometimes the stress of my failure makes me worse, but when I’m less bad it helps. I’m not sure how long though I can put up with this and I’m not sure how long this will help. It’s getting harder to find the courage and motivation to do things. I’m finding it harder to listen to him, because all I want to do is be alone and escape, but I still find myself putting on the washing or tidying up. It’s like there’s this bit of me that carries on regardless of how the rest of my brain is screaming to stop. I have this autopilot that operates and keeps me alive and I wonder if I can stop it. On the outside, I maintain composure and no one knows that all of this is going on. No one knows how hard I am fighting to stop and how hard I am fighting to carry on. I suspect I will find myself at the swimming pool in the next couple of hours, ploughing up and down, doing my fifty lengths, but I don’t want to. I want to give in. I want to stop.

I’m going mad. I’m on the verge of tears. I don’t cry anymore. I don’t know what I want to do, but all I know is I can’t carry on like this.

I look up at what I’ve written and I wonder where the articulacy comes from. I don’t feel articulate, I don’t feel capable of writing, I don’t feel capable of living, yet I continue. I wonder what will happen if I lose that capability. I wonder what happens next.

Written by intothesystem

Friday, 11th July 2008 at 12:23 pm

reading back…

with 3 comments

My post yesterday is rubbish. I was rushing it because I was stressed and it shows. I don’t think I could convey how frustrated I was feeling though and it’s written now. It might as well stay.

My mood was fractured yesterday evening. The nothingness had dissipated and was replaced by this agitated blackness. I was struggling to concentrate and just wanted to escape and be alone. I spent the night thinking about suicide and looking for alternatives, feeling more and more certain I don’t have any other options. It’s still on my mind, but I keep pushing it away. I find myself wishing that living was a viable option, but it just doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Death doesn’t seem all that viable either though. I’m scared I’ll fail and have to deal with the consequences of a failed attempt. That doesn’t fill me with much hope or encouragement. I think about running away. Leaving this life and starting a new one somewhere else, but I know that is all fantasy. I wonder if it is possible to just leave and never come back.

My partner would ask what was up last night and I’d just put on my happy face and pretend things were okay. He could see I was agitated – the fact I was grizzly like a toddler was a bit of a give-away. I couldn’t hide it, but I couldn’t explain either.

I didn’t eat my dinner. A few mouthfuls of curry were all that I could manage. Cold curry leftovers for lunch today, but not sure I can even face it now. It’s good curry too. I’m just not hungry. My bloke made a silly joke about not cutting myself when preparing the squash and it just made me want to more. At least I think he was joking. I don’t tend to cut though as it’s too hard to hide. I also had this feeling of not wanting to give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right saying that, although I don’t know why he’d be satisfied.

Went to bed and tried to sleep but my mind was going over and over reasons to live and reasons to die. I eventually fell asleep before I’d reached a conclusion.

This morning I feel less wound up, but still a little bleak. I feel lonely and unwanted. I have been trying to talk to people on msn, but no one is responding. Paranoia kicks in and I don’t know if it’s because my msn isn’t working or because they don’t want to talk to me. No one at work is responding. I wonder if they’ve got fed up of me asking what’s going on without me there. I feel left behind. I know I am meant to be taking a break, but it’s weird to know someone new started yesterday to take on my old role. I hope she does it justice, although I wonder how she is going to learn everything without anyone to teach her. I’m jealous, which is silly, but I can’t help it. I worry that people will talk about me and compare me to her, making comments such as “at least she [the new girl] isn’t mad” or something.

Seeing my friend from work on Monday was good, but difficult at times. It was nice to see her and we chatted a lot. I didn’t know her all that well, but she asked questions and wasn’t scared of my responses. It was good to talk about things in an open way . I guess because I don’t know her all that well, it was easier to be open and honest, especially as I knew she was interested and comfortable with what I had to say. I found myself wanting to open up more, but knowing if I did it would probably step over the mark. I talked about frustrations at work and found it difficult to be honest, knowing she sits next to my line manager at my old desk three days a week. I’d worry something I’d said would let slip. It was late by the time I left though and I found myself not wanting to go home. It was good to escape for a bit and just have some time to focus on myself and how I’ve been feeling. I felt bad that we talked about me for most of the night, but she didn’t seem to mind.

I’m seeing another friend tomorrow I think. Haven’t seen him for a while, but he’s a friend I’ve shared things with in the past and one that understands what it is like to feel like this, so it should be good to catch up. I miss him.

I’m going to see Ben Folds this evening. I love Ben Folds, but hope he is less disappointing than he was at Glastonbury. It will be nice to immerse myself in some music for a few hours though.

Today has been another day of nothing so far. It’s what I want, but I still feel guilty for it. I am not good at doing nothing, but I think that’s because so often I’m berated for it. My mother forever moaned at me for procrastinating and my partner seems to now too. I wish doing nothing was okay, but even I get frustrated at myself for endless procrastination. I still have a list of things I have to do and another list of things I want to do, but I can’t find a way to work through them. I try to set myself little targets, but then get upset when I fail. Today I must swim, but I’m going before the gig as it is on the way. Until then, I imagine I’ll just waste the rest of my day.

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 9th July 2008 at 1:11 pm