Into the system…

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

Posts Tagged ‘glastonbury

Camping and Coping…

with 4 comments

So when I last wrote in here it was before Glastonbury. It feels like months since I was there. I had a great time this year. So much better than last year and I think that was mainly down to the fact I am so much better myself. I spent so much of 2009 asleep, I hardly saw anything I wanted to and I felt terrible when I was awake, so wasn’t in the mood for it all. I didn’t have that problem this year. I coped. I was really excited to be there again. I love that place. It is just so special to be in this big temporary city of pleasure and fantasy. Glasto is so removed from the real world it is a great place to escape to.

I did have a small stress when I realised I’d forgotten most of my Reboxetine. I took them out when packing to cut the half tablets I needed (I take 6mg – 1 and a half tablets a day) but forgot to put the whole ones back. The staff at Festival Medical Services were great though. The pharmacy obviously didn’t have them in stock but they ordered them for me. I had enough to last until Friday so I could wait til they came in then. The pharmacist was going to give me the whole box of pills because they were very unlikely to need the rest and I could obviously use them but she didn’t in the end. I had my repeat prescription list with me for reference and when her and the doctor saw it and the long list of drugs, she got worried about the fact I only get fortnightly supplies. I gave her my assurance I would be ok, but she wasn’t convinced, so in the end she just gave me enough to last whilst I was there. Fair enough, but it made me sad to think how much of a consideration my overdose risk is still considered, even now all serious thoughts have passed.

I was impressed at the set up at the medical centre. It was basically A&E in a tent. They even had an X-ray suite in a lorry! Lots of crutches to hand, although instead of all the mud-related falls they usually get, there were just lots of heatstroke cases.

Musical highlights included Laura Marling, Muse, Broadcast 2000, The xx, The King Blues and Rolf! Laura was amazing. I saw her proper set on The Park, but also saw her do a very short secret set on the BBC Introducing stage for Jo Whiley’s show, which was nice. Had to beat the England match anyway! Although I am sad we missed Ray Davies at the same time.

I was registered as disabled whilst I was there which meant my bloke went for free as my carer and I had a viewing platform wristband, which was to make it easier if I was struggling with the crowds. I felt a bit weird about this as I didn’t feel disabled enough really, but then if I was still as ill as I was when I applied I would have needed it more. I did use the wristbands once for Muse. I wouldn’t have been able to stay and watch in the normal crowd. I felt panicky enough just getting to the platform. I don’t understand where my crowd anxiety has come from since I’ve been ill. I used to love being in a proper packed gig crowd, but it makes me really anxious these days. The view over the Muse crowd was amazing though. I loved watching the people signing in the deaf zone too. I didn’t get quite how deaf people could enjoy a gig without hearing it, but seeing those guys work was inspiring and the people watching were obviously enjoying themselves.

Leaving Glasto is always sad, but I think it was harder this year than normal. I didn’t want to go home, back to boring Limbo-land. I felt pretty low and dejected when we got home. Glasto soon felt like a distant memory and I just wanted to go back. I can’t wait for 2011.

Since then we have also been camping in Northumberland which was weird with the Raoul Moat thing going on whilst we were there. We were far away enough from Rothbury though to not get caught up in it although we didn’t go up to Cragside because of it all. We did drive past Police HQ in Ponteland on our way to Hadrian’s Wall on the way home on the day he was caught though and it was strange to think about what they were all dealing with whilst we were on holiday.

Camping was good. Windy, but pretty dry. Saw lots of castles and beaches, which is what you expect up there. Nikki dog was very, very happy. Bless her. Highlight of the trip was seeing all the Puffins on The Farne Islands. They’re very cool birds.

We’d been home for a few days and then today was my sister’s graduation in Birmingham. They are excessively boring ceremonies although hers was better than mine at Manchester. I felt a bit weird in there. It made me think about how little I have achieved since graduating.

And now I am on the train to catch up with my bloke and our uni friends who we are camping with this weekend. Lots of camping at the moment. Hopefully we’ll have a good weekend but it looks like it will be wet.

This post is very dull, but writing it on my phone has kept me entertained whilst on the train and I thought it was time I tried to write something to catch up a little.

There are lots of things I want to catch up on and write about but I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. Soon I hope.


Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 15th July 2010 at 10:26 pm

Social Work & Work Social…

with 3 comments

My social worker / care co-ordinator came to see me for the very last time on Wednesday. I wasn’t expecting to see her again at all, but she had some paperwork to give me. It was nice to get the call on Tuesday to say she was going to be popping over. I am sad to see her go. She was far better than my previous worker, J and she did restore my faith a little that there was a point in the CMHT. I am not quite sure how it is going to work without a social worker, but my psych is going to act as care co-ordinator, so it should be okay.

On Thursday I braved the work social. I wasn’t sure about going and got quite nervous about this. It was suggested I went along as a way of getting back in touch with work in an informal way. Sort of dipping my toe in. I was worried what I would say to people. I was worried what people would think and I was quite concerned about the fact I’m still on sick leave, yet I’m well enough to go out and get drunk. Would anyone understand that?

When I arrived, virtually no one was there, so I could get talking to a couple of people and break myself in gently. The person who was assigned as a sort-of mentor was there too, so she could kinda look after me. There wasn’t a big turnout at all really, so that helped as I guess I wasn’t going to burn too many bridges if I made a pigs ear of things. I didn’t really know what to say, but I ended up just being honest about being on sick leave. When we were talking about projects, when we joined and who else we knew, it would have been pretty hard to lie. I didn’t have a project and hadn’t done for almost 2 years – in which time my old project has become obsolete. I joined 3 years ago, in which time I should have been promoted. All the people I knew are now consultants or above or have left the company, so people would wonder why I didn’t know anyone else. I didn’t specify why I’d been off though. I thought about it, but it was easier to just say I’d been off for two years and that I’d spent some of the time in hospital.

In the end I coped, but I felt a little weird about it all. I kinda felt like I didn’t fit in any more. In some ways it was fine. I am still a young graduate, with the skills and knowledge to do the job and the aspirations to do well, get promoted etc. I am no different to the rest of them in that respect. I think I can still do the job, but I am not so sure about the company culture now. I used to love it, but the work hard, play hard thing may be a challenge, because I can’t really do either. To do so, would be risking further illness. Socials are built around drinking and late nights, neither of which are a great idea – alcohol is a depressant and I need routine and sleep. Success is built around how many hours you put in, never saying no, high standards and perfectionism – I guess the same is true for many jobs, but there is a huge amount of competition and one-up-man-ship. There is a constant need to prove yourself to be better than the next person. I can’t push myself to breaking point again. I have to hold back, as hard as I am going to find that. With work encouraging me to actively not hold back, that may be difficult to control. I think occupational health and HR will have a close eye on me and will do what they can to protect me from that, but I am not sure I want to be in that position. I don’t want to be left behind. It feels hard enough as it is.

At one point, one of the girls mentioned someone she had met in the company who had been an Analyst for 5 years and she was basically insulting this guy for the amount of time he had been at level. When she said this, everyone except me laughed. She suggested that he had some form of learning difficulties, which meant he didn’t get given enough responsibility to be promoted. Although this may be true, it was meant to be an insult, suggesting he was a massive failure and terribly flawed. Are people going to be saying the same things behind my back? At the end of the summer I will be entering my fourth year as an analyst. Most people are promoted in 2-3 years and many have been promoted again within 5 years total, so I’m a long way behind already. It is highly unlikely I will get promoted in the next year or so as I will not not be working full hours or full responsibilities for a long time. So I am going to become this guy – an analyst for 5 years or more and ridiculed because of it. I am scared of this.

A lot of the time I wonder if it would be easier to start again completely. A new job and a new life. My old life has left me behind and things have changed so much they will never be the same again. I am scared of going back and trying to fit in. I don’t quite know if I will fit any more. I am scared of explaining what has happened in the past two years. I want to erase the past two years, so I can just start again where I left off. I want to catch up with everyone else and I know that is impossible.

There are advantages to staying put though. My company have looked after me and I feel I owe them some loyalty for that. They are going to be flexible with my return to work and will continue to look out for me. I don’t have to learn a new job and at least I already know what to do. The company’s expectations of me have been lowered, so there is no pressure to live up to anything. I don’t need to perform at my best. I can go at 90% and hopefully that will be enough for now.

Starting again obviously has its pitfalls as well. I couldn’t start a new job. I would work too hard trying to keep my head above water, trying to be perfect, trying to impress. I would have to meet new people, with all this history and baggage behind me to try and explain or ignore. I’d have to learn how to do a new job too – new skills, tasks, routines. I am not sure I am up to learning much at the moment. My thinking still isn’t as sharp as it used to be. My memory is crap, my concentration isn’t brilliant. I would end up burning out in no time and I’d be back where I was before. More time on sick leave and another attempt to return to work. No one in their right mind would employ me now anyway, so it is not an option anyway, but I just wish that going back would be easier.

I am starting to realise that although my mood has picked up now and I feel relatively stable, there is still a very long way to go before I can say I am recovered. The future is scary. I have a lot of things ahead that will try and trip me up and I’m a little scared about embarking on this part of the journey. I don’t want to slide back down the hill, but the baggage I’ve got to carry along the way is going to make it pretty tough going.

I feel like I’m kinda rooted to the spot for now, looking up at this big hill with a feeling of trepidation. I’m also being held back by occupational health and my doctors, so I can’t even just take a big breath and have a run at it. All I can do is keep plodding though and hope that one day I’ll be able to get there.

In other news – I’m off to Glastonbury on Tuesday night, so I probably won’t blog again, even though I have two other posts in draft. They can wait though. See you all in a week or so.

p.s. I’ve updated the My Story page again. Can’t believe it didn’t even cover my admission back in January. A lot has happened in 6 months.


with 6 comments

Yes, I return. I’ve spent the last week in the never, never land that is Glastonbury Festival and I’m back and exhausted.

Aethelread suggests that it wasn’t the best Glastonbury and I have to agree with him. However, my complaints weren’t with the headliners or lack of diversity in the crowd, more my state of mind and inability to enjoy anything. I spent most of the weekend unable to cope with the crowds, moaning about everything and not being able to let go and enjoy things.

I regret it all now. Watching back highlights I realise what I missed out on. I didn’t make the most of this year at all. I should have tried to forget everything and enjoy the freedom that Glastonbury gives you. I should have let go and just ignored how crap I felt and made the most of it. I should have tolerated the tiredness, my aching limbs and stuck it out. I should have put up with the crowds and not got panicky when I was unable to move for people.

I struggled all week though. I couldn’t cope with the crowds at all and felt myself getting anxious whenever I got stuck behind people and couldn’t move freely. Wednesday was so much busier than previous years and it sent me into a tailspin. I am used to a relaxed Wednesday with no one around. It was definitely a busier Glastonbury than the last two years and I couldn’t handle it all. I’m not sure if I just noticed the people more this year though because of everything that’s happened in the past year. I’ve definitely changed. I used to be at my most content at the front of a massive crowd at a gig. This year, I couldn’t cope with the dense crowds at all and opted for standing way back where I could still move a little.

I avoided the main stages wherever possible, only suffering the pyramid stage for Regina Spektor (my glasto highlight), Lily Allen and bits of Tom Jones and Blur. I spent most of my weekend in the Cabaret tent watching comedy, where it was quiet and you could find a nice spot to sit down. I also spent quite a bit of time wandering the green fields and not enough time actually seeing bands.

I also spent a great deal of time sleeping. I kept falling asleep during the day whenever we sat down for a bit. I don’t know if it was the heat (it was sooo hot!) or my medication but I just could not stay awake. On the Tuesday night before we left and the Wednesday I had terrible insomnia and barely got any sleep. By the Friday I was exhausted and on both Friday and Saturday I was in my tent before the headliners had finished. It seems I go from one extreme to the other in more ways than just my mood.

Then there was the rain and the mud. Everyone seems to think it was a relatively dry glastonbury, but it seems the TV coverage failed to mention the torrential rain on Thursday/Friday and the fact it still turned to a mud bath in no time at all. It certainly wasn’t as bad as two years ago, but I still struggled with the rain. I just hid under our gazebo. It rained really badly on Sunday night too, just as we were about to embark on the walk from site to our car. I was drenched in seconds!

Generally the line up wasn’t that strong this year either. There was very little I actually wanted to see. It doesn’t matter. I don’t go to Glasto for the line up. I go because of everything else, but it is a bonus when the music is good too. There weren’t any real musical highlights this year. No moments that stood out as being truly amazing.

In general, the whole experience seemed a little flat. I did enjoy some bits, but a lot of the time I actually didn’t want to be there at all. I wish I could enjoy things, but it seems even my favourite things have lost their shine.

Being back is difficult too. I don’t want to be back. I never wanted to come home from this Glastonbury. It had been a goal in the distance for quite some time and a reason to stick around and now that it’s over I don’t know if I want to continue. It feels like I don’t really have much else to stick around for now.

not in the mood…

with 5 comments

I’ve sat looking at wordpress for most of the morning, but don’t seem to have any motivation to write. I feel in limbo. I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I should be trying to find a dress for our work summer party – a trip to the races, but I’m not even sure if I should go. I am meant to be off work due to sickness after all and no doubt will get too many stupid questions. I want to though. I should be organising the damn thing, but I’m obviously not. Would be disappointing to miss it though. I miss everyone from work. Work is a conundrum for me at the moment that I don’t know how to solve. I should be considering going back, but it scares me. My line manager and HR have a meeting about me today. I have no idea what they are going to discuss and what they think. I’m scared.

As well as a dress I also need a swimming costume – desperately want to start swimming again – I used to swim a few miles a week when at Uni, but my current costume is so worn it’s seethrough – not a pleasant sight!! Difficult though as my body is long and not exactly small – I either struggle with body length or not enough support for my ample chest! I’m not exactly built for bikinis so I can’t get around the body length thing that way!

Most people would think being off work and going shopping is a dream – for me it’s a nightmare. My HR rep keeps saying if she was off that’s what she’d do. I’d rather just stay in bed all day, but my other half is still adamant that I am best getting out of the house and doing things. I try to tell him I’m not, but he doesn’t listen. I’m still hiding how I’m feeling from him a lot. I just can’t get out of the habit. I miss seeing people though. It’s lonely at home.

I think I’m going to head into Manchester though just to do something. Already tried Stockport, Trafford Centre and Warrington to no avail! Manchester is my last hope. I miss living in Manchester city centre. It was so much easier. Now I have to either drive to the tram and park and ride or drive into town and spend a fortune on parking. Not sure which is the most attractive option today. None of course.

Anyway I should go. This isn’t exactly stimulating reading.

p.s. Listen to the Langley Sisters. My big discovery at Glastonbury. We saw them twice and I’ve been listening to the four tracks on their myspace on repeat since I got back. They’re amazingly talented sisters and had only done a couple gigs before their Glastonbury sets. Really want to see them again!

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 2nd July 2008 at 12:35 pm

back from glasto…

leave a comment »

…so I’m back. We left at 2am on Monday morning (Sunday night) and arrived home at 6am. Went to bed and got up again mid-morning yesterday, but my partner was home so spent the day going to the shops, collecting the guinea pigs from their holiday home etc.

I’ve just spent the last 3 hours catching up on all the blogs on my blogroll. I want to write, but I need to go and do some things first. The list of chores still continues.

Glasto was fun. A welcome break from reality and most of the time I felt well. I realise I’m not recovered – a bit of adversity (such as an argument with my partner) and I lapse into suicidal thoughts, but generally I’ve been fairly up over the past few days. Returning home is difficult, but hasn’t been the suicidal low I quite expected. I feel kinda tired and empty though. Not sure what comes next.

Letter from the CMHT came while I was away. It is just a simple opt-in form, so need to post that off and await appointment date.

I need to see my doctor now I’m back too. She told me to see her upon my return from the festival, so I better do as I’m told, but I couldn’t get an appointment today. I will have to ring up tomorrow and try and get a book-on-day appointment. Hope I manage to get one. I need to know where I stand and what’s next. I don’t know if I’m up to a return to work or not, but I would like to at least discuss it with her.

Anyway full post soon. Washing to do. Also need to get dressed and out of bed, but bah. So easy to just stay here in bed all day.

Written by intothesystem

Tuesday, 1st July 2008 at 12:26 pm

Not satisfied…

with one comment

I’m not happy with my last post at all. I want to edit it and make it more relevant. It’s rambling and a lot of it is redundant information. *reminds self that it is never going to be perfect* Something in me wants to ensure that what I write here is as good as I can make it, even though I know it’s not really going to be read by an audience. I may be writing for myself, but I’m probably the harshest audience I could have. I hate my perfectionist-self sometimes.

I have so much to do today and I keep procrastinating and don’t have any concentration. It’s so frustrating! I keep trying to make myself snap out of it, but we all know what good that does. I wish my other half would learn that chores take three times the usual time at the moment and it’s no good having a go at me for procrastinating and not getting them done. ARGH!! I feel under pressure to get them done on time and that makes me stressed. No wonder I felt so bad when I was at work if I can’t even deal with hoovering and cleaning. Mind you, I enjoy my job. I hate cleaning.

Anyway, I’m behind schedule as it is. *must tear self away from laptop*. I really am an internet addict.

Have a fantastic few days everyone. I will return on Monday. No doubt covered in mud, completely exhausted and on a come-down from the festival. Something to look forward to then.

Written by intothesystem

Tuesday, 24th June 2008 at 3:24 pm

After the doctors…

with 3 comments

So I mentioned in this post that I’d been signed off from work. As I said before, this presented me with a couple of immediate issues, most notably having to talk to my partner.

Following the doctors appointment on 12th June I had my last counselling appointment. This was kinda weird. We talked about my experience at the GP and what happens next. He was glad I’d finally made the move to talk to my GP and we talked about how far I’d come over the past few weeks. We then went onto talk about the issue of telling my partner. We’d discussed it on previous sessions and he’d encouraged me to write some of the things I’d like to say to my partner, but I hadn’t had the opportunity. He then got me to talk through some of the things I might say, but I found this quite difficult. I guess I felt this was a private matter for me and my bloke. It was a strange session. We didn’t know what would be happening afterwards as my company had talked about the possibility of extending the sessions, but it was only a possibility. At the end we said goodbye and I’ve promised to keep him informed if I don’t see him again. I didn’t really know what else to say.

Afterwards, I found myself sat in my car crying my eyes out. It was the first time I’d cried in over a month. I was upset for a number of reasons. I guess I was upset that I might not see him again – my counsellor has been pretty fundamental in getting me this far. That snap decision back in March to ring up and ask for counselling has led to an awful lot of change. I was also desperately upset because it was only just occurring to me that although I’d come a long way and taken some massive steps, this is going to be a very long journey. As clich├ęd as that sounds, it’s true. I’d been suppressing a lot of my feelings about the doctors visit and previous events and it was like there was a small release and I managed to let some of it out. It didn’t last long though.

After I didn’t really feel quite up to going back to work straight away. I went for a drive and for a short walk at a nearby water park. Fed my lunch to the ducks, as I wasn’t hungry. I’ve not been very hungry at all lately, only eating when people cook and put it in front of me, yet I don’t seem to be losing any weight. It’s not like me to not be hungry though.

Eventually returned to work for the afternoon. I had things to do and needed to talk to my manager. I may have been signed off but I wasn’t prepared to stop working just yet.

On Friday, I worked from my company office. I’m a consultant, so I spend most of my time on client site, but I decided to work from the company office, which is much quieter and I don’t get pestered all the time. It would give me a bit of peace and quiet and time to think. A close friend of mine was also working from there. We hadn’t seen each other much lately, but he knew a bit about what was going on, so it was good to talk a little and distract myself from everything.

In the evening me and my partner had a long argument. It was the usual one. About work/life balance. I was meant to be travelling to London for a friend’s birthday and then staying down on Monday to work from our London office. He wanted me to just go down for the one night and come back on Sunday, but it made more sense for me to work from London on the Monday, plus he obviously didn’t know there was a reason I wanted some time away from him, so I could think things through. The argument lasted ages and was pathetic. I wanted to just tell him that it doesn’t matter, none of it, because in the grand scheme of things there was a lot more important stuff going on in my life, but I couldn’t find the words. I didn’t feel up to arguing with him, as I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t want to keep hiding things from him, yet I also didn’t feel ready to share. In the end I gave up and went into the other room. Later he threw some paper at me with a letter on. He had written to me to try and share some of his feelings about why he hated my job etc. I just read it and cried and the argument dissipated, but I felt guilty for not opening up myself. We’ve not been very good at talking lately. We’ve been together for over five years, yet the last three we probably haven’t shared that much. We’ve just settled into this routine of being together, both of us hiding how we’re feeling.

The next day I went to London as planned. Travelling time for me is always precious. I love nothing better than being on a train and having the opportunity to think and write. I rely on my laptop to pour my soul into. The journey passed quickly as I wrote. I had started the beginnings of a 10,000 word letter to my partner. One that would explain everything and allow me to share. I knew I would never find the words to just blurt it out. It was far more complex than that. So I began to write. What I wrote was far from coherent and full of apologies and repeated, rambling sentences, but I just felt I had to pour everything into it. By the time the train rolled into Marylebone I had far from finished.

The afternoon was lovely. One of the friends I was staying with was aware of what was going on, so it was good to have her to look out for me. We met in Regents park and had a lovely time drinking and chatting, followed by food at Strada, then back to their flat for more drinking and chatting. It was a nice evening and a good distraction from everything going on. I drank quite a bit, and although I could feel it tugging on my emotions I was able to hold things together, unlike the last time I’d been drinking. I hadn’t really had anything since the incident in my hotel room in May. Having nice people around to keep an eye on my obviously helped. The next day was relaxed and exactly what I needed following a tough week. We got food, I sat and wrote (I know it’s hardly sociable to sit with your laptop all day and type, but everyone else was fairly hungover too and just watched telly so it was fine) and I chatted to my friend. We talked a lot and she helped me to get my head around things. We also popped out for a few hours to buy stuff and get food, so all in all it was a fairly normal day.

The following morning, I headed to the office. Didn’t rush in for my usual time of 7.30am, which was nice, but I hate commuting across London. I hate the tube and generally try to walk or take the bus, but I was forced to brave the northern line to Bank. Made it without fainting and I spent the day in the office, trying hard to work, but struggling. I couldn’t concentrate on my tasks and had to work hard to just get the essentials done. I realised I wasn’t up to working when someone contacted me to do a task and I just couldn’t find the energy to help. I was full of anxiety. I’d made myself the promise that I wouldn’t leave London without sending my letter to my partner. I wanted to give him a couple hours to read it after work before my train got in. I didn’t want him to have too much time to stew over it, but knew he would need a little while on his own to read it and allow it to sink in. Knowing that I had one of the most difficult conversations I would ever have to face at the end of the day, made it difficult to carry on.

During the afternoon I met with a colleague who I’d told a few days previously about things. She was meant to be my next line manager, but things might not work out that way now what with everything going on. I had to tell her, because she was putting in plans for the new team changes and needed to know I might not be around to be included in those changes, but it was still difficult. She was however, amazing. Completely understanding and just happy to talk as friends about things. We talked about how it affected work and what we can do to work around things. I talked about the previous events and how I’d been struggling to cope with it all. I told her how I was planning to share with my partner and how scared I was about this. I talked about how I hated the fact I’d been hiding things for so long, but didn’t know what else to say. It was useful. She helped me to realise I was doing the right thing and encouraged me not to chicken out in telling him.

Anyway 5pm rolled around and I had to send my letter. I’d gone over and over it so many times. I’d written about the previous events, the past, why I’d been scared of telling him, about my job, all sorts of things. Everything I could think of that explained what was going on. It was long and I worried he wouldn’t read it in time. I found the courage to hit send and left the office before I had the chance to change my mind. Heading to Euston I felt so sick I could barely see straight. I had to run for my train because I was late and was tempted to not get on, but I made it just as the doors were shutting. As I sat on the train I was shaking. I’d not eaten all day and couldn’t even swallow my water. I was terrified. I kept thinking over and over what I’d said and what my partner might say. I hated myself for taking the cowardly option and writing, but I didn’t see what other option I had. I was so tempted to just not get off the train. I didn’t know what to do. I sent my partner a text telling him to check his email, worried he wouldn’t read it before I got home. I sat on the train, logging into my email on my phone as often as I possibly could, bearing in mind the signal on the west coast mainline is terrible. I didn’t get a reply, but not long before I was due to arrive at my station I got a text. He’d read it. He called me silly, but at least I knew he’d read it. I didn’t know what reaction I wanted really, but I was just glad that it was finally in the open.

When he picked me up at the station I didn’t know what to say. I desperately wanted to run away and hide. I certainly didn’t want to talk. He asked me questions. Lots of questions. It turns out he hadn’t read my letter in detail, only skimming over it. So he kept asking me all the things I’d already explained. He was angry that I hadn’t shared things with him earlier. He didn’t trust me and kept asking me if it was all just some elaborate lie. He asked me what the doctors had said. He asked me if I thought I really was ill, or if it was just some conspiracy. His immediate thought was that I can’t be ill, that I was just overreacting to normal feelings of sadness. He’s always thought I was melodramatic and I think now he felt he had the proof of this. I got much the reaction I had expected and feared. That night he tried to get me to talk. I didn’t know what to say, other than what I’d already said in my letter. He told me about having suicidal thoughts in the past and told me he thought that was normal and that depression was all part of intelligence. He doesn’t believe in mental illness and he certainly doesn’t believe in counselling or antidepressants. He believes it’s all a matter of choice and that we can control these thoughts if we so wish and that we shouldn’t have interference in order to get over this. He accused me of just wanting to copy Stephen Fry. Why is it that whenever someone, who happens to like Stephen Fry, is found to be depressed that accusation comes flying out? He asked me what the doctor had told me and what I’d told the doctor and if I’d exaggerated things to make it sound worse. He kept asking me if I was still hiding things. He was incessant and negative and just couldn’t find it within himself to accept things and support me. I knew though that it was a big shock and I needed to let it sink in. I felt guilty for hiding things and worried I was going to lose him. He told me he didn’t think he could stay with me if I had lied to him. He told me that we were over, but I knew I needed to let things sink in.

The next day I had my first day off from work. Now he was aware, I could finally give in to doctors orders and take a break. It was almost a relief, but was horrible too. My partner insisted I met him for lunch in order to give us more opportunity to talk and to get me out of the house. He kept trying to press me to explain things and repeating the same questions, but I didn’t have any new answers. Afterwards I went into town, to try and find a dress for my work summer party. I failed. I couldn’t concentrate and the last thing I wanted to do was shop. In the evening the questions continued. We tried to talk, but I just couldn’t explain things and he didn’t want to know. I was upset that he couldn’t accept things and support me. I gave up trying and decided to just let things sink in and let him think. The next day things were a little better. He was starting to accept things, but still holds his belief that mental illness doesn’t exist. He said he wants to help me, but doesn’t see how doctors are necessary. He said he just wished I’d talked to him instead of letting it get to this point. I tried to make him see that it wouldn’t have helped, but I don’t think he would listen.

He kept asking me if I was ill or if I thought I was ill. I didn’t have the answer to that. I don’t really know if this is an illness or if it’s something more, something that is just intrinsically part of me. I am told that it’s an illness, but I don’t know if I believe that. The difference though between me and him, is that I am willing to treat it that way if it has a chance of making things better. I don’t want to feel like this forever. I think he expects me to.

I asked him if he wanted to come to the doctors with me on Thursday. I gave him the choice, although I actually kinda wanted to go on my own. In the end he decided to just go to work. So I went to the doctors on my own. It was a pointless visit really, other than it meant I got signed off for a further week. I had already booked holiday for either side of this weekend, so we agreed I would stay off work until I’d returned from holiday and I would see her again on my return. She asked me how telling my partner went. I told her about some of his reaction and she told me I really need to think about what I want from the relationship. She told me that she thinks if I can work some of the things out between us, it might just make recovery easier. I know she’s right, but I don’t know what more I can do. She also asked about medication again, but we’ve agreed to leave that for now.

That brings us up to last Thursday. Since then, my partner and I have pretty much stopped talking about it, but he seems more supportive. I think we both want to work on the relationship and want to get through this, but I’m not sure we’re quite moving in the same direction yet. Things seem on hold. I think we’re both just waiting for things to happen. I’m waiting for the referral to come through. He’s waiting to see if I get better or top myself. He keeps trying to keep me busy and distract me. He gives me lists of chores to do during the day and has gone back to calling me lazy when I don’t do stuff. It’s almost as if not much has changed between us. I don’t really know what to do. When I say that I’m struggling to concentrate or just feel tired and want to sleep he moans that I should just snap out of it. He still won’t let me use this depression as an excuse. It isn’t an excuse. It’s a very real reason for not being very productive, but he still won’t take it. I think it’s going to be difficult to change his opinions on depression, but I know if we’re to have a future he needs to.

The next few days see us living in a field. We’re off to Glastonbury. I’ve been before, but not with my partner, so it will be interesting how this pans out. A friend and my dad are also there. I have no intention of my dad knowing what is going on, so it is going to be difficult to talk about things. At first he wasn’t sure he still wanted to go what with everything going on. He didn’t see how we could just go back to normality and ignore things, but I think he is coming around to the idea now. He’s scared of the rain though!

Anyway I have my last of chores to do and the remainder of the packing. I must go. I want to stay and write all day, but I can’t. I want to write about work and how being off is affecting me, I want to write about my relationship, I want to write about how I perceive this illness and how I’m struggling to come to terms with it all, but half of me can’t find the words and the other half can’t find the time. My days are short now. They felt a lot longer when I worked 13 hour days, but now I’m getting up later and my partner comes home early so I only have a few hours to myself. I’m not even allowed to spend those as I like, as my partner finds lists of things for me to do and expects me to do them. I miss the freedom of work.

I will try and write soon, but it might not be for a few days, as I won’t have internet in a field except on my phone or if I go to the orange tent.

Finally – I wanted to thank those of you who have encouraged me to write, those who have commented and offered advice and those who continue to blog and inspire me to write. It’s nice to know others are interested in what I have to say. It’s a pleasant surprise. Thank you.

Written by intothesystem

Tuesday, 24th June 2008 at 12:45 pm