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Posts Tagged ‘low mood

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.

Stuck at the bottom…

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I seem to have stopped yo-yoing and am now stuck at the bottom. You know when you’ve failed to keep the yo-yo going and it just sits at the bottom dangling? My mood is like that.

My week has been one of low mood, but less agitation. I just feel flat,  and demotivated. I just want to hide away and never have to go out and face the world. I just want to hibernate and never wake up. I just want to be dead.

I saw Dr G yesterday with my bloke. It was difficult for me to speak, as usual when he is around, but we talked about activity scheduling and planning. This is something that I am often told to do, but I find it really difficult. I hate the idea of planning what I am going to do in advance rather than just doing things when you want to. I know it is meant to help my motivation but instead it just feels like a chain around my neck. I find it hard to stick to the plan. So far I am doing just a day or two ahead and have been trying to stick to it but I don’t like it.

My partner keeps moaning that I should show more enthusiasm and do exactly as my psychiatrist says, but I have done activity planning in the past and only found it a chore. He keeps saying that I am not helping myself and doing everything I can to get better. I find it so demoralising because I am trying and doing my best. It feels like no one can see how much effort I am putting in. I find just existing hard enough. I am constantly battling the thoughts and doing everything I can to keep myself safe even though I don’t want to, or at least the thoughts tell me I don’t want to. It’s exhausting and bloody hard work. I am fed up of fighting. Why should I have to work so bloody hard to get better? I have done so many of the self-help and self-soothing things that I am fed up of them all. I monitor my thoughts, mood and activity. I try to do all the things that are meant to help my sleep. I try to eat well and maintain a routine. I try distraction. I still don’t feel any better though. Right now I feel as bad as ever. I don’t want to be safe.

I am feeling really demoralised right now. Everyone else seems to be getting better. Most people I know at The Priory are well on the way to recovery. Quite a few have finished or are finishing day care. I feel left behind. I know I finish day care in a few weeks but that’s not out of choice or because I’m better; it’s because my funding runs out. I’m no where near better. Although I know I’ve made progress and am now able to communicate with doctors how I’m feeling, that’s the only real improvement. My mood is still on the floor and I’m still struggling with agitation and mood swings. I’m still so very ill. My medication is still being played with and I stop seeing Dr G in a couple of weeks. I’m terrified of being stuck in limbo whilst I am passed from The Priory to the NHS.

I did eventually hear from the CMHT yesterday. My worker called me and wanted to arrange to come and see me. I’m away for some of next week so she can’t see me until 1st July. It seems like a while to wait. Especially considering my funding runs out the week after that. I want to know that I am actually going to have some support in the NHS. I want to know that I have a consultant to carry on adjusting my medication. I’m worried. I know that in the NHS you will not see the psychiatrist weekly. I know I’ll be lucky to see them every couple of months. I don’t know if I can last a month between medication changes. The thought of being stuck with no hope of any improvement of change for months on end is incredibly depressing and enough to make me give up. I’ve got used to the care offered at The Priory. I’ve got used to seeing Dr G every week and her making little changes where necessary, even in between appointments on occasion. I really don’t want to be dumped in the NHS. I am worried I’ll be left to rot.

A label…

with 4 comments

Earlier today, I had my second opinion meeting and review with Dr P. I wasn’t given much notice. The ward doctor, Dr C, just said he will be over in a few minutes and fifteen minutes later I was sat in a room with him and Dr C answering questions. It was a bit like the nth degree. My memory is sketchy and I struggled a little, but I gave him an overview of my moods over the past few years. He was keen to find out if I’d had any ‘up’ periods and although I have, I don’t want to exaggerate any of them so didn’t really know what to say. I just tried to explain how I was at various points in time. He had a little bit of knowledge about my history before he started and seemed keen to get an overall picture of my mood cycles. He asked about my agitiation also. It was a different approach to Dr G, who was more keen to get an idea about how I felt and what I thought. They’re polar opposite doctors, but both good at what they do.

Anyway, Dr P eventually said that based on my lack of response to ECT and anti-depressants he believes I have bipolar II disorder and thinks that ADs are not going to be helpful. I hadn’t realised that my lack of response to ECT could be seen as a test for bipolar. If I had recurrent depressive disorder, I’d likely to have had some positive response to the ECT, but because I haven’t, it probably suggests that anti-depressants are not going to work for me. He talked about how some people with bipolar II do not respond to ADs or traditional treatments for depression such as ECT and that was why he was suggesting that diagnosis.

He wants to start me on an old school mood stabiliser, so is putting me on Depakote. I am a little scared as I’ve heard bad thinks about Depakote, but everyone responds differently to different drugs and anything has to be better than the current situation. He is keen to take me off anti-depressants altogether. I’m glad it’s not lithium anyway.

He asked me what I thought and said that he suspected it didn’t really come as much of a surprise. At the time, I said not. I told him I knew a reasonable amount about the condition as I had friends with it and I had in the past suspected that it fitted. Thinking about it since though, it has been a bit of a shock. I’ve been seeking a diagnosis for so long and not received one, so to finally have one is a bit of a shock. It’s an unpleasant surprise too because I know that it can be an awful condition to have and I’m not sure I really want it, even if it does fit. After all, the last year has not exactly been a barrel of fun.

Dr G doesn’t yet know the outcome of the meeting. She isn’t in work today, but she is coming in tomorrow to see another patient so Dr C has written her a letter telling her about the meeting. I may end up seeing her tomorrow to discuss. I’m a little scared about her response to all this as I’m not sure what to expect. I presume she was aware that this was a possibility, because she wouldn’t have got Dr P involved if it wasn’t. Everyone is aware that Dr P is a specialist in mood disorders, especially Bipolar, and if anyone is going to spot it, it will be him.

Generally, I am still absorbing the information. I have suspected I would eventually end up with this label for a while, but it feels weird to finally have it. Dr G has avoided it so far and I wonder why, yet she obviously had her suspicions or she wouldn’t have got Dr P involved. I just hope she agrees with what has been said and is comfortable with it.

I think this has given me a little bit of hope. Things are changing, which is something positive. Hopefully, the new medication regime will improve the situation. I know it isn’t going to change things overnight, but it might pick things up. There is also the fact that this diagnosis should ensure I get more support. The CMHT referral is going through and they are trying to arrange a CPN before I am discharged from The Priory. The bipolar II diagnosis will give that referral more strength and also mean that the NHS pays more attention when I need support.

Aside from that meeting, I also have my GP coming to see me later today. I am a little nervous as there are a lot of things I have to cover with him, but he is lovely and I need to get over that fear. We shall see anyway.

Clouds and Clarity…

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Thursday and Friday were difficult days. I haven’t felt so low and so strange for a long time. I can’t remember when I last felt like that, although I know I have before. It’s just depression in that sense is often forgotten. You cannot remember how bad it feels in between the darkest moments. I was lost in a storm cloud of depression. It was strange. I was so fuzzy,  numb, vague. I was walking through treacle, with a heavy head. I felt almost detatched from my head because it was so heavy. It was like I was carrying this bowling ball around on my shoulders. I sat in therapy and stared through people. I couldn’t take anything in or concentrate on the words floating past my head. I couldn’t concentrate on the others in group, just vague shapes sat around me. I walked back from the hospital in a daze, not noticing anything around me or where I was going.

I saw Dr N on Friday. I couldn’t tell him how I felt. I couldn’t explain the darkness inside me. He just thought it was the come-down from my holiday. He noticed the clarity had gone, but was glad I was not agitated. He almost seemed pleased that I was subdued. Maybe they really do all just want us medicated into zombies? I had hoped he would see that there was something wrong and hoped he could suggest something, suggest a fix. Of course, he is powerless, with Dr G in charge, but I still felt disappointed.

The fog has remained around over the weekend, but wasn’t as bad as Thursday. I managed to break through it at times, but it was a struggle. I kept floating off inside my head as I couldn’t break through all the mist. I couldn’t really concentrate on much. I find it frustrating. Agitation may be tiring, but I miss the productivity. I just feel heavy and leaden at the moment. I have no motivation.

I am frustrated again. I am still disappointed. I feel like I am letting everyone down. I am not doing as I should. I should be better by now. The therapy and the medication should be working. I should be feeling happy. I should be back at work. I should be productive. I shouldn’t need The Priory anymore. I feel like the one that is breaking the mould. The one that is letting the side down. Everyone else is getting better. Everyone else is on the road to recovery and I just seem to be on the road to further illness. Everyone thinks that I am making progress and that I am getting there, but they don’t know how bad I still feel.

I go backwards, not forwards. I hit brick walls and I do not want to break through them. I want to give up and I want to opt out. I take my meds and I see no improvement. I am frustrated by it all. I am ashamed by my lack of improvement. I am ashamed by the fact I am still ill. I am ashamed that I don’t feel up to returning to work. I just don’t know when this will all change. I feel like a broken record. I’m sorry.

Post-Holiday Blacks…

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I’m not really sure post-holiday blues is strong enough to describe my mood since returning from my holiday. I feel dark. Black almost. I am miserable and longing. I am missing so much of what I felt last week. I miss the relief of the holiday. The break it gave me from myself. I feel as if every ounce of happiness and hope that I had squeezed out of myself was left on the runway in Finland. I want to go back there and grab hold of it and not let go.

I did not want to come back from my holiday. I knew I wouldn’t. That was why I didn’t want to go either. I knew it would just highlight my frustration with life. Before my holiday, I was apprehensive about coming back and struggling with post-holiday blues. I didn’t want it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I fear there was little I could have done to have prevented that.

My longing for my holiday suggests the whole trip was easy and happy. Sadly this isn’t even true. I did not spend the entire holiday happy and carefree. I was very low at the start and struggling with motivation and concentration. My mind was elsewhere a lot of the time and it was an acute reminder that it didn’t matter where I was, I was still ill and I took that illness with me. I was suicidal for some of my trip and was frustrated that I was in a strange place with no idea of how to establish either the means or some support and had a mind that was internally battling between these two means of action. I knew I should have said something to my bloke or some of the many medics who were staying with us, but as is the way, I couldn’t and it passed. I survived though and being away made it easier than normal.

It was a good week. Despite the rocky moments, it was still better than being at home. I could be normal for the week. I still had my meds to take and I wasn’t drinking, but I didn’t have to think about therapy or psychiatrists or The Priory. I could enjoy myself and let go a little. I was in a beautiful place, seeing beautiful things, meeting some lovely and interesting people and I was the same as everyone else there. There were distractions and I could put things to the back of my mind. I could forget about things and just enjoy living in the moment.

Now that I am home though, the contrast between last week and this is marked. The relief was part of the holiday mood. Everyone was buoyant and carefree. It was a holiday and it was short-lived. Now that I am back, I am searching for more moments like this and I do not know where they will come from. I am back to the monotony of life. I am back to my life and my reality and it feels like I’ve come down with a bump. I do not want to be back. I want a break from my head and my thoughts. I want a break from this depression.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking forward to this holiday, using it as a milestone to reach. It was something to survive for and something to live for. I do not know what is next. I feel lost now. Where is the motivation to keep going? Where can I find it?

How do you get over this and move forward when all you want to do is give up?

Post-Holiday Blues…

with 6 comments

So I’ve returned from my holiday. I am feeling low. Post-holiday blues are of course perfectly normal, but I think they hit harder when you are mood disordered. I am cold too. Despite going to Lapland, where snow and minus temperatures are part of the course, it feels colder here. The chalet was always warm and toasty and it is a different type of cold. It’s damp and dreary here. I miss the snow.

I need to finish unpacking. I can’t be bothered. I’ve slept all morning too. I just have no motivation. I just want to curl up in bed, where it is warm, and sleep forever.

I can’t be bothered to write any more now. Soon.

Take care. x

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 26th January 2009 at 4:52 pm

Merry Christmas…

with 5 comments

So I’m off down south shortly to my parents for Christmas. I haven’t finished packing up, tidying the Guinea Pigs or eaten yet today, but I’ll get there eventually. I just wanted to take a quick break to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

I’m not feeling especially festive. I was very low yesterday and don’t feel much better today, but I’ll get myself through the next few days. I have little choice. I can’t really be bothered by it all, but I guess I just need to put up with it. Will be glad when it is all over though really.

Take care everyone. Please stay safe and I hope you enjoy the festive break! xx

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 24th December 2008 at 1:52 pm