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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

Am I Being Fair…?

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A question that is plaguing me and my relationship at the moment.

My partner has been objecting to what I’ve written about our arguments lately. I am not sure he appreciates me writing about our relationship in such a public, but one-sided way. Maybe it is unfair to expect him to sit back without the opportunity to say his piece, but I need somewhere to work all of this out. I need to know if I am making sense. I need someone to listen.

He is of course right that I am only showing my side of the story and I am not giving him the opportunity to defend himself. Maybe I could let him write his own post, give his own argument, but I’m not sure it would be suitable for publication! ;) It is true though that much of what I have written has presented the facts and I am not trying to criticise or upset him with these posts. He did indeed call my illness a “stupid teenage fantasy” and does indeed make little snide comments about my blogging, so he cannot argue with that.

He tells me though that I do not realise how much the things I write hurt him and that I shouldn’t portray him as some big evil monster. I don’t mean to do that. He isn’t. We really do have our problems at the moment, but I don’t think he acts with any malice. I don’t think he gets any pleasure out of annoying or hurting me. He just doesn’t know how to deal with everything that is going on. I’m pretty sure he genuinely tries to understand better, but I am just not sure that it works.

One thing he said was that his sulking is not in any way aimed at me. He said that when he read about me stopping my medication he was really angry and that when he went off to sulk he wasn’t trying to manipulate me, he was just taking time out so he didn’t do or say something he may regret. That seems fair enough. There are times I have to take myself away from a situation. The problem is though I am unsure. Even if he doesn’t mean it that way, it still puts me on the back foot and makes me feel guilty. Of course he says that is my problem and that I shouldn’t think everything is about trying to hurt me. I guess it is my own fault for feeling guilty, but perhaps he should find another way of staying in control and maybe he shouldn’t give me the cold shoulder when I try and find out what is wrong.

When I said that our long conversation (argument) on Saturday night didn’t get us anywhere he was upset as well. He felt it did help and that we were getting somewhere. He argued that I am always seeing the negative in things and that we’re never going to get anywhere if I continue with that attitude. Yes, we did say things that needed to be said, but I am unsure if we actually got any closer to finding a solution. I know that he was trying though.

We had another one of those conversations on Sunday night. He said he’d been making a concious effort all day on Sunday not to make the biting comments I find so frustrating, yet I can’t say I noticed an improvement. This confuses me. Are things really not as bad as I think they are, but because of the negative nature of depressed thinking I am feeling things more acutely? Am I just making things up to taunt myself with?

We seemed to spend a great deal of time discussing the merits of twitter. I do think things have escalated on the blogging-hatred front since I started using twitter more regularly. You may remember that I wrote a blog post about my feelings on twitter about a month ago. I myself was sceptical of its merits, but I have come around because I do genuinely think it is helpful and dare I say it? I enjoy it. I enjoy being in the middle of discussion between an interesting group of people. I like the fact that twitter is taking my blog to new audiences. I like the fact it is quick and I can log my thoughts without having to dwell or develop them.

One of his arguments was that 140 characters is far too little to say anything constructive. I thought that too at first, but I am amazed at what you can actually convey through a few short messages. Thoughts after all aren’t logically constructed into sentences and paragraphs when you have them, so sharing a few snippets can still get across the same message.

His other was that he doesn’t understand why I want to broadcast little snippets of info to a bunch of strangers. He doesn’t really understand why I want an audience on my blog. I know I didn’t really start writing this for an audience. I started as I hoped it would be therapeutic, but I have found it helpful, interesting and encouraging to know there are people out there that care. I have met people who I do genuinely count as friends and I have received a great deal of useful advice and support. I wouldn’t get all that from a paper journal hidden under my bed.

As for twitter and an audience. I only really intended it to be aimed at my blogging audience. Little extra snippets of information for those that already read. Little updates for when I don’t have the words for more. It has developed into a new outlet though and also a new source of readers to this blog.

We also talked about me and my illness. His main argument was that I do not try hard enough to get better. This is an argument I hate, because it implies such a lack of understanding about mental illness, that I thought I could have changed by now. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, it isn’t going to take this illness away. I may be able to ease some of the symptoms, but that will be as far as it goes. Yes, I know that lifestyle changes can be useful and I even know that eating better and exercise can help, but it is not a panacea. The eat better, exercise more, be a better person stuff just doesn’t wash.

He is worried that I am pinning all my hopes of recovery on finding a wonder drug and/or therapy and that I am not going to do anything myself to get better. I am hoping that one day I will find a cocktail of medication that helps. Most of the people I know that have had some recovery have been aided in that by medication. It is often pointed out at The Priory that you should take a three pronged approach to recovery: medication, therapy and lifestyle change. By pinning my hopes for recovery on therapy and medication I am not being lazy, just realistic. I would also hope that the fact I have hopes for therapy (when the NHS finally get their ass in gear) does suggest I want to do some of the work to get better myself. Therapy is far from an easy process and involves a great deal of hard work, work which I am going to have to do.

As an example of how I am being lazy and not trying hard enough, he says that I haven’t done anything to improve my sleep, except take a few pills. I have tried medication, but I’ve been through the sleep hygiene stuff too. Admittedly I’ve made less effort in recent months, but only because I have given up hope. I have spent years swinging between hypersomnia and insomnia, although in recent years I’ve been firmly in the insomnia camp. I have tried all sorts of things and nothing has succeeded in restoring “normal” sleep. What is normal is questionable anyway, because there are times when 4 hours is fine, other times when 4 hours is no where near enough and even times when 4 hours feels too much. Sometimes I can have 2 hours sleep and feel fine. Sometimes I can have 2 hours sleep and feel awful. Other times I can have 7 hours sleep and still feel exhausted. I guess it’s all linked to mood, but I guess it also means my sleep will never be great.

He suggests I need to follow more of the CBT and self-help stuff we went over at The Priory. Setting myself a routine and activity scheduling. I do need to get back into a routine, but it is understandable that things go haywire over Christmas. I know activity scheduling was something that was always encouraged at The Priory, but I never really found it helpful. I also worry that this is just another means for exerting control. He can try and make me follow a routine he approves of and if I don’t stick to it, then he can get angry and tell me I’m not trying hard enough.

His latest suggestion is that I only use the internet/blog in the evenings to try and contain the time I spend on here, but I fear this is merely so he will be around at the time I’m doing it. Of course him being around will mean I will spend even less time on here because the automatic guilt-trip will be triggered and secondly, he will be able to keep an eye on me whilst I do it. When I tried to go online this morning, forgetting this had been suggested, he got angry at me and told me I was only allowed online at night and that I should do as I’m told. I had never agreed to following his suggestion, yet he was determined to enforce it. I am not sure I’m comfortable with his assumption that I will do as I’m told

I can’t remember what else was discussed on Sunday. I don’t exactly enjoy the arguments and I have found my short term memory seems to be pretty selective. Some of the bits that provoke the strongest emotion and reaction stick, but the rest slips through my hands like sand.

I do remember that I gave up before the bloke was ready to stop. I couldn’t take any more of the argument and at 2am or whatever it was I was too tired to discuss anything properly. He was annoyed at this, but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to start the discussion then anyway. It would be a lot easier to talk about such things when I’m actually functioning properly.

The thing is now I am confused and conflicted. I wonder if I’m being fair. I wonder if this is all my fault and if I am overreacting. I wonder if I am just seeing the negatives all the time. But things have got to the stage now that I am always suspicious of his motives. Is he trying to make me feel bad so that he can control me? Is he trying to guilt trip me into compliance? Is he just saying all of this to get his own way?

I wonder if anything will ever change. I really don’t know what to do.

Alison suggested on my last post we had some time apart and it is something I have thought about a lot myself, but I do not know how feasible it is. I hope that him going back to work will help. At least it will give us a few hours space. His cold is now improving, but his attempt to get to work this morning proved futile due to the snow. Both routes out of the village towards Warrington were difficult – one impassable and one almost so and he didn’t want to get stuck on the way back, so he turned around and came home. Unless it dramatically warms up overnight there’s little sign of him getting there tomorrow either. We’ve had another couple of inches since he got home this morning.

Even if he does get to work soon, a few hours apart probably isn’t going to be enough to help. Would a temporary separation be useful? It might make us realise what things we miss about each other and it might give me some space to get better. Our relationship was once long distance and it is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I just don’t know if he’d be happy about it and I don’t even know if I could. Things are not good at the moment and I wonder how Dr N and the CMHT will react if I am on my own. I wonder how I would cope. I worry that I would end up in hospital, perhaps not because he would get me sectioned or maybe even not because I couldn’t cope, but pretty much because there is no where else for me to go. I can’t exactly go home – my support is up here and I’d go mad after a couple of days with my parents anyway and I don’t really have any friends I could stay with. I don’t have anywhere else to go.

As has been mentioned before, I don’t think I am well enough to make any big decisions on our relationship whilst I am still in the acute throes of this illness. I am pretty sure things would be a lot easier if I was well. My illness has skewed the power relationship and I think that has escalated the worries about control. I think he wants to control me, because he wants to keep me safe. I am in a weakened position naturally, because he is my carer and ultimately if he wanted me in hospital he could make it so. Before I was his equal and I had things of my own and they gave me freedom. I had my career and my work friends, both of which I have lost through illness. I find it hard because I don’t feel I have anything of my own any more and that only adds to the feeling that I have no freedom anymore.

Admittedly we argued before I was ill, but it is true that arguments are a fact of life in relationships and things have been so much worse lately. The problem is, I can’t really remember the good times. A combination of depression and the effects of ECT means they’ve pretty much gone. I can barely remember our engagement. It makes it very easy to think that our relationship is all bad and maybe it should be over, when really things are just a little difficult at the moment and there is a lot going for us. NYE was our 7 year anniversary. That’s a long time and we must have been doing something right to get this far.

You would be forgiven for reading this post and thinking that our relationship struggles are the only thing going through my mind at the moment, but they are not. These struggles are the thing which I feel most able to write about, but on top of all this there are other struggles going on. I want to write about them, yet I am scared about doing so. The depression is pretty intense, but the agitation is back again and the only respite I have is my appreciation of snow. I love snow and it has been a welcome distraction from the worst of my thoughts. Sadly I know that as the snow melts that respite will disappear and I will be left with the misery that fills the rest of my mind. I do not relish that thought.

Thoughts, Thoughts, Thoughts…

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So I’ve not been sleeping well the last couple of days. A nasty cold combined with racing and distressing thoughts is tiring me out. I was wide awake last night for hours and hours and no matter how much I tried I didn’t seem to be able to switch off. Eventually my cold must have defeated me and I got a couple of hours of broken sleep, only to wake up to the sound of our dog whimpering and a continuation of the thoughts.

My mind had been fairly still and quiet over the past couple of weeks. My mood was that of low rumbling depression, hidden under a fa├žade of festive cheer. My thoughts have been dark, but calm and slow. It made a change to the agitated depression that had been the main feature of 2009.

It seems though with this cold, my thoughts have quickened. I feel as if I’m in a quiet turmoil, with ever-racing thoughts bubbling under the surface. I start on one thing and it gives me a hundred leads to follow, all in turn leading to more. The thoughts circle and spiral out of control. I can’t get a hold on them.

I store my thoughts up for the night-time, trying to maintain a semblance of normality during the day. Being ill with this cold though has allowed me to stay in bed and I can drop the pretence of normality a little.

I need to untangle everything and write it all down so I can try and make sense of it all, but it would take me hours, days even. I could probably write 10,000 words and still barely scratch the surface. I suspect my bloke may be justified in his complaints if I tried to blog all of that. I’d like the chance to blog some of it though.

I feel so alone with these thoughts though. I don’t know who I would share all this with. I can’t work it all out, let alone express it to others. Some of these thoughts are thoughts I can’t bear to share. Some of these thoughts I desperately want to share, but I am unsure if it is wise. Some of these thoughts are too confusing to know what to do with. I alternate between wanting to share them and thinking it is a very bad idea. Instead they all go round and round in my head and I’m too scared to let them out.

I did actually try and share a few things with Dr N on Thursday, but that has only amplified my confusion. By sharing my thoughts, I have made them real and that has only made them stronger. This just makes it harder for me to tackle the rest.

I don’t really know what to do.

This argument is still rumbling on and I don’t feel strong enough to resist right now. I need time to write, but I feel too guilty for it. The pressure is on for me to get off my laptop and “go and do something useful”, yet I can’t summon the energy for that either. I wish I could hibernate and wait for this to blow over.

Written by intothesystem

Saturday, 2nd January 2010 at 1:18 pm

I'm Nervous…

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Tomorrow I have two important meetings and I have no idea what I want to say at either of them. I find myself sitting here, wanting to write, wanting to find some coherance, wanting to untangle the mess of thoughts in my head. I don’t want to go into either meeting unprepared, yet the uselessness of my brain leaves me with little choice as I sit here stuck, unable to express myself. I’m mute.

The first meeting is scaring me the most. My psychiatrist’s secretary called on Thursday to book a meeting with my partner. I was not in, so he booked the appointment. I do not know why the appointment has been requested. I didn’t request it myself, but Dr G must have. We had talked about having a joint session in the past, but only an hour before this phonecall I was talking to my therapist and she agreed that we should wait a while longer before we do. So I’m scared. I’m going into a room with both my partner and my psychiatrist and I have no idea what is going to be said by either of them and unless my head starts working any time soon, I’m not going to have any idea of what I’m going to say either. I want to know why Dr G suddenly requested this meeting. What prompted her to do so? Questions like this are floating around my head and I can’t make head nor tail of them. I just feel lost in this thought soup.

The second meeting is the most important. It is the meeting with the CMHT. The meeting I’ve been waiting weeks for. Two people will arrive at my house and expect me to recall everything that has been going on in the last few months. Hell, they’ll probably want everything that has been going on in the past year or longer! I don’t know where to start. I am preoccupied by this constant suicidal thinking. I am preoccupied by my inability to think. I am meant to try and convince these people I need support and that they can support me, yet I don’t know what will happen. I suspect I will go into automatic coping mode, pretend I’m fine and they’ll go away wondering why they’d been told to come and assess me.

I just know that tonight is going to be a long one. The anxiety is building and it makes me feel sick.

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 18th May 2009 at 5:26 pm

In for a Shock…

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I am still an inpatient and it looks like I will be for a while now as I am starting ECT tomorrow. Dr G asked me to have it last Tuesday and since then I’ve gone from wanting it, to not and back again a few times, but we’ve decided it is worth a try. Anything is worth a try when you are as low as I am at the moment. I can’t describe how difficult the last few weeks have been, just to be alive. All I have wanted is to be dead. It’s still all I really want. There is this awful, selfish part of me that hopes I don’t wake from the anesthetic tomorrow. I know that is unlikely though. I just hope for everyone else’s sake the ECT does what it is meant to. I’m past caring but I know my family are worried. Something has to change.

It’s hard to write properly typing on my phone. I wanted to blog. I need that record of things. Memory loss is a possibility and I don’t want to forget my thoughts. It’s hard though as I’ve found myself struggling to know how and what I am feeling and thinking. For possibly the first time in my life, I’ve really struggled to articulate things, not just when talking, but writing too. I’ve just not been able to get my pen to work. When usually the thoughts would just write themselves, it has been impossible. I’ve just been left staring at empty paper. I am not used to that.

Anyway. I hope everyone else is ok. I’ve heard that some of you aren’t either and that is saddening but I just hope you all hang on and stay safe. I know how hard it is. Take care. x

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 2nd March 2009 at 5:27 pm

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?

Lots to say, but no patience to write…

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The title says it all really. I have lots of things in my head, all running around like little ants. Ants of course sum it up – automatic negative thoughts. A lot of them fall under this category. I try to use the stick of CBT on them, but it doesn’t do much good.

I have a lot of half started drafts and random ideas for posts, but I am not really able to turn them into posts. I somehow get lost along the way or they just don’t quite say what I want them to say.

I will try soon. For now I must go.

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 5th January 2009 at 11:32 pm

Hope or Hopeless?

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Reading back over my last post, I’m struck by the hopefulness of it. I didn’t think I felt especially hopeful when I was writing it, but that is the sense I feel looking back. At the time, I thought I was going through the motions, self-censoring my words to make it seem like I was hopeful. I had it in my mind that I would not return from London. I had it in my mind that I had to present that I was okay and going to be safe down there for my partner’s sake, but deep down knew I’d be battling against the safety measures that I had put in place.

As you can see, I have returned from London, so maybe my hopefulness was genuine? Maybe I realised that I would overcome my suicidal wishes and survive the weekend? I don’t know. My hope is as fleeting as my moods.

It was touch and go at times. On Sunday night, I genuinely thought I would not return. I had a clear plan in mind and was preparing myself for it. I was on the edge. I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to die. I got scared by my mind and the clarity of it and forced myself to take double sleepers to knock myself out. I think they worked. By morning, I woke feeling less certain of my plan and keen to get home. I felt mildly optimistic and even, dare I say it, happy?

How can one’s perspective on things change so quickly? I don’t know if I am coming or going. I don’t know if I am full of hope or hopeless.

My weekend, overall, was good. My mood was unstable, as is the usual, but I did enjoy Saturday night. Lots of alcohol and lots of dancing and I was okay. Moments of withdrawal and sadness descended if I stopped to breathe, but I kept them at bay with a relentless performance of “coping”. I tried to live in the moment, something we are continually preached about at The Priory. It was enough to keep me going and even enough to let me smile a little and actually believe in it and mean it.

Sunday was a slow one and much harder. I didn’t have an alcohol hangover, but a mood one was definitely apparent. We didn’t do much. Stayed in the flat most of the day and went for food in the evening. There was no pressure and with that, I could manage. I had to battle against the thoughts in my head, but without any need for a performance, I could concentrate on that and concentrate on the moment. It was okay.

Last week I didn’t see past the weekend. I didn’t expect to see today. A friend of mine said to me on Friday, life is like driving in the dark. You can only see as far as your headlights allow you, but you know that if you keep going you will see a little further and if you keep going like that you can go all the way. I think that is how I’m living life at the moment. I can’t see very far. I don’t really want to see very far, but I am still getting through each little bit. I just hope that my headlamps don’t go out any time soon or the fog doesn’t get any worse. I’m still struggling and I hate it.

My mood dropped again yesterday. I was at The Priory and although Art was reasonably relaxing, Support was uncomfortable. I was agitated, unable to stay still and the conversation was irrelevant to me for most of the session. I sat and tried to listen, but all I could think about was my unrealised plans from the weekend. When it was eventually my turn to speak, I unleashed my frustration at my mood. My frustration at the speed in which it twists and turns. I did not know what else to say and neither did anyone else. Their depression is explained by divorce, family issues or work stress. Mine is explained by nothing. By faulty brain chemicals or a disordered personality? I do not know and I still don’t have any answers. I am fed up of it.

I don’t know what else to say anymore. On Sunday, I had lost all hope. On Monday, it returned. Yesterday, it was wavering. Today, I do not know.