Respite

I asked to go into respite again for a few nights. My mood has plummeted and I desperately need a medication review. I asked continually over Xmas but I kept being put aside. I fell into the ‘not ill enough’ bracket. Even though my psychiatrist was working over the Xmas period and my CPN told me to contact her if I needed a medication review. Oh the joy of the mental health service!

Managing my job has become impossible. It was hard already over Xmas, but with my mood so low and the searing dread about my bitch of a boss coming back soon, I was an anxious mess. So I’m on sick leave this week, next week I happen to have prearranged annual leave. I’ve also asked to work part time on my return.

I have heard some interesting news today, in the UK I was prescribed Effexor, which I found to be a really effective anti depressant. When I came back to NZ, it stopped working and I couldn’t understand it. So a medley of other anti depressants were prescribed. I’ve just found out that in NZ, Effexor isn’t subsidised by Pharmac, only a generic substitution is. Apparently this generic one is made of a different composition, and has been ineffective for a lot of people. This means I’ll have to pay more for a prescription but it’s worth it.

I can’t see my psychiatrist until January 22nd, so unfortunately she won’t prescribe until then. So I’m only on lamotrigine which is anti seizure after that one convulsion I had in the middle of last year.

I can intellectualise that my mood has dropped because of a chemical imbalance and that it’s temporary. Brought on by the pressures of the expectations of a new year and work. And it’s this that I’m trying to hold onto. But it’s extremely hard both psychologically and physically. I’m absolutely exhausted and totally demotivated. I’ve stopped running, I can barely look after my basic needs; showering, brushing my teeth, cooking, tidying up. I cry a lot, my anxiety is through the roof so I am often on the brink of panic attacks and my heart feels like it’s going to give up. I’m especially hyper vigilant, so at home I’ve felt like someone is trying to break in every night.

It’s so hard looking after the kids. I’m fighting it all the way, I took the kids to the beach on Saturday and swimming on Sunday – even though every muscle in my body didn’t want to move. Driving was hard because of concentration, I felt physically sick from the exertion and I struggled to not be miserable and snappy.

I’ve promised the kids I’ll take them camping next week, so I have to be better for that. I’m concentrating all of my efforts on getting ready for that, which is why I’m taking this week out. Although I still intend on seeing the kids at Steve’s, luckily he’s on leave this month. I miss them painfully, but I know I’m not in a position to have them stay at mine for now.

So here I am, back in respite. But I’ve chosen this before I became much worse. It’s funny actually because the guy that gave me the induction told me he didn’t think I belonged here. And you’d be hard pressed to tell. I’m actually in clean clothes, I’ve got a deep tan from being out, I maintain eye contact and hold conversations. Admittedly I’ve been in far worse states. But what he doesn’t know is that I’ve not showered, I only got dressed to come here, I’ve had terrible suicidal ideation and just from our conversation I was so exhausted I slept afterwards for two hours.

No one really knows what anyone is going through, and initial appearances can be deceiving.

I don’t see this stay as a fail into the new year. I see it as me creating (by advocating for myself) a safety net so that I can take some time out for myself to prevent becoming so unwell I’m virtually catatonic.

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Wobble

I’ve had a wobble over this new year period. It happens pretty much every year with the pressures and expectations. Xmas was so good with all the family together, but then they all left and although initially it was down time for me, I ended up being left with my own depressing thoughts. I was definitely becoming unwell and I had visions of being committed over the new year.

But I’ve clung to my sanity. On New Year’s Day I joined the Parkrun group to get my 5km in. I’ve maintained running for 30 mins x3 a week, so I wasn’t able to run the full 5km again, but I’m not concerned, I’m joining the January program to work up that again. Then, as tempting as it was to crawl into bed, I went to the beach with a great read on my kindle. I swam in the sea and relaxed in the sun (yes I’m a bit burnt!). Today I’m catching up with a friend and will probably go back to the beach afterwards.

I’ve hardly heard from Steve and the kids. I knew he’d come back cold from Napier, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still hurts, even when I’m expecting it. They’re due back tomorrow as it’s Harry’s birthday the following day.

I’m working tomorrow which I’m really not looking forward too. I hope I can find a new job this year. I’m still in two minds about study. One part of me wants to embrace it and start learning again, another part of me feels inadequate and that I can’t do it. I don’t have long to make a decision.

It’s supposed to be nice again today. I’m lucky I’m up at Steve’s, it’s much cooler here and I can open all the ranch sliders, but of course I’ll be sad to leave tomorrow. My house is like a hot box over summer and I don’t really have much of a garden. It does grate on me that Steve has everything.

The new year means little to me. I’m not one for resolutions and trite message of hope and all that. It’s just a change in numbers, I don’t think this year will actually be any different. I can only continue to take one day at a time.

Fighting intrusive suicidal

Thoughts. How easy would it be to step in front of a train? I’ve checked the train table, I could be there in time. I wouldn’t have to face the new year. I could leave the kids with good memories. There’s nothing keeping me here. My life is miserable and hard work.

I don’t know what keeps me here.

I feel like I need to hold on. But for what? Nothing is clear.

Home

I’m home now. It’s late, and very dark (more than usual, the street lights are off). It adds to the crushing feeling in my chest. I just left the bright lights and warmth of my children. It’s so nice to go to bed in the same house and wake up in the same house as all of them at the same time. I miss my family. Even Steve was being really friendly and more like the old him. We fell into our usual patterns and it felt easy.

I’ve long since deleted Tinder. I’m not ready to date or see who’s out there. I’m too focussed on my family. I just cannot see myself with anyone else. And I have no sexual desire anyway.

Steve is taking the kids to Napier tomorrow. They’ll be gone until 3rd of January. I’ll miss them painfully. Although this year I intend on seeing the new year in as opposed to sleeping through it. I don’t know what the new year brings – but it has to be better for me.

I’ll probably divide my time between my house and Steve’s. Primarily because my washing machine is broken and I don’t want to keep paying for the laundromat over Xmas.

This has been a good Xmas. My depression has been more manageable- or rather I’ve learnt to manage it better. I had a couple of times when I longed to stay in bed. But I think a lot of that was sadness, sadness that we’re not a real family anymore. But I loved being with the kids and being more functional. I’m sure they enjoyed us all being together. I took them to see a movie today and Steve came along too. We’ve not done any family things, despite my trying to initiate that. I think it’s good for the kids to see us getting along.

So now I’m all alone in the dark on Boxing Day.

I have work tomorrow unfortunately. I’m just going as back up to a colleague who has a dodgy client. Hopefully I won’t get any calls!

So this has been my Xmas. Overall I’m happy with the way things have gone. I hope next Xmas will be easier though.

Xmas

So here we are at Xmas. The kids are happy and spoilt rotten by their dad as usual. I’m here as a spare part. It’s a bit awkward really. I’m just tidying up and trying to be an invisible guest to Steve. I’m reminded of Xmas past when we were a real family. My heart aches for that. Steve, as usual, couldn’t care less. He’s tolerating me for the kids. He did buy me presents, exactly what I asked for. I’m very grateful but I miss the old days when thought went into it. I bought him some port and some records, I knew he’d love that. My record player for his birthday was a big hit as much as it pains him to acknowledge that I still know him and gifted him something he really wanted.

The kids are so happy with their presents which I’m really happy about

I’m not sure how I’ll cope with another Xmas like this. But it’s important to the kids that we’re all together. Maybe it’ll get easier next year. It hasn’t got any easier in time so far.

They’re all going to Napier after Boxing Day. I’ll miss the kids, but I intend to enjoy my time alone. Although, technically I’m still working. I’ve only got stat days off.

I’m still undecided about my study in the new year. I’m hoping I’ll have a clearer mind in the new year. I have no idea what the new year holds. I’m too scared to think about it!

I did it!

I did it!! I ran the 5km! I never thought I would!

I’ve had such an insane week. I drove up to Hamilton the other day, it’s a 6 and a half hour drive. I’d been shortlisted to study at a university there. I had to undertake an exam and an interview. I called in sick for work and my boss was insanely pissed off – if I’d been genuinely sick, I’d have been pretty pissed off!

I drove back the following day, Thursday. So that’s a lot of driving in 2 days!

I went back to work on Friday, when the university called to say I’d been offered a place!

I’m not sure if I’ll take it, it’s a long more of a commitment than I anticipated on this program – unlike another university that’s a 4 hour drive away. The courses are distance learning, but there’s still an expectation to spend some time on campus. Even more for the one in Hamilton.

On Friday I then had to drive out quite far to a client that was really temperamental. I had to give her some news and she threw a mug of a coffee and started screaming. It was pretty intense. And of course, my boss was too busy to speak to me!

I got home on Friday drained. I didn’t think I’d last the 5km today – but I did!

So much has happened recently, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I need to take some time to process it. I wish I could have stayed in Hamilton for longer.

Update

I’m on my last week of the 8 week running program. I’ve absolutely amazed myself by running 4km. The goal is 5km on Saturday. I’m still not confident but I’m going to give it a good shot. I’ve worked hard at this.

I had a rough weekend. I signed up for self defence, which was being run by women for women. It should have been a safe space. But I was triggered so badly. The idea of shouting really pushed me over the edge. I used my voice but was ignored, why should these self defence tactics make any difference. Plus we talked about strangulation. I was fine with the theory but I wasn’t ready to do the practice. I ended up locked in a toilet stall having a panic attack. When I finally got it together I snuck out to get my bag and leave. A friend caught me on the way out, she hugged me and reassured me. It felt nice, I could have sobbed on her shoulder all afternoon, but I was scared of upsetting the women. So I took my bag and fast footed it to the car. I cried hard driving home. I had to ring Steve in the end because I couldn’t get a grip. He was very understanding- unusually so actually. He knew I’d been doing this and suspected this would happen. I took comfort in his support and made it home. I was incredibly hyper vigilant- jumping and crying at every noise. The exhaustion though was overwhelming. I napped on and off. I felt so drained mentally and physically. I’ve never known anything like it. I was really too tired to have my boy over, but I missed him so much. Playing lego all evening was pretty hard, but I didn’t want to spoil his fun. The following day I had a wicked migraine. My son watched movies while I lay in bed hoping it would go. Suffice to say I felt like a terrible mother.

I’ve had some rough nights since then. Hopefully it will taper off. In retrospect I never should have taken that on. I have enough going on, I should have realised this would trigger me.

My job still sucks. I’m tired of the politics and pettiness. My boss goes on leave from December 21st, I can’t wait. It’ll be nice not to have her breathing down my neck. My official leave isn’t until 14 January. I can’t wait. I desperately need a break from this job environment. I’m still applying for other jobs but it’s tough going. Particularly with the time of year.

I’m really hoping to enjoy this Xmas. Traditionally I’m always unwell at Xmas. I can feel the low creeping in but I’m trying hard to fight it. I want to be there for the kids. There really is nothing quite as sad as sobbing miserably on Xmas day.

As the running program finishes this weekend, some new friends I made and I are making our own running club. I think it’ll be easier to stay motivated with people. I’ve also signed up to some runs around the area, including Round the Bays, which is quite an infamous run event here.

I am worried about my financial situation. As I suppose everyone is. At least Steve and his family can spoil the kids. I’ll never be in a position to do that anymore.

Fingers crossed for Saturday!