Poem of mind and pain

The corridors are long and dark,

Demons linger, their meanings stark.

Passing doors where shadows lay in wait,

Full of anger and venomous hate.

There is no hope of escape,

Confronting the memories of violence and rape.

Feeling afraid and forever lost,

Her survival comes with a very high cost.

With no light to follow

or guides to rely on

She continues alone,

Her sanctuary unknown.

Dark is her enemy, the light is too strong,

Everything highlights all that is wrong.

She seeks compassion and care

she seeks comfort and repair.

She is damaged and broken,

Her fate is unknown,

deep wounds are left raw and unspoken.

Memories are nightmares and flashbacks replayed

Time still passes but the pain will never fade.

She needs to find her solace along the way,

Can hope possibly give her this day?

No one can see the madness she faces,

No one is able to visit these places.

For this is her walk deep within her mind

The atrocities and torture remain her only bind.

Although no can see the pain she endures,

And platitudes are lost over the dragon that roars.

Her mind is a maze of bitter twists and turns,

The pain is like fire leaving its burns.

Onwards she trudges in her daily fight

No one understands her, although try as they might.

She has to believe that she will get well

That demons will die,

and she will leave this hell.

For she believes that peace awaits her and she has to be strong,

She has to rise above all that is wrong.

Losing marbles, can’t be bothered to find them!

T0day has been a ‘bumpy’ day.  I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight.  Then I was plunged into this awful nightmare.  I don’t want to about the details because its graphic and quite horrific and involves me being a young girl.  I was awoken at 6.30 by what I thought was hard pounding on the door, I jumped out of bed, expecting to see cops or something.  No one was there and for a moment I thought I had dreamt it.  Instead I heard a strange banging noise from next door, like someone dragging a bin or something and I realised in my half asleep state my brain had interpreted it as a door knocking.  I feel so groggy in the mornings, part because of the medication and part because no matter how much I sleep, I never feel rested.  This over exertion of adrenaline caused me huge anxiety and I knew that despite being tired, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As Spring has well and truly arrived, it’s another beautiful sunny, warmer than average day.  I should have been able to go for a stroll this morning.  But I couldn’t face it.  I can’t read because my concentration doesn’t retain the last page and tv is just static noise.  So I all I do could do was lie in bed and browse the internet or mull over old thoughts.

As the day has progressed, I’ve hardly achieved anything.  But I did see my psychiatrist.  I really didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in the house.  I really had to push myself.  I had to tell myself that this appointment could be the key to my getting better.

My first complaint to her was the olanzapine and the weight gain.  I said this, combined with the anti depressant was a good buffer to stopping me from going lower and then I’m plateaued but the weight was a real issue.  She agreed my concern was valued as I suffer with high cholesterol.  So she suggested AGAIN that I go back to Lithium.  Looking over my notes we concluded that the slow release had caused nausea in the past, so I must stay on the standard, but my levels at .7 were therapeutic and there was a definite improvement.  I have been keen to avoid the medication.  I don’t like the insatiable thirst, weight gain is an issue but much less so than the olanzapine and  I don’t like feeling ‘medicated.’  That said, at this point I would eat cat poo if it would improve my mood and motivation.  I begin today at 250 in the evening and then 250×2 for 5 days, then a blood test – another reason for avoiding this medication is the maintenance, the regular blood testing and of course looking after myself if I get dehydrated or a bad tummy because of toxicity.   I also suffered with thyroid issues.  My dose will then be 1000mg, and as users know it’s all about the levels.  Most people function at .5 quite happily.  I’ve noticed if the level fluctuates from .7 I start having problems.  My psychiatrist and I agree that as lows go, this is by far not the worst I’ve experienced.  But the fact its been a month now with no improvement means medication tweaks, and regular appointments.

I start uni next week and I’m so anxious to be ready for it.  Although my dr said she’d write a certificate for me, I don’t want to fall behind anymore.  Hopefully disability services can help. Although I was LOATHE to rely on them and make myself seek support from them because I just want to be bloody NORMAL and not need all this crap.

I’m taking my eldest daughter to the GP tomorrow because she keeps getting dizzy spells and feeling faint.  I suspect the problem is some sort of deficiency.   Hopefully easy to remedy.  So for a time when I wouldn’t usually leave my bedroom let the alone the house, I’m fairing pretty well.

Kudos to the fat mental one with more baggage than Heathrow airport!  I’d like to sleep now.

 

bleugh

I went to the hairdresser today.  Even though I’m so tired and drained.  I had to sit in front of the unforgiving salon mirror.  See my tired and fat reflection in the strong lights, the staff all skinny and trendy around me.  The frumpy, awkward old woman with the bad hair.

The medication is obviously peaking now.  I have these weird periods where my brain feels a bit drunk.  I feel a little less in control and everything seems to be in slow motion.  My tongue feels thick and heavy, so words come out awkwardly.  I worry I sound like I’m slurring.

S and I had an argument via text today, I almost broke down sobbing in the salon. How can he be so cold after a long time together?  I am astounded by his basic lack of respect.  He is bordering rude.  I can’t even talk to him AT ALL anymore.

I emailed my parents.  We’ve been estranged for so long.  I’m disappointed that they didn’t make an effort to contact me.  If any of my kids and I had a ‘falling out’ I would camp outside their front door.  And what’s even more annoying is that the reasons for our estrangement will never be discussed.  It’s all ‘water under a bridge’ – why would we discuss the bad things out loud?  To talk about upsetting things is just a silly waste of energy and the past can’t be changed.  and all of those clichés.

I’ve tried to talk directly with them of course.  But it’s no good and that’s what caused this cessation of communication.  They still live in the 1950s and they will never change.  Some of the things my parents have said and done is unforgivable. However, I decided to reach out.  I updated them on the last year.  The basics, my separation, the kids, my study.  Mum replied quickly to say I’d made their day.  That was nice.

cleverly she refrained from ‘jokey’ digs, or put downs.  She didn’t blame me for the marriage break down, and she didn’t immediately blame me for my motorbike accident in Cambodia.  Believe me, after my car accident, they were full of accusatory comments before they even knew the facts when I was hospital years ago and desperate to speak to them for comfort.  She kept it light, friendly.  I appreciated the tone.  I didn’t want advice or guidance.  Just an acknowledgment – which is exactly what I got.  I’m not expecting that they’ve changed.  They’re in their late 60s/early 70s now, and very stuck in their ways .  Nothing is going to change.

I feel better for contacting them though.  Although I swore I wouldn’t bother or set myself up for hurt, I decided to break my own rule.

It has brought some memories up, I won’t deny and it’s not comfortable.  But I will work through that with my therapist I expect, whom I havent seen for a while again.

Tomorrow I see my psychiatrist to discuss the medication.  I’m anxious about that. I’m anxious about everything.

Not.  Good.  Times.

Tears before bedtime

As much as I had hoped to have a pleasant family evening with a feeling of zest and hope for a better mood, I was wrong!  And I want to document this moment because its proof that with my better day doesn’t always turn into a good night.  I had pushed myself and this only serves to prove that sometimes when you’re trying to do the right thing for right reasons, it can go hopelessly wrong!

I picked up the kids and we all drove back to S’s house.  I knew I was tired, but with my headache giving me a reprieve, I felt physically stronger.  Egg was delighted with her presents.  S had bought her an ipad mini which she was over the moon about and as she thanked her Father, he reminded her to thank me too.  Which felt strange because clearly I hadn’t contributed to the gifts, nor had we shopped together.  And the kids knew that, but she still thanked me and I felt grateful to S for the acknowledgement, but somehow I felt it too obligatory.  Does that make sense or does it sound like I’m complaining over nothing?  This is hard to identify because it’s some parts illness – depression makes everything feel contrived and malicious, off-hand or disingenuine and in part, I might be making mountains out of mole hills.  Still raw from the separation.  Whatever the case, I ended up talking to S about the necklace and then started talking more about my day.  I don’t know why I felt it necessary, but he’s been my best friend, so why not?  He was clearly uninterested, and left me pretty much mid sentence to hurry the kids to get ready. I knew then, I had overstepped a boundary.

The restaurant was very family orientated, so at least I didn’t feel awkward or self-conscious, everyone was too busy with their own kids to worry about what I was or wasn’t doing!  Dinner was strained though.  I felt like the odd man out.  My kids were fantastic, and I LOVED being with them.  But the tension between S and I was so awkward and strained, it felt like a tangible ‘being’ between us.  It felt heavy, ugly, and dense.  It felt like we entered and it was there between us and then back at S’s house, it remained.  Every comment became a dig – by BOTH of us.  I knew I was guilty of that.  He looked at me with a piercing glare when we talked, and I felt inferior, I felt pathetic.  Here was S looking so much better in new clothes, back to his original weight when we met, healthy skin (he usually suffers with eczema on his face), got the money to pay for this lavish dinner and expensive gifts, lots of references to his work, his friends, his career.  And there I am, opposite, the over weight one, the tired and ill one, the boring one, the one making an effort (try hard) with make up.  I haven’t worn make up for so long I felt like a drag queen.  I didn’t have interesting stories to tell, what am I going to talk about?  My Psychiatrist appointment? My medication??  And I’ve not been social, so I can only mention the odd comment I’ve seen on Facebook!  To think, when we first met, I was bubbly, happy, travelling the world, although I had my luggage (metaphorical and literal!) I wasn’t drowning in it.  I was free-spirited, independent, not relying on anyone.  Now, I’m like a fledging, starting a new life on my own – but failing miserably to date.

I was glad when dinner was over.  I over ate, picking because I was awkward.  Which made me hate myself more.  At the cars (we took both) my eldest daughter asked to stay at my house but wanted to get her laptop first.  I obliged her request and we drove in convoy to the house.  There I asked S if there was anyone else, if he was dating.  Why do that to myself I don’t know.  He said no, but his eyes lit up, I wasn’t reading into it, it was clear he had someone in mind.  It’s the first look of excitement and delight I’ve seen on his face for a long time.  I don’t know why it bothered me.  I think because he’s been able to move on so quickly.  There’s no grief period, no regret, just living.  While I waited the tears came.  I don’t doubt that S knew, but chose to avoid me.  I managed to clear up enough to say goodbye to the kids, and wish Egg a happy birthday again.  Tell them I loved them.  My oldest daughter noticed I’d been crying and gave me a hug.  I’m being honest with her.  Its hard.  It IS really hard, and I will cry because its normal.

Tonight I will cry more in bed.  I know I will, I can feel the emotion close to the surface.  Raw, wild, grief.  I’m also shattered and my headache is pounding.  I over extended myself.  I know going out to a mall and then out for dinner is hardly a hard life.  I should get over myself really but I feel there is so much more to those steps.  Interacting with people, paranoid, mind and body addling medication effects, fears, anxiety, and trying to be something strong and dependable for the kids.

I’m miserable tonight.  After such a good day.  And I long to be held, I long to cry out loud to someone, anyone! I want to sleep for months and wake up feeling better, with a life upgrade!

Forever alone?  With misery and self loathing my shadow?

 

 

Embracing the bad

There is such freedom in admitting I’m not happy.  That I am sad, that I am afraid of everything, that I’ve lost my direction.  Instead of battening down the hatches and pretending that everything is ‘fine, thank you very much.’

For the first time in my life, I haven’t tried to ignore my feelings, push them so far away that I am living in denial and getting angry with everyone including myself for not accepting that my smile is forced and taken monumental effort.  That getting up only happens when I’m forced to for something.

I’m lucky that I have midterm break now, so I have been ‘allowed’ time to rest and recharge.  Because I would hate to be lying in bed without a fully fledged reason. And my brain has been allowed to languish in its own sorrowful woe, critical of my ever increasing weight (thanks olanzapine), critical of my abandoned crazy hair, critical of my life, of my failings, of all that is wrong with me and all that’s happened in my life.

I am embracing  my grief, my lack of direction, my struggle, my pain – why?  Because to embrace it means I am accepting that I have an illness, that it won’t always be like this, that its chemically induced, that it’s not forever, that I don’t need to prove myself to ANYONE.

So, last week was especially hard, but today I have my son with me. I had to go to the mall today because its my daughter’s birthday (8), and I wanted to get her a special gift.  Although it would usually fill me with dread and foreboding and a part of me hoped the car wouldn’t start.  I was able to visualise exactly where I needed to park, where I would enter the mall and exit. I put a time on it, so I knew at whatever self agreed time I prepared, I would be home free!  I had my son which helped immensely because I chatted to him and held his hand, he saw it as a parental guidance and interaction, I saw it as holding on to my beautiful light.  My ray of hope.  All that is right and beautiful with the world.

I bought my daughter a beautiful Pandora necklace with Elsa and snowflake charms.  She loved Frozen and she is a really girly girl.  Loves all think pink and princesses.  I think she’ll be very happy.  Just along from there was a department store and they sell the make up range I like prefer, so I decided to get a new foundation.  I’m ghostly white, my skin looks tired and stressed.  I usually take such special care of my skin and my face, but I haven’t worn make up for so long and I don’t bother moisturising – why would I?  There is no point.  I don’t go out, I look bloody awful whats the saying?  You can’t polish a turd!  But I decided to go ahead and get a new one.  At the make up counter the lady applied foundation for me and as I tried to interact with her, I realised I hadn’t really talk to anyone (excluding the kids) for so long, my words sounded stuttered and awkward and I’d forget the name of things.  Perhaps the meds, the anxiety and the tiredness combined, but I worried that I sounded drunk!  And the more I worried, the worse it got.

By the time I got back to the car, I also picked my son up some Lego and toy cars – I couldn’t resist! I was absolutely shattered.  The headache I’ve had for days was threatening to come on strong again and I was aware that I’d been out for longer than intended – not to mention spent a lot more than I intended!  The result is that I’m pretty happy with myself for being able to relax a bit and get out and about.  Although I decided at home to rest before dinner this evening, S has called and asked me to collect the kids.  As he’s still sorting some things out for our daughter.  I accepted immediately but I regret it.  Going out straight away and then being alone with my four children after a full on week and not much sleep is stressful enough, but team it with a low and its near impossible.  Here, what I recognise is that often I try to meet expectations and push myself for more and more.  The end result often means I am left drained and feeling like a failure when I don’t cope well and that undoes the work I’d done earlier.  All of these experiences are important to me, as I learn to manage my mental health as a single woman.

The other thing I have realised is that coming back to my house wasn’t such a terrible thing.  As much as I enjoyed the house, and being around my family, it still remains S’s house and I was a guest.  The master room was HIS room, we all referred to it that way and HIS house, and I didn’t want to break into a snivelling mess! Back at my place, I have my comfy big bed and all my things around.  Why would I be sad surrounded by my things and my incense burners, the smell of sweet berries as I arrive?  I brought two of my children to stay last night, my daughter so that I could wake up with her on her birthday morning and of course my amazing son.  So I still had that warmth and love around me.

I think on the whole I am getting better at conversing and relating to S, but this will not be a linear part of my journey.  As is feeling better today.  Understanding that I’m following a process is really important.

I’m feeling anxious about the dinner tonight but that is because we’re going to a local restaurant, and no doubt there will be people around and the kids might play up a bit – they’re really good kids, not the usual running around types, but they DO argue and get grouchy when its later on a school night and they’re over hungry.  Then I usually get stressed because I’m worried about what people think, that I’m a bad mother.  Silly paranoid thoughts, but in this time of weakness – it bothers me.

I’m also really self concious because I’ve put on so much weight.  I had lost a  lot from the separation because I simply wasnt’ eating.  But with these medications I crave carbs and you’d have to be born and raised in a bunker not to know that carbs are the cardinal sin of weight loss.  So although I’m only eating toast, my metabolism has slowed right down and I’m really bloated.  My fear is that out in public, people will judge the fat girl in the restaurant.  Although my choice will be something healthy, I’ll feel very self concious.  As I progress with feeling better, I will resume my walking and gym work outs, but at the moment, if I can barely face walking down to the mailbox because of ‘people’ anything else is out.  I’m doing this tonight, for my beautiful litte Egg.

Again, I am so thankful for recognising my symptoms and getting help sooner rather than later, or else I might very well be in a respite facility – again.  At least I still have my independance.

 

Facebook

I have some wonderful followers on here that either come along to read, or post inspiring and heplful comments.  It makes me feel less alone, in difficult times.

As such, I’ve taken a leaf out of a fellow bloggers (epage!) and have created a Facebook page. Here you will find a (very) novice platform to contact me, create discussion or to find some agencies that may be helpful.  You are always welcome to contact me via that page or on here, and I’d be happy to locate more sources as needed.

The most important thing that this blog has created is a community in which I’ve been able to express all of my inner most thoughts, feelings, fears, symptoms and my life journey to recovery.

No one should be alone.

Thank to everyone over the last years that have held my hand and offered me words to think over, words to soothe and words to remind me that I’m heard.

The blog of course will continue as normal.

Penny Insane

(https://www.facebook.com/PennyInsane)

Penny

xx

 

 

Musings

Today my mind is very thick in fog.  I’m tired despite dozing on and off.  The kids won’t allow me a good nap of course, and I want to keep on top of the mess so S doesn’t come back to a messy house.  But everything just feels so heavy and moving feels so uncomfortable.  Last night I had another nightmare.  I am anxious and I know memories are trying to poke their way through, but I refuse to burdened by PTSD symptoms when my kids are around relying on me.

In my need to provide entertainment for the kids friday night, I showered, dressed and took them to the DVD store in town.  Yes, some of us still use that archaic form of movie watching!  Doesn’t help that NZ only gets movies into the cinema long after the rest of the world has them on DVD!  It’s a long wait for new releases!  They seemed to appreciate this, although I constantly barked at them to hurry up.  I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me.  Even though I’m sure that’s not the case.  I just feel so paranoid.

I got a couple of movies myself which turned out, as usual, to be total flops.  So I have opted for an early night, but the kids aren’t settled, they’re in weekend mode, and it’s quite disconcerting to be surrounded by a thick fog.  We usually see the lights of the town in the valley below – this house is on a mountain, but there is nothing.  Can barely see my hand in front of my face out on the deck.  My daughter noticed it at first.  Like the scene from a zombie Apocalypse, the valley has been eaten.  We remain isolated up here! – ok, those thoughts probably won’t help before bed, and no I have not mentioned those thoughts to the kids!

S gets back some time tomorrow afternoon.  I’ll be sad to leave the house to be honest.  Its been nice to have the warmth, light and company of the kids.  Even though it has felt hard at times.  Its given me something and reminded me of how precious my little people are.  Not that I really needed reminding!

I hate feeling so anxious, so alone with these feelings and so separate from the human race.  Like I am in this bubble that keeps me a layer apart from everyone else.  If I could be put into a coma like state and to ride this period out, I would take it in a second.  At least no one would be privy to these moods and I wouldn’t need mammoth effort to get through each day.

As usual with the low, I’m putting on a lot of weight very rapidly.  S keeps the house stocked, and I am left with terrible carb cravings from the drugs – i feel this every time they’re introduced, I’m not moving, and I’m really very bloated.  This of course adds to my self loathing.  Of course I’ve no intention with doing anything remotely like exercise, although often in the night I think about my plans for the following day.  Such steel determination in the night.  Wrapped up warm in bed, all cosy and sleepy.  Everything is much easier to imagine.  But come day, the light is unforgiving, everyone feels like a threat.  Every awful outcome becomes a reality, and my anxiety leaves me breathless.  So I don’t want to exacerbate the situation.

Next week, I have booked a hair appointment.  Whether I stick to it or not remains to be seen.  But my awkward pixie cut grow out looks more like a man’s dodgy haircut now, and the colour is grim and my roots are showing.

One more week off until university starts again.  That’s one more week to get through the worst of it, to get back to my routine and be able to concentrate again, working to deadlines.

 

 

Depression cycle

Aside from the muddy tiredness that comes from depression and the medication, I have been marginally better.  I’ve been up the house with the kids as I’m on a midterm break from uni and being around the kids has kept me occupied and feeling needed.  Its been calming and the loneliness hasn’t been so overwhelming.  S is around after work and its all been amicable.  I’m sure hes feeling a bit frustrated with my being around, as he often makes excuses to be out of the TV room when I’m there.  But its OK, there isn’t an atmosphere.  Its also nice to be in the quiet, my house is in a suburb on a main road, so the traffic continues into the night and my neighbours, as nice as they are, love listening to loud music and having friends over.  And they often sit on the deck that faces my bedroom, so I can have the noise blasting me until the small hours.  While I’m feeling so down, its good to have this quiet and sleep when I need it.

I think whats horrible about being unwell is that when I have better days, the bad days come as a terrible shock.  As though I’ve fallen into a false sense of security. For 2 days, I was more interactive with the kids, doing more around the house, not being as emotional.  I thought I might be coming out of the depression.  And i should recognise the break from the looming, dark thoughts.  However, yesterday morning I had a terrible sense of anxiety and dread.  My chest was tight and I felt breathless, I kept worrying about family, like something was going to happen.  And then I started to think about my family of origin and something doesn’t quiet make sense to me.  I had to get some pictures from my sister’s facebook page and follow links to find other family members that I have nothing to do with and I sent them to S for his thoughts because he knows my family.  And I knew he’d view them objectively, although I should have known, he doesn’t really care about that stuff anymore.

I did feel emotional throughout the day, and at night, I was still feeling short of breath and anxious.  I couldnt concentrate on anything and in bed (mattress on the floor!!) I spilt some tears before I finally fell into a drug induced sleep.

I had terrible nightmares, graphic and upsetting.  I’m used to experiencing these alone now, so I tried to ground myself and focus on the kids this morning.  But the ache is still there, distorted memories, sadness, fear, confusion.

Unfotunately S left my son and my eldest daughter.  The former because he knows I love spending time with him and hes only in kindy.  The latter because she’s been going through painful and heavy periods – I’m sorry for her that’s adopted my menstrual pattern.  But the 2 kids feel like hard work.  I can’t sleep, every time I start to doze, i’m awoken, particularly as my son has very short naps – if anything during the day.  My eldest wants or needs something.  I’m trying not to be snappy.  But I feel so miserable and lethargic.  My brain is trying to process so many things.  The hurt, the medication, the tiredness, the mood.  I havent done anything around the house, and I can’t even bothered to shower and put on clean clothes.  It feels like I’m back to squate one.

I know that this is the usual cycle of depression.  I certainly can’t expect medication to work that quickly and to suddenly snap out of this state.  Its an ongoing process with a cycle of better and worse days.  But it still feels disappointing.

I would go to my house and shut myself away, but S is away today and tomorrow for work and back on Saturday.  So I need to be here to look after the kids.

So not only am I feeling rough, but I will be managing the house and the kids for 3 days.  I don’t think S would usually leave me like this, knowing my mood, but because I seemed a little brighter the last couple of days, I guess he feels I’m OK.  Plus I’ve been making a real effort with the kids.  Usually in a low I’m bedridden.  But of course, he cant see inside my head, doesn’t see the panic attacks anymore, doesn’t know about my nightmares.  He sees what he wants to see. He has no idea how hard the mornings have been even when I was feeling a little better.  I’ve tried commnunicating with him, but when I talk about my illness he looks so uncomfortable.  As though I’m a random stranger approaching him to divuldge very personal information.

At least I’m accumulating valuable time with the kids, and they seem so much more secure with me in the house too.  They love having their parents together.  Although we are anything but!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The low

The depression is here, settling around me.  Its an oppressive force in all regards.  My body feels really heavy and cumbersome.  My legs are wading through mud, my chest feels tighter and often my breathing becomes shallow and rapid, an immenent panic attack that I have to fight off.  My hands are tired, even typing this is tiring.  My eyes blur, eyelids heavy with tiredness.  I can see the world through thick lenses.  I can see the greys and the blacks, but the colours aren’t visible to me.  Noises, even slight, irritate me.  I feel like I’ve put hearing aids on and turned them right up.  The tv is too loud, people eating is loud and offensive to my ears, in the background a dog barks and sends eletric shocks of irriation through me.  Cars drive past with stereos turned right up, the revebrations of the beat feels like a drilling.  Although my senses are heightened, I struggle to understand language.  Its like everyone is keeping a hand over their mouth while talking to me.  Words pop out, but no context.  I can feel my brain trying to decipher the meaning.  That means my own responses are slow.  I hear my voice, its slow, so slow that I am analysing my reactions, I reacted wrong, I said the wrong thing, I’M WRONG, I’M WRONG, runs though my head.

Because I am so unfocused and everything feels loud, I came to the house.  Not that I wanted support so much, rather I thought if I could see my kids, it might help ease my frayed mind.  And the house is large, in a quiet area with lots of land, so I think I might have some rest.  I think I’ll feel more shut away and at peace.  S has kndly put on a mattress on the floor in the office for me!  I must admit, this adds a little sadness to my state.  Not to mention I feel stuffed in an unused room, it feels stuffy, its not comfortable and I feel removed from the family.  My son doesn’t want to sleep on the mattress with me, I can understand that.  Its small and for him its strange.  Last night I couldn’t sleep.  Not that my mind was in overdrive and not that I wasn’t tired.  But I felt cramped, awkward.  It worked out to be a good thing though, I was able to complete an overdue assignment from uni. My concern will be its completely nonsensical so I have asked S ro read it.  Things are amicable between us.  More so because I’m too tired to care or to argue.  This morning he had asked me to take the kids.  With a heavy dose of the anti psychotic and not much sleep, it was very hard.  I ambled to the large walk in wardrobe in what used to be ‘our’ bedroom, but of course, he has taken the time to clean it out.The remainder of clothes I hadn’t got around to removing put in the office cupboard.  Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised by this.  Why would he continue storing my things in the bedroom??  But it still felt saddening to see that every last trace of me is removed.  A further reality check.  Although I am sad, there wasn’t the heartbroken sobs that usually follow.  I don’t know if that means its getting easier, or I am just too down.  I am not angry though, which helps.  I couldn’t be bothered to shower, just throwing on clothes and my hair was/is an unwashed crazy mess (the perils of growing out a pixie cut).

I couldn’t believe I needed gas.  I just made it to drop off, then to the gas station.  I seethed with a grainy rage that I had to get out of my car.  I hoped I might endure the process and not see anyone I know.  Unfortunately not today, I was sucked into a conversation, and I had to make sure I wasn’t gritting my teeth, waiting for the chance to make my excuses and leave.

I’m grateful that the anti depressants I was already on are saving me from falling any lower.  To be able to move, and dress myself is better than some of my lows.  But still I move from minute to minute, unable to consider yesterday or make plans for tomorrow.  Time is hanging for me, as nothing else seems to matter.Which also means my memory is terrible.

I am so bloated from this medications, swollen sausage fingers, my face is puffed, my stomach is bloated, I feel hungry and eat and then feel incredibly sick.  My mouth is continually dry.  But side effects are bearable when I know how much I need the medication.  I need to start feeling human again. At least I am doing the basics.  There is no one to cheer me on, but I can appreciate the focus I maintain.

 

Psychiatrist appointment

I saw my psychiatrist today and wasn’t surprised to find my case is now under the ‘unwell’ tab and a case worker has been assigned to check in throughout the week between appointments, presumably to make sure I’m not hanging from the lampshade.

When I got showered and dressed this morning, I was sure I could pass for a ‘normal’ person, I looked smart, and my speech wasn’t slurred.  I walked normally, and appeared by all intents and purposes a typical 35 year old woman (although I often pass younger than my age!).  This is why I have struggled so much over the years, because on the surface, I can pass for all right.  I have to physically break down, have snot pouring out of my nose, eyes puffy from unrelenting wails of crying and not be able to talk before people generally consider me unwell.  It comes in part from pride, but also my parents have been clear about not showing weakness, the whole ‘stiff upper lip’ and martyring on.  To that end, I have been guilty about ignoring the precursors to becoming unwell, or trying to defeat the symptoms.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve been decreasing my attendance at university, not responding to messages, and avoiding going out.  Then, my showering cuts down, dressing in clean ‘day’ clothes and finally the all consuming thoughts of self loathing and suicide.  I had tried so hard to be the diligent independent woman, studying, working, evening courses, weekend courses.  I was determined to show the world that nothing could bring me down.  But the truth is, I’m still very much trying to learn to live alone again after years of being married and sharing space with another person.  Thoughts, concerns, anecdotes, experiences, decisions, nothing has been made as an individual.  Now I am thrust into a world where I live in a rental house again, I am responsible for the running of the bills, living my life without anyone in the background.  I’ve certainly experienced the anger, denial, and I thought acceptance.  But in fact I was working hard to bury my feelings  (aside from lamenting in my blog) and showing the outside world how I had it sorted. Initially the migraine led to rest – which was clearly needed.  Days of rest my body had craved for, but then the quick slide to depression.  The unwillingness to start again, to find motivation, to care.

I realised my thoughts were becoming increasingly dark and I was isolating far too much.  And the things I cared about, study, courses, friends – all deserted.  So while I thought in the waiting room – the first time out in DAYS, I passed for normal, when I met my psychiatrist it was clear, I was far from normal.

It was hard to articulate sentences, my mind was thick and foggy.  My memory was shocking, I’d forget what I was saying, or forget days.  My energy was used up in that appointment, despite having slept right up until the time.  The dr knew, and I knew, it was a low.  I was back into a depressive state.  We talked about medication going forwards and I’ve now had the Effexor put to its maximum, as well daily olanzapine.  I declined the lithium on the basis I didn’t need or want the maintenance blood tests at the moment.

I felt weak, I felt pathetic, but I also felt grateful for being honest.  To name it, to look for medications and ways to help myself.  And when the dr told me that I needed to rest for at least the next 2-3 weeks, I felt committed to that.  Although its been engrained in me that I should be up and cleaning and exercising and living a life ignoring the depression, I’ve done it in the past – and it hasn’t worked.  I’m desperate to get better, and I’m desperate to do it right.

Naturally I’m bitterly disappointed.  I really thought with regular medications, having a distraction and keeping busy I would never experience a low again.  But its inevitable.  I have a mental illness.  I can have periods, wonderful long periods of ‘normal’ life.  But separation isn’t normal and moving house is notoriously stressful.  Add my mental health into the mix, and its a recipe for repercussions, even with all the best will in the world.

Of course, I completely understand anyone that would tell me to get over it. I look as I have already stated completely normal.  But I’m tired, extremely tired, I’m anxious, very anxious.  I literally feel people are looking at me and talking about me.  I feel like a monster.  I have flashbacks of the trauma, unexpected flashes that make me feel confused, my throat tightens, I can’t breathe and I feel afraid.  I cry all the time, I can stare into space for hours and not realise.  In fact, I have no idea what this blog entry says – I’ve just written it without thinking about it.  I’ll have no memory of it later.

There have been some beautiful sunny days as Spring comes our way.  I know because my iPhone tells me the weather.  But to me, it is grey.  To me, there is no desire to head out and walk in the sun.  To me, my bedroom is my safe haven.

I WILL GET THROUGH THIS.