Lithium and PTSD

So I’m officially back on lithium now. It’s too early to feel the awful side effects, but my psychiatrist reassured me that my mood would stop dipping. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m starting on 1000mg increasing after a week. I’m still keeping my other medication which I’m hoping to reduce over time because I’m now on so many pills.

My PTSD reared up spectacularly recently. My car was making a hideous noise to the point I was panicking while I drove it. I made it to Steve’s house and asked to borrow his car. I begged him to call the dealership because I’m so anxious about confrontation. I’ve dealt with them three times already and my anxiety was too high. I was prepared to abandon the car altogether. He made the initial call but I followed it up after he kept on having a go at me for dumping the car outside his house. They agreed to come and collect it.

So turns out, someone took my wheel nuts off, no doubt desperate to steal my alloys to make some money for Xmas. Fortunately one is safety locked on, so I was driving a car with no wheel nuts. I was very fortunate that I didn’t have an accident. The car is either parked outside my house or the police station where I work. Naturally it’s unlikely to be the latter where this occurred, so it means the offender came onto my driveway. I reported it to the police who classified it as a burglary and they asked me to check for signs of entry into the house. I couldn’t see anything, but that didn’t stop me from panicking. That night I barely slept, every noise sounded like an intruder, I was absolutely terrified. The first time I have felt so vulnerable in my home.

I told my elderly neighbour what had happened as she parks outside her house and she told me that her neighbor (on the other side) had had his car trashed. A garbage can thrown over it, windscreen wipers bent. I was shocked and I guess grateful that nothing worse had happened to mine.

I borrowed one of Steve’s golf club’s in an attempt to feel safer at night. But it’s been hard. I’ve been especially jumpy and been suffering with horrible nightmares. I have had an unrelenting migraine for three days, which is costing me a fortune in medication as the prescribed codeine isn’t working.

The deduction from my pay for my student loan was so huge, it’s meant I can’t make the rent. I don’t understand it at all, I thought I had to meet a certain income threshold. I really don’t need this. I’m literally going to be one of these people that is better just living off benefits. Which is awful because work, despite the long hours, has been really good for my confidence and sense of independence.

I’m really feeling the stress and with Xmas fast approaching, it’s only going to get worse. I hate Xmas as it is, so I’m making steps to avoid it, although I’m supposed to be attending this bloody work function on the 13th. I can’t think of anything worse. The people I work with are nice, but so bitchy and in these cliches it’s pretty pathetic. They’re definitely not the sort of people I’d want to liaise with outside of work. I’ve offered to cover the night shift in an attempt to get out of it, but they’ve worked it so that I can still attend and work later!

I’m not seeing the kids from now and through the weekend, I’m working and Steve’s away so his parents are down and looking after them. Of course I’m grateful to them for stepping up, but I miss the kids terribly. I wonder what this is all for sometimes.

Advertisements

Not sleeping

I saw Ian again today and the topic of lithium came up again. I’m now seriously considering it, especially with Xmas coming up.

I’m struggling with these shift hours and the resulting lack of sleep is making me irritable and restless. I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, and my bloody car is falling apart at the seems. First it was the battery, then the electrics, now it’s making a knocking noise. I regret getting that car more than anything right now, it’s causing me a lot of stress. I finally asked Steve to help me this weekend because I’m working and he acted like I was asking for a pot of gold. I just figured he’d have more sway rather than a nearly hysterical woman seen to be moaning all the time. I feel completely on my own and with no support.

Last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. My anxiety is so bad, it’s taking over my life at the moment. I worry about everything and anything. It’s 2am now and it’s going to be another late night, as I can’t seem to sleep, despite taking a sleeping tablet.

Sleep is such a major trigger for me, so is Xmas, so I’m worried about my mood dipping again.

On the whole, work is going well, and I use my days off to tidy/clean the house, so I’m being productive. And I’m still showering daily. But I find my irritability is always lurking in the background. I find noises annoying, like a ticking clock today, or my child sniffing. It’s all loud and irritating. And I keep feeling that creeping sensation of restlessness which ruins my capacity to concentrate. Finally I’m experiencing the crushing symptoms of anxiety. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the cold sweat. It’s affecting my every day life now.

I see my psychiatrist next Friday, so I’ll use the week to consider my symptoms and have a discussion then.

Lithium has previously worked for me, I just don’t like the foggy feeling. Or the complete plateau of feelings. But maybe that’s what I need at the moment.

Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

Update!

The job continues to go well and I’m proud of myself for my accomplishments. Financially it is hard, I haven’t been paid yet but I declared my income to the benefits office, which saw it sliced in half, and with the rent at the higher end of the spectrum, I think it’ll be tough to scrape by. But I much prefer to be working than living on benefits.

My mental health remains stable, although my sleep has been greatly affected and I’m absolutely exhausted. There is some anxiety surrounding the night shifts, but hopefully it’s just a case of getting used to it.

Steve has been away, so I’ve been looking after the kids and I have to say that all together it’s been a tiring week, and I work weekends too, so it’s of no benefit to me that it’s a long weekend.

It’s been good though, catching up with the kids and reestablishing my role with them.

I’ve been able to do a grocery shop, which I’m having delivered so that I can rest on Saturday prior to a night shift. It’ll be nice to have food in, and have my home feeling full. 

I’m seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow for the med review and I’m sure they’ll be surprised at what I’ve accomplished. I can’t continue with therapy at the moment because I can’t afford it. But hopefully in time I will be able to resume occasional sessions.

So, all is well and continues to stabilise for me 😊 what a long road it’s been!

Car! Sorted!

So now I officially own my own car. It’s a zillion years old, but hey, it’s all mine! And although finance was tempting to get a nicer car, I have grown up enough in the last year to know that adding to my financial pressure will ultimately affect me in a really bad way. The less stress the better.

My first week of work is done. Two assessments, passed both. Another one on Monday. It’s nice to feel tired from actually doing something! And I enjoy the work, the team are really nice.

The ‘separation agreement’ is now signed and official. The divorce is another $211, and I’m not particularly keen to get the ball rolling on that right now. Again, it’s pressure and upset I don’t need.

Tonight we’re going out as a family for my daughter’s 11th birthday dinner. It’ll be nice to all be together, things between Steve and I continue to be amicable and I’m pleased with the place we’re at. Although I still miss my husband, I’m not completely useless at life as a singleton. In fact I continue to get stronger and more confident. Let’s just hope it stays that way. My mental health continues to be a source of anxiety, like things are going so well, so where’s the price I need to pay? I’m seeing my psychiatrist next week, so it’ll be good to have a review and make sure I’m on track. I’m also seeing the benefits office to declare my part time income. I get really nervous about these things, I don’t want to screw the system (it’ll only backfire on me) so I’ll be able to get everything up to date.

So;

Job – sorted

House – sorted

Car – sorted 

Now I just need to get money actually IN my bank account so I can start saving and get some extra bits for my Home (dining table, knickknacks, etc). I did go to the charity store and get some more cutlery for a few bucks! I surprise myself!

Falling into place

So I didn’t get a reply from my parents which upset me even more, then eventually they emailed steve to ask when their horse riding was. I was so gutted, I thought I’d sounded reasonable in the email and open to discussion. They ended up turning up at my house on Saturday to find out about the horse riding. Clearly discussing the email and it’s meaning was not an option for them. Dad wouldn’t look me in the eye and they seemed defensive. I am glad I saw them though, I’d have hated to have left on a bad note. Especially after England.

They left shortly after and they did turn up for horse riding – but then drove off again. Ah well, my issue is mine alone and I have to deal with it. At least my children won’t miss them.

My house is looking great! Everything is in its place – I just need a dining table now – but there’s no hurry. It really feels like a home and I love it.

Steve, as per our agreement is going to buy me a car next week, just a cheap runaround. As the rental goes back on Tuesday – I’ll miss having a car for a few days!

I’m glad things are civil with Steve. And I’m so happy that my kids love my house.

So I start my new job next week!  Very exciting! I wasn’t sure I’d get it because I have that traffic conviction, and I need a full police check but they were ok about it and I’m really looking forward to working again. It’s part time – up to 20 hours a week, which is exactly what I was looking for. And as my house is near the train station, I can train in!

Feels like things are falling into place. That makes me nervous! But I’m trying to remain optimistic – there should be ‘pay back’ for my good fortune!