TW Sui/SH Mental Health Awareness Week pt 2 or “Hello darkness my old friend”

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Day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week and with it came a greater intensity to the dark, empty feeling that I hadn’t felt in quite a while until yesterday aka The Darkness.

It turns out the anxiety of Atos had been filling my being and no matter how suicidal I felt it was an edgy, heart racing suicide that was calling me, one that was really driven and dispersed with periods where the only way to get the anxiety out of me was to make cuts in my skin.

The emptiness crept in sometime yesterday when I wasn’t paying attention. I was aware of it when I wrote my blog but at the time it was a nice change to feel something different to wanting to scratch at all the walls. I woke this morning at about 5am with the apathy that I remember first had hit me nearly 13 years ago.

I couldn’t move. I saw no point. I didn’t want to sleep. I didn’t want to get up. I really felt nothing at all. So there I lay for two hours until I felt the pain in my back gnawing away so I got up and then sat, again doing not much of anything at all apart from letting the thoughts in my head have their say.

I knew I had therapy today and despite all the fear and unworthy feelings (not to mention the migraine) that I thought would prevent me in the past 2 weeks I had been driven by this energy coursing through me. Having spent the previous 4 hours with an inner dialogue debating as to whether I should go (Rationale stating, “You’ll never get better if you don’t go” and “You’ll let people down”. The Darkness saying, “meh” and “erm…meh” respectively) I finally threw some clothes and trudged out the door.

To be honest therapy was beneficial as it really kicks in my need to take care of people and this is the only thing that generally keeps The Darkness from whispering sweet nothings to me. Instead for the briefest of times I was driven by: I want to protect these people. I want to erase all these bad things that have happened to them. I need them to know it’s not their fault.

Once the session was over though and I spent time reflecting on what had gone on in the 2 hours the feelings from the first session I had been to returned but this time they are goverend by The Darkness. They come from deep within me and are long and thoughtful rather than the short snappy jumpy thoughts I’d grown used to the past few weeks. Sure I have flitted between anxiety, buzzy feelings and The Darkness a lot, all part of the old bpd but this last period was so long it felt like it was here to stay. I can’t honestly decide which is worse, the grass always seems greener. The Darkness does seem to put an emphasis on suicide and how beneficial it will be to everyone who is unlucky enough to have had me barge my way into their lives. The self harm is more from a base of needing to feel. The contrast of the sharp scratch from the blade, the heat from the wound, the blood cooling as it reaches the skin surface, then the repeat as the scab is scratched off. All in all The Darkness does what it says on the tin and leaves a vacuum inside.

Hmm, I haven’t really talked much about my day but to be honest the day has passed by quite emptily. I have been wound up by the usual things on Twitter and felt solidarity with those being wound up on Twitter but not with the same passion.

I need to move from the chair. I need to get a shower. I can’t.

Eheu.

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week pt 1

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So we find ourselves in Mental Health Awareness Week and in a week that I have been dreading for quite some time.

I know I talk about my mental health quite a lot but when it has such an impact on my life it’s hard not to. Whether it is as part of my POTS or not it has been in my life for over 10 years.

I was intending to start my Schema posts today but really don’t have the brain capacity! My body is aching, my head is throbbing but I told myself I’d blog so here it is.

For those of you who don’t know the main reason behind this week being super stressful is the fact that my Atos assessment was rescheduled for today at 1.15pm. Firstly for someone who has gastric dumping, what a time?! This meant I had to eat my breakfast earlier than normal  (to make sure there was nothing in my system and I was fully recovered from the stomach cramps, sweating and pre-syncope by the time I needed to leave at 12.30) and then make sure I didn’t eat or drink anything until I got back, just in case.

I’d been building up to this since I sent off my SSP1 form back at the end of January so the tension I was feeling up until today has been horrible, culminating in me crying non stop last night, especially after one amazing friend kept texting me with lovely messages (thank you by the way, I know I couldn’t absorb it properly yesterday & I cried again today when I re-read them but I do appreciate you so much).

I really sympathise for those who don’t have the support I do. I know I am so lucky to have the support of my family, boyfriend, friends (rl) & Twitter as I know I wouldn’t have got to this point without them as the pressure I was feeling was so much I felt my life wasn’t worth all this administration. Would this have made me a statistic as someone who was invited to assessment but stopped claiming? Glad I didn’t give IDS any propaganda – thanks support system :).

I had read every horror story on the internet so was fully prepared to be mocked, bullied and insulted by someone who had no medical knowledge whatsoever so when I overheard the receptionists ask who was going to be seen by the doctor and my name was mentioned I felt relieved. I felt even more relieved when he introduced himself and really listened to what I said about my conditions. He informed me that I had been very comprehensive in my form (I’d read online to write EVERYTHING down), that his background was in psychiatry and that he was shocked by my BP, HR and the number of medicines (and their strengths) that fell out on his desk from my bag when he asked to see all my medication. He also said that I should be positive as he is confident that I will beat my depression and anxiety one day but he can easily tell I’m not fit for work with all my problems. I just pray DWP have the sense to listen!

So despite my heart hurting, my back hurting, my head hurting, my arm hurting & feeling slightly out of it after my regular food & drink plan has been put out I am relieved it’s over.

It’s in the hands of the gods. As one friend had asked earlier today after an almighty storm fell across the North West “who made Thor angry?”, I had to ‘fess up as the hail and thunder storm was over Bolton at the time of my assessment. Whether this means he’s on my side or not I’m not sure but I hope he is. I’ll offer some supplication later to be safe.

I still have a week full of anxiety inducing appointments: therapy, physio, cardiology, etc but for now at least the anxiety has passed through me just leaving my heart aching and the hollow depression in my fibres.

Let’s see what part 2 can throw at me tomorrow.

In the meantime I hope you’re all looking after your mental health in whatever way you see fit.

 

What’s this? A little energy? Finally!

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Surrounded by noisy, demanding family does not help me put my new rule in to practise. Had lots of valerian and diazepam. But still so stressed and anxious, toes curling within my slipper boots with anxiety.

 

“I don’t know how you can drink that foul smelling stuff” ie my valerian water, “I’d be scratching at the walls if I didn’t”. Only my dad seems to understand & identify with me.

 

Still sitting at my parents’ with the whole clan so will leave this for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more later, in a calmer state.

 

J x 

 

Ok, so I’m home now and having just read the above realise how selfish, disrespectful & down right rude I sound.

 

I have the best family in the world, but they are loud, they do interupt me, they don’t always listen but they are so supportive (sometime a little too supportive where their anxiety makes me more anxious – hee hee).

 

Glad to have my feet up at the flat. Had a POTS turn, having been freezing earlier through the day, I suddenly felt faint, when clammy and pale. A lie down, a salty snack and a pint of water later I was ok, tired but ok. Hence now being in bed.

 

I really do have an amazing family but when so many people get together it can be so tiring but they all appreciate this.


I love my family to bits.


J x

Testing Times

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Surrounded by noisy, demanding family does not help me put my new rule in to practise. Had lots of valerian and diazepam. But still so stressed and anxious, toes curling within my slipper boots with anxiety.

 

“I don’t know how you can drink that foul smelling stuff” ie my valerian water, “I’d be scratching at the walls if I didn’t”. Only my dad seems to understand & identify with me.

 

Still sitting at my parents’ with the whole clan so will leave this for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more later, in a calmer state.

 

J x 

 

Ok, so I’m home now and having just read the above realise how selfish, disrespectful & down right rude I sound.

 

I have the best family in the world, but they are loud, they do interupt me, they don’t always listen but they are so supportive (sometime a little too supportive where their anxiety makes me more anxious – hee hee).

 

Glad to have my feet up at the flat. Had a POTS turn, having been freezing earlier through the day, I suddenly felt faint, when clammy and pale. A lie down, a salty snack and a pint of water later I was ok, tired but ok. Hence now being in bed.

 

I really do have an amazing family but when so many people get together it can be so tiring but they all appreciate this.


I love my family to bits.


J x

Eat that frog!

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My anxiety levels were high today but I had to go out to the post & really wanted to prepare things for Easter. What to do? What to do? The anxiety and walking to the postbox would use a lot of spoons. The baking would too!

 

After a conversation with my sister she had told me she had made cakes (although she admitted they may not taste as nice as mine). My mum also had a pudding in for Easter so I thought my spoons should go on going to the postbox, especially with there being no collection on Monday. 

 

My sister told me to just do it and eat that frog:

 

An old saying is that “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!” Your “FROG” is the one thing you are most likely to keep putting off if you don’t do something about it now! It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life if you do it now.

 

The frog went down quite nicely with a diazepam. I then decided, as it had used a lot of spoons, there were already puddings and my mum caters for the 5000 I decided I’d have a day of rest and sod Easter. I can always make Hot Cross Buns another day, who says they have to be for Easter alone? I also need the spoons to put up with the rabble tomorrow! And hoping to do a Creme Egg bake a long on Monday. I made a few chocs the other day so people can have those tomorrow but I’m sure they won’t mind.

 

I’m actually quite proud of myself that I have put this new rule into action and instead of “everyone else must come first otherwise I am useless & worthless”, I have “tried to put others first but in this case it was not possible and I will provide pudding/cakes for the next occasion”. It’s a shame as it is something I love doing but my spoons are vital, especially after having fewer after my recent migraine.

 

I hope all my fellow dysautonomia/chronic illness/MH people are taking it easy this weekend too. Just because it’s a longer weekend doesn’t mean you can do more.

 

Give yourself a break.

 

J xxx

I suppose I’d better get back to it…

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Hello again

 

Sorry I’ve been so quiet but my arm has been really painful! So now along with the POTS, depression & anxiety meds I’m now on a whole host of painkillers and being referred to physio. Still basically functioning with just my right hand, but quite impressed with what I can do – including baking a cake!

 

My appointment with my cardiologist is being postponed until I don’t know when so just trying to get by day by day with the help of my lovely boyfriend and family.

 

I know I’ve said it before but I will improve the design of this blog (somehow) or I may get one of my more technical friends to do it!!!

 

I’ve not heard back regarding whether I need to attend an ATOS interview so that cloud is looming over me – trying to do just a 15 minute scheduled worry session as recommended by my therapist & most of the time I’m successful, but other times there is no way on Earth that you can stop thinking! 

 

One cloud that has been lifted is that I’ve resigned from my job. There was too much pressure from them to either come back too soon or face a capability meeting in which they’d have to dismiss me so I took my own option and resigned. Feel such a sense of relief for it. Not heard from them yet, but trying not to worry about that, my parents are kindly fielding all correspondence.

 

It is awful when you go into a career like HR in order to help colleagues as much as possible and be an intermediate between them and the business, but HR is more on the side of the business than ever as I’m sure people have noticed the term “HR Business Partner” is used more than ever and they are used as a strategic force. Much like a big map used in WWII pushing ships around with poles, that’s what it felt like but doing it with people, regardless of their situation. The HR Manager I worked for had no idea about mental illness, a previous HR member had had one and I’m so appalled about what she said to her that I can’t repeat it. The previous two occupants of my role were both driven away by her too. And they actually try to sell themselves as a company who cares! Anyway, rant over.


It is International Happiness Day and ever since I heard that it was going to be today I wondered why we need one day for that?  Why not do something to make people happy every day?


I hated singing at school, I hated hymns, I’m tone deaf and just didn’t like being forced to sing about things I didn’t believe in but this song has stuck with me:

 

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky

You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry

Spread a little happiness as you go by

Please try

 

What’s the use of worrying and feeling blue

When days are long keep on smiling through

Spread a little happiness till dreams come true

 

Surely you’ll be wise to make the best of every blues day

Don’t you realize you’ll find next Monday or next Tuesday

Your golden shoes day

 

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky

You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry

Spread a little happiness as you go by

 

I’ve got a creed for every need

So easy that it must succeed

I’ll set it down for you to read

So please, take heed

Keep out the gloom

Let in the sun

That’s my advice for everyone

It’s only once we pass this way

So day by day

 

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky

You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry

Spread a little happiness as you go by

Please try

 

What’s the use of worrying and feeling blue

When days are long keep on smiling through

Spread a little happiness till dreams come true

 

Surely you’ll be wise to make the best of every blues day

Don’t you realize you’ll find next Monday or next Tuesday

Your golden shoes day

 

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky

You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry

Spread a little happiness as you go by

 

(whistling solo)

 

Surely you’ll be wise to make the best of every blues day

Don’t you realize you’ll find next Monday or next Tuesday

Your golden shoes day

 

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky

You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry

Spread a little happiness as you go by

 

So despite my anxiety, fear of leaving the house, fear of meeting other people, etc I am determined to spread more happiness. I already smile at people, apologise (maybe too much), let people go in front of me in queues, try to offer support to anyone but I will up my game!

 

Hopefully my next post will be full of happiness and more plans on what I am going to do with my future.

 

Take care everybody. 

 

J

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