After a week or so on an even keel, things have started slipping.
With my new medication, I have noticed that I wake up in the mornings with a dull headache. It is lingering more each day. Today I felt really drowsy when I woke up and my mood was noticeably low. It took me what felt like an eternity for me to will myself to get out of bed.
I had planned to go and buy Walter some more food and to go to Bodycombat. Yet when I finally managed to go downstairs I then couldn’t get off the couch for ages. Thankfully, Dave was going out on his lunch to pick up Christmas presents for our nieces and my godson that I had reserved in Argos. He also managed to get Walter’s food.
It feels too much to go to the gym today. I can tell that it won’t help and will more than likely make me feel worse. So I have spent the day chilling with Walter. I did manage to take Walter for his walk. It took a lot out of me. But it is an achievement given how much depression and anxiety are having an impact on me today.
Here’s hoping that tomorrow is a better day.
Before I start this post I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to get in touch with me. It has been a huge help. I would especially like to thank Matt, Vicky and Amelia for your emails and texts. You have all been such a lifeline when things have been so bad.
I am now on new medication. That makes three different medications in just under a year. It was really useful having Dave with me at the GP appointment a few weeks ago. We were able to talk candidly about the situation with me and we were taken seriously. The doctor said that if this medication doesn’t help I will be referred to a consultant psychiatrist. I have had a phone assessment for my referral for talking therapy. The woman was lovely. I am now waiting on an appointment to restart CBT.
As always, I had my reservations about switching medications. I worried it was going to impact me to such a degree it was going to hinder my ability to work. However, I feel that I am in a much better place. I am proud to say that I went back to the gym last night and enjoyed it. There is a new class I am trying out tomorrow thanks to a recommendation from a friend at the gym. It helps that she will be doing it too.
It is nice to feel like I am living again. The past few weeks I just wanted to hide in the house. All I was doing was going to work and taking Walter for a walk and even that was a massive effort. Dave’s uncle is over from Brisbane and it was lovely seeing him. We are seeing him again on Friday along with my immediate family as we are all going out for tea. I also have plans to see friends over the next few weeks.
Walter’s operation went fine. It was awful leaving him at the vets. The house was eerily quiet without him. The day after his operation, Walter was back to his usual self. The hard part was keeping him calm when all he wanted to do was play. He had his last checkup at the vets yesterday and they are happy with how he has healed.
So for now, I am enjoying the reprieve from anxiety and depression. Right now, I have the strength to fight it.
I haven’t been the gym in over a week now. The desire to go is non existant at the moment. A number of factors are causing this.
My sleep is still all over the place. On Tuesday I had to get up for work early after managing only 5 and a half hours sleep. At the moment, I don’t want to get out of bed. I could quite easily spend the day in bed.
Dave had to use my car on Monday. His car wasn’t right when he drove us to my parents on Sunday. So I had no way of getting to Bodycombat on Monday evening.
Walter is being neutered on Friday. This might mean me missing the gym depending on how he gets on over the weekend and early next week.
Classes at the gym have changed. There are not as many Bodycombat classes on. They have been replaced by circuit training, which I have no desire to do. I don’t want to have to make conversation with people at the gym. I don’t want to be around people at all really. The thought of doing my own workout in the gym fills me with anxiety.
I am feeling incredibly guilty for not going to the gym. It probably sounds ridiculous to other people; it’s only the gym and I am still managing to work. But even when I have struggled with my anxiety and depression in the past, I have always managed to go to the gym. I am concerned that I won’t ever want to go back.
It has been hard going this week. Even more so than last week.
Besides Tuesday night, when I took a sleeping tablet, my sleep has been bad. The days I get up early for work I have had to go back to sleep when I get home. Not for just an hour. For about 3 hours.
I have barely been to the gym. I managed to go on Monday evening which helped. But the lack of sleep, high anxiety and low mood doesn’t fill me with any inclination to go out unless absolutely necessary.
My appointment with the crisis team was yet again a waste of time. It involved a lovely woman reading an anxiety booklet with me. It didn’t help that a student nurse was in the room. Not once was I asked if this was okay with me.
So the outcome of the session was I will be re-referred for CBT through the NHS. No indication was given as to how long I will be waiting. I have requested to see the therapist I saw last. I am glad I am not under the crisis team anymore. They haven’t helped at all and in some regards have made things worse.
I have an appointment with my GP next week. I say my GP, but I am seeing someone I don’t really know. Dave is going to come with me. He is really good during appointments and doesn’t let professionals walk all over me. I feel that I need a referral to a psychiatrist. My mood is unstable and can plummet without warning. I don’t feel that I am on the right medication. Surely I shouldn’t feel suicidal so often?
I am hoping a weekend with Dave and Walter will help. Walter is being neutered next week. Dave and I are dreading it. But we know it is for the best and he will be fine.
Dave has been amazing this week as always. He is in regular contact with me throughout then day even when he is really busy at work. Walter’s little face really does keep me going. He gives such good cuddles and knows when I need one.
Living with mental illness has made me rethink my hopes and dreams.
Before I became ill, I wanted a career. I worked full time after I graduated university, aged 21, until last year. I had dreams of being someone really high up and influential in the field of autism. I pushed myself so much. My job defined me. It was on my mind constantly.
Before I became ill, I was always socialising. Weekends and evenings were filled with plans. I was a social butterfly; always arranging plans and spending loads of my time at different places.
Before I became ill, I thought I would end up having children. From a young age I wanted my own children. I couldn’t envisage my life without them.
I have had the title of this post saved in my drafts for the past few weeks. Over the past 24 hours, my sister in law gave birth to my second niece and a good friend had a little girl. It has made me think of how different things are in my life compared to a lot of other people. But I also realise that comparing my life to others is not productive or conducive in terms of my recovery.
Living with mental illness has made me realise that I need to work to live and not live to work. Being in a highly pressurised and stressful work environment will only lead to high levels of anxiety and low moods.
Living with mental illness makes socialising really difficult. It sometimes means passing on invites to social events that will be busy or have lots of people there. Quality over quantity; surrounding myself with a few good people rather than lots of people is better for my well being.
Living with mental illness has made me rethink my view on having children. I would never want to have a child if they were to inherit my anxiety and depression. It is not something I would wish upon anyone, least of all my own child. I struggle almost every day with anxiety and depression. It would not be fair to bring children into the mix. I worry that I would be a terrible mother because of this. I will sound selfish now, but my anxiety and depression tell me how hideous I am; that I am fat, ugly and disgusting. Having a child may potentially make this worse.
Living with mental illness makes me value the little things in life; health, love, family and friends. So my hopes and dreams are simply:
- To be able to manage my anxiety and depression
- To continue to have good relationships with my husband, immediate family and friends
- To have a job that makes me feel worthwhile
- To be happy