The black clouds have lifted

On Tuesday I managed to go back to the gym. I did bodycombat and bodypump. It was noticeable that I had a break from the gym. But even going to the gym was an achievement in itself. I was really sore for a good few days this week. 

I also managed to do a proper food shop. When my anxiety and depression are bad, I tend to eat whatever I can grab. I bought some veg, fruit and generally healthy food. I managed to start cooking healthy, filling meals too. 

Last weekend I couldn’t even face leaving the house at all. Today, I was able to take Walter for a walk with Dave. Tomorrow afternoon we are going round to our friend’s house. 

When depression rears its ugly head it robs me of all interest in anything. It’s like the world is bleak and grey.  Through this recent low, I had support from Dave and two awesome friends. They kept checking up on me, reassuring me and letting me know that they were there for me. I am so appreciative for them being there for me. 

Quiet weekend

For the first time in a long time, Dave and I are enjoying a quiet weekend. We took Walter for a walk in the woods near where we live yesterday. It was really nice being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 

Last weekend’s dachshund walk went really well. Initially, Walter seemed overwhelmed. There must have been at least 20 other dachschunds. The walk we went on was lovely. At the end, Walter played with a handful of different dachshunds. It was lovely to see him so happy. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

The gym is still going well. I am really sore from it. It is a result of doing all the latest Les Mills Bodyattack, Bodypump and Bodycombat and another personal training session. The new Les Mills releases are fantastic. They are hard work but fun. There is a pull up and running challenge that my gym instructor friend has set. I am planning on starting them on Tuesday with a friend from the gym. 

I have a CBT appointment tomorrow which is the first for a few weeks. I am hoping to address the social anxiety that I frequently experience. Especially as my friend from the gym has invited us a few of us from the gym to hers next Saturday evening. I am already worried about it. 

I have a new post up on Defying Shadows. It is about 5 Ways to show someone with Asperger’s that you care. You can read it here.

Fighting Anxiety

This week has flown by. Dom and Faith are on their school holidays. So my week has consisted of playing board games, dog walks, icecream, watching tv and arts. 

This week has seen anxiety rear its ugly head. There has been no trigger for this. I have felt really uncomfortable around people. Up until the end of this week, the gym was contributing to my high anxiety levels. Classes were unenjoyable and I was clock watching. Part of me wanted to stop going the gym as my anxiety was so unbearable. But another part of me had concerns that I would stop going entirely. I am glad that I continued to go. Last night I had a personal training session. It was really enjoyable. We did boxing and focused on wrist strengthening exercises. My wrists hurt when doing exercises when I am putting pressure on them. I managed to deadlift 45kg which I was pleased with. If you would like to see a video of me doing clean and press with a strong man log then click here.

I went the gym this morning. Although I am sore from last night, I noticed an improvement in my stamina and strength. I increased my weights during bodypump and I was proud of myself.
Tomorrow we are taking Walter on a dachshund walk. I am so excited! We have wanted to meet up with the group for months. But we have been unable to go because of other commitments or the weather. I will make sure to take lots of photos. 

I was going to do a post about autism awareness. April is autism awareness month. But, I had already done a post for Defying Shadows on this topic. It has been uploaded today so if you want to have a read of it the link to it is here.

The Starlight Blogger Award

Rebecca has nominated me for the Starlight Blogger Award. This award was created to help highlight and promote Inspirational Bloggers. Thank you so much for nominating me! 

  

Rules:

Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer the 3 questions that are given to you.

Pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.

Include the logo of the award on your blog, please never alter the logo and never change the rules

Rebecca’s questions:

What keeps you inspired?

My family and friends, Dominic and the community here on WordPress inspire me. Music also inspires me. 

Your favourite place to be?

I love chilling with Dave and Walter whether that is on the couch or out on a walk. 

Any hobbies or sports that you’re passionate about?

I love the Les Mills classes I do at the gym (BodyCombat, BodyPump and BodyAttack). Exercising is a great escape for me. I am passionate about music and reading. 

My questions:

  1. If you could travel back to any period of time in history, when would you choose and why? (Currently watching Gladiator with Dave and I asked him this question :P)
  2. Favourite Disney film?
  3. Favourite chocolate bar?

Nominees!

 Amber Keeps Breathing

The Rabbit Hole

 Voyaging Voyager

Ask a Teenage Aspie

davesoapbox

By Lauren Hayley

Bipolar Whispers

Nicky’s Day with Autism

Help and support

The NHS counselling I was having wasn’t working for me. I felt like I wasn’t getting anything from the sessions. The counsellor would speak to me like a child. As a result, I dreaded going. Not the usual anxiety filled dread. But rather the dread of having to spend an hour doing something unproductive. I have had counselling in the past and I found it beneficial. I think it was the counsellor that made me feel like this. 

After much messing round with different people through my local NHS services, I finally got an assessment appointment for CBT. I had it this morning. It went fine. I am now on a waiting list. This shouldn’t be an issue as I still have some sessions left with the private CBT counsellor I am seeing.  CBT has been so much more useful to my recovery compared to counselling. I feel more in control and have found strategies that help me. I want to build on this and CBT through the NHS will hopefully allow me to do this. 

I decided to cancel my counselling. The relief I felt after I had done it reiterated that I had made the right decision. Plus, someone else who is currently waiting for counselling can now access it. 

Walter loves going for walks. He gets so excited when he knows we are going for a walk. He is such a poser:

  
Beside the fact he takes ages to go on a short walk round the block, Walter is quite good when we are out. He is overwhelmed by all the new smells. Plus, he is super nosy whenever we walk past anyone. I have had so many people stop us when we are out. Walter loves the fuss that is made of him. 

Walter had a little play date with our friend’s border collie Fly. They got on well. Fly is so laid back which helped:

   
 

   

  

 

They played in the back garden and went for a quick walk. Walter was exhausted when they left. My godson absolutely loves Walter. He kept going over to stroke him. Walter loved it!

   
   

I have loved spending time outside in the garden and on walks with Walter. He is coming on loads. We’ve managed to get him to sit and put his paw up instead of jumping up on the couch. He also waits for his food now. When we first got him he would dive at his food like we were going to take it away from him. I enjoy having Walter to focus on. My mood hasn’t been as low since a few weeks ago. The only thing I am struggling with is that I’m not getting enough sleep. Walter wakes up at 5am each morning (regardless of what time we put him in his crate for the night) to go the toilet. He then wakes up each hour after that. Dave thinks the sun wakes him up. We are going to put a blanket over his crate and see if this has an effect. I think it will be just a matter of time before Walter can sleep through the night. He is only 14 weeks old and his bladder is only small. 

There is going to be another Fit for 5ive event at the gym in July. I am really looking forward to it. The gym is still helping me to regulate my mood. With having Walter, I really enjoy having some ‘me’ time that the gym offers. I am planning on increasing my weights in Bodypump as my fitness seems to have improved. 

This Friday = new series of Orange is the New Black!!! Dave and I absolutely love this show. We are planning on spending Saturday afternoon watching it. I have just started watching Misfits. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have done (so far). 

The darkness is lifting

Either my increased dosage of Citalopram has kicked in or the devastating low of depression has started to lift. Whichever it is, I am so grateful. 

Bodycombat on Wednesday was more enjoyable for the first time in two weeks. Dominic really lifted my mood later on that day. His sense of humour is really coming on and so he had a few jokes he couldn’t wait to tell me. We had a fab time singing songs in the car and at my house while playing with Walter. Dominic totally adores Walter. He can’t wait until Walter can go for walks and has suggested a number of different places we could take him for walks. 

Now that I am in a slightly better place, I have been wondering if Walter was picking up on my low mood these past two weeks. I’ve been emotionally vulnerable and so I took it to heart when he was having an off day. The rest of this week has been much better with Walter. He has been a lot more playful and responsive. 

   
 

As each day passes the black clouds of depression are lifting. With that I become more fearful. Due to the nature of depression, I will experience the unbearable low again. I’m scared of its inevitable return. The hopelessness, helplessness and negativity I experience when my depression is bad are overwhelming. I guess I just need to learn to ride the waves of depression. 

Dave is off work all weekend for the bank holiday plus he has Tuesday off as leave. I can’t wait to spend some proper time with him. The last two weeks have been such a struggle. As a result Dave and I haven’t had much quality time. I’m at the gym tomorrow morning. It makes a nice change to be looking forward to it instead of huge levels of anxiety. Our friend is coming round for the day to meet Walter on Sunday. Apart from that, we don’t have any definite plans. Dave has suggested going out for tea on Tuesday. Possibly for a Chinese which we haven’t done in a long time. 

Thanks again for all the encouraging and supportive comments on my posts recently. They gave me hope that things will get better. 

Onward and upward

I’ve managed to get an extra four CBT sessions on top of my existing ones I have left with my current counsellor. I’m really pleased. It seemed like I was starting to get a good understanding of myself so I am grateful I will be able to continue this. I have a session this afternoon. It’s my first one since coming home from Australia. 

I have been really busy these past few weeks. It’s been good. I have spent time with my family which has been great. I feel closer then ever to them right now. Dave and I saw my parents last weekend. For the first time, I talk with them about the guilt I feel for various reasons. I also expressed concerns that I worry that they don’t think that I am mentally ill. They were really supportive and said that this wasn’t the case. 

I also spent the day with my sister this week. We ended up going Pets At Home for more things for Walter. We also had lunch in Pizza Hut. I would recommend trying their salted caramel cookie dough dessert. We shared one and it was divine. My brother is coming round after my CBT session and we are going for lunch. 

I went back to the gym last week. Last Wednesday was my first time in 3 weeks. Les Mills have released their new stuff and it is brilliant particularly Bodycombat. My first classes back were really hard. I felt like my fitness was noticeably worse. However, my body seems to have needed the break from all the intense exercise I was doing. My knees have not caused me any problems since returning from Australia. I am able to use weights again during the leg track of Bodypump. I am back to doing the high impact moves in Bodycombat and Bodyattack. My friend from the gym thinks I was over exercising before Australia. She and a number of other people at the gym have said I look like I have lost weight. My metabolism will also be working constantly as a result of regularly exercising. 

So tomorrow is the big day – we go to pick up Walter! Our house is all ready for him after sorting it out all week. He is registered at a vets. I am excited and nervous. A puppy is a big responsibility. Dave and I want Walter to be happy with us. My friend from the gym said that her parents got a dog when her Dad was struggling with depression. She said it really helped him and she thinks Walter will be a good thing for me. She is going to come round to meet Walter on Wednesday. My Mum, brother and sister are meeting him on Monday. 

Busy, busy, busy

Only 3 days until we fly out to Brisbane! This weekend has flown by as Dave and I have both been busy. 

I really enjoyed going for lunch with my parents and sister on Friday. It was nice getting to spend time with them. My hair is now even shorter. My hairdresser was laughing that I keep getting more of the length taken off each time. I now have a graduated bob which is the shortest I have had my hair in a good few years. It is much more manageable and will hopefully mean that I will be cooler in Australia. 

On Saturday was my godson’s 2nd birthday party. We had a good time. I was anxious in the car when driving to our friend’s but I was able to work through it by talking to Dave about it. I am still convinced my godson is autistic. He is really into cars at the moment. There was a lot of repetitive behaviours – moving the cars in a particular way, in a particular order etc. Also, he would lie on the floor and move the cars close to his eyes. He seemed fascinated with watching the car wheels turn. My godson does not talk and there was no imaginative element to his play. Other red flags were that we wouldn’t be singing happy birthday or putting candles on his cake as he is scared of candles and he was scared to open his presents unless you opened it to a point that he knew what the present was. I have thought for a few months now that my godson has autism. But I know it is not my place to broach the subject with my friend. Regardless, Dave and I love my godson. He means a lot to both of us. 

We started packing for Australia when we got back from the birthday party. It was comically to see how much more I am taking then Dave! I normally really hate packing for holidays but it helped me feel more organised and excited. 

Yesterday Dave did overtime at work. I went the gym in the morning. In the afternoon I started cleaning and tidying the house. It’s the first time in a few months I have done a proper clean. It sounds vile I know but I had zero motivation to do housework. It was taking all my energy to even get out of bed on particularly bad days. I feel so much better for doing it, even when I knocked the hoover and its contents spilled over the hall carpet! I managed to not get worked up about it which is a big thing for me. 

I am going the gym tonight. My friend is going to be doing some of my favourite tracks during combat. It was suggested that I make some requests as it is my last Monday at the gym for a good few weeks. 

Tomorrow my brother is off work. He is going to come round to mine and we are going to go out for lunch. Wednesday I am at the gym in the morning and I have Dom in the evening. 

This is potentially my last post before going away. I don’t have any concrete plans to post when I am in Australia. I do plan on taking a lot of photos which I will post at some point. 

Thanks again for taking the time to read, comment and like my posts. It means a lot. Until next time! 

Lightbulb moment and laughs

This morning I had a lightbulb moment during my NHS counselling session. I was filled with anxiety and dread about going. Maybe that played a part in my struggle to fall asleep last night (I was asleep when Dave got home from work around 11pm apparently).

I have realised that my weight loss started when I was being bullied at work. It was only when the counsellor asked me for a timeline of sorts that it clicked. It’s something we are going to explore during my next sessions which will be from the beginning of May. The counsellor made me feel at ease. I did most of the talking during the session but I think it was necessary for the counsellor to get a clear picture of me, my circumstances, my feelings etc. 

The gym was great this morning. I really enjoyed combat, pump and pilates. It was only during pilates that I saw just how far I have come regarding my core strength. My friend who runs the classes came round when we were doing pilates situps to make sure we were all doing them correctly. She commented on how much stronger my core was compared to a few months ago. It is something I have felt I have always struggled with but clearly the hard work is paying off. 

My GP appointment went well. The doctor I see is so lovely. She actually understands mental health and seems to genuinely care. We ended up talking about travelling and holidays for ages! My ears have felt blocked and itchy this past week. When the GP looked in them she said both ears are impacted with earwax more so my left ear. Apparently, you can only have your ears syringed after using olive oil eardrops for 7 – 10 days….not helpful when I am getting on a plane in 8 days. I have some olive oil drops to use 2 – 3 times a day between now and next week. I plan on buying boiled sweets for the plane and I have already told Dave that I am using the beats headphones we have. There’s got to be a perk to having blocked ears 😛

Dominic was a delight tonight. Although I was subjected to watching Frozen at my house. I really don’t like Frozen. Quite possibly one of the most overrated and annoying films. But Dominic loved it and has already suggested about bringing another of his DVDs round to mine (even though Dave and I have loads of DVDs and Netflix). Next Wednesday will be the last time I take him out before Australia. I am going to take him to pick an easter egg from Dave and I which he is excited about. He has such a sweet tooth. 

Today has been a busy but good day. I think it is important I acknowledge in some way when I do have a good day. I have actually managed to come up with six positives from today. It was a struggle to come up with one positive a few days ago. I have laughed all day particularly at the gym and with Dominic. Depression and anxiety didn’t have such a tight grip on me today and I am grateful. 

Strange few days

It feels like it has been a strange few days. Currently, I am extremely unsettled. I will get to what I think has set me off…

A few times for the past week or so I have reached a point where I feel like my brain completely shuts down. This has resulted in me curling up on my corner couch in the fetal position not being to do anything. I’ve noticed that I am unable to focus on what I am doing and zone out. It then feels like I am in this mindset for what seems like an eternity. 

This happened last weekend. Luckily Dave was here. He put my ipod on our speakers and eventually he distracted me. However, this happened again yesterday afternoon and again in the evening. Last night Dave had to prompt me to get up off the couch.

I have posted frequently that I go to the gym a number of times a week. I have also said that this is an ongoing struggle to do. I had actually felt less anxious about the gym the past week or so. I had spoken to my friend at the gym for a good half hour on Monday night. 

I got to bodycombat on Wednesday morning and stood at the back in a space waiting for the class to start. An older woman came in and stood directly behind me. My friend noticed this and asked everyone to move forward. This woman then actually pushed me! I told her not to push me. I was so angry. I don’t know how I managed to stay in the gym for bodycombat, bodypump and pilates. This is actually progress for me. A few weeks ago I would have walked out straight away.

At the end of bodycombat I decided to say something to this woman. I said that I did not appreciate being pushed. She then tried to argue with me! My response was that there is no excuse for it and I walked off to get my kit out for bodypump. 

I spoke to my friend at the end of the classes. She was disgusted and said I could make a formal complaint. She talked to the gym manager who then phoned me yesterday. My friend asked me if she could tell the gym manager about my depression and anxiety which I agreed to. The manager was lovely. She told me to keep coming the gym and that I am to tell her if anything upsets me when I am there. The infuriating thing is this woman hadn’t even booked on to bodycombat! My friend and the manager tried to find out who she is. This woman has actually broken the terms and conditions of her contract and could have her membership revoked. On Monday the manager is going to come up to the studio to see if this woman is there. 

I feel so strongly about making a formal complaint. It is wrong that someone thinks they can behave in this manner. After the phone call from the gym manager I was in tears. The whole thing played on my mind all last night. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the way I do because of this woman. I refuse to stop coming the gym but other people might not feel the same if something like this happened to them. 

On Tuesday I went out for the day with my sister. We went for lunch and I had this 



It was amazing. Really filling. So much so I couldn’t finish it all. We then looked round some shops. I got some stuff from primark for Australia. It was nice to spend the day with my sister. We have become closer recently. 

I am going to end this post with a photo of a note Dave left me under my phone this morning. It was lovely to read after how unsettled I have been these past few days. I hope everyone who is going through similar things to me has someone like Dave in their life. He gives me the strength to carry on x