Thank you for all the supportive comments on my last post. I didn’t know how to respond to them. But I hope you know that they were a comfort to me during last weekend.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since my disastrous assessment on Friday.
It took me until about Sunday to fully move forward from the assessment. Friday evening I had to take it five minutes at a time. I was worn out but had to take a sleeping tablet.
I was still in such a bad state on Saturday. So much so that I couldn’t face the gym. I didn’t have the strength to exercise or to face people. Dave had to make me go with him to take Walter for a walk. I’m so glad he did. It helped me to begin to clear my head.
On Sunday I suggested that we take Walter for a big walk. I felt much more able to face the world. Walter loved meeting lots of new dogs. A group of young children were fascinated with him and I managed to get him to do a few of his tricks much to their delight.
On Sunday evening I received a text that boosted my mood. At Dom’s mum’s wedding, there was a 13 year old girl there with Down’s Syndrome. I spoke to her during the day and also danced with her during the evening. Her mum had mentioned how she would love to have me working with her daughter.
I decided to bite the bullet and text Dom’s mum expressing my interest in supporting this girl. On Sunday evening her Mum text me to see if I was still interested. My head was trying to tell me to make up an excuse, that I wasn’t up to this, that I would be rubbish. But I ignored these thoughts.
So tomorrow I am working with this girl! I spoke to her Mum earlier on and I am actually looking forward to it now. I will be helping this girl get ready first thing in the morning to get ready for school. I will also be supporting her for a few hours after school. From speaking to the girl’s mum, she sounds like a right character.
It’s funny how certain events can help change your mood for the better. I really hope working with this girl will help me as much as her. This could be a great opportunity for me. It could help aid my recovery.
I am in the process of switching my medication. I have lowered my dosage of Citralopram from 40mg to 20mg. Next week I will be taking 50mg of Sertraline each morning. I do have my doubts whether this is the right thing to do. But I am willing to at least try in order to stabilise my mood.
I feel that my anxiety and depression are well managed at the moment. It seems like this has been a long time coming. I’m able to recognise quite quickly when I feel my mood dipping or my anxiety levels rising. Dave is also really good at picking up on my mood and anxiety. I talk to him as soon as I notice a change.
Others have also noticed that I seem to be in a good place. I feel more comfortable around my family and friends. Instead of feeling negative emotions about socialising, I am actually looking forward to it.
Phoning or even talking to most people on the phone was something that was anxiety provoking. Until recently, I was only really comfortable communicating via whatsapp or text messages. I phoned my parents house earlier tonight. I have not felt able to do this in months.
Dave came across a job that he thought would be good for me. At first I disregarded it. But after some discussion and encouragement I decided to bite the bullet and phone up to get more information. I was so pleased that I did. It gave me the motivation to apply.
So yesterday afternoon (with the help of Dave) I completed and submitted my application form. The closing date isn’t until a week on Wednesday. I am in the mindset that if this job is meant to be, it will be. For me to even apply for a job is a really big deal.
I know that I will always live with depression and anxiety. My medication is now on my repeat prescription at my doctors. I don’t see myself even contemplating coming off Citalopram any time soon. I don’t want to risk a relapse when I finally seem to be on the correct medication and dosage. As a result I feel like I am actually living my life. I’m getting more sleep and I don’t have difficulties with getting out of bed each morning.
I feel that I now have the tools to deal with my depression and anxiety more effectively when it is at its worst. CBT has played a massive part in this.
I hope all of this makes me a stronger, more determined person
So the presenters of Loose Women are of the opinion you can think yourself happy. Now I do appreciate the act of gratitude. I took part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. A discussion that should have been about how keeping a diary can help with happiness became a discussion about depression. Jamelia and Coleen Nolan both talked about how they have been prescribed antidepressants and didn’t want to take them.
I am not saying that antidepressants are for everyone. However, I felt as if this discussion just adds to the stigma surrounding mental health. The phrase ‘woe is me’ was used by Coleen Nolan. Her answer was to think positive and after a month all was well.
Jamelia and Coleen Nolan gave the impression that those that take medication are weak. I wish a bit of positive thinking was the answer to my depression and anxiety. It wasn’t easy for me to decide to take antidepressants. Even taking 40mg of Citalopram daily, I still go through some extreme lows. There is nothing more terrifying then fighting the battle that is going on in my head every single day. I have been told that those with depression live in the past and those with anxiety live in the future. So having depression and anxiety is truly scary.
Rant over. Moving on…
My CBT session yesterday we looked at me doing some gradual exposure to certain places/social events that trigger my anxiety. We talked about building up to going the pub one evening. This is something I have not been able to do in months. It is something I would like to do. The first step I am going to take is to go for a late lunch/early tea with Dave. The key to getting over my anxiety about going the pub is before going to acknowledge that I will probably feel anxious. That it’s ok to feel anxious. If I start to feel anxious I need to stay for a few minutes. This will, in theory, help me realise that even though I was anxious I was ok being in a particular situation.
Dave and I are looking to take Walter to puppy classes. We’ve been recommended a place near to where we live. I’ve been in touch with them via their website and I am waiting on them to respond. Walter is worn out today. He has been in the garden a lot and I bring Dom round to see him each week. Walter gets extremely happy when Dom comes round. He is so hyper and follows Dom everywhere. Dom now has a 10 week old black labrador. He is adorable. Walter is so little compared to him. Dom’s Dad and I talked about him meeting up with Walter.
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.
You know things are bad when your doctor asks you to come back in again in two weeks.
My doctor was really sympathetic yesterday. I didn’t want to be at the doctors. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I still don’t. My medication has been increased to 40mg a day. I am being referred for CBT on the NHS. The NHS counselling is really not helping. Talking isn’t helping. I need more than just talking. I told my GP this.
Normally I am asked to come back in every four weeks when I am struggling. I was told to come back in two weeks. Maybe because I was honest and said that I am suicidal.
Trying to articulate what is going on in my head is a struggle. So I always come home after a GP appointment feeling quite emotional. Walter was in a funny mood when I got home from the doctors. He wouldn’t stop barking regardless of what I tried. I was at my wits end and ended up in tears. Pathetic huh?
Depression likes to tell me that I am shit at everything. The latest thing it likes to tell me is that Walter hates me and I’m shit with him.
I’m at the point I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t want to leave the house or do anything. I am still going the gym as much as my head tells me not to. I’m not getting much enjoyment out of it.
I’ve just got to keep going and believe that things will get better. Even if depression and anxiety like to tell me otherwise.
So on Tuesday night I broke down. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, tired and incredibly low. I ended up uttering the sentence, “I hate my life” to Dave. I’ve never said anything like this out loud to anyone. I’ve never wanted to voice these thoughts. I don’t want people worrying about me, especially Dave. We had a long chat. Dave is such a level headed person and he helped me calm down eventually. Dave and I decided that I have waited long enough for NHS counselling. We decided to try getting counselling via my Dad’s work.
My GP appointment on Wednesday afternoon was actually quite productive. The doctor I saw was very good. She was really supportive and took what I said seriously. She asked me to fill in a questionnaire of some sort. I can’t remember the name of it but I got a score of 22 which is high.
I was honest about my insomnia, how run down I am and how I am avoiding being around people. The doctor suggested upping my dosage of Citalopram from 30mg to 20mg. I am now taking it when I get up rather then before bed. She also gave me sleeping tablets for the next month. I have an annoying rattle sounding cough and as I am asthmatic the doctor listened to my chest. Thankfully, my chest is clear. I have to go for blood tests because of how ill I am getting. She mentioned something about my thyroid and how that might be impacting my low mood. Luckily, my GP surgery can do the blood tests on Wednesdays so I have an appointment on Wednesday morning before the gym. I explained how I want to be more settled before going to Australia. She wants to see me again before I go. I am seeing her again the week before Dave and I fly out.
The sleeping tablets are slowly having a positive impact. My usual lying awake for hours on end has decreased dramatically. The past two nights I haven’t woken up during the night. Although I am still not getting enough sleep right now, I woke up at 8.30am on Thursday and 9am this morning. This makes a pleasant change to 7am!
I experienced high levels of anxiety at the gym last night. I am not sure if this is due to the increased medication dosage, switching to taking it when I wake up or something else entirely. I was on the verge of tears before the start of bodypump. The anxiety did subside gradually during the classes. My appetite is virtually non existant since increasing the dosage.
On Wednesday afternoon I have my first counselling session. I am entitled to six sessions which my Dad’s work are paying for. I feel like I will be able to get a handle on my depression and anxiety and actually start recovering. I am going to ask this counsellor for my notes at the end of my last session with her so that when I actually get to see an NHS counsellor I can continue making progress. For the first time in I don’t know how long I haven’t felt anxious today.
Getting a good night’s sleep has been something I have struggled with for a number of months now. Initially, the issue I had was falling asleep. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I was able to fall asleep as soon as I got into bed even when I have felt like I was dropping on my feet. After hours of tossing and turning I would eventually fall asleep but wake up tired.
Since switching to Citalopram my insomnia has become noticeably worse. As well as the struggle to fall asleep, I now wake up frequently throughout the night and I am waking up much earlier in the morning. Before taking Citalopram, I wouldn’t even know Dave had got up for work. At present, I am waking up when Dave is getting ready for work. Once I am awake I can’t fall back asleep. Even at weekends when Dave and I have a lie in at least one morning, I am waking up at around 7.30am.
I only made the link between Citalopram and insomnia when I was driving home from the gym last night. I was being overly harsh on myself as I found the classes at the gym really hard. Yesterday afternoon I felt overwhelmingly tired. I made a conscious effort to eat enough and drink enough water. I ended up with a tired headache. This did go after I had a snack before the gym. Even before bodycombat, my favourite class, I felt spaced out and not totally with it. As the class went on I kept making mistakes that I don’t normally make.
I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. I say my GP, but I am yet again seeing a random GP as the one I actually like isn’t working this week. This is the third time since being diagnosed that I have had to see a random GP. It is not helpful as I am already worried about what this doctor will be like. I have seen some extremely unsympathetic doctors. I am tired of going over the same things with different doctors. I am definitely mentioning the insomnia. I am open to suggestions as I am trying everything. I do not eat really late at night and I have tried getting baths at night. But, I am reluctant to start on sleeping tablets.
My anxiety is bad at the moment which I think is linked to lack of sleep. The gym was busy at times last night. I felt on the verge of a panic attack as more people came into the studio. It felt like the walls were coming in on me. Dave and I have been invited to a 30th birthday party for someone from Dave’s work on Saturday. I have met the girl who’s party it is but I have told Dave that I am getting too worked up about it and don’t think it is a good idea that I go. I have told Dave that he should go without me but he is insisting he would rather spend time with me.
Dave and I had a good time round at our friends on Saturday. We had a lovely Indian takeaway and watched the Lego Movie in 3D which we love. We had intended to watch Gravity as well but we were all too busy talking and catching up. Unfortunately when we got home I got upset. I have noticed that I feel extremely guilty whenever I have a good time. It’s like a part of me feels that I don’t deserve to have positive experiences. I didn’t let this guilt spill over into Sunday. I have recently started watching Pretty Little Liars and I continued with this on Sunday as well as playing some of The Wolf Among Us on the xbox.
This weekend Dave and I are planning on blitzing season 3 of House of Cards which comes out on Netflix. We are still making sure that we see our friends but we’ve agreed that this needs to be one set of friends per weekend. I am still finding it draining if we do too much.
I am currently sat with my left leg raised on cushions on the couch with ice on my left knee 😦
I did bodypump class last night. During the warm up in bodyattack I got this awful burning pain throughout my left knee when I lunged. I went to put my foot on the floor and the pain was even worse. I managed to move to the side of the studio and sat against the wall. My friend who teaches the classes came running over and stopped the class. At this point I was mortified. A first aider came in and helped me out of the studio.
It took half an hour for them to check me over and to fill in the accident form. They needed loads of information. My knee was noticeably swollen. My friend offered me to drive home. But I didn’t want to leave my car at the gym. I couldn’t bear weight on my foot due to the pain in my knee. I managed to drive home. My knee crunched every time I changed gear which knocked me sick.
My friend said to rest all weekend with my leg elevated with ice on it to reduce the swelling. Fridays I don’t go the gym anyway. But I am annoyed I can’t go tomorrow. When the option of being able to go the gym is taken away it makes me anxious. It probably sounds ridiculous but I can’t cope with putting weight on. I have this huge fear of putting all the weight back on that I have lost. So much so that I don’t eat much. The worrying thing is that I am rarely hungry or want to eat. I am hoping I can go the gym on Monday night.
I have been on Citalopram for nearly two weeks now. It’s hard to know at times if it is working as I have had some real lows these past two weeks. The suicidal thoughts are occuring more. It doesn’t help that I still haven’t got a counselling appointment. Dave tried phoning up about it and couldn’t get through. It is really frustrating. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety two and a half months ago and the only support I have is medication. It is evident that this is not working.
Dave and I are having a weekend in now due to my dodgy knee. We don’t celebrate valentine’s day and haven’t done in years. Valentine’s day has no bearing on our relationship. To us, it is just a random day. We celebrate the day Dave asked me out and we will obviously celebrate our wedding anniversary. Dave will randomly buy me flowers and little gifts throughout the year which I much prefer to him doing it once a year.
Speaking of gifts, it’s Dave’s birthday in a few weeks. He is so awkward to buy for! He has one present so far which is some Breaking Bad pyjama bottoms. If anyone knows what to buy a 28 year old bloke who is into gaming then let me know! We have enough DVDs and he is so fussy with his clothes. I might have to go on a shopping trip. I will be leaving it until after next week though as it is half term. I don’t like going in shops though so I might need to do a proper look online instead.
I had been doing really well. I had some minor side effects coming off Mirtazapine. I halved my dosage for six days then started on Citalopram as advised by my GP. I experienced some headaches and nausea but I could deal with it. I had actually started sleeping better.
My knee pain is subsiding. I have been doing leg strengthening exercises and they have been helping. This had been making the gym more enjoyable. I felt stronger and able to push myself.
I was supposed to go for lunch with my friend today. She ended up cancelling. I was sceptical it was going to happen when she wouldn’t commit to a time and place to meet when we had spoke at the gym earlier in the week. I then got a message saying she had forgot about a hairdresser appointment and thought it was next Thursday. She said she was really sorry and could we swap and do lunch another Thursday.
It was incredibly hard to put myself out there and suggest meeting up with someone. I have a constant voice in my head telling me that no one cares or wants to spend time with me. I am not a fun person to be around. It probably sounds ridiculous to those who have not experienced depression or anxiety but even something planned well in advance brings about a lot of anxiety and worry on my part. I stress about everything. Things that other people would probably not even think about. It’s like a constant voice in my head.
I had battled with all of this and told myself I was determined to go for lunch. I am on such a downer now. I haven’t eaten in nearly 24 hours as I have no appetite what so ever. At this rate I will not be going the gym tonight. I can’t face my friend after she cancelled lunch today. I don’t have the energy to pretend I am fine with people at the gym. I wish I hadn’t bothered getting out of bed today. I sat in tears earlier until I couldn’t cry anymore.
I am gonna leave my friend to initiate contact with me about rearranging lunch. I’m not holding out though. I wish I could say that part of me is glad that I didn’t have to go out and face the world. But the truth is, it’s just made me feel even more inadequate and useless as a person. I refuse to put myself in a potential situation like this again. I will leave it to my friends to get in touch with me to arrange meeting up. That way, I am not left feeling at rock bottom again. I have been trying to recover and it seems like there are so many obstacles being put in my way.
Although I am really not in a good place right now, I feel I have made the right choice by switching to Citalopram. I have only been on it for a matter of days and I know that my body will be getting used to it. I think this might be playing a part in my current mood. I just don’t know how to get out of this rut.
I know that the best thing for me to do is keep busy. It’s hard to want do things when my depression and anxiety have kicked in. I didn’t let depression or anxiety change my plans that my husband and I made at the weekend. There were times I was close to having a panic attack, completely on edge or crying my eyes out.
On Saturday after the gym I waited round until everyone else had left so I could talk to my gym trainer friend. We had a really frank and open conversation about how I have been. It’s the first time I have ever talked so open about my depression and anxiety to anyone else beside my husband.
I decided to message my friend later on and suggest meeting up. This is a big deal for me. My depression and anxiety would like nothing better then for me to sit in the house. To hide away from the world. My depression and anxiety tell me that I am worthless. Why would anyone want to spend time with me? Maybe it was all the endorphins running through my body that gave me the courage to do something I was scared of doing. I suggested to my friend about going starbucks or for lunch if she had enough free time. I went on to say that I am determined to recover and keeping busy will help. My friend replied that she was actually going to suggest doing something if I was up to it. Next Thursday we are going to go for lunch 🙂 I was waiting for my friend to ignore my message or not suggest a day so soon. Initially, she suggested meeting up over half term. But, when she realised it was a good few weeks away she suggested next Thursday.
I saw my GP this afternoon. I was very honest about things – I struggle to sleep, everything is such an effort, I am extremely tearful etc. He is a really good GP and I feel I can be totally honest without being judged. He suggested changing my antidepressant. He said that after around 6 weeks of being on Mirtazapine I should have noticed a difference. He went on to say that I seemed the same as when I went to see him at the beginning of December, when I started back on Mirtazapine. I am going to be coming off Mirtazapine and starting Citalopram. My GP has warned me that my anxiety might increase while my body gets used to Citalopram. I am terrified. But I am hoping that Citalopram will have a positive impact on me in the long run. I also got my GP to look at my knees. My gym trainer friend looked at them and she thinks it is ligaments/muscles that support the knees need strengthening. She said to get my knees checked out to confirm this so then she can show some leg strengthening exercises. My GP agreed with my friend so on Thursday I am going to get the gym a bit earlier before classes start so that she can show me the exercises.