How is possible that at 18 weeks pregnant I am already experiencing Mummy guilt? There are two reasons. The first came about at what I thought was going to be a routine asthma review.
Last Friday afternoon, I had a routine asthma review. The day after my review, my asthma became worse due to a cold I had getting on to my chest which is just typical. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that I needed a doctor’s appointment to discuss my recent blood tests. Luckily, I managed to get an appointment after my asthma review.
I am taking folic acid and vitamin D and I was told that I needed blood tests in order to receive more. I was advised to take this while pregnant. My vitamin D levels are low. But is it any wonder when I live in the UK? We don’t get enough sun.
When looking through my notes, the doctor found that I was on paroxetine. She said that I shouldn’t be taking this when pregnant. I felt so sick, anxious and let down. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I saw my GP so I could discuss my medication. I was told paroxetine would be fine to take. To then be told that fluoxetine is a safer SSRI made me feel so guilty. I have been risking my baby’s health and it could have been avoided. Paroxetine has an associated risk of heart problems in babies during their first few months. The only reassurance I have is that each and every scan we have had, our little girl has had a strong, healthy heart. I have been taking fluoxetine since Sunday and I see my midwife a week today. I need to book an appointment to see the GP next week so they can see how I am doing.
The other reason I feel guilty is my lack of appetite and nausea which seems to have got worse again rather than better. I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthy. Yet thanks to morning sickness (which by the way, happens any time of day) I threw up all the grapes I had managed to eat. I worry that my little girl isn’t getting enough nutrition to grow and be healthy.
I think I am dwelling on things a lot more than I normally would. As I mentioned earlier, I have been physically unwell. I am finally starting to feel better. Although I don’t work much, I do have a routine; going the gym, seeing family and friends, walking Walter. All of this has gone out of the window. I have been stuck in the house. Thankfully, I have Dom in a few hours and the sun is shining.
This weekend has shown that this is so me. The situation at work was blown out of proportion on a momentous scale. I convinced myself that I would have to give up work. As a result, I felt utterly exhausted. I slept for 12 hours straight on Sunday night. Even then, I was still drained when I woke up.
Everything at work is resolved. Yesterday it was like nothing happened, which was exactly what I wanted.
So tomorrow I am seeing my GP. It’s for a combination of mental and physical health issues. My anxiety and depression is so severe that Dave felt I was as bad as I was when I was under the crisis team last year. It was scary. I have really had to push myself to leave the house and to spend time with people. My chest is still not good. I managed to go to BodyCombat on Monday night. But my chest hurt the entire time. I struggled so much. I have this barking cough that makes an appearance whenever I physically exert myself and the chest pain radiates to my back. At times, I have constant chest pains. On Sunday I am doing Rough Runner so I have no choice but to completely rest until then.
On a more positive note, today is mine and Dave’s 2nd wedding anniversary. We are both off work all day. We are going to take Walter to dog playtime and go for a meal. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, amazing and supportive husband.
Things have picked up for me as the week has gone on. It feels as if this week has gone really quickly, which has helped me get back into my usual routine.
I have managed to go the gym again since Monday night. I did an abs class on Tuesday, Body Sculpt on Thursday and Boxing on Friday. As I was the only person booked on to the Fight Club class, I did a 1:1 boxing session for half an hour. It was thoroughly enjoyable! I did some punching on a punch bag for the first time. I’m tempted to invest in some boxing gloves now for the days when I want to exercise but don’t want to go to a class at the gym.
I had an appointment with my GP on Thursday morning. It went well. My GP said that I looked a lot better compared to my last few appointments. I have the option of increasing my dosage if I feel it necessary. At the moment, I feel that my medication is helping to keep me on an even level the majority of the time. I don’t need to change it or increase the dosage.
We took Walter to the vets this morning. His behaviour has changed over Christmas. Normally, he loves seeing other dogs when out on walks. Lately, he has been reluctant to do so and at times actively trying to get away from other dogs. Walter went over to the dogs he saw at the vets and seemed his usual self. The vet was happy with him. She cleaned his ears and checked his weight. It could have been the lack of his usual routine over Christmas that caused the change in his behaviour. Dave and I are going to take him for a big walk tomorrow. We haven’t been able to take him out today. It’s rained virtually all day.
I am pleased to announce that I am now part of the team that blogs at Defying Shadows. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my experiences, thoughts and ideas as a member of the Defying Shadows team.
I would like to thank the GP I saw this morning for helping to contribute to my already overwhelmingly low sense of worth.
It is hard to open up to yet another new GP; to have to tell my story for the umpteenth time. I woke up exhausted and couldn’t face eating. The GP asked if I work when I explained I had come in as I have anxiety and depression. I explained about providing respite for Dom. He then asked what I do in my spare time. I said about going the gym. I was told that working would be a good idea. The way the GP said it made me feel pathetic, like I am bringing my anxiety and depression on myself. I didn’t see the point in explaining about Walter as I felt so shitty.
I talked about the recurrent suicidal ideations. He said there was no point changing my medication. I am being referred to the crisis team which was probably one of the only positives of my appointment. I also have some sleeping tablets as I am struggling big time to sleep. I should hear from them within a week. The GP didn’t even ask me when I should come back in for another appointment.
Dave phoned me after my appointment. He told me to focus on the positives and that it is a step in the right direction. I am hoping that an assessment with the crisis team will be useful. Part of me is embarassed that it has got to this point.
It annoyed me that I was made to feel useless as I am not really working. The GP said that I need to keep distracted. So work is the only thing that can provide this distraction? I do want some form of job. But when I can’t function at a basic level most days, working is the least of my worries.
Emma is now on her way back to Brisbane. We both cried a lot in the airport last night. I cried all the way home in the car too.
I don’t feel I have many people in my life that I am truly connected with. I can be myself with Emma and vice versa. She saw me at my lowest and didn’t freak out and run a mile. She helped me so much and brought so much goodness with her these past few weeks.
I am at my GP tomorrow. Unfortunately my GP is off on long term sick now until the new year. I am having to see a random GP and I am worried. I have a number of things I want to discuss. But I know full well that I will completely shutdown if I am not taken seriously.
I will leave you with a photo of the card Emma left on my kitchen fridge. She made sure that I didn’t read it while she was here. Emma brought with her a polaroid camera and made a photo collage for our wall using the photos she took. This is referred to in her card:
Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to comment on my post from last night. I was overwhelmed with the messages of support.
As much as I am trying to fight this, the darkness has overtaken my head. I feel like it is kicking my arse. I ended up messaging my friend from the gym last night. She has said to get in touch if I need to. We had a lengthy conversation via whatsapp. She told me I am one of the bravest women she knows and a lot of other nice things. Shame I don’t believe a word of it.
I have an appointment with my GP on Monday. I will only see two of the doctors at my surgery. The lack of understanding I have had from a few other doctors has put me off seeing anyone else. I would have preferred to have an appointment much sooner but this was the earliest appointment the doctors had. I feel that my anti depressants aren’t helping. Possibly my body has become used to the current dosage I am on. I fought against the internal battle in my head and went to combat this morning. I sat on the couch with Walter crying before I left the house. It was difficult to stop. Initially combat helped take the edge off things. But as today went on, I felt like the endorphins were wearing off. The darkness has come back at full force.
My parents and sister popped in for a bit this afternoon. They were nearby to where I live. I cried so much after they left. I don’t even know why. I then had to get into some sort of mindset so that I could take Dom out.
I found it so difficult being out with Dom tonight. I had to use every ounce of energy to not let my current mental state impact on him. This has nothing to do with him. This has shown me how unwell I am right now. Dom is someone who helps when I am low. I couldn’t wait to drop him off so I could get home.
I’m finding it difficult to relax. I feel that I am all cried out but have had these random spells of uncontrollable crying throughout today. I have been having suicidal thoughts all day. It’s like my mind cannot think of anything else but ways to punish myself. When driving to the gym I thought how easy it would be to purposefully crash my car. To end all this once and for all.
Please don’t take this as me saying I am going to kill myself. I’m just trying to make sense of all the thoughts swirling round in my head. I fucking hate depression and anxiety.
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.
Last night I got upset over my CBT session which took place yesterday afternoon. We looked at the way I think about myself particularly in relation to the way I look, my appearance etc. I brought up my massive fear around putting on weight too.
I’ve never talked in great deal to anyone about the bullying I was on the receiving end of throughout different parts of my school life. It is possible that my self loathing stems from this. My thoughts about myself are likely to be a result of being bullied.
It now makes sense why I had a breakdown when I was bullied during 2013 at work. At the time, I received generic talking therapy. I wasn’t given the opportunity to look at my thought processes at the time.
After my CBT session I felt my mood drop as the day went on. When Dave got home from work that night I became upset. It’s hard to explain how shit I felt. Clearly I have tried to block out the bullying and now it is at the forefront of my mind.
I didn’t sleep well last night. I went the gym this morning and then went for a coffee with my friend from the gym. My friend confided in me about something she is dealing with. She said she wanted my advice and we ended up talking for about three hours. We talked about a lot of other stuff to do. I find it weird how calm and rational I can be with other people’s situations yet I am the complete opposite with my current circumstances. The only reason we left when we did was due to the fact I needed to pick up my respite child. I had a good time with my friend and with my respite child.
Since getting home nearly 3 hours ago, my mood is even lower then yesterday. I have been in tears. The frustrating thing is I can’t say exactly what is causing this. I just want to hide from the world. Right now, I feel like I have to put such a massive effort into doing things that other people take for granted. Getting out of bed, eating, showering and leaving the house are just some of the things I have to use a lot of energy to do. The mask I wear so much feels like it is slipping.
The suicidal thoughts are back. There. I said it. I don’t feel able to talk to anyone about it. It will do nothing but cause upset and stress for those that know about my depression and anxiety. I don’t have another CBT session until Tuesday afternoon. I have an appointment with my GP a week today.
I feel so fucking weak and pathetic. I have no reason to feel this shit. I am a fraud. I lie to so many people. My go to response when anyone asks how I am is, “I’m ok” regardless of how I actually feel. I don’t have the guts to tell people about being ill or the fact I don’t work. It’s just easier to say work is fine or to change the subject.
I started this blog just over two months as a way to help aid my recovery. There was no expectation on my part that others would even read my posts let alone follow my blog. So to have 99 followers from all over the world is incredible. Thank you all for taking time out of your day to read my posts.
Dave left me this note on our full length mirror:
This note has made me realise how much my eating and poor body image are having an impact on me.
Initially when I became ill and had issues with medication I experienced a poor appetite. This was a genuine side effect of the anti depressants I was taking. As my depression and anxiety has raged on my self esteem is now at its lowest.
I have mentioned before that I lost a lot of weight (4 stone) during 2013. This was done in the right way – changed my diet and exercised regularly. When I am thinking rationally I know that right now I am not eating enough. Yet a part of me has this overwhelming fear of putting back on all the weight I have lost. I wear UK size 10 clothes. I even own some size 8 tops. But this does not stop the recurring thoughts I have. Just some of these thoughts:
“I am not in proportion”
“My thighs are too chunky”
“My stomach isn’t flat enough”
“My arms aren’t toned enough”
As a result I look in the mirror a lot. Even more so when I am leaving the house. I sound vain don’t I? But I honestly think that I do not see myself as everyone else sees me. Dave tells me all the time how fantastic I look. And do you know what I do? I dismiss the comments. I argue with Dave. I totally disagree with him.
During CBT sessions so far we have briefly touched on this. By disagreeing with Dave I am making out that his opinions do not matter. I am currently trying to just say thank you to people whenever they give me a compliment.
A part of me knows I am putting my body at risk. I try to eat as little as possible yet I am still doing a lot of high intensity classes at the gym. I feel like my attitude to food is spiralling out of control. I don’t make proper meals. I get so angry with myself if I eat certain things. The guilt I feel when I eat is truly awful.
I decided to tell Dave that food is now becoming a huge issue for me. I have been trying to hide it from him. He doesn’t need anything else to worry about. I am going to bring it up during my next CBT session and at my GP appointment in two weeks time. Dave has said he does not know what to do about it. He had noticed my weight has been dropping each week recently. He now just makes me food or gives me a choice of what food he will make for me. I think he picked up on the fact that when he was asking if I wanted something to eat I would always so no.
Sometimes it feels like one thing after another. Other times it feels like I have so many issues at play at the same time.
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.