Things can get better

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how much progress I have made over the years since being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have two things that have happened over the past few days that I want to talk about.

Dave received a Facebook message from someone I have not been friends with for nearly 3 years a few evenings ago. I have spoken about this person. She was one of my bridesmaids when Dave and I got married. But when I was at my lowest, she made my life even worse. She made me feel guilty, didn't respect my boundaries and only cared about herself.

I made the decision that I did not want or need this person in my life. So I was surprised to find out this person messaged Dave acting as if nothing was wrong, asking how we were and congratulating us as she (somehow) knew I was pregnant.

Dave worried so much how I would react that he got in touch with my sister. She reassured Dave that I am stronger then a lot of people realise.

My first response when Dave told me was to laugh. I can honestly say that I have not once missed the friendship. I questioned the motives behind her getting in touch in the first place. Plus, the message acted if nothing had happened when it was quite the opposite.

Dave and I both agreed to ignore the message and that he would block her on Facebook. I am so happy with the people in my life. My family have always been amazing. I have the nicest and supportive friends. I didn't see the point in trying to be friends with someone who made me more ill and turned out to be an awful friend when I needed them the most.

I know for a fact that this message would have triggered my anxiety and depression when I was still struggling. I would not have been able to stop ruminating about it, quite possibly had a panic attack and it would have made my mood come crashing down. I would have brought it up continuously with Dave. It has been quite the opposite. We have not talked about it since Dave received the message.

Yesterday I went for afternoon tea for a friend's hen do. In the past, I would have automatically said no to something like this. I used to actively avoid situations like this; too many people, being with people I didn't know, a busy place etc. The only person I knew was the bride. But I went and had a good time. I chatted away to people I didn't know and they were all lovely.

To think there was a time that I was suicidal, struggled to leave the house and was constantly anxious and my mood was low is hard to believe right now. I am proud of how far I have come. I want to stress how it has not been easy to get to this point. There have been a lot of tears, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and being honest with myself and others when it is not always easy. I can recognise if I am starting to struggle and do things to help myself feel better.

Chester Bennington

Like so many people, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park had committed suicide. 

For those who are into rock/metal music, we all have that one band that got you hooked. The band that opened your eyes and ears to music that completely speaks to you. For me, it was Linkin Park. 

When I first discovered Linkin Park they had only just released Hybrid Theory. At the time, I was a teenager. I was struggling back then with feeling of low confidence, doubts and anxiety. I know now it was more than your average teen angst. 

Finding Linkin Park helped me feel a sense of belonging; that other people felt like me, that someone could captivate perfectly my own thoughts and feelings. I was fortunate enough to have seen Linkin Park live on a number of occasions. It’s hard to describe what it was like singing your heart out with thousands of other people. It was beyond magical. 

I have been in that deep, dark place that Chester must have been. It feels neverending. At my worst, I would spend hours researching ways to kill myself including where I would do it. It was all consuming. I didn’t see a way that the darkness would leave. I really wanted it all to end as it was unbearable. 

I can’t remember how or when, but I decided that I couldn’t go on feeling like this. I felt I was just surviving, not living. Thanks to my amazing family and friends who supported me I got the help I needed. It was not easy. Addressing the deep rooted issues in my head is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At times, I had to take myself out of my comfort zone and trust my therapist. It was scary and exhausting. 

I am not saying that life is now a bed of roses for me. It isn’t. But I can identify triggers or when I am starting to decline. I am more open with my family and friends when things are hard. For years, I hid my difficulties which I now know made things so much more worse for me. 

Things can get better. If someone had told me a few years ago how my life would be now, I would never have believed them. No one should feel like Chester, that suicide is the only option. Please find someone to talk to if you are struggling. 

I hope Chester is at peace now. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I am sure I am not the only one who is grateful to have found Linkin Park. Chester’s voice spoke to a generation and helped us during our worst moments. It is such a shame that he didn’t feel able to continue living when he had so much more to give. 


I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real. 
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along. 

Somewhere I belong 

Linkin Park, Somewhere I belong

Rock Bottom

Have you ever cried so much that your whole face hurts? Your eyes feel heavy and you feel exhausted from using up so much energy. This is my current state. 

After managing to spend the day with my friend, her little girl and our dogs, my mood had started to improve. But due to an incident at work, I am at rock bottom. I am now questioning myself in so many ways. 

I can’t go into detail about what happened, but I absolutely broke down in work. I tried incredibly hard not to get upset. But now I am home I think that my anxiety was so high that I was having a severe panic attack. When driving home from work (early I may add as my boss was so concerned for my emotional state) I spent the entire drive thinking of ways I wanted to hurt myself. I can safely say I didn’t act upon any of these. But it has left me scared and uneasy. 

This whole incident has me questioning  whether I can continue certain aspects of my jobs. I felt that I had done the right thing. But I was made to feel that I was in the wrong. I find the whole thing really sad. I feel that I go above and beyond in my jobs. I feel like it has all been thrown back in my face. 

Dave is unaware of anything about tonight. He is in work until 10pm and I felt it completely unfair on him to get in touch with him. It would only upset him and he wouldn’t be able to do anything to help. 

Part of me is embarassed that I reacted like this. It just highlights how unstable I am. I want to just hibernate for a while. It feels that there is one thing after another. I use so much energy to get through each day and for what?

From bad to worse

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. 

   

   

Overwhelming

As this week has gone by, I have felt an overwhelming sense of dread when I need to get out of bed each morning. I wish I hadn’t said that I would work this week. It is really difficult being around people at the moment. I feel like I am trapped in a bubble of depression; looking in on other people who seem so happy and content. 

Each day I wake up more exhausted then the previous day. Each day it is more challenging to fight this and keep going. 

This week has highlighted how lonely I feel. After the gym last night, I cried when I was driving home. What few friends I have just don’t bother with me even when I make the effort. This in turn is leading me to not open up for fear of being hurt. My messages are now being totally ignored by certain friends. 

Dave knows that I am struggling. But he doesn’t know that I have felt suicidal. I really don’t want to go the gym tomorrow morning. It didn’t help me what so ever last night. It just made me feel paranoid and self conscious. 

I sometimes feel invisible. No matter how much effort I make, I am met with silence from people. This makes the idea of suicide more appealing. I won’t be missed and I won’t have to feel this awful ever again. 

Restless

It’s 6.50am. I have been awake since 5.40am after another restless night. I went to bed exhausted after two classes at the gym. Yet I am still not able to sleep all night without sleeping tablets. 

After the gym last night, my friend asked if I was ok. I told her I wasn’t. I went on to tell her about the assessment, the suicidal thoughts and just the general struggles I am going through. It was probably the first time I have ever said some things out loud; how I would rather be dead then feel like this, that I am just a burden to others and how scared and worried I am. I was on the verge of tears and so was my friend. That was not my intention. She said she would care if I killed myself and that it would have a huge impact on her. I said that she’d get over it and move on. She told me that I am important to her. 

My friend said to message her about how the assessment goes. She said I can talk to her whenever I want. The gym has a booking system for classes. My friend told me that she checks if I am booked on for classes. She thought I had been struggling and knew I would talk to her when I was ready. I thought I was good at putting a mask on when I was struggling. Or my friend knows me too well. She has suggested meeting up for coffee with her and her Mum. Her Dad struggled for years with depression and he has made a recovery. She said it is totally up to me. His depression sounded as bad as mine; he would frequently say he wanted to throw himself under a bus. 

Unraveling

I didn’t get the job I had the interview for. To say I am upset is an understatement. The job was a specialist behaviour advisor for an autism helpline. To be knocked back for this job has made me feel inadequate. Since I was 19 I have worked with those with autism. It is something I thought I was good at. 

The feedback I got from the interview has not helped my self esteem. When I am anxious I do speak faster. I naturally talk fast as a result of being from Liverpool. I did say during my interview that I do speak fast when I am nervous. I was told that I speak too fast and this was a concern. 

My anxiety can make social sociations difficult. I feel stupid and that I am being judged when I do speak to people when I am out and about. I now feel even more self concious about talking when I am out. 

I was told my autism knowledge was at a high standard and this was shown through my answers to questions and during the written assessment. I was then told that my knowledge was ‘too child based’. All but one of the questions I was asked were specifically to do with children with autism! 

Maybe I shouldn’t have applied for this job at all. I have felt constantly anxious since submitting the application. The build up to the interview had a huge impact on me. I wasn’t sleeping properly, struggling to relax and having stomach pain and headaches. I found travelling to London a nightmare. I don’t know what I would have done if Dave hadn’t offered to go. I was in a constant state of anxiety. 

I was out with Walter when I received the phone call to say I was unsuccessful. I hadn’t been out long and I just wanted to go straight home. I went into shutdown mode and couldn’t wait until I was back in the house. 

I was due to go the gym after taking Walter for his walk. I ended up cancelling the class I was supposed to be doing. I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone.

I am really trying to move past this whole thing but I am finding it difficult. If I can’t get a job that I am qualified to do then what the hell am I going to do? I have no energy or interest in doing anything today. I feel physically drained. I barely slept last night and Dave told me I was having night terrors. I have woke up with the same headache I went to bed with and sore face from how upset I was last night. 

I am still waiting for my NHS CBT sessions to start. I have no idea what to do. I don’t want to leave the house incase I have to interact with people. I am planning on taking Walter for his walk later on today when the chances of this happening are low. 

This whole thing has shown how fragile my mental state is. It is scary how fast I can unravel when faced with something difficult or challenging. The suicidal ideations are overwhelming. I don’t want to burden the few people that I am close to. I don’t know what to do. I am scared to be on my own but I don’t want to be around anyone either if that makes sense.