Dealing with myself

I am pretty sure I need to do something serious to deal with my self-destructive impulses. I’ve got past the stage when I was only damaging myself, and I’m verging on territory where I’m hurting other people, and perhaps because I’m trying to avoid going back to that place so much, I’m instead pursuing alternative means of wreaking havoc. And that’s really not ok.

I think I’m just so scared of going back into that dark mental space that I’ve struggled with so much in the past, that anything seems like the better alternative. If only we didn’t have to deal with the consequences of our actions… I’m trying to work out why it is that I feel as though I want to act on base desires and have meaningless encounters. Maybe it’s because I feel hurt and it’s been a while since I had stability in my personal life. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life in terms of a career, and that’s been stressing me out a lot. I got rejected from a job/course I really wanted and it’s coming up to the end of my contract at my current employer and it’s just all a bit scary, this whole ‘adulting’ thing.

There have been a couple of people in my life that I have truly loved. And since things haven’t worked out, all I seem to do is leave a path of destruction wherever I go. It’s hard for me to write this, to admit any of this, but I am so caught up in my head at the moment, I don’t know what else to do. Even trying to explain what’s going on inside my mind is difficult and confusing. I just want to understand where I am mentally. I’ve made things messy with friends, so I can’t go to them, because all I’m doing is causing more drama. And my own mess is my own burden to bear – sometimes the hardest thing to do is to give yourself the time and space you need to properly process. I rush into things, I move too fast, and I try to be brave and strong with everything in my life, but sometimes you just need some time out. Yes, death often seems like the only way out, but I’m trying so hard to avoid thinking of that as a realistic option, and dealing with myself in a logical and rational way.

I haven’t blogged on here in months, because my life was pretty hectic, and I’ve been pretty low.

Maybe I don’t deserve happiness. Maybe every relationship I attempt is destined to failure because I’ve messed up so many times in the past. Various relationships have been messy – both romantic and platonic – in the past few months, and sometimes I really wish I had a clean slate. Not let myself get too attached to people, because they might leave. The one person who didn’t leave… I left him. And I think I’ve been beating myself up about that more recently, because of the lack of stability in my life. I don’t know what I want career wise, I know I need a break from the drama of the intimacy in my life…but undoubtedly that will sneak up on me when I least expect it, I’ll have wild encounters with people that I know I shouldn’t and have amazing highs followed by very extreme lows.

I think I maybe need professional help. Yes, I have sought this in the past, and my brain is nothing like it used to be – that’s kept under control by the 2 grams of drugs I have to take every day (even when I miss just one dose, I can start to feel the difference). But now, rather than hurting myself or purging, I express my anxieties into reckless and destructive behaviour – I guess ‘projecting’ rather than ‘internalising’. Both options are Not Ideal. It just feels like something that isn’t going to resolve itself. I have and know a lot of coping mechanisms, but what do I do when none of those work? When I try and go through the motions of the various things to deal with the depression, with the anxiety, and I still feel empty and pointless and like a waste of space?

In theory, I should probably go tee total, as I know my ‘acting out’ is triggered/exacerbated by consuming alcohol, but simultaneously I like having the escape. Yes, escapism isn’t necessarily a healthy way of coping with my overwhelming emotions, but at least temporarily I can abandon my insecurities. Everything in my life seems to be in extremes: I’ll have extremely strong feelings and passionate commitment to one person, and then I could go completely crazy; I’ll have an amazing day and then in the evening I’ll have no idea what to do with myself and come crashing down; when I’m really busy, I’m stressed but happy; and when I don’t have plans, I feel empty and broken.

Bleh.

Basically I’m trying to process a lot right now, and writing is one way of dealing with that so hopefully this will help me… but I may have just confused myself more by trying to explain the catastrophe that is my brain.

E

 

 

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Happy and emotional

So I met a boy. Just before Christmas, out on my work do, a very inebriated version of myself decided to pretty much fall sideways into this guy that happened to also be on the dance floor at a bar in town, who walked me home and stayed in touch – a lovely, kind, funny, silly, adventurous cutie who I just click with completely, who I proceeded to spend a lot of time with…who has just moved to New Zealand for the year. I knew that this was happening when we met, which was not even 2 months ago, but I never envisaged how much I would fall for him. We’re going to attempt the super long distance thing… and I feel fairly ok about it. I think the reason I was panicking before was because it was so uncertain, and because of the way a previous relationship ended with profession of love and expressing that it would be ending for the travels being wrapped up in one sentence…and the fact that H was so new in my life meant that I wasn’t sure how things were going to play out. I managed to pluck up the courage to suggest giving a relationship a go – which wasn’t easy – but the response was an immediate yes and he was very glad I said something. I am very glad I did too. I would always rather try something and see what happens than never know what could have been and maybe the fact that we both knew he would be on the other side of the world fairly shortly made us very honest with ourselves and one another. I don’t seem to do things in balance, only in extremes – and I have a feeling this will be an extreme commitment. And it’s scary, yes, but the fact that I still feel that way when H is literally as far away as he could possibly be, with the biggest time difference, is reassuring in a way.

He makes me smile so much my jaw literally aches. I know that sounds super cringey, and gross, and it probably is, but those who know me will know that I only use ‘literally’ in the literal sense – because otherwise, what is the point of having a word for that purpose in the first place? We just have so much fun when we’re together, whatever it is that we’re doing. I hope we can make it work, and I’m thinking about going out to see him in NZ in the summer, as my current work contract ends in August, but there are many serious things to think about in the meantime. Although they (him and 2 friends have gone) will be snowboarding at that point in the year, and I haven’t been skiing/snowboarding in several years and I would absolutely love to join them. And I have been thinking about going travelling for a while anyway… I keep seeing pictures and hearing stories from various friends who have been to all sorts of places and it is giving me the major wanderlust. I have monies saved up to put towards travelling, as I want to go at some point in my twenties. Maybe it will be this year. Maybe this is what I needed to give me the motivation and sense of purpose to actually plan something concrete rather than it just being an idea in my head.

So the 2 friends H has gone with also have girlfriends, so they will all understand about staying in contact with those at home, and although H and I only got together recently, I think it’s nice for all of them that they’re not alone in their position. I heard from H in between flights on the way out, which was a really nice surprise as I thought it would be a few days before we had any contact. We’ve got the Skype set up for when its convenient and they’re all sorting SIMs out in the next couple of days. I may be blogging more as I am trying to fill up my time and keep as busy as possible now he’s gone. The last week was lovely – spent the weekend together, met a bunch more of his friends (met some and his family already and he’s met some of mine, all the kind of natural stages in a relationship). I took the day off work so we could spend his last full day in the country together, and I’m so glad I did, because we had an amazing day out, and I felt truly happy all day. It really was a proper goodbye. I only started to get emotional when I left the next morning – leaving at 6.30am to drive for over an hour to home and get ready and in to work on time. Yes, his house in the UK is not particularly near, but when my friends have pointed this out, I have responded with the fairly obvious statement that it is a lot closer than half way round the world.

I pretty much held it together, with a few tears on the drive back, but accompanied by happy tears too. At work that day, I had a HUGE amount of emails and phone calls from the day off to catch up on, so I was certainly occupied during the day and had many things to focus on and keep track of. Anyway, because we’d been having such a great time, and been busy recently, I had been doing quite well at not getting emotional. Then I called him as he got on the plane and into his seat for the first stint of the flight, at which point I did burst into tears because I am going to miss him ridiculously. Luckily my friend C arrived as I was on the phone – she was staying over (for completely unrelated reasons that happened to fall quite conveniently for me) so she was there to give me the cuddles, and she took my mind off things as we had lots to catch up on from life, and having someone beside me in the night was also comforting. Having a mid-week sleepover was very strange but keeping busy is going to be good for me. C had baked peanut butter fairy cakes with jam in the middle to cheer me up, and made me lots of tea and it was lovely (I need to remind her to send me the recipe for the cakes, as baking is another thing I can do to occupy my mind and I can also give these to the team at work).

I arrived at my desk at work on Wednesday morning to a pile of gifts and some flowers with a note from my supervisor saying ‘A few things to take your mind off other things…’ within which was chocolate, bubble bath, alcohol, teabags and the special Gender issue of the National Geographic, as she knows that is the sort of thing I would enjoy perusing. It was so thoughtful and lovely of her to do that, as she knows the situation with H, and obviously I’d taken the day off to say goodbye etc, and I almost burst into tears at my desk. I told H what she’d done and he told me to give her a hug from him (which I did mention to her in my one to one meeting the next day, so I need to inform him that this has been received), and I realise I am very lucky to have someone so very caring as my boss. My team at work is great, they’re all super silly, so I fit in excellently, and I can be my annoying, sarcastic, literal self around them, which is not something I often do in public, let alone a professional environment – much to their disappointment I am sure, but the fact I feel comfortable enough to view my colleagues as friends as well is quite a nice bonus. We’re quite a mix of people, ages, genders, backgrounds etc and I think it works pretty well. We seem to be constantly growing at the moment though (the team, not personally, although we do all snack a lot…) – the business seems to want us to do more and more, therefore they basically need another one of me and another one of my supervisor to effectively function in the way that they want us to in addition to a bunch of other things. BUT it’s the weekend, so I don’t want to dwell on work too much.

Why do I find the energy to blog at 2am but I can never wake up for work at a normal time ?!

H was just one of the things I wanted to mention in this post. I realise I haven’t posted here in a long time and there have been many developments in various aspects of my life. There is pole, there is orchestra, there are general life thoughts, general health updates etc – my mental health has actually been quite steady for the past two months – wow, reflecting on that, that is pretty damn incredible, especially reading back some of my blog posts from a couple of years ago. I’m still on the high dose of Sertraline, and I’m going to stick with it – I attempted dropping the dose down before Christmas, but this was not sensible. I am just taking it in the mornings now, as the doctor advised, rather than taking it late at night so that I’m not really sleepy when I needed to get going for work the next day.

 

Physical health update… However much I love my work family, I cannot sit at a desk forever. My back will break even more. I am seeing a chiropractor and a physiotherapist at the moment, and both are helping – it’s expensive but it’s worth it for the difference its making, and I feel like I am now friends with both of them, always have great chats at the sessions. Moving around helps my back/neck feel better, but movement is a bit limited on days where I am stuck in front of the screen for a long time. I do try to get up and make drinks or move around the building and pop outside (weather permitting) regularly. Other than the usual back/neck problems, physical health is doing ok other than many bruises from pole!

It is now coming up to my ‘pole-iversary’, having gone to my first pole taster in February 2016, on a random ‘give it a go’ kind of outing as a couple of my friends were booked on and a space came up last minute – it’s very strange to think it has been a year, and pole has been the one constant in my life throughout that time. I am very grateful to the instructors for all the confidence they’ve given me and all the fun I’ve had in classes. I am stronger, I am more confident, I feel better about my body. I have learnt so much about the pole community and everyone has been so welcoming and lovely, as well as helping me keep fit and motivating me, I have made some great friends who are great fun to socialise with outside of classes too. Next weekend I am performing at the studio’s showcase, my first solo performance, choreographed myself, in front of an audience that includes some of my friends. I am absolutely terrified, but my mind has also been so occupied recently, that I haven’t really left myself much time to worry about it. It will be fun, and it will be an experience.

I should really sleep as I am mid Orchestra weekend. Had a couple of hours rehearsal today (Friday evening) and got rehearsals tomorrow and Sunday with a concert Sunday afternoon. It’s nice to be playing clarinet again, feeling part of a group – and again, its something that one can be completely engrossed in, not having to speak but being able to express oneself through music. This weekend will be musical expression, and next weekend it will be through dance… both things have come at a fairly convenient time really, as I am feeling a lot of emotions.

Then in early March, I have a weekend to kick off my TEFL course! This I signed up for several months ago, to do a course to teach English as a foreign language, which I thought could be useful for travels, and teaching is also something I’ve considered as a career. So it will be an intensive weekend and then 100 hours online, so congratulations to me making life as hectic as possible. This is certainly a bit of a manic phase… but I think it’s a good thing. I’m feeling ok. Since my current employment is only fixed until August, I had always planned to consider the serious life plans going into 2017. So this is what I shall do.

Wow. Many life thinkings to do…

One last soppy note before I sign off – H gave me a gorgeous necklace, which he gave to me early this week saying that he felt bad for leaving so he wanted to get me something – it was unexpected and very sweet, and it’s just perfect. For someone that is scared of commitment, the L word and all things lovey dovey, he has been pretty romantic with me, even if he pretends to be all tough, and I am most appreciative of this – we hit it off straight away and have developed something truly amazing in the short time we’ve known each other – we just work really well together, and I can see this being something great. We’ll just have to see how it goes now.

Hope you are all as happy as I am but not so emotional!

E

Life Organising, Very Exhausting

I keep loading my blog up to start a new post and then getting distracted by other things or not concentrating enough to form my crowded thoughts into coherent language. Whenever I start to do one thing, an ever-increasing list of things to do starts to wind its way out of my mind, reminding me of the many other tasks I have been neglecting, or creating things that my brain decides it should be doing, which tends to instil guilt, throw me into panic mode, make me ashamed of being myself. Understandably, this then prevents me from doing anything. So I am going to attempt to block that side of my brain out for a moment, but it is never an easy feat.

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We need to stop calling Donald Trump mentally ill

Well said. Reblogged.

Mad girl's lament

On Friday night, I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher and the panel discussion inevitably went to the subject of Donald Trump. For those of you living under a rock, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President. His campaign has been filled with so many gaffs that it’s no longer funny to make fun of him. It’s a frightening reality that he could potentially be the next President of the United States.

So as Bill Maher’s panel, featuring Rob Reiner, went in to discuss this particularly ridiculous week in Trump’s campaign, I settled in for a few laughs (because if we don’t laugh, we might have to cry over this new reality). So here I was, all ready to laugh, when Rob Reiner exclaimed: “He’s mentally ill!” Reiner repeatedly and emphatically called Donald Trump mentally ill. Maher went one step further and joked: “This is the first Presidential candidate that has…

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Everything’s in a mess

So I started to write this on Monday…

Drinking wine in the middle of the day, panicking about major life decisions and skipping meals.

My heart and my head are in a big mushy mess. I didn’t realise it was possible to feel such strong feelings all at once. And then I got re

… it’s now Friday – I seem to have got distracted there, stopping mid-sentence let alone in the middle of a word is not normal for me. Things are in a mess, yes, but I am better now than I was a few days ago. I have been made redundant, which sucks. Especially because it’s now August. And if you have followed my blog before, you will know how August usually goes. And that thought in itself is a little terrifying.

Back to the unstable mess that is classic me…

So aside from the heart troubles, I’m having real-person-problems or ‘normal low’ times at the moment anyway… because I lost my job. ARGH. And I’m a little angry about it. It’s not like I did anything wrong. It’s not like the company’s going bust. I’m just not worth much, for business, to invest in as a person, and I feel as though as I’m of no value. I thought I helped, I did what I was asked, I think I contributed to the business. And I was in shock at 5pm on Friday afternoon, when I’m coming back from the bathroom and brought into the boardroom for a ‘word’.

Back to the bathroom I went…

So it’s now a week later… A Tuesday after the Friday. Clearly my blog writing is going well…I’m in a café in town, trying to sort my life out a little bit. I’ve met with two people already today re jobs and I’m supposed to be doing another meeting later, but I’m not sure I can face it. I’m so exhausted inside. And everything’s very unstable. I really hope I get the job from this morning, I think I’d be good at it. Just like starting work all over again though and wherever – if at all – I get some work, I’m going to be so nervous and new all over again.

 

ANOTHER UPDATE… got a job, so that’s something, start tomorrow morning. Nervous and terrified. Don’t want to go. Not in the mood to blog but been messing about with this post for a week so just going to post it. Will update when I feel a bit better.

Medication myths…leave my personal drug routine for me to worry about please and stop making everything worse for everyone around you suffering from a mental illness.

So, I have a chronic illness I left untreated for about seven years that has a pretty high death rate and debilitating consequences, and I’m catching it pretty late. In any ‘normal’ situation, the question you would ask would probably be isn’t there any kind of treatment, have you tried drugs, are there any therapies available.

If the response to a diagnosis of a physical illness was ‘are you sure’, ‘I doubt any drugs specifically designed to help you will work’, ‘you’re exaggerating’…well, it would be ridiculous. Just as it is ridiculous for anyone that doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in my mind and is not a trained medical professional to try and tell me that medication is dangerous, it won’t work, I don’t need it and it’s bad for me.

WAKE UP.

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Yo

Hey guys,

There’s a couple of things I wanted to write about, but I’m feeling rubbishy and not doing so well, thoughts getting all jumbled etc… so this will just be a quick one (maybe).

Work isn’t going great. I’m happy to be in a full time job, but I’m also not really seeing eye to eye with my manager and work is just making me feel more depressed, and I really don’t know how I’m going to cope in the long term. And it’s making me stress and despair about life even more, because my concerns about maintaining a steady adult life are becoming a reality. There’s a few lovely people at work, and they’re fun and funny and wonderful, and I’m really appreciative of that. But I don’t know how much of anything my mental health can stand any more. It’s spiralliing a little, which is pretty hard to control and conceal when I’m in an office of a bunch of people older than me who aren’t aware of my head feeling like it’s stuck in a prison it can’t think its way out of.

So my new doctor is rubbish. Which sucks. I loved the one I’ve had for the past year, but I can’t see her anymore as I’m no longer a student, so all the trust and understanding we built up has just gone. And now I have to see a new doctor, who was incredibly dismissive and when I asked her opinion thought the appropriate response would be ‘Me?’ YES YOU ARE THE BLOOMING DOCTOR YOU ARE A MEDICALLY TRAINED PROFESSIONAL I HAVE MADE AN APPOINTMENT TO ASK YOUR ADVICE! Anyway, that’s been pretty damaging. I had a few things to ask about, but I didn’t ask a couple of them because she clearly just wanted me to get out of the way. I get that it’s a busy surgery, but I had been waiting half an hour and expected to be treated with the respect you’d expect from a medical professional. Especially as I was so scared before about speaking up about my depression to YET ANOTHER person, which is not exactly easy, and it wasn’t like I wanted to be there, and it was stressful enough booking an appointment and then missing a pretty important morning of work because I needed to see a GP. You’d think the doctor would help you feel better, not actually make you feel worse about yourself and that you’re a waste of space…

So I hurt myself for the first time in a long time, and I took a bunch of pills last night, but they just made me sleep well. I’m off sick today – well, I went into work and then felt faint and hot and rubbish and apparently I looked pale so the kind new admin assistant drove me home – but I feel guilty for being here because I haven’t been able to get much work done lately, because there have been problems with the server etc and external sites that are literally beyond my control. And a certain incompetent colleague doesn’t seem to get that, and is making me feel really bad about myself. I almost cried yesterday, which would have been super embarrassing, but I managed to hold it in until I got home. Instead of congratulating me on a load of work that I had actually done in a super speedy time frame, which was a whole load of hassle for more reasons THAT WERE NOT MY FAULT, all he had to say was ‘this is wrong, do these bits again’. And the reason they are wrong in the first place is because HE TOLD ME TO DO THAT and his incompetence is causing extra stress in my life. Basically it’s very difficult to maintain the facade of being mentally fine and dandy when it feels like there’s someone living in my brain smashing up anything useful and telling me to do bad things to myself and preventing any motivation.
This was gonna be a post about medication, and the idiocy of everyone shaming it when it actually helps and how people blaming medication for problems completely unrelated is damaging to a lot of people suffering from mental illnesses. I don’t have the energy to write any more right now, but I’ll try to get on that soon.

Hope you’re all doing better than I am,

E

Fighting

So Rachel Platten’s Fight Song is awesome. Just to let y’all know. So my partner is away for the weekend and it seems to be one of those rare days where I am super happy for no reason and blasting out music to myself.

So it’s Halloween. And I look like a weird zombie. Unintentionally. I’m sitting on the bathroom floor waiting for my hair dye to take… Slightly nervous about what colour it will go, since I have work on Monday, but the last time was super bright red and this is ‘Mahogany’ (apparently) so we’ll see! I went on a bit of a manic shopping spree earlier and bought a couple of films, and I started watching Jurassic World while reading the hair dye instructions and figured I’d watch some more while I waited for it to take, but having put the mess all over my head, I decided it best to confine myself to the bathroom, so as to leave the least blood-like trail of evidence across the flat. Hence why I’m writing a brief blog post and blasting out the Fight Song and now Taylor Swift. Hopefully everything will remain as clean as it seems right now! Third time using DIY hair products and this is the tidiest so far. Might be something to do with the fact that I’m doing it alone, but then I figured the first time I would need the help.
 
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post for a while now and I’ll be in the mood to one minute and completely snapped the next. That’s kind of what I wanted to write about, but unfortunately I don’t have much control over my mind. So, like I said above, I’m in one of those moods today where everything is super dramatic and AAAH you know? so yeah, I’m hyper, don’t feel like eating because if I’m in a good mood and I have to sit down for a while to do that, or start cooking and messing the place up when I cleaned earlier, I get very stressed. I know it’s not healthy, but I’m aware of it, and it’s plenty healthier than I used to be. And I’m probably going to be having pizza three times over yesterday/today by the end of tonight…if that makes any sense at all.
 
Anyway, this is the strong part of my mind acting today, it’s just a little but overactive and I do feel like hurting myself, but in a positive way – I’m just in a productive mood.
 
Gotta go wash my hair now woo! Will post this from the other side of my mind some time…

Hope you all have a spooky day,
E

“Adulting”

Hey all, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Because I’ve had too much going on in my present physical life to be too deeply involved in my mental one too often… so that has been good. My depression is on the upside at the moment, but the anxiety is building again. Since I last posted, I’ve moved into a flat with my wonderful partner, and we’re both in full time jobs living in a lovely area, pretty close to a bunch of friends. The period before that involved couch/bed surfing between various friends’ houses in the area, job searching, application-filling, phone conversations, flat viewings etc etc blah blah, you get the picture.

It finally feels like my actual home. I have somewhere that I am home, and I am happy. For the first time. Ever, I suppose. When we first moved in, a month ago tomorrow in fact, we didn’t have any furniture and we were on a borrowed air bed that needed blowing up every night – and we didn’t have a pump. I felt pretty tired and stressed the whole time, but the novelty of having a place to call my own was amazing. We’ve since filled the flat with furniture, had some pretty busy weekends, ordering things, building things, buying things, and have spent rather a lot. But that’s the worst of it out of the way. For good. Because now we have furniture. And a home. And we’re earning. Our salaries are both quite meagre, but together it works out pretty decently. I realise this is probably really boring, but I’m just going to revel in the moment while the most interesting thing in my squiggly brain is setting up house. We even have a spreadsheet where we split the costs of food/utilities every week to keep it even. I find this way too exciting and I am aware of that.

While it might seem that life has been pretty mundane in the recent past, my brain is never completely stable, and the bursts of panic seem to be recurring more frequently. They don’t last as long, but they’re pretty unpredictable and I’m terrified of getting panicky at work. And I don’t want my illness to get in the way of my work. And it’s making me agitated and upset because I know I need to make an appointment to see my new doctor soon to get things moving now I’m staying down in this area, but I really don’t want to, and it’s a faff having to work out when to miss work – especially as I get two buses there and two buses back and work is half 8 to half 5 Monday to Friday… which makes the doctors pretty inconvenient – and I feel guilty about it.

Luckily, I have one of the most caring people in the universe by my side, and through all the stress of moving in together and getting started in our young adult lives, he’s been so supportive and kind. I don’t know how anyone puts up with me, but I know I wouldn’t be in the mental place I am now without his constant love and support, especially since leaving University and entering adult life. It’s made the transition so much easier having someone there going through the same thing but being so strong themselves that they’ve got time to make me stronger too.

I’m not really sure what this post is about, I just feel like so much has happened and I’ve forgotten to make any time for writing. Maybe now we’re settled it will start flowing a bit more naturally. I’m exhausted and up and down every day, but it’s not such a constant depression and the anxiety is usually fleeting, although it is always unexpected, but I’ve joined a gym, I’m eating regular meals, I’m in a Monday to Friday job where I have free weekends and evenings, and it feels like I am actually doing something with my life. Admittedly, I haven’t been to the gym this week, but I was ill (physically, for once) so I’ll excuse myself. I’ve got a membership which means I can go to whichever classes I want, so I’ve done some pilates and some bodypump. Pilates is great with a particular instructor, but her classes get booked so fast I don’t know when I’ll be able to make another! And bodypump is a weightlifting session I thought I’d try for a laugh that has actually made me feel amazing, just focusing in the moment, and literally feeling pumped, every Tuesday evening. I tried ‘bodybalance’ which was way too airyfairy to go again – it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be ‘intense’ or ‘relaxing’ and rather than being balanced it felt like a weird mix of stuff that left me feeling a bit deflated. So I won’t be going to that one again. Bodycombat sounds pretty fun, so I’m going to give that one a go.

Anyway, the point is, I’m doing things purely for me and learning new things in the day and in the evening. My job is for a technology company, sitting on the support team, which means: writing test scripts; testing software that’s being developed by the developers on the team; dealing with requests from clients; converting and writing some HTML. It’s nothing I envisaged myself doing, and some bits of it are tedious, but I’m learning more and being given more responsibilities, and the days where I’m doing a few different things are great. I get made tea and coffee all day by a lovely lady in the office and my colleagues are super fun. Although the ‘air con wars’ are passively aggressively frustrating, the ‘OXO soup wars’ and the like are hilarious. Don’t ask. It’s so refreshing to be with new people, doing something new, living somewhere new – it basically feels like I’m giving myself a second chance at life, at least giving my brain a chance to be healthy. And I haven’t really looked at it that way. But I know I should, and I should make the most of this opportunity. Because I’ve been stuck inside my head for so long, and all the places I’ve been have those horrible associations, and yes, I’ll still have to deal with them, but now I’m on steady medication, it’s done as much as it can, and I need to get some therapy alongside that. Everything seems so much clearer than it did this time a year ago, and I’m in the right place to deal with it, physically and mentally in the world.

This has been a pretty rambly one, but I realise it’s helped sort my thoughts into some kind of order, although it may not appear that way to the reader, so my apologies on that front. To everyone struggling in the place I was in a year ago, and until very recently, and the place that likes to pay a visit every now and then, stay strong, you are amazing, keep fighting and remember ‘you is smart, you is kind, you is important’.

Peace out.

E x

Life.

So I actually have my interview today (hopefully), although I dreamt I was in another county and missed it… many anxiety dreams at the moment indeed. The night before I dreamt my boyfriend broke up with me, and then when I woke up he was gone and I was a little panicked – but he had not ‘gone’, he had just gone to work. He’s started a job this week and I’m very proud – it’s something I think he’ll be great at and he’ll find interesting, which is all you can ask for really – if a little jealous. I am applying for a lot of jobs at the moment, but nothing seems very concrete and it all feels very speculative. There’s one that I actually do really want, so I hope I’ll get asked to interview. Fingers crossed.

With my boyfriend starting his job, and a bunch of other people who have, like me, also just graduated, everything seems very uncertain for me – with no place of my own and no real income at the moment. I could stay with my parents, but there isn’t any work round there and being back at home brings back memories of a difficult time in my life and I would hate to sink back into that despair after trying so hard to be ok while away at university. I’m currently staying with a friend who’s still at uni, and it’s actually been really lovely, a few of us staying with him, and I kind of wish they’d all be my housemates now. We’ve been eating meals together, we’re all musical, and we’re equally crazy and busy types of people. I miss being in a busy house of my peers. I was pretty lonely last year, with only one other housemate, but I absolutely loved the year before when there were four of us – even though I didn’t get on with one of them, it was nice having two great friends around all the time, and a pet too.

This is a very uncertain time in my life, and while generally my medication is helping me cope on the whole, it means that panic can be triggered much more easily, because well there’s much more legitimate reason to panic. My anxiety has been kept under control, while my depression as ever fluctuates a lot, but I feel like now maybe I will be keeping the depression and anxiety on a similar – but luckily, fairly low – level. My SSRIs are helping me keep relatively steady, which means I’ll now be able to get the other help I need, since I’ll be much more receptive now. It’s taken nearly a year of medication, after about seven years of illness, to finally be in a state where therapy might actually make a difference. I hope I can still be referred to the Mood Disorder Clinic, which is what I was told last term, but since I didn’t know where I was going to be in the country (yay, uncertainty…) I couldn’t commit to anything. I need to arrange to see my doctor again, because it’s so easy to just not renew my prescription and I don’t want future me to hate past me for not being prepared.

I feel like I’m not doing anything at the moment, even though I have been searching applying for a bunch of jobs, because I just really want some security at the moment. And it seems like my mind is exhausted and I’m super stressed for not much reason at all. When I’ve finished this cup of tea and taken an anti-anxiety in preparation for this interview, I will finally actually hopefully make it there… it has been an awful lot of faff just for one tiny interview – them rearranging last minute and costing me a weekend in a B&B, the website having the wrong address, phone calls and emails… hopefully it will actually go ok, but I have been feeling pretty deflated about it and like I just really don’t want to go. But I know I have to try. And I have been managing to get things done recently, making the phone calls I need to, going into town when I need to, and making sure I get out of the house every day, and actually doing different activities. I need to remember that I’ve come a really long way, and not let go of that when I feel like I’m a waste of space and I don’t have a job or a home that I pay rent for or much stability at all right now.

Everyone seems to think it’s great that there’s no set thing that needs to be done, there are no imminent external deadlines. And yeah, that’s cool. But I want to get things done. I hate feeling like I’m wasting my time. I want to be productive. And I need to be given a reason to do that. Because otherwise everything I thought was right – I am a waste of space, and everything is pointless, and I’ll never figure anything out, and my mind will always return to its dark places. I really hope that isn’t the case, and it feels less like that now than it used to, but it definitely isn’t over. I know that I’ve got a lot of battling still to do. It seems to be a never-ending battle, and maybe it will be, but I’ll just have to prepare the frontline troops in my mind for the oncoming charge of depression and all its friends.

Look after yourselves,

E

Openness about mental health is super important and super tricky guys – check out my friend’s blog: https://navigatingmymind.wordpress.com/