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/

Testing dictation

Okay so after some difficulty I’ve rediscovered how to turn on dictation on my laptop don’t know how accurately translate my voice into text and also the grammar and punctuation will be absolutely everywhere. Hello I tried to write like a whole paragraph Lycos and it’s already any sense and I’m going really angry so I decided just to shout at my laptop and see what it puts on the paper–that way yours might have even worse sense of how active you in my head because where are okay? It doesn’t make any sense Assembly ideas going on at once and after one thing about what goes on to the page I had my mouth when I had to say what’s going on I cannot function like a proper normal human being and I get so angry with myself and it’s self-destructive I know that.

Instead of shouting and getting angry, I am going to attempt to do this properly and make actual post about the way I’m feeling all the things I’m generally annoyed with to see if it recognises that those ways but I feel are valid enough to effectively translate into this document. Okay so I just burped and it translated to ‘ama’, so that’s what about sounds like apparently. I wish I discovered this dictation sooner (getting a text translates as the word ‘in’ from the vibrations on the desk). It would have been pretty useful throughout my degree, which I literally finished on Friday, as this would give me a way of being a letter and realise understand and structure my beliefs or my opinions and my ideas in my head instead of having to somehow metaphorically rip them as my brain chunks and reassemble them like 1000 piece puzzle so that anyone else can make any sense of my mind. I probably like a completely crazy person anyone selling outside looking in my window because I am just being really expressive towards my laptop and waving arms about everywhere probably making eye contact with the WebCam so maybe they think I’m doing some sort of interpretive dance which is pretty funny.

I give up with this dictation thing right now but maybe when I’m feeling a little calmer I’ll give it another go. There are already improvements in that last sentence–I guess it just takes some getting used to. Paragraph

Okay there we go. Easy. Know the letter E. Are

Hello There

Another brief check-in to the blog while I’m doing ok-ish and able to write a little. Had my final degree exam on Friday – it was horrible but it’s over, I’m not really sure whether I’ve done alright or not, I just don’t want to think about it or talk about it. I had a good Friday, but Saturday was just an anticlimax. I was supposed to have an interview tomorrow but it was cancelled on Friday afternoon. Well, rearranged. It’s just frustrating because I’d made plans around having to be here on Friday and Monday, i.e. paying to stay the whole weekend. I think I felt deflated and unmotivated, and just completely exhausted all over, yesterday because the way I’d planned these few days was altered and it left me feeling (once again) panicked and unprepared for the looming uncertainty of the rest of my life.

I really want to write, but I just don’t have the energy at the moment, and I’m not sure why. Writing usually helps me relax and organise the thoughts in my head – and I like to at least feel organised – but it doesn’t appear to be doing anything right now. I might check back in again later today, since it’s pouring with rain outside and all I’m doing is surfing the internet, reading, and maybe eventually thinking about some life plans. But, one step at a time.

E

Seeing my scars

*TW*

This post is me trying to make some sort of sense out of the sudden self-destruct mode that both my mind and body are bombarded with on occasion.

So it’s coming to the end of my family holiday, and although the weather has been pretty questionable for the south of France, considering we drove 8,000+ miles to get here…I have still developed quite a tan. My body is terrible in the heat, and although my skin isn’t particularly pale, I do burn incredibly easily, and thus even with factor 50 applied generously multiple times a day, I am still about ten shades darker than I was a fortnight ago.

ANYWAY. The point was: darker skin blah blah etc etc… Unfortunately, for some scientific reason, this means the sun was not only burning my face off, giving me heat exhaustion and generally getting in the way of life – it was also reminding me quite blatantly of the moments over the past year where I have been in a very bad and frightening place.

My scars from the past year are becoming increasingly visible. The ones on my arms are faint and easy to conceal but the matter of wearing a bikini means that those areas I never usually expose are on full display. I’d forgotten how many times I had inflicted pain on myself during 2015. Before this past year, I had only had one small incident many years ago, and I’d never thought much of it. This year, it’s been a lot more than that. The emotions have certainly cut a lot deeper.

Trying to keep this side of me hidden from my parents is quite a feat when to me the marks are so glaringly obvious. (Yes, you may recall as I mentioned in a previous post that I told my mother about my depression, but of course that does not mean we are actually discussing it or communicating properly – that’s going to take a lot longer – and she doesn’t know I inflict pain on myself, and I don’t think she’d accept that very easily either.) You wouldn’t notice the marks if you weren’t looking for them, I don’t think, but, as my usual paranoid self, I worry that someone will question me about them, and if they did I would go into shut-down mode not knowing how to respond – I get like that with talking sometimes, I just completely shut off, do not know how to formulate any words and force them out of my mouth into distinguishable sounds.

Seeing these scars has brought back a whole load of unwanted memories, reminding me of the constant ups and downs I’ve been feeling, fighting and fearing during 2015. It is not the marks themselves that I am bothered by – it’s just pain, that was there and now has passed. The issue is this: that what the marks represent – the pain that I could never express and I feel will never truly disappear – is translated into the physical world merely by a few lines on my body. What are a few scars in the big scheme of things? Nothing to take much notice of. It barely touches the surface of the intense dark periods, doesn’t show the panics and the frustration, the hurt and the anger, and all of that within myself, my mind circling round and round and never being able to escape that.

The vicious circle that is apparently ‘my mind’ (yay, lucky me…) is: the voice that fuelled my bulimia; the voice that fuels excessive drinking from time to time; the voice that tells me I deserve pain and punishment for existing and not appreciating it; the voice that causes my trichotillomania (I wrote a blog post a long time ago about this but it was lost and I couldn’t bring myself to begin to describe my strange affixation on my eyebrows down into coherent and logical words a second time); and the voice that will go to any measure to physically inflict this pain on me. Sometimes it’s that I feel so numb, sometimes it’s that I can’t decipher what is going on in my own brain, sometimes it’s that I want to create something, just DO anything: put my fingers in candle flames; bash my head on doors, walls, bash my hand on my head; strike myself with the end of a pen repeatedly in the same spot because I can’t do something; pick up whatever is conveniently lying around and use it for pain…the hair straighteners I didn’t realise had left scars – the marks faded at the time, but turns out it’s still there beneath the surface. It’s like my own body is an embodied metaphor physicalising the emotional version of myself.

 

So I’ve been on holiday, and there’s been some sun, and while I might be getting a pretty nice golden tan, it’s also the case that my scars from the past year are becoming increasingly visible. Yet the emotional scarring is the hardest to heal – if you can never see how it’s doing, check in on it, how are you supposed to know whether it’s gradually fading away, whether it’s just as obvious as before, or whether it’s just becoming more so?

Some days I feel like the turbulence of  my depression will never end. Most days in fact. Some days I get so sad at the fact I can have these brief fleeting happy moments and then my brain goes and ruins them by reminding me that I cannot cope with life, that I will never be good enough, that there is no point, and that the world would be a better place if I were not here. At least for now the thoughts are only harmful, and not suicidal. I’m hoping my medication will fend that off so the next few weeks aren’t too terrible.

Yet, every time I think things are improving, they take a turn for the worse. My boyfriend is convinced that I’m getting better, and I thought I was too, but it seems that was a short lived opinion of mine. Perhaps it is fair to say that I may have come out of the constant depressed state and instead entered into a continuously fluctuating one, but the feelings of self-loathing and the urge to self-destruct are just as strong as before, it not stronger. And the intensity at which I feel those is just too much to bear. The way those bursts of overwhelming sadness just hit me out of nowhere, full on. The way the urge to take my anger and frustration out is thrown at me, forcing me to get completely caught up in a destructive mentality. One that I can’t see for what it is when I am in those moments, one that I can only see subjectively as the only possible option at the time.

I’m pretty tired and it’s pretty late and I’m not sure if I’ve made any sense here. I’ll be back writing more soon I hope. But for now, that’s me done. I can’t really put down in words all of the things I’m feeling at the moment. I wouldn’t know where to start. But that’s just one thing that’s been on my mind recently.

E

‘Holiday’

It’s not that I can and I don’t want to, it’s that I want to, and I can’t that is the most frustrating thing. Not a reference to anything specific, but rather the simple pleasures in life. I’m on holiday with my family in France, in a lovely house, in hot weather, with a pool – I can read (which I am grateful for), swim, play games, whatever I want. I have the deferred exam to take obviously, so there’s a little revision thrown in, but not too much since there’s only the one exam. Most days have been fine. That is until last night, when I experienced a major panic and rather a lot of distress. Nothing too concerning though.

Today was a lot worse. Everything had been going fine: I had swum; and read – I finished another book – I seem to get through an awful lot on holiday; felt relaxed, thrown a ball playing catch with my siblings; been splashing and messing around by the pool. I came in to do some work late in the day, got a whole topic done, had a short break, got the next one out. I just crashed. It wasn’t the work. It would certainly have been manageable had my head not decided to implode at that particular moment. In relation to the can and the want thing – I couldn’t concentrate, but I definitely wanted to. I knew I could go outside, but I felt no enjoyment at the prospect. I cried, shook, tried to calm down, got very angry with myself. Because there was no reason for me to feel like that. I am on track with my work. I am on holiday from ordinary life – a much needed break.

Yet, what most see as a ‘holiday’, I anticipate with dread, the suggestion of going away filling me with anxiety, travelling 850 miles in the car with four other family members all age 16+ is not exactly a relaxing experience. We got here ok, and it wasn’t too dreadful. The journey not being fun is fairly obvious and expected. The house is incredible, the best I’ve ever stayed in, with the best pool too. I do appreciate it, it’s just that when I get into those darkest moment, full fathom five into the deep seas of my brain, I lose all sense of the material, the present – and yet, simultaneously, I am existing entirely within the present. I can’t focus, I can’t breathe, I feel an immense sadness and I don’t understand why.

I may physically be on holiday, but what those around me sometimes don’t seem to realise is that I can never truly be having a break from every day life, because I take my head with me, and my head takes up a lot of intangible space in my life as it is. I cannot control not being able to relax. I am trying my absolute best. Which is why it is so frustrating when an intense episode hits when it has been going averagely recently – and by ‘averagely’, that means pretty good for me, considering the last seven years or so.

E

Minor breakdown…(back in July)

Hey guys, meant to write a few days ago but haven’t really felt up to it recently. It’s been a pretty draining week. I spoke to my mum, which was really emotionally difficult – I’m glad I told her, and I guess it will help in the long term, but I have been dealing with this for so long and obviously all a mother wants is for her daughter to be happy and I think she thinks she can just fix it and is jumping into all this research on dealing with MH problems. And I do appreciate it, but it does feel like she’s undermining me slightly. I know she isn’t meaning to, and I know it’s difficult to relate to someone when you’ve not had those feelings, but it’s been a pretty hectic stressful week.

The reason I spoke to my mother (who told my dad, who so far has been ok – just hadn’t said much) was because I was pretty bad at the beginning of the last week, and ended up deferring an exam. This means I’ll have to take it in August, which just means dragging out my final exams for even longer, but I just didn’t feel capable of taking it. I’m in a smaller room, and I’ve got extra time, but I just got completely overwhelmed. I was unable to concentrate, feeling incredibly low and panicking a LOT. I was distracting myself by playing video games and trying to watch funny TV shows but nothing really helped. Anyway, after the stress of that, my mum came down to see me at the weekend – we had a fun day out, having lunch and shopping in town, and as of Saturday I have been ok-ish (although it’s still up and down, as always).