Another drop…

I'm having my ass kicked at the moment. Well and truly kicked. I keep getting back up though of course, I think I just need to accept that it's ok to lie down and recover for a bit first though.

How do you not be a shit wife/daughter/employee/friend though when you're having your ass kicked? I don't know the answer, I'm asking.

I'm finding myself more irritable, a lot less attractive and a lot less funny. I'm basically more of a chore to be around now I think. It's only temporary (I hope) but how long is temporary because I'm bored now.

I don't want husband to feel sad or miserable for or about me. I guess this is our "in sickness or in health" moment. I don't want to bring him down and I'm trying to be positive all the time, but I feel exhausted and demotivated and I feel ill!

What I'm also struggling with is that work/my career is having to take a back seat. I'm not on top form and luckily I work for a company who are really supportive and enable me to work flexibly, but in turn I need to accept that it's ok not to be in front at the moment. It's ok to take some time for self healing and recovery.

Ok, it's a short one today. But yeah, dropped to 3mg yesterday and feel like I've been beaten in and around the face with a baton. And my brain feels mushy. And I'm so so so so tired.

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Trapped 

The thing about anxiety and panic most of the time is that it’s not logical.  After having a fine day, keeping myself busy with work and then home life I’ve come to bed, to wind down and my mind is going crazy with anxious thoughts and I have the feeling an anxiety attack is approaching.

To calm myself down I’m telling myself that these physical symptoms are just anxiety, but the anxiety is saying “but what if it’s not just the anxiety, what if you actually are really sick and you’ve just been thinking it’s the anxiety when all along there’s something seriously wrong with you” 

Welcome to my brain.

My anxiety is mainly health related. I worry about getting sick all the time and the thought of getting sick makes me feel physically sick and anxious so it’s a difficult one. 

The other key trigger for me is the feeling of being trapped. Now, this can be trapped in a lift, a plane, an enclosed space. But it’s also a fear of being trapped in my mind and body when (if) it fails me. So, being trapped in my anxious brain in the midst of having a panic attack makes me feel even more anxious! And the thought of going mad terrifies me.  

I know I’m not mad – I’ve been assured I’m not mad. I’ve been told I have an anxiety disorder. But it’s chicken and egg. 

I scare the crap out of myself thinking that I’m gonna go mad and have no escape because I can’t escape my brain!  I have started to find it difficult to even watch situations on TV where people are being held somewhere against their will, as it just messes with my brain. 

I’m actually ok though. My mum and my mother in law actually mentioned I’d not written in a while, and it’s because I’ve been well.  And I’m well now, it’s just that husband is at work still and I’m alone in the house (my anxious mind is hoping no one can track my address from a blog post and come kill me).

I didn’t do my bedtime yoga this evening as I was just too tired so maybe that’s a contributing factor to why I’m feeling anxious as I try to fall asleep. 

I wanted to note this down so that I can remind myself when I see my therapist on Friday to discuss with her how I felt this week.

But yeah. Anxiety is so odd and scary and irrational and just awful, but understanding it’s OK and that it’s just anxiety and nothing more, we can learn to embrace it and get along with it, as if it’s a friend, a being, and not a foe.

Night. Also, apologies for the harrowing title image – I think I may have even scared myself with this one! 

Ruining plans left, right and centre

Today I’m supposed to be going to see my favourite little girl in a dance competition. It’s not even that far away! Maybe 40 minute drive? I was so looking forward to it, and had planned my morning to make sure I was ready for 1pm to set off. 

It’s 12.50 and I’m still in my pyjamas. I can’t go. I mean, I can go but I just can’t.  All of a sudden I’m riddled with anxiety and my brain has made my body feel weak and sick, and now all I can do is lay on the sofa and hope to sleep and wake up feeling better. 
I know logically that leaving the house and going out with my favourite people will make me feel better but at this moment in time I’m paralysed.  Hindsight will make me feel regret that I didn’t just go, and that my “chimp” won this battle.  Foresight tells me that later when husband is still at work, I’ll feel lonely and regret not seeing anyone today. 

This is what anxiety is like. A phone call 3 hours ago had me sounding and feeling confident that I was going today.  And now, only a few hours later I’m a different person with a different energy and I feel like shit. I feel so guilty for letting people down. I feel so scared that I’m gonna feel worse. I just have to remind myself that I’m going through this ride and that sometimes I’m just gonna feel like this, and I need to ride it out and it’s OK! 

Trying to figure out what’s set this off, and it’s probably a number of things;

  • It’s timed. And by that I mean, we have to be there at a certain time
  • It finishes at a certain time, and being the designated driver means that others are relying on me to get home which means I can’t leave if I start to feel like shit 
  • I don’t know the way, it’s not somewhere I’ve been before so what if I don’t like it?
  • It’s planned, and something I was looking forward to, which basically means I’m not entitled or deserving of a nice day out 

I can only hope that my friends and family understand when I let them down last minute.  That they’re forgiving and can try not to hold it against me. I can only hope.

This sucks. 

Saturday – starting things off right 

I promised my therapist yesterday that every day I would start the day off right.  Turns out I’m waking up with adrenal fatigue because I’m having such bad nightmares that I’m waking up shaking and exhausted and am in “fight or flight” mode all night.  

Getting a good night’s sleep sounds simple doesn’t it? And all this time I’ve been thinking I’m an excellent sleeper!! I can fall asleep pretty much any time, anywhere, a bit like a cat; any table, any chair.  However, I sleep so much because the quality of sleep I get it so bad! 

The other day I woke up shaking. I’d had trouble falling asleep because of restless leg; another physical side effect from withdrawal which is absolutely awful! Doesn’t sound that bad, my my word, it’s awful! It is so frustrating!!

Anyway, I’d woken up tired, and felt really down. I slowly got out of bed, felt miserable and anxious and panicky and just down right awful. I didn’t know how to pull myself out of it; I had had another bad dream that lingered with me all morning, then I went to therapy. 

We talked again about life and where my anxiety stems from; how I still feel so much shame and guilt for who I was in my 20’s and how to start having better days. 

I vowed to start that day.

Last night instead of going to bed and watching something on my iPad with husband, or scrolling through Instagram until my eyes hurt, I turned the TV off. I did a bedtime yoga sequence, had a large glass of water and went up to bed. I turned my phone off, didn’t even look at it and slept so well. 

I woke naturally this morning feeling so much better. I did a vinyasa flow yoga for 40 minutes, sat in the sunshine, had a healthy breakfast and made plans to go to Katherine’s for the day. 

It’s pretty hot today so I battled with myself deciding what to wear around my huge frame at the moment, and I cried. I know I shouldn’t care, and that it’s the medication making me fat and unable to lose the weight but on hot days I just really struggle to be comfortable mentally and physically if I have to see people.

I managed to get myself out of house and had a nice drive over to Katherine’s and the moment I saw her I was fulfilled again. This girl makes me so happy. We talked about her adventures in Ibiza over the past 5 weeks and how she was truly happy. Happy with nothing, whilst having everything at the same time. No possessions, no care of what to wear, plenty of scenery to keep herself occupied exploring new beaches and meeting new likeminded people. That’s what self care is all about. 

We re-created ibiza in the garden, and we’ve been sat getting her garden seating area complete for hangs in the sunshine. K gave me some salt lamps too which are meant to cleanse the energy in any room and help the quality of sleep, so looking forward to those!

I’ve eaten watermelon and listened to great music and relaxed in the grass and just felt content.

And it started with a good nights sleep. 

🙏🏼

Been a while

Hey. Been a while. Soz.

I haven’t actually felt inspired to write lately. I’ve not felt inspired to do anything to be honest! All part and parcel of withdrawal and managing the side effects I guess.

It’s been a real mixed couple of weeks. I had a good week last week and felt happy for a few days. Genuinely happy. Then I crashed again. For absolutely no reason. I was so irritable and mad at everyone and just felt trapped inside myself. I felt the urge to escape but it was me I needed to escape from, which isn’t actually possible. So, I dealt with it. I slept a lot. I battled with my brain constantly. It was like I was having a constant conversation with myself telling myself to just get through it and that tomorrow would be better. It was scary and exhausting. 

Last Friday was my first therapy session. I felt pretty crap in the morning beforehand because I was apprehensive. Having spoken to her on the phone, I’d not felt a “connection” with her, and so I worried I wouldn’t be able to talk or form a bond. 

She was actually ok. I didn’t struggle to talk… obvs.

Turns out, there’s a lot I need to work on. I got talking about my whole life – from my early childhood, school, teens, 20’s and now my 30’s. I was happiest as a child and in school and then everything went wrong in my 20s and actually I spoke to her about things I’ve never spoken to anyone about. Things I’m so ashamed of. Things I now know I hate myself for and are now affecting me in my relationships and outlook.  It explains the guilt I feel towards my parents, the insane love and gratuity I feel for my husband, and the want to stay indoors and be settled. It explains my anxiety to go out, and be sociable and make plans. It doesn’t, however, explain my health anxiety, which I need to really work on.  For a first session though, it was pretty eye opening. I found myself openly talking about how I was terrified I was mad. 

I then got talking about Kate and cried my eyes out. I haven’t cried about Kate for a while, but talking about how inspiring she is and how much she helped me with my own demons made me realise I’m still gutted about her dying. I’ve never ever dealt with death, I’ve never lost someone close to me, and so I don’t know how to deal with it really. I mean, of course I’m still upset, but maybe I’m more upset than I thought? Who knows. The brain is so complexed, I don’t know what will come out in these sessions.  

The other thing that came out of the session was my relationship with my mum. My mum is my favourite person in the whole world. Even at 35, I’m so close to her and I need her. I’ve not yet let go, even now that I’m married! I still need to speak to her daily, see her weekly, and can’t bear to think of her ever getting ill or dying. The thought of her dying makes me want to die. I genuinely don’t think I could live without her. Apparently this isn’t ideal; and so I need to become more independent of her (nope).

So I feel positive about my next session on Friday and I’m genuinely interested to see how things progress.

Another thing which I think is having an impact is Bates Motel. Laugh all you want, but this is a genuine anxiety. I love the show, I really do, but my god it messes me up. 

For those of you who don’t know what Bates Motel is about (don’t worry, I thought it was a nice tv show about a Motel) it’s about Norman Bates aka PSYCHO. It’s about his relationship with his mother and how he doesn’t see his own madness but in fact thinks it’s his mother who’s mad and is killing people. Now this scares the crap out of me. He genuinely doesn’t know he’s doing it, and genuinely thinks it’s his mum, yet he’s in an “institute” and can’t get out. 

Holy shit. This makes me feel so claustrophobic and scared. What if I’m mental and I just don’t know? What if none of this is real? Last night in bed, me and husband had just binge watched 4 episodes and as I was falling asleep, he said something along the lines of “but what if you’re not actually who you think you are” and that was it; terror. He didn’t realise that would bother me, he was only joking, but I couldn’t get to sleep after that. I was so scared! 

Wow, this post is shit. I’ll write about the physical withdrawal symptoms I’m going through, coz that’s way more interesting 😐

  • I’m even lazier than normal
  • I’m tired
  • I wake up aching 
  • I’m having knarly dreams. Like, the worst dreams ever and they’re so vivid that I wake up shaking
  • I have heartburn
  • I have a headache every evening – verging on migraine 
  • My eyes hurt
  • My vision is blurred
  • I’m dizzy 
  • I feel like I have vertigo 
  • My skin is shit 
  • I’m fidgeting – constantly picking my face/cuticles/feet 
  • I’m so thirsty 
  • I feel disgusting. I have no desire to dress nice, do my make up, brush my hair. I’m like an actual oaf. I feel obese and ugly and just gross. 

The above could of course be symptoms of a new disease I’ve managed to get… of course it could be because I have health related anxiety so of course I’m dying. It’s more likely to be withdrawal though. Here’s hoping! I also thought i could be pregnant, but I’m not. 
Work are still being absolutely amazingly supportive. I’m so lucky to work for a company who are so supportive of mental health issues. I’m working from home which is giving the space and time I need to get better. I’m going back into the office next week though. I think I’m ready? I just feel like the longer I’m away, the bigger of an issue it becomes to go back. I just need to get in the car and drive there. I’ll be ok. And if I’m not, I can come home, I’m not trapped. 

Husband is working til late tonight so I’m alone. There’s always the worry that I’ll let time pass by causing myself physical harm from picking myself to pieces until i bleed but I’m going to put a film on and focus on it. Then I’m going to have an early night. 

Tata for now. 

Dark matter 

I read a story the other day about girl who was suicidal. She was suicidal but didn’t want to kill herself. Seems contradictory but I get it. 

Today, the sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day and I just heard that my best friend tried to kill themselves last night. 

It scares the absolute crap out of me that our brains are powerful enough to do this. I know this person does not want to die. But they want to end their turbulent relationship with themselves and they want life to be easy and kind and they want to embrace it with their every fibre of their being.  Having a dark side take over is the scariest thing in the world and keeping it at bay seems like a full time job. They’re scared. 

What the hell do you say to someone who tried to kill themself? What do you do to make that person better? Just listen? I don’t know that that’s enough. I want it to be, but I want to take this away from this person and let them live! I don’t know how to do that. 

What today has shown me is that even when I feel depressed, down, anxious, scared, all of those things; other people so close to you feel it too and it puts things into perspective. Selfishly, it’s also quite reassuring. 

I just hope and pray that this person knows how loved they are; knows how much we need them, and how this will pass and they will get better.  I also hope that they accept the help. 

I love you you know. You’re crazy beautiful and the most creative, hilarious, talented and kind person I know.  

I miss you 

Mate, I miss you. 

Everyday I think of you, and today is one of those where I need to speak to you, and for you to say “is it as bad as Day 10?” and tell me it’s ok, and that you’re my person and that watching Grey’s Anatomy and having a good cry is ok. 

I’m going to see a psychologist – I know I’m gonna have to talk about loads of stuff and I wonder if you’ll come up? I mean, you will because I talk about you a lot, but I wonder what we’ll talk about. 

I wonder now how you managed to cope with your dark days. How were you always so strong? Were you not OK really? I mean, I know it wasn’t easy but you bossed it. You were so strong and real about everything, all those years you just nailed it. And here I am, with nothing wrong, but feeling like nothing is right.  I don’t feel deserving of being miserable.  

I know that if I called you now you’d tell me to come over and have a bath, and you’d make me delicious food and Noz would let me cuddle him even though he (pretended) he hated it. 

I know that you’d let me just sit on your sofa and you’d light candles and it would smell of Jo Malone, and we’d talk about nothing and everything and I’d leave feeling refreshed and happy and calm. And everything would be put back into perspective. 

I wish I had your courage, and your mindset.  I wonder what you’re doing. I wonder every day. And I live in wonder of you because you are WONDERFUL. 

I miss you. That’s all. Just wanted to say that. 

If you were still here I’d do a silly dance for you, and make you laugh.  Even if I was crying, I’d still do a silly dance just to see you laugh. I love your laugh. I still have a video of you on my phone from bonfire night a few years ago when noz set off fireworks in the garden and nearly set fire to the house, and you can hear your laugh in the background. 

In fact, I’m gonna watch those videos and remember you as vividly as I can. 

I love you. 

Waves waves waves 

Another hard day.  Right now I am scared and I’m crying and I think I’m crying because it’s not fair. It’s not fair that I have to even go through withdrawal and it’s not fair on my friends and my family. Husband is so supportive but I feel so guilty that I worry him, and I worry my family. 

I got ready and up to leave for work this morning and then just couldn’t. I couldn’t leave the house. I crawled back under the duvet and made it go away. For an hour, at least. But then my dreams were awful too so I just can’t escape at the moment. 

When I’m awake I’m scared and when I’m asleep I have awful dreams.

I’ve worked all morning and have felt ok but it’s been a struggle to keep my concentration.  I’m struggling with words, and stringing simple sentences together, and my usual organised mind feels like it’s turning to jelly.  

I was opening a box today with a knife.  It crossed my mind that I could hurt myself. The thought passed immediately but the fact I even thought it for a second scares the shit out of me. 

It’s temporary; I must remember this. It’s all just temporary. I have everything I could ever wish for (apart from millions in the bank) but seriously; I have everything. 

I need to remember in these waves of real sadness and anxiousness that I have everything and that I will get through this. I can see the end of the tunnel at least and I need to keep focused on that. 

I will do this for myself, for husband and for my family.  The light at the end of this is that I’m drug free and healthy and in control of my own destiny.  The light is that we can try for a baby once this shit is out of my system. 

I’m angry that I was ever prescribed this crap. But there’s no point looking back in anger. 

Dad is coming over for a chat, and a brew then I’ll carry on with work and do some yoga and look after myself. I’m worth looking after. 

Even just writing this blog helps – and it’s exactly why I write it. 

Mental illness is really scary, but talking, writing, sharing has a way of making it a little less scary. 

That’s all for today. Gonna ride the wave and tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow I’ll at least get out of the door! 

Today

Today I feel anxious. For no reason. 

Today I woke up and was sad that the sun wasn’t shining anymore.

Today I woke up feeling bad because this withdrawal makes me have awful dreams.

Today I’m still on the sofa with no energy.

Today I don’t want to do anything at all. 

Today my friend is coming over. I tried to cancel, but he’s already on his way. I want to see him but I don’t. Because, what if I have a panic attack and want to be alone? 

Today I’m scared and I have no idea why. 

Today I’m going to try and do some yoga to make me feel better. 

Today my husband is working until about midnight which means I have to be alone all evening with nothing but my own thoughts. 

Today I am going to get up! Put some make up on! Get dressed! 

Today I’m going to have a good day! 

Today I’m going to go for a walk in the rain with my friend.

Today I’m going to own my anxiety and it will get better. 

The dangers of Seroxat… highlighted again 

For anyone underestimating the difficulty of coming off SSRI’s (particularly Seroxat, which is what I’m currently tapering from) read this. It’s absolutely devastating. I’m not saying that people on this drug can use it as an excuse, but I think this article highlights the dangers of Seroxat and why anyone suffering should try everything they can before taking SSRIs.

🙏🏼

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/26/experience-i-made-peace-with-my-daughters-killer