A Year without Words

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I shared this over on my author blog, but it shows the journey I’ve been on over the past year with so much more than just my writing. A year ago I had my full mental breakdown and here’s how that makes me feel now.

 

I’ve wanted to write this post for a few weeks but I’ve never been able to get it going. This weekend I went to Leeds to meet up with the Hourglass ladies and to support them with the launch of the ticket sales for Leeds 2018. This weekend also marked the one year anniversary of the ladies first signing in Leeds where I was a signing author.

The train ride there was slightly surreal and I was unexpectedly hit with a wave of emotions. I was excited to see the girls and the other authors and readers who were joining the launch party, I reminisced about the many highs of the previous year and all the new people I was fortunate to meet, but that weekend a year ago was a massive moment in my life and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the last twelve months.

For those who have followed me and my work over the last three and a half years I’m sure you’ll have noticed I’ve become almost nonexistent on social media and any news about writing has been very few and far between and that’s because on my way home from a fabulous weekend I had a full mental breakdown. At first when the tears came on the train I put it down to post signing blues and utter exhaustion. I went home and slept for hours only to wake feeling worse than I had before. I couldn’t eat, I felt sick and as though I had spiders under my skin and crawling over my brain. The hardest hit I took though was feeling so worthless and a waste to my family; especially my daughter and husband. How could I go from walking on air and feeling like I had been the best version of myself the whole weekend to wanting to crawl under the covers and cease to exist?

The five months that followed were the worst of my life. I developed agoraphobia, I had to leave my job, and I stopped talking to people and started self harming. It was the lowest point of my life.

Writing became impossible because the only things I wanted to write scared me; I didn’t know if the words were inspired by how I was feeling or if I was actually in a much worse place than I had told myself I was in. I’d try to write, but it added to the list of things I couldn’t do anymore and I would berate myself more. I tried to research a lot of the topics I knew I’d need for the projects I had just laying there mocking me. The research gave me something to do and I actually enjoyed it and managed to write a few hundred words here or there and told myself it was better than nothing, but it wasn’t. It was just another reminder that I couldn’t do something I had dreamed of doing since I was fifteen.

I had to completely turn off from writing and the writing world. I needed to look after myself and my health for my sake and that of my family. Learning to walk out of your own front door at thirty three isn’t as easy as it sounds. I needed to go back to work, but the job I had wasn’t an option so I went back to my old stomping ground and became a Spork once more. People thought I was crazy for this as it meant being around a lot of people at times which is something I still struggle with now in certain situations, but in regards to my health I think it was the best option for me. I’m now more confident again and I love my job…most days.

During my dark time reading didn’t come easy either, I began to resent the words on the pages and the people who write them because they were living my dream while I was locked in my own nightmare. Books in their total existence became a trigger for me.

Just as I was getting back on my feet and starting work we discovered my dad had cancer. I COULD NOT FALL APART no matter how fragile I still felt, my dad needed me, my little sister needed me and my whole family needed be there for him. He’s doing great now and his surgeon is blown away by him every time he see’s my Daddio because his recovery couldn’t be going any better. Since then though there has been one thing after another with his health as well as some other fucked up shit going on in my life and even before my trip to Leeds I was wondering how the hell I’m still standing; how have I not crumbled yet.

Yup, one little train ride had all this going through my mind, but also made me see just how far I had come. My writing has still been eluding me, but I’ve been reading a lot more than I was and just this week I have been writing/editing and existing project. Being with the book world people also inspired me and reminded me of the love a support we all offer each other. There are times where the drama and hate brings itself to the surface for the small few who thrive on such antics, but I have found so many beautiful people in the indie world and it those people I want to thank. Thank you for your support and encouragement even when I’ve had nothing to give in return, but thank you more so for giving me something I want to work my way back to. Without the readers and author simply writes diaries of fiction, its the readers who turn them into stories.

I may have had a year without words, but my year has taught me so much about words, life and myself.

I’m not saying my writing mojo is back in full effect, but I am feeling the bug again and who knows what that little critter will have me doing.

As always

Stay Kind, Stay Kinky, Stay True

Lisa

Xxxxx

 

Ps. I’ve not edited this post; I haven’t even reread it before posting. It’s too personal, too raw and any mistakes I’ve made just show I’m human and aren’t we all flawed in some way or another?

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2016 can suck a dick

 

I’ve got a bit of down time at the moment . . . I know! I’m shocked too. This down time isn’t by choice but does give me the opportunity to reflect on the year so far.

Yesterday I was just wanted 2016 to be over with. The year has sucked in a magnitude of huge ways and I was/am so over it. Today with a little perspective on things I’ve realised this year may have thrown some giant fucking boulders at me, but I’ve also learnt a lot about myself.

 

During the past nine months I’ve helped hubs recover from his motorbike accident, attended two books signings, I had a full blown breakdown complete with agoraphobia which ended with me losing my job, helped my dad through his cancer diagnosis and treatment and the latest boulder is being told my blood pressure is in the danger zone for a stroke or heart attack. It’s not even October yet!

Thinking of all these shitty things brought me crashing down mentally, but then I got a taste of that yummy perspective.

 

Hubs made a full recovery from his broken collar bone in just six weeks and is back on his bike.

Although my book signings had my anxiety levels rising higher and faster than a hooker’s panties when she finds out her John has no cash, I got to meet some amazing people and catch up with my book world family. As exhausting and emotional as the signings were I’m glad I went.

I will admit that the breakdown was a part of my life I hope to never live through again. Five months of being lower than I’ve ever gone before was hard to fight back from, but those five months taught me I had strength inside me I never knew I had. Even three months later whenever I walk out of the front door I feel a sense of achievement.

When it comes to my Dad and his mouth cancer it was one of the scariest times of my whole life, but it also brought us closer together. We spent a lot of time in each other’s company, told stories and drew a lot of strength from each other. My dad had his surgery, is cancer free and recovering fantastically. He’s been my hero through it all.

I’ve gone back to work in an old job I had years ago and it’s like I’ve never been away; I’m even thinking about working my way towards promotion again already.

So the latest boulder is my blood pressure being higher than Mt Everest with my doctor throwing words around like stroke and heart attack. I’m on house arrest almost with instructions to rest which I’m bored of already.

 

My mental health has been on the same level of the sliver little ball in a pinball machine played by that deaf dumb and blind kid. I feel like I’ve spent the whole year fighting issue after issue with no rest bite. I can’t fight this blood pressure issue though, that’s kinda counterproductive.

 

Any suggestions of how I can relax during this enforced resting period?

 

The Rollercoaster of Life with Anxiety and Depression

 

 

Life has been filled with so many ups and downs since I wrote on this blog last. I’ve been trying to roll the rollercoaster and not over analyse too much, but as is usually the case when I write here I’m in need of trying to make sense of the overload going on right now.

 

For once I’m going to start with all the positives I have going on. The mere fact I can do that shows how much of a giant leap I’ve made in recent months.

 

I’ve moved on from telephone appointments with my therapist to face-to-face. This was a huge step for me because it meant leaving the house and I actually walk to and from my appointments alone. Considering I would only leave my house once a week and never alone just two months ago shows me I’m coming along in leaps and bounds.

I’ve started leaving the house and even meeting with friends. I shut myself away for so long due to my anxiety and depression lead fear that I was beginning to cut myself off from the world. I feel as though I’m back on the path of living rather than existing. It’s all being done in baby steps and I’m worried everyday that I will begin to slip back into my old ways, but so far so good.

I’m making a conscious effort to reach out to friends and to talk more.

I even managed to go to a concert.

One of the most positive things to have happened is I’m taking the first steps to going back to work. Due to my breakdown in March I have been at home for five months. That’s five months of clawing my way back from rock bottom and I’m excited to take this next step in my recovery.

 

So as you can see, great things have been happening and I’ve been working hard to get back to a version of me I can be proud of. It’s been hard and more days than I care to admit have still had the power to beat me down. Sometimes it can be having an anxiety attack and taking days to mentally and physically get over it which can knock me off my track or it can be something as small as plans changing which has me spiralling.

My therapist sets me challenges and at the minute I’m to do things based completely on my enjoyment and being kind to myself. This has been the main driving force behind me pushing myself to see friends and family more, but I also have to challenge myself. It can be so scary to knowingly put myself in a situation that has my anxiety levels rising just thinking about it, but until I try I won’t know what I’m able to overcome.

This weekend I was combining doing something based on my enjoyment and challenging myself. I was going to go into Manchester city centre alone to meet a group of friends. Meeting the friends was the enjoyment of course, but was also a challenge because I’m always worried my invisible illnesses are written all over my face. Travelling alone and picking up a few things in the city centre was going to be a massive challenge. Unfortunately the plans changed and it was something out of everyone’s control, but the knock on effect for me is spiralling in my mood. I’m not anxious about it, I’m not exactly sure what I am or what the right words to use to describe how I’m feeling are. I’m sad that I won’t see my friends, I’m disappointed I won’t be able to challenge myself and know if I am capable of travelling into the city alone and no matter what I’ve tried to do since the plans changed, I just cannot find motivation to do anything.

 

So yeah, my therapist is always telling me how proud she is with how far I’m coming from where we first started our journey together. I haven’t self harmed in a long time, which is something I am planning on staying away from. My scare is a good reminder of the darkness I found myself in and I will do everything in my power to stay away from that.

I’m seeing friends and family more and I’m laughing more which feels amazing.

 

I have my down days, I have my moments where I forget the pain I carry around within me and I have days where I’m on even ground and moving forward.

It’s time I returned to a life where I feel like I’m contributing to the world around me and giving back for all the love and support I’ve received.

 

My therapy homework is to come up with ten positive things about myself and to give five examples. This is going to be exponentially tough for me and I’m not allowed to ask others for their opinion. Wish me luck.

 

Thank you for listening

xxxxx

Updates and visuals

I feel like it’s time for me to get my feelings out again as its been a while and I’ve been bottling up a few things lately and even trying to hide them from myself to an extent.

I’ve been at home now for ten weeks and although I’m nowhere near ready to go back to work yet, being off is bothering me. I think it’s my stubbornness and although it’s for my own wellbeing it also feels like my own mind is telling me I can’t do something which I despise.

I’m also feeling very lonely. Not being able to leave the house by myself is a huge hinderance for me to meet up with friends and it sucks. On a positive note though I have been going on daily walks. I leave the house in the morning with my daughter and walk with her for a while on her way to school then I go off on my own. Everyday I’m walking a little further, staying out longer and so far it’s been good. My anxiety on these walks is ever present, but other than a small wobble this week on my furthest walk, I’ve been able to keep it under control. #YayMe

My concentration span is still that of a goldfish and is something I’m working on at the moment. My approach to trying to improve this is I’m giving myself times for tasks so for example; when I’m writing I’ll set a timer for thirty minutes and I ban myself from social media during that time; I even put my phone on the opposite end of the room from me. There’s still ups and downs with this, but in the coming week I’m going to try to apply this method to other things such as reading. #ConsentrationWillBeMine

Relaxing is a whole other story though. I honestly cannot ever just sit still. I have developed something close to a nervous tic. It seems to come out mostly at night and I don’t even realise I’m doing it until someone points it out to me. If me and hubs are in bed watching TV before we go to sleep I’ll shake my foot or rub both of my feet together in a circular motion; imagine working the peddals on a bike, but with nothing between your feet. I was talking to a friend of mine and she seems to think that maybe this is happening at night because it’s all of the excess anxious energy trying to release itself while I’m at rest. At least it has an outlet. #ShakingOffAnxiety

I’ve started my CBT (Cognative Behavioral Therapy) recently and unfortunately it isn’t going very well. I’ve only had two full sessions so far, but I’m really not feeling a connection with my therapist other than the mental image of my fist connecting with her throat. I’m really working hard to be open minded, but I find her to be condescending. Here are just a few things which she has said to me:

~ Try not to focus on the negatives of a situation. <— no  shit Sherlock. If I could do that then I wouldn’t need the therapy in the first place.

~ When you have thoughts of self harming or other negative thoughts recognise them as nonsense thoughts and that you’re not going to listen to them. <——– That’s a nonsense sentence right there. Seriously, she actually said that to me.

~ When you have thoughts of self harming think about how that will affect the people you love. <——- because apparently I don’t already feel enough guilt at those times.

And when we were talking about anxiety she was asking me questions such as the following:

~ Do you know what anxiety is?

~ Do you know the physical symptoms of anxiety?

~ Do you know how to counteract these symptoms?

I began answering the first question by saying I’ve been living with anxiety for years and have done research and CBT before and then proceeded to answer her questions in depth and correctly. She replied each time by telling me what she was going to say, which was exactly the same as what I had already told her. We spent 40 minutes having the same conversations twice!

The problem with the therapy (other than the therapist) is I’ve done it before and I know the things I need to do to get better, but I’m struggling to do them. Of course I KNOW that if I left the house alone then nothing horrific is going to happen, but that doesn’t stop the overwhelming feeling of fear preventing me from turning that door handle. I KNOW that if I’m in a large crowd the people aren’t actually crushing in on me and that I could find an exit route if needed, but it doesn’t stop my chest from feeling as though it’s being deprived of oxygen and the need to run.

I’m not sure what to do about the therapy just yet, but it’s something which needs addressing.

 

I want to end by sharing a picture I saw on Facebook this past week which really boiled my blood. I wanted to write a scathing post about it as soon as I saw it, but decided to wait until every other word wouldn’t be FUCK!

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We all know that mental health still has a stigma attached to it and being one of the one in four who needs to take medication to help me make it through each day I find this image to be utterly fucked up. No one should ever be made to feel bad for getting the help they need to survive. The statistics on suicide for those who struggle with mental health issues long turn are staggering and if we could look at a great view and feel that life is all better then of course we fucking would, but that’s not the case. There are those who will say it’s just a meme, scroll on and ignore it, but what about the people who can’t do that, who will remember that image and those words for days or even weeks to come? Please don’t shame someone who is getting the help they need so that they can fight for their own survival.

 

Thank you for sharing my safe place and allowing me this level of freedom talking about my struggle

Lisa

xxx

The knock on effect

With things the way they are for me at the moment I’m constantly walking a fine line between good days and bad. It doesn’t take much to knock me either way, but I do try to do what I can to make my days as good as I can.

One thing I’ve started to do is leave the house in the morning with my daughter and the dog. I walk further each day with my daughter and then I have further to walk back home with just me and the dog. I’ve not managed to leave the house alone yet, but this is a big step for me. 

The knock on effects of taking this walk are I’m up early, I’m dressed, I’m getting out of the house every day and it means I’m awake enough to get my day going.
Today is not a good day. I’m on day three of a migraine so I skipped my walk and tried to spend the morning resting. This meant I felt like a step back for not going on the wall. I didn’t get dressed or even leave my bedroom other than to get a drink. The last feeling is uselessness because I’ve been unproductive.

All this from missing one walk.
I was due to have my first full therapy session today. I’m very lucky because my local health department can provide Cognative Behavorial Therapy by the phone which means I don’t have to go through the anxiety of leaving the house. I had an introduction session last week so my therapist and I could get to know one another and I told her the feeling and thoughts I have been having recently. That first session really wiped me out.

Today, feeling pretty low, I sat by the phone for twenty minutes waiting for my call. It never came. I called the service and spoke to a lovely lady who emailed my therapist to inform her she had missed my appointment.

A week after telling her I felt insignificant she forgot me and our appointment.

Logically I know there could be thousands of reasons as to why she couldn’t make it and none of them would be personal towards me, but when your therapist forgets you it’s pretty easy to fall further off the thin line between good & bad days. 
I can already feel it’s going to take a few days to get over this. I can hear the defeatist tone in that statement screaming out, but I also know how fragile I feel. The best way to describe it is I’ve shattered and each day I try to put the pieces together, but I don’t have any glue yet. The strength to keep the pieces together isn’t in me yet.
The knock on effect can be so much better or worse than the event itself.
As always, thank you for letting this be my safe place.

Lisa

Xxxx

My breakdown, My struggles, My fears

I’ve been thinking about writing a post for a few weeks, but my head space and suffering from the most horrific virus I’ve encountered put the brakes on the idea.

I’m here now and I’m going to talk about my recent battles.

I’ve been off work for just shy of seven weeks and I’m not sure when I’ll be returning. It’s a hard situation to be in both financially and mentally, but for the sake of my health and my family I have to try not to dwell on it. Easier said than done when anxiety and depression constantly tell me I’m not good enough and I’m not contributing to the world in any great way. The first two weeks at home were really scary; I was scared of what I might do to myself and I had no control over my thoughts, emotions or physical dangers. Every day it was a huge battle to get out of bed and stay out of it. If I managed a whole day without crawling back beneath the covers then I felt like a victory had been had.

During the third week I began to set myself small tasks and I felt as though I was contributing a little. I didn’t exactly feel as though I was getting better, but I felt a slight change in the crushing feeling of self doubt, but it was fleeting.

As a family we had tickets for a show and we hoped some entertainment and a day trip would do me good. My anxiety was turned up to eleven the whole time we were out, but during the actual show I did manage to block everything else out of my head and enjoy myself which made me feel on cloud nine. The trip was a good idea, but it was also too much too soon. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I was glad I’d been strong enough to get through the day, but I was scared by how much my anxiety had affected me both mentally and physically. This lead to a week of utter exhaustion and my little victories around the house were becoming fewer and fewer. I felt as though I’d taken a huge step backwards.

Then came the dreaded virus which had me unable to leave my bed for three days and took almost two weeks to fully recover from. I couldn’t eat, but most importantly I couldn’t sleep. Insomnia goes hand in hand with my depression and anxiety so you can imagine how shitty I felt having this all going on at the same time.

Once I started feeling better things really did start to look up. I’ve been suffering from a form of agoraphobia and I can’t leave the house on my own without an anxiety attack hitting. I can only just manage it when I’m with someone, but I had been limiting myself to leaving the house only once a week. I’ve now left the house every day for the last eight days; I did try being out on my own, but that didn’t end too well and I had to rush home while trying not to cry.

This means I’ve also been dressed for eight days in a row which is also a victory.

A week ago my doctor doubled my dosage of antidepressants and gave me sleeping tablets. I’m currently only taking half each night, but they are helping me so much. Unfortunately sleeping tablets are highly addictive so I try not to take them every night. The first night I didn’t take them I was amazed by how well I slept and I hoped this meant I had trained my body into a regular rem cycle, unfortunately the following night when I didn’t take them I had chronic insomnia and it triggered a run of not so good days. Yesterday I had a full on anxiety attack in a shopping centre, I’m just glad my husband was there to help me through it.

 

So as you can see, It’s been a tough month and a half and it’s not always getting easier. One of the things which keeps getting me down is I look like utter shit. The physical symptoms for me with depression are outbreaks of the worse acne ever. It’s not the kind where every inch of your face is covered, I get maybe six or seven of the biggest, most painful spots on my face and neck; it’s another reason why I don’t like going out.

This had me thinking about how we look when we’re down and how that contributes to our recovery. We all know when we get dressed up, do our hair and slap on our favourite make-up we look and feel like a million dollars, but when we are down we feel as though we look like a bargain basement discounted end of line product.

So I’m going to show you three pictures of me, the first will be me dolled up and happy, the second will be me trying to make an effort while I’m struggling with my depression and the third is me down and out.

This is me just before Christmas

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This is me trying to look human just this week

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And here I am feeling as though I’m never going to find myself again

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People say depression/anxiety/mental health is the silent killer you just can’t see hurting people, but if you look…really look then you may see more than you think.

I want to share the story of a very brave and beautiful girl named Amber Smith who took a picture of herself before and after an anxiety attack. I hope it helps you understand the pain of others or that other really do feel the same pain you feel. Read Amber’s story here.

 

The last thing I want to talk about is communication. Because I’m not going out often and I’m shying away from my friends and family it would be easy to go days without talking to anyone, but that’s a bad thing to do. Social media can sometimes be my saviour because I can reply to things others have posted, I can post a few things or I can just read about what’s going on in my friend’s lives so I still feel connected. The downside is sometimes I feel guilty and as though I shouldn’t be on social media especially because I’m off work. A lot of people see social media as something people just faff about on when they have nothing better to do. This leads me to either be online a lot or hardly at all and it’s just another thing I need to try to balance, but I’m already balancing too many things and really? Is social media the biggest problem here? I tagged this last bit on here just to try to get other opinions on the subject. If you have any views on anything I’ve written about please feel free to comment and I will get back to you.

 

Thank you for listening, as always this feels like my little safe haven where I can share my ugly truth.

 

xxxxx

 

What was in the letter

                                 

To the girl reading this letter,

I know the world scares you at the minute and you feel danger running through your veins, but silence will not be your saviour and when you call out help will answer your screams.

To the girl sat in the corner trying to hide from those who love her most,

No matter how far you run or how dark the corner you find to hide in is, they will find you.

To the girl who thinks she’s worthless,

You help others without even realising it. When you think you are sharing your weaknesses you’re actually demonstrating your strength.

To the girl who thinks the world would be better off without her,

You’re wrong. The world needs your kind of crazy, but most importantly it needs your kind of love.

To the girl who thinks she deserves the pain she causes herself,

Pain is fleeting, but the effects on the body and soul will hold those scars forever. Nothing you could ever do would make you worthy of that kind of punishment.

To the girl who thinks the pills won’t work,

The pills don’t make you better, they allow you to slow your mind, to stop the thoughts racing through your head at a million miles an hour so you can make sense of them and disregard the selfsistructive ones.

To the girl who fears people will see her differently,

They will. They will see you as someone with a soul that can care too much about others and forget to take care of themself. They will see a person whose heart is so big it can overwhelm them at times because they are filled with so much love, but never keeps any of it for themself.

To the girl reading this letter,

Today may be hard and tomorrow may not be much bette, but each day you wake up and fight is a day closer to seeing yourself looking back at you in the mirror. You might not recognise yourself at the minute, but that’s just because you can’t see the real you. All you see is the pain you’re feeling now and as I said, pain is fleeting, but your light will shine for a long while yet.

Forever and a day late

It feels like forever and a day since I wrote on this blog and I have a few different reasons for that.

Firstly I’m writing a book about living with depression and anxiety and I’m using past posts here to help write it so writing new posts seemed a little fruitless when I could just write my battles straight into the book.

Secondly I’ve been super busy for the past seven months and when I say busy I mean going so much I haven’t stopped to think about how I’m handling things.

Most recently my reason for not writing here has been because I’ve been too broken to put my feelings, failures and worries out into the world.

When I started this blog I made it anonymous because I needed a place to talk openly about my mental health issues without being judged by my friends, family or online buddies. It wasn’t long before I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and claimed this place as mine. From there I realised by sharing my story/journey I could potentially help others who may be going through similar things to me.

 

So here I am after seven months of going full throttle on multiple projects and as I said, I’m broken.

 

Two weeks ago I attended a book signing as a signing author and had the most amazing weekend. . . I was the best version of me I’ve ever been. I laughed care free, I had almost no anxiety and I absorbed every ounce of happiness from the whole weekend. But as we all know, the higher you get, the further you have to fall and I fell hard.

After a signing event everyone gets the blues. You spend a year looking forward to these events and months of planning goes into them so when it’s over it’s a little sad. Unfortunately for me this time that sadness was the catalyst for a massive breakdown and I’ve fallen further than I’ve been before.

In the past two weeks I’ve gone from the girl who never said no to the shell of who I used to be and someone who can’t say yes. I’m on stronger medication, my physical symptoms of both my depression and anxiety are worse than ever and I’m struggling with a form of Agoraphobia which is a new thing for me to deal with. At the minute I feel if anyone who had met me two weeks ago saw me now they wouldn’t be able to tell it’s the same person.

I have to keep reminding myself that two weeks isn’t a long time so I shouldn’t expect to see any major changes because the medication takes longer to begin to work and I have a lot of issues to work through, but common sense doesn’t seem to drown out the negative thoughts I have about myself.

I feel pretty useless and my concentration is shot to pieces which makes trying to do anything damn near impossible. I find it really hard to talk to people either online or in person and even when people come to visit me I find myself feeling drained quickly which is probably because I find it hard to talk about my feelings and that’s what my loved ones want me to talk about.

My mum is the perfect example of this. She’s visited me twice now and I think it’s going to be a weekly thing until she can see a real difference in me. She keeps asking me how I’m feeling, what she can do to help and if I need anything. I want to scream at her that I don’t k now what I fucking need or want and there’s nothing anyone can do because I have to fight this myself, but I keep it all inside because I know it’s her way of showing me she cares and I know she just wants to help me.

I’m waiting for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which I’m not sure is what I need right now. I’m not dismissing it or its ability to help, I just feel I’ve been there and done that. I’m going to try to push for one-on-one therapy this time because I know I have issues I need to talk about and just to prove I’m not dismissing CBT I’ve already started writing a diary which I know is one of the first steps they will ask me to take and I’ve read all the old material from my previous times.

So where do I go from here? I’m taking my meds, waiting for therapy and I’m trying to set myself small tasks every day. I’ve slipped off that a little over the past few days, but writing this has allowed me to clear my head a little.

 

My biggest learning curve with this fall is just how important it is to do a regular mental health MOT on yourself and to let at least a few people in on how your feeling. Sometimes you need those closest to you looking out for you because you might not be doing the best job of looking out for yourself.

 

If you’re struggling with mental health issues please seek the help you need before you hit rock bottom like I have. This could have been avoided if I’d have just taken better care of myself.

 

xxxxx

 

A Mother’s Pain

Today’s post is from an anonymous contributor and this lady is very brave to share her story. Rather than this being from the point of view of a person who has lived through depression, this count comes from someone who has had to stand on the sidelines and watch their loved ones fight their demons.

 

 

 

Where do I start? Some say at the beginning. If I knew where the beginning was I’d have an idea where to start.

Well I’ll do my best.

I can’t remember when my beautiful baby began to have problems. She’s 22, taller than me, brainier than me and prettier than me. She had been in a relationship for about 6 years although she would tell you 7. He was like a son to us, but it ended badly in January 2014. Alone for a few months she was fine. Then she met Him. I cannot say that he was wholly responsible for all her problems, but he had a good deal to do with them.

On night in Dec. 14 she and I had been due to go to Glasgow for a Pantomime. I went to ask when we were leaving and I didn’t recognise her as my baby. She was gaunt, eye glazed and she stared blankly back at me. She had been crying and couldn’t tell me what was wrong. As a nurse I was able to recognise she was in some sort of meltdown. I contacted our GP who asked us to visit straight away. She was diagnosed with Depression and started on a basic antidepressant. A few days off Uni I thought would be what she needed.

It was after Christmas we noticed big changes, she was still with Him but we saw cracks in the relationship. We tried not to get involved, but we were never sure if it was on or off. We were treading on eggshells as it were. We knew they were arguing and it was getting fraught.

A few months passed and then the unthinkable happened. She miscarried although she didn’t know she was pregnant. He suddenly became her arch nemesis. Calling her every name under the sun, refusing to believe anything she tried to tell him. She went into complete breakdown mode. A few days later I received a phone call at my work from our GP, she had taken some pills, thankfully not enough to do any damage. It seemed her friend couldn’t get a response from her phone and had called round to the house and found her taking pills. He hauled her to the GP who had called me. To cut a long story short, this was only the beginning of our painstaking journey into the unknown.

She was suicidal, didn’t want to be here. I had just been diagnosed with a breast lump and was facing uncertainty myself. We were all going through the motions, just taking each day at a time. There are practical things we did such as clearing the house of all meds, as if that was going to stop her. Making sure someone was watching her, even from a distance. She sank into herself. She didn’t want to go out with friends and preferring to simply lie in bed all day. Slowly and with much effort we drew together a picture of what had been going on. The mental abuse she had been through with him came out. The texts and conversations they had all revealing that he had her in his clutches. Her medications were changed again and again and she received counselling through Uni and privately though us. The Uni stood by her giving her all the help they could. The friends that he had isolated her from came back into her life. She just kept saying that she wanted the pain to end.

I contacted MIND and they gave me some ideas and helpful tips. It was a friend on Facebook, Lisa Fulham who helped me with this as I didn’t know who to turn to.

My daughter seemed to be getting brighter and we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, as you can imagine that light started to get further away as she found a new ‘hobby’; alcohol. She was going out all right, but not to socialise, she just wanted to knock back as much as she could. This didn’t help us help her; we couldn’t seem to reach her. One thing you never do is to give up. One day, she came downstairs sulking with no less than 9 empty wine bottles from her room. She gave herself a fright I think and realised it was not the answer.

Again life plodded on and the week would be 50/50 good days to bad days. The good days were hyper-over-the-top happiness and the low days just not wanting to get up. She was still studying at this point and surprisingly her studies never suffered. It was a cut off for her. Then just around November 15 the bombshell came. A notebook was lying open by her bed on the floor. I’d gone into her room open the curtains when she’d left for Uni, as I picked it up I realised it was a diary and something in the sentence made me red further. She had kept a diary. Her darkest thoughts were written down. How she had planned her suicide. How it would soon be over. How the pain would soon be over. I think I died on the spot. I told her dad and we decided to confront her with it and we did. She said it was her release and she wasn’t going to do it. It was her way of coping. We all talked well into the night. A lot of feelings came out and I really think it was the turning point. It was like the veil was lifted.

She still has dark times, but is now she’s able to talk about it knowing we’re not going to judge and that we have ideas of how to help. I think she is always going to be vulnerable to the dark depression states. I would like to thank Lisa again and Cameron for the hours he talked to me when I found her diary, just trying to help me think clearly and I will be forever grateful for that.

 

 

This is a tremendously brave story to share and a reminder that depression can not only debilitate the one fighting it, but also for the people who have to watch their loved ones crumbling.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues please help then seek the medical help they need.

 

Their GP

MIND

Samaritans

Are just a few places who can help and it’s why they’re there so please please please use their services.

I thought I was doing well

Uuuggghhhh I so need this place today, this is my place where I can just unload and to be honest I’m surprised I haven’t been in here more recently.

A few months ago I had a horrid virus and I couldn’t keep anything down (that’s all the yucky detail you’re going to get) which included my medication. This went on for over two weeks and although I didn’t feel ‘better’ mentally, I never started taking my anti-depressants again.

About a month after this I hit a fucking huge low and came very very close to self harming. I only told my three closest people and it broke my heart to burden them with my low. I know this is stupid and to battle depression you have to confide your worst thoughts to those who love you most.

I was so scared and I really did fight everyday to keep myself safe with the help of my husband and two of my most special people.

Just as I was beginning to breathe a little easier hubs had a motorcycle accident and broke his collarbone. I instantly went into super action problem solving ass kicking Lisa mode. I took care of hubs, hs hospital appointments, working, being a mum, looking after the house and all this whilst getting Christmas all sorted. I can’t believe how much I managed to get done during that time and I was also preparing for a book signing at the end of January.

All of this was meds free! Go Me!

The problem with taking the weight of the Fulham world on my shoulders is that shit was fucking heavy over the past few months and my back was not up to it. . .literally! Over Christmas my back went and I have bulging discs. The nurse became the patient and hubs now has to do a ton of stuff for me, but I’m trying to smile through it. Nothing can be done until I have a scan on my back later this month to assess the amount of damage and all I can do is load up on pain meds which I’m doing by the truckload.

I had to deal with hubs getting back onto his scooter this week which set my anxiety off, but I had to keep it under wraps because I knew this would be a big thing for him and thankfully after five minutes his confidence came back. I was so pleased for him.

I needed to list all of this today because this morning I had a wobble and a cry. The pain my back means I’m so limited physically in what I can/can’t do, my painkillers are clouding my mind and slowing me down and this morning we found out hubs scooter is a write off. Everything just piled up and made me crumble, but I just have to dust myself off and push forward. Things may feel like utter shit, but they could be worse. Reading back over this post reminds me how weak I can be, but also how strong too.

It’s so hard not to judge yourself on what’s happening in your life at any given moment because a moment does not define you, your weaknesses and certainly not your strengths.

As per this post is unedited, written in one go and is 100% where my head is right now.