Tag Archives: anxiety

00.22 – Just checking in

12 Dec

This is my second night in my new house. Last night felt pretty strange and I did end up having a full blown panic attack at bedtime. Tonight as it gets closer to bedtime again I can feel the anxiety rising. I’ve taken my meds and some diazepam and thought I’d write a little update on here to try and distract myself a little bit while they kick in.

It’s been a crazy and very tiring couple of days what with throwing so much stuff out then three trips back and forth with the removal van on Monday night then went and stayed with my parents for the night as I had the carpet fitter coming early Tuesday morning so we just put all my furniture into the living room for the night on Monday. Of course nothing is going smoothly at the moment and when the carpet guy came on Tuesday morning it turned out that my nice carpet I’d only had for 11 months didn’t fit in my new bedroom :( I was so sure my bedroom in my flat was way bigger than my bedroom here so didn’t bother to measure it! So the carpet has been binned. I did get him to lay some wood effect vinyl in my kitchen though. So for now I’ll need to live with the laminate flooring that was already laid in here but it’s not in a veey great condition.

They still haven’t done anything about the dampness in the new house despite me first reporting it the day I signed the tenancy agreement which was the 25th of November I think. I’ve phoned numerous times over the past week or two to say the housing inspector put the job of replacing my missing roof tiles through as an emergency repair yet still no one has come grrr! What else was I going to moan about? Oh yeah… I couldn’t get my cooker into place because the cupboard to the side of it hasn’t been fitted correctly and slants at the bottom making the gap too small and I couldn’t fit my washing machine because there are no pipes to connect it to! They have arranged for a joiner to come out on Friday morning to adjust the cupboard so I can get my cooker in place although I’m contemplating just buying a new one from my catalogue that I can pay up weekly as my current one is a bit fucked. But as for the plumber to fit the pipes for washing machine or roofer to put tiles back on who knows when they will show up!

Anyways it’s taken me almost 45 mins just to type those few paragraphs as I’m using my phone (so apologies for any typos!) But I just wanted to check in and let you all know I’m here in my new house, I’m shattered from so much work that moving house involves, I’m still very anxious and feeling quite unsettled but I just have to hope that the more familiar this new environment becomes the less anxiety I’ll feel. Even the dogs seem a bit unsettled however they are loving having a garden to play in!

Ok I think I’ll sign off for now but I’ll update again soon when I’m a bit more chilled out xx

00:06 – It’s time to say goodbye

9 Dec

The time has almost come for me to say goodbye to this flat that I live in as tomorrow I move house. This will be my last sleep in here tonight although I don’t expect to get much as I feel a bit of a mess to be honest. Last night I had a bit of, no scratch that, I had a complete meltdown. I switched from anxious and panicking to hysterical and crying my eyes out, to feeling like I must cut myself to calm down, to taking a handful of Diazepam as the safer option to calm down, then back to being an anxious wreck again before finally just sitting on the floor rocking myself back and forth and silently letting tears roll down my cheeks.

So yeah… I sensed I was in a bad frame of mind and the thought of doing something really bad to myself just wouldn’t leave my head but at the same time I kept telling myself I could not be that selfish, I could not do something to myself when my parents are doing everything they possibly can to make this new house nice for me. I owe them so much and they do not need to see me having yet another breakdown because of the head crazies. So in the end I phoned the Samaritans and I spoke to a lovely gentle sounding lady for about an hour, I told her everything and I have to admit it helped just to get everything out and have a complete stranger just sit and listen and let me talk until I felt calmer again.

Unfortunately I didn’t sleep too good last night though and tonight I feel quite sad at the thought of saying goodbye to this flat and find myself being constantly flooded with memories as so many things have happened in here.

It was in this flat that I found out I was pregnant.

It was in this flat that my ex-fiancé proposed to me.

It was in this flat that I set up the beautiful swinging crib for my little boy.

It was this flat I returned to with empty arms after losing my little boy.

It was in this flat that my ex-fiancé admitted he’d been having an affair.

It was in this flat that I took serious overdoses.

It was in this flat that I have self harmed so many times.

It was in this flat that I got sectioned for the first time.

It was in this flat I slept on my sofa for a year because of my paranoia.

It was in this flat that I ….

…. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the idea.

There are a lot of memories associated with this place, a few are good but the vast majority are bad if I’m truly honest with myself. Still, for some reason there is an anxious part of me which is scared to leave it tomorrow. Maybe because this is all I have known for the past 7 and a half years and despite all the shit that has happened in it, somewhere deep down I have had to make myself believe that this is my home as that’s the only way I’ve managed to keep on living here. I pretty much spent the whole of 2012 sleeping on my sofa and only going into the bedroom to get clothes out the drawers. For almost a year my bed lay with a dust-sheet covering it and piles of boxes on top of it.

But around this time last year my parents had enough of me living like that and came and redecorated it all for me to make the bedroom look a bit different and to an extent that worked. I started sleeping in my bed again and have pretty much continued to do so for all of 2013. Some nights though I lie in my bed and my head starts going crazy with these flashbacks of all sorts of memories, I see people, objects, all sorts of things flashing in front of my eyes and need to run back through to the sofa to hide away from them.

Whilst I’ve been packing I have thrown out about 80% of my personal possessions. Any item which I can tie to a particular memory or person has gone in the bin, apart from items associated with my little angel or that my parents or good people in my life have got for me. I want this new house to be a completely fresh start with no memories in it, a blank canvas to create new and hopefully happier memories in. I want to leave as much of my emotional baggage behind here and move on to pastures new but today I have been quite upset and anxious about all of this moving stuff. There are some memories I’m not sure if I’m ready to leave behind… I don’t know if this will make sense but because this move has all come out of the blue so quickly it’s like there are some memories that I haven’t thought about for ages that have come flooding back and whether I feel ready to or not I have to say goodbye to them. I have to go with what lovely support worker said to me which was that any memory that is important will stay with me no matter where I live or where I am. And I guess that’s true and I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

I still have so much to do tomorrow, I am only really half packed as I’ve spent the past few days throwing out as much stuff as possible, but due to everyone being at work and stuff we aren’t getting the van until 6pm so that gives me all of tomorrow morning and afternoon to finish packing up. Then my parents, my brother and my best friend’s boyfriend are all coming round to help move all of my heavy stuff like the cooker, washing machine, fridge, sofa, bed, bedroom furniture, living room furniture, etc. I’ve got to stay at my parents house tomorrow night as the carpet fitter can’t come until Tuesday morning so all of my stuff will have to be put into the living room in the new house then once the bedroom carpet has been laid I can spend Tuesday unpacking and sleep in the new house from Tuesday night onwards. I have now also managed to get all of my mail redirected and have also arranged to have a new phone line fitted in the new house but unfortunately the first available appointment for a BT phone engineer isn’t until the 27th of December which means that I need to go for more than two weeks without being able to use my laptop. Thankfully I can still use the internet on my phone so I will still be able to write my rambles here although they will probably be considerably shorter in length! (Maybe not a bad thing!)

So the next time I update it will be from my new house. This feels like such a massive change for me and I can only hope that once I am unpacked and settled in that I will be able to post here saying that it was definitely the right move for me to make. I hope it won’t be long until I can call it my home rather than my house. I hope the housing association will fix my broken roof tiles so they don’t leave me to stress out about the dampness situation. I just want to be able to sit back in my new place in say a week’s time and smile. Smile because I feel genuinely calm, happy and at peace with the decision I have made.

Well… it’s time to do more packing then walk the dogs and get myself to bed. Tomorrow is a big day and will no doubt be an extremely stressful day as well. I have already put some Diazepam into my pocket for tomorrow as I’ve got a feeling I may be popping them like smarties. But all I need to do is get through it. That makes it sound so easy. I don’t know why this is such a massive deal for me but it is.

I guess it’s because I know I’m closing the book on one chapter of my life… but I must look at the positive side which is that I’m opening that book to a new chapter that is yet to be written.

*deep breaths*

“You can do this” … say and repeat… say and repeat… make this my mantra… and take more deep breaths…

I *can* do this… right? :/

02:06 – Stress, anxiety, stress, anxiety, stress!

6 Dec

If I thought I was stressed out when I last posted I’m even more so now. I’ve managed to get my two uni essays finished and submitted in time so I’m glad they are over with even though they are both really crap but so long as they scrape a pass that’s all I’m really caring about to be honest. I now have an official moving date which is Monday. The parents have got a van sorted, I have got my brother and my best friend’s boyfriend to help with the heavy stuff and I’ve got a carpet fitter sorted. But I still have soooo much to do. I haven’t even started packing things into boxes yet but now that the essays are out of the way I can spend Fri, Sat and Sun getting my whole life packed into boxes and bagging up all the rubbish that’s to go to the skip.

There are a lot of problems with the new house, a lot more than what I first thought. At first I thought it was mainly cosmetic stuff that needed doing and once it was completely redecorated it would all be OK. But as it turns out there is a lot of damp as there are broken and missing tiles on the roof. We had such strong winds last night another two were off and lying in the garden today. There is a big crack on the outside of one of the walls that has come through into the bedroom and that wall which my Dad has now painted twice is not drying out properly at all because of it. The living room wall has a big damp patch as well. The property inspector finally came out today almost two weeks after I reported there being dampness in the house and thankfully he is putting the job through as an emergency which means that they will hopefully get the roof tiles fixed tomorrow so the dampness doesn’t get any worse.

I got a letter from the council telling me that they have suspended my housing benefit until I give them an official moving in date which is adding to the stress as I now have my current housing association on my case about rent arrears. I’m also trying to sort out having my mail redirected but my postcode won’t bring up the correct address on their system so I have to complete a form in a post office branch which was fine but they are asking for two forms of address ID which have to be within the last 3 months and I have changed to paperless billing for everything so that is stressing me out as well trying to get a couple of companies to quickly send me stuff out as it takes five days to set up which means I need to hang onto the keys for here for extra days so I can still get my mail. I also need to arrange for someone to come out from my current housing association to do an inspection so they can see I’ve not wrecked the place! And I still need to contact BT to have my phone line and internet moved as well. So yeah… lots to do and it’s all sending my anxiety levels through the roof. The next few days are going to be crazy busy and I’m just crossing my fingers now and hoping that this dampness situation can be resolved as I don’t want to be living in a damp house!

For some reason I’ve been getting a lot of urges to self harm again. There is no obvious reason for this, I think it’s because I am that stressed that I need something to ground me because my head keeps overthinking about all the what if’s and all the things I need to do then it speeds up too fast then it slows down too slow and I just feel as though I can’t think straight at all. One minute I feel OK the next I’m having a full on panic attack then my thoughts are racing and no matter how many times I try and have words with myself that moving house is a big stressful event and it’s ‘normal’ to feel really anxious it just doesn’t seem to sink in and I just feel like I’m getting closer and closer to losing the plot.

*deep breaths*

OK, I guess as it’s almost 2am I better think about trying to get some sleep. I’m tired yet wide awake. My head has been hurting all day but I think that’s because I forgot to take my morning meds and probably the stress mixed in with it too. So a good night’s sleep would be most welcome but it seems when I go to bed at the moment my heart likes to start playing funny buggers with me and doing that horrible palpitating thing then beating super fast for no apparent reason. Anxiety everywhere and all of the time! I just can’t escape it… argh! I’ve had a good dose of Diazepam about half an hour ago so hopefully that will do the trick to let me get some proper sleep tonight but so far I don’t feel much effect from them, think I may need to take a little extra one or two.

Goodnight folks x

 

 

14:03 – New beginnings?

21 Nov

Approximately 18 months ago I applied for a housing transfer through my local council. I had become absolutely miserable in this flat and when my agoraphobia is really bad I get so anxious I find it incredibly difficult to leave to walk down the communal stairs past my neighbours doors to get outside. This means that I sometimes have to rely on my parents or friends to come and walk the dogs for me or live on takeaway food delivered to me. I also get super paranoid because I have neighbours through each wall to either side of me as well as someone below me and someone above me so I feel like I’m boxed right in the middle. The professionals I was working with at the time supported my application as did my parents who all believed that if I just had my own front door it would help a great deal with me being able to leave the house easier. There are some other factors as well but if I go into them all this will turn into a super long ramble and I have to be at my appointment with lovely support worker in 45 minutes.

On Monday I received a letter from the council telling me they had a property that was vacant that they believed would be suitable for me and were giving me an official offer. It came completely out of the blue and I read the letter with a mix of excitement and then huge panic. The letter asked for me to phone them to arrange a viewing and see whether or not I wanted to accept the transfer. So on Tuesday my Mum came and picked me up and we met the housing officer at the little house. It’s about 2 miles away from where I live just now and is just a little one bedroom bungalow with a little garden and is literally 5 minutes walk to my parents house and 5 minutes walk to the hospital where the mental health team are. It’s on a quiet street which has houses with families on the one side and a row of little one bedroom bungalows on the other side which I think mainly house elderly people. This is ideal for me as my flat is right in the town area of where I live which means it’s always noisy with traffic, people in the communal stairwell coming and going, drunk people passing by after the pubs on the weekends, etc etc.

So we viewed the little house and it’s pretty dated and old fashioned looking on the inside, it badly needs redecorating but has a front door and back door with a small garden that my little dogs would love playing in. The garden is all enclosed with a fence so they would be safe. I tried to look past the dated decor and imagine how I could make it look to make it homely. But after only ten minutes the housing officer said she had to get to another appointment and that we’d need to leave so I don’t feel like I got to see the place properly and I can’t make a decision of permanently living there on ten minutes of viewing. The council then said I had to give a decision within 48 hours maximum (the form actually says 24 hours). So now I find myself in a bit of a situation. I don’t think I could be offered anything better as a transfer, the location is ideal like I say it’s really close to my parents, I don’t really have any neighbours super close to worry about, it’s quiet and peaceful, the dogs would have a garden to play in and I guess it’s a clean slate, a place to start afresh from.

But I have been in this flat for seven and a half years. It has a huge amount of memories associated with it, some good but some very very bad. Sometimes I get these little flashes in front of my eyes where I just look at a particular part of a room and all these memories flood through my head and can leave me feeling quite fucked up. I have, on a couple of occasions, self harmed just from memories around me and making me feel so trapped in here like I can never escape from them. And this new little house would be somewhere with no bad memories, no feeling trapped, somewhere to start creating memories in. My parents really want me to take it because they would feel so much better knowing I was just a few minutes walk from them and most of me wants to accept it as well. But as soon as I go to sign the acceptance form I get a massive release of anxiety completely overwhelming me. Mum says it’s just because it’s a big change and a new place that’s unfamiliar to me but that if I just go for it and get it looking homely that I will settle into it in no time. And I think she is probably right but I can’t stop thinking of all the ‘what ifs’ and the thought of having to pack all my possessions up and let removal guys into my flat and having to contact tonnes of companies and services to notify them of change of address, getting phone line and internet moved, gas and electric moved, just loads of shit like that makes me panic about it all. Like seriously bad waves of anxiety, strong enough to make me think I just can’t do this and I should just stay here no matter how much I hate it.

So the council have agreed to let me have a second viewing which is tomorrow at 2pm. I have to give them a definite decision by 4pm tomorrow. The property is currently lying empty so I assume it would be fairly quick to get the keys. I also have my two final essays for these modules I’m doing on my home based uni course due in the next two weeks so how I am supposed to study for them and write 2 x 2000 word essays as well as packing all my stuff up and moving to the new place, get it redecorated and everything all at once I just don’t know. They say one of the most stressful things is moving house and they aren’t wrong. When I moved in here I hardly had anything, just the very basics and it took a while to add in my appliances and furniture and stuff. I lived for the first couple of years with loads of second hand stuff but now over the last five years have replaced everything to new stuff. And I have a lot of stuff to move, in fact I think I have more stuff than the little bungalow can take as it didn’t seem to have much storage and the rooms are quite small. Maybe I’ll just have to throw a lot of stuff out that I don’t use/need any longer.

So yeah, tomorrow I have to make my definite decision and I am absolutely terrified. I keep having panic attacks and barely slept last night because I felt so anxious it was keeping me awake. I don’t know whether to accept it and take the chance that new beginnings would be a good idea and trust what my parents are saying that I will settle in and it will feel like home once I’ve got it looking how I want it to… or whether to listen to the anxiety and just stay here and not have to face any changes. I have written a list of pros and cons for moving and the pros far outweigh the cons but I am just so fucking scared of change/being somewhere unfamiliar and not knowing how I will adjust to it.

I’d better go as my appointment is in 20 minutes but I will post back tomorrow once I’ve had my second viewing by which time the decision will be made. Am I really ready to say goodbye to all those memories and move on to somewhere new? I don’t know if I have the strength. I’m scared, terrified in fact, but something at the back of my head is saying to me that this could be the best decision I ever make to get away from here and start again. What to do? I just don’t know…

00:42 – Well that’s it over for another year

29 Oct

Thank you to all the people who sent birthday wishes through facebook and twitter. I’m not sure what I’ve done to my facebook settings as when I logged on I had 47 private messages and lots of people saying they were sending them as they couldn’t post on my wall… I must have fucked about with the settings at some point and will need to re-fuck about with them to sort it!

So there we go… another year older and another birthday over for another year. It has been a strange day… I went to a posh fancy restaurant for lunch with my parents and my brother but for some reason was feeling super anxious. The restaurant was kinda far away but on the road I’m getting more confident with… however all of the agoraphobic head crazies started up which resulted in me making us arrive half an hour late because I kept making excuses up to avoid leaving the house. In the end we had lovely food and nice conversation but as soon as we were finished eating I just wanted to get out of there, which made me feel a bit bad because it cost the parents a lot of money to take us there to eat. So I went outside for a cigarette a couple of times and tried to just breathe and tell myself I’d be home soon, everything was OK, I wasn’t that far from home… I could do this… etc etc.

My parents gave me money and chocolates… my brother and his girlfriend got me scented candles, a bottle of my favourite amaretto and a gift voucher to go and get my nails done. It doesn’t expire until January so I think I might just wait and get them done for Christmas… or maybe I’ll go before then and just keep getting them infilled for a while.

I got back home around 3.30pm and male friend who I haven’t seen in way over a month appeared at the door to wish me a happy birthday which was nice of him. He stayed for an hour or so and we had a bit of a catch up… I moaned about best friend and how let down I feel by her just now… He moaned about one of his friends who has pissed him off… We were like a little old couple sitting here moaning and gossiping about the world!

After he left I decided it was time to study and have just spent six hours engrossed in my textbooks. I have finally caught up with one of my modules but the other one – which the essay is due for at the end of the week – I’m still really far behind with that and still haven’t started the essay. I actually emailed the module leader earlier and explained I was struggling and very far behind to see if she could maybe give me any tips along the lines of which weeks to make sure I’ve studied properly and which ones aren’t so relevant to the essay that I could maybe catch up on over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully she will email me back tomorrow with some advice because I am super stressed out right now.

Tomorrow I will be studying from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed apart from taking the dogs out for a few walks throughout the day. I need to get as much done as possible tomorrow and at the very least make an essay plan with everything written down that I need to remember to include in it.

Wednesday is going to be a bit of a pain in the ass day as I have new psychiatrist at 2.30pm but lovely support worker is taking me and coming to pick me up at 2pm. So I’ll need to try and get up earlier than usual so I can get a couple of hours studying done before I go and then get back to it when I get home. I’m so not looking forward to this appointment with him and am super tempted to cancel it because the last two appointments have been such a complete waste of time and I feel like we are working against each other rather than with each other. I’m also tempted to cancel my appointment on Thursday with CPN#2 – again because I just have so much to do this week that I can’t really spare a couple of hours to get there, have the appointment and get home again… I must study, study, study and keep on writing and writing and writing. There is no time for sleep or appointments… just have a little cat nap and then get back to it again. It’s the only way I’m going to have any chance of getting through this week.

So yeah, today I have felt like I’ve had a bit of a fake smile painted on my face most of the time. Internally my brain feels like it wants to ‘crash’ but I can’t let that happen. Bad thoughts keep on fleeting through my head saying if I just cut once or twice it will ground me and get me focused again and stop my head from wandering off. Everything just feels too hard, I’m having major doubts about my ability to carry on with the uni course… even part time is just too much… but I don’t know how much of that is just me still feeling pretty depressed and when I feel low absolutely everything is a struggle… even the simplest of things… so a fairly challenging degree level course is obviously going to be tough going. Part of me just wants to drop out but I know that if I do then I will feel like I’ve failed at yet another thing in life which is only going to fuel the depressive thoughts even more. So I guess I just keep on going… keep telling myself I just need to get through this tough week then get back on track with the studies throughout November and before I know it December will be here, I’ll have another couple of super stressful weeks submitting my final essays for these two modules and then it will be Christmas break and I can relax for a few weeks.

Anyways… it’s that time of night again where the dogs need their bedtime walk and I need my medication and a few hours sleep. I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be a longggg longggg day.

00:01 – A pharmacy error (and still struggling)

11 Sep

I think it would be fair to say that I’m struggling a lot at the moment. On the outside I’m trying my hardest to appear ‘OK’… maybe even better than OK… I started back my part time home based university course yesterday and it took me the entire day to get through 8 short pages. Nothing seemed to be sinking in even though I knew the information was at a reasonably basic level. So I ended up getting myself super stressed out and wondering how on earth I am going to manage to do double the workload that I did last year. I’m doubting myself massively and I really don’t know if I will cope with it and we’re only two days into the new term.

Anyway, last night things kept building and building inside me, my head was full of urges to self harm. The urges are nothing new but my ability to fight them off feels like it’s lessening day by day. And the thoughts were stronger than just thoughts… there was no voice as such but the urges felt more like commands. No matter how hard I tried to ignore them they just got louder and more and more frequent. So by the time it got to bedtime my anxiety levels were starting to get out of control and I knew it was only a matter of time before I reached for my tools to cut myself with. As a last ditch attempt to get the anxiety under control I reached for my emergency Lorazepam and swallowed one down. About half an hour later I started to feel strange… my thoughts were all muddled and my body felt totally different to how Lorazepam has ever made me feel before. Usually I find it to be really good for anxiety without much sedative effect but my anxiety wasn’t calming down and the overall weird spinning sensation was probably making the anxiety even worse.

At the time of taking the tablet I did notice that it was yellow in colour and the only Lorazepam I’ve ever had have either been little blue tablets or little round white ones. There were only a few in the box though that had been cut from a strip and all I could see printed on the blister was the letters LO and 1mg underneath. So I just thought they were a different generic than what I’ve had before. But I just knew this wasn’t a normal feeling for Lorazepam and something made me go back and look at them again. The label on the outside of the box definitely said Lorazepam 1mg tablets but then I took out the patient information leaflet and it was only then that I saw the leaflet said along the top ‘Loprazolam 1mg tablets’.

So I began to really panic. I didn’t like how it was making me feel. Even though I’ve tried plenty of benzodiazapine drugs this was making me feel really odd like I couldn’t think straight at all. For the first time in ages I consulted some peeps on Twitter and if any of you read this – thank you so much for helping to calm me down! I remember being given one of the Z drugs a while back, I can’t remember if it was Zopiclone or Zolpidem, but it made me feel all disconnected and like my head was spinning and this Loprazolam made me feel pretty similar to that. Thank fuck I didn’t take 2mg like I usually would take of Lorazepam. So I stayed on twitter for a while, then decided to go and lie down to see if the spinny dizzy sensation would calm down a bit, put a relaxation track on my iPod and spent the next 90 mins or so battling a horrible panicky sensation. I don’t know if it was the Loprazolam making me feel like that or just me freaking out because I’d taken something I’d never taken before. Eventually I fell asleep.

After I got up this morning and walked the dogs I went to the pharmacy and took the box, leaflet and remaining couple of tablets with me. The pharmacist took me into a side room and sincerely apologised. The normal pharmacist is off at the moment and they have had a lot of locum’s in over the past few weeks. Somehow someone had made a mistake but the pharmacist said that Boots take this kind of thing very seriously and we had to sit and fill out a form so that they can launch an investigation into who dispensed it, how the error could have happened and report to their head office with what measures they are going to put in place so that it doesn’t happen again. They will also write to my GP to inform her of what happened. The pharmacist said Lorazepam and Loprazolam sit very close to each other on the shelf as it’s all in alphabetical order and that’s the only reason she could see for the error happening but she did make a point of saying that that was no excuse. She asked me if I wanted to be informed of the outcome of their investigation but I said it was fine. I’m just glad that the tablets I was given weren’t anything that could have caused me any major harm, it was lucky it was another benzodiazapine even if the symptoms that particular kind caused weren’t very pleasant. She then gave me the correct tablets and that was it all sorted out.

Then best friend phoned me and asked if I’d like to go to a little birthday party they were having for her new boyfriend’s little boy – it was his 1st birthday and I really didn’t feel like being in a room full of babies and toddlers but equally I didn’t want to be shit and say no when I always go to both her little boys birthdays and I guess if the new man is sticking around for the foreseeable future then I have to see his little boy as part of their family. So I went to the toy shop and got a little present for him and a card, came home and wrapped it up, then went out to the party at 5.30pm. When I got there the house was pretty full, there was at least ten kids under 5 and four mums and dads as well as best friend and her boyfriend. Then one of them had to ask me “don’t you have any kids? don’t you want any?” and I just didn’t know what to say, so I just smiled politely as I felt the anxiety starting to rise and said “not yet”. I hate it when people ask me that because I want to proudly say “yes I have been pregnant, yes I have carried a baby, yes I felt a baby kick inside me, yes I went through a very long and extremely painful labour and yes I gave birth to a beautiful little boy… just way too early and he didn’t survive” – the only reason I don’t say all of that is because of their reaction… the look on their face when they just don’t know what to say. So instead I just smile and say “not yet” even though I feel as though I’m really letting my little angel down by saying that.

Anyway I managed to escape after an hour and took the dogs for a long walk to try and de-stress again.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with the gynaecologist at 9am so it’s going to be an early start getting up around 7.30am. This is the first time I’ve asked to see the gynae since shortly after losing my little man in 2007. But I know my PCOS is getting worse, I haven’t had a natural period since I lost him and PCOS also plays havoc with trying to lose weight (admittedly the Quetiapine and Mirtazapine also don’t help the weight issue). So I think I’m going to give the diabetic drug Metformin another shot, I’ve tried it twice over the past ten years and both times couldn’t tolerate the side effects it has on your stomach, apparently this is the most common reason why people stop taking it. I don’t really want to take any more medications but Metformin does have pretty good success rates for controlling your blood sugars and that in turn makes it a little bit easier to lose weight.

I’ve always struggled with my weight since my late teens and couldn’t understand why as I ate relatively healthy and did a reasonable amount of exercise. Then at age 20 or 21 they diagnosed the PCOS which certainly gave me some reason as to why I found it so hard to lose weight. But then when I was about 23 I went on the Atkins diet after lots of research telling me that cutting out carbs and sugars was one of the most effective ways to lose weight when you have PCOS. Over the course of maybe six months I lost four stone (56lbs) so it was pretty rapid weight loss and I got myself down to a slim and healthy 9 and a half stone. Kept the weight off until about 2009 when I split up from my fiance then rapidly gained a crazy amount of weight over the next year as I comfort ate my way through thousands of calories a day. By the time I was sectioned for the first time at the end of 2010 I had gone up to 15 stone! I’ve lost a bit of weight since then, although not much, but I’m now about 13 stone 10lbs and really I want to be around the 10 stone mark so I’ve still got a way to go yet.

So I guess I’ll go to the appointment with the gynae in the morning and see what she suggests and if Metformin is what she recommends then I’m going to ask to start on the lowest dose the tablets are made in and build up from that slowly to see if that helps me to tolerate it a bit better. Then I plan on coming home and spending a few hours studying.

I need to try and keep myself busy and distracted at the moment because as soon as I let myself just sit and think I end up with a head full of thoughts and urges to self harm. And I really don’t want to because I’ve managed to go for five months now without any severe self harm wounds. Plus every time I look down at my legs I want to recoil in horror at the permanent and extensive scarring that’s all over them. I hate the sight of the scars on my legs they look horrendous even though some of them are quite old, I have very fair skin and they still look awful. The tops of my arms aren’t much better although the ones on my forearms have faded enough that I now feel comfortable to wear 3/4 length sleeves. I think people notice my tattoos on my wrists before they bother to look at the other side where the scars are.  I hate that I’ve permanently damaged my body and I truly do hope that I can find the strength not to act on these intrusive horrible urges but they are eating away at me and it’s starting to feel like it’s going to keep on getting worse and worse until I just give in and do it. But I’m not going to give in without a fight. Little superficial cuts I can deal with but no more huge angry permanent scars :(

On that note it’s now midnight and I’m up in just over 7 hours so time to try and get some sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better and brighter day.

17:58 – I don’t think I fit in anymore…

7 Sep

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This picture sums up exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. My self isolating world feels black and white. I’ve lost the colour from my world. I look at the lives of my friends and family members and they all seem to have colour and happiness in their life. I feel as though I don’t fit in hence why it’s easier to stay hidden away in my little flat, telling myself that it’s better this way… is it better? I don’t know…

A week ago (last Friday) was the day I wrote about when I was in an absolute mess with the physical symptoms of anxiety. The racing and severe pounding that my heart was doing scared me so much I ran to lovely GP anxious and distressed, not to mention completely convinced that there was something very wrong with my heart. After the ECG tracing showing my heart was OK just beating far too fast I have been trying to tell myself every day since that it’s “just anxiety… get your breathing under control and you’ll be fine”. I don’t know if it was the reassurance from lovely GP or the fact that we dropped my Mirtazapine dose back down to 30mg but I seem to be managing the anxiety symptoms a little better now. The severe chest pounding has finally calmed down a bit although I’m still having the palpitations, the churning feeling in my gut and the panicky thoughts in my mind. In other words, I think I’m now back to my “normal” levels of anxiety.

I saw lovely GP again yesterday (Friday) and she said I was looking very tired. I told her my sleep isn’t great at the moment because I now lie there with the anticipation that the heart pounding could start again at any time. She said I need to get some proper sleep and gave me a few days worth of Nitrazepam which I always find help me get a decent night’s rest. I’d not fallen asleep on Thursday night until almost 4am then was back up at 7am to have a shower and get the dogs walked before my appointment at 8.30am then was up all day as I met my Mum for lunch and a wander round the shops. By 8pm I was completely shattered but wide awake at the same time. By midnight I had been in bed for an hour and was still tossing and turning. By 2am I was so fed up I took 10mg of the Nitrazepam and an hour later I was dead to the world. I didn’t wake up again until noon today so I got a full 9 or 10 hours sleep and feel a bit better for it today. Well better in the sense of not being so exhausted… I still feel pretty shit mood wise.

I also told lovely GP about the self harm urges I keep having at the moment. She said she was really proud of me for not doing it (well, not doing it bad enough to require a visit to A&E) since April. She asked me if I had told anyone else and I said yes, I had told lovely support worker from rape crisis the day before. She asked if I had told anyone from the mental health team, i.e. CPN#2 and I said no. I was supposed to see CPN#2 last Friday when I was in the massive anxious mess but had left them an answer phone message first thing that morning to say I wasn’t well and couldn’t attend. I left my phone number and a message asking CPN#2 to give me a call to arrange another appointment but I still haven’t heard from her a week later. Lovely GP said I didn’t seem very enthusiastic about my appointments with CPN#2 and I told her quite honestly that I’m not. I told her I don’t find the appointments beneficial at all and the only reason I go to them is because I hope I will get back to seeing the psychologist again quicker this way. The only appointments I get any benefit from are those with my support worker.

It’s pretty ridiculous really but sadly not uncommon – the two people connected with the mental health team that I see (new psychiatrist and CPN#2) are useless and I don’t feel supported by either of them. Sometimes they are beyond useless. Yet the two other people that I see who aren’t really connected with the mental health team (lovely GP and my support worker) offer me practical help, a place to unload all of my feelings, medication help if needed and I leave those appointments feeling like my voice has been heard and that I’ve been listened too. And I told all of this to lovely GP and she just gave me a sympathetic smile that sort of said to me that I wasn’t the first person to have said that to her.

The other thing lovely GP was asking about was how the nausea/not being able to eat was now. I told her that I am eating but only my two safe foods – bowls of porridge and bowls of soup. It’s not an intentional thing and I’m not really sure of what it is that I think will happen if I eat other foods, all I know is they seem safe because if they do need to come back up again they will be easy foods to throw up. She reminded me that this was how my agoraphobia started – by avoiding the places that made me feel anxious and panicky until my world finally became so limited there were only a few places that were/still are safe places to go to. I promised her that I would try to start eating some other things but as yet I haven’t managed to do that. So I have another appointment to see her again in two weeks time.

After my appointment I met up with my Mum for a couple of hours. Mum treated me to lunch (I had soup) and over lunch I opened up to her and told her how miserable I’ve been feeling lately. I also was honest and told her I’ve been having a lot of self harm urges but that I haven’t acted on them. Mum was pleased that I’d been honest with her and she tried to encourage me not to drop my part-time uni course as doing it offers me some sort of a distraction. She said she knows this is the time of year my mood usually begins to drop but reminded me that last year I wasn’t hospitalised at all (whereas I was hospitalised in the autumn and winter months of 2010 and 2011 as well as the very start of 2012). I told my Mum that I just didn’t know if I was going to manage doing two modules at once (each require approximately ten hours of study per week) as well as trying to learn this Compassionate Mind therapy with CPN#2 and psychologist and also the work I’m doing with my support worker at rape crisis. That’s like four pretty big things to be doing all at once and I really don’t know if I’ll manage to do it all.

My uni course starts back on Monday and I’ve enrolled on two modules but have also sent my personal tutor an email explaining that I may need to drop out of one of them if I find the workload too much but that I would try for the first few weeks to do both of them and see how I get on. She emailed me back and said that was OK so I guess I just wait and see how things go. Mum has also started a new job recently where she isn’t working such long hours any more and has three days a week off so I’m going to try and spend a few hours each week with her to get me out of the house. To be honest I think I just feel a bit lonely at the moment, even though I did see best friend a couple of times last week that was the first time I’d seen her and the kids in ages. Since she met the new boyfriend in May I’ve pretty much been forgotten about and she no longer texts or calls me. I used to wish she would stop calling and texting when I just wanted to be left alone and now I’ve got what I wanted… but it’s miserable and lonely and I only really have one friend at the moment who I see maybe once a week but he’s forever trying to hint at us being more than friends which is never going to happen. I do care for him as a friend and sometimes we have a giggle but there is no physical attraction towards him, plus, I really don’t want a relationship with anyone anyway.

So yeah… my mood isn’t great, my anxiety levels are still high and pretty much constant, my sleep is pretty disrupted, my weird anxiety surrounding foods is still present, I haven’t heard bugger all from CPN#2 and I’m constantly thinking about cutting myself again.

On the upside I’ve managed to be honest with my Mum and lovely GP and my support worker about how crap I’m feeling. I’ve half sorted my new uni modules (but still need to send the form off to apply for my part time tuition fees to be waived), I haven’t self harmed despite constantly thinking about doing so. Oh, one other nice thing was that Mum also treated me to a new purse when we went for a wander round the shops after having lunch. I didn’t desperately need it but I absolutely love Radley bags and purses but they are sooo expensive and we saw some much cheaper but almost as nice ones in a shop window so I have a nice new black leather purse with a pink doggy sewn onto it and some buttons sewn on, it looks just like a Radley one but at a third of the price!

I think that’s pretty much it from me at the moment. I was hoping the new pretty things for my little man’s headstone would have arrived today so I could have spent the afternoon making it all pretty again but they haven’t even been dispatched yet because one item was out of stock. It’s been pouring with rain all day anyway, so it’s a ‘hiding indoors’ in my pj’s day. And it is so cold all of a sudden! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to have the heating on but it’s been on nearly constantly the past couple of days – typical Scotland!

Don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with myself tonight, I think my exciting Saturday night will be lying in front of the TV watching some of the new series of X Factor – it’s still the auditions which is really the only bit of it I like watching. I saw best friend had posted on facebook about going out with one of her other friends for a night out tonight but surprise surprise I didn’t get an invite. Not that I would have gone anyway but still… it’s nice to be asked. I barely ever go out drinking these days, it’s another environment that I just don’t fit into any more. I feel so different from everyone else… black, white and fifty shades of grey… I think I might need some colour back in my life… but… I just don’t know how to do it :/

18:27 – Missing my angel & feeling miserable

3 Sep

I found this beautiful song on youtube.

I’m missing my little boy terribly at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I think about him every single day and every day it hurts, but sometimes, well sometimes the memories just come out of nowhere and they hit me so hard… making me feel like I’ve just been hit by a bus or something. And then I just sit here feeling stunned and sad and with a desperate sense of longing… one more cuddle… one more kiss… one more… one more… one more…

There will never be a ‘one more’ though :'(

Over six years have passed… people told me it would get easier with time… but… they lied. Or maybe they really believed it would.

The pain is still so raw and that one single event hurts more than the pain of every other bad thing that’s happened in my life combined. I think I maybe triggered myself yesterday when I did some online shopping for some new pretty things to put on his stone at the cemetery. Now that the Summer is well and truly over (well in Scotland it is) it was time to go up to the cemetery and take away the little ornaments and things that will get damaged as the colder and wetter weather kicks in. So I’ve ordered some new bits and bobs which should hopefully be here by the end of the week or the beginning of next week. I’ll take a photo once I’ve got it all looking nice again.

Anyway… I’m feeling really really low and miserable… and still not much better physically, my heart still pounds and races every night and both getting to sleep and staying asleep remains a battle. However the buccastem the doctor gave me have helped a bit with the nausea and sick to my stomach feeling (although they make me feel a bit drowsy) but I am now managing to eat a couple of slices of toast in the afternoon and some soup in the evening. I’ve lost a few more lbs… about 10lbs in total since I started feeling really sick last Monday. But that’s no bad thing really… I have quite a bit of weight I need to lose so only eating when I’m seriously hungry and not stuffing my face with junk food probably is quite a good thing.

I don’t really have much more to say for myself… I just feel incredibly flat mood-wise and the good old coping mechanism of self harming is never far from my mind at the moment. Only a couple of months ago things were looking a little better, I was starting to get out and about a bit more, but now I’ve fallen well and truly back into complete self isolation mode. I’m starting to struggle but I don’t want to admit it to myself or to anyone else. My uni course starts back on Monday and I think I might be dropping out… I just don’t see the point to it or anything right now and the head noise continues to remind me that I’m useless which only brings me back to the question of “what is the point?”

I don’t seem to be able to see the point to anything.

Anyway… back to the original point of this post… the video I found on youtube… this is for you little man… Mummy so hopes you really are dancing in the sky… I really do… I love you and miss you so so much :'(

 

16:35 – It’s all in my head

31 Aug

I’ve not posted in a while as I’ve not really felt like writing anything. Since trying out those Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets a few weeks ago which sent my anxiety soaring through the roof I’ve been feeling pretty rotten. I had seen lovely GP two weeks ago and told her at the time I couldn’t handle the side effects from the Lyrica any longer and she agreed I should stop taking them. I took my last tablet on the Thursday, saw her on Friday and finally by the Monday/Tuesday of last week the last of the side effects seemed to be out of my system.

I then spent the remainder of last week with low moods and hiding away from the world but the horrible rushy stimulated sensations that the Lyrica caused went away. I managed to go to my appointment with CPN#2 towards the end of last week and we talked some more about this Compassionate Mind stuff that they want me to do with the psychologist. Basically CPN#2 wants to do the basics of it with me while I’m still on the waiting list to see the psychologist again so that when I do see her again I will be a little bit prepared and hopefully grasping the basic concepts of compassion focused therapy. It’s hard though, I don’t find CPN#2 helpful, I don’t find our appointments beneficial so that makes me not want to go to them (hence why I didn’t attend for 10/11/12 weeks there) but I know if I don’t go then I will probably be waiting even longer to see the psychologist.

Last weekend was fairly uneventful. I hid away from the world as usual and did very little. But then on Sunday night I took my meds and went off to bed and couldn’t get to sleep. I lay there tossing and turning but all I could feel was my heart pounding so hard and so fast it was really scaring me. So I ended up not getting a wink of sleep because all I could think was “my dad has had two heart attacks and he is healthy compared to me, he isn’t overweight like me, he doesn’t smoke like me, maybe something is really wrong with me physically, maybe I’ll need to go to hospital” etc, etc. I waited it out until the morning and then it seemed to pass. But then the next night as soon as I lay down in bed it started again. Thud, thud, thud, my heart going at a crazy speed and again I lay there knowing it was going to be a very long night. I tried coming through to the living room and lying on the sofa with the TV on to help distract me for a while but it didn’t help. Finally around 6am and being utterly shattered I raided my medications cupboard for my emergency stash, found half a strip of Nitrazepam and a couple of Lorazepam so I took the Nitrazepam to try and knock myself out for a while. It worked for a few hours but by 11am I was wide awake again.

So by now we are onto Tuesday morning and I just felt a total mess as I’d only had five hours sleep in 48 hours. I kept thinking that I should maybe phone and make an appointment to see lovely GP but I already had one booked for Friday (yesterday) so kept telling myself just to wait it out and that by the time we reached Friday I’d probably be feeling OK again. But as Tuesday went by I began to feel worse and worse. I had absolutely no appetite whatsoever and felt sick to the bottom of my stomach. So I didn’t eat a single thing all day on Tuesday. Tuesday night and I get into bed and yes you can guess what happened next – the heart pounding started again. By this point I was getting really worried and confused. I wondered if it was anxiety causing the pounding racing heart but I didn’t feel anxious at all. When I do feel anxious or when I have a panic attack I do get the heart palpitations but I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced the severe pounding going on in my chest. So Tuesday night I barely slept again.

Wednesday arrived and the complete loss of appetite continued. This was worrying me as well because I’m a girl who likes her food and the 750mg of Quetiapine (Seroquel) that I take each day gives me a ravenous appetite. The fact that I’m around 3 or 4 stone overweight also clearly shows I like to eat! I tried a little bit of toast on Wednesday morning but as soon as it touched my lips I was convinced I was going to be sick so it went in the bin and I spent the next few hours hugging the toilet and dry heaving because my stomach was pretty much empty. Then around 6pm on Wednesday best friend phoned and asked if I’d like to meet up with her and the kids as we have an annual Highland Games where I live and in the few days before the main event they have like a gala day thing with stalls and raffles and fare rides and highland dancing. I really didn’t feel like going but as I hadn’t seen best friend or my little ‘nephews’ for over a month she convinced me to go along for an hour. So I put some make up on and tried to put a happy face on for the kids sake. Again I spent the entire day feeling sick to my stomach so another 24 hours passed without eating a thing.

Went to bed on Wednesday night and the heart pounding started again. I needed to sleep as my head was starting to feel a bit crazy from having no food in my body, no energy and feeling pretty sleep deprived so I used my last two emergency Lorazepam, self medicated a little with my Diazepam and took my normal bedtime meds all in an attempt to knock myself out for a few hours again. But it didn’t work. I felt drowsy from the meds but my heart was going at a crazy speed and was starting to genuinely terrify me. All I could think was “what if I have a heart attack and I’m here all by myself… I hide from the world that much that nobody would find me for days if not weeks because they all know my lack of phone calls and text messages is my way of saying leave me alone please… what if I die? maybe I should phone a taxi and go to A&E… I think there is something really wrong with me physically”.

Somehow I made it through the night and then it was Thursday. I was feeling absolutely awful, so tired and so hungry but completely unable to eat or sleep. A friend popped round to see how I was and said I looked like shit and needed to go and see the doctor but I said I’d force myself to get through the rest of the day and go to my appointment with lovely GP that was booked for Friday. And I don’t even need to say it but again the heart pounding started when I went to bed and another day of no food.

And then it was finally Friday. I went into my appointment with lovely GP telling her that something was really wrong with me and it was something physical this time not mental. My skin was sweaty and clammy, my arms and legs were trembling, I felt faint and dizzy from not eating a thing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I felt so sick but couldn’t be sick. I told her I was convinced something was wrong with my heart but it only seemed to be happening at night. I told her I hadn’t eaten for days and every time I tried to eat I had this horrible feeling that something bad would happen if I did. I was getting into a total ramble and she could see I was pretty distressed about it all so she checked my blood pressure and listened to my heart and then talked to me about what I thought would happen to me if I ate anything. With each question she asked I knew what she was getting at – it wasn’t something physically wrong with me – it was all in my head. She said she was 99% sure it was severe anxiety I was experiencing but I kept insisting it wasn’t because I’ve battled with severe anxiety with my agoraphobia for the best part of ten years and have had a whole range of physical symptoms from it but never have I been completely unable to eat for four days running and never have I felt my heart pounding so hard it made my chest ache. I think she could see I was genuinely convinced something was wrong with my heart so she said to reassure me she would get the practice nurse to run a heart trace (ECG).

I went back into the waiting room for half an hour and then the nurse called me through. I think lovely GP had managed to calm me down a bit as when I was lying on the bed and the nurse was sticking all the little things around my chest, wrists and ankles and hooking me up to the monitor I said to the nurse that I was sorry for wasting her time, that I knew the reading would be normal and this would all turn out to be all in my head. Indeed the reading was normal in terms of beating regularly but the nurse said a resting pulse should be between 60 and 80 and mine was ranging between 120 and 130 so beating almost twice as fast as it should be. But again anxiety was given as the cause of this even though I had calmed down quite a lot. I went back in to see lovely GP and she gave me a prescription for Buccastem to try and get rid of the nausea so I could eat, a couple of Lorazepam to replace my emergency two I’d had to use up and made another appointment for me for next Friday so I can be checked over again then. As always she was very nice about it and very gentle with me and told me that she completely understood that even though anxiety was something that started psychologically she didn’t doubt for one moment that the physical symptoms of it could be really terrifying. She assured me I was definitely not the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last person to think there was something seriously wrong with me and told me that a lot of people will actually phone 999 for an ambulance when they experience a panic attack for the first time because the symptoms can mirror a heart attack so much. So I felt a little bit stupid that I hadn’t realised this was anxiety myself but she told me not too.

Then, just as I was finally leaving the doctors surgery I said to her “I did wonder if maybe my Mirtazapine dose being increased to the max dose of 45mg could be causing me side effects but I’ve been on the higher dose for a few weeks now and was fine for the first couple of weeks so it couldn’t just suddenly change could it?” And that was when she said we might just have found the cause of all of this. She said she could think of at least three people who had tolerated Mirtazapine absolutely fine at 15mg and 30mg and even found it helped their anxiety at those doses but when they increased to 45mg they started having problems. And the problems they started having were??? ANXIETY. And pretty severe anxiety at that. She said the delayed reaction of a couple of weeks was the same for those people as well and she was now becoming convinced that it was the Mirtazapine making me feel so bloody awful. She also said stomach problems were more common with the higher Mirtazapine dose. So the plan of action now is drop back to 30mg and see if the heart pounding and complete loss of appetite and nausea go away. I left the surgery feeling a little bit more reassured that I wasn’t about to drop dead from a heart attack and it did help having the ECG done and seeing with my own eyes that my heart was beating regularly albeit way too fast.

So last night I only took 30mg along with my Quetiapine but the pounding heart continued when I went to bed. I ended up self medicating with Diazepam hoping that it would allow me to get some much needed sleep and if this was all happening because of anxiety then hopefully it would calm my heart down a bit. I did manage to get some sleep but I suspect that was more due to the fact I was so sleep deprived I was running on empty. I used the Buccastem to try and reduce the nausea and managed to have a cup of milky tea but still couldn’t eat anything. We are now just passed 6pm and I’ve still not eaten. That’s been absolutely no food at all (just liquids) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today. Fifth day of no food. I do feel hungry but as soon as I look at food I just feel sick again. I’ve been feeling really light headed and faint today so have tried to boost my sugar levels a bit with some Lucozade. But I do feel absolutely rotten. I have no energy at all and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever gone five days with zero food passing my lips. It’s horrendous and makes you feel miserable. I think I’m going to try making some soup with no bits in it, so it’s just like a drink and see if I can get that down my throat. I do keep telling myself “this is just anxiety” but my head screams back at me “no it’s not!” and it is really horrible and confusing when you know deep down this is your mind doing all of this but you just can’t believe your mind can make you feel so physically shit.

Well I guess now that I’ve been writing for an hour and almost at the 2500 word mark it is time to log off, clearly I had a lot of rambling to do after not posting for a couple of weeks. I really hope this all fucks off very soon because I truly do not know how much longer I can go on feeling this way before it starts sending me crazy.

Argh! Anxiety truly does suck with the tricks it plays on your body but it’s so fucking clever because it does it so convincingly well. Pleaseeee go away and let me eat and sleep tonight, I don’t think I can handle even one more day feeling this rough :(

18:00 – The sexual assault: one year on

16 Aug

*Talk of sexual assault/abuse that might be triggering*

Today marks one year exactly since the sexual assault happened. It was probably around this same time of day that I’m writing this as well. A full year has gone by and still I’m left with all these gaps in memory as to what exactly happened that day/night. I thought over time memories would come back but they haven’t, I don’t really remember anything more now than what I did the day after it all happened, when I took myself off to A&E to have them test my urine for presence of drugs. So I learned one fact that day and that was that I had indeed been spiked and with PCP. The day after it happened I had a select few flashbacks of being with a stranger and flashes of seeing his body on top of mine, that feeling of power over me, the familiarity of that feeling of power, taking me back to the days of being sexually abused as a child.

But really I have learned nothing more than that. I think what happened was that there was a guy I liked and had met a couple of times in the weeks before the assault happened. I ended up liking him more than he liked me and whilst a little part of me hoped some kind of relationship might have blossomed instead he told me he didn’t think we should take things any further. So yes, I felt rejected by him and I guess I wanted to feel that feeling of someone wanting me again after it had been so short lived. So I think I was stupid and I think I arranged to meet a guy I’d got talking to online. I’ll never know for sure as my browser is set to delete all browsing history when I close the page so there was nothing there to go on. There also weren’t any strange numbers on my phone that I’d text or called that day so I have to assume our full conversation took place online. I also can’t make sense of the fact that I don’t remember meeting him at all – presumably I spent some amount of time with him before he got me to consume the PCP?? So why can’t I remember that bit? Why in fact can’t I clearly remember anything about that day… it only really becomes clear late at night when I was coming back to reality and very sick and unwell. PCP if you don’t already know makes you strongly dissociate and is basically just a horrible horrible drug.

So all I can go by are the facts and the only actual facts I have are the medical ones: PCP was found in my urine and there was a fair bit of blood in my urine with a lot of irritation inside my lady parts. Those facts back up the few flashbacks I experience. Sometimes I wish that I had taken the police up on their offer to try and investigate by looking into my computer and seeing if there were deleted conversations that they could locate, but the evidence was so little that they were honest enough to say that it was likely I’d put myself through months and months of stress and still get no solid outcome. And just like when I was 13/14 years old sitting in the police station after reporting my cousin for all the years he abused me I was given the choice to take things further or just try to draw a line under them and try to forget about it. The same way that as a teenager I couldn’t face putting my family through what could be months and months of building a case against my cousin, I couldn’t face putting myself through it all as an adult either.

So for almost a year I have attended rape crisis support appointments. I still can’t fill in the blanks of the 16th of August 2012 and mostly I’m relieved by that as it’s easier not to know. But it still left me waking up this morning feeling disgusting, wondering who ‘he’ was, wondering why I was sitting crying into my pillows when he probably hasn’t ever given me a second thought. Feeling so disgusting so I went into the shower and repeatedly washed myself… and cried… and cried some more. Sometimes I wonder if there are any other girls crying over what he has done to them… then all I feel is guilt… huge amounts of guilt that if any other girls have been hurt by him I could have done something more to have prevented it… I could have gone back to the police and given a detailed statement… but then I also know that I did tell them everything and that was very little… and it was them who told me that with so little to go on it would most likely not result in a prosecution… and I really didn’t believe that I would have the strength to go through something as stressful as a court case… and I still don’t think I could go through it now.

One thing I didn’t expect to happen was to find that any time I think of the assault I am catapulted back in time to a flashback of my cousin abusing me and I really thought I had dealt with all of that stuff some 17/18 years ago when I was 14 and seeing a CAMHS therapist about it all. But I guess it was just too hard to talk about when I was 14 plus I was scared that the therapist would tell my parents everything I told her so I spent about a year going to see her but told her very little. It wasn’t until the assault happened that I realised I had a tonne of memories that I still hadn’t dealt with as a 31 year old woman, memories I’ve kept suppressed for years that all suddenly sprung out like a jack in a box. There are so many memories and experiences that confuse me and stir up all sorts of emotions in my head. So if anything good has come out of this whole situation it’s that I’m finally getting the help I need to deal with some of those memories at last… even if I do still believe 99.9% of the time that I am the one to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened in my life.

Besides talking about this shitty anniversary I also wanted to write a little bit about my experience with taking the Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets that new psychiatrist had decided to start me on for anxiety for long term use as he tries to get me to start reducing my diazepam dose. As you know from the posts I wrote about it I wasn’t very keen on the idea of trying it. This was mainly because I had tried a similar drug to it (Gabapentin) a few years ago and had a horrible time with it. Also I read about a lot of people having a really hard time getting back off of it, some people finding it even worse than a benzodiazapine withdrawal. I also didn’t fancy risking the weight gain side effect when it is already one of the most common side effects for the Mirtazapine and Quetiapine both of which I’m now on the max dose of. So I got the prescription from lovely GP last Wednesday then sat and stared at them each time I took my other meds for a few days. It wasn’t until Sunday that I finally found the courage to try them.

A few hours after taking my first little capsule I got that same feeling the Gabapentin gave me – I can only describe it like your body being on some sort of amphetamine stimulant whilst your head can only think about wanting to either cut or kill yourself. Completely flat mood with very depressing suicidal type thoughts slowly seeping through your brain. Yet at the same time there is this rush going through your body which makes you feel all jumpy and then the heart palpitations started which of course make me start to think I’m about to have a panic attack. Which I did indeed end up having… a huge massive one which was just awful. But I persevered and took the three a day I’d been prescribed all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday mornings before deciding I could not handle them any more. And that was me only at 75mg a day when the starting dose is normally 75mg twice a day. There seems to be something in these types of drugs that I’m overly sensitive too because for those 5 days of taking them I was a complete mess, so uncomfortable in my own skin that I’ve scratched so much I’ve made my skin bleed… not been able to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time… constantly feeling on edge and ‘stimulated’ but in a very unpleasant way… like my body and my mind were feeling two completely different things at once… blah… I haven’t taken any for around 30 hours now and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel the last of it leaving my system.

I had another appointment this afternoon with lovely GP and felt like I was having a panic attack in the waiting room. I was still really anxious when she called me through and I rambled all of the above to her, how the Pregabalin made me feel, how I tried them for 5 days but just couldn’t cope with the side effects any longer… I rambled about not knowing which was worse the horrible rushy anxiety provoking body feelings or the sudden onset of suicidal/self harm type thoughts. She agreed that I’d made the right decision stopping them and asked how the thoughts of hurting myself were now. I told her I am still having some urges to self harm but when I saw her face starting to look a bit worried I added in that I would do my best not to act on them which made her look a little less worried. She gave me another appointment for two weeks time as she wants to review things again then and check that all of the side effects I had from the Pregabalin have completely gone by then. She said just as some people would have difficulty in tolerating even small doses of Quetiapine and Mirtazapine that I take at maximum dose, it seems I just can’t tolerate the side effects that come from the Pregabalin/Gabapentin family of drugs even at small doses.

So I’m now hoping that I can try and keep myself distracted from the thoughts of the assault that keep flashing into my head and have a peaceful Friday night and hopefully catch up on some sleep this weekend as well. But I feel pretty meh and the self harmy thoughts are still swirling round my brain. I haven’t cut since April? I think and I don’t want to do it to mark this shitty anniversary yet at the same time I feel more disgusting than ever and like I probably deserve a few more ugly scars.

Anyway on that cheery note I shall wish you all a good weekend… and as I have two sets of puppy-dog eyes staring at me I think that’s my hint that the doggies would like to go for a walk now. Hopefully that walk will be distraction enough to get through the next hour or two without self harming and I think it’s going to be one of those nights where all I can do is take things hour by hour and just wait and see how they turn out, whilst doing my best to try and gently steer things in the right direction.

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