Tag Archives: quetiapine

00:10 – ECT… has it really come to that?

31 Oct

Today I had my third appointment with new psychiatrist. I have to be honest and say I was utterly dreading it because the last two appointments with him have been extremely frustrating and of no help whatsoever. But lovely support worker came with me and when she first picked me up I was very very anxious, did not want to go, but after sitting talking to me and calming me down for about 20 minutes I finally got out of the car and went into the main hospital building.

I had gone over with her what I wanted to say to new psychiatrist today and just hoped that I’d both remember it all and get the opportunity to say it all. I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this here, but basically I had decided that if this appointment went as shite as the last two with him then I was going to ask my GP to refer me to see a different psychiatrist. I may live in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of mental health support but I do believe there is one other psychiatrist that does cover this area.

So, bang on 2.30pm his door opens and he calls me through. I hesitantly walk through with lovely support worker behind me. We sit down and he asks how I have been since I last saw him. I took a breath and told him that my mood has remained flat the vast majority of the time, that there have been a couple and I do literally mean a couple of OK/good moments but really for… well… so long now I’ve lost count my mood is flat, I rarely find enjoyment in anything, my self harming continues, I have fleeting suicidal thoughts, my sleep is crap, even the very basics like having a shower and getting dressed and taking the dogs a walk sometimes just proves to be too much for me.

Yes, I know I went out for the first time in at least six months on Saturday night and ended up having quite a good time but I think that was mostly due to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I did not mention anything about the recent brief substance misuse because I don’t want that splashed onto my case notes again… and anyways… it’s over and done with now with no plans of any repeat episodes. I told him about the two visits to A&E for self harm wounds and stitches, I told him I am trying my hardest to plod on with my part time home based uni course but that I’m failing to concentrate and struggling with it massively. I told him that sometimes I hear a little niggling voice encouraging me to hurt myself but that I can tolerate it as it’s nowhere near as bad as when I was hearing several voices and hearing them constantly. In that respect I think the 750mg a day of Quetiapine (Seroquel) is still working.

He asked how I’d found the increased dose of 45mg a day Mirtazapine and again I told him that it was fine for the first couple of weeks but then I started having such severe physical symptoms of anxiety (when I truly thought my heart was about to pack in and ended up getting the ecg done) and how lovely GP had wondered if it was actually the Mirtazapine causing it as anti-depressants do take a while to build up in your system. So I told him my GP told me to go back down to 30mg a day and see if the anxiety improved and yes, the heart palpitations did stop and have continued to be minimal. But the ‘psychological’ anxiety, the constant worrying and fears are still very much present. Some days I’m so scared to even walk out my front door to cross the road and walk the dogs for ten minutes then other days I dope myself up on whatever anxiety med I can and force myself to face a potentially scary situation.

He then asked how I had found the Pregabalin (Lyrica) that he had prescribed last time I saw him as the plan was for me to use it on a long term basis for my anxiety and finally start to taper off the Diazepam seeing as I’ve been taking it daily for three years now. But I had to tell him that had been a disaster as well… that I didn’t realise it had the same/similar ingredient as Gabapentin which it appears I’m allergic to. So the two medication changes he made at our last appointment a few months ago were both unsuccessful.

This of course brought us onto the discussion of reducing my Diazepam and I firmly told new psychiatrist that yes I am willing to reduce but I am most definitely not doing it at the moment. I feel horrendous enough as it is without trying to taper off from that. To my surprise he did actually say that he agreed now was not the right time, especially not as we are fast approaching my two worst times of year – Christmas and then my little boy’s anniversary in February.

He asked what support I was getting from the mental health team and I quite honestly told him how utterly useless I find cpn#2. He asked why and I explained about her super structured way of working, her setting of agenda’s, her constant ‘positive goals’ and her reluctance to talk about anything that is making my moods low. However I did tell him that I am now top of the waiting list for psychology and have been given a provisional date of mid to late November for my first appointment. It’s the same psychologist I used to work with so in a way I am looking forward to going back to see her even if I don’t feel particularly convinced that this Compassion Focused Therapy bollocks is going to work for me.

So all in all it was actually quite a good session. I managed to get across to him that the two medication changes he proposed last time I saw him had failed, that I was not ready to taper off from the Diazepam yet, that my moods are low and flat, that I’m self harming again and having occasional suicidal thoughts, that I am generally struggling with life a lot, that I’m struggling trying to continue with my studies, that the only person who lets me vent is lovely support worker, that I find my sessions with cpn#2 useless, and some days I seriously do wish I just hadn’t woken up that morning.

His first response to all of this was to ask me if I thought I would benefit from going in as an inpatient in the bin for a while? I said no, that place makes me feel worse, trapped, none of the staff give a damn, the other patients are too stressful to be around, there are too many rules… just no.

His second response was the one that surprised and to be honest shocked me (no pun intended). He said that as he looked back over all my medication history for the past four years we have pretty much exhausted every med now. There really isn’t anything different we can try. We could maybe try new combinations of something but I have pretty much tried every anti-depressant, mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic and benzodiazapine there is. He asked if it’s my depression or my anxiety that is worse and I said both of them. The anxiety can be managed to a degree with medication, the depression is just constant, constantly ongoing flat crappy moods that for months and months and months if not closer to a year have just stayed shit. Every day is an effort, every week is an effort, some mornings I open my eyes and my first thought is “I think I might kill myself today” or “I wish I was dead”. But I don’t act on them because I don’t want to put my parents through all that heartache and frustration again. I carry on painting on these fake smiles and trying so hard to make everyone think I am coping. Although I did let slip to my Mum the other day that I had recently self harmed and had to go to A&E. The thing is I’m still self harming – first through cutting… then misusing substances… then drinking… now back to cutting again. I try to put on this persona of being someone in recovery but I’m so far from recovery it’s scary. All these people telling me how well I’m doing because they don’t fucking let me talk about how bad I feel, they insist on only talking about positives and therefore have a completely skewed picture of how my life really is.

So new psychiatrist says here is the plan of action: he will not make any medication changes at the moment (mainly because there isn’t really anything else we can try), he would give me a couple of months to start seeing the psychologist again and see if psychological input helped my mood in any way, he encouraged me to be honest with cpn#2 about what *I* need from our sessions (told him I’d already done that and got nowhere)… he asked lovely support worker if she would carry on seeing me and she said yes she would see me weekly for as long as I needed it, he encouraged me to try and open up to my family so they know I’m actually not coping that great right now and all these fake smiles are simply that: fake.

And then he hits me with it… “there is one other thing we can try but I’d like to wait at least six months before trying it as I only like to use it as a last resort… have you heard of ECT before?”

I sat there kinda shocked but nodded my head. A very lovely fellow blogger tried ECT some time ago and I read all her experiences with it with interest even though it didn’t seem to work for her. It is something that scares me a bit… I mean nobody really likes the idea of being knocked out, put into a seizure and having your brain zapped do they? It’s pretty hardcore stuff. Then add in the quite possible and quite likely short term memory loss. It’s not the most appealing of treatment options. But whilst he did reiterate that it would be a last resort I suppose it sort of shocked me that it was even suggested. He said it doesn’t work for everyone but a point has to come where we try and break this depressive and unproductive cycle once and for all… and maybe, just maybe ECT would be the thing that finally works for me. But like I say, he wants me to try a few months of psychology first and then review things again. He wanted to see me back in a couple of months but he is away for most of January so my next appointment is February 6th… five days before my little man’s anniversary so I’m bound to be in a super depressed state of mind next time I see him. Again, lovely support worker said she would come with me.

I can see that my life is not good at the moment, far from it if I’m brutally honest. Yes on the one hand I haven’t given up on the studying (yet) and yes I managed to travel to a new faraway place recently (doped up on diazepam) and yes I even managed to go for a night out on Saturday (full of alcohol). But then we look at the flip side: I’m self harming a lot although managing to keep it reasonably superficial at the moment purely to avoid having to go to A&E, I’m having lots of thoughts about ending my life, my anxiety levels are ridiculously high and out of control most of the time, other than that one night out on Saturday I have next to no social life whatsoever, no friends that I see on any kind of regular basis, a constant niggling voice giggling away in my head at how pathetic I am and fuck just a couple of weeks ago things became so desperate I put that shite back into my body for some sort of an escape. I feel unsupported apart from by lovely support worker, I feel alone, I feel miserable, I question the point of everything, I don’t cook meals or eat properly I just binge on junk food, I’m lucky if I shower a couple of times a week. Things are not good. And I can’t go on pretending that I’m OK any longer because I’m not. I didn’t want to admit it but there you go, I’ve said it. I just don’t want to worry my family so I keep it bottled up… but it’s getting really bad again.

I cancelled my appointment with cpn#2 for tomorrow because I just cannot face her “positive goal setting” bullshit… I left a message for her saying I had too much studying to do and couldn’t go and asked her to give me a call back to rearrange another appointment but to be completely honest I will probably cancel that one as well. What’s the point when I get no benefit from them? And now I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I start seeing the psychologist again maybe it’s time to just stop seeing cpn#2 because I feel like I’m getting nowhere with her and I just cannot work to her super structured approach.

Has it really come to a point where I need to give serious consideration to trying ECT? Could that be the one thing that just blasts my brain back to a state of normality so I can get on with my life in a happy and meaningful way where I actually want to be alive and enjoy my life? Could it break away from all these desperate little attempts of escapism? I don’t know… And I’m not going to give it much thought for the moment because it wouldn’t be happening for at least six months anyway. And who knows where I’ll be in six months time… Who knows if I’ll even still be here? The way I feel at the moment that is somewhat doubtful.

But if I’m totally honest with people, if I lay my cards on the table and admit to how bad I feel then I enter back into the conversations like those of today: talks of admission into the bin… talks of ECT… Do I want those conversations, or worse, for them to actually happen? No.

I just want to feel normal whatever that is. I just want to feel happy. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead. I want things to be easy and free and effortless.

And yet I also want to go to wherever my little boy is… wherever it is we go when our body has died and our soul has moved on… and well…. I guess I can’t really believe that I’ve ended up back in this place again. I’m scared… the feelings of things about to fall apart and hit crisis level feel imminent and I’m genuinely truly terrified of that happening to me again.

17:10 – Pregabalin (Lyrica) for anxiety… anyone?

1 Aug

Sorry I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, to be honest my head has been all over the place and I’ve been spending almost all my time self isolating recently. I still haven’t seen CPN#2 but I finally found some courage and phoned to request another appointment. I was only on the phone to her for about three minutes and all she talked about was how it would be beneficial if I could at least read the first chapter of the Compassionate Mind/Compassion Focused Therapy workbook thingy before I see her again. She said this is to prepare me for doing structured work with the psychologist but I have to admit I just sat here rolling my eyes thinking “what a load of bull” as she spoke. Anyway I said I would try and read some of it and the first appointment she could offer me won’t be until the 9th of August, so next Friday.

She didn’t ask why I haven’t been in touch with her for the best part of ten weeks; I did try to apologise but she just said “that’s your decision whether or not you want help” which kinda left me feeling like she thinks I’m not arsed about getting help from them. Of course there are some days when I’m not arsed, equally there are other days where I know that whether I like it or not I have to try this therapy stuff and just see what happens with it. The one thing that did confuse me though was the way she said I was working with her to prepare me for working with the psychologist – does this mean that when the psychologist finally starts working with me again that I’ll no longer have a CPN? I don’t know. It kinda sounded that way though. To be honest I obviously don’t feel much benefit from seeing her or I wouldn’t have let the past couple of months pass without getting in contact with her. So maybe that question answers itself.

Moving along to today and it was my second appointment with the new psychiatrist. I haven’t been sleeping great lately and looked like shit (felt like shit too with the combination of extreme tiredness and a bucket load of anxiety). My support worker came along to it with me which was a massive help because I felt more confident in talking about the points I raised with him in the letter I sent after meeting him for the first time. I told him about my concerns over stopping taking the daily Diazepam and how I understood that I cannot stay on it long term but at the moment it is doing something to help me and if he takes that away then there is nothing in it’s place to help me cope with the agoraphobic related anxiety and to a degree, social anxiety. I told him I’d also spoken to my GP about this whole coming off of the Diazepam stuff and how she agreed with me that it made much more sense for me to start the Compassionate Mind stuff and at least start learning the basics before withdrawing what is essentially my safety blanket. He didn’t say anything, in fact he barely looked at me. He scribbled some notes down and made the same comment as last time “you are only scared to withdraw from it because you are addicted” – well if I am addicted it’s the fucking fault of my old psychiatrist for leaving me on them for almost three years!!!

He asked about my social life (what social life??) and I told him I had been self isolating a lot lately and I told him I missed a few days of medication (twice) in the past couple of weeks and how disappointed it made me to realise that the voices were still there underneath the elastoplast band aid also known as Quetiapine.

I didn’t like my old psychiatrist much, I admit that, but at least he gave appointments that lasted around an hour not fifteen minutes. He would ask me about the voices, what they were saying, how they made me feel, how they affected me, what I thought they wanted, etc. But this new guy? He didn’t ask a single question.  He skimmed over my medications again then said he would agree to leave my Diazepam dose at the current level of 16mg a day for three more months before I have to start withdrawing and leave my Quetiapine at 750mg a day but he then said that he thought I was experiencing low moods and wanted to increase something to help me (Quetiapine is already maxed out) so he asked me if I’d like to move up from 30mg Mirtazapine a day to 45mg a day. I said I’d give it a go.

Then he said something which surprised me a little – he asked if I wanted something for the anxiety that I could take on a longer basis than any benzodiazapine? I asked him what he had in mind and the medication he recommended was Pregabalin. I told him I’d never heard of it before and he simply said just to try it and if I didn’t like it then I didn’t need to take it. This was another thing that annoyed me – the old psychiatrist would have taken five or ten minutes to explain what type of drug it was, what possible side effects there could be and answer any questions I had about it. This new psychiatrist, however, offered no information at all and simply told me to go to my GP next week and get a prescription for it, as well as for the extra dose of mirtazapine.

Of course as soon as I got home the first thing I did was consult Dr. Google about what the fuck Pregabalin actually is. It seems that it’s primarily a medicine for epilepsy, an anti-convulsant, which is also used for neuropathic pain (conditions like Fibromyalgia) but the more I read the more articles I came across for it also being an effective treatment for anxiety. I’m not sure what dose he is starting me on, I’m pretty sure he said 75mg but from all the reading I’ve done this afternoon it seems like most people need at least one if not two or three increases as a lot of people say it seems to lose effect after a while.

I’m apprehensive about trying it but if they are determined to wean me off the Diazepam starting October/November time then at least it gives a good period of time for the Pregabalin to build up in my system. I think the withdrawal off the Diazepam is going to take several months and I can’t lie, of course I would much rather stay on it, but I know I can’t, so if the Pregabalin works then that would be super.

I’m still experiencing bursts of laughter, uncontrollable giggles, and silly childish remarks off and on from little Berry but the voice of Sasha has well and truly gone. However I am still struggling a lot with urges to self harm. I’m on top of it at the moment but things do feel a lot like they are sliding backwards a lot of the time. Oh, that reminds me, I actually asked the new psychiatrist if he thought the voice hearing had come back almost like a rebound psychosis because I suddenly stopped taking my medications for a few days and he didn’t even answer me! I actually found him to be a little bit rude because I was talking about something personal and instead of listening to me he started writing me out another appointment card. At the moment I rate his communication skills as poor, his ability to display empathy or understanding as non-existent, and his 15 minute appointment sessions are just a joke. I know GP’s are limited to about 10 minute appointments but the ones with the psychiatrist are supposed to be anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Grrr.

I thought that by writing him a letter and explaining everything it would be beneficial to both him and me but now it sort of feels like a waste of time. Even though he wrote a short letter back thanking me and saying he understands my mental health better now. I don’t even think he remembered the letter until I mentioned it and even then I saw him flicking through my notes and speedily reading through it. Unfortunately I live in such a rural area that he is the ONLY psychiatrist I can see. I am very thankful that we have the NHS in the UK and receive free healthcare treatment but sometimes it’s extremely frustrating when you have to work with people who you feel no benefit from seeing but you carry on going to the appointments anyway because you know that if you don’t then you just won’t have a CPN/Psychiatrist/CMHT.

I think I have rambled on enough now but it would be great to hear from anyone who has tried Pregabalin for anxiety purposes (I believe it’s called Lyrica for my friends across the pond) and what you’re experiences of it have been – good or bad!

For now, I suppose I had better try and face the outside world and go buy some dinner for me and the doggies. Hope you’re all well xx

15:14 – Silenced by Quetiapine

18 Jul

Just after writing my last post my phone started to ring. It was a friend.

Somewhere in the conversation I decided to tell friend about the voices coming back and about the lack of medication taken recently. I failed to mention the experimentations of the magical potions that have played a part in the recent weeks. I haven’t taken any magical potions since Saturday and have absolutely no intentions of taking any more, not after all the sickness that went alongside the magic.

Anyway…. friend was concerned about the skipping medications stuff and made me promise to take my medications immediately. I took them there and then whilst on the phone. After that, friend asked why I hadn’t been taking my medications?

I explained part of me doesn’t feel like I need them and part of me just genuinely forgets. I told friend I was sad that by missing a few days medication the voices had returned and I had thought that after all this time the medications might have killed them all permanently. But they are still there. Just stop the medications for a few days and out of nowhere they are back.

I told friend that I felt very much like self harming because I think that is what it will take to make Sasha shut up, as all she seems to want is to see me punished in some way or another. She has a certain commanding tone about her.

Friend told me if I didn’t take my medications I would end up very ill and mentioned the big scary H word (hospital).

I argued I would never go back to that place.

Friend told me in a firm and rational manner exactly what would happen: I would end up self harming badly and end up in A&E. The nurses would ask why I did it. I would tell them I did it because either Sasha told me/encouraged me to or mention something about Berry giggling all the time. The nurses would think I need to speak to a mental type person about this and then find out I’ve not been in touch with CPN#2 in like 8 weeks. This could lead to them making the decision that I either must: stay with someone and have them keep an eye on me and make sure I take my meds – or – a stay in the bin for as long as is deemed necessary.

So since that conversation on Tuesday I’ve taken Tuesdays, Wednesdays and this morning (Thursday) medications correctly.

There have been no magical potions added in. No magical potions touched since Saturday.

My head has started to quieten down. Berry has now stopped giggling so much. I don’t know if that’s good or bad as there was something about little Berry I kinda liked. I don’t know if the medications will make her disappear or if she’ll be stronger than them and stick around.

The only bit of noise in my head is Sasha. She is still here and continues to offer me ‘warnings’ that I should listen to and take seriously. She frightens me a little bit as she has an element of control about her and I don’t take too well to things being taken out of my control. I thought at first that Sasha was Berry’s mother but now I’m not so sure. Neither of them are constant, they don’t get into conversations with me, they don’t answer my questions, I can’t see them I can only hear them… they just appear when they fucking want to tell me something/several things then disappear again.

What saddens me is the realisation that even the maximum dosage of Quetiapine is just a band aid/elastoplast. As soon as that band aid is taken away my head goes straight back to that place of hearing all sorts of weird and wonderful things. And some pretty awful things. The voices haven’t really gone away they are just silenced by the Quetiapine. Even after all this time, deep down they are still there. Even when I’m not hearing them it’s purely because the Quetiapine is silencing them.

And that makes me pretty sad.

I can cope with little snippets from Sasha and the occasional giggle from Berry but no way could I cope with full time, full on, constant head noise again. But underneath it all… it’s all still there.

17:08 – So the appointment was a complete disaster

5 Jun

I know I only wrote three hours ago but I’ve been back home from the appointment for quite a while and I’m an anxious mess all over again and can’t seem to calm things down. So the hope is that I write it all down and maybe I calm down…

Everything was a disaster. I was almost 15 minutes late in getting there because when I tried to leave my flat I started feeling all dizzy walking down the stairs so I turned round and ran back inside. I then stood inside my front door trying to breathe properly and calm myself down a bit. My appointment was for 2.30pm and it was 2.35 by the time I finally left. Needless to say when I finally got there at 2.45 I was panicking again because I was so late.

I stood outside the room I knew he was in and tried to discreetly listen through the door to see if I could hear any voices. I was hoping he was running late so that he wouldn’t realise how late I was but no such luck. I couldn’t hear any voices at the door so took a deep breath and knocked on it. He opened the door and I apologised for being late muttered something about anxiety and took a seat. He looked at his watch a couple of times obviously trying to work out how long he could see me for which clearly wasn’t very long as I think I was in there for all of 15-20 minutes. So yes, I took a seat and he introduced himself to me telling me his name and that he would be my new psychiatrist. I asked him if he was temporary or permanent and he replied “hopefully permanent!” with a smile. The smile made me a little tiny bit calmer and I thought he seemed OK.

He asked how I was doing and how my moods were at the moment. I told him things were OK and I felt things were quite well at the moment. Something about his watch checking made me think he had only allocated me a 30 minute appointment space and that he had someone else to see at 3pm so I didn’t see the point in getting into a ramble about all the crazy shit in my head. Telling him things were OK was the easier option to take.

And then it all started to go wrong.

He said he just wanted to check he had the correct details for the medications I’m taking and the doses of each. He read out the little list “Quetiapine 750mg?” I nodded. “Mirtazapine 30mg?” I nod again. “Diazepam 16mg?” I nod again. He made an unimpressed ‘hmm’ sound then asked me how long I’d been on daily Diazepam for and I tell him at least two years. He immediately replies telling me that Diazepam is a “very very bad drug” and that I must come off of it. Cue another massive wave of anxiety. I feel myself start to shake a little and my stomach starting to go into knots. I tell him that things have only just started to settle down over the past few weeks and that I really didn’t want to take the risk of everything getting seriously bad again by playing around with my medications. He responded to this by telling me I’d only need to reduce by 2mg a fortnight and that I wouldn’t even notice because I’m on 750mg of Quetiapine. I butt in and say that the Quetiapine is to try and shut the voices up and the Diazepam is to help with the agoraphobic symptoms – it isn’t even to do with the Bipolar really. By this point I am becoming noticeably anxious and can’t sit still in my chair. He goes on to tell me that Diazepam is an addictive drug and that after being on it so long I will now be dependent on it and it’s because I’m dependent on it that I’m reacting that way at the thought of it being taken away.

So I sit and stare at the floor while he runs through other questions about mood states and asks how my physical health is, if I’m attending my appointments with CPN#2, if I’m getting out of the house and seeing people all of which I continue to stare at the floor and without looking at him making small nods or shakes of the head to answer his questions. He finished off by asking me if I had any questions for him and I looked up briefly to shake my head then started getting up to leave. He said that I looked like I was unhappy and asked if it was because of the Diazepam. I knew then I had two choices – I could continue staring at the floor and achieve nothing or I could tell him what I felt about it. I decided to speak.

“I understand that I can’t stay on Diazepam forever and I understand that at some point it’s going to have to be reduced and stopped, but I found it really hard dropping down from 20mg a day to 18 and then to 16mg. Right now things are bearable, although I’m not really seeing anyone I am managing to get out of the house. I’m scared that messing with my medications is going to knock me off balance again when they have only just settled a bit. I can’t help but feel like if something isn’t broken then why fix it? Can’t we just leave things how they are for the moment please?” I rambled…

He then went on to say that I am only scared to stop it because I’m dependent on it even if I don’t think I am, after all if I wasn’t “addicted to it” then I wouldn’t be scared about not taking it. I wanted to say that wasn’t true, maybe I am dependent on it to some degree but it helps defuse some of my anxiety which in turn enables me to get out and do more things rather than lock myself away 24/7 in turn benefiting my moods. It can also help sometimes with stopping a self harm episode or at least reducing the severity of it. Also it can be helpful with sleeping from time to time. The next thought that came into my mind was that for all the things I use Diazepam for I don’t have any alternative coping mechanisms learned, surely I need to learn other ways of controlling my anxiety and self harming rather than just whipping the safety net away and leaving me to crack on with things. I so wanted to tell him all of this in a calm manner but I was back to shaking on the chair and staring at the floor with no words coming out my mouth. He said he would be willing do compromise with me and make it be reduced by 2mg every four weeks instead of every two weeks to start off with and asked me what I thought about that. Before I could answer he carried on saying that 750mg of Quetiapine was also quite a high dose in his opinion and over time he’d be looking to reduce it down as well to see how I would manage with a lower dose… With hearing that I cleared the frog from my throat and my voice suddenly appeared back in my mouth.

“Look, I want to be honest with you” I said to him (knowing another ramble was about to spill out). “I really didn’t want to come to this appointment, I have spent the full morning having horrible anxiety about it and I sat thinking to myself earlier about what the worst thing that could possibly happen by coming here today would be. The thing that scared me the most was the idea that I’d come to this appointment and the new doctor I’d only just met deciding that they were going to change things about. I find it really hard to deal with things when I feel like someone is taking control away from me and I can’t do anything about it. And that exact scenario that was up there with ‘the worst things that could happen at my appointment’ has now just happened. You don’t know anything about me other than some bits you’ve read about me that another doctor wrote and you are telling me you are going to change my medications around when things are only just starting to calm down? Please can you just leave things how they are?!”

He looks at his watch again and agrees to leave things alone for now then said I had to reduce by 2mg but then says when I see him again on the 1st of August that I will be reducing the Diazepam by 2mg and I “have to understand that it is going to happen that way” whether I like it or not because the Diazepam “is a very very bad drug” for me to take. So I’m not actually too sure if I’m supposed to be reducing from now or from the 1st of August.

I decide then that there is no point in saying anything else, and that whether I like it or not he is going to take my safety blanket away from me regardless of how I feel about it.

It was a horrible 20 minutes and now I just wish I had listened to the anxiety earlier on and not bothered attending it but it doesn’t matter now anyway does it? He isn’t going to change his mind and I have to get used to the idea that he is the one in control of my medications, not me. So in case you couldn’t guess the appointment was horrible, I have taken an instant dislike to new psychiatrist as I’m sure he himself guessed when I stood up and left at the end without even saying bye. I’m not so much angry as scared that I might be more dependent on the Diazepam than I think and that I might have to face some horrible withdrawal symptoms – the main worry I have is going through rebound anxiety. I have a slight amount of anger that someone who has only met me for a matter of minutes and who knows nothing about me really can come along and just decide what I can and what I can’t take without taking into account how those changes in medication might destabilise my mood.

Well I guess I’ve rambled on long enough but I had to get all of that out while it was still fresh in my head to try and make sense of it all. Despite the appointment only lasting 20 minutes there was a lot to take in in that time. Maybe now it’s all out the anxiety will step down a notch or two. Well I can but hope.

17:37 – I don’t really deserve a compassionate mind

24 May

I thought I better write a little post as a few people have sent me emails and dm’s on twitter to check I was still alive. I am, although there have been a few occasions over the past couple of weeks where I have wished that wasn’t the case.

Since I last posted I have got my new washing machine, seen very little of best friend as she’s all loved up with a new man in her life, gone to my appointment with the dietician, gone to one appointment with CPN#2 (but then didn’t turn up to my appointments with CPN#2 or support worker this week).

Where to start? Hmm… Well I have taken a lot of advice on board that the dietician gave me. She told me she had gone and done some reading about my medications and their side effects and I was pleased that she said she wouldn’t be expecting me to lose weight as fast as other people as the combination of 750mg Quetiapine (Seroquel) each day, the Mirtazapine and the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) would all slow my weight loss down. She weighed me and said I am about 3 and a half stone overweight (around 50lbs for my friends across the pond) but she is only expecting me to lose at around 1lb a week, normally she’d aim for 2-3lbs a week. So it’s going to be slow and steady. I have another appointment with her on June 14th and hoping to have lost a few lbs by then.

I have completely changed my eating habits over the past week and have been eating only fresh fruit, vegetables, salads and wholegrain breads and cereals. I haven’t had one single chocolate bar or packet of crisps since I saw her which has been hard going at times especially on the days I’ve been feeling crappy because I don’t feel like I deserve to make myself nice foods, I deserve to eat junk and be fat and disgusting and it’s very very hard to fight back against that. I think that is another reason why I didn’t go to my appointments this week, because when I did see CPN#2 last she had spoken to the psychologist (that I’m on the waiting list to go back and see) and psychologist wants to try the Paul Gilbert ‘Compassionate Mind’ program with me again, now that my life isn’t so chaotic that I’m a psych hospital revolving door patient.

The idea of being compassionate towards myself is so fucking alien. It is natural for me to think negatively towards myself and I really don’t know if I’ll be able to do this compassionate mind stuff. Deep down I know that no matter what treatment we try or what help I get I’m still going to be the same ugly horrible person who deserves nothing good. And in a way I sometimes think I don’t even want any help just in case I do get caught letting my guard down and for a tiny moment think that maybe I am worth something. Nobody seems to understand that it is instinctive to punish myself and make myself suffer, thinking of being nice to myself makes me feel anxious and horribly uncomfortable.

My mood states seem to be changing between seriously depressed and feeling ‘ok’ every few days if not every few hours. Sometimes I just find myself sitting here and for no obvious reason bursting into tears. I’ve been really quite emotional for a good couple of months now, never in front of people, but the smallest thing on the television or even reading a friend’s Facebook status will set me off. Then I get frustrated with myself because I don’t even know what I’m crying about and angry at myself for thinking it is OK to cry. It’s not OK, I don’t deserve to express my feelings that way, I deserve to express my sad feelings by dragging a blade through my flesh. To be honest it is actually easier to cut than to cry, cutting just doesn’t seem to have as many emotions attached to it yet it seems to clear my mind for a while, whereas crying just leaves me even more of a mess than when I started.

Anyway… moving on…

I got some good news this morning. I got my essay results back for my university module that I have been struggling so massively with. They weren’t due until the first week of June so it came as a bit of a surprise. I passed with 65% which is a good grade B, although because I didn’t take part in the other assessed part of the module it pulled my overall pass mark down to 52% which is a C. I’m just relieved it is over and that I am now on my Summer break. When we start back at the end of August I have opted to try and do two modules per semester so I still get my six first year modules completed within two years. I don’t know if I’ll manage to cope with that workload but I guess I can only try it and see how I get on. I think it helps if the modules are about something you find interesting and enjoy learning about, the first module I did I really enjoyed so it made it a lot easier to understand but this module I’ve just finished I wasn’t remotely interested in, so it all felt like it just went over my head most of the time.

I was going to start talking about something else that’s been going on lately but I’m already rambling and it probably needs a blog post all of it’s own, the short version is that I have been thinking a lot about finding a faith again. I know it wasn’t that long ago that I was talking about going to church and finding God but I keep on coming back to the same point again. I decided to speak to a devoted Christian a few days ago and the first thing she asked me was why I wanted God in my life. My answer was simple, I want to believe my baby son is in Heaven which means that to believe in a Heaven I have to believe in a God. She answered just as simply back -

“your baby boy will be in Heaven, there is no doubt about it because he was pure and innocent and never sinned – if you want to have any chance that you will be reunited with him then you have to live your life as God would want you to and only then will He decide where you will go when you die – but make no mistakes, if you don’t live your life for God then you have no chance of getting into Heaven”.

So that feels like a massive pressure on me now. There are so many things I do which would be classed as sinning. I definitely don’t live my life in the way that God would be pleased with. If he is real and his son Jesus died on the cross for us then what must he think when I cut up the body He created or even try to kill that body? What must He think when I’ve been in times where I can’t cope and have turned to drink or drugs to block it out? What must He think when I’ve been a bit manic and spending money recklessly or having sex with some random person? There are sooo many things I do wrongly, in God’s eyes and I have found myself on more than one occasion asking for His forgiveness. But again I come back to ‘what I deserve’, and I deserve to hurt and be punished. I deserve to suffer. I don’t think I even deserve God but the idea that I may never be reunited with my beautiful little boy is too painful to bear, it really is (oh here we go, tears running down my face again).

Anyway… I guess I have rambled on long enough and also I’m finding it hard to stick to a point I just seem to be blabbering on all over the place. My head’s a bit pickled, it’s up then down, up and down. I don’t know what I’m going to feel from one moment to the next. The fact that I’m self isolating again is a sign things aren’t great, the constant thoughts of self harming probably also show things aren’t great. But I am keeping it very superficial purely because I cannot face A&E right now. I barely leave the house apart from to walk the dogs and I try to see people the smallest amount possible. I’m making excuses up all the time as to why I can’t do this or go there and it’s funny because the less texts I reply to and the more times I ignore calls, the less and less those texts and calls come through. It’s as if people can see I just cannot be bothered so they are just leaving me alone. Which is good and it is what I want, yet it does make me feel even more isolated and lonely. And that feeds the ‘I don’t deserve it anyway’ thoughts more and more.

So it looks like it’s going to be a quiet bank holiday weekend for me. At least we have some sunshine at the moment and I can go and hide sitting on the beach while the dogs play around and have no one bothering me… Speaking of the doggys it is time for them to get their dinner and go another little walk soon so I’ll stop rambling now and and wish you all a nice weekend instead…

00:31 – A little dose of the head crazies going on

21 Mar

Today I’ve had that same sense of ‘blah’ about me that I had yesterday. I have spent the day in my pyjamas and only changed into clothes to walk the dogs and to go and pick up my weekly prescription. I looked a right mess when I went into the chemist, hair not brushed and all hanging in a greasy mess. No make up. Wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday. Don’t even think I had brushed my teeth at that point. But I really didn’t care.

I finally dragged myself in for a shower this evening and ended up getting my dressings soaked so had to change them. One of the wounds started bleeding again but it stopped after a while and still seems to have stopped so I think it’ll be OK.

What is really annoying me is that I have a massive sense of regret about self harming yesterday and my leg is actually quite sore as well; and yet for some reason I keep thinking about doing it again. I actually threw out the rest of the blades in the box yesterday after I cut so there were none in the house but yeah, the urge to go and buy more tomorrow is there. I don’t think I will though, the feelings of regret outweigh the desires to do it again.

I had hoped that I would maybe get to meet up with my social worker either tomorrow or Friday but I still haven’t heard back from her so I have a feeling that isn’t going to happen which is a little bit annoying because I have a query about my benefits and I find it really difficult to phone and talk to these people so had hoped she could have called them for me. Maybe I’ll hear from her tomorrow and get to see her on Friday… be optimistic!

The only thing I have to do tomorrow is take one of my little dogs to the vets for his annual vaccination. I still haven’t heard anything from my insurance company about how much of Charlie dog’s bill they are going to pay, although they did say it takes about 3-4 weeks to process a claim. And I also wrote on the form for them to deal directly with the vets so maybe they won’t even write to me. I don’t know. I’ll ask the vets tomorrow if they have heard anything or received any payments.

I’m also getting pretty fed up with this stupid sleeping pattern that’s been going on for a good couple of weeks now. I’m not getting to sleep before 3am most nights then waking back up between 6am and 8am then I take my morning Quetiapine dose and spend the rest of the morning feeling like a total zombie because I feel so tired. Then I seem to wake up a bit as the day goes on and by this time of night – midnight – I should be ready to go straight to sleep but instead I’m wide awake. It sucks.

I guess I’ll go find a DVD to put on and see if I can get some sleep in a couple of hours and try to distract myself away from all these urges to do bad things to myself… it’s hard though… when you feel like you have a little demon sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear “just one more time, just a little deeper, you know you deserve it”. It’s irritating, annoying and soothing all at once. I know that probably sounds a bit nonsensical but that’s how it feels.

Off topic, I have been having a somewhat mixed day with one of my voices. He has been talking quite a lot today about rainbows and rain puddles. It has made for some interesting (and occasionally quite funny) little rambles inside my head as he has been telling me absolutely everything he likes and dislikes – in very specific details – about the existence of both rainbows and puddles. Strange but mostly amusing. But then, the exact same voice would change his tone and start on at me again about how I’ve failed to start serving God properly, I have let my mission to find a faith slide away and he has made it quite clear he isn’t very happy about that and it is something that I must try harder with. So yeah, occasionally annoying but I suppose it’s helped a bit to distract from those little demon thoughts that just want me to hurt myself.

Definitely got a dose of the head crazies going on…

Goodnight folks x

 

00:13 – Stressed. Stressed. Stressed.

13 Feb

Firstly a Charlie dog update. This morning he had his third operation in the past seven days and they managed to drain all the fluid and blood that had shown up on the ultrasound scan yesterday. He now has what looks like a plaster cast all the way round his stomach which looks quite strange but it’s holding everything nice and tight to help things heal better. He was in a funny mood today, he didn’t want to have a little walk around the car park, he pulled me back towards the vet’s front door. So I took him back in but he didn’t want to go back into his bed at all and refused to walk so the vet just carried him back through. Then she had a chat to me for five or ten minutes and the whole time all I could hear was this high pitched howling and crying – I’ve never heard Charlie do that before and it was pretty upsetting. I’m now questioning whether I should go in every day and see him – am I just upsetting him by going and then leaving again or would he be more upset if I didn’t go in at all for a couple of days? I don’t know.

So he is back to being “critical” but we are very much hoping this is third time lucky and the last operation he’s going to need but they have told me there is a chance these pockets of fluid could happen again. So the goal for the moment is to get him to rest as much as possible for the rest of the week and to make sure his temperature stays down and carry on with all of his medications. I so hope this is the last of all his problems and he can finally start to heal.

My head has been pretty pickled again today – well it calmed down slightly after I got the call mid afternoon to say Charlie’s operation was over – but in general I’ve been feeling pretty mixed up. As I’m getting so behind with my part time university course I decided to send the student support woman an email explaining that I was having a bit of an unstable period at the moment and finding it impossible to concentrate and absorb the course material. I asked if there was any way I could just do one module this semester as that would really help me to catch up and make the reduced workload more manageable. She sent me a reply to say she was going to speak with my personal academic tutor and see if they can work out a way I can just do one of the two modules this semester and re-take the other one at a later date. I really hope I will be able to do it that way but she said I’ll need to give them a few days to work out if it would be possible for me to do the course one module at a time. She was really nice about things in her email so I’m glad I let her know how much I’m struggling and didn’t leave it for another couple of weeks when I may have ended up too far behind for it to be possible to catch up.

I spent a few hours with my Mum again this afternoon, I just couldn’t handle sitting in the house. Even though I knew I have so much studying to do I was just driving myself mad sitting about. So I went to the parents house and stayed there until it was almost 5pm and time to go and visit Charlie.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my support worker at rape crisis and my Mum said she would take me supermarket shopping as my finances are in a real mess at the moment and I have hardly any food in the house. I don’t know what I’d do without my Mum sometimes, I’m so lucky to have someone who can help me out when I get stuck but at the same time I feel kind of bad that at the age of 31 I still need to ask for help from time to time.

Anyways… I’m not going to ramble on for too long tonight, I feel pretty tired and like it’s been another long stressful day. I wish I could just climb into bed and fall asleep quickly and remain asleep until my batteries have been completely recharged but that is truly impossible at the moment. I go to bed and lie there for a good couple of hours thinking, worrying, over-analysing everything. I eventually fall asleep stressed and exhausted and then a few hours later I’m awake again. Awake, stressed and still exhausted. More lying there awake until the darkness outside starts to disappear and the daylight takes it’s place. It almost feels like one continuous day with a few short naps here and there, I don’t feel like I’m getting any proper deep sleep at all. I took my last 10mg Nitrazepam last night but it didn’t do bugger all.

I just went to take my medication and realised I forgot to take my morning dose – I take 250mg Quetiapine and 4mg Diazepam in the morning then 4mg Diazepam at lunchtime another 4mg around 6pm and another 4mg at bedtime. Then at bedtime I also take 500mg Quetiapine and 30mg Mirtazapine. So as I forgot to take my morning meds I just took the whole 750mg Quetiapine all together so maybe it will help me get some sleep tonight. I doubt it, but you never know.

Right, on that note I’m going to watch some TV then take myself through to bed shortly. Can’t believe it’s midnight already, I swear all my days are just blending into one at the moment, it’s like a sense of Groundhog Day hanging over me. And I still have that pressure cooker feeling where I feel like I could explode at any time but I had a long chat to someone earlier and it did actually help. It left me feeling a bit calmer and more able to look at things in a more logical and less stressful way.

And on that slightly more positive note I shall say goodnight.

22:02 – Busy day, absolutely shattered

7 Feb

I started writing this post this morning but had to go and meet my Mum for lunch before I got the chance to finish it so there’s a few [updates] added in!

Firstly a Charlie dog update: his condition is still “critical” and he is still extremely unwell but yesterday late afternoon when I went into the vets to see him he tried to pull himself forwards to cuddle into me and licked a tiny bit of food from the vets finger so things were looking as good as what could be expected so soon after such massive surgery. But then when I phoned this morning the vet said he’d had a bit of a dip during the night and been sick so that wasn’t such good news that he didn’t manage to keep even that tiny little bit of food down. So today is going to be another long day of hoping and praying he hangs on in there and I’ll go and see him about 5pm again so I can give him a cuddle and see how he’s doing.

[update - saw him at 5pm today and he managed to walk about for five minutes and ate a couple of spoonfuls of food - if he's still doing well around 5pm tomorrow (72 hours post op) then I *might* be able to bring him home for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and see how he is but I told them I'd be too scared to keep him here overnight, even though I desperately want him home and even though there is a 24 hour on call service I just feel safer knowing he is being checked every few hours by the vet. But yes, for now things are going as well as we could hope for and he's being such a little fighter] :)

Now… what’s been happening with me? Well I didn’t go to bed or get a wink of sleep on Tuesday night. I was extremely upset and couldn’t stop the tears. The voices were going on and on…

“you need to bare your soul to Christ”

“declare your sins!”

“pray for his forgiveness”

“lie on the floor and give yourself to God!”

And on it went. So when I went to my appointment with Mr Psychiatrist yesterday morning I was exhausted and functioning on auto-pilot. I asked him if CPN had been in contact about increasing my Quetiapine from 750mg to 800mg (she hadn’t surprise surprise) but he point blank refused anyway and said that in his eyes 750mg is the maximum dosage he ever prescribes. When I tried to argue back that 50mg more could just be the little bit extra I need he said I had to make a choice to either stick on the 750mg dose or come off the Quetiapine and try another anti-psychotic. I listed all the anti-psychotics he’d already tried and reminded him of the reasons as to why they hadn’t worked for me but there was no changing his mind so I gave up trying, I was too tired to argue.

I filled him in on how ill Charlie dog is, told him about how shit I feel that I can’t get to my cousin’s wedding this coming Saturday and the sadness I’m feeling as it’s my little man’s anniversary on Monday. He said that it’s because of these circumstances that I’m feeling low and not a mood fluctuation as part of the Bipolar. I said I agreed with him that circumstances were making me feel very low but that these circumstances weren’t here a few weeks ago when I self harmed badly enough to require stitches. In fact this depressive mood and these horrible voices have been going on since October and none of these circumstances were there then either. To be honest I was too tired to talk to him and the whole appointment felt like a total waste of time. I did however tell him about new CPN telling me I was selfish on Monday for talking about having suicidal thoughts, he didn’t comment on it and seemed to change the subject so it was a completely unproductive appointment and thankfully I don’t need to see him again until April.

I also had an appointment with lovely GP yesterday. When I went into the waiting room I had to really fight with myself not to run back out the door. There was a baby clinic on and at least six or seven small babies and everyone fussing over them and coo-ing and saying how beautiful they all were and my head felt like it was about to explode. I was absolutely shattered, desperately worried about my fur baby and it was making me so upset being surrounded by babies and proud parents and when I was called through to see lovely GP I was fighting back the tears. I hate it, I hate that almost six years on I still get so affected by being in an environment with lots of babies, I think that was the first thing I said to lovely GP as I went in. She said I looked really tired and asked what had been happening. I went on a five minute ramble about seeing Mr Psychiatrist and it being useless, about CPN calling me selfish and feeling like my appointments with her were making me feel worse not better, about Charlie dog, about the wedding I can’t get to, about the little one’s anniversary… it all poured out and I told her I was feeling so unsupported right now. I told her that the only two ‘professionals’ that I currently work with who I feel listen to me without judging are my support worker from Rape Crisis and herself, lovely GP. I rambled that this wasn’t right, I should feel supported most from the mental health professionals, especially from my CPN but I don’t and that doesn’t feel nice at all.

Lovely GP said she was a bit worried about how I was going to deal with the weekend especially knowing that I have no family around for support and the mental health team is closed at the weekends not that they are much use anyway and she said I really had to sleep. I told her I can’t sleep for worrying so she gave me a few days worth of Nitrazepam to take at bedtime. I took 10mg with my other meds last night and did manage to get some sleep but it was quite broken and I still feel shattered this morning. Before I left my appointment she said that if I needed someone to talk to on Monday I was welcome to give her a call and she’d have a little chat to me. I think she has quite a calming effect on me as I left the appointment feeling like I’d got stuff off my chest. New CPN could do with some lessons in empathy from her!

I don’t think I mentioned this before but I got a letter from the dreaded Atos and a work capability assessment questionnaire through a week or so ago. Am I the only one who sees the word Atos on a letter and just feels their entire body sinking? I hate the waiting time after you send it off where you worry yourself sick that they are going to send you a letter saying your benefits are going to be stopped or make you have one of their dreaded medical assessment’s. With everything that’s been happening with Charlie dog this week I haven’t had a chance to get someone to help me to fill it out and there was no way I was taking it for new CPN to fill out. So I’m going to phone the mental health team and see if lovely social worker who I used to work with is around and see if I could maybe get an appointment to go in and have her help me fill it out.

[update - spoke to lovely social worker and she is going to help me with the form] :)

I’ve got to go and meet my Mum shortly for lunch and then we’re going for a wander round the shops as I want to buy a wedding present for my cousin and my parents are driving down to England tomorrow so they will take it down for me. I have no idea what to buy for them, I’ve not got a lot of money and they didn’t want to have a wedding present list, they wrote on the invites that as most people would be travelling quite far and having to pay for hotels that all they wanted was their family and friends there and not to bother with gifts.

[update - couldn't concentrate properly whilst wandering round the shops, was experiencing a lot of head noise and was just getting frustrated so Mum suggested I just buy some nice crystal champagne glasses and a bottle of champagne (a bit boring I know, but at least they'll use them) and I also got a lovely card and wrote a little message apologising for not being there and wishing her a day as special as she is... aww that made me tear up a little bit there!] :(

I also did something this morning which I guess you could call empowering. I decided to write my ex an email and tell him I wanted to do my own thing this year for the little one’s anniversary on Monday. Towards the end of our relationship I felt like I had absolutely no control over things due to him having two affairs within the last six months of being together. And despite splitting up almost four years ago now I have always met with him on the little man’s anniversary because I had this belief that our little boy would be looking down over us and happy to see Mummy and Daddy both by his stone together. But you know what? I realise now that all my little one would want is for us both to remember him but for us to be happy. And meeting my ex doesn’t make me happy, it usually ends up fucking with my head and I now feel like I don’t need that headfuck any more. It was time to cut the final thread and I did it. Me. I took control and I feel like something has lifted, I don’t have the feeling of dread about Monday any more because I know I’m going to try my best to celebrate his anniversary, to remember him with the people I love – my Mum and my best friend. And whilst I know there will be tears I’m sure there will be some smiles as well.

Anyway I better go now as I have five minutes before I need to meet my Mum. I’m tired and my head is a little bit noisy and to be honest I could do with going back to bed for a few hours but I’ve got a busy afternoon – lunch, finding a wedding present, going to visit Charlie dog at the vets, hoping lovely social worker phones back and says she can help with the work capability questionnaire, facing the supermarket as I have absolutely no food in the house and ugh I really am not in the mood right now for being awake today… maybe some fresh air will do me good.

[update - It's now almost 10pm and I have just realised I forgot to post this earlier, oops! So I've added a few updates in for the things that have happened since this morning. It's been a long day and I am ready to take a couple of Nitrazepam and try and get a better sleep tonight. Even the vet gave me a telling off today for not sleeping - but then admitted she hadn't been doing much herself because she's been so worried about my Charlie dog. She really is an amazing vet she looks after all the animals in her care with such genuine love for them all which makes going in there and seeing your pet really poorly that little bit easier :) So I'm going to take my other little dog for his bedtime walk and get myself off to bed. Goodnight]  :)

00:41 – “I never thought you could be so selfish”

5 Feb

I’m just going to briefly mention how my poorly dog is doing. I took him to the vet first thing this morning and he was kept in until 5pm on IV fluids and some other medicines. She didn’t think he was ill enough to need to stay overnight but also wasn’t happy to just let him go so I’ve to take him back in at 10am tomorrow morning to be checked over and if needed, another day on the IV fluids and maybe start some proper tests. He is very lethargic and didn’t even want to come out for his bedtime walk (then again it’s like a snow blizzard outside just now). So he is still a poorly doggy and still hasn’t eaten, so I’m still a bit worried about him. It’s at times like this I really wish they could talk to you and let you know what was wrong :(

Whilst the vet tried to make him feel a little better I spent my day with a couple of appointments. The first was with new CPN which was a fucking joy as always (yes I am being sarcastic). I went in there not knowing what to say and she didn’t even mention the self harming or me missing my last appointment. We talked a bit about the voices and I told her that I do think the Quetiapine is trying to help a bit but it just doesn’t feel like I’m taking quite enough. Now my psychiatrist classes the maximum dose of Quetiapine as 750mg a day, but from the reading I’ve done 800mg seems to be prescribed quite often so I told her I’d like to try another increase but wasn’t too sure if Mr Psychiatrist would agree to it when I see him on Wednesday. She asked me if I wanted her to phone and mention to him so he’ll already know what I want to talk about before I go in.

So all that bit was fine. Until I started talking about my cousin’s wedding next weekend and talked about how many things I have missed out on for 7 years, SEVEN fucking years all due to this fucking stupid phobia about travelling away from my ‘safe place’. And this is where the appointment fell apart. Whilst she was rambling on about anxiety and phobias and all that scary stuff my head was bouncing the same thought round and round: to tell her about my plotting and planning or not to tell her?

Well… I figured I’m not going to gain anything by lying to her or by keeping things bottled up. So I told her. I started to tell her that I’ve been having thoughts racing round and round my head of what a perfect opportunity it would be next weekend to put an end to everything. Now, I wanted to continue to say that of course I wouldn’t actually do anything because:

  1. I’ve realised that I’m actually pretty scared about dying (as well as living)
  2. It’s my little man’s anniversary next Monday and I definitely would be here for that.

But I got interrupted as she cut in and said “I never ever would have thought that you could be so selfish. This is your cousin’s wedding day and just think how much you would ruin it when all the family returned home to find out what you’d done. Every single wedding anniversary your cousin would have would just be all about when you killed yourself. That is incredibly selfish. I can’t believe you could say something like that”.

(Not an exact quote but close enough)

Now I don’t dispute for one second that it would be an incredibly selfish thing for me to do and I’m not even that bothered that she went on a little rant about me being a selfish person. Well she could have picked slightly less harsh words but what really annoyed me was the way she just cut in when it was clear I was still in the middle of speaking to start calling me selfish… she didn’t even hear me out and I had to wait til she was finished her little rant before I could tell her the reasons why I wouldn’t act on the thoughts.

To be honest I think what I found hardest about the conversation was that it was the first time of really talking about suicidal feelings with her and I guess I hoped that even though I moan about her all the time I still hoped that when the time came to talk about serious and difficult things that she would actually display some empathy. Not sit and criticise me and call me selfish. By doing that all she has done is made me feel even less like I can open up to her and I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen if I ever experience a real crisis and really need her help.

When the appointment was over and she told me she was taking a couple of weeks holiday so wouldn’t be able to see me again until the 20th of Feb I was quite relieved. I did get to say to her in the end that I had no intentions of doing anything to myself this coming weekend and mentioned the little one’s anniversary was next Monday and she didn’t even comment on it. I had to ask her if it would be OK for me to phone and speak to whatever member of staff was on duty that day if things got too hard (I probably wouldn’t phone but it’s nice to know there is that option if needed) and she was just like yes you can call if you really need it.

So I left that appointment wondering what the point to it had been, as is becoming the norm for when I leave appointments with her. Thankfully I had an appointment straight after it with my support worker through Rape Crisis and managed to get it off my chest. Support worker agreed that she thought new CPN had been a bit harsh the way she had spoken to me so once I had spoke about that for a few minutes I stopped feeling so annoyed and managed to have a good chat with her about some other shit that’s been on my mind, just stuff about my feelings towards men and how completely convinced I now am that I won’t ever have another relationship with a guy – partly because of how they’ve treated me and partly because I couldn’t ever imagine exposing my scarred body to someone again.

Right, before I go off into another ramble about all of that stuff I think I’d better take myself off to bed seeing as it’s nearly 1am. Keeping my fingers crossed that my poorly dog is a bit better in the morning.

Goodnight.

21:22 – Scared to live. Scared to die.

3 Feb

I don’t know where my head’s at. I have been trying to distract myself from the head crazies and unfortunately my poorly dog who I had to rush to the vet on Friday still doesn’t seem to be much better. He isn’t throwing up so much, but then he hasn’t eaten more than a few bites in the past week and for the last 24 hours has completely refused all food and drink so I’ve had to resort to syringe feeding him water every 2-3 hours. That meant setting my alarm every few hours during the night but to be honest I couldn’t really sleep anyway.

It seems like when I’m doing something like syringe feeding, going out walks, attempting to start my new university modules – we’re just about to go onto week 2 and I’ve only just started looking at week 1 so I’m already behind. But yeah, when I’m doing something then the head crazies are bearable but the second I stop it feels like this huge big black cloud just sinks over me and all I can think is ‘what’s the point?’. I sit here trying to study but the words just won’t sink in and I think why the fuck am I doing this? And then the head noise starts up and I start being pulled into conversations or hear my name being talked about and then the only thing I can do is give the head noise my full attention because I want to know what the fuck is being said about me!

I have been thinking a lot about death recently (well, I’m always thinking about it but recently it’s been a lot more prominent) and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m scared to live but also scared to die. But this only fuels the head crazies because it gives cause for more debating back and forth like a bloody ping pong ball…

I want to live

I want to die

I can’t go on living

I can’t end my life

Back and forth, back and forth, the thoughts go quieter then louder, faster then slower and on and on it goes. Yet if I sit here and say to myself that I am not going to die then I become more anxious and if I say to myself that I don’t need to live I become equally as anxious. What the fuck is that all about? It makes no sense. Nothing makes sense. It’s all so contradictory. The thought of living for the foreseeable scares the crap out of me but when I really start thinking deeply about death it scares the crap out of me as well. It never did until the last serious suicide attempt I made and now I get the flashbacks of that one particular moment where my blood pressure crashed and they were all panicking around me and I knew those figures were seriously low and I was trying so so hard to keep my eyes open, terrified of what was happening to me and those words just slipped out my mouth “am I going to die? I don’t want to die” and every time I think of that and how I felt both physically and mentally in that moment is enough to make me pretty much guarantee I will never take another overdose (well not the cocktail I used that time) in my life. Of course there’s plenty other ways.

This coming week I have to see new CPN tomorrow which I’ve not decided if I’m going to or not. I missed the last appointment but to be honest I just don’t want to see her. But I also have an appointment with my support worker from Rape Crisis and I haven’t seen her in a couple of weeks either so maybe I should just go to both of them. At least I know if I leave the appointment with new CPN with any bad thoughts going round my head that I can talk to my support worker who I seem to get on with a lot better.

I also have to see lovely GP this week on Wednesday and also Mr Psychiatrist on Wednesday, as usual I’m not particularly looking forward to that one. But then again I’m seeing him first then lovely GP later in the afternoon so if he pisses me off at least I know she’ll be more understanding. I just don’t know what he’s going to say/do about the voices still being very much present despite being up on the max dose of Quetiapine again. I really really don’t want to switch to yet another anti-psychotic but at the same time I really don’t want the voices either, they are making me do all this planning and plotting, telling me how to do things, putting ideas in my head.

Next weekend my entire family all make the 200 mile trip down to England for my cousin’s wedding. The one I was supposed to be a bridesmaid for. The one the fucking agoraphobia is making me too terrified to attend. Every single member of my family is going to be there apart from me. Seeing the wedding photos is going to hurt really bad. But the voices start up and tell me what a perfect opportunity it will be, everyone gone for the whole weekend, it would be ideal. I could get all my plans in place then go to see best friend with a fake smile painted on, ask her to watch the dogs for a little while and come home. Perfect opportunity.

But… I can’t do anything then can I… because a couple of days later is my little man’s angel anniversary and I will be here for that. I will do the same as I do every year and spend a lot of time by his headstone, talking to my baby and crying lots of tears. Making his headstone look all pretty. A certain someone who I have a massive amount of respect for once told me that if I was no longer here then no one would keep my little man’s memory alive… well not the way that I do or the way I’d want them to. I am the only person who can do that and I can only do it if I’m here.

So basically I feel completely stuck. Scared to live. Scared to die. Yet this depression just carries on getting worse and worse. I continue to hear voices and end up quite distressed by them at times. I want to blank it all out. I want to escape from it all. I just don’t see how I can continue to live this way. It just feels like existing. The days just all seem to blur into one and every day it gets harder and harder to stay strong.

Tonight what will keep me strong is my poorly dog, making sure he gets fluids every few hours then first thing in the morning I will be phoning the vet, he needs to be seen again. I think he’s going to need to spend the day in there on a drip and get properly rehydrated. God only knows how much that’s going to cost me but I don’t think I’m going to have any other choice. He’s one of my fur babies and I have to make sure he gets better.

So, with a mixed up and tired head I’m going to try and get him to come for a little walk then get to bed reasonably early as it’s going to be another long night of getting up and down every couple of hours and then a long day with vets and two appointments tomorrow. My head feels totally pickled, I have too many thoughts and ideas and plans running through it and I’m too exhausted with them all that I can’t give them the attention that is needed. Things just feel like they are spinning a little bit out of control, the only button I seem to want to press is the self destruct one, to at least hurt and hurt by cutting. I need a way to release all of this frustration, I thought when I self harmed badly a couple of weeks ago that I had got it all out of me but clearly I haven’t. But just like not wanting to attend appointments I don’t want another trip to A&E, more stitches, more questions, more fear of being judged or control being removed.

Argh. I need to go find a quiet spot in the middle of nowhere and scream as loud as I can until I’m screaming louder than them and I can try to drown it all out. I’ve been listening to the new Rihanna album on my iPod (turned up full) whilst I’ve been writing this, very loud music through earphones is about the only way I can tolerate loud head noise and I still hear the voices over the music, they are just blurred out a bit. Anyway, this has been a bit of a depressing post so I’ll say goodnight and leave you with what I’ve been listening to… there’s something quite lovely about this song… it reminds me of a certain time in my life… there’s something quite poignant about it… and yes, as usual I prefer reading the lyrics than watching the actual music video…

Enjoy…

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