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