Tag Archives: studying

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.

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.

01:15 – Happy birthday to me

28 Oct

I have spent the past four hours studying so much my brain hurts. I am desperately trying to catch up especially as I have a super busy week ahead. In between appointments I also have to write a pretty intense essay about social policy and the effects these policies have on child poverty… plus for my other module we have a research task where we have been split into online groups and have to create a full wikipedia page on certain super specific topics… my job is to research the history of the topic which so far I know nothing about as I’m playing catch up. So I finally decided to take a breather and looked at the clock – it’s 1am – oh… it’s my birthday. The big 32. The day has finally arrived. As you may be able to tell I’m not particularly excited about it, in fact it just depresses me that it’s another year on and very little in my life has changed.

Anyways… onto the slightly more happy stuff… I decided to go out last night (well Saturday night) and in the end swapped my costume I’d bought that didn’t fit me with another girl so I ended up going out as a ‘sexy’ police officer. Now this was OK in the sense that it was a short black dress but I could wear black tights and hide the leg scarring… but the sleeves were pretty short and the arm scarring was super noticeable. I tried to cover it up with some fake tan but it didn’t work particularly well (nor did I do a very good job of applying it as I appear to be very orange and streaky today… thank fuck I didn’t put any on my face!) so yeah, I was a bit paranoid about that until one of the girls had a brain wave and remembered she had long black fishnet gloves so I was much much more comfortable once I had them on!

So we had quite a lot to drink whilst we were all getting ready and the girls I hadn’t met before were all really nice and a good laugh. The couple of girls who I was worried about seeing again after so many years who I didn’t get on with back in the day decided to do their own thing so everything worked out great! After consuming two bottles of rosy wine and a couple of vodka’s (yes that was just my drinks!) I went into the bathroom and discreetly took a few Diazepam. Now I do not condone nor recommend mixing benzodiazapines with alcohol, but you have to remember I have taken them every single day for three years so I do know my limits… I didn’t take an unsafe amount, just my usual prescribed dose, and I know how they effect me when mixed with alcohol. I would never ever ever say to someone who doesn’t know how they would be affected to do that as it can be a very bad combination!

Anyways… the mix of the wine, the vodka and the diazepam relaxed me… maybe a little too much! I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world as we went from pub to pub drinking more and more and more. I wasn’t all self conscious about what I was wearing… I wasn’t scared of all the people nor how busy the pubs were… even my usual paranoia was staying quiet and letting me relax and let my hair down… I even spoke to some new people that I’d never met before which I would never normally do! The girls I was out with were all in great spirits and we just seemed to laugh all night long and I tell you it was such a relief when I finally came home at 2am and flopped into bed with a big smile on my face that I’d actually done it – I’d gone out, I’d had fun, I hadn’t done anything crazy and nothing bad had happened 🙂

Of course when I woke up this morning I had a super sore head but then realised it was only 7.30am so got a big glass of water and a couple of paracetamol and went back to sleep. When I woke again at 11am I felt slightly more human and dragged myself out of bed to walk the dogs. Later in the afternoon I went out to my friend’s house to get my coat and some other bits I’d left there last night and we had a giggle remembering all the fun bits from the night before… I think I’m going to try and spend more time with them seeing as best friend has completely forgotten about me… plus one of the girls there also has some mental health problems and she is quite open about them when in a small group so I feel more like I fit in. The only problem is that the next night out they are planning is in a big scary city place and there is no chance whatsoever my agoraphobia will let me go there but they tend to go out once a month or something so I can go out with them the next time they go out locally.

So yeah, I’m really glad that I went now, I can’t remember the last time I had a proper night out, I think it was back in April when it was best friend’s birthday I’m not sure… I know it’s been a long long time and was well overdue though!

I need to get off to bed soon as my parents and my brother are meeting me at 12.30 and we’re going to a fancy posh restaurant for lunch. We have a table reserved for 1pm. I think that’s going to be the only highlight of my birthday as I will need to get back home for about 3/4pm and get a few hours of studying done.

Wednesday afternoon I have my 3rd appointment with the new psychiatrist which I’m dreading even though lovely support worker is coming with me… I just don’t seem to get along with him… this is a bit of a running thing for me…. don’t get on with my psychiatrist and don’t get on with cpn#2 either… thank god I have lovely support worker and lovely GP to balance things out a bit :/

Thursday afternoon I have cpn#2… enough said about that…

Friday my big essay is due (that I haven’t even started yet) and Saturday my research project is due (again, not started yet). So it’s going to be a busy week, plus my Grandma is coming to stay with my parents for the week from tomorrow til Friday so I will need to spend some time with her as well and also on Friday night me and my Mum are going to an event that I don’t really know how to describe… it’s a mix of a lights illuminations show and aerial performer (trapeze artist) and all outdoors so it’s going to be freezing but it should be fun… the tickets have sold out really fast so lots of people must be going.

So every spare minute I have this week will be studying, studying and more studying… therefore I may be quiet for a few days. I just hope I can deal with all the stresses of deadlines and stuff because unfortunately the self harm thoughts are still never far from my mind at the moment even when things are going OK and I really can’t afford to let myself have any sort of breakdown this week.

Right… it’s 1.26am… time for bed me thinks…

Goodnight folks x

17:08 – Another useless CPN session

24 Oct

Firstly I’d just like to say thank you for all the supportive comments you guys left on my post below. I have decided to put it on password protect for a while as it’s so personal that I’m not sure I want it available for public viewing. It’s the same password that I use for all my protected posts… if you want it feel free to dm me on twitter or send me an email.

Today I feel much better physically than I have done over the past few days. I think now that it’s been a full 3 days everything is out of my system now and other than being loaded with the cold I’m OK.

I just wanted to write a short post mainly because I’m feeling quite frustrated at the moment. I went to see CPN#2 a couple of hours ago and had decided in my head that I was going to say something along the lines of: “I’ve been feeling really low, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about self harming and even about ending my life, I spent a few days misusing alcohol (there’s no way I could tell her what I really used) and basically I feel like I’m in a bit of a mess and I think it would be helpful to try and work out what it is that’s making me feel so low”.

So that was the little script I had in my head ready to say to her but when I got to my appointment the first thing she did was sit down with her notepad on her knee and ask me what I wanted to put on today’s “agenda” – ARGHHHHHHHH!!! – Yes, this was the reason I didn’t go and see her for so long, this was what I had politely tried to explain to her a few weeks ago that the ‘setting an agenda’ approach just doesn’t work for me, this is what I thought we had got sorted out and clearly we haven’t! I said to her I didn’t know what I wanted to list on our agenda but I was feeling low and could we just talk for a while? Her reply was that it wasn’t helpful for us to focus on ‘negative thinking’ and that by setting an agenda we were setting goals – positive goals – so that when I left each appointment I could think that I had achieved something good that day. I tried again by asking her who exactly I should be seeing if I need someone just to talk about life with? If I need a rant or to vent? If I’m feeling low and scared? Do I just bottle it up? Isn’t it part of her role to listen to me?

She then said she thought the best way to structure our appointments was to have three things each week to talk about. We could spend 15-20 minutes talking about each one. She would prefer all three things to be ‘positive’ things and us discussing how I’m going to reach individual goals but said that on the ‘rare occasion’ if I was feeling particularly low then I could use one of my 20 minute sets to talk about my moods and feelings.

So as none of this was particularly helpful and I was feeling like I just wanted to get up and leave it became increasingly difficult to even try and tell her how messed up I’ve been feeling. I had decided before I got to the appointment that I would say I had been misusing alcohol – I didn’t want the truth written on my case notes, I didn’t want my parents to find out and break their hearts again over 6 days of complete stupidity and so I figured just saying I had misused any substance was good enough as at the end of the day they are all misused for the same reasons – either to make you feel good or to block all the shit out. I’m sure CPN#2 could tell that I needed to vent but she just kept on talking about how well I was doing. She said she has spoken again to the psychologist and I’m now almost at the top of the list so my sessions with her should start back around the end of November and whilst telling me this she said she had told the psychologist how well I was doing in so many areas of my life like with the part time uni course and the fact I’d had no hospital admissions since January 2012 (the last time I saw the psychologist was Feb 2012 when she went on maternity leave). Apparently the psychologist told CPN#2 that she was really proud of me as I’d been so unstable back then that I just could not do any psychological therapies and that she is looking forward to seeing me again and seeing a much more stable me. Then CPN#2 was telling me that she’d been talking about me with her line manager as part of her supervision – where they briefly discuss each of their service users with their managers – and how the manager had been telling her about the first time she met me (when I was being sectioned) and travelling in the ambulance with me to the psych hospital… the mess I was in… the voices I was hearing… etc etc. So when CPN#2 told her too about how well I was doing now she was apparently “extremely pleased to hear it”. She continued to say how it was strange but nice for her to hear from other people about how bad I’d been at my worst but how much better I seemed now (as CPN#2 never worked with me or knew me when I was ‘at my worst’).

The whole time I was just sitting there thinking why are you telling these people how well I am doing when just last week I was suicidal? Why do you never want to listen to the truth? Yeah, I’m all for turning a negative into a positive if possible but fucking hell she was making it sound like I was well and truly on my road to recovery when right now that couldn’t be further from the truth. So I finally butted in and said to her that whilst I accepted there have been some areas of my life that are slowly improving there are other areas that are bad. I told her I’d gone through a misusing alcohol binge last week to block out my emotions. I told her I’d had suicidal feelings. I told her I’d wanted to self harm and instead of cutting I drank myself into a stupor. (OK so I didn’t drink but again, I wasn’t about to tell her what I really did). All she said was “well you must have realised that it was doing you no good as you’ve now stopped” and then tried to move along to the next subject of ‘setting goals’.

She just doesn’t seem to get that I cannot think about what three things I want to think about a week in advance. I can’t even plan for the day I’m on let alone plan three very specific things for a week’s time. She was very clear that she wants us to use our time to set goals and discuss how to achieve them, and then achieve them… and very clear that whilst we could talk about my moods if it was like some sort of emergency situation it would not be the focus of our sessions.

I understand that working with the psychologist has to be very structured especially when you are doing a specific therapy programme with them, but I hate how these CPN sessions have to be so structured as well. Well they don’t have to be because I’ve worked with plenty of staff members at some time or another who do just let you talk but this is obviously the way CPN#2 works and she isn’t going to work in any other way. I wonder if I’m the only one of her service users who finds her so unhelpful or if they all benefit from her agenda setting, goal setting, super positive approach where if we just don’t talk about any of the bad things then we can pretend that they just don’t fucking exist.

So I’m sorry to say but I am annoyed. I wish I hadn’t bothered going to the appointment. I have another one for next Thursday and already I am thinking that I might just cancel it. Also, I got a text from best friend whilst I was en-route to my appointment which said “hi, i’m really sorry but i have no money at all to even go for lunch on saturday”. It’s my birthday on Monday and originally I’d suggested just the two of us going for a couple of quiet drinks or for dinner but she said she didn’t have much money so I suggested we went for lunch instead. It didn’t need to be anywhere fancy, it was more just to spend a couple of hours with her and have a chat. She said yes she could afford to do that but now for whatever reason she can’t. Why am I pissed off? Because it is another one of her friend’s 40th birthday night out the following weekend and I know she is going to that! So she can’t meet up with me, can’t go for a cheap quiet lunch, can’t even manage to go for a coffee and have a chat yet she can go out the following weekend with her other mate. I’ve not missed any of best friend’s birthdays since she has been living back here, nor any of her kids birthdays/christmas/etc. Even when I’ve mentally been feeling like shit I’ve dragged myself along and always bought nice gifts. All I wanted was to spend some time with her, the money is irrelevant, there are plenty of things we could do that didn’t involve money but there was something in her tone in her text messages that said to me she just doesn’t want to do anything with me at all right now. So yeah, truth be known I’m feeling slightly rejected at the moment and pretty lonely as well.

So it looks like it’s going to be a quiet weekend. Maybe I will see if anyone else is going out that I could tag along with. The last thing I want is to sit in the house alone all weekend because I’m scared I’d be tempted to let the emotions get to me and act on them in some way or another that I’d end up regretting. On my birthday on Monday I’m going out for a nice lunch with the parents – we were going to go for dinner but my Mum is working night shift so lunch it is. Looks like it’s going to be a super quiet one this year… as if I wasn’t already feeling crappy at the thought of another birthday being single and alone and having all of those “this wasn’t how I thought my life would be at the age of 32” type thoughts.

Sorry… I believe I said at the start of this post it was going to be a short one… it didn’t really turn out that way… I’m going to try and do some studying for a couple of hours then vegetate in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Oh what an exciting life I lead.

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.

15:33 – Just a little moan about life

27 Mar

In the last five days since I last posted nothing much has changed.

I still feel miserable, I still want to self harm again, I’m too tired to actually do it though. Also I’m beginning to wish I had just let them put proper sutures in last week, but because I was so anxious and wanted out of the hospital asap I asked them just to use lots of skin closures. And they have closed the wounds quite well but because one of them was pretty deep it is so painful where it is obviously still healing under the actual cut. I’ve never had pain in a self harm wound 8 days after doing it when I’ve had prope stitches in, but I don’t think it’s infected or anything, I think it’s just taking a good bit longer to start healing.

Anyway… what else can I moan about…

My sleeping. It remains completely shit and I am absolutely exhausted.

I still haven’t done any of my course work for this university module, in fact I haven’t even looked at my uni emails in about two weeks now.

So yeah… I just plod on through each day, doing very little, making sure the dogs are fed, walked and happy… other than that I’ve been caring about very little else.

The good news of this week is I have now cleared the remaining £50 that was left on the balance of Charlie dog’s vet bill – so I’ve cleared all the excess and the insurance company paid all the rest of the rather large bill.

Hmm what else? Oh my parents have returned from their holiday now so knowing they are just a phone call away again helps a little bit.

Like I say I’m just too tired to feel any enthusiasm for anything. It’s been weeks of this nonsense now and it’s really starting to get to me. I feel on the edge of tears all the time because I just feel so drained.

Yesterday I met up with best friend and my two little ‘nephews’ which was nice as it had been weeks since I last saw them. We went about an hour away from home (even with a fair few Diazepam the anxiety was still pretty bad on the way there) but by the time we got to our destination and I saw it was nice and quiet I managed to stay relatively calm. The kids are of course a great distraction – every time my head would start going into crazy mode they would start asking for something and I’d be pulled back into the moment. First of all we let the kids burn off some energy in the soft play area for about an hour. They are only 2 and 4 so they loved playing in the ball pool and going up and down all the slides and stuff. After that we went for some lunch and then before heading home the kids wanted to play in the outdoor swing park for a while. It was so cold and the snow was on and off all day but I think it probably did me good to get out of the house for a 3 or 4 hours.

Well it’s almost 3.30pm and I need to go and collect my prescription. Not really got any plans for the next few days – just an appointment with my support worker tomorrow afternoon and that’s about it. Think I might go to the parents on Sunday seeing as it’s Easter and enjoy a nice home cooked meal there. That reminds me, I need to go buy my little ‘nephews’ (best friends kids) an Easter egg each. Also I have no food in the house. I think whether I like it or not I’m going to have to face a supermarket today. Blah… I’m just totally not in the mood to be going outside at all but I need my medication so I guess I don’t really have much choice.

Mood wise things are in the ‘crap’ category. Voices are ‘very vocal’. Thoughts are no longer racing, they are slow… too slow… so slow I can’t connect anything together right…

Sorry for all the moaning… hopefully next time I post will be a happier/more positive rambling… who knows…

22:25 – Insomnia. Grr.

9 Mar

I am really tired as I didn’t go to bed last night and it’s now nearly bed time 24 hours later and I’m still awake. I was having real problems getting to sleep despite taking medication to help so after a couple of hours of tossing and turning I got up frustrated and decided that at 2.30am I was going to force myself to study. I sort of had the hope that I’d get so bored with not being able to concentrate and bored by reading the course materials that are making no sense to me right now… and that my eyes would get tired looking at the screen… but no… my body wanted to stay awake.

I sat up until around 7am studying and got last week’s work finished and one report (80 pages long) read with notes taken. Haven’t got a bloody clue what half of it means but it’s now ticked off the list. Around 7am I stopped to take the dogs out nice and early then we all had breakfast. I sat and watched some utter crap on TV and the yawning started so I tried to go to bed again after taking my morning meds but again there was no sleep happening. Frustrated I got back up about 9am and went to the shops to buy a Mothers Day card for my Mum and one for my best friend (from her two little boys in case no one else remembers to get her one) and a bouquet of flowers for Mum. I’m going to my parents house tomorrow night for dinner as it’s Mothers Day… another day that is another sad reminder that my little man is way up in Heaven.

Anyways… I opened up the course materials again about lunch time and sat for another five hours studying. I have now got all of last week’s work done and all of this week’s work done and am ready to start the new week on Monday. I still have to go and make the first of my debate posts but to be quite honest I still haven’t got a bloody clue what half the stuff I’ve been learning is about. Me and sociology really aren’t getting along at all. However, I realised today that there are only another six weeks and then this module is over and done with so now that I have caught up a good bit it is looking slightly more realistic that I might be able to see it through for the last stretch. Whether or not it will make enough sense by then for me to write (and pass) an essay on it remains to be seen.

This evening I had a late dinner, took the dogs a long walk, came home freezing cold and finally had a shower. Personal hygiene win at last! I hoped cuddling up in fleecy pyjama’s (that had sat on the radiator getting all cosy and warm) would start to make me sleepy but my head just doesn’t feel ready to switch off yet. I’ve taken my bedtime meds and feel tired yet awake. Maybe if I put a DVD on I’ll start to fall asleep on the sofa and then drag myself through to bed. Or maybe I’ll still be sitting here wide awake come the early hours… who knows… since being awake since Friday morning (just from my prescribed meds) I’ve had 1500mg of Quetiapine, 60mg of Mirtazapine and around 40mg of Diazepam – and here I am still awake…

There was some drama today mid afternoon. Whilst I was sitting here studying I heard a loud crash outside and went over to the window. Two cars had somehow smashed into each other and one of the cars had come right through the metal railings and was literally inches away from my downstairs neighbour’s window. Luckily no one appeared to be hurt – an ambulance came but didn’t take anyone away – I have no idea how it happened because the car that had come right through the railings was on the wrong side of the road AND facing the wrong direction. So yeah, a lucky escape for those people today and two pretty wrecked cars. And a lucky escape for the elderly man in the ground floor flat, he must have got some fright if he was in at the time seeing a car flying towards his window! 😮

Right I think it’s time to put a DVD on and see if any sleep is going to happen tonight. Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.

 

 

20:52 – Meeting with support worker and social worker

7 Mar

Well today I went along as planned to an appointment with my social worker and support worker. I was very anxious beforehand, I don’t know why, but taking a small amount of Diazepam helped a little. It was good for them to meet each other and we chatted about a few things like what they should do if they have concerns and what I should do in situations where my crisis plan would be useful and the possible triggers that doing this work with my rape crisis support worker could have and if they did trigger me then making sure it didn’t destabilise me too much mentally. There was nothing too heavy talked about and it was all over and done with in about 45 minutes so it was easier to sit through than I expected it to be. We pretty much ended it with a verbal agreement that I’d see my social worker every couple of weeks until the psychologist returns and I can start more ‘structured work’ and I’ll carry on seeing my support worker every 1-2 weeks and I gave permission for them to share information if needed so we can all work together.

There was only one thing which was said at the meeting which *searches for the right word* … surprised? me. My social worker said at one point that I have attachment issues. I’ve never heard her say that before, well not in those words anyway. And it didn’t as such annoy me but it played on my mind for a while afterwards because, in my head, someone who has attachment issues is needy and possessive and jealous and has turbulent relationships. And whilst I can admit that the first year I worked with my social worker I probably did feel quite dependent on her in a lot of ways… since not seeing her so much over the past couple of years and since having a string of people starting to work with me and then leaving I now have the opposite problem. I find it harder and harder to trust people so in general I spend a lot more time on my own and have done for some time now. I make excuses to leave friends and family’s houses early. I don’t like people being in my house for too long, it starts making me feel agitated. So yeah, I’m left a little bit confused by what she meant by me having attachment issues, I’m not overly bothered about it just confused as right now I feel like the most unattached person on the planet!

I’ve arranged another appointment with my support worker for next Thursday and hope to touch base again with my social worker the following week. That’s all I need, just someone I know and trust and who knows my mental health to touch base with until the psychologist starts back. I’m really trying just to ask for the bare minimum so that my social worker can see that I know seeing her is just a temporary thing until the psychologist is able to work with me again. That way it means she doesn’t have to make any commitments to me that she might not be able to stick to, I know I have someone to touch base with and I have the support of my support worker for the ‘other’ stuff that I’m trying to work through.

So yeah, we’ll see how things go.

I’ve been taking my medication properly again for a few days now and am happy to say that the constant stream of chitter chatter has actually been very quiet today. I am still hearing the occasional sentence which is usually telling me to do something but it doesn’t have the same weight to it so it’s easier to ignore. I am still having huge problems with my concentration and am still no further forward with my studying, just adding more and more days onto me getting further and further behind. My tutor emailed me on Tuesday asking if I was OK and I still haven’t replied to her, because I don’t know what to say. I think I’m somehow still hanging onto the hope that I will suddenly get my concentration back and get myself back up to speed and everything will turn out OK. But with the more days that pass the more unrealistic that is starting to become. I will try and compose a reply to her tomorrow.

Anyways it’s getting close to 9pm now and I’ve some washing to hang up then there’s a program on TV I wanted to watch and then it will be medication and dog walking time. I’m going to try and get some studying done tomorrow but it’s just so hard to focus at the moment. I’m not even writing proper notes when I try and study, I just write word for word what is on the screen onto my notepad. None of it goes in, half the stuff I’ve written down I have no clue what it actually means. So yeah, not so good. And this is an important week as it is the start of our online sociology debates and we have to contribute to the debate forum boards over the next four weeks as 20% of the module mark comes from these posts and then the other 80% comes from an essay due in May. How can I debate what I don’t understand? Argh.

Right I guess it’s time to say goodnight, fingers crossed for a good day tomorrow.

19:25 – It’s all muddled up

1 Mar

Voices, thoughts and ideas have all been racing through my head since I woke up this morning. I didn’t sleep very well last night even though I took my medication properly. I’ve been feeling pretty messed up all day today and because my head has been all over the place I’ve just stayed in using the excuse of having to do some studying so I didn’t need to go out anywhere other than to walk the dogs. Of course I didn’t actually get any studying done at all because my concentration is completely gone and I don’t know how to get it back.

My head feels very muddled at the moment. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s kind of like I know something is going to happen but I don’t know when or what. I have this sensation of some kind of impending doom but I don’t have specific details of what it is that I’m afraid is going to happen. But it feels like something bad. Taking my medication last night and again this morning has quietened the direct commands and instructions but my thoughts are still racing around really fast, jumping from one thing to the next and then onto something else like I can’t seem to stay focused on just one thing. So as everything chops and changes I get nothing done, the voices make no sense because they aren’t speaking in full sentences just a few words then stopping. Things aren’t connecting properly and I’m left with a completely pickled brain.

I don’t know if I prefer it more the way things have been over the past few days when I wasn’t taking my meds properly but was seeing and hearing things much more clearly or if I prefer this slowed down speed but all totally mixed up. I think (well I know because they told me) that the chitter chatter voices are angry with me for saying too much on here and for saying too much to lovely support worker yesterday. I try to make a deal with them that I won’t say anything more about what they ask of me on here or to anyone. I promise them I will keep it all private then after some amount of mocking and warnings and telling me I’m a failure and how I betrayed them until they finally quieten down again. Then as soon as my head quietens with voices my thoughts and all these ideas start whirling round one after the other after the other.

So needless to say today I have achieved nothing. Zero. Zilch.

Blah it’s all such a mess. And right now these feelings of some kind of impending doom that I’m having are actually quite unfamiliar to me because usually when I feel like something bad is going to happen it’s more like a pressure cooker that builds up over the hours, days and/or weeks until the lid finally blows. But it doesn’t feel like that, it feels massively confusing while everything is going fast and not making sense. Then things go slow but leave me depressed, tearful, filled with dread – about what I don’t know.

It’s just all muddled up and my mind is crazy. But the craziness begins to speak the truth, just a truth I’ve never realised before, but then people say that the truth is craziness and what does that do? Muddle me up even more. I am so confused and nothing is making much sense at the moment.

What I need is some proper quiet time for my brain to just relax, but I really think that is asking for the impossible at the moment.

16:25 – A bit of a messed up day so far

24 Feb

Well I messed up. I had planned to go to Church this morning for the service at 10.30am to say thank you to God for helping me in my prayers and also to see what that Church is like as I go through my “trying to find the right faith for me” thingy.

But last night best friend phoned and asked me if I was going out for some drinks with a little group of them. I went to say no and before I got the chance she said “you promised you would come out this weekend, you’ve not had a night out since like Christmas time”. Then I remembered that I did indeed promise I would go for a night out with her. So I said that I would go.

Everyone went to her house to get ready to go out, there was the usual commotion of clothes and make up everywhere, mirrors propped up on tables, music blaring, the air a mix of hairspray, perfume and cigarette smoke. Oh and a nice big litre bottle of Russian vodka and a bottle of Limoncello (to do shots with) were both sitting on the kitchen worktop waiting to be drunk. Before I’d even got my clothes changed I’d already had 2 shots of Limoncello and a large vodka and coke. When I was doing my make up I knocked back another few shots. When I was straightening my hair another large vodka and coke went down the hatch. And by the time we left to get our lift into town I was a little bit tipsy and looking forward to a good night out.

It was around 11pm when we got to the first pub – the norm here is to get at least a little bit drunk before even going out because the pubs don’t really get busy until around midnight, then they get so busy you can hardly move by the time they close at 2am. So yeah the first pub was shit, it was just full of guys playing pool so we had one drink and one shot and then left.

Pub number two was busier and had some decent music playing so we had quite a few drinks in there and some shots and then onto the obligatory jaeger-bombs. Around 12.30 we left and went onto pub three as everyone (apart from me) wanted to go dancing – I don’t do dancing these days – I hide in corners and drink and keep my eye on everything going on around me. Paranoia? No self confidence? Scared of being ‘spiked’ and hurt again? I think all three are correct. So I stood in my corner and watched them all dance and have fun and I started feeling really out of place, like I just didn’t fit in. So about 1.30am I called it a night and came home to walk the dogs and get into bed. I felt pretty drunk but managed to avoid the usual vomiting that follows any time I drink these days. Then again I suppose that much alcohol combined with all the medications I take makes vomiting a pretty likely scenario!

This morning I didn’t wake up until 11.15am as I’d forgotten to set my alarm to 8am to get up and do Charlie dog’s medication. So I quickly got up and got his first one done, threw some clothes on and took them a short walk. By the time I’d done his third morning medication and given them some food my head was absolutely pounding and my hangover was in full swing.

After I’d walked the dogs and fed them and sorted medications and all that stuff I realised it was almost noon and I had missed Church. I felt so bad and before the head chitter chatter even kicked off I immediately started to pray and apologised for failing this morning and promised I would do better next week. But that wasn’t enough and by about 1.30pm the chitter chatter was noisy. Very noisy and very unimpressed with me. Told me to try harder, to do better, to prove myself before things would turn very nasty for me. Reminding me of the powers that God has and how they could make him use those powers to cause me complete and utter misery. I tried searching the web to see if there were any churches that do a live streaming service so you can watch/attend it from home and I did find one, a morning service just about to start that was in a church somewhere in America – it was 9am there and 2pm here so I sang the hymns and listened to the readings and turned the laptop volume up full to try and prove to ‘them’ that I was genuinely sorry for not going to a church today.

But they just kept on getting more and more noisy and in the end I was searching the web for all sorts of things – prayers, how to apologise to God properly, more church services to watch, videos on youtube of bible readings, etc. Then I saw a prayer telephone service and started searching for more of them. I could find a couple in America and one in Australia but nothing in the UK. So I phoned the one in America (no idea how much that’s going to cost me as I’ve not got any international call allowance) but anyway a man answered who introduced himself as Jeff and he asked how he could help me today. I was trying to speak slowly and clearly so he could understand my accent but I was getting close to hysterical with all the voices bouncing around my head telling me what I should beg forgiveness for. Jeff said he could hear I was upset and told me it was OK, to take my time, to allow myself to calm down. If only!

Anyway it all came tumbling out about how I’d failed this morning and broken my promise after God being so good to me and answering my prayers for me. I told him I didn’t know yet which faith/religion I wanted to follow but I was definitely a believer that there is ‘a’ God. He said that was OK, that some people who phone them to pray together don’t even believe in God at all, they just want someone to pray for them at a time of crisis. I went on to tell Jeff a little bit about my mental health problems and how all I really wanted in my life was a sense of happiness. If not happiness then contentment would do just fine. I told him what I was hearing inside my head about how God would never forgive me especially not for going out and getting drunk and then missing church. In my head ‘they’ were hissing at me that I was despicable, telling me I should be ashamed of myself for repaying God in this way after he had helped me so much recently. But Jeff told me that was not true, that God would love me and protect me even if I make mistakes along the way. Because life doesn’t come with an instruction manual and we all make mistakes and through those mistakes we learn from them. He just told me to do the best I could in whatever situation I found myself in and so long as I did that then God would be there to protect me.

In the end I was on the phone for about 30 minutes to him and at the end he said a long prayer for me which he made very personal and I began to cry as he spoke. He asked God to watch over me and give me strength, he asked God to watch over my little boy who is up there in Heaven, he asked God to help me find the strength to recover my mental health and to help give me a brighter future. And despite Jeff saying to me that it didn’t matter if I missed Church so long as I prayed at home he could obviously sense how much ‘they’ were tormenting me for not going, so he added in a line about that in the prayer as well.

It’s now around 4pm and I feel a little calmer again. They seem happy with me that I phoned across the world to have someone pray with me and that I have prayed a lot myself today and that I watched the bible reading videos and ‘attended’ the online church service. So I am being rewarded with some peace and quiet at the moment although my hangover seems to be getting worse as the day goes on. Now I remember why I avoid nights out these days. Although it was nice to go out and have a change of scenery it really wasn’t worth feeling this ill for!

I’m going to my parents house for a Sunday roast dinner in an hour so hopefully that will help me to feel less sick and a bit brighter. I don’t know whether to take the dogs with me or not. They love going to see my parents and probably enjoy the change of environment for a couple of hours, but they are going to be in for a shock as they won’t be getting their own little Sunday roast dinner any more, not now that Charlie dog is on specialist food and for the moment that means strictly no human food! Plus they won’t be able to get their usual treat of a few little dog biscuits because it’s not fair to give to one of them and not the other. They probably think I’m being so mean to them at the moment by not giving them little bits of my food or any treats but getting Charlie dog back to good health is the important thing for now. So yeah, I don’t know whether to take them with me or just leave them here for a couple of hours then go for a nice walk when I get back. I think that might be the best thing to do, it also means Charlie won’t start jumping around with manic excitement.

Well, I guess I had better go and do some more of Charlie’s medicines. Then after I’ve been to the parents house for dinner I must get some studying done, I am still sitting about a full week behind and if I have not completely caught up by this time next week then I have no chance of passing this module as we start getting assessments then and know I wouldn’t be able to pass them. I only have one appointment this week but that’s not til Thursday so I should be able to get a good bit of studying done if I can just find my concentration again. I’m hoping that lovely social worker might get in touch and offer me an appointment sometime next week as even though crappy CPN has now left I’d still like someone to be able to touch base with once a week or something. Anyways, enough rambling from me… I hope you’re all having a happy/contented/peaceful weekend.