Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Mutant Enemy

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Stop the ride, I want to get off…

This is a fairly accurate depiction of my day, thus far:

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to sit in the dark with my head in a bag.

Getting out there

As I have bemoaned on previous occasions, I’ve had a lot of hit n misses with the mental health team in Somerset, but for once, the odds seem to be working in my favour.

I have a new support worker. Actually, she’s part of the Somerset NHS “Support, Time and Recovery” Team, whatever the hell that’s meant to mean, but I think that support worker sums her job up nicely. And her job is to help me find ways to manage the more practical side of my life, such building up my confidence to go into Taunton, as well as taking up opportunities to volunteer in the community – and build up a network for myself in the process.

I had an appointment to see her this afternoon and over a relaxing cup of coffee, we got to know one another and put together a plan to achieve the above.

I admit, when Sparky suggested I hook up with J, I was sceptical and cautious, but I think I can safely say that I like J. She listens to me and seems to have done quite a good job of assessing me. She even understood when I explained how I like to learn (tell me, show me, let me try it for myself) and has decided to take that approach with me.

Next week, she’s coming to pick me up and we’ll spend the afternoon in Taunton, parking at Evil Tesco’s and wandering around town to help me familiarise myself with the main shopping streets and where different car parks are located.

The following week, if all goes well, I’ll drive myself into Taunton and with up meet her, and we’ll do a bit more exploring, probably taking in locations I need to attend on a regular basis, such as Foundation House, where she, Sparky and my new psychiatrist are based, etc.

She’s also going to get me details of local voluntary groups, such as one which meets fortnightly to do catch-all “conservation work”, from clearing shopping trolleys out of rivers to mending gates and stiles on footpaths, and another which meets weekly to do light gardening for the elderly and disabled.

It all sounds good. Terrifying (I had me a little panic attack after she left) but good.

I wish I didn’t need this kind of help to live my life but the fact is, if I don’t ask for it and don’t take it up when it’s offered, I’m going to end up stuck here, never going out, a hermit (apart from the internet!). So I’m going to ignore my pride and go with it. There isn’t a price that’s too high to pay for freedom and independence.

And on that note, here endeth the lesson…

Meh

Despite my best efforts, including sausage and eggs for lunch, today is not turning out to be a particularly cheery day so here’s a cute photo of Midge in lieu of any words of wisdom from this end.

Midge - 1 April 2010

Midge - 1 April 2010

“Normal” business will resume as and when.

Hope you’re enjoying your Bank Holiday.

Living in a hamster wheel

I have been trying to work out if I would feel the way I do about myself if I were suffering from a physical ailment, rather than simply being a bit batshit.

For example, the proverbial pint of milk.

Some days, I can drive to the local fruit and veg shop on the outskirts of the nearest village and can shop there without any problems. Some days, I even manage to go into the village itself, find somewhere to park (old village, narrow streets, far too many cars…) and do normal things like go to the Co-Op or the doctor’s.

But on others, if I can’t find anywhere to park, I panic. One evening, I ended up driving straight through the village and out across the hills in floods of tears and was horrendously lost by the time I talked myself into pulling over.

And on bad days, just the thought of going anywhere is enough to reduce me to a quivering wreck.

Now, when I’m feeling quite rational, I understand that my panic reactions are nothing more than the PTSD at work – I can’t control the situation so my hindbrain overreacts and tells me I’m in danger – and my gut reaction to the “danger” is to flee.

However, just as I end up with a conflict between my rational self and my emotions on my bad days, so I spend my good days in an equally destructive conflict.

Meaning? Well, as I said above, my rational self understands what’s going on and tries to deal with “that” me with empathy and kindness. But something else in me (pride?) is appalled at what I see, views it all as a sign of weakness and failure and is, quite frankly, embarrassed and humiliated by the whole thing.

Would I be like this if I was recovering from an illness or an accident?

Well … probably.

Do I feel like this about other people who are in my situation?

Hell, no!

I would ask why I feel like that about me, but I already know the answer. Indirectly, it’s a by-product of my upbringing. But it’s also directly related to why I’m in this state to begin with. And if that makes no sense to you, don’t worry, I know what I mean.

And that is, I think, at the heart of why I am where I am. Maybe if circumstances were different, I’d have a better relationship with myself. But there’s only so much shit you can swallow before you end up blaming yourself for being in that position in the first place.

I suspect (well, know, since so many friends have told me so) that the first step to my recovery will be to accept what has happened and – more importantly – that none of it is my fault.

I don’t see it like that, however. And therein lies the problem – and the answer to my question.

Anyone else feel like they’re trapped in a hamster’s wheel?!

The truth, it hurts it does

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there is a massive difference between confiding in someone you know and trust, and baring your soul to a complete stranger, especially when their name is prefixed with the title “Dr” and their profession is psychology.

Some of my nearest and dearest are (horribly) perceptive and hiding anything from them is nigh on impossible but in that case, sharing is a relief, an opportunity to shed grief and distress, to be comforted and cared for.

On the other hand, there is something extremely uncomfortable about sitting in a warm and spacious room while said doctor expertly probes her way through the bones of your life, picking up on every signal, pressing all the right buttons to get the response you didn’t know was on the tip of your tongue, waiting to be confessed like a shameful secret.

Afterwards, drained and exhausted, you stare in horror at the truth you have been forced to admit, wondering how the hell you will ever learn to live with this new and unpleasant knowledge about yourself.

Old ghosts return to haunt your thoughts and you realise that the bogeyman hiding under your bed was, after all, as real as your shadow.

They say that the truth hurts.

They weren’t kidding.

Sometimes, you just have to abuse your overdraft

When I sent the five pigs off for slaughter, the sale of one paid for all the slaughter costs, one went to the guys for the rent on the field and the other three were divided up between five friends. I’m still waiting to be paid for one and a half, but the rest of the money went into the bank, and I originally intended to use it for useful and practical things like buying food or paying off debts.

But then I had a thought. (Yes, just the one. You at the back, stop giggling.)

Since I have this whole panic-attack-when-I-leave-the-house thing going on, I need stuff to keep me busy and/or occupy my mind when I’m in said house and there’s only so many times a day that you (ie me) can do the washing up – or any sort of cleaning, for that matter.

I’ve always loved reading, and rarely need an excuse to cram some more novels onto the bookshelves, and so I spent a wonderful afternoon browsing the book sections of some local charity shops, in addition to the ones I got for my birthday.

However, I’m having a few concentration issues, in that my mind tends to wander after about twenty minutes or so, so reading isn’t always the answer.

DVDs, on the other hand, are spot on, especially TV series.

And that is why I recklessly and shamelessly abused my overdraft and am now the proud owner of, amongst other titles, the complete Friends box set, the complete Buffy box set, seasons 1-5 of NCIS, the complete Band of Brothers, and season 4 of Bones.

Yes, I know. But in my defence, each and every one of those was a bargain!

What’s more, every penny I spent on them has been justified. I already owned the complete West Wing box set and have worked my way through that, leaving the final season for another time, just to make it last (*sniff*). I’ve watched seasons 1-3 of NCIS and the same for Friends.

I’ve decided to give crime and comedy a break and am now making my way through Band of Brothers, a show I wish I’d watched much, much sooner.

However, my timing was slightly off as I didn’t realise it starred David Schwimmer. The last I saw him, he was picking between Rachel and Bonnie at the beach house, then I went to cook up some sausages and scrambled eggs and hey presto, Ross had gone back in time and was Captain of Easy Company. And no, I don’t know what I put in those eggs…!

It’s where I go next that’s got me puzzled. Should I sit down with Bones, or go back to NCIS, Friends or The West Wing? Alternatively, I also own seasons 1-3 of Bad Girls, which I haven’t watched for years, so I could always settle down with Nikki and Helen…

But what about Buffy, I hear you cry…

Well, Ally’s husband, B, has been muttering something about his data projector and the rather large wall in their living room. Which sounds great to me, just so long as he realises that I saw Willow first. 😀