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Back to Basics

Apologies for the long silence, I’ve been very ill and going through a lot of things. I’ve been thinking about things, and I asked myself ‘what is depression?’

Depression is a killer.

It controls you. It controls your life.

You live in a black hole and feel nothing.

I got driven to extremes just to feel. Cutting, drinking, smoking. I was sick of feeling lost. At least I could forgot I was lost when I felt the pain or the highs.

It’s an experience that you can’t always describe. And that’s all I seek to do in this blog.

Depression is one thing that made me very suicidal at one point. I still on occasion get those lows. I feel like life isn’t worth living, and that all I am is a burden to those around me.

‘But why would you think that? You’re planning a wedding, you have three nephews who love to spend time with you, you have a big family who care for you.’

That means nothing. I say this not to insult anyone, but you struggle to see the good parts. You see the cock-ups, the downsides, the problems you cause.

I’m 26 years old, I still live with my parents because I can’t afford to move out again just yet. I can’t handle any more than 30 hours a week at work, or I collapse and become ill. I can’t progress much more at work because I simply can’t handle the pressure. I feel like a child in an adult’s body. I can’t handle the real world in a way that most people can. It’s easy to dismiss the notions of a person. Saying that it’s easy to look at things differently.

It’s easy to tell someone to just look at things differently. Doing it in practice is incredibly difficult. Try looking at things objectively is hard enough when you aren’t suffering from the deep cesspit of despair.

I don’t know what I hope to achieve with my life. I try and think about the future and I feel worthless, because I can’t see myself doing anything else. I can’t handle management, I can’t progress out of the basic administrative roles I’ve been doing since before university because I cannot simply handle the stress. Imagine waking up in the morning and having to talk yourself out of bed because you are unable to continue improving yourself at work. Because for people with depression, you can’t always see the good. You see the rain, not the rainbow. You see the things that make you a burden. And sometimes, that just gets too much.

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in mental health

 

Another setback

Yesterday, I nearly collapsed at work.

My blood pressure was taken, it was 193/103. So stupidly high. I’ve been off work today and I’ve been scheduled for blood tests and an ECG next week at my doctors, but they do ultimately think it’s stress. My blood pressure had dropped a little since this incident yesterday – but it’s still at 150/90. So high, especially for a 25 year old.

Work has been a major stress in my life, so now I’m off for over a week. This weekend is strict rest. Then it’s York on Monday for two nights, back at the doctor’s Thursday for tests, and then Friday to Derby since my other half is clearly a terrorist who wants a passport because he’s nearly thirty and has never had one before. (For those of you who aren’t sure, in the UK when you apply for a passport and you’ve never had one before and over the age of 18, you may be called for an interview- this has happened to my fiancĂ©).

I’m finding it hard right now to process that I’m not the one at fault here. My blood pressure is too high to be at work, because I get very dizzy and therefore can’t possibly be at work because otherwise I would just collapse and end up needing to stay in hospital. Something that I really don’t want. But home is the best place for me, and that’s the way it is right now.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in depression, health, mental health

 

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Links en masse

Someone linked me to an interesting read from the Blurt January self-care challenge group, and it set me off article hopping. I found these things very interesting, and thought I’d share:

10 Things to Remember when dealing with Depression

8 things People with Hidden Depression Do

20 things to Remember if your loved one is suffering with Depression

6 1/2 years of Mental Disorders (video)

5 Myths of Depression

10 Compassionate Ways to support loved ones with depression

20 sentences people with depression hate hearing

14 things to remember if you love an anxious person

How does it feel to have depression?

I’ve included a wide variety of interesting reads for me, but it’s easy to start article hopping and get even further. It’s easy to stick to a cycle, or to believe the voices you hear. Even whilst I don’t spend days in bed anymore, there are still mornings I want to, and I don’t want to face the world all the time.

I love my parents dearly, but they are very much the sort of people who believe no one should spend the day in bed unless you are ill. For me? Bed is a safe haven, if I want a duvet day, then I see no issue with it. I spend as much time in my pjs as possible, and if I could get away with wearing them to work, I would. Because to me, pjs are a comfort thing, and who doesn’t like to be comfy? I feel as though I’m struggling a bit at the moment. I’m always tired, and all I want to do is stay in bed. I don’t want to go to work, and I don’t want to deal with people. The only reason I am still going to work is because I need to for my own financial safety. Plus my mum wouldn’t let me call in sick, she’d physically drive me there and dump me. One of my triggers is being alone, that is the sole reason my parents will not let me spend the days stewing. They put me at work and the likes for a reason, because I can do it, and they know it. My parents are not cruel or unkind. They love me unconditionally. They also know what makes me worse and what helps me.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in blog, blurt, depression, health, mental health

 

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A blur of time

I’ve been kept busy of late.

Work has generally been very tough, but because of my colleagues and the support from my other half, I’ve been able to pull through and crack on. I’ve also had some unwanted thoughts, but I know they are complete liars in what they say and have been keeping occupied to shut them up.

I had a fantastic weekend. I spent the weekend with my other half, who was kind enough to pay for a hotel for us to stay in overnight on Saturday so we had a weekend all about ice hockey. It was an intense weekend, with Panthers playing the Giants twice in two days, and it coming down to the last minute on both occasions. On Saturday, we drew 3-3 at full time, so it then went to extra play for 5 minutes, and because nobody scored in that, then it went down to penalties. We won by 1 penalty. On Sunday, for 59 minutes and 12 seconds, there was no goal on either side whatsoever. With 48 seconds left to go, Panthers scored. I still swear by the fact I have a hernia from the stress of it, but it was a fantastic sort of stress with being kept on the edge of my seat throughout both nights!

I’ve got a lot of ice hockey over the next few weekends, with going to Sheffield this weekend to watch Panthers versus Steelers on Saturday, then for Valentines Day, it’s another match though this time in Nottingham. The following weekend is my birthday, and that’s also a hockey day, plus we’ve arranged a scout trip to go and watch Panthers versus the Cardiff Devils. So a lot going off, and I really can’t wait to get out and do this all.

I’ve also got a week off in two weeks, and me and Ryan are going to York for a couple of days. I’m looking forward to these sorts of trips and getting out to do things I love like going to the zoo and seeing museums. There are times in the past I would have dreaded going out in public, but now I focus on doing things I want to do. Life is too short to do things I have no intention of liking too often!

Work has been down for the past month. It’s really dragged us all low on morale, and that makes it hard to get in for work. But today, I was in a good mood, and things went well. It was written off as a bad month because it just was. Bad things happen and that can’t be helped. I’m still coming to terms with this, and there are times when I’m going to feel it more often than others, but I’m learning to ask for help when I need it, and to talk to others when I’m struggling. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

I’ve been very naughty in the final week of the January self-care challenge, and I didn’t bother doing the daily challenges. I focused instead on getting up, getting to work and coming home to unwind and take care of me. So I don’t feel bad about it at all really, because that’s my point in life. I’m leaving work at work for the most part, and even on the occasions I bring it home, once I’ve had a rant, then I’m normally okay and move on.

 

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A hectic week

I’ve been incredibly quiet for the past week, though that is understandable to anyone who knows me. I’ve had an awful week at work, things just weren’t going right and I couldn’t bring myself to do anything on here. I was feeling very low, and decided to focus on me. I’ve barely turned on my computer, and I’ve also had internet connection problems on my desktop over the weekend, so it’s been nearly impossible to get a post out after the week at work.

Over the weekend, I’ve had a good time of things. I’ve participated in the NEEST walk, which for me involved doing the ’10’ mile night hike. Though when measured at the end at the hike it was nearly 13 miles. I did not complete the full walk, but instead dropped out at the final checkpoint before the finish having done 10.28 miles when three of our scouts wanted to drop out. Given the state of my legs even two days later, it was probably a good idea.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk entirely. It was fresh and a good attainable challenge. And it’s something I want to get back into doing, which I am very lucky to have a partner who also enjoys walking. The only things I need to get is some OS maps and a compass. Can’t always rely on my phone for GPS. Doing things like the hike is what I used to do a lot more often when I was younger, then I stopped when I started working and stopped seeing people who had those sorts of interests, and it made me realise how much I’ve missed doing it. My muscles also pointed out I don’t do endurance hiking as much as I used to! Something I completely intend to correct.

I’ve struggled to keep up with the daily challenges set by the Blurt challenge, but I have kept up on my healthier eating and self-care has been my priority instead of doing what other people want me to do. So I’m focused more on me and I’m making steps to improve my own health instead of worrying about what others wanted me to do to meet their own ends.

Today’s challenge is to set this week’s intention and what the reward will be. For me it’s to continue to eat healthy at lunch, and to try and eat an extra portion of fruit/veg during the day. My reward? I’m not sure, but I dare say a meal out to Toby Carvery may come into things, especially because Ryan hasn’t been to one and I see this as sacrilege.

I’m off work today because of the night hike over the weekend. I got home at 2am on Sunday morning, and I spent most of yesterday in a drowsy stupor because I hadn’t slept well after the night hike. I feel much better this morning, but I didn’t wake up until 10.30am, 3.5 hours after I would have been up for work. Plus, when you have annual leave to use, might as well get it in to extend a weekend you’ve been busy on hehe.

I think I’m heading in the right direction of things generally, and I’m fairly content in my ideas and placement. I just hope I can keep going in this direction for now. Sometimes I feel like I need to be strong, but I can’t always make it so.

T

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in mental health

 

Challenge Day 11

Today’s challenge was a simple one. Share on the Facebook group something about you. It was going to originally be ‘something interesting about yourself’ but sometimes, it’s hard to believe you’re anything but a nuisance.

The thing I shared, was the compliments I’ve had from people. I write in an easy going manner, though I struggle to express this all the time when I talk. I have a better way of typing it or writing it down. I don’t like to be talked down to as a person, so I don’t intend to put that across in here either. This blog is about me and my experiences, and removing the stigma. Talking to people like they’re idiots would do nothing for the cause. Breaking it down to understandable chunks and relating it to imagery however, can be very effective. Though there is no true substitution for going through it.

I do not mean that those who not experience depression cannot comprehend it. You can understand the theory behind depression without experience, but to truly ‘get’ the darkest depths of the grasp, you need to have been through it.

When you know someone who is suffering though, being kind, understanding, and not judging them is the best thing you can do. If you don’t understand, then that’s fine, you don’t need to understand why they feel like that. Just let them know that you care and that it doesn’t change anything between you. That’s what a person with depression needs to hear in their darkest hours. If you can stay with them, then do, because when they feel more like themselves, you’ll be the person they thank. I have many people to thank for their perseverance with me when I was contemplating suicide. My doctor was one of them, he wouldn’t judge me, and changed my medication despite what had been said by the previous ones. My parents are still footing a cost for me because I can’t physically live by myself. I can’t even stay by myself and go to work because I freak out and have a minor breakdown. I can’t tell you why, I can just say it happens, so we put things in place to prevent it. Ryan was thrown a bit in at the deep end because we had only been dating for a couple of months when I had my breakdown and just dumped it all on him as a test. I was terrified that he would run, but I couldn’t hide it, so I just opened the flood gates. He comes over when I’m home alone because he knows I really don’t like it for a long period of time. My siblings have been there for me, and I know most of my family spends their time worrying about me when I’m not having a good day. Making a list though of things that help make a bad day more bearable has made things easier all round.

Despite not liking being in the house alone for a long period of time, I’m a huge adovcate of time alone. For example, I share a 4 bedroom house with my parents, so we only use the two biggest bedrooms as bedrooms. In the second smallest one, I have a ‘study’. It gives me a living room of my own. I have my own taste in shows and the likes, and I prefer watching Netflix or doing things on the computer than watching the tv shows that my parents watch, so I get time to myself without being full ‘alone’.

Ryan also pointed out that I missed out something from my post yesterday. On Thursday night, I got my engagement ring finally after nearly 8 weeks of waiting. I was ecstatic to say the least.

 

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Challenge day 8 and 9 (and 10)

Day 8… the challenge is to make a list of what makes you feel better when you are having a bad day. This one made me think, because not everything works all the time which is to be expected.

  1. Get a nice long shower.
  2. Watch some nature documentaries on Netflix.
  3. Or something disney like.
  4. Play Tamodatchi life on the DS.
  5. Knit.
  6. Have a cup of coffee, or my hot peanut butter chocolate drink (which I save for occasions like this).
  7. Play Bleach on the computer and curl up on the camping mat or in a chair with a heated beanbag dog and Pete the Polar bear whilst in pjs.
  8. Go to bed and watch Spongebob (it makes me relax enough to sleep).

It’s an odd list, but one my husband-to-be will be grateful for I am sure.

Day 9 was to reward yourself. I had a great time at scouts last night. We took them out geocaching which is a form of treasure hunting/orienteering. We have a night hike next weekend, so it was limbering up for that. It was quarter to ten by the time we had finished, and I still hadn’t eaten dinner, so I treated myself to a mighty bucket for one from KFC without guilt.

My intention this week was to keep going. It doesn’t matter about being knocked over, but I tried. I tried to eat one extra portion of fruit and veg each day, and I kept getting up and going to work. Some days are harder than others, but I didn’t give up, and that was the important part.

This morning, day 10, we’ve had no challenge set for us because Jayne has lost internet connection with all the high winds. But with the closed facebook group, we’re all talking to each other and encouraging each other’s good moods whilst helping those who aren’t feeling so good. I feel like I’m amongst people who just get it because they’re going through it, and I’ve never been so grateful and comfortable amongst strangers in my life. And I think it’s a general mutual feeling, because we get it. We’ve all been there, and that’s the sort of understanding we need.

 

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