Will I or Won’t I Make The Spin Class?

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

Today has a plan, it has a schedule. The key question really is, will I stick to it? I get up on time, 07:15. I unstack the dishwasher, as planned, I do a number of other chores, as planned. This is looking promising. My supermarket shop is delivered and it’s time for cereal with a chopped banana and ice cold milk.

 

Today’s schedule is ambitious, potentially too ambitious. It involves a spinning class. If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ll know that would be a mountain to climb given my size, weight, (lack of) fitness, inability to do exercise. The plan also includes a swim, a bus, and meeting strangers for a market research exercise. So, the question is, will I do it? Today is Wednesday, which also means it’s the hottest day on record for 47 years. Great, I pick the hottest day in well over my lifetime to start spinning again. It feels like the odds are against me. To my surprise (and undoubtedly yours too), I find myself changing into lycra. Well, that’s a turn up for the books. I’ve loaded my back pack with everything I need, including snacks so I stick to both being healthy and my budget. By gosh, I think this may be happening. I think I may just be walking out the door in lycra (not a good look on me) and a backpack to head to the spinning class. The bugger of it being the hottest day in 47 years is that I am beetroot colour and dripping with sweat before I even reach the gym. But, I walked the 1 mile. That’s a good start. I put my stuff in a locker and put on my cycle shoes, yes, I own cycle shoes. It may come as a shock but I was once the spinning class addict managing 6 classes a week. Oh, those were the days. So, I tentatively walk into the spinning room. No one is about. I take the time to locate the bike in the best stream of the air conditioning, this isn’t my first rodeo, I know what I am doing here. In walks another female. She is also a newbie. Thank goodness, I am not alone. It’s not just in mental health that I like to know I am not alone. We half laugh, half cry as we try to set our bikes up. I have made a gym going error though. I have set up the bike right under the air conditioning not realising that the askew towel on the handle bars is actually an indicator that someone has ‘bagged’ this bike already. She wants in, Purple Top Woman, and she isn’t impressed. In fact, she’s incredibly rude! I apologise but I’m not quite sure why. She kicks me, not literally, of her precious reserved bike and then walks out again. Newbie and I laugh, I’ve made an error and the class hasn’t even started. Take 2 of bike set up and it’s like learning a new language. I don’t seem to be able to do it. As the instructor enters and starts the music, I scramble onto the bike pretending to look like I have some clue. I don’t. This is very different bike from the one I used 5 years ago. The spin class starts as does my nauseous. Anyone who has done a spinning class knows that the first one is a killer. I look at the clock, I’m 30 seconds in, only another 44 minutes and 30 seconds to go until I can stumble back off the bike and into the changing room. We start the warm up, ha, could have fooled me, this most definitely feels like the main event. If this is the warm up, I’ve got no chance. I can sadly see my face in the mirror. It’s not a pretty site. I’m beetroot red and looking like there is a real possibility I am about to vomit my beans on toast lunch.

 

The next 44 minutes and 30 seconds pass and I survive. I don’t know how, I must have a guardian angel keeping my lunch down for me. Thank you spinning guardian angel. We stretch and then we are dismissed. I think I can walk. I don’t feel like my legs have turned to jelly, yet. There is one problem though. I have horrendous eye sight and given I can’t afford to repair my ‘light’ glasses since Dog BG decided to snack on them, I’ve done the class blind. I mean, I can see enough to see the red glow coming off me but that was about it. I now can’t get into my locker though. I can’t see the damn combination numbers. Seriously, this is a problem for the sight challenged. I have to ask Newbie to help me. Great.

 

I have scheduled to hit the pool after spinning and given the complete shock that I am still able to walk, I somehow make it into the shower and then to the pool. This is where I get a little cocky. Feeling proud of myself, I decide to make this a more challenging swim. Yep, spinning was not enough for one day. I decide to put a float between my legs and only swim using my arms. I have no idea if this is even a ‘technique’ but it felt like it – i.e. my arms started burning – so I carried on with it. 25 minutes later and it’s shower time. Yes, that’s right reader, not only have I done 2 different exercises (3 if you count the walk), I’m going to top it all off with a shower! After the spinning, there really wasn’t a choice, my hair was revolting!

 

I take my time to get dressed. I’ve decided to stay out rather than head home as I am due at a market research ‘thing’ tonight but if I go home, I am not sure I’ll get back out again. There is one minor problem to this though. I may have been super organised with drinks, snacks and clothes, but I’ve somehow overlooked deodorant. Have I mentioned this is the hottest day on record for 47 years? This is not good. Do I ask a half-naked stranger who is drying their hair? Do I spray a bit more perfume – yes perfume I’ve remembered but somehow not deodorant – and then head to Boots? I decide asking the half-naked, perfectly toned lady is too much for a mere beetroot like me so it’ll have the be option 2. Once dressed, hair dried and a large amount of perfume applied, I sit in the ‘member’s area’ – a posh term used for some small sofa’s and a TV – and have my 2 clementine’s and some fiery tomato popcorn.

 

I catch the bus to nearby the market research. This isn’t fun. London busses are hotter inside than the temperature outside. It’s not comfortable. What I would really like is to sit in a café with good air conditioning. I settle on a Costa about 10 minutes away from the research venue. I can’t afford a drink though so instead, take a seat with my frozen water bottle and book hoping no one will notice. Thankfully they don’t! A bit of reading and some texts later, I step back outside. Why in Britain do we all recoil when a door is opened like the heat has literally hit us. Not sure what I mean? Over the next few days, watch how people react when moving from an air-conditioned area to the hot outside. It really is a slap in the face. I don’t know what made my mind think that in the 60 minutes I’ve been in there, London has suddenly dropped a couple of degrees. All logic points to that not happening.

 

I arrive early. I really wasn’t sure about this earlier today. It’s for a luxury perfume company that I have a large addiction too. They’ve obviously scrolled through their client lists and thought I was a safe bet. The best thing though, if I last the full 2 hours, I get a free present from said brand! This is awesome given finances. There are 5 other women in the research group. My feelings of achievement and achieving are being eroded by the group of well manicured, perfect make up wearing women all around me. I’m suddenly acutely aware of the extra weight, poor attempt to look ‘Normal’ and lifeless hair scraped back into a ponytail. There’s a famous quote that people can only make you feel inferior if you allow them. It would appear I’ve arrived with my good old neon sign telling them all about the extra weight, psychiatric hospital admission and generally drugged up to cope state.

 

How? How can my mood swing from determined to prove the doctors wrong and get back to work before the income protection, senses of achievement of my first spinning class in years and to top it off, a swim. I’ve not spent a penny today. I’ve pre-packed food

 

I’m nervous as we get started and don’t know what to say but slowly, we all relax. The other 5 women are lovely, my fears from arriving are put to bed. There is a 1 way mirror in the room. We are told we are being watched by representatives from the brand on the other side of said mirror. I find this exciting and nerving in equal amounts. Exciting because it feels like I am on an American crime show about to be interviewed by the police and scary because I am being interviewed, just not by the police! The two hours fly by and we’ve turned into a chatty bunch. As we leave, we are handed a very large goodie bag. Eek, I can’t wait to get home and open it. Home, however, requires another bus journey. Seriously TFL, when designing busses, please think of air conditioning. I’m on a new route master so there really shouldn’t be any excuses. I spend the next 45 minutes desperately fanning myself with little effect.

 

Once safely inside, it’s time for an immediate strip off. Think desperate person with itching powder in their clothes rather than slow and seductive. It’s time for a coconut ice lolly and a kiwi and lime cider. I’ve done nearly 8,000 steps, a spinning class and 25 minutes of laps so the cider feels earnt. My cats aren’t liking the heat either so come to complain to me. My only offering back to them is ice cubes in their water and partially freezing their wet food for 15 minutes before giving it to them.

 

I feel my earlier determination is back. I can, and will, do this. I will get my mind and body better. I will get back to work and I will be a success. I am considering writing this on post it notes round the flat to keep reminding me. If I forget, feel free to nudge me.

 

IMG_9130

Another Crumb Bites The Dust

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

Tuesday’s schedule includes a 1:1 with my psychiatrist. Therapist L has challenged me to tell Dr. E about the ‘incident’. I know that, the more I say it, the less shame I give it however, knowing and doing are not the same thing. On the bus on the way there, I feel nervous. Not just my usual anxiety about these appointments, an even bigger heap of nervousness has been added to it.

 

I walk in and know that the only way I’ll get it out is to bring it up within the first few minutes. Following a check in of how the last 2 weeks have been (1 crap week, 1 great week) I start blurting it out. I cry as I tell her. It’s true though, I do feel less ashamed having said it out loud yet again. She doesn’t recoil in shock and horror (my fear), she doesn’t think this means I am bad to the very core (my belief), in fact, she says a lot of things now make more sense. She tells me outright, I am not a bad person and that I don’t need to punish myself for the rest of my life.

 

Dr E has been asked to submit a report for the income protection insurance. She tells me it would be good not to use it but she’s going to recommend I need another 4-6 months. What? Hold up, what the hell? No, I don’t agree to this. Yes, I have bad days but I also have good days. Yes, I can’t get out of bed some days but there are days where I am up, dressed and out the house. No, this can’t happen. I ask her if it can be retracted if I am going ok in a couple of weeks. She tells me yes, it’s a lot easier to retract then to try a last minute submission. Shit, I need to think about this. Rolling onto income protection now feels real. Since submitting the forms, I’ve not thought about it but now, it’s only a few weeks away. I really REALLY don’t want to use it. I want to go back to work and be ok. I leave the appointment quite shaken up. This emotional state is a key trigger for binging. Heads up, I binge!

 

I’ve planned on getting lunch from Boots and using my advantage points to pay for it as a money saver. I do, but I also slip into M&S and spend another £4.99 on junk food. I’m down to £3 for the next 2 weeks. Double bugger. I know I am not ok given the pack of biscuits and lime and lemon jaffa cakes I’ve just placed in the bag.

 

I get the bus home and I’m sweating. Literally sweating. Someone said how lucky I am to be off sick during the summer. No, no no no no no. Dude, please, think about what you are saying. I don’t want to be ill, I don’t want to be off work, I don’t want to be battling my mind every minute of every day. Plus, if I was at work, I’d be sat in a lovely air conditioned office rather than on a sticky bus using my God Sons Christening invite to cool down (Sorry Friend KT, I’m thrilled to be his God Mother and the invite is beautiful but it’s also thick card so nicely doubles up as a fan).

 

I consider going into the corner shop and getting a cold cider and an ice cream. No Person C, you don’t NEED either and this will only have to push you to use your credit card. I get off the bus and walk home. I’ve saved myself from a bit more debt.

 

The next few hours are spent on the sofa eating my way through the biscuits and jaffa cakes. Oh, and the lunch. After sabotaging my weight and bank balance, there really is only one last area left to destruct… my sleep. So, I have a 3-hour nap which is sure to stop me sleeping tonight.

 

My cats and I are not a fan of this weather so after my nap, we all decamp to sit in front of the fan. I’m telling myself tomorrow is a new day, a binge doesn’t have to translate as a binge week. As I lie in bed for hours unable to sleep (shock horror), I decide now is the perfect time to get on the scales. I’ve been avoiding them but I know things are bad. My weight has hit a new low… although that should obviously be a new high. 13 stone, 7lbs, I am 5ft 5inch so this is not a good weight for me. I am typing it to make me face up to the reality and also, so much of social media is only what people want to show you, I may as well reveal everything, lbs and all. Bugger! I know how, I’ve been the one putting hand to mouth with goodies. If I’m going to get out of this, and boost my endorphins, I’ve simply got to stop saying ‘tomorrow’ and start saying ‘NOW!’. I’ve seen some inspirational quotes along the lines of ‘no one will love you if you don’t love yourself’. I know, they are ‘pass the bucket’ nauseating but they have a point. I don’t like me physically or mentally. It needs to change. I can’t blame being in hospital now given I’ve been out for 3 months (oh my gosh, where the hell has that time gone?!). I don’t want to roll into income protection for a variety of reasons so time to put my big girl pants on, swallow my pride and get this wide arse into Lycra. Acting on this reactiveness, I book into a spin class at the gym I’ve been paying for but not using. Stay tuned to see if I actually go (and if I do go, if I survive). This will be as much a surprise for me as it will be for you!

 

IMG_9100

It’s Hot Hot Hot But It’s Not My Fault

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

To save money, my train isn’t until 12pm. Friends AI and BI are at work so I’m at their house alone. I wake up at 0700 but stay in bed until 0830. My plan for this morning is to shower, have a call with a mortgage broker and then catch the train home. I’ve even dragged a yogurt all the way from London to save money on breakfast. The call with the mortgage broker is making my heart pound. I don’t know why, although that’s a lie, I do know why. I don’t want to face up to this problem. I’d like it all to go away please. However, if I am going to move to interest only mortgage, this is my only way of doing it.

 

The broker calls at 0930. Apparently, there is quite a lot of options for my mortgage and I don’t need to worry. I am though. This feels like admitting how much of a failure I am. It feels horrid. We agree that I’ll fill the forms out and then go into their offices to discuss the best way forward.

 

Once the call is done, I sit on the bed and finish my book. My reading ability is coming back. It’s a clear marker on how I’m progressing. I then get in the shower. Yes, Person C is washing again. This could be a record of cleanliness! I get an uber to the station, having re-budgeted for it and then pick up some lunch. Lunch today includes mini yum yums, I am so excited! I am trying to do this without binging.

 

I have lunch on the train and then, given I’ve finished my book, plug in to the 100’s of podcasts I’ve got but not listened to. This includes Bryony Gordons ‘Mad World’. The fact the conversation around mental health is opening up is great, our brains are an organ, why do we therefore think it so taboo when something goes wrong? I’m not a scientist but some aspect of depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. If I had a chemical imbalance in my kidneys, everyone would offer support. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a strong army of friends who have given me so much support and love but not everyone is so lucky. The podcasts are great and I highly recommend them. However, when I switch onto another podcast, I start to feel my eyes go. Nothing to do with the podcast, everything to do with being so very tired. Then, I commit public offence #1o1, I fall asleep, mouth open, leaning against the arm rest whilst sat opposite a man who has now seem my tonsils. He’s wearing a wedding ring, at least I’ve not just ruined a future romance chance!

 

To state the obvious, wow it’s hot. I think walking to my appointment with a suitcase and bag is going to lead to a very sweaty Person C so instead, I’ll catch the bus. London busses seem to be the temperature of an over so I’ll still be a sweaty Person C. Whilst waiting at the stop, a blue fiat goes by with a white fluffy dog sticking it’s head out the window. I think to myself ‘how does the dog know not to jump out?’. Just at that very moment, the dog does. He hits the tarmac hard and rolls. My heart in is my mouth. Miraculously there are no cars coming. Given where I am in London, that really is a miracle. The road is normally very busy. The dog seems ok, I think. I haven’t realised I’d let out a scream as had others at the bus stop. My heart in in my mouth. The car stops and a passenger runs to scoop up the dog. I really hope he’s ok. I am shaking a bit. This is when my crazy mind decides to play up. I must somehow be responsible. Did my thought make the dog jump out? Is this punishment for going to bed early at the wedding? That’s the thing with OCD, it allows your brain to convince you of things that it can’t possibly be responsible for. A few people at the bus stop are talking about what happened, I am stood there watching the spot feeling sick. I want to know if the dog is ok, the car has gone though. I want to go and make sure this wasn’t my fault. My bus arrives and I get on still thinking of the fluffy white bundle.

 

Therapist L ushers me in. It doesn’t take long for the tears to start. I don’t want to tell her about the dog incident as I know, intellectually, it can’t have been my fault but my brain is still telling me it is. Instead, I get very upset about Mum, Father and the feelings the wedding brought up for me. She lets me cry. Since I’ve told her I was holding back, I feel we are on a better footing. Then, because I know it’s the healthy thing to do, I tell her about the dog. She assures me it can’t have been my fault. We talk through the situation until I am ready to agree that my brain is wrong, she is right. Finally, with only 10 minutes of the session to go, I allude to ‘the incident’. This is the same incident that I spoke about at hospital and sent me into such a panic attack they considered re-admitting me under a section. Therapist L wants to know if I feel I can open up to her? I don’t know. My hands go up to hide my face. She tells me that she and I can work on my shame even if I never tell her. So, I take the plunge. In the interest of being completely honest, I manipulated the situation so we didn’t get onto a painful topic until the end of the session. That way, if I want to bottle it, I can use time as an excuse and if I do open up, I can run away straight afterwards. So, deep breath, here is goes… Nope, sorry blog, it’s not making it to black and white print just yet but I did tell Therapist L. Each time I talk about it, some of the shame lifts off. Therapist L wants me to tell my psychiatrist, Dr E, tomorrow. Mmm, let me see about that one.

 

I get the bus home and swear TFL are purposely trying to embarrass me. I am so very hot and sticky. It’s not fun. If you saw a harassed female with a heavy suitcase looking like they have just been crying, hi, it was me! Back home and I have a decision to make. Do I take the bus to Friend JC and FC for supper but leave now or do I take a taxi – ha, the tube was never a consideration, not in ‘Normal’ weather, let alone a heatwave! – and use up my monthly budget? I opt for the uber. This means I have an hour to sit right in front of my fan whilst sucking on ice. Also, to help me feel a bit better about the taxi, I’ll use the time to call mum and do a couple of admin bits. See, win win!

 

The call to Mum gets underway whilst I balance the cold bottle of white on my lap to try to help cool me down. She’s going on holiday tomorrow and, to sound like an awful daughter, I am so relieved. It means I’ll have 10 days off her texts. They’ve ramped back up in the last 2 weeks. Mum wants the ‘Best Mum’ award for attending the hospital workshop on Saturday. Apparently she now completely understands (she doesn’t) and realises that I’ve been taught skills that will help me through this (yes, this is true) and finally, I’ve had fantastic care (agree but Mum is trying to guilt trip me about the cost to my medical insurance). She tells me it’s all on me now (great, just what I needed) and so if I promise to lose weight, she’ll promise to relax on holiday. Mum, firstly, WHAT? This isn’t a fair ‘deal’. I’ll go on holiday and why don’t you stay here and try to lose weight? You’re hardly boating the body of a super model (but I do love you very much and don’t mean to sound like a bitch). I loosely promise and then try to hang up. Right, Person C, leave the call in the taxi and think about enjoying a lovely supper with friends and God Daughter EC.

 

Arriving earlier than I normally can means both girls are still up. This is brilliant as it means I get to chase my God Daughter around whilst blowing raspberries to make her laugh. We sit outside, the wonders of being slightly further out from the centre of London, and I’m cooked a lovely fresh supper of salmon. It gets unhealthy after that thanks to a bottle of desert wine and a fruit tart served with more double cream than tart. Oops.

 

Given the kids and the fact it’s a Monday, I am back in an uber before 10pm. Great, an early night is much needed. I check my pre-paid card, and realise, the 2 ubers tonight means that I am left with £9 for the next two weeks until pay day. I am going to have to get clever with my spending. I’m home and it’s still hot. I immediately take my place back in front of the fan. If sweating helps weight loss, I’ll be a size 8 in no time!

 

why London, why?

fullsizeoutput_17e2

Here Comes The Bride

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I wake up at Friends AI and BI feeling ok. Given the wine flight last night I’m somewhat surprised. Friend AI is going to the hairdressers to have her hair done but now I’m on a strict budget a bit of DIY will have to suffice. In fact, Friend FH should feel incredibly lucky, my hair is getting washed 2 days in a row. That’s a first since this ‘blip’! I start doing ‘full’ makeup. Most women will know what I mean when I say this. A woman normally has ‘day makeup’, ‘subtle makeup’, ‘work makeup’ and then, the ultimate ‘my best makeup’. Today, for only the 3rd time since hospital, I’m going all out for ‘my best makeup’. I’m fat, spotty, have split ends and my dress is just 1 inch too tight but, I’m going to try my best to turn up looking ok.

 

If I’m being 100% honest, in the car on the way to the ceremony, I’m wishing I could go home. It’s nothing to do with any of my friends, it’s just a feeling of not being ok. I think we’ve all learnt that my ‘not ok’ feeing means I want to shut myself away at home. It’s bloody frustrating. I love a good wedding and this promises to be just that yet really, I’d like to be at home. Or. There is an or. Or, at least 1 stone lighter, not this unfit, not this spotty and preferably with a plus 1. Friend AI is driving which means two things:

 

1) We’ll be travelling at break neck spread yet…

2) inexplicably be late!

 

Friend AI must work on the same clock system as Sister. Much to my (and everyone else in the car) surprise, we’re here with 18 minutes to spare. No stress you may be thinking but no, that would be too easy. Paying for the parking takes ages and I’m trying not to show it but I’m feeling very panicky. I’m trying to hide my breathing technique whilst stood on the pavement. It feels painful how long the parking is taking to sort out. It’s no ones fault, it’s a crazy payment mechanism but oh my days, please can we be sat in the church in silence asap.

 

We take a pew, literally, and sit to wait for the ceremony to commence. In walks the bridesmaids and then, the absolutely stunning Friend FH. We were really close at uni but drifted a little since the bugger that is real life decided to interject. Today though, wow. Just wow. I’m so pleased she’s found her lobster (if you don’t get that reference you need a good education in the 10 brilliant series of Friends!). After they are officially married it’s time to hit up the genius ice cream van. On a day where the thermometer is hitting 29, ice cream is definitely hitting the spot. I might be feeling fat and frumpy but since when has that stopped me from indulging?

 

The drive to the venue is quite long and when we arrive, I want to hide in my room and hurry up and be outside with the other guests and harpist all at once. I suffer from monumental FOMO. Other guests are already outside in the sunshine but equally, I want to check in and layout, in order, my face creams and pjs. Obviously Happy the elephant has come with me so he needs to be tucked into bed ready for me later. We do dump our bags but Friend AI and SA seem to take an age before they are ready to head down. I know, logically, they took no time at all but my brain is in overdrive with all these strange people. I *may* have rushed them. I can’t stand ‘missing out’. Today is hot and I don’t mean English weather hot, I mean Mediterranean hot. I think I might be melting. Friend FB (notice the subtle change of the H to B!) is somehow remaining cool calm and collected whilst all 100+ guests huddle under the 1 tree offering shade. The canopies and bubbles are free flowing but not any ice water. This is a mistake. Person C + bubbles + heat – water = headache tomorrow! The photographer has a great idea of getting all the guests in a huddle in the sun for a group shot. Thanks dude, really appreciate you capturing me as a hot sweaty mess. Friend BI is doing remarkably well to keep his jacket and tie on. Come to think of it, Groom/ new husband TB is doing incredibly well to still be in his 3-piece suit! Hats off to you.

 

We get called through for the wedding breakfast. The room is beautifully decorated and I am in love with the flowers. They have mint and blackberries in them! Genius. If ever my day comes, I am going to copy that. We start with speeches and that’s when my happy smile starts to wobble. First up, Father of the Bride. Events like this are bittersweet. I am so happy for Friends FB and TB but, I’ll never have this moment. I’ll never have a father of the bride speech whilst dabbing away tears (just like Friend FB). Even if my relationship improves with Father, he wouldn’t be able to reference anything after 7 years-old or before the time we sort it out! This also stirs up my anger that Sister and Brother-in-law had to elope. Finally, weddings really do remind a person just how lonely singledom is. Speeches done and time to put my sadness away. Friend FB, I love you, I really do, but this is not the menu to be serving on a boiling summer day! Soup, followed by beef wellington and then sticky toffee pudding. All three things I love but when I’m already suffering, this is probably not the light refreshing meal I wanted – I later found out that Friend FB was so convinced it would rain, she wanted something warming! As with all wedding breakfasts, the wine is free flowing. I can’t tell how many glasses I’ve had as I have topped up before getting to the bottom.

 

Once the meal is over, we head outside for a bit whilst we wait for the room to be converted into the dance floor and the cutting of the cake. It’s getting a bit cooler so it’s nice to hang out on the grass whilst chatting. We make it back in to see the cake cut and the first dance. Friend FB wasn’t joking when she said her first dance was to Elvis. It’s lovely! I don’t feel I can go up an dance though so I watch from afar.

 

Friend FB comes to say hi and decides to show us the honeymoon suite. It’s stunning but, she wants to call it a night. It takes a lot of persuading to drag the bride back down to the 100+ guests (and her new husband!). Ah Friend FB, you’ve not changed a bit. This is exactly how uni nights would go! You’d want to fall asleep before we’d even left. Bride in tow, we head down. This is when I realise I’m feeling totally overwhelmed. I lie to my friends (sorry) and tell them I am heading to my room to change my shoes. The honest thing would have been to tell them I’m feeling overwhelmed by the whole wedding and loving family thing and I think I need to go hide.

 

I’ve managed most of the wedding. I’ve seen them walk up and then down the aisle, I’ve ‘grudgingly’ (aka very happily) had the free 99 ice cream at the church. I’ve supped champers and had the 3-course wedding breakfast. I’ve seen the cake cut and the first dance. But. Yes, there is a but. It’s 21:50 and I’m not sure I can face much more. It’s been very hot today and mixed with the wine with the meal and a G&T, I think I’m done. I Know Friend FB will understand. I’m not sure if Friends AI, BI and SA will though. I lied. I told them I was nipping to my room to change my shoes but I’m actually sat here in pjs and munching through the wedding pick n’ mix. I don’t think I can face going back down. I’m hot, sticky and feeling overwhelmed. My happy smile is starting to falter. I’ve had a run of good days and whilst I don’t think this is a downhill moment, I think the most sensible thing would be to call it a night. I’ve had a great streak of good days and I’d love tomorrow to be another one. I’ve done my best. I’ve worked really hard to be ‘Normal’ today. I think my book, Happy and I now need to say night night.

 

Friend AI messages to see if I’m coming down. This freaks me out. The truth is, probably no, but can I tell her the truth? In the past, Person C would have ignored the message as a way of dealing with it but, Person C is meant to be doing things a bit differently now so, why don’t I just message the truth, I need some time out. From my spot on the bed, I have great acoustics of the band and I’m getting to rock out in the privacy of my room. I lied though. Again. Whilst I did say I needed some time out, I said I’ll head down soon. I’m not sure I will head down soon. In fact, I’m already in pjs, sat on the bed eating the wedding pick n’mix. I fall asleep before I can even think about getting dressed again and heading down.

 

 

 

I wake up at 0700 but decide to roll straight back over. I finally peel myself out of bed at 08:40. Whilst I was by no means drunk last night, I can feel the few I did have. Not a hangover per se, more a foggy haze. Friend FB should feel exceptionally honoured, whilst I haven’t showered this morning – 3 days in a row would be far too good to be true – I have applied a base layer of make-up. I can count on 1 hand the times I’ve worn make up since mid-January so this really is exceptional.

 

The others aren’t up yet when I arrive for breakfast so I end up sitting on my own at a table laid for 10. Excellent, just what I wanted. Thankfully the Groom is on hand to work his charm and ask how I am, did I have fun etc. The, Friend FB makes an appearance. Phew, I feel less like a loner now. Finally, Friends AI, BI and SA turn up too. I’ve

 

We pay – I’ve budgeted to put this on credit card paying most off this month and the rest next week when I get my salary – say our good byes and then head off. On the drive home, I fall asleep, I’m pretty sure it was with my head tilted and mouth wide open. There is talk of going to the park for the afternoon. I don’t know how I feel about that. Friend AI asks if I am up to it and I want to say no. I want some time out preferably in a cool and well ventilated place. My mouth doesn’t cooperate with my head though and I say yes, sure, sounds great! Once back, Friend SA heads straight off and it would appear I am going to go along with the idea of a picnic in the park. We head to a supermarket for supplies and I don’t know how to tell Friend AI that I am already over budget for the weekend. I hadn’t anticipated Friday’s lunch or supper being quite so expensive. This is really embarrassing. I know Friend AI couldn’t care less about what I earn, how much I spend etc. but admitting you can’t afford a picnic, well, it’s a new low for me. We get to the till and as I’d feared, a few crudities and snacks has suddenly totted up to £48. I offer to transfer money to Friend AI but she waves her hand away. I feel incredibly guilty.

 

Once at the park we find a place in the shade (for me) but with areas of sun (for Friend AI). I read and try to enjoy being so ‘Normal’. Unsurprisingly, once I am outside, it’s better than I thought it would be. There are groups of people dotted around the park, some BBQ-ing and others just relaxing. I did not make the most of this park whilst at uni that’s for sure! It’s no to a tan for Person C, I stay in the shade! We stay longer than I am ‘comfortable’ being outside. I kind of wish I was going home to the solitude of cats and duvet land. It’s nothing to do with Friends AI and BI, it’s just that I feel social-ed out from this weekend. I don’t though and I know, deep down, deep deep down under the longing to be locked away, this is good for me. Friend AI and I have a heart-to-heart, which I hugely appreciate, before heading back to their house.

 

We have the rest of picnic for late supper and now I am going to shut myself away in the spare room. I am tired and a bit headachey from the sun and lack of water. Looking back, I’ve had an amazing run of ‘good’ days. I’m not going to assume it will continue but I’m also not going to sabotage them. They’ve been great, precious, special even. This is progress. This is the tangible proof I wanted that I am moving in the right direction.

Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I’m up a little later than I intended but given I was awake later than I should have been, it’s hardly a surprise. I am torn. My hair is at McDonald’s fries greasy but if I wash it, I won’t want to wash it tomorrow before the wedding. It’s a tough call but in the end, I settle on washing it. For the sake of others on the train as much as for my own cleanliness.

 

I feel a bit flustered, partially because I think I’ve lost my phone – I hadn’t, it was in my bag – and because it’s hot. I’m sweating unattractively. Whoever made up the saying that ‘Men perspire, women glow’ has not met me on a hot day running up and down the stairs. I am really hoping looking for my phone hasn’t delayed me too much to miss my train.

 

I run around the station trying to work out where I should go with this ticket. It’s a megabus ticket rather than a typical train ticket so I don’t know who I should show. Apparently, no-one. Apparently, you merely board the train. I’m dubious this is what I am meant to do and I’m convinced I’m going to be thrown off the train. I settle into a table seat next to the window though and cross my fingers. A family board with a very irritable toddler. I try to avoid eye contact, I can see them eyeing up the 3 seats free next to and opposite me. No, please no. I really don’t want to spend the next 2 hours listening to your child screaming. Sadly, as I look up to check their movements, the mum catches my eye. We all know I am doomed now. What’s the bet that they are not only going to sit at the table with me but they are also going to the same destination as me?

 

I put my earphones in to desperately try to drown out the screaming. I try to get into my book but it takes a while before I can concentrate. I know it’s not their fault, I know kids do scream but I simply wish it wasn’t on the 10:26 train and in carriage A. Thankfully, the father has realised that the screaming is annoying and so takes the toddler for a walk along the train. Thank you! I read and start to get intrigued by my book.

 

I am going to be 5 ½ hours early today. Friend’s AI and BI won’t be home until 18:00 and I am due to arrive at 12:40. Their neighbours, Friends AG and DG aren’t home today either. I have to occupy myself therefore and even though I spent 3 wonderful years here as an undergraduate, I feel a bit at a loss. In the end, I settle on an uber to a café around the corner from their house. It shuts at 17:30 so I’ll only need to sit outside for 30 minutes. It also means I can have lunch. I technically haven’t budgeted for an uber so I’ll have to do some manipulation with the budget to cover it but in my defence, I’d forgotten that north of the M25 magically becomes a couple of degrees cooler than the pollution filled London air. Having de-haired, I am proudly showing the world my very pale legs in a summer dress. The only summer dress that currently fits.

 

Having had lunch, I take the plunge and call Mum. She’s been messaging me that she’s worrying about me. The boundaries I put in place regarding calls are slightly slipping and there has been a noticeable uptick in text messages. I need to try to stay strong though. Mum is going to a family day at the hospital I was admitted to. It’s a half day to allow carers and family members understand what our depression is like and how they can support us. Mum is currently telling me how she’s going just to show how much she supports me but I mustn’t forget that this isn’t easy for her. Oh, the guilt trip, how are you? It’s been a while but it appears you can still pull the rug from under my feet. I tell her I love her and I’ll call on Monday. Let’s see if I can get over the guilt trip.

 

To assist with the blog write ups and to help drown out the guilt, I order a macadamia blondie and a large glass of white wine. Fear not, this isn’t the early signs of me coping via alcohol, I think, it’s just it’s hot, it’s the weekend and guilt added on top feels like a good time for white wine.

 

I am pleased I am seeing friends tonight. I feel I need a bit of a boost to ‘pick me up’. For some reason, unknown to me, my mood is very slightly starting to head downwards. I’m feeling self-conscious and wishing I was locked in the flat, blinds down, cats on my lap. I’m tired which doesn’t help me ‘pick myself up’. This is also possibly down to the fact that someone with depression can’t ‘pick themselves up’, depression is an illness, not an inconvenient down day. The whole ‘Think Happy, Be Happy’ is all good and well if you are not ill but sadly just makes those who are ill feel even more inferior for not being able to get better all on their own.

 

Friend DG appears. I thought he was away for the weekend so whilst I am sat on a bench, the lunch café has closed, and waiting for Friend AI, which we all know will mean a longer wait that planned, I head for a G&T. I’m still wary of drinking too much. It’s been a long time and alcohol is never great for a depressed head.

 

Friends AI and BI finally arrive and it’s a quick change the out for supper. The restaurant looks brilliant but, the price tag isn’t quite what I’d had in mind. It’s a fixed tasting menu which I know I’ll love but with wine flight added on, it’s going to take me £25 over budget. Might not sound a lot but when you’re digging yourself out of a financial mess, and a depression mess, it feels like the world. The meal is amazing and the matching wines really go well with it but I feel a little sick when the bill comes. I can’t tell if that’s due to too much food and wine or the hefty price tag. I stick it on the pre-paid card as I’ve got to keep myself honest to the budget but it’ll squeeze me for the next 2 weeks. I am also a little paranoid that my dinner chat isn’t great. I don’t have much interesting things to say at the moment. Not with all this crap going on. I mean, I can talk to you about the pros and cons of a psychiatric hospital until I am blue in the face but ask me to have a rounded dinner discussion and I’m afraid it’s an instant fail. Dear friends, I do apologise, I’ve never realise quite how boring I am.

 

The day has finished well. The money worry aside, I feel I’ve coped with today really well. I’ve managed the bus, a busy train station, a screaming toddler on the train, 5 ½ hours on my own yet still in public and shitty banter over supper with amazing friends. Roll on tomorrow and the wedding of Friend FH and TB!

 

Today’s 30 days of happiness challenge:

IMG_9057

I Don’t Cave To McDonald’s!

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I sleep for a lot longer than planned. It’s 09:45 when I finally emerge from my room! Friend KH has not only gotten up, she’s also fed Baby HH, dressed Child MH, taken Child MH to nursey and then taken the dogs to the vet. I feel very lazy. Oh well, at least it was a great night’s sleep. It’s such a relief to be sleeping again. Last week’s insomnia bout was not fun. We have breakfast and some baby cuddles before starting to pack and head off. Friend KH is heading to her parents for the weekend so we are both packing. I’ve got one night at home and then I catch a train north of the M25 for a friend’s wedding this weekend. I’ve not taken the train in ages. Having a car has meant I’ve always driven. Firstly, it’s cheaper than train tickets these days, secondly, you can arrive and depart whenever suits you. I’m looking forward to the train though. I can read on the way there and watch the scenery go past. Funnily enough, when you are driving, neither of those activities is recommended. Plus, having discovered megabus sells train tickets, it’s also a bargain. Friend KH asks how I feel about the wedding this weekend. Mixed is the honest answer. I’m excited, for obvious reasons, but also, a little concerned how I’ll handle so many people I don’t know. Friend FH, who’s wedding it is, has amazingly booked me accommodation at the venue so if it gets too much for me, I can easily slip away. It’s a huge relief.

 

Just before setting off, I post the card to Father. It’s still annoying me that I signed for Sister. I also decide I may as well drive the detour to Mum’s to get rid of this large, bulky, heavy item for mum. If I don’t do it now, it’ll be weeks. It’ll add about 45 minutes onto my journey which doesn’t sound too bad but I really want to get home. Maybe I can treat myself to a McDonalds for doing a good deed?

 

I set off and rapidly consume quite a lot of the pick n’ mix from yesterday. Oops. Well, I’m not having lunch, I tell myself, so this is ok. The journey isn’t too bad and I am setting off from Mum’s quicker than I thought I would be. The mental wrestling match starts. To have a McDonalds or not to have a McDonald’s, that is the question. As I approach the roundabout near my flat, I head down the road towards the McDonalds. I know, in my recent posts I’ve been stating how much I dislike my size. It’s all true but that doesn’t stop me wanting to comfort eat. My desire of McDonald’s is probably somewhat related to my nerves about this weekend. At the last minute, I convince myself not to go to the drive through. Before I know it, I am reversing the car into its parking space. I’ve done it, I’ve avoided a binge-fest. Another sign I am moving in the right direction.

 

I enter the flat to two talking cats. They are very pleased to see me. In the same way having Child MH excited to see me, it’s lovely to know they missed me. I know, really, they missed the food and cuddles but I tell myself it’s me. Also, I’ve been very lax with them recently and they’ve been chilling out in my bedroom rather a lot. They know me coming home will mean the bedroom door being opened. I have things to do. I’d originally planned to head for a swim but that’s gone out the window. I may have been able to avert a McDonald’s trip but that’s the limit of my self-control for the day. In fact, I plonk myself on the sofa with some biscuits. I do a few chores but don’t do the thing that really needs doing, packing. The train is at 10:26 tomorrow. To avoid a panic attack on the bus, I am planning to leave a spare 45 minutes to get to the station. That means an early morning. Packing tonight is really the only option but I continue to put it off. In fact, cleaning the litter tray and scooping the cat’s poo is more appealing. I think (which should read, I know) that the other reason I am feeling sensitive about the weekend is weddings always thrust in your face just how single and alone I am. I know I am not the only single in the country, I know that ‘there’s still time’ but oh wow, this mixed with seeing Friend KH and RH having such a lovely family really makes me jealous. So, instead of tackling the problem, I sit on the sofa with the blinds down and talking to my cats. I can’t understand why I’ve not been snapped up already with that heady combination.

 

To put off the shower decision too, I call Mum. You know it’s bad if calling Mum is higher up the ‘easy to do’ list than packing. She has missed me, she has been worrying about me. She is dreading the hospital family morning on Saturday but she’s doing it just for me. She tells me how much this shows she supports me. The round of ‘when are you going back to work’ questions start too. She thinks that because she is going on Saturday, it somehow correlates to my return to work. I am not sure how this logic works but as far as I am aware, there is no connection. Yes, I do want to go back to work, yes, I understand already this won’t be helping my career but honestly, I am sick of justifying my sick leave. I obviously needed it so would Mum please just stop asking. 30 minutes of Mum grilling later and I say bye. I think she was in the middle of saying something to me but I don’t know nor care what is was at this point.

 

This would be a great time to run a bath, do a face mask, exfoliate, shave and all other manners of a beauty regime in readiness for Friend FH’s big day. Do I though? No. No I do not. I tidy they flat, I carelessly throw some clothes into the case, I hang up some clothes, I clean the fridge, I sort recycling (yes, it’s back again!) and stack the dishwasher. I also realise I am stressing about the train tickets. They were considerably cheaper than normal and I only have an email to prove I did in fact pay for them. What if they are fake? Thankfully, Friend GG is at the other end of my text to tell me not to worry, they are not fake, they will be real, they will allow me to travel.

 

Finally, at 0130, I’m a rather sweaty mess that is ready to sleep. The case is packed bar the dress I am planning to wear to the wedding. I am not sure if it’ll do up. It was rather tight when doing it up for Sister’s wedding party so the pick n’ mix and cheese over the last few days won’t have helped. I’ll try it on tomorrow, after my shower. I should also own up to the fact, it’s been in the ‘hand washing’ pile since my Sister’s wedding party without actually making it to be washed. I’m using that strange logic that, because it has been sat there so long, it has magically self-cleaned. I have also heavily sprayed it with some Jo Malone Linen Spray. The stuff of dreams hey. My hair is back at McDonald’s greasy even though I washed it on Wednesday at Friend’s RH and KH’s house.

 

Oh to be a cat!

IMG_9051

Stolen Sweeties

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

Child MH is at play school today so Friend KH, Baby HH and I head out to a nearby town. It’s another beautiful day but in my black trousers, I’m feeling very hot. What guys don’t realise is that weather like this is very inconvenient for women. We have to tackle the body hair before we can even contemplate putting a dress or skirt on. Simple you may think but no, alas, it isn’t. Being hair free requires planning and organisation. 2 things I would normally say I am good at but when you are a somewhat crazy person who lives with 2 cats, I often don’t feel the need to de-hair myself. The cats don’t seem to have any strong opinion on the state of my leg hair. Timing of de-hairing is key too. I have a wedding on Saturday which definitely requires being de-haired for so I can’t shave my legs today as it won’t have grown enough to then be silky smooth for the wedding. See, men, you really do have it easier. I know some women may be reading this and rolling their eyes stating we don’t need to de-hair just because that’s the norm in society. I completely agree, if you are comfortable as you are, go right ahead. I applaud you (and am somewhat jealous of you too) however, I am doing this for no other reason than it makes me feel better about myself too.

 

So, back to overheating in the black jeans, we stroll around the shops a bit which allows me to get a Father’s Day card. This isn’t a simple task as a lot of Father’s Day cards have very gushy lines on the front about ‘You’re the best dad ever’, or ‘greatest dad in the whole world’. Well, I just can’t bring myself to send one of those to Father as most of the statements, in my mind, do not apply. I find the least gushy one and stick with that. Whilst wondering, we also head to an old fashioned sweet shop. They do proper pick n’ mix with the old-fashioned greats like rhubarb and custard boiled sweets and rosy apple boiled sweets. Both Friend KH and I get a ‘healthy’ selection before heading for something a tad more nutritious in the form of lunch. It’s hot and sunny so we sit outside. We really put the world to rights, I can only guess that the people on the surrounding tables are chuckling at the pace and content of our chat. We seem to switch topics remarkably quickly yet somehow stay in sync with each other.

 

Having acquired a bottle of rosé for Friend RH and I tonight, we head off back to the house and then to collect Child MH. When we arrive, she proudly tells her playschool teacher I am Bam Bam. Yay. It’s so lovely to be so loved. I know my friends all love me, they’ve all be so completely awesome with this blip in my life but to have a little girl break into smile always warms the heart. I am tired and could have stayed at the house whilst Friend KH went to get Child MH but I am pleased I’ve come too. Increasingly, I seem to be handling more and more things in one day. I am taking this as a sign of the slow movement towards ‘Normal’. It’s nice to see that I am less vacant and able to take part in life rather than watching it from behind an invisible screen. Today has been another ‘good day’. That’s 2 in a row. This is progress for sure. Last week was not good at all so I am relieved to see some good days. Maybe, just maybe, I am heading in the right direction.

 

We get back to the house and it’s a quick change into pjs for both Friend KH and I. Whilst upstairs, both Friend KH and I hear Child MH saying something about ‘just eating…’. We both fly down the stairs to find Child MH looking very proud of herself for managing to get into my apple laces sweets. We start laughing even though Friend MH is trying to tell Child MH she’s been naughty. The thing I am more concerned with is the half she threw away. Dear Child MH, never, and I mean NEVER, throw away sweets. They are precious commodities to me!

 

Just as we are settling on the sofa, and rapidly approaching ‘acceptable wine o’clock’ again, Mum calls to ask if I can drive via hers on my way home tomorrow. No Mum, I can’t. It’s not on my way home and I can’t be at your beck and call. I tell her that. She seems to take it but does ladle some motherly guilt onto me stating she would really like to talk to me, I’m worrying her and please don’t forget this is hard on her too. Yes Mum, I am aware. You manage to remind me of this a lot.

 

Next up, Sister sends me a text: ‘Shit, it’s Father’s Day at the weekend, what should we do? xxx’. This annoys me. Yes, it is Father’s Day, I’ve already got a card as I have remembered and therefore thought through sending it to him. I tell her I have a card and should I sign it for her? Yes, is the answer. This infuriates me. Friend KH has noticed I seem to be more annoyed at Sister than usual. I don’t know why she’s frustrating me so much but Friend KH is right, I really am harbouring some resentment towards her.

 

Supper tonight is lamb, being cooked for is brilliant. We follow the lamb with some whiskey smoked cheese. I never buy cheese at home. Living on your own seriously impedes your food purchases I find. I love cheese but most portions are too big for me to only have a little at night. This is also excuse I make for eating whole large bags of crisps, not buy fresh vegetables and eating piles of biscuits. You see, the mind is very clever at finding evidence to support your own hypothesis.

 

Being with friends for the last few days has done me so much good. I need to be more disciplined with making plans each week. More than 1 day at home and things start going downhill and rapidly. It’s the little things like someone to talk to. I mean, I talk to my cats all the time but it tends to be a very one-sided conversation. The other reason that having a 2-way conversation is useful is that friends help me understand what’s a ‘Normal’ reaction vs. what’s my depressed, anxious and OCD reaction. Friend KH thinks it is annoying Sister can’t get her own Father’s Day card so I get a point for that. However, Friend KH doesn’t think catastrophizing the rest of my life is ‘Normal’. It keeps me in check.

 

Friend KH and I head to be at 23:30, Friend RH has long since gone up given he has to leave at 05:30 tomorrow. I get into bed and I know I fall asleep quickly. This is great as it’s a sign that I’ve been busy enough in the day to wear me out but not so busy that I am overtired. Bar the ever presence of my feelings about my size, this has been another good day to put under my belt.

Oh, To Be 2 Again

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

My alarm goes off but I snooze a bit longer safe in the knowledge that I will be awoken by Child MH shortly. Exactly 30 minutes later, in trundles Child MH whispering the magic words, ‘wakey wakey Bam Bam’. It has the same effect as always; her huge grin instantly makes me want to get out of bed. We head downstairs to be greeted by the other two members of the house, dogs. They too seem very excited to see me.

 

We have breakfast and then head out to a garden centre and farm shop. It’s hot. Really hot. The kind of really hot that should mean people dress in light floaty dresses except I’ve only packed black jeans. Black and jeans is not a comfortable combination today. Following a ploughman’s lunch bought for me by naughty Friend KH, we roam around the swings, toy tractors and animals. Everything is so much more exciting with kids. Child MH has a great time running off to look at the animals. I should run after her, I need the cardio, but I don’t. I stroll lazily with Friend KH. We discuss how simple life is for a 2 ½ year old. Life rotates around sleep, nappy changes, playing, and eating. Child MH has a new fairy door in her room. If she’s really good, the fairies will visit at night and leave her presents. Why do 2-year-olds get all the fun? I want a fairy door in my bedroom. If said fairies could kindly drop off some diazepam, a double whisky and a shoulder massage, that would be much appreciated. I don’t think such fairies exist but Friend KH is certainly a magic friend.

 

We get a chocolate milkshake each and Friend KH and I have a marmalade muffin. I most definitely did not need either but yet miraculously they are both consumed. The thing with my relationship with food is that I hate being this big, I feel revolting, I don’t like my reflection in the mirror and I want to cry. Due to feel so upset, I want something to soothe me, the soothing remedy is chocolatey or salty food. None of the healthy stuff. So starts the vicious cycle of feeling crap about being fat, soothing myself for feeling crap about being fat with junk, feeling even crapper about being fat. It’s not as simple as saying ‘try harder’, ‘remove all the junk food’ or any other advice one may give me. I need to give cooking and healthier eating a really good shot but today isn’t the day to start it. I know, I know, why put off until tomorrow something that you can do today? Because today involves marmalade muffin, that’s why.

 

We head back home via the farm food shop. I pick up a bottle of wine for Friend RH and I tonight and let Child MH ‘pay’ with my contactless card. She’s easily impressed and totally unaware of the concept of money and the fact this 31-year-old is having to use a pre-paid card to ensure the debt repayment stays on its fastest possible course.

 

Back at the house and Friend KH and I immediately change into pjs, she too is a lover of pjs and dressing gowns. It’s also ‘DD’ time, Child MH picks out Mulan so we all sit starting at the screen letting Disney work its magic.  Not long after the movie ends, we hit ‘Acceptable to have a glass of wine’ time. This is a great time of day. A large glass of chilled white wine is headed my way. My tolerance for alcohol is still nowhere near pre-hospital levels but that’s no bad thing I am sure. As we sit and chat, Child MH helps herself to Happy the elephant teddy (see, he really is well travelled) and thinks it’s a great idea to throw him into the garden. Would all animals and children kindly stop picking on a 31-year-old stuffed elephant? Safely retrieved, Child MH apologies with her cute lower lip in a pout, it’d impossible to tell off. In fact, I want to laugh but that will probably undermine Friend KH’s discipline so I look the other way. Other than eating too much, so far today is a better than average day. This is really good. The self-loathing of my size is nothing new so I don’t consider this as impeding on the rest of my emotions.

 

You give me a hard time about not being fair when he’s making an effort and then you do this? I am frustrated at Sister. In fact, I think the frustration has been building for a while. It’s not just the card, it’s a few other things too.

 

Supper tonight is lasagne which is very tasty but leaves me feeling doubly stuffed. In fact, I am certain I am look pregnant. I can see my reflection in their full length window and it’s disgusting. I hate me. It was very tasty though, and Friend KH found a way to stuff even more vegetables into it with the thanks to courgette noodles.

 

I’m really tired and I am feeling so negative about my appearance. My hair is a state and in desperate need of some attention, my weight is probably higher than the last time I weight myself and to top it all off, I have spots. I need to work harder at having a healthy routine and swimming is going to be a key part of that. My earlier pride at having made it to the pool has all but disappeared. In fact, I really want to cry. To occupy my mind, I read by iPhone light until I am ready to drop off to sleep.

Father ‘Help’

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I wake up and actually get up at the time my alarm goes off. This is the first time in a long while! I’ve got my 1:1 with Therapist L at 09:00 so I need to factor in London rush hour to make sure I am not late. I have a healthy breakfast, get dressed and head out the door. No taxi needed today. I washed my hair last night, I know I did but it doesn’t look or feel great today. Maybe it was so dirty, one wash wasn’t going to cut through the grease? Maybe I need one of those washing up liquids that advertises how it can instantly ‘cut through tough grease and grime’?

 

The 1:1 is hard. It’s felt like I’ve had a couple of weeks off, mainly because I have had exactly a couple of weeks off. Getting back in the swing of it is like going back to school after half term. I’d forgotten how draining it is. We talk about my OCD and the conversation with Friend XYZ on Friday. We are going to work on my teeth brushing first. I fundamentally need to take care of them. I can’t afford to lose another one at the almighty cost of £3,000 for a new implant. I either have to break my ritual or have to factor enough time into my night routine to do the whole ritual.

 

I have scheduled to walk to the gym and have another swim before driving to Friends KH and RH. The thing is, I’ve never done the whole walk, even though I was going to do it every day whilst at day care. Can I? Sod it, yes, I can. I walk all the way to the pool and to really prove a point, I don’t swim for 30 minutes, no no, I swim for 37 minutes. Those extra 7 minutes are important. Go me. I walk home (seriously, who is this person and what have you done with Person C?), and, to really round the success off, I have the remaining 2 chocolate ring donuts (ah, Person C, there you are!). I’ve done more that 10,000 steps and it’s only just 12:30. Yippee. The donuts are followed by some strawberries, got to have a balanced diet, right? I chuck some clothes in a bag, have a shower and wash my hair – I make sure to thoroughly lather it this time, trying to get all the grime – before head to the car.

 

IMG_9013

 

The drive takes a couple of hours and I feel quite close to tears. I don’t know why. I’ve felt this morning was a success to be honest so my own emotional state is taking me somewhat by surprise. I manage to keep the tears at bay but I have a feeling I am going to be a rotten guest for the next few days.

 

I am greeted at the door by Child MH! She is very excited to see me, as I am to see her. The thoughts of crying are quickly gone once having a hug from this little cutey. Friend KH is ready to pass Baby HH straight over to me for some baby cuddling therapy whilst also telling me about the home made, vegetable packed menu for the next few days. Ah, Friend KH, my body will thank you!

 

We sit chatting and having a glass of wine or two before heading to bed. The bonus of staying here is the early nights, having a toddler and baby is apparently knackering! Fine by me, means I will hopefully get a whole night’s sleep. Tomorrow’s activities include a chocolate milkshake and a marmalade chocolate muffin, I’m genuinely very excited!

Saturday, Crap-urday; Sunday, Swim-day

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

 

Let’s cut right to the chase. The weekend doesn’t go well. In fact, this may be a contender for the shortest, most boring-est entry ever. Saturday takes on a great form of pjs, chocolate, biscuits, chocolate, sofa, Sudoku, nap and reading. Genuinely, that’s my Saturday summed up. It’s a beautiful sunny day as I am inside, hiding, with the blinds down, watching the world carry on its oh so perfect life whilst I am held hostage in the flat. Thankfully my fur balls keep me company and it means that when I am talking aloud, at least I can pretend it’s them I’m talking too, rather than completely losing the plot. I don’t think one single productive thing gets done today other than fighting back tears and feeling really rather low. Just to top off my rock n’ roll weekend, I do a bit of colouring before heading to bed. Go me!

 

 

Can today be any better? At 11:00 there is a mental health mates walk in East London. The lady who organises it has been so lovely to me over the last month. She’s stayed in touch and offered up her support. I want to go today to firstly thank her but secondly support the initiative. It’s not going to happen though. I can tell. I want to hide under the duvet and cry so leaving the house to meet some strangers is highly unlikely. I text my apologies but hope I can meet her for coffee another time. Also, she has connections to the ice cream industry, this is seriously a lady I need in my life this summer!

 

Sunday continues along the lines of Saturday. In fact, I may as well copy and paste from the above. At 17:00 I get a random burst of ‘F*#k you Depression’ energy. I am not sure where it’s come from, I don’t know why it couldn’t appear at 10:00 this morning, but, whatever, I am going to grab it by the balls. Or, at least, think about grabbing it by the balls. I do some general tidying up and I am seriously considering going for a walk and then breaking the invisible barrier of the gym. Can I? No, yes, maybe. It takes another hour but I’ve psyched myself up enough to be pulling (and pushing, and tugging and many other ways of manipulating) my body into a swimsuit. Yes, you’ve read right. I am going to leave the flat, voluntarily, and go for a swim. I’ve not been swimming since early February about 4 days before I was admitted to hospital. I love swimming so to get it back in my life would be great. I head out the door and 5 minutes into the 25-minute walk to the pool, I realise I don’t have a padlock. Great. Is this the universe telling me to get back inside and hide? I head back to the flat and grab one. I am going to do this, but please universe, don’t let me see anyone I know. I’m sporting some very greasy hair, teeth that I think may be growing fur and I’ve just realised, as approaching the gym, whilst I’ve remembered pants, I’ve not remembered a bra for when I get out the pool. Bugger. I thought I’d been so clever getting into my swimsuit at home. Hahaha, look at me, the organised one. Turns out that cocky attitude is getting me nowhere.

 

Bra or no bra, I am here so I am getting in the pool. Guys, can you believe it? I’ve done it. I am in the water (don’t worry, I showered before getting in, the build-up of dry shampoo on my scalp and potential body odour has been dealt with – I was worried I’d change the colour of the water). 30 minutes of laps done and I’m feeling good about myself. I can do this. I will do this, go team Person C! Maybe I can get my brain onto my side for once.

 

I start the walk home, braless, but that my lucky stars I did remember pants. My good, positive mood is starting to dwindle. I don’t know why. Each step feels like I am going downhill a little (sadly, not literally as my legs are a little tired now). I stop via Sainsbury’s. This is a mistake. I knew it was going to be about 100 yards from the entrance. I pick up a spaghetti carbonara ready meal, 4 chocolate ring donuts, a packet of crisps and 2 ciders. Why? Why am I going to sabotage something that has just gone well? I get home and eat two donuts and then, drink the cider. I decide to, sensibly, put the ready meal in the freezer. I don’t need it. I am going to take this as a minor victory. I bought food I could have binged on but I am not going to.

 

I run a bath, add some amazing aromatherapy oils and sink in. The hair is taking on a life of its own, I am not entirely sure adding chlorine to the mix was wise but it’s too late now. I wash my hair and head to bed. I have a 1:1 psychologist appointment tomorrow morning and then I am heading out of London for a couple of nights for more baby and toddler therapy with Friends KH and RH.

 

All in all, today has proven that I can rectify days that go wrong. I don’t need to write them off if the morning doesn’t go as planned. Oh, and to top it off, whilst maintaining the crazy cat lady façade, look at the latest in my adult colouring repertoire!

IMG_9012

 

Please Can Difficult Thinking Take A Holiday?

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

This has been a hard post to write and I’m apprehensive about publishing it. I’m a bit scared it makes me sound really ‘mental’. I’m a bit scared I am the only one who thinks like this. I hope I am not alone and that someone reads this and thinks ‘phew, thank goodness, me too!’

 

 

I have another 1:1 psychologist appointment this morning but again, I’ve over slept. I go through periods where the insomnia gets really bad and this is one of those times. It makes everything about the world so much worse. Today, it’s also going to mean I need to get a taxi. Bugger.

 

The session mainly covers my relationship with Father and the fact he wants me to go to Wales with him to ‘help’. I don’t know what he means by help. I don’t know that the two of us will make it of the side of the mountain either. Everything is telling me this is not a good idea. Therapist L asks me to think of the daughter I want to be to him. This is interesting as I focus so intently on how he lets me down, I don’t consider what I bring to the relationship. Bugger, more difficult thinking required. I’d be really grateful if the difficult thinking would kindly go on its summer holiday so I can have some R&R please. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be going anytime soon and therefore I have homework to do. Yay me. Time to crack open a new notebook though… it’s glittery, it has cats on it… it’s a glittery cat notebook! Such wonders exist and I am solidly cementing my place as the crazy cat lady.

 

Occupational Health have asked for a call which is making me nervous. I am not sure what they will ask. I know there are no ‘wrong’ answers in this but it feels like a test. They are very keen to ensure I know there is no rush to return to work. They want to know if I am being supported or if there is anything else they can do. I can’t rate my employer highly enough for the way they’ve seamlessly helped me throughout this process. But, and it’s a Person C but, my head is lying to me. It’s telling me they are telling me not to rush back as they don’t want me back. It’s telling me lies that the phone call was to snoop on me. Damn you anxiety, please join ‘difficult thinking’ on a holiday.

 

I’m meeting Friend XYZ (getting all creative with the labelling now I’ve lost track of the alphabet) for a coffee which was perfectly timed so I wouldn’t be able to ruminate on the work call. This is good planning Person C. If I’d gone home, the rest of the day would have been lost to re-playing that call in my head. We grab a coffee, no poncey London almond milk flat white this time, I have to settle for a regular flat white. We talk about a lot of things but as we start walking, we start to get into a topic of conversation I am nervous to have with some people. It’s about the suicidal thoughts. I decide to be brave and say the truth, in a very messed up way, suicide, or at least the thought of it, was calming. It was a way out that I was prepared to take if needed. If life was a card game, suicide was my ace of spades. It’s the card that you hold onto for as long as you can but when you need to, it’s a game ending card to play. Literally. It’s messed up, I know. No one should think of suicide as the only way out of crappy situations. I need to restore a ‘Normal’ amount of coping strategies. But that’s the problem. The word ‘restore’. Friend XYZ asks when I think the last time I was well. It hurts to admit this but, I am not sure I’ve been a well adult. The anorexia started at 11-years-old until 14-years-old, the bulimia then kindly kicked in along with a laxative and diet pill addiction. At uni, I ballooned up in weight and then came hurtling back down over the course of first year before losing my marbles to depression and binge eating. The bulimia kicked back in during my first graduate job and hung around for a good few years. I’ve not made myself sick for a couple of years now however, the depression has been there, hiding. I am scared I don’t know what being ‘well’ looks like. That’s a scary thing to see in black and white on the computer in front of me. I don’t like admitting it. I’ve felt like a failure from day 1 of my current job. I felt like a failure throughout my last job, in fact, I’ve felt like a failure since I was 11-years-old.

 

IMG_8999

 

As we are walking, Friend XYZ asks me outright, why is brushing my teeth so hard. I start to talk and that’s when I have my brainwave, it’s because brushing my teeth isn’t ‘just’ brushing my teeth. It’s a ritual. In the same way, I can’t hoover unless I’ve done the preceding tasks, brushing my teeth is part of a morning or night routine. I can’t comprehend the concept of brushing my teeth and then getting into bed. Brushing my teeth leads on to washing my hands, which leads onto cleansing and toning my face. Next up is a layer of spot serum, then eye cream, then day/ night face serum and then moisturiser. If it’s day time, I then straighten my hair, match my body cream to my shower gel and then apply the matching perfume to 7 areas (behind each ear, my belly button, my wrists and elbow creases). If it’s night time, I then apply foot cream, spray my pillow, apply cuticle oil and hand cream and finally, the finishing flourish, some lip balm. Then, just as I am about to get into bed, I have 4 drops of Herbal Remedy Sleep drops. As you can see, if I am tired or simply don’t have the energy, that’s a lot of steps to get through. So, why even start?

 

I walk home after Friend XYZ catches a train. I am exhausted. Today has been ‘busy’ and emotionally tough. I can’t wait to get home and lock myself in the flat for the night. This would be a really great time to insert the fact I’ve got no plans for tomorrow so, being the sensible, healthy person I am, I now put some plans in place. Sadly, that’s not what I am about to write. I head home, lock the flat door and know that the likelihood of me leaving this flat tomorrow has just hit 0%.

 

I tuck into a supper of chocolate before going to bed. I should be trying to make plans to see people tomorrow to ensure I get up and out but I don’t. I get into bed and tell myself tomorrow can be a bad day.

 

It’s Time To Vote

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

The day of the General Election has arrived. I am somewhat stupefied at the current state of global politics. It feels like 2016 and 2017 should just be banished to a forgotten time in history that we should never speak of again. I am registered to vote by post. Have I though? No. In fact, the postal vote forms are sat on my study desk right now. More on that later though!

 

I wake up late and I don’t think today is going to be a good day, that’s before the General Election results start coming in too. In fact, today goes from ‘meh’ to bad and then to worse. I spend most of the day, on the sofa eating biscuits. It’s a very bad idea I know but I don’t have any momentum in me. I am also considering not sorting out my vote. Although it’s a postal vote, I can drop it at any polling station if it hasn’t been posted in time (like my forms on my study desk). As I watch the news coverage in the lead up to the polls closing, my mood unsurprisingly doesn’t improve. To avoid the world, I go back to bed to hide under the duvet. I thought duvet days were a thing of the past however, like many things in my life, I was wrong.

 

When I re-emerge from the land of duvets, I give myself a stern talking too. The suffragettes fought for my right to vote and today even coincides with Emily Davison’s death. Come on Person C, time to put on your big girl pants and face leaving the flat. It’s a vote, no one will care about your greasy hair, your dubious tracksuit bottoms and a rain coat. What’s more shocking, the polling station is on my road, I need only be outside in the big wide world for about 8 minutes.

 

As I walk back, I see a neighbour coming my way. No, oh please no. Is it too late to cross the road? Would that be too obvious? She lives in the same building as me and is one of the other freeholders. I can’t face talking to her. It’s nothing to do with her, I just don’t want to be seen looking like the tramp I currently am. She doesn’t recognise me at first. I am not sure whether to be happy about this or offended that I look that bad, I’m unrecognisable. Then, I see it. The moment the lightbulb goes off in her head and she is staring at me. She does know this bedraggled woman walking down the road. She stops and says hi. I don’t know what to say back. I mean, obviously, I say hi but what else? The election, yes, good one Person C, get into a political discussion with someone, that’s going to make things go well. She knows I’ve not been well and that it included being in hospital but what she doesn’t know are any of the details or the minor point that the hospital was in fact a psychiatric hospital. I haven’t figured out a cover story and I am unable to think on my feet so I somewhat awkwardly word vomit out where I have been. Come to think of it, I am not entirely sure she even asked, I think I started to panic so much it just came out. I get the sympathy look. Damn you, sympathy look. You are so patronising. I don’t need your slight head tilt and sad eyes, I need a new brain. The awkwardness lasts a few more minutes but feel like hours. We finally say bye and I jog the rest of the way so as not to risk another awkward encounter.

 

Once safely double locked back inside the flat, I let out a sign of relief. Well, that could have gone better hey!

 

I spend the rest of the evening doing some blog write ups. I’ve not been in a good pattern of doing them recently and on days I am struggling, I really miss them. I need to make this a bit more of a routine. Also, I’ve started to take the blog stats personally. Each day I can see how many visitors, from which country etc etc. As a people pleaser, a recent dip in ‘likes’ has worried me. I’ve always said this blog is for me first and foremost but I’ve lost that meaning over the last week or so. I’m going to go back (or at least try) to ignorant bliss about the stats, likes and views of the blog.

 

To end the evening, I have a quick bath. This is how I know I am moving forward. I am letting myself have a bath. I’ve not ‘earned’ it, I want it so I can have it. This is a step in the right direction, let’s just hope the General Election results follow in its footsteps.

 

 

10 Things I Do Well – At Last!

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I’m up and eating breakfast by 0715. I’ve slept but it doesn’t feel like it. Try and sit on the sofa but I can’t keep my eyes open. I give in. I am going back to bed.

 

I’ve been back in bed for an hour until the postman wakes me up. It’s a parcel for the new tenants. I wouldn’t have minded getting up if it was for me but I feel cheated at the discovery it’s for someone else. To compensate, I open some chocolate. Rooky error Person C, rooky error. The tone has been set and the day is a blur of biscuits, chocolate and lots of sitting on the sofa. If sofa sitting was a sport, I’d hold a lot of the world records for it. Somehow, I waste the whole day in this pattern and it’s not good for my depression. Being locked in the flat is bringing me down. I try to do something productive. I’ve not even managed to get dressed yet so we are starting at a low bar.

 

In the end, I reply to some texts including telling masseuse I need to cut back. This is really new for me. Maybe, just maybe, I am learning to talk about things I need to talk about. I also reply to a work mentor with 100% honesty about what I am thinking and feeling. I don’t cover it up, gloss over it or ignore the message

 

It’s time for night meds and oh please can I sleep. Staying in the flat isn’t good for me, not washing isn’t good for me. I’m not sure if I have plans to meet Colleague tomorrow or not. I know I should put plans in place but I am still annoyed they are getting to discuss going back to work before me.

 

I do some colouring to try to lift my mood a bit before bed and realise I am very behind on my 30 days of Happiness challenge. I still haven’t done the list of 10 things I am good at. It’s hard. Really really hard. I challenge all of you to do it. Honestly, sit down right now and list 10 things you do well. Ill or not ill, this is a valuable task for everyone. This is mine:

 

10 things I do well:

 

  1. I am good at being a friend. Probably not 100% of the time but at least 80% of the time and isn’t that life’s rule, 80:20?
  2. I am good at adult colouring: I am very neat and try very hard to stay inside the lines
  3. I am good at taking care of others: Family, friends or complete strangers, if someone needs help, I will do anything I possibly can to help them, at times to my own detriment
  4. I am good at planning: Ha, well, if it’s going to be a detriment in my life, then it can also be a positive
  5. I am good at Sudoku: No real surprise there
  6. I am good at talking: if it’s nothing personal or remotely about me, I can get up and do a presentation, talk to clients/ strangers etc with relative ease
  7. I am good at recycling: Laugh all you like but I really am good at it, there is nothing more satisfying that sorting as much recycling as possible so as little as possible goes in the bin
  8. I am good at dry shampoo hair styling: I know, I know, I said this isn’t what the list is looking but it’s true and I am struggling to think of anything else
  9. I am good at making gourmet cheese on toast: I’m digging deep now guys! (Friends AG and DG, remember my cheese on toast on holiday?)
  10. I am good at working hard: Whatever it is, if I set my mind to it, I will give it my all

 

And with that, I am done with the day. I am going to crawl back under my duvet and hide.

Does Anyone Else Still Have A Landline?

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

Before you think today’s write up is going to start off positively, let me shatter that for you right now. I’ve had yet more crappy sleep, come on brain, give me a break, I am begging you. Did you know that being this sleep deprived hurts? Not just mentally, no, physically too. I am in pain from being this tired. I get up later than my alarms but still prior to 09:00. I have breakfast as planned but can’t, just can’t keep awake. I pad back to bed for an hour and then I’ll commence the weekly walk to the station for lunch with Friend GG.

 

Best laid plans have gone awry again. 1 hour turns into 2 hours. I needed it, obviously but I am now running late to catch the train to meet Friend GG. Weekly trains and lunches have been factored into this month’s budget so I can do it guilt free and credit card free. I consider cancelling. I mean, I am going to be late anyway so why not just stay wrapped up under the duvet today? Somehow, I peel myself off the bed and throw on some clothes that I hope look like a proper outfit. Given the time, I am going to have to catch the bus – I consider getting a taxi to the station before remembering this month’s budget it already too tight, taxi isn’t going to help it. An hour later than planned, I am walking into an Italian deli to meet Friend GG. I am so tired I am not sure I even greet her. I think I mumble something that somewhat resembles hi. My chat game is on poor form today. I feel for Friend GG, she’s going to have to put up with some potentially incoherently mumbling for the next 2 ½ hours. Lunch is aubergine ravioli. I needed something hot given the end of the British summer. The heat wave is officially over and we have been plunged back to strong, cold winds with horizontal rain. After lunch, we have a coffee and then it’s time for her to go back to work. I head to the station and ponder on salvaging some of the days tasks when I get off the train. The step count has taken a bit of a nose dive in the last few days so that needs addressing but there are also some errands that need sorting.

 

I pull into London and the bus I didn’t even know I could catch is sat there waiting. It’s a sign (I know, it’s not really a sign, it’s just how London bus’s work but hey, I’m taking it as a sign to be lazy). The bus gets me home about 10 minutes quicker than walking, it wasn’t even worth it. Note to self next time, just bloody walk!

 

Once in the door, it’s straight into pjs and, given the departure of summer, back into the winter dressing gown, yes, on the 6th June! Well done UK, we managed 3 whole weeks this time. My mind is a bit all over the place so I decide not to turn the TV on for company. Instead, I turn on some music. I need to do this more. It’s remarkable how I can sit on the sofa staring at the TV for hours whilst not taking any of it in. At least with music, you can justifiably sit and let your mind wander. I start reading but it’s slow going. I am getting better at concentrating but it still takes some going. The landline then rings. Like a lot of people these days, I rely 99.9% of the time on my mobile. This means, when the land line rings, it’s one of 3 people:

 

  • Mum – do not answer, it’s not Wednesday or Sunday
  • Aunt – maybe answer, not sure how that conversation will go
  • Telemarketer – do not answer, any day of the week

 

I look at the number and it is option 2. I toy with not answering it but, just as it clicks onto answering machine I do. She’s delighted to hear my voice but instantly rebuffs that by telling my off for not replying to her emails.  Ah Aunt, I am sorry but you are at the end of a very long list of people I am meant to have made contact with recently but just can’t face. Like everyone, she wants to know how I am doing. I need to think of a good stand by answer for this question. Understandably, it’s the question everyone asks me but finding the words to correctly sum up my mind is hard. I change the subject to Sister, Father and anyone else that will mean she stops asking me about me. It works. Finally, she asks if Father has been in touch. Yes, he has. He wants me to join him in the middle of nowhere in Wales to ‘bond’. I have a brainwave. Can she join us? If she is there, the statistical likelihood of Father and I coming off the mountain in one piece dramatically improves. She’s guessed this question was coming, no, she thinks she’s busy. But Aunt, that’s a lie! We haven’t even fixed a date yet. How can you be busy if it’s still to be confirmed? I think there may have been some family discussions behind my back about this Wales trip. Yay! She tells me she’ll call again. I can’t wait!

 

I’m cold, and not only with fear of being alone with Father for a few days. I decide that I can have a bath. No need to earn it, just have a bath because I want a bath. Let’s go the full hog and light a candle and play some soothing music. The cats are amused and perplexed by a bath. Yes, to non-cat owners, my cats do join me in the bathroom. Think of them like little kids, can you pee in peace? No? Well neither can a cat owner. Same logic applies for bathing. The balance precariously on the edge of the bath and sit staring at me. It’s somewhat unnerving and I wonder how long I can tempt fate that one of them won’t fall in. Today’s not fates time, I win and leave the bath sans wet cats. I start blog write ups next. I’ve not been good at keeping on top of them recently. They massively help me and I love it when I get comments (hint hint guys). But, like I mentioned a few posts ago, some old habits are slipping in and that includes on the self-help front of writing. I can’t explain how or why typing helps. I think at least a little part of it is the satisfaction of pounding my fingers on a keyboard. Something I am normally doing for many hours a day at work (but with a lot less sarcasm and bare faced honesty). Note to self, keep typing!

 

Friend LR cancels tomorrow’s lunch time walk as she’s not well. To be honest, this is good, it means I can spend the day in the flat. (No, I shouldn’t be planning to spend whole days in the flat, yes, I should be pushing myself to get out the house and moving. No, the likelihood of this now happening is very low – if I were you, I’d place a bet on tomorrow’s write up!).

 

That’s Tuesday over and done with. I am desperate for some good quality sleep tonight. Please, please, PLEASE to the gods/ almighty beings/ kings/ whatever-else-is-out-there of sleep please hear me tonight.

 

IMG_8945

Bin Juice, Gotta Love Some Bin Juice

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

It’s the start of yet another week where I won’t be at work. Another week where I have to fight my own mind. Last week was another week survived.

 

Today was never going to start off well given the extreme lack of sleep. It would appear as well as being a walking zombie, I’ve left my humour at home too. Unsurprisingly, I slept through all 5 alarms. I wake up at 0800, 15 mins after I should have left the house. I’m pissed off but there is only one thing for it. The taxi trips have returned. This will have to come out of my monthly budget and I’m so cross as I’ve been managing public transport so well recently. The other thing I’ve left at home is self-compassion, it must be spooning my sarcasm in my empty bed!

 

Today was meticulously planned. It’s not going to happen the way I hoped though. Not now. Anyone who has experienced prolonged nights with little sleep will get it when I say lack of sleep doesn’t only hurt the mind, it hurts the body too. I’m aching and think I have a headache starting. I’m not looking forward to the next hour with Therapist L. I’ve not seen her in weeks and I really don’t think she’s that ‘invested’ (yes, that’s a therapy term but I can’t think of a better word at the moment – blame the lack of sleep!) in my recovery. It doesn’t help that, like Dr E, I’ve not been telling her the whole story. I wish I could say I’m walking in with an open mind but I’m not. I’m walking in with a very closed mind. Self-compassion, whilst spooning my sarcasm, hid the key to my open mind box. Pesky emotions!

 

Well, if I think this is going to be a waste of my time, I’ve got nothing to lose. So I start talking. I tell her the truth. Kind of. I don’t tell her I think I bore her, no, I’m not at that level of honesty yet, but I do tell her I was withholding information, that I wanted to be the perfect patient that never caused any problems. The patient that worked hard, say thank you very much and left. I tell her I’ve barely slept too so I’m not drunk, merely slurring my words out of fatigue. Although that’s an idea, therapy whilst drunk. Now that would be a sure-fire way to get me to say what I am thinking. I’m an awful drunk! I tell the world everything. In fact, it’s the only time I can properly communicate. Anyway, less about my drinking habits and more about my therapy. I’ve come prepared today. I’ve written down what is on my mind. I did it in hospital and it gave me the confidence to speak so here is hoping it works in 1:1’s too. We make a plan. We are going to work on my intense feelings of shame first. I tell her I am worried about good days and everyone walking away from supporting me and she assures me, both her and Dr E will give plenty of warning before my sessions come to an end. The session ends with me in tears, I tell her I feel it’s really unfair that Colleague is already starting the ‘back-to-work’ process when they were 4 weeks behind me. I cry because I want to know, at some point, I’ll be able to like myself. I’m getting better, I don’t doubt that but jeez, I still don’t like me. Overall, the session has gone a lot better than I thought it would. In fact, I feel hopeful I can work with her now.

 

After the session, I catch the bus home. I tell myself, given the lack of sleep, I don’t need to sort the gate locks. I do though, minor achievements and all that. Given the rushed departure this morning, I’ve not had breakfast so I sit and have it now. I’m back in pjs, it would appear I am not leaving the flat again today. I sit on the sofa knowing full well I’ll fall asleep. Girl cat comes to keep me company whilst I snooze for a couple of hours. I make a late lunch and when I say make, I actually mean it this time. It’s not been nuked in the microwave. I’ve turned the oven on, cooked some salmon and sweet potato fries (I’m such a millennial) and added steamed veg to the mix.

 

I am planning an early night but I can’t go to sleep with the flat in a mess. By mess, I mean a few things left out on the side. This ‘mess’ includes taking my bin out. Sadly, the day ends kind of how it started, by falling apart. The bin bag has split and I now have bin juice on the floor. Ah bin juice! The joys of having to clear you up. I double bag it and then antibac the floor, on my hands and knees. This is not fun. Finally, it’s time to do my favourite daily task, sort the recycling. But wait! Oh man, I gave recycling bags to the new tenants so now don’t have any so can’t sort out my recycling. This has the genuine possibility of keeping me up tonight! Do you think it’s rude to go down and ask if they have any left?! It’s only 2210.

 

I decide against going to ask for my recycling bags back and instead decide I need to learn to live with the recycling on the kitchen counter. This is easier said than done. I do spend quite a few minutes worrying about this whilst in bed. Man, I really need to get a life!

 

Insomnia Sucks

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

Saturday morning starts badly. The severe lack of sleep means I am in a bad mood. I know that everyone struggles with mood if they’ve slept badly so I’m not a ‘freak’ but still, I would really like to have not felt hungover today. Especially the feeling of being hungover when I’ve not had any drink! I am meant to be seeing Friend ML today, she’s messaged but I’ve ignored it so far. Mum is also on her way to Sister’s house. Sister has messaged which I am also ignoring. Ignoring maybe the theme of the day!

 

I’m still in pjs but as it’s the weekend, it’s a treat breakfast of crumpets. Never trust anyone who doesn’t like buttery crumpets. Turns out, the Warburton cumpets I had this morning have magic powers. The buttery, crumpety goodness has made me see sense and I reply to both Sister – no I am not coming over – and to Friend ML – no I don’t think I can leave the house. BUT! If you fancy the shitty task of helping me declutter my clothes, you’d be welcome to give up your sunny Saturday. Strangely, this is an appealing offer to Friend ML and so over she comes. Maybe I am not the crazy one!

 

To get the sorting underway, I do what everyone should do, open some pink bubbles. This is partial payment to Friend ML for giving up her sunny afternoon to help a greasy haired and somewhat smelly friend (I’ve had a perfume shower before he arrived). It’s not that I need Friend ML to do the sorting, it’s that I need someone to stand in the room whilst I do it so I’m held accountable. Also, someone to take a rational view point of what I do need anymore. An example being some size 00 mustard jeans purchased when I was in NYC 4 years ago. There is no way I’ll be a size 00 or 0 or any other silly number unless I return to the depths of an eating disorder. Given I’ve got enough on my plate with my health at the moment, I don’t intend to do this again in my lifetime. Yes, the jeans were expensive, yes they are nice but, there is no need for them to be stored in my wardrobe. Charity shop it is. Similar discussions happen with 2, yes 2 pairs of boots that I have bought in a size too small. Even though they are expensive, there is no amount of pushing and pulling that is going to make them fit (think ugly sister scene from Cinderella!). Mum has smaller feet and given they don’t fit Friend ML (a sure sign they were never going to fit me), they get bagged up for Mum.

 

There are some blazers and other bits that I may fit back into one day but given it’s not going to be in the imminent future, Friend ML gets a goody bag of clothes! Throughout this I was also looking for my fountain pen but it hasn’t materialized. Instead I have found the gold pen set Mum gave me… didn’t even know I’d lost them! Oopsie.

 

All this sorting has generated 3 recycling bags and 2 bin bags. It has also meant Friend ML and I are hungry and somewhat tipsy. Indian take away it is. I am so pleased she came over today. No, it’s not been perfect, yes, the punitive thoughts were having a blast in my head but, de-cluttering feels so good. If Friend ML hadn’t come over, the day could have gone even further south. Another bonus of Friend ML being here is, when Mum calls asking more favours, Friend ML is sat there telling me to hang up and take care of me first.

 

Whilst we are finishing the take away, the first news breaks of the terror attacks in London. Then, rapidly, more news starts flooding in. It’s shocking and so absolutely horrifying that this is the world we live in. The attacks aren’t too far from my flat and once Friend ML heads home, I start watching the live news coverage. To add to this, the work security protocol has kicked in. Somehow, this attack feels too close to home. I don’t mean that in only a literal sense. The bars and restaurants are ones I’ve been to many a time, I’ve crossed London Bridge more times than I can count. It’s scary and it makes it feel very real.

 

To anyone impacted by the attacks, my thoughts are with you all. London will not be broken by these atrocities and we will continue to stand together.

 

IMG_8923

 

 

 

I was up until 02:30 watching the news coverage but there was a minor consolation, I have now found my fountain pen! I am sure you were all worrying just as much as I was. It was found having dropped into an A4 lever arch file in the study. It wasn’t a sensible idea to stay up that late due to lack of sleep being compounded by more lack of sleep but also, I think that I can get too caught up in the news. The images and coverage was repeating itself and whilst I am thankful we live in an age where information is immediately available, I don’t know that watching live coverage for hours on end is a good idea.

 

I turn the news off in favour of some lighter entertainment. I also decide that I don’t need to ‘earn’ the right to colour, I can just colour because I want to. I’ve not coloured in nearly a month, which is ridiculous given it’s an activity that distracts me and makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

You may have noticed that I’ve not mentioned breakfast or getting dressed. Breakfast was some more magical buttery crumpets but the wash never happened. I think this is day 5 but hey, never mind! Who wants a clean friend anyway? I’ll have a bath later, yes, that’s what I’ll do.

 

The day passes with some tv, some colouring, some life admin but no washing. In fact, I am still in pjs. Oh dear. I do want a bath but then the One Love Manchester concert is being broadcast so, instead, I sit and watch that. Please tell me that I am not the only one sat in their lounge balling like a baby whilst watching this? It’s like Comic Relief, they get me every time!

 

The concert is followed by the news and I have fallen into the trap of watching it again. In an act of defiance, even though it’s 23:40, I run a bath. I get in and take some deep breathes. I realise my face is wet – yes, I do realise that the point of being in a bath is to get wet but bear with me – I’m crying. I don’t know why but it’s streaming down my cheeks. I submerge myself as surely the logic is that if I’m underwater, it doesn’t count as crying, right? Bath salts, hair removal and hair washing done, it’s time to put some body oil on and get into bed. To add to it, I’ll even brush my teeth and spritz my room with some lovely Neom spray (Still going, thanks Friend KM). This is surely a perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep? Well, you’d be wrong. Turns out no one told my insomnia it was time to take a hike and get lost. I am up for no real reason until 04:30. Funnily enough, at this time in the morning, when the rest of the country feels like they are asleep, one can start to feel very lonely. I’ve said many a time that life decisions really shouldn’t be made in the early hours of the morning but I’ve somehow forgotten my own advice. I’m stewing over my career, my friends, my money, my weight and my loneliness. This is really not good given I have a psychologist appointment at 09:00 today with the psychologist I don’t feel is really doing me any good. Great – and yes, there probably a link between the lack of sleep and my feelings about going back to see Therapist L. Looks like all my crazy planning for the day isn’t going to happen. I’ll be a walking zombie. It also means it’s unlikely I’ll break the psychological barrier I’ve put between me and returning to the pool. Bugger.

 

I’m still struggling to do this task! Ggrrr. 

IMG_8927

Post That Isn’t A Bill!

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

 

Last night sleep wasn’t the best. It’s a running theme this week on the blog. Friend U has work so is up early and amazingly brings me tea in bed! I wonder, could I move in with them if this is the service? I need to head out early anyway so after they’ve left, I am up, more dry shampoo (Friend offered use of the shower but hey, why ruin this beautiful bond with Baptiste?) and I am heading to Mums. Sister has bought a chair that needs collecting and muggins over here is said chairs chauffer. Mum is also having some building work done so I am there to appease her it’s ok – it is ok; no, the colour does look good; yes, it really did need doing; etc etc etc. I’m tired and now have some oil on me thanks to Sister’s chair. This is not helping my mood. Mum is heading out to meet friends so I drop her at the station. She tells me she’s coming to London to see Sister’s new house tomorrow, why don’t I join them. I heavily caveat it with it’ll depend on how I feel plus, I am meant to be seeing Friend ML tomorrow.

 

I deposit newly acquired multi-coloured chair at Sister’s having given it a nice ride along a motorway, with air conditioning and no jerky movements. It also had the luxury of listening to Radio 2 with me. Sister wants me to come in but I’m not in the mood. In fact, I’ve just realised I am cross at her. I tell her I am in a rush so need to go. It’s a lie. I am not in a rush. Yes, I should get the glasses fixed today but I am so tired I know I am going to go home and sit on the sofa. I have a psychiatrist appointment at 18:20 (yes, really, on a Friday night, I am so rock n’ roll!) which I may imply is earlier in the day than it is. The petrol tank is low, not yet amber warning low but still, very low. This month’s budget doesn’t have any wiggle room so fingers crossed I don’t need to drive again before pay day!

 

Back in the safely of my little nest, it’s not going to be a huge surprise to you to read that I sit on the sofa and don’t move much. Today’s 30 days of happiness challenge is to list 10 things I do well. This challenge is meant to make me happy, not feel like shit. I don’t know what 10 things I do well. I do ‘not washing’ well, I do ‘dry shampoo hair styling’ well but I’m guessing that’s not what today’s challenge is looking for.

 

I then get a sudden spur of energy and decide that the cluttered flat is impacting my mind. I tackle a food cupboard that is hiding some very out of date cans of food. It’s awful seeing how much needs to be binned but, oh wow, it makes a difference. I tidy it up ensuring that the cans, bottles and spices are all facing forwards and in date order of what needs using first. This is positive.

 

Before I know it, it’s time to head out to my appointment. Given turning up in pjs is not the look of someone who is out of hospital, I get changed too! The sky looks like it’s threatening to rain, I just need to it hold off long enough for me to walk the 10 minutes at the other end of the bus stop. It appears the rain Gods are listening to me and I make it inside without so much of a drop of rain. My shoes and I are very grateful.

 

I’ve said before that I feel a bit like seeing my psychiatrist is a bit like going to an exam having not revised. I want to prove to her I am a ‘good’ patient, one that is getting better at the ‘correct’ rate and that I am not being a ‘problem’ patient. I’ve also said before that because of this belief, I may (a.k.a definitely do) withhold some information from her. Why ruin an old habit by changing today? We talk, I cry a little and leave feeling confused. I know I should tell her everything but what if I come across as really crazy? The kind of crazy that can’t be fixed. The session ends with Dr. E having to instruct me to relax. Apparently, this is something I should be doing, unfortunately, I seem to be missing the ‘relax’ component of my brain.

 

Once home, and having managed to avoid any rain, I message Colleague. They are in discussions to head back to work. What? How? When? This person started their sick leave after me, how are they now ahead of me in recovery terms? This doesn’t seem fair. I don’t want to be over taken. I should be the one going back first. These thoughts go around and around like little children on a merry go round. I get increasingly worked up and stressed. In fact, let’s just throw in a panic attack for good measure.

 

Before I know it, I am sat in the dark, wondering what the hell has happened to my life and how the hell I get out of this mess. In today’s post, I received a Treat.direct box. What a genius invention this is. Not only is it post that isn’t a bill, it’s edible. The sweets become my supper whilst I continue ruminating on the failures in my life. I am meant to be meeting Friend ML tomorrow for a walk, scones and a catch up. But. Yes, the ‘B’ word. I don’t want to see Friend ML tomorrow, I want to spend the weekend hiding please. It’s not personal, it’s that my mind is such a scrambled mess tonight, I literally can’t think straight. I’d love to tell you all that I called on the techniques learnt in hospital and did some self-care. I’d love to tell you I took my meds and went to sleep early. But, (yes, the ‘B’ again), I didn’t. I stay up too late, don’t take my meds and then have an awful night’s sleep. Night is way too much of an exaggeration. I fell asleep at 02:30 and then woke up at 04:15. I made it back to bed at 06:30 on Saturday morning for a couple more hours of disturbed slumber. Heads up guys, Saturday’s post isn’t looking like it’ll be a good day!

 

 

The very exciting treat.direct box!

IMG_8918.JPG

Blog, Meet Happy The Elephant

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

I’d had today all planned out. I really desperately need to get my glasses fixed and it’s very close to my office, I was going to grab a coffee with Friend ML. I was nervous about being so close to the office, I don’t want to have to answer any awkward questions if I see people. Needn’t worry though. Last night was an awful night sleep and so instead, I am staying at home. I cancel on Friend ML, cancel on taking my glasses in to be mended, in fact, let’s just cancel on the day entirely. It’s 1030 by the time I make it out of bed and I tuck into a late breakfast. I am still in pjs and my dressing gown. I am feeling wobbly today. I can’t pinpoint why. I can’t pinpoint what. I am wobbly and I don’t know how to fix it.

 

I sit on the sofa for a couple of hours before lunch which, as planned, is healthy and full of veg. I’m still feeling very wobbly though. I should shower. My last shower was on Tuesday night, it’s now Thursday. In terms of dirtiness, I am still going well, it doesn’t hit ‘bad’ for another 24 hours at least. I don’t shower. I can’t face it. Dry shampoo continues to be my hero without a cape. I am going to the cinema and staying at Friend U’s tonight. We are going to a cinema that serves wine, gourmet snacks and comfortable seats with tables. I’ve not been to the cinema for ages, let alone a cinema a la wine and tables!

 

Today’s 30 day of happiness challenge is to look at old pictures. I’ve included one below. If I could turn back time, I’d tell that beautiful little baby that’s she’s perfect just the way she is. Maybe then I wouldn’t be fighting my own mind so much now. Also! Blog, meet Happy The Elephant, Happy, meet the blog!

 

IMG_8907.JPG

 

IMG_8909

 

As I arrive at Friend U’s house, I get a call from Father. I’ve been avoiding his calls but I need to face up to him at some point. He wants me to go to the cottage in Wales with him to get away and to help our relationship. I am not sure being in the middle of nowhere, with no mobile signal, lots of whiskey, an axe, a chainsaw and just my Father and I sounds like a good combination. Father cracks me up. He asks how I’m doing and I say the standard: 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I am about to go on to tell him about work but his interjects. Father always has to ‘top trump’ anything in my life. So, you know, being suicidal is one thing but did I know he chopped the top off his finger at the weekend? No, having not spoken to you, I didn’t. Turns out the top of his finger is actually him stretching the truth of a bad cut. Another example is when I burnt my arm a few years ago on a coffee. The burn was worse than I realised but thanks to some lovely nurses, it’s all good. I’d told him that and before I could even finish explaining what had happened, he was telling me that my coffee burn was nothing as he once burnt his foot with water from a pot of pasta and the doctors were so worried about it, they talked about amputation. Note: Having asked Mum about this, she laughed. Yes, he burnt his foot, yes it did need seeing, no it was nowhere near amputation/ future problems etc etc. I decide to end the call, I don’t need to prove anything to him and I don’t need to listen to his ‘woe is me’ chat.

 

Friend U (I’ve completely lost track of the friend and patient alphabet so I am assigning a random letter) admits they are on antidepressant medication. Not only are they on it but they’ve had to increase their dose again recently having previously reduced it. Friend U’s family have a very similar view to Mum: ‘admitting this will ruin your career’; ‘you are impacting your future health, your potential children’s health and your ability to get insurance’. Friend U knows that their family is only worried about them and wants the best for them but oh my, this kind of attitude really flabbergasts me. Friend U was not suicidal however, had they not increased their medication, who knows how bad it could have gotten. Without medication and the intervention of the hospital, I wouldn’t be here now. Yes, it will impact my career, yes, it may well have a negative impact on my future health, I have no clue what this will do to any potential children I may have and as for medical insurance, maybe I’ll never be able to get it again but at the time I most desperately needed it, I had it and it has paid thousands and thousands of pounds to help me get my shit back together. Rant over, final point, to any friends on medication for any reason, you are not alone. You are not the only one. If you want to talk, I make be an incoherent mess but I’ll listen!

 

I’m regretting the glass of wine at the cinema but overall, as per usual, getting out and seeing a friend has been better than I thought it would be. It’s done me good. We’ve had a healthy supper, I’ve left the flat, and I’ve made human contact!

Is It Possible To Both Move Forwards & Backwards At The Same Time?

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

 

Sorry for the absence, I have had a rough few days so getting through them took priority. Fingers crossed I’ll get some sleep tonight (Monday) which will help me feel a bit less of a wreck tomorrow

 

 

Wednesday morning and I slept solidly last night and wake up later than usual. I evidently needed it but can’t help but feel a tad guilty for the lie in. I’ve also had a nightmare. It’s based back at my school. The drama teach has cast me in a really rubbish role and I am panicking that without a better role, I am going to fail my A-Levels (yes, all of them). I panic, cry, beg, cry, try to prove I was off school ill rather than skiving and cry a bit more. These nightmares are really realistic. I hate them as I wake up feeling so anxious. Obviously, I did pass my A-levels and I went on to uni but yet the thought of a drama teacher not liking me plus fear over not passing exams apparently still haunt me.

 

Once breakfasted, I head out to meet Friend LR. She works near me and so we are going to have a lunch time stroll. When I arrive she greets me with purple flowers. Flowers always brighten a place up, and they serve as a little reminder that my friends do love me. We walk and talk about how this all happened, how I am doing and what’s next. Oh Friend LR, I wish I knew. I want to go back to work but people are telling me I am not ready. I want to be ‘better’ but I don’t know what the new ‘me’ looks like (physically and mentally!). It’s struck me that the future must be different to the past. I was barely surviving. That’s not a way to live.

 

Friend LR heads back to work but hopefully we can meet up next week too. It’s gotten me out the house on a day that I could have easily stayed in bed.

 

I really can’t postpone collecting my prescription any longer so I get a bus to the hospital. I have no idea if any of Group 1 are still in there. I get a sense of nervousness as I get closer to the hospital. I don’t want to see anyone that I knew ‘then’. It feels like a then and now. Not that I think the ‘now’ is the end of this journey, just that I am less likely to completely fall apart now when the smallest thing goes wrong. I am not a quivering wreck on the outside and inside (it definitely still happens on the inside!).

 

Prescription collected, I hot foot it back to the bus stop managing to avoid seeing anyone I know. My step count could do with a boost so I get off about 1 mile away from home. Handily, there is a Boots so I can get my magic meds and then walk the last 20 minutes. There is a long wait at Boots but I don’t mind, I am not in a rush. People are complaining about the wait time but to be honest, like everyone in life, they are doing their best and sometimes it’s a case of taking a deep breath and accepting things are annoying.

 

Why is it that when you are on a budget with very little to spare, you instantly want to by EVERYTHING! It’s like the shops know and they’re putting all their best bits in the window. I’ve got a stock pile of sweet things but very little savoury so, I decide to try to do this like a ‘Normal’ person. I go into Tesco and buy a large bag of salted peanuts. This is going to be a real test. Can I consume these in measured portions and not scoff the whole large bag? Plus, this is a whole £1.32 of my budget gone. I continue my walk home and pass a Planet Organic. I am in love with everything in this shop. This shop is phenomenally overpriced though so, window shop is a yes yes yes and purchase is a no no no.

 

I walk all the way home and even manage to pop into the local lock shop about the building’s broken entry buzzer – something that has been on the to do list for a very long time! It gives me a minor sense of accomplishment.

 

Once home, it’s an instantaneous change into pjs and dressing gown before turning on the TV. Channel 4 has been showing a program call ‘The Trial’ which I’ve recorded but not yet watched. Now is not the time to watch it either. I fall asleep with my mouth wide open in a very attractive pose on the sofa. I am literally catching flies. Once I wake up, I have that unexpected nap drunkenness about me. It also makes it likely that I will struggle to sleep tonight. Damn it. I make supper, as planned and at the table writing up blog entries. Boy cat comes to keep me company which is much appreciated.

 

I head to bed feeling confused. I feel like things are both moving forward and moving backwards simultaneously. I’m slipping into some old habits that aren’t that helpful – the internal punitive monologue as an example – and I am not using all the new techniques I’ve been taught such as the finger tracing breathing technique. I need to both try harder and relax more all in the same breath. No wonder this illness is so misunderstood, it’s a confusing situation for everyone! Hopefully some of the confusion will lift after another good night’s sleep.

 

This picture has no relevance other than my Boy cat now likes to sit on my wine collection – a man after my own heart!

IMG_8902

How Do I Turn Off My Shit Radar?

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.

 

If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’

 

 

 

Hello post 100!  That’s 100 blog entries some of you’ve successfully survived! You deserve a medal but given my current finances, a virtual one will have to suffice.

 

gold-medal-250x250

 

I wake up at 0700 but hearing the house is still quiet, I tuck back under the duvet for another couple of hours. I’ve had a nightmare, I’m back at work and a huge pile of papers have been put on my desk. It’s then that I realise I am not ready to be back but I also can’t leave as there is so much work to do, I start panicking and the world feels like a black hole. Thankfully I wake up at this point. The dream is so vivid and real, it feels like I am really at the office.

 

Other than the nightmare, last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months. I feel so refreshed. We have porridge with almond milk, blueberries and honey for breakfast before I get packed. It’s time to head back to reality and my cats. Sister and Brother-in-law have helped fix my bathroom light so that’s positive too!

 

A quick goodbye, including to Puppy BG and I am on the road. I’ve planned this afternoon, not that you’ll be surprised! I need to collect my prescription from the hospital.

 

The drive home is uneventful but once home, I can’t face going out again. I really do need my prescription but a combination of wanting to cry for no apparent reason and severe cramps means I’m currently curled up on the bathroom floor. Whilst curled up down there, I open the post, my insurance is charging me for a day care day. What! No! I can’t afford it, bugger. I call the hospital and apparently, it’s all been an admin error, I don’t owe £450, I owe £0. Well that’s a relief, not enough of a relief as to get me off the bathroom floor but a relief nonetheless. My cats are very curious to why their human is curled up and crying, they aren’t really sure what to do. Boy cat plays with my hair and Girl cat licks my leg, touching as that maybe, even my cats can’t help right now.

 

After some paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine, I am up. I’m still teary with no real reason but this is better than the bathroom floor. Given my shock back to reality about finances and a friends wedding coming up, I look up how much the train would cost. I can get a megabus for a fraction of the cost of a tank of petrol or buying a train ticket direct from the train site. I’m getting serious on the penny counting now. Anything to get myself out of this hole. I also run through the weekend receipts. I was £2 within budget for this weekend, go me! Problem is, new lenses for my glasses are not going to cost £2. Bugger. I really am very blind so no glasses measn no leaving the flat – I won’t be able to see the door to let myself out! Thankfully, my other glasses are the same strength but are already a little wobbly. It would appear my possessions are taking on my mental state so everything is a bit wobbly. It’s times like this that I feel the universe is ganging up on me. Yes, really. I don’t mean it in an obnoxious way, it just feels like shit hunts me down and sticks itself to me more than others. If I could only find the ‘shit hunter’ signal off, maybe things would go my way a bit more? Any ideas?

 

Now I am in the upright position, I cut the cats nails, give them a good groom – for cats that aren’t meant to shed, they are doing a great job of leaving their fluff everywhere! – do a mini clean (only 22 tasks) and load the dishwasher. It’s really hot and I am due to have a massage in 30 minutes. I jump in the shower and finish just in time.

 

So, this excel spreadsheet of financial wisdom means cutting my massages down from 2 per month to once per month. One could argue it should be zero a month but as Colleague pointed out to me over coffee a few weeks ago, it’s the only nice thing I seem to do for myself. The problem is, I am oh so typically British. This means I am nervous to tell the masseuse I need to reduce them. I don’t know how to word it, I feel personally responsible for the loss of money he’ll now experience. I bottle out of saying anything and wonder if I cut out breakfast if I could still afford two massages a month. No Person C, that’s ridiculous. You may be obese but skipping meals is only going to lead to binging. So, instead, you are going to have to work out how to tell Masseuse G via text, the wimps way out.

 

The massage is very relaxing and I fall into bed and keep my fingers crossed for a night free of nightmares.