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 woken up at 0500 but what sounds like a group of lads and a loud bang. I’m aware of vandalism on nearby streets. I suddenly remember the broken padlock on one of the back gates. Oh shit. What if it’s our cars/ house/ bikes that these potential lads (it’s 0500 could be someone leaving for work) are vandalising? It’ll be all my fault. I mean obviously, the other 7 freeholders, of which 4 live in the building, couldn’t have taken responsibility and arranged a new lock. No, that task could only be done by me. I’ve bought the new padlock. Why didn’t I get up and try to see them? Is it my car? Will the others blame me? Insert deep breathes here. I manage to fall back to sleep and as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the car park and building are fine, as are all the cars inside it. Plus, like the hospital was trying to teach me, I don’t need to take on responsibility that doesn’t belong to me. I am not more responsible for the security of the property than any of the other 7 freeholders. I don’t need to worry about it all on my own!
I get up before 0830 and have my planned breakfast. I am meeting a friend later so leaving the house isn’t optional. I’ve planned to go and get my prescription from the hospital and then meet her, thus racking up a suitable number of steps. I don’t need to leave for a few hours though so I sit in my pjs and dressing gown for breakfast. The summer dressing gown is making it’s first outing as the winter one is simply too thick for this heat. I really do belong in the 1950’s it would appear!
Having had breakfast, I realise I am becoming increasingly anxious. It’s rising, and at times it feels like it’s literally rising up my throat. It’s not the work insurance forms. In the shittiness of the Tuesday write up, I somehow tackled them and they were posted yesterday. That means it’s probably money related. I steel myself and sit back at the kitchen table with the laptop. To expedite the debt re-payment, I am considering switching to an interest only mortgage for a couple of years. Handily, my mortgage is up for renewal so, I log on, review the rates and give my bank a call. Simple enough, right? Wrong. After a lovely lady in India re-directs my call to a specialist team in the UK, my anxiety is calming down. It’s wrongly be lured into a false sense of security. The woman who speaks to me, Jill or Gill, is a condescending bitch. Excuse the language but honestly. Anxiety or no anxiety, this lady would make anyone start to panic. In an unacceptable tone, she tells me that I can’t switch unless I leave the bank (i.e. take my mortgage elsewhere) and that if I want to whilst staying with them, I’ll ‘ruin’ my credit rating. I start panicking. I ask her if, before she runs any searches that will ‘ruin my credit rating’ if I can ask her some questions to understand better? No, apparently, Jill or Gill isn’t in the mood for my questions. She tells me I am silly to be in a position to potentially need to switch from a repayment mortgage to an interest only mortgage. I should have thought of this when I took the mortgage out 6 years ago. Now, nearly a week on looking back at the Thursday, I can’t get over how incredible badly SHE (not me) took the call. Like a lot of people, I’m sure, 6 years ago when I applied for a mortgage, I was caught up in the excitement of buying my first ever home. I never considered I’d later become suicidal and wishing I was dead whilst sat on some credit card debt. No, funnily enough, a change in circumstances really didn’t cross my mind. I can’t deal with the call so I beg her, literally beg her, not to run any searches on my account and hang up. That’s it, today’s mood is so far south that it’s dropped off the white cliffs of Dover.
It takes 35 minutes to get over my panic attack. I can still afford my repayment mortgage, I merely wanted to ask some questions of the bank I’ve been with since my family opened my very first account! The bank that re-valued the property at far more than the mortgage amount only 2 years ago when I renewed my fixed rate. I have to desperately try not to have another panic attack and do this by delving deep into my bank tracker excel. I have a multi-tab, picot table and macro enabled excel of my current financial mess. I start ruthlessly working my way down what I don’t need. The cat insurance has gone, the £100 I spent each month on food, including all lunches, is slashed. The cats are going to have to live off the food that’s on offer. I look through my spending allowance that falls outside of my direct debit bills and carefully plan what I can and cannot afford whilst upping the amount I pay off on the debt each month. I stare and manipulate the excel until there is no more manipulation possible. I’m crying. How the hell have I ended up in this mess. How am I ever going to get myself out this mess. I’m in £15,000 debt. There. It’s in black and white. At the current rate of repayment, I can be debt free in 10 months. I know, that’s no time at all and unlike some, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am struggling to see it though. I can only think that I am worth 8 x my salary dead and there is the capital my property has gained so my sister could have it all.
I try deep breathing, I try cold water, I try pacing around the flat. The only way to calm down is to do something practical. My brilliant medical insurance refunds all prescription expenses. I’ve had a lot of those over the last few months, especially as I can’t be trusted with more than a 2-week supply. I start digging through my paperwork and taking pictures of the receipts to email to the claim team. There, that’s £99 towards the debt with minimal effort.
You know you’re screwed when you’re a 31-year-old raiding your money pot. I have a little money pot in the study that I try to put all my £1 in. Well, thankfully I’ve diligently done this 15 times since I last raided it. That’s a whole £15 towards the debt right there.
Somehow, all this worry, excel manipulation and panic attacks means it’s now 1550, that’s 40 minutes before I am meeting my friend. Dry shampoo to the rescue and a £1.50 bus fare later, I’ve somehow made it to meet her. She buys me a peanut butter milkshake (I didn’t know they existed either) and we sit down to talk. That’s when I burst into tears in front of the whole station! We are sat in the station as Friend BS is catching a train back North. The station, unsurprisingly given it’s the Thursday before a long weekend and half term, is heaving. There I am, sat, sipping on a peanut butter milkshake and crying. Great.
We sit and talk for a bit and Friend BS helps calm me down before she needs to get the train. I walk a very small part of the journey home before giving up and getting on the bus. I am exhausted. All this worrying has worn me out. Once home, I decide to have an early night to try to bring this shitty day to an end. All in all, I’m feeling really rather crap.
A friend bought me the 30 days of Happiness cube, follow me on Instagram (@composmentisme) to see a new one each day! Today’s is below.