Climbing

Sometimes I liken my depression and anxiety to climbing Mount Ngauruhoe. There is so much loose rock that you have to walk up with some serious momentum otherwise you’ll slide back down. I climbed that mountain back in 2013 and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Now my experience with battling my mind feels very similar to climbing that mountain – every time I think I’ve made some progress with getting it under control, I’ll slip right back down in to the depths where I feel so lost, confused and sad. It takes so much energy to pull myself back out of that again. It is an up and down process that sometimes really seems to get the better of me.

It has now been 3 months since I felt consistently happy and content despite family problems and low self esteem. My anxiety was minimal. I wasn’t worried and I wasn’t fixated on things that might happen. I wasn’t feeling scared of losing people so close to my heart. I wasn’t paranoid or overthinking so much. I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me and I felt worthwhile.

Sadly I have significantly slipped away from any good feelings, so much so that I decided to start medication again towards the end of last month when I was in such despair over the chaos that is going on inside my mind every day and every night. The adjustment period has and still is, tough. I had a good week, but within a few days I felt awful again and I haven’t slept properly. My appetite has been up and down, much like my mood. I am losing weight, yet I can’t face food much at all during these bad periods. And this morning, I have been signed off work because of anxiety and been prescribed some other medication to keep me calm.

If I could click my fingers and snap out of this, I would. I hate feeling this way. I can’t explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced depression, anxiety – or both – just how horrible it is. Neither illnesses pick a convenient time to bring me down. As I type this, I am thinking abut my birthday tomorrow when I will be turning 30. What is meant to be a time of excitement, is now a time of trying to pull myself together to enjoy myself. I shouldn’t have to force this, but I am. I am determined to have an amazing few days with people I love and care about. I will use all of my energy to rise above this.

For anyone else going through this ongoing battle with their minds, I can totally relate. All I can say is that you must keep talking, you must go to the doctors, you must keep trying, you must be kind to yourself. These are the things I have been doing no matter how pointless it sometimes seems. You have to be rational with all the thoughts your mind throws at you because most of the time, they are all false.

I wish with all my heart that I will get through this, and that anyone else going through does too.

F x

An overwhelming week

I have definitely had better weeks.

It started off Sunday night when I barely slept. Then I woke up Monday morning feeling sick, but despite all the retching, I didn’t actually puke. Then, I panicked. Then, I cried on and off all day about so many different things: who am I; what should I do with my life; why does my mum have dementia; will I ever manage my OCD; how to I stop my self confidence ruining everything; why did I do so many cruel things in the past; am I normal? On and on and on.

These worries followed me to the next day. I felt fuzzy, tired and wired all at once. Although, I managed some moments of silence from all the thoughts, they still sprung up on me again within a few minutes. I could not settle.

Halfway through the week I pulled myself together somewhat, but I felt so heavy – the clouds clearly hadn’t lifted. During my CBT session later that day I cried pretty much all the way through. (What a weird situation that is where you’re crying like a loon in front of a stranger who can’t comfort you!)

Yesterday I went over and over the past, thinking about some of the awful shit I have done during times when I was despairingly low, or letting my OCD get out of control. I couldn’t shake off the guilt. When I go over those times, I want to go back and kick myself for giving in to my crazy mind. I would do anything to go back and change it all.

When I wasn’t in the past, I was fast forwarding in to the future, thinking up so many ‘what ifs?’ More and more fears played out in my mind making me feel physically sick. I kept wondering, ‘I can’t control the future, yet I hope so hard that what I am scared of doesn’t happen.’ But the fact is, I can no more control the future than I can go back to change my past.

So, mentally I was stuck.

Last night I experienced more panic, more digs at what I have become because of my mind. I cried this morning at my desk and shook with fear. The sickness returned and I couldn’t eat. I just wanted everything to stop.

Now as I type this, the heaviness seems to have lifted a little. Enough for me to feel a bit saner anyway. Yet, I can feel little niggles of all my worries – they are still there but not as loud. So, though I feel kind of ok, I’m still scared of what will happen when I try to sleep tonight.

This has definitely not been the best of weeks and it’s clear that I need to get stronger to keep fighting my mental health issues.

F x

I have a friend

I have a friend that insults me every single day.

Most days, she tells me I have shit hair and that I am stupid.

Other times she’ll comment on how ugly I am and that my boyfriend will go off me.

She frequently digs at what I say and think. She’ll always be there to say that people don’t like me.

She loves to remind me of all my past mistakes.

She won’t ever let me believe that I will handle my OCD and anxiety.

Any time I fail, she is there to laugh and remind me that’s why I shouldn’t try.

She tells me I am not enough. She tells me I am nothing. She sometimes convinces me that I will never get anywhere.

She likes to hold me back because she thinks it is better to do nothing.

She doesn’t believe that I deserve happiness.

She is a total bitch.

But, this friend I cannot ignore so easily.

She is a part of me. She is that annoying voice that I have carried with me for so many years – from my childhood, my teens and to now, on the verge of turning 30.

I can’t let her break me anymore.

Now is the time to start ignoring her, to drown out her remarks and live my life the way I should.

Fuck you, friend.

I’ve had it.

You know what literally is a pain in the butt?

IBS.

I know it isn’t ladylike to talk about it, but I guess I have started to feel sick of beating myself up for having it. I’m starting to resent feeling ashamed because I can’t help it – I can’t help how my body reacts during times of worry and stress.

So, it’s not too cute – going to the toilet for ages; feeling uncomfortable after eating; fretting about flare ups during trips away….(it’s certainly an inconvenience when you’re rushing for a flight or train).

I sometimes feel like I should start working from the toilet on the worst of days. The amount of time I spend in there is silly, really. Though my colleagues say nothing about my 10/15 minute absences from my desk, I always feel this paranoia that they know and must think I am weird.

Then there’s the comments from friends when we’re holidaying together – questions like, “What have you been doing in there all this time?!” You just can’t escape the scrutiny when there is only one toilet shared between a large group of people. The pressure I put on myself to be quick only makes matters worse. Oh, how I envy people who can be in and out to do there business in 5 minutes or less – you people are my idols.

Some days I’ve just frickin’ had it. I remember an episode of Parks and Recreations where the character Chris Traeger stares intently in to the mirror at his own reflection firmly telling himself to, “Stop. Pooping.” I hear ya buddy! There have been numerous times where I’ve cursed myself for having rubbish bowels, and where I have begun to feel like I am a freak. But, I think that it is time to stop giving myself such a hard time.

To some extent, I can control my IBS. I can try to stay calm and keep my anxiety from overwhelming me, however sometimes it doesn’t do much at all and my IBS will persist regardless. There is no point in fighting or hiding it anymore, or making up lies because it’s too much effort. I’m done with trying to be proper and make out like I don’t poo, because I do! And sometimes it takes a while – Sorry about it.

So, this is me being open and honest and telling the damn internet that I have IBS. I am not going to get angry with myself any more. Sometimes you just have to accept your flaws and role with it, right?

F x

 

 

 

CBT

I start CBT next week to sort out my anxiety and OCD issues. I’m glad I am finally getting help – I have put it off for far too long now, but this does not change the fact that I am scared. It will be hard work trying to overcome years of irrational fears about germs and dirt, and even harder to learn new ways to stay calm and not let my mind spiral or ruminate, which it so often does. I hope that I am strong enough to get though it.

Anyone

Does anyone else struggle to accept themselves? Does anyone else overthink every single thing to the point it drives them crazy? Does anyone else feel like they don’t function properly? Does anyone else have a hard time figuring out who they are?

Sometimes I just don’t feel normal.

Same again

I’ve decided to go to the doctors next week after several times thinking I should go, then quickly changing my mind and not. I guess I didn’t want to go because I kept seeing it as failure.

For many months I have been anxious and trying to keep a lid on it as best I can. Although there have been times when I have slipped up and freaked out – moments I am not proud of. A few times I have snapped, or ended up crying at the drop of a hat. These moments have shown my inability to keep my emotions under control.

I have also decided that I need to address my OCD issues. For years I have let my obsession with germs get worse. I should have tried to get help for this ages ago, but I never felt brave enough. I never wanted to accept I have a problem, but it is clear that I do when my hands are so dry no matter how much moisturiser I use. During my worse moments I  have ended up standing at a sink thoroughly cleaning my hands 3 times or more until I have felt satisfied that my hands were clean. I had to clean and clean until my racing heart slowed down and the panic subsided.

But it hasn’t stopped there. I have found myself buying packs of antibacterial wipes to ensure the kitchen or bathroom were clean. There was a phase where I would clean the bathroom and kitchen every single day because they never seemed cleaned enough.

I can’t touch door handles, taps or anything in public toilets. I can’t touch bins or raw meat without washing my hands about a million times afterwards.  I’ve even ended up sanitising myself after sharing a pen with someone. It’s definitely spiralled and I have now reached a point where I either allow it to rule my life even more, or nip it in the bud. I’m starting to resent the voice telling me everything is dirty. I remember a time when I never gave germs a second thought and I miss that. When I realise how much energy I have wasted on believing there are germs everywhere that need cleaning away, I feel very disappointed in myself. I need support to get out of this mindset, but I know it will take time.

My other problem is my self esteem. I keep doubting myself. I keep looking in the mirror and hating everything I see. I look at other women in awe because they are so beautiful. I don’t feel the same about myself. I look at others and how amazing they are at their jobs or hobbies, and I don’t see any of that in myself either. I struggle every day with thoughts of, “you’re stupid and look disgusting.” It’s beginning to overwhelm me again and I think its time I reached out for some help despite how much I see it as another fail in my life.