Yoyo

Warning: This post may not/does not make sense. I’d be surprised if anyone can follow my crazy train of thought here…you’ve been warned! (I’m strange.)

Up and down like a yoyo. That’s how I feel at the moment!

2 weeks ago I took myself to the doctors for an emergency appointment because I was feeling incredibly low and I was scared of what I might do.

1 week ago, I saw a doctor who changed my medication. I was still feeling very low.

Today I am feeling good great… I feel like I can do this (life), and not only can I do this, I can do it well! I feel like I can take on anything, and my mind is full of ambitious ideas. I am trying to stop myself, because I know if I take on too much I’ll get stressed/down again…but I just have so many ideas right now!!

I’ve been to the gym today (AND yesterday,) which is a long way from the last few weeks when I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything, let alone self-inflicted physical exercise!

It’s such a big change, and I feel so good. I don’t want the down to come, it probably will, but I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that the good mood is here to stay, and I’m miraculously getting better!!

I’ve also decided to start a journal-type-thing. I have a pretty notebook that I’ve never written in (because it’s pretty so I didn’t want to ruin it,) but I came to the conclusion that it’s a notebook – it’s meant to be written in! It’s just somewhere to write stuff down…things I think of, ideas, things I have to do. I often think of stuff and then end up forgetting if I don’t write it down, especially writing ideas (for poems, blog posts – whatever) I think I shall call it my Book of Stuff!!

Pretty notebook

pretty notebook

This notebook was a present from one of my best friends (at the time.) Sadly, I never hear from her these days – I did try to keep in contact, she just doesn’t reply anymore. Apparently we (my friends and I) aren’t important enough parts of her life to care about these days! But anyway, it’s really pretty, and you can’t really see but it has a flap which has a magnet in to open/close it (see pic on right) and it looks more shiny in real life! I have an absurd number of notebooks! Maybe that’s an idea for a post! *Writes in “The book of Stuff”*

So in other news, I’m starting to plan my year abroad. I have to decide if I want to study, work or be a language assistant in a school. At the moment I’m leaning towards being a language assistant, because I don’t think I’d be able to get a job in the field I want (working with people with mental illness) and I definitely do not want to study fulltime out there (I’ve spent my entire life studying – time for a year off!) Also, the money will be nice (from a job or being a language assistant.)

I’m going to try and find out whether it would be possible to do some volunteering while I’m there, as it would be good experience for my CV (when I finally apply to do a clinical psychology doctorate) and also I just like helping people, and it’s always nice meeting new people (especially German ones, then I get to practice my atrocious German on them!) I hope it will be possible. It’s really hard to do in England though, so not sure how easy/hard it would be in Germany…(Juliet, any idea about this??)

Busy busy busy. I’m feeling quite hyper right now! It’s strange because I’ve been really tired I’m always really tired. I still feel tired, but hyper at the same time (if that’s even possible!) I think it’s true that doing exercise gives you more energy… strange how that works!

Anyway, time for tea I think! (Wow, I’m becoming Northern – that’s dinner to everyone else!) And then going to German Society to watch a German film (aren’t I cultured?! ;))

Ooo Ooo I forgot, something else to say! It was so lovely!! Last night I went to a halloween party (as a cat) and one of my freshers* was there, and we were talking about something, and somehow got onto the topic of being cute, and then he said “you’re just one of those people that people can’t not like.” It was the nicest thing ever!! Especially considering I often worry that people don’t like me (paranoia is a bitch) and/or that everyone hates me.

Anyway, dinner! Hope everyone’s in a good mood too!!

*One of the freshers who I looked after in freshers week

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An award for Ellie!

This is a bit late, I’ve been a very busy Ellie lately, but I’m here now! I was surprised and very happy to read a comment on my blog from Jen saying that she has nominated me for the very inspiring blogger award! I thought that was so lovely of her, and so touched to be called “very inspiring”! So I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Jen from jiltaroo.wordpress.com (and that you should check out her lovely blog!)

So, here’s the rules!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules

1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2.Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.State 7 things about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

 

7 things about AnxiousElephant:

1. I want to be a clinical psychologist “when I grow up”

2. Cadburys Dairy Milk Caramel is my favourite chocolate. (I would rather have Cadburys than posh expensive chocolate any day!)

3. I love rollercoasters (and everyone is surprised when they hear that, as I’m scared of everything)

4. My favourite number is 17

5. I don’t like vanilla icecream (I am strange)

6. When I was younger I used to want to be a vet, then I realised I’m scared of most animals and blood…

7. I am trying to find myself again (because I don’t know who I am anymore)

My Nominations!

(I’ve tried not to nominate blogs who have already been nominated, but may have got some that have already been nominated anyway!)

http://thedepressedmoose.com/  (of course – since he inspired me to write my own blog!!)

http://jumpingonclouds.com/

http://weegeemcscot.wordpress.com/

http://onethousandsingledays.com/

http://alwaysallegoric.wordpress.com/

http://stuffredsaid.wordpress.com/

http://quietbpd.wordpress.com/

http://overthinkingmind.wordpress.com/

http://myunexcusedlife.wordpress.com/

http://brandonbored.wordpress.com/

http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/

http://dysphoricrapture.wordpress.com/

http://aworldofinspirations.wordpress.com/

http://buckwheatsrisk.com/

http://halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com/

Thank you again Jen for the nomination 🙂 xx

Keeping up

I can’t keep up.

There’s too much to do. Always too much to do.

Homework. Coursework. Seminar preparation. Write up notes. Reading. Gym. Societies. Planning. Revison. Blog. Sleep. Eating.

And all I want to do is drift into a care free sleep where nothing matters.

I’m getting snowed under already.

How am I going to keep up?

There’s not enough time.

Too much to do.

Stress. Fear. Panic. So I’ll do nothing.

As if that’s going to help.

There’s no fairy to wave a magic wand. These things aren’t going to go away.

I need a break. But there’s no time.

And getting drunk wasn’t the answer.

Hide in the dark.

They’ll still find me.

And it’s getting to late to catch up.

Not enough time. Too much to do.

More drugs, you say?

I went to the doctors this morning (it really is like a second home for me!) and spoke to my doctor about the medication I’m currently taking, and how the side effects are horrible and I don’t think it’s working – in fact, if anything it’s making me feel worse!

So, here we go again…come off this medication, and start on a new one! This is going to be the 5th anti-depressant I have tried, however I am hopeful that as this is in a different “family”, it may work better than the previous 4…

In case you’re wondering, here’s the list of my tried medications (so far):

1. Citalopram

2. Fluoxotine

3. Sertraline

4. Venlafaxine

5. Mirtazapine (The new one!)

Wow that would be a mouthful to say!!

So now…I wait!

Positives and negatives

So on Monday morning I had my appointment with the community mental health nurse. It was an assessment to see what they can do to help (and if I need help!)

I was really nervous but the man I spoke to was really nice. He listened to me, and when I came out of the appointment I realised I had been in there for about an hour and a half!! On the letter they sent me, it said it would be about 30 – 45 minutes!

I spoke to him about my strange mood swings (which I wrote about here) and he said something along the lines of they are more extreme than normal, but not extreme enough to be bipolar.

I’m glad he actually listened to me about the mood swings, as I have been brushed off before, but the problem is…if they are abnormal, but not extreme enough to be bipolar (and thus treated as such)….what am I meant to do?!

He is going to speak to a colleague about my situation, and said he will ring me next week to speak to me about the next step, which is almost certainly being on a waiting list for counselling.

In a way I was glad, as it means finally something is going to be done, but on the negative side, it probably will be a while before I get any help! (He said it might be February/March before I see someone! :/)

Another negative this week (unrelated) is that I’ve been feeling pretty rubbish… I have a yucky cold, have had herds of migraines, am aching all over, and generally am feeling sorry for myself!

On the positive side… I’m having a girly film night with a couple of friends tonight, and I might excuse myself early and get an early night (hopefully this will help!)

Other news is that I’ve now got to start planning my year in Germany!! (eeeek!!) It’s really scary! I will (probably) be working in a school as an English Language Assistant, and possibly enroll in a university/do an evening class or something while I’m out there too. I’m not sure if this is positive or negative…I’m excited in a way, but realllly nervous…not sure which is bigger at the moment! (Probably the fear actually)

Also, you may have noticed I’ve been posting sporadically recently… I have been very busy so haven’t been able to post regularly, but then sometimes I get the urge to write lots and end up posting several times on one day! Hoping to settle down into more of a routine (in general life) and make time for blogging, but with moods all over the place sometimes I don’t feel like blogging (although I have been pretty much been keeping up with reading blogs!)

How’s everyone’s week going? Positives and negatives? (I hope there’s more positives!!!)

Letter writing challenge – 11

Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to

Dear Grandad,

I miss you. You know that though don’t you? I hope you do. I wish I got longer to spend with you, I was only 10 when you died. I knew there was something wrong while I was away.

I was going on the year 6 ski trip with the school. I went, I loved it – of course, but I knew, I had this feeling that there was something wrong at home. No one believed me of course, but I just had this feeling, I can’t explain it. I got back, I remember the coach drove past my house and I saw Nannie’s car on the drive. Why was she here? That wasn’t planned, Nannie rarely comes to visit. I got home, and that’s when they told me. I think Dad told me, that you had died the night before I left to go on the ski trip.

I was angry. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I cried. Dad said he didn’t want to ruin the ski trip for me, he said you wouldn’t have wanted me to be upset on my trip. I know he’s right, you were such a lovely and caring man. I never once saw you angry, you always had a game and a joke with us kids, and you always made us all feel so welcome at your house. I used to love coming round every Sunday to see you, Nanna and the rest of the family. We still did that after you were gone of course, but it’s never been the same. 17 became 16 and it just isn’t right. We all miss you, I hope you know that. I know Nanna does especially. She always seems so happy when she speaks about you – happy memories, and she always tells me “he was such a lovely man” – but I know that, I remember that.

I remember you had a gold lighter. You used to smoke a pipe all the time. You used to light the lighter, and me and Actress used to pop up from behind your chair and blow it out. You used to pretend you didn’t know where it had gone, and we did this week after week for several years probably, yet you never minded – you always played along. Then you’d relight it again, and if we were quick enough, we’d blow it out again.

I wish you could see us all now. Well, maybe you can. I hope you can. If you can, you don’t need to read all this because you already know, but everyone likes letters right?

Do you remember the ride on scooter you had when you couldn’t walk very well? It had two settings on – a tortoise and a hare. We used to race you down the hill to the field, and you always used to let us win I think.

Sometimes when I go past the church I stop by the gate and talk to you. Out loud. I tell you what’s going on. I want to make you proud. I know you always were, so proud of all of us. And I wish more than anything that you weren’t taken away so long ago. I hope you’re at peace now, safe and happy somewhere, I’m glad you didn’t have to suffer anymore.

I just wanted you to know, I remember you, I miss you, and I have so many happy memories with you and the rest of the family.

Lots of love,

Ellie xx

P.S. I know my name isn’t Ellie, don’t worry I haven’t changed it, it’s just for anonymity purposes!

Writing prompt challenge – 18

Day 18 —Take a reader behind the wheel with the worst driver you’ve ever known.

“Maybe you should get some help… like anger management or something?”

The car starts moving, before she even has time to put her seatbelt on. She quickly jams it in, as the car picks up speed, and he grows angrier. He looks at her, with a look of disgust and anger “Oh so I’m crazy now, am I?” he pushes his foot down further on the accelerator, “I need help, do I?” The wheels spin faster and faster, and she sees the world whizzing by, growing less and less clear as the speed increases.

“Look, I’m sorry, please will you -” she starts, as he slams on the brakes to avoid a collision. They lurch forward, the car coming to a stop just behind the vehicle in front. “slow down” she continues, at a whisper. “Slow down?” he asks, mockingly. He speeds up again, driving along country lanes, picking up more and more speed, overtaking cars that are in his way. “Does it scare you?” he asks, daring her.

“Please, just slow down. You’re scaring me. Please.” She cries. He starts to swerve – on purpose, to scare her. “Am I scaring you now?” he taunts her. The car wiggles along the (empty) road, with the steering wheel being jerked around erratically by the angry driver.

“YOU’RE SCARING ME. STOP THE CAR.” she shouts, the fear evident in her voice, as it trembles with the tears. Her heart is beating fast, it feels like a hammering in her chest. He continues to swerve, speed and suddenly brake as their journey continues. She can’t see the speedometer but she knows it’s fast. Too fast.

“Ok then.” he says, his voice surprisingly calm now. “I’ll go to the hospital. I’m mental. I’ll hand myself in shall I?” and the swerves become more dangerous. She is sure they will come off the road. There are near crashes, as he meets traffic on the road to the hospital. He beeps the horn. She’s crying, begging him, making all sorts of promises, just begging him to calm down, and slow down.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please. I’m sorry.”

Perfectionism and the need to succeed

You know the saying: “if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”? That’s all well and good, and I completely understand the reasoning behind it – do your best in everything you do. BUT my brain has to take it to a whole new level.

My brain, instead, reads this as: “Everything you do has to be done well, or it’s not worth doing” – only a change of word order, but a completely different meaning. And a different interpretation of the word “well”, which here (in my brain) means perfectly, rather than the intended definition (to the best of one’s ability.)

This whole perfectionism thing is really becoming a problem. I notice it when I become stressed, and I occasionally catch myself thinking these thoughts (“It won’t be perfect so don’t bother” etc.) For example, I went to the gym yesterday. This may be seen as an achievement – I managed to go, and tire myself out, I went by myself, and I went because I told myself I should – not because of anyone else. This should be a no-brainer – a win for the elephant, but it wasn’t.

Whilst at the gym, I caught myself comparing myself to other people – “I will never be as fast as her”, “or as thin as her”, “or as good looking as her” – comparisons I shouldn’t make because they only cause further negativity. And by the time I finished my work out, completely exhausted and red in the face, I was greeted by these niggling thoughts in my mind – “You should’ve done more”, “You should be fitter”, “You aren’t good enough”, “You look like s-“, instead of feeling a sense of achievement, I felt like a failure. It wasn’t good enough, so why do I bother?

Another thing I feel this with is my blog. I like writing my blog, and I’m so glad to have met all the wonderful people I have met so far, but the negativity seems to follow me around, even here. “No one wants to read what you have to say” my brain tells me, “That’s why no one bothers to read it anymore”, “They are sick of your whining”, “You may as well quit, you aren’t succeeding…”

I know it doesn’t really matter whether people read my blog. I think it’s more that people DID used to read it, and the number of views is ever dwindling now. I haven’t been writing as much, I haven’t been reading and commenting as much either, because I haven’t been feeling great. But these things are not taken into account by the horrible negative creature which resides in my brain.

Everything I do seems to consist of constant questioning in my mind – “Is it good enough?”, “Is it PERFECT?”, “Is it the best?”

Realistically, I can’t do everything right, I can’t do everything perfectly, I can’t be the best at everything (or in fact, anything) but that doesn’t stop my thoughts. Rational thinking doesn’t come into it. “Is it 100%?” “No.” “Then why not?” That’s my thought pattern.

It’s really quite stressful living like this. And there’s so much pressure (from myself) to succeed, that it puts me off trying things. Then, when I feel good, I take on too much – but I have to succeed in everything that I take on (even if there’s too much) and it becomes more stressful, then I feel worse, can’t do everything, thus feel like a failure, and end up not wanting to do anything… It’s a stupid, messed up cycle, and I need to break out of it. Maybe counselling or something could help me get out of this perfectionist mindset.

I guess I’ve never really failed at anything, and I am under pressure to keep that up. I want people to be proud of me, to think I’m doing well, and above all, to think I’m coping. Because, hey – if you are succeeding in everything you do, you must be fine – right?

Sex, Relationships & Depression*

I have to admit that my relationship, which I have now been in for nearly 10 months, started off as a drunken fumble. (We did already know each other, but only as close friends.) I am going to talk about sex and how it affects my relationship, and my depression. I’ve wanted to write a post about this for a long time, but couldn’t find the right words, so here I go…

Sex is usually something that comes as the relationship progresses, it shows intimacy, trust and (sometimes) love. My relationship is a bit topsy-turvey in that respect, seeing as the relationship started in such a physical way. After my ex boyfriend, I thought that sex was the only way to keep a guy’s interest. I know this is stupid, but I’m being honest here! So we got together (properly) when I came home for Christmas last year, and things progressed.

Nearly 10 months on from that, I am in a non-sexual relationship**. I have found that sex now makes me feel like dirt. It makes me feel disgusting, used and worthless – these are the things I learnt from my ex, and now my current boyfriend has to deal with that. It’s not that I don’t ever want sex, I do, sometimes. The depression in itself has an impact on sex, as generally I (and many other depressed people) have a very low sex drive most of the time. It’s strange, because I used to have a very high sex drive, but I guess this is what happens when you are used by someone you love…

Anyway, as I was saying, it’s not that I never want sex – sometimes I do. Sometimes I just feel like it. But as soon as it comes to it, I can’t. I freak out. I tense up. I get scared. It’s ridiculous, and I don’t know why this happens. It is not my boyfriend’s fault, it’s nothing that he does. It just brings back memories of when I had to have sex***, and when it meant nothing except keeping him (the ex) for longer. Even writing about this now, I am becoming anxious, and feeling the fear creeping up on me.

My ex made me feel like sex was all I was good for. He made me feel like an object, and as if it was all anyone would ever want me for. Having a boyfriend who won’t carry on if it hurts me is strange to me, having a boyfriend who doesn’t mind that we don’t have sex was an alien concept at first – I thought he’d be angry.

I am incredibly lucky to have such a caring and understanding boyfriend. Many guys would’ve left me by now. And I would understand if he did. I can’t give him a sexual relationship (at the moment anyway) because it makes me feel awful. He says he doesn’t mind. I know that it must annoy him, and he probably is bothered, but even after me trying to end the relationship over it…he says he wants to be with me.

I think the most important thing with relationships is communication. When I typed that sentence, I was talking regarding sex and depression, however I also mean it in general – with or without the depression. If both partners know how the other one feels, the relationship is much more likely to succeed and stay healthy.

The other point I want to make is that you should never do anything that you don’t want to do just to please someone else. Here, I am talking about sex, but it applies to many other things too. (For example peer pressure to do drugs.) I wish that it was very unusual to be in an abusive relationship, or one where you are being used or controlled, but sadly it is all too common. A lot of the time, you can’t even see it if you’re in the situation, and the only time you do is when it’s over (because s/he left you..) I am asking my readers to bare this in mind in their own relationships, make sure you are being treated nicely, and you are not being controlled or taken advantage of, and if you see friends in a questionable relationship, although they won’t want to hear it, maybe it’s worth saying something to them…who knows, you might save them from a lot of pain and heartache.

So that’s it, Ellie’s thoughts on sex, relationships and depression (and how they all relate!)

*Original title, I know…but at least you know what this post is about! 😛

** Almost entirely non-sexual, for now anyway

***Just to clarify, it was never rape. It was always consentual, I just thought I had to, and I’m a people pleaser, so I did it.