Ich bin glücklich, weil…

It comes to something when you can’t even finish that sentence as part of a grammar exercise.

It means “I am happy, because…”

I’m not happy. I can’t even think of anything to write for that. It doesn’t even have to be true for goodness sake… it’s a grammar exercise!!

Why does everything make everything worse? 😦

I just want to not wake up tomorrow.

6th time lucky?

I went to see my GP today. We talked about what has been going on – the screaming, feeling detached, no concentration etc.

We decided to try another medication. I’m a little unsure on this – on one hand, I’ve tried 5, why would a 6th medication make a difference? But on the other hand, it’s probably worth a try! Also, my GP said this one has been recommended for me by the psychiatrist, so if I don’t try it now, that is what he is likely to suggest when I finally have my appointment with him (at the end of February) so I may as well try it now!

The new one is called Lofepramine, which is an older type of antidepressant apparently. It will take 3 – 4 weeks to get into my system… so we will see! Has anyone tried this one?

Also I went to see the disability service at my uni today, about travel to uni from CBT (by getting the bus I am late) and possibly extra time in exams. The lady was really nice. She gave me a form to fill in to apply for disabled students allowance, and says I need to get a letter from my doctor, and then they can sort out extra time in exams, and I can do my summer exams in a smaller room (which hopefully equals less anxiety!)

This is good news! Although I will have to do a 2 hour assessment so they can see what I need and how they can help! The other annoying thing is that I have to pay for a letter from the doctor… Why do we have to pay for something which proves our own medical history?! Apparently they are around £30… so not even cheap!

So today I am feeling a little bit hopeful for the future – new medication to start tomorrow, and probably extra time in exams which might help me!

But on the other hand I’m feeling really low. The hopefulness is very small, compared to the feeling of emptiness and being really fed up. What I really want to do is hide in my room for a few days, with no responsibilities, and just rest. But no, can’t do that – life gets in the way! I am hoping to have a restful weekend though!

This morning I had a lecture at 9am, I spent a good hour arguing with myself, telling myself to get out of bed. I did it eventually, and made it to the lecture only a couple of minutes late.

This is a daily routine. Sometimes I win, sometimes the depression wins. But I am trying. My attendance isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad considering everything.

Tomorrow is another 9am, this time it’s a German seminar… can’t even sleep my way through one of those!

After that I have agreed to go to the gym with my housemate. It will be horrible, but I know it’s good for me, and afterwards hopefully I’ll feel a little better!

Now I’m off to do some german grammar exercises, then bed, and hopefully a decent night’s sleep!

Hope all my bloggy friends are doing ok! 🙂

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

Cookie Dough Mug Cake!!

Last night I decided I was going to do a bit of baking today. Ok so it’s not proper baking, but still!

I saw a website which had recipes for MUG CAKES. These cakes are made in a mug and can be cooked in the microwave – how cool is that?!

Here is the website.

There are 7 different types there, but I decided to try the cookie dough mug cake today!

The recipe is:

Combine 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of self raising flour, 1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine) and 4 tablespoons of chocolate chips in a mug. Mix well and microwave for 2 minutes. Finish with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.*

And taa daa – there you have a mug cake!

It was my first try, and I don’t actually have table spoons, so I kind of guessed a little bit with the measurements, but it turned out pretty good. – It’s a tiny bit dry – maybe the ice cream would’ve been useful!!

But anyway, I took pictures!!!

cookie dough in a mug

The cookie dough in the mug, before cooking!

cookie dough mug cake in the microwave

In the microwave, ready to cook!

cookie dough mug cake cooked

It rose in the microwave!

Cookie dough mug cake eaten

And then I ate some!

So what do you think?? I might try the chocolate mug cake next time, or maybe make adjustments to the cookie one – maybe I used too much flour this time!

*I didn’t add ice cream, some of you may remember that I don’t like vanilla ice cream from another post I wrote 😛

Kind of spooky

Yesterday I wrote A letter to the ex.

Then at 1:30am, after not talking to him or hearing from him for months, suddenly a message pops up on my phone from him.

“Hey, you alright? xx”

As if none of this ever happened. As if we are still part of eachother’s lives. As if I’d want to talk to him.

I didn’t reply. Just deleted it.

How strange is that?

Numb

Isn’t it strange how I feel numb now.

After a year and a half of antidepressants, and now I’m off them I feel numb.

They say that some people feel numb when on antidepressants because they dull your feelings, but seems like I’m more numb without them.

Is it possible to feel numb and pain at the same time? It makes no sense. Everything feels detached. It doesn’t feel real. I just exist, and I don’t know what I’m doing.

And at the same time, my heart aches with pain.

I just don’t really feel anything.

I don’t know what I’m doing, or what I want.

I feel sad but in a detached way.

I just want to be normal.

A letter

**Trigger warning: Talks about an abusive relationship**

Dear the Ex

I can’t believe what a mess I am in.

When you left me I thought I would never recover. I thought I would never find someone else. I thought I’d always love you. I don’t though. I hate you now. For everything you did to me, for the pain you put me through and for the way you’ve ruined my life for so long.

I am determined to get through this, because you are not going to win this time. You controlled me and my life for far too long and I’ve had enough. Even though I never see you, never speak to you anymore, I am constantly reminded of everything from the past.

Imagine how it must feel to have flash backs of someone who supposedly loves you holding you up against a wall by your throat. Imagine how much it hurt when someone who supposedly loves you breaks up with you and gets a new girlfriend the next day. You tossed me aside like I was nothing. And now I am nothing. And it’s all because of you.

Three years we were together. I was weak, you were manipulative. I let you control me. I let you turn me into a shadow of who I used to be. I lost my friends, I left scouts, I even moved school for you. And for what? To be bullied, taken advantage of and hurt.

I really wish I never met you. You were trouble from the start. I wish I had opened my eyes and seen what was going on. Everyone else could see it wasn’t healthy, but I wouldn’t listen. I thought they were just trying to ruin it. That’s what you said anyway.

And then when we split up, you carried on using me. You told me you loved me, you told me that you wanted us to get back together one day. You were already with M but you carried on sleeping with me. You told her you were out with your friends when you were really with me.

At first I thought you meant it when you said you loved me. I thought the thing with M meant nothing. And then you told her you loved her. I became a woman possessed. I was obsessed with it. I needed to show her what you were. You told her I was crazy, I was jealous, I was trying to ruin your happiness.

Maybe I was. At the beginning I wanted you back. But then it became more than that. I didn’t know M, I didn’t like M, but I needed to protect her from you.

I told her about how you treated me. I told her that you were manipulative, abusive, messed up. She wouldn’t listen. I told her you were still sleeping with me. She wouldn’t believe me. And you threatened to kill me.

She wouldn’t listen. You lied, you both lied. Said you had split up. Said that it was my fault. And then I found out you were still together. After everything.

And then I went to uni. I got away from you and your manipulative ways. I thought so anyway. You wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept texting and calling, and messing with my head.

It took me a long time to be strong enough to cut you off. I did it eventually.

But I still didn’t feel better. I thought maybe if I saw you, if I spoke to you then I could get some closure, and that would be the end of it. But that didn’t help either. And everytime I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt – I used to give you chance after chance. You always messed it up. You always did something to hurt me. When I tried to ignore me you would threaten me, you would say you’d show people photos of me naked, you said you would kill yourself if I didn’t talk to you. What choice did I have?

So then I realised that was it. I needed to cut you off completely. And no it didn’t erase the memories, and no it didn’t stop the flashbacks or the pain, but it’s stopped you creating anymore horrible memories for me.

If you could see the state I’m in now, I wonder what you’d feel. Maybe you’d be proud; you really did mess me up good and proper. Maybe you’d feel guilty? I doubt it, but maybe. Maybe you’d be sad, ashamed of what you’ve done. Or most likely, you’d laugh. You’d tell me I was making it up – depression isn’t real, that’s what you’d say. I’m exaggerating it, I’m pretending. I’m fine, really, I just need to man up.

But I’m not fine. And it’s your fault. You caused all this. The depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, flashbacks, feeling of emptiness. And guess what, you ruined my relationship with S too. We split up, are you happy now? Because I’m too much of a mess. Because I can’t be in a relationship. Because when someone gets close to me I get scared. And after all those times you treated me like shit and called me a slut and used me for sex, I’m scared to have sex now, or anything like it. And even though S said he didn’t care, I felt useless. Because that’s what you taught me – it’s all about sex. And this is all your fault. But even now, you’d tell me I was making this up, that it was my fault, that you did nothing wrong.

I am so angry at you for everything you’ve done. I made excuses for a long time, but no more. You are a horrible person. You only care about yourself and getting what you want, you just stayed with me “until somone better came along”, remember that?

I know I need to let this go. It was quite a while ago now. We split up over a year and a half ago. But I can’t forgive you. I can’t get closure because you won’t admit it. And now I’m stuck in this vicious circle – anger, sadness, fear, and round and round and round I go.

I wonder what you’d say if you ever read this. You won’t so it doesn’t matter, but I wish I could know what your reaction would be. You probably think I’m pathetic, you probably are deluded enough to think that all of this means I still love you and I’m not over you. But I don’t love you, I hate you. You’re the only person in the world I really hate. I can’t even explain how much damage you’ve done, but what’s the point anyway, you don’t care.

And the most embarrassingly horrible thing about it all is that YOU ended our relationship. After everything I did for you, after turning me into a robot, YOU ended it. You left me with nothing. And I don’t even get the dignity to say that I escaped, because to be perfectly honest, I probably never would’ve ended it myself. I was trapped. Too scared of you and your threats. How dare you.

What a great first relationship that was. Thanks a lot.

Ellie.

Things that go “arghhh” in the night

Over the last week, I have been told that I’ve been screaming in my sleep.

The first one was last Monday. Apparently my housemate (Mr Map) came in, had a full conversation with me, and I was crying, and then when he left I stopped crying after a while and went back to sleep. I have no recollection of this at all… Very strange.

The second one was on Saturday. I must’ve screamed in my sleep, because the next thing I knew, I was in that state of half awake, half asleep and I thought there was a man standing next to me. Just as I properly awakened, Mr Map came in and asked what was wrong. Again, I had screamed and had no recollection of this. The only difference is that this time I woke up and do remember the conversation.

And the third time was last night. Apparently at about 4am I screamed 3 times (according to one of my housemates – Shopaholic). Again – no recollection of this, and I didn’t wake up after it.

It’s all very strange! It has only happened twice before – last year at uni, and both times within a week. But both of those times I woke up screaming, so I knew I had screamed. This week I don’t remember any of them!

I don’t really know what is going on… Any ideas? Could it be because I’ve come off my medication?

Will definitely be mentioning this to the doctor on Thursday!

CBT – Week 2

Today is Monday, and you know what that means….

A 9am therapy session!!

So I huffed and puffed my way up the massive hill to the hospital (can’t believe how unfit I am!)

We talked about how my week was which was not very good.

When I described some things that happen sometimes, A said this may be dissociation. I don’t really know what that means, will have to come back to that at a later date.

Then we looked at negative thoughts. In my mood diary this week I had written down some negative thoughts, and we talked about them, and how they are not actually true, but are just thoughts/feelings.

We looked at Cognitive Distortions, and for “homework” I’ve got to look at my own distorted thoughts and look at which distortions I “use”.

I thought it might be useful for readers for me to type out the different types, so here goes!

1. All or nothing thinking

2. Overgeneralisation

3. Mental filter

4. Disqualifying the positive

5. Jumping to conclusions

6. Mind reading

7. The fortune teller error

8. Magnification/catastophising

9. Minimisation

10. Emotional reasoning

11. Should statements

12. Labelling and mislabelling

13. Personalisation

There’s quite a few so I’m not going to write about them all now, but I will look at each one individually and write a post about each one over time.

Next week the real fun begins. We are going to start on “trauma work”, which is going to be dealing with the abusive relationship with the ex. That is going to be difficult. The way A described it was that it is like a laundry cupboard which is overflowing and bursting open. So we are going to take everything out, look at it, fold it up and put it back in the cupboard. We cannot erase the past or the memories that come with it, but we can deal with them. And that should be enough to be helpful.

I have got two psychometric tests to do this week, one called “psychological well being post traumatic changes questionnaire” and one called “Impact of event scale”.

The first one has statements such as “I like myself” and “My life has meaning” and you have to number it from 1 – 5, considering how you feel now and how you have changed as a result of the trauma:

5 = much more so now

4 = a bit more so now

3 = I feel he same about this as before

2 = A bit less so now

1 = much less so now

I haven’t filled it in yet, but I have a feeling that a lot of them will be “1 = much less so now”.

The second one is statements which are rated 0 – 4. These statements include: ” Any reminder brought back feelings about it”, “my feelings about it were kind of numb” and “I felt watchful and on guard”.

0 = Not a bit

1 = A little bit

2 = moderately

3 = quite a bit

4 = Extremely

These types of tests make me see just how much of an impact this relationship has had on me.

I might post more about these when I have done them, but I am not ready to do them tonight.

After this session I was feeling quite positive, and I feel like things are going to change in the future – yay! 🙂

Little steps

Today has not been good.

Spent an hour and a half trying to convince myself to get out of bed.

Then when I managed to get up, I couldn’t concentrate.

I feel useless, stupid and pathetic.

My mum rang and I cried a lot and I said I can’t do it and I should’ve taken a year out. I feel bad because I know she’s worried about me and there’s actually nothing she can do because she’s in London and I’m not. And even if I was in London she still couldn’t magic anything better could she?

There’s actually nothing anyone can say that is going to fix this. And there’s nothing anyone can do to make the work go away either.

So I’m just going to have to do it. (Today).

I lay in bed after the phone call and dozed off again. Then my dad rang and said I should take little steps. Try and do one little bit, then have a break, then another little bit etc.

So I’ve tried that. I still feel useless and like it’s never going to get done. But I’ve done a bit today.

My dad said I’m going to have to accept that it’s not going to be my best work because I’m not well at the moment. But that’s hard to accept because I always aim so high, and anything less than the best isn’t good enough.

So I’ve done the introduction and the method, I’ve done most of the results and some of the discussion, and then there’s the abstract. And then boom – it’s done. (EDIT: This was not all done today – far from it!)

If only it were that simple.

For the people who tell me to just get on with it, I wish they could spend an hour feeling like I do, and then they would understand that it’s not that I’m not trying, it’s that I CAN’T CONCENTRATE and I feel BLOODY AWFUL.

So I should probably go back to it now. I’ve had a break, reading some blogs and now writing this.

Now I’m going to look at the results section. And we’ll see.

Maybe after that I’ll go for a walk. It really helped last time. 

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Image

I was pledged by Ruby for “Blog for Mental Health 2013”. You can see her post about it here. I think this is an amazing idea, and so I make my pledge:

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

My Mental Health

First of all, everyone has mental health, whether it’s good or bad!

I am currently fighting depression and anxiety (and possibly post traumatic stress disorder). A number of events seem to have led me to where I am today, including a horrible relationship with the ex. I have tried 5 different antidepressants and none of them have helped at all, so I have just come off the 5th one, and am no longer on any antidepressant medication (for now at least). I have started CBT therapy, and am writing about it on my blog.

Although depression, anxiety etc are horrible things to deal with, they have also helped me discover an amazing blogging community. One day I saw The Depressed Moose’s blog on Mind, and read his blog, and that was the day I decided that I would start a blog. Now, several months later, I am very happy to say that I have “met” a lot of lovely, strong and amazing people here. We all have our difficulties, we all struggle sometimes, but we pull together and look after one another. If it wasn’t for my own mental illnesses, I wouldn’t be here on WordPress.

Although things have been far from great over the last year and a half, I am glad to say that I am no longer in touch with the ex, and am struggling on through. I am not going to let him, or depression stop me from living the life I should be living. Sometimes it’s hard to remember all your hopes and dreams when you are feeling so low, but I know we all have to keep on fighting, and one day it will get better.

So what I’m saying really is that yes I suffer from mental illnesses, but I am still me.

I’m not the same me that I used to be, but that’s ok. Different things shape our lives, and eventually I will be stronger for going through this pain.

My pledges

I would like to pledge 5 others to blog about mental health and help other people in doing so (which these people already do!) I have chosen some of the blogs that I have been following for the longest, who are always helping other people here.

Garry, of The Depressed Moose

WeeGee, of How do you eat an Elephant

Bourbon, of Crazy in the coconut

Zoe, of Behind the Mask of Abuse

B, of Broken Little Bird

If you happen upon this without being pledged, I still pledge you.  Feel free to take the pledge!  Promote awareness!

~~

So you know what to do, I’ve copy and pasted the instructions below:

Please note: This is NOT an award, but an attempt to unite all mental health bloggers!

1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.

3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.

4.) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know!

5.) And, as something novel for 2013, Lulu and I ask one more thing of you.

As you may have noticed, Canvas does not keep an official blogroll, outside of links to our authors’ personal blogs.  For something new and special to introduce Blog For Mental Health 2013, and really build a sense of community — and show everyone how many of us there are, and how strong we are, coming together — we are launching a Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll!  So, in addition to linking back to the person who pledged you, please include the link to the original post in your piece.  As this gets passed along, link back or click here and leave a comment containing the link to your pledge, and we will put you on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page!  Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of.  Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!