There’s no magic wand

I knew that before. But I guess I was still hoping…

Today was my appointment with the psychiatrist that I have been waiting for for quite a while. 

I managed to get lost on the way, but found the place eventually, and even arrived on time.

We sat and talked for about an hour. He asked questions. I answered them. I cried. I cried more. 

He increased the dosage of my medication. I cried even more.

He said “There’s nothing you’ve told me that we can’t help you with” and then explained his “plan”. But I couldn’t stop crying.

He wants me to try a higher dosage for a month. If that doesn’t help, he wants me to try another antidepressant. And if that doesn’t work then he will try combining an antidepressant with an antipsychotic, which apparently can also be prescribed for depression/anxiety and can help with flash backs. He also said that after I finish my CBT, there might be other talking therapies to try.

So there are ways forward. So I should be happy? Relieved? 

I’m not. I am sad. Sad that there is nothing they can do that will help me NOW. Sad that getting better is months or years away. And sad that there wasn’t something blindingly obvious that we had missed, like another diagnosis which could be treated easily and would suddenly mean I’d get better.

I know there’s no such thing. I know it’s a long journey. I know people spend years and years fighting depression. But I want to feel better now. I could deal with ok, I don’t even need happy. I just want to be able to finish my degree, but I can’t keep going forever the way things are at the moment. 

I should be feeling more hopeful – there are things that can still be done. But instead I feel disappointed and let down. I don’t know what I was hoping for, but not this.

I just can’t stop crying.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic cure?

Enough is enough

Recently I’ve been feeling really low. I haven’t done any work all term and I’ve been carrying out the motions of my routine, but only just about. It is approaching the end of term, and I have a shed load of work to do before the last day. It is scary, and my tactic so far has been avoidance  which clearly doesn’t help!

So today I’ve decided enough is enough. I can not and will not let this ruin my degree. I want to do well, and I know that under normal circumstances I could do well, so I’m not going to let myself do badly. That would be letting him win, and proving all these negative thoughts right. So no, not anymore. I’m going to beat this.

I spoke to my head of year for Psychology and for German today, and both have said I can get extensions if I need them, and to come back if I need help. I told them I’m struggling, which is hard for me to do, but I knew I had to do it.

I am going to finish this year, and I’m going to get all this work done. Today I feel like the fight in me has come back. I don’t want to give up anymore, I want to fight this, and I want to win.

So while I’m feeling so determined, I’m going to do some work. I’m starting by making a plan, and today I will write the method section of my lab report. And now I’ve written it on my blog, I’ll have to do it!

Hope everyone else is feeling determined today!! We can do it!

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

And they all lived happily ever after…

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? – Daily Prompt

The short answer is no. No I am not living happily ever after, and I don’t know what it will take for me to get there.

The longer answer is that maybe one day I will be able to be happy. I do not believe that anyone has the perfect fairytale ending which the line “and they all lived happily ever after” reminds me of, but it is possible to be happy. Even when you have a “perfect” life, I don’t think anyone is happy all the time. There are always small things  to make us angry, upset or frustrated, and there are big life events which are enevitable, which will affect happiness for a long or short time.

When I look at my life, I know I should be happy. I shouldn’t be depressed and anxious, but I am, and that’s how it is (at least for now) so there’s no point in me saying “I should..”

In my life I hope that one day I will feel comfortable with myself, I will be able to be who I am and I will be surrounded by people who I care about and who care about me. I would like to smile real smiles, and answer honestly when people ask how I am. I want to be able to say “good” without lying.

So right now, I feel like I’m a long way away from living happily ever after, but there is good in my life. I am lucky that I have people who I care about and who care about me. So maybe sometimes it doesn’t feel like it (like last night) but at the end of the day maybe it doesn’t matter if not everyone cares, maybe I should focus on the people who do care and do matter.

Maybe happy ever after isn’t so far away after all?

People

I’ve come to the conclusion that people are just shit.

Not all of them, but a large amount of them.

People just let me down. They expect me to be there for them and then just drop me. I’m always the one being walked all over. And I always just take it.They clearly don’t give a shit so why do I? And I let the same people do it over and over again.

Take the ex for example, the biggest example of someone who has walked all over me. But there’s others too. 

Tonight I went out for Shopaholic’s birthday. I feel like crap. I didn’t want to go out, but I went, because I’m a decent friend and I didn’t want to let her down, because it was the right thing to do. Even though I felt like crap, even though I felt ill and tired and couldn’t think of many things worse than going to a bar with loud music and flashing lights. But I went anyway. As usual, as soon as anyone else was around, I was ignored. And then she got upset because her ex had basically told her that nothing is going to happen with them again. She asked me to come to the toilet with her, and of course I did. I told her it’s going to be ok and he’s not worth it and all the other stuff you’re meant to say. And then, on the way out of the toilets she bumped into another friend. Clearly a better friend, and was like “I’ll meet you outside” to me. Don’t worry about me, I’ll just go and wait until I’m needed again shall I?

I’m fed up of people only “caring” when they need or want something. Sadly that is what a lot of people seem to be like. And I must have the word “mug” written on my face or something, because I encounter a ridiculous number of these people. They don’t care unless there’s no one better around.

I’ve just had enough of people being like this. I am always there for other people, I always go out of my way to be nice to people and make sure they’re ok, and that things go the way they want, but do you think these people even ask if I’m ok? No, of course not. They will be your best friend one minute, then as soon as someone better comes along it’s like they don’t even know you.

I think A is right. I have a lot of anger. And eventually it’s going to come out. Eventually I am going to end up telling someone what I think of them and the way they act. 

This just leads me to lots of negative thoughts – no one cares about me, I am useless, I’m obviously a crap friend, I must be boring, I’m always people’s back up, people treat me like crap because it’s what I deserve…

And then I start to question my real friends. Do they really care? Are they just too nice to tell me that they don’t like me and to go away? Are they going to leave too? 

And S, is he only with me because he feels sorry for me? Or maybe (in the words of the ex) he’s “only with me until someone better comes along”. 

Now I’m just paranoid and feeling very lonely. I don’t even want to talk to S now because I said earlier that I feel like I’m being really clingy and he said “a bit” so now I just want to leave him alone. I know I talk to him all the time and I always tell him I love him and I miss him but that’s because I do, and I do need constant reassurance that everything is ok. I don’t like being clingy, I’m not trying to be but I am doing it anyway. Now I feel like doing the opposite. Just not speaking to him because I don’t want to drive him away by being clingy. I didn’t mean to be annoying and clingy I’m just a mess and I really want this to work this time. I guess I was trying to be affectionate but I got it wrong. Seems like I can’t do anything right.

Time for bed, and oh look I’m crying again. Pathetic.

CBT – Week 6*

Today I went to my CBT session, and if you read my post yesterday, you’ll know I was feeling very anxious and scared about it, and really didn’t want to go. I decided to be kind to myself and got a taxi instead of walking up that massive hill for a change!

As suggested by some of you here (being the lovely and helpful people that you are!) I spoke to A about it, and told her that I had really struggled with writing down the memory, and about the flash backs, nightmares and screaming in the night.

She said we will wait a bit longer before we start the trauma work. In a way I am disappointed because I wanted to get it over with, but I am also relieved because I think it probably was too soon, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with it very well at the moment. So instead we are looking at the thoughts which come with the feelings.

CBT says that thoughts cause feelings which cause behaviours, so in order to change feelings and behaviours, we have to change the thoughts. And that means starting by identifying the thoughts which cause the feelings. For example, I may think “I am useless” (thought) which will cause me to feel down (feeling), so I hide in bed (behaviour).

I need to become more aware of my thoughts so that I can start to counteract them with evidence. And realise that they are only thoughts, so they don’t have to be right.

A gave the example that even if I think about her crashing her car on the way home, it won’t cause it to happen! I said “That’s not very nice!” 

We will look at the thoughts that I identify, and test them, to see if there is evidence for them. It all sounds very scientific! 

I did some crying in my session (as usual) and A also said she thinks we need to look at the anger as well. As well as feeling upset/hurt/sad about the memories, I am also very angry. Angry at myself, angry at him, angry at anyone who didn’t do anything to help. 

Also this week I will be seeing my GP (tomorrow) and the psychiatrist (on Thursday) so it’s a very busy week for appointments! I am really hoping that the psychiatrist will be able to make the right diagnosis/es and hopefully work out the right medication for me! Although I’m pretty sure that he will say I have anxiety, depression (as previously diagnosed) and PTSD (which has been suggested but not diagnosed).

I asked A about my mood swings and tried to explain that even when I am feeling horrific, and at my lowest I normally manage to do things that I have committed to, like going to lectures, but that doesn’t mean I am ok, and it doesn’t mean I take anything in! I know that part of what they measure how bad things are on is your functioning level, but even though I appear to function, I’m really not. My memory and concentration are appalling, and I sit in lectures without listening to a word half of the time. She said that I need to make sure I tell the psychiatrist all of this, and that he will understand where I am coming from. Apparently he is very good** and is nice, so hopefully it will go ok on Thursday. I just want things to be sorted out and to start making progress.

So all in all, today was a difficult but kind of helpful session. AND afterwards I took the decision to go home and rest instead of going to class because I need to start looking after myself and stop doing things just because I “should”. 

*There was no week 5, in case you’re wondering where that went!

**Well I should hope so too!

Mess

It seems perverse that I waited so long for therapy, and now it’s here, I don’t feel ready.

I’m scared of going tomorrow. I know I should. I know it will help in the long run, but I’m scared because I don’t know how much worse I can deal with.

I’m tempted not to go. To call up and say I’m ill. I want to hide away in my bed all night and all day but I can’t. 

I can’t believe how low I feel right now. It’s hard to feel any hope when I feel like this. My dad said on the phone that it had seemed like I was feeling better this week. I can’t even remember feeling any better, I can’t remember feeling ok when I feel like this. Everything else seems to be blocked out. 

And now I’ve been crying, and I’m dehydrated so guess what, I’m rewarded with a migraine. Because I really need to feel worse don’t I? 

I am completely exhausted and losing hope. I don’t know how to get through this anymore. I don’t know how I’m going to get up and go tomorrow. I know I have to.

I’m sick of living like this. Having to do all these things and never doing things because I want to. Because I don’t, I don’t want to do anything. If I could I would stay in bed all day and do nothing. I know that’s not healthy and it wouldn’t help but that’s what I feel like doing.

Why am I such a mess?

I just want to give up. I don’t even know why I’m keeping on trying anymore.I guess I don’t want to let anyone down. And it’s not fair for me to end my pain, it would just cause pain to other people and I don’t want that. So I’m still “low risk” so it’s fine.

I wish it was easier to explain. Just because I look like I’m functioning most of the time, it doesn’t mean I’m ok. I’m not, I’m really not and I don’t know what to do anymore.

Maybe things will look better in the morning. Good night.

Triggered

I can’t do it.

I don’t want to go to CBT tomorrow. I’m too scared to deal with these memories. Nothing can change them anyway.

I am disgusting. I am so ashamed.

I tried to write out the memory of new year’s eve and it’s so triggering. I can’t do it.

I’m never going to get better if I don’t deal with these memories but it’s so hard. I won’t be able to say it. It makes me feel like dirt. Like I’m nothing. I’m so stupid, useless, pathetic and a slut. 

I just want it all to stop. Tears streaming down my face and all I can think is I just want to die. I just want it all to stop. I can’t deal with it.

Why am I so stupid and pathetic? Why can’t I just grow up?

Do some work you lazy shit instead of just sitting there feeling sorry for yourself. You’re never going to even pass your degree at this rate, let alone get a first. What’s the point in any of this? He’s still controlling you even now, because you’re letting him. Just do something useful for once. You’re going to fail and you’re going to let everyone down. You’re just proving that you’re nothing. Give up. No one cares.

Just a moan about life really

There’s too much to do and never enough time.

So much coursework, and I haven’t done my CBT homework yet, and yet all I seem to want to do is sleep.

I am tired all the time. No amount of sleep seems to help.

I wish I could have a weekend off – no commitments, just sleep and lazing around. But I can’t.

There’s too much coursework, homework, work. And I’m helping on the university open day today, giving a tour of the university at 3. Oh dear. I’m still in my pajamas.

Time to get going and put a happy face on.

And tonight I’m volunteering. Can’t let them down now. Damn. Why do I agree to these things?

All I want is to hide in my bed by myself. No chance of that.

And tomorrow I need to do work. When am I going to get 4 pieces of coursework and revision for at least 2 exams done?

I don’t want to ask for any more extensions.

I just want to be able to do this. Feeling useless, and that probably isn’t helping matters.

Why do I have to be so disorganised and unproductive with my time? It’s like everything takes at least three times as long as it should. No wonder there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Urgh.

Just a moaning rant really. Sorry WP.

Anxiety

I went out tonight. I didn’t really want to, but people I lived with last year were all meeting up for predrinks and I hadn’t seen some of them in a while so I went.

Predrinks was ok. I obviously wasn’t drinking (have given up alcohol for lent/possibly longer) but it was nice to chat with people. At times I felt left out, like I wasn’t part of the group, like they didn’t care about me, but that’s pretty “normal” for me to feel that way.

We went out afterwards. Didn’t really want to go, but it was free entry, and I didn’t want to let the others down. I decided to stay for a bit, and see how it went.
We sat down and that was ok, felt restless but not too panicked. And then we went onto the dance floor. Mistake. Within about a minute I was panicking. The lights, the music, all the people… Bad combination!

I told my friends I needed to go. One of them tried to get me to stay a bit longer, and said she’d leave in half an hour with me, but the anxiety had already set in by this point, and I needed to get out right then.

I ended up shouting at her. Telling her I needed to get out now, and the only reason I came out in the first place was not to let her down. And then I ran away. Pushed my way through the crowds and walked home.

Things didn’t really feel real but everything was happening around me and it just scared me. I panicked and I guess fight or flight kicked in, and I fled. I feel so stupid for reacting this way, but I did try. Other people don’t seem to understand what it’s like. I would’ve have stayed longer if I could. I wish I could’ve enjoyed the night but I was on high alert and felt like I wasn’t part of it anyway.

And this reminds me why I normally drink when I go out. The alcohol dulls the anxiety, and just for a couple of hours I can deal with crowds and lights and music, and I can have a good time. Turns out sober Ellie is even worse at nights out than drunk Ellie. Explain that one doctors? Why do I feel just as depressed and more anxious after a night out where I didn’t even drink?

Now its time to calm myself down and then get to sleep.
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

I am lucky

I have been feeling low for a long time. Sometimes I feel better for a few hours, even a day or a week, but then I fall back to the depths of sadness and depression.

Recently I have been remembering things, memories which are very scary, memories which have been haunting me when I’m awake as flashbacks, and in my sleep as nightmares.

But sometimes these things help us realise why we are lucky. I am lucky because I am away from him now. I am lucky because I have this blog, and lots of lovely bloggy friends here to support me. I am lucky because I have a boyfriend who makes me feel safe.

Last night I decided I needed to tell S about the nightmares and the memories. I sent him my last blog post, the one about nightmares. I copy and pasted it, he still doesn’t know where my blog is. I know he could find it if he wanted to, but I just have to trust that he respects my privacy and decision not to let anyone from my “real life” read my blog. I couldn’t talk about it, but I felt like he should know. It explains some of my strange behaviour. It explains some of the pain. I was scared that he would judge me, or tell me that I’m a slut. He didn’t. Of course he didn’t. He said

I love you so much. You know that right. I would never do anything like that to you. I love you too much to ever hurt you at all. 

I told him that I feel bad that he has to wait (for sex) and that I feel like I’m not giving him what I’m supposed to. He said

You shouldn’t use that term. Supposed to. You aren’t supposed to do anything. You give me everything I want. A cuddle and a kiss.

It brings me to tears now as I’m typing this. Because he cares, unconditionally and really. He doesn’t want to hurt me and all he wants is for me to be happy. It is strange for me that someone can treat me like this without expecting anything in return. I know my view of relationships is messed up, but I am realising how lucky I am to have S, and how much happier I am with him than I ever was with the ex.

A lot of bad things come from depression, but sometimes good things too. Today I have realised that I am lucky and I have someone who really cares and wants to look after me. Through this depression, I have learned things I didn’t know about myself, I have made this blog and I feel safe writing here, knowing that I have wonderful friends who will support me, celebrate my victories with me, and remind me that things will get better when I feel like all hope is gone.

So I just want to say Thank you, to all of you for being there for me.