Progress 

I did a talk for another organisation this afternoon. I got really anxious even though it was informal and I know my own service.. I panicked and I don’t think they were impressed. 

Feeling pretty embarrassed as I know I didn’t seem very professional and they probably judged me. I am not a good public speaker at the best of times but today was not my best day. I hope they don’t judge my service by my talk. There was a snooty woman that made me nervous and that didn’t help! 

BUT and it’s a big but…

The world has not ended. I have not spontaneously combusted. Life goes on and so does my day. This is a revelation. My fear of failure would have had me in tears, full on panic attack mode. But although I feel a bit disappointed that I didn’t perform at my best, I feel ok. And that’s good. 

Progress!!

Love 

Ellie xx

Run Ellie run! 

I have taken up running. I haven’t done that much running as I have been knackered recently but went for a run today. It is humid and hot but I managed just over 5km (it was 3.3 miles according to my app).

My goal is to run a half marathon to fundraise for a scout thing I am doing. I have a long way to go but happy that I can run 5km without dying now, in about 30 mins. 

Running makes me feel alive. I need to remember that feeling the next time I feel too tired and achy to run. It really does make me feel better to run, at least at the time it does. Sometimes I get the pay back afterwards and I’m knackered for days, sometimes it seems to be ok (fingers crossed this is an ok day!) 

I want to get into regular exercise for a few reasons;

1. Exercise makes you happy. It boosts the endorphins and all that jazz. 

2. I want to lose weight/ feel better about my body. Also IF i do have fibro, it will help not to have extra weight hanging around making the pain worse

3. I want to be healthier. I am also working on my water intake and trying (and often failing) to eat more healthily. I just really love chocolate and everything that’s bad for you! 

4. A sense of achievement. When I run further or quicker, when I don’t feel quite as exhausted after spin, when I can do more press ups*, these are all achievements and it makes me feel good. 

Love 

(A very sweaty) Ellie xx

* I have to confess that I probably can’t do any currently. Last time I started exercising properly I managed to be able to do about 20 ‘girly’ press ups, which isn’t many, but when I started I fell on my face after 1! 

It wasn’t my fault 

Trigger warning – this is about abusive relationships/domestic abuse (holy shit I wasn’t expecting it to get this deep, I was going to write a nice blog about self care – will save that for another day) 

I often wondered why me? Why was I so stupid not to be able to see what was happening? Why did I have mug written across my forehead?

(For some back story, when I was 15-18 I was in an abusive relationship. I couldn’t see it at the time and for a long time afterwards I couldn’t see it as being his fault, I blamed myself. There’s parts of me that still do but that’s by the by.)

I realised recently that I was the ideal target. I was a little bit lost, disillusioned by the world and not feeling good enough. I was one of those teenagers that was pretty invisible at school, I had friends but we were invisible. And at that time I started feeling strange. Something I now believe was the beginning of my depression. I became more withdrawn, didn’t eat properly, didn’t feel good enough, started writing poems, came to a darker place than I had known in my cushty childhood. I felt like I didn’t fit in and I felt like no one understood me. Lost.

So at some point we started talking. I don’t know why because we used to hate each other, but we did. I spent hours and hours online chatting. Never in person. It was a new experience, someone paying me attention, listening to me, comforting my pain. And it grew into a relationship. 

I always thought it was much later that it became abusive but the signs were always there. He was controlling but manipulative with it. How could I be so unreasonable to want to spend any lunch breaks with my friends when I was in classes with them and never him? I obviously didn’t care about him… It only got worse but I couldn’t see it. My need to please was so great, my fear of failure, of not being good enough was overpowering. And so I blamed myself for everything. Took it all and wished I could be a better girlfriend. 

I was so young and I didn’t know any different, it was my first relationship. And I was in too deep. I relied on him. He isolated me from friends and family. Damaged all my other relationships. Stopped me doing my hobbies but made me feel it was my choice. It goes on. 

And looking back I think ‘what if’ and ‘why didn’t I see it?’ But it’s not that easy when you’re in the middle. It’s not that easy when you’re 16 and you believe that no one else would ever love you. 

And after a lot of therapy, I am still remembering things that happened. Little bits of information are coming forward in my mind. I wish they wouldn’t but apparently it means I’m ready to deal with them now. I don’t have to push them down. I can move past it. 

But today I can sit and say I know it wasn’t my fault. And I know that he had a shitty childhood but that wasn’t my fault either and it’s not an excuse for how I was treated. And i can see it for what it was, and say (with only a little bit of guilt*) that it was abusive  relationship, it was domestic abuse. And it wasn’t my fault. 

Love 

Ellie xx

* because part of me doesn’t see this as valid because I know others have been through much worse. And because others might say well you were 16 how bad could it have been? And why didn’t you leave if it was that bad? (Ok this bit of me is still quite headstrong but it’s not as strong as it was!) 

Migraine

Had to call in sick today. My migraines are bad this week. Two lots of tablets haven’t got rid of today’s one. 

It’s a bit better than it was but not great. I drove half way to work and turned round. 

Was going to push through it but thought what is the point. The office lights and computer screen won’t help and I don’t feel like I can concentrate properly. So back to bed. 

Feeling disappointed in myself. I find it hard to take a sick day. But I did it. I am trying to look after myself better. Small steps. 

Love 

Ellie xx

A positive thought 

Amongst all the terrible things that are going on lately, and the depression I am experiencing right now, there are still good people, glimmers of hope… 

While I was driving home today I saw two ladies, one elderly and one much younger (maybe her daughter?) walking in the pouring rain. The older lady was pushing a walker to keep her balance. The younger lady held an umbrella over the older lady to keep her dry as they walked. Not over both of them, just over the older lady. The younger lady was drenched but didn’t seem to mind, focused on keeping the older lady dry. 

‘That’s love’ I thought, as I saw this moment, I smiled as I drove on. Little things like this give me hope. There are still some good people, there are still things to smile about. 

Just thought I’d share some positivity!

Love 

Ellie xx

Health 

Thought I would fill you in with my current health situation – I have some kind of fatigue problem. Also a lot of aching and pain. The doctors are investigating to try and find out what it is

Currently they are wondering if it is fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME). It’s all a bit scary because I know both are chronic so unlikely to get a full recovery. 

My mum has fibromyalgia and I see a lot of the same symptoms in me. It’s scary. I feel that I am too young, but that’s not how it works. It’s indiscriminate just like depression…

My appointment at the hospital is in August. I’m glad they are finally taking me seriously. It has taken a long time to get a referral. 

Part of me wants to know what’s wrong. Part of me is scared of what the diagnosis might be. 

Just a waiting game now

. I am also suffering from a lot of migraines but that’s a separate story. I am on the 18 month waiting list for the next treatment as none of the medications have helped. 

I feel like my body is against me. I am trying to get on with my life and work on my anxiety and depression, but when I am in pain it’s hard not to feel low. 

Love

Ellie xxx

TGIF

That’s how I feel today. I have struggled through the week, completely exhausted. A lot of pain this week and it feels like I’m dragging myself around. I have been longing for Friday evening since Monday, and here it is!

My mood has been low this week…Lower than it has been in a long time. Somehow I kept going and went to work everyday anyway. I want to feel better again. Every time I fall it seems to feel worse. When I feel good it’s hard to remember the lows, when I feel bad it’s hard to remember the good times. 

Time for an early night I think

Love

Ellie xxx

Therapy today 

I’ve been in therapy for about a year and a half now. I like my therapist and I think I’ve made a lot of progress. 

It helps sometimes. Today was hard. We talked about hard things that I haven’t thought of in a while. 

Lots of emotions. Sadness. Emptiness. Anger.  Tears. 

I want to feel better but I don’t. Fed up of going round in circles. I was doing pretty well for a few months and now I’ve gone backwards again. 

We talked about me feeling like I’m not real and feeling not present. Like I’m in a bubble that’s a little bit separate. Very disconnected. This is dissociation apparently. Because things are hard. 

Emotionally and physically exhausted. Good night 

Love 

Ellie xx

Fatigue 

Heavy limbs

Droopy eyes

Aching neck, shoulders, arms, legs, feet

Complete exhaustion

Disconnected

Pain 

Everything feels like lead, heavy and useless

So tired

Longing for glorious sleep 

But it doesn’t matter 

I wake up

One o’clock

Three o’clock

Four o’clock

And it goes on

And then I wake up and do it all again 

Struggling with my fatigue and aches at the moment. Really affecting my mood and ability to do things properly 

Let’s hope for better sleep tonight!

Love,

Ellie xx

Why/update 

I have been thinking about getting back into blogging for a while. At one point I thought about starting a blog as me, one that people I know could know about. I’m still considering it but the idea fills me with anxiety. I would do a wellbeing based blog I think, rather than making it very personal. 

So that’s what brought me back here I guess. Here, I am Ellie. I feel safe in the knowledge that here I am anonymous and I can write what I like without fear of what people I know might say. I have become a hell of a lot more open about my mental health in the last year or two, but still not quite ready for that I don’t think. 

As a bit of an update – I finished my year abroad, and it was the best thing I could’ve done. In that year, I healed a lot. I learned a lot, I gained confidence, I gained independence. 

And then I went back and finished my degree, it was hard but I did it and I got what I wanted. Final year was a completely new world for me… because I was so much more well, I could sit in lectures and take it all in, learning was exciting and enjoyable, I remembered why I chose to study psychology. I’m not saying it was all roses, because final year was bloody hard. And my relief at never having to do german translation again afterwards was huge. But anyway, long story short, final year was pretty good. 

Then I moved home, got a job, had a few wobbles, got a promotion, did that for a while, got fed up, got 2 new jobs, and now here I am. 

I have had periods of being well, periods of really struggling. At the moment I’m in a bit of a dip and it’s not nice. Especially after feeling like I had ‘recovered’

But that’s not how life works and I know it. I will always be recovering because my depression and anxiety come and go in ebbs and flows. And I have to learn to be ok with that. It doesn’t make it easier though, every time it happens, it catches me unaware, it floors me. And then I get back up, I keep trying, I get through. 

So that’s my short version of the update. Would love to know how everyone else is doing 😊

Love,

Ellie xx