Rock

“I’m fed up of being your rock. You should be your own rock.”

It’s true of course. Doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I realised I really don’t like myself. I hate myself in fact.

I knew this before but I’m realising that even though everything else is good in my life, these issues aren’t going to go away by themselves. No one else can make me like myself, I have to learn to. But how?

At school this week I’ve had a couple of lessons by myself, (as in without a teacher being there as well) and it wasn’t good. They don’t listen to me, they are loud and they don’t work. They have a test on Friday but they still think it’s ok to throw things around the classroom and make loads of noise. I bloody hate teenagers. Teaching is not for me, final conclusion on that one. On a brighter note (although it didn’t seem funny at the time), on Monday 2 kids hid in  a cupboard for 25 minutes of my lesson without me noticing. At the time I just felt so stupid and like the most rubbish teachery-type-person in the world, but I guess in retrospect it is quite funny.

S is coming to Germany on Saturday and instead of being excited, I’m mostly scared. I am looking forward to seeing him of course, but my mind is full of what ifs. What if things are different? What if he doesn’t feel the same anymore? What if he’s not attracted to me anymore? What if, what if, what if.

And I know it’s stupid. It doesn’t help anyone, least of all me to do this to myself but I don’t know how to stop. I am disgusted with myself and yet I don’t do anything about it. But how can I?

I don’t know how to like myself. I feel ugly, stupid, unwanted.

I’m always on the edge. I still think people are only there because they feel sorry for me. That’s not ok. And it’s probably not even true but I still think it. I’m just worth nothing. That’s how I feel. I’m not good enough in any way.

So yeah, still got issues.

Lots of love,
Ellie

xxx

Distraction

I opened up a new paint document and started making a picture. I’m not very good at arty things but on paint you can use premade shapes and it’s just a matter of clicking.

Turns out it really calmed me down. Just thinking about how the stars fit together, deciding which colours should go where.

It’s pretty simple but helpful. I’d recommend it. I might buy one of those colouring books, I think that would be useful for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Just to calm me down and take me away from my thoughts.coloured starsNow I’m actually going to bed,

Lots of love

Ellie xxx

p.s. Just noticed the mistake in my stars picture. Nothing’s perfect!!

It’s like I’ve fallen into a deep abyss of darkness. Can’t see a way out.

I’ve only been feeling down a couple of days and it already feels terrible. I can’t do this again. I won’t.

I feel so lonely. No one has time for me at the moment. My parents are busy tonight. S is with 3 of my good friends. Everyone is busy except me. All my friends in Germany are busy too so I spent the day alone. I know it’s not good for me.

I wanted to get some work done but I didn’t. I feel like crap.

I watched a film. It was a German one. And I’ve been watching “my mad fat diary”. Not sure if I like it to be honest, just needed to pass the time.

I want to wake up tomorrow and feel better again but I can’t see it happening.

I don’t know what I’m going to do if it gets to Monday and I’m still feeling like this. I have responsibilities here, I have to go to work (school), then I have some tutoring sessions and then uni… it’s all busy busy busy. Maybe that’s a good thing though.

I just feel sad and I can’t explain it. It just hurts and it all feels so pointless. Everything.

I’m completely demotivated to do anything now. I can’t do it.

Where’s all my positivity gone? I was going to get somewhere, do something with my life… and now all of that is gone from my mind.

I’ve sat in bed for most of the day. I’ve cried. I’ve eaten some cadburys, that didn’t even cheer me up.

I just hate myself. That’s the thing really, and that’s the thing I can’t seem to get past.

Useless. Pointless. Waste of time. Burden. Not good enough. Never good enough.

Maybe I can sleep this negativity off….

Night night

Ostriches

Maybe I haven’t magically got better. Maybe I just stuck my head in the sand like an ostrich (do they actually do that?)

I’ve been busy busy busy, and have hardly had time to feel low or homesick, or any of the other things I was worried about.

But I tried to have an essay day today. I failed miserably. And I’m feeling miserable. 8000 words in German to write. Today I wrote a grand total of less than 100 words. Well done me. I’ve been doing some research as well today but it’s really hard to find stuff that’s relevant. Especially as it’s in German.

I’m starting to worry worrying about next year at uni. We are supposed to be C1 (on the European framework of languages) by the time we get back. I found this out yesterday. And I’m currently doing a B2 course, it finishes in 2 weeks and I only have another 2 months here. There is NO WAY IN HELL I’m getting to C1 level by October. NOT going to happen.

And that means I’ve really messed up. Because if I’m not good enough at German, I’m not going to get good German grades. And German is half of my degree, so no matter how well I do in psychology, if my German grades are crap, my degree classification will be too. I am waving goodbye to my hopes at a first… Damn.

So after my failure of a day, and panic at my lack of German, I was looking forward to visiting a German friend this weekend… it would mean a weekend of speaking German (which is always useful!) and I was looking forward to seeing her. But now I’m not going, she has the flu. It’s not her fault, but it’s brought me down. And to add another snippet of annoyance; I’ve had to cancel my train tickets, which is a cost of 15 euros each way, so I’ve spent 30 euros on not going… lucky me.

In one sense it’s probably a good thing. I now have a weekend to catch up on sleep, and hopefully do some work on these bloody essays.

I really didn’t want to leave them all until the end. I had a plan. I was meant to have done 1 by Christmas and another 2 by Easter… fat chance. It’s nearing Easter now, and I’ve written 0 essays. I’ve written a little bit of one of them, and an even littler bit of the second one. I still have until July, it’s not like the deadline is soon. But I wanted them finished while I’m in Germany really, that’s when my German will be at its “best”.

Complaining, rambling rant over.

I just feel sad. And suddenly I don’t feel like I’m doing so well.

Have a good and restful weekend everyone,

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

 

Anger

I am very angry.

This  is not a new epiphany, but one I am reminded of every so often. It bubbles under the surface, and normally doesn’t rise. But then it does. And it always appears to be an over reaction.

But what people don’t understand is that I’m not absolutely fuming with rage because I missed my train, it’s because of everything I’ve ever been angry about. Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot.

I don’t deal with anger well. I don’t deal with anger “normally” either. I tend to lash out at those closest to me, that’s not abnormal though. I think most people do, when they’re angry about a lot of things. The anger gets displaced and taken out on the wrong person (usually S if I’m honest.) And I know it’s not right and it’s not fair but I don’t know how to change.

And when I get angry, I get SO angry. I will end up saying horrible things and bringing up past arguments that aren’t relevant. But that’s because I hold onto everything, I can’t let it go. And so in my head, it’s all connected. If he did x, y and z wrong a year ago, and he then does something else (a) now, I feel like he doesn’t care. Because if he did, he wouldn’t have done x, y, z and a. But it’s stupid. Because people make mistakes, and quite often these things that I get annoyed about aren’t rational things to be bothered by.

I’m constantly ready to tip over the edge. And then I do, and we argue. And I cry. And I apologise, and it’s ok for a while. But I hate arguing, it terrifies me. Because every time me and the ex used to argue, he would always threaten to break up with me, threaten to tell someone something… and so I spent (and still spend) much of my life apologising, sometimes for things that aren’t even my fault. Every time we argue (S and I), it freaks me out, and I think that we aren’t going to be ok anymore. He says that couples argue, it’s normal. But I can’t get the past out of my head and so it still scares me. We don’t normally argue, not properly. But being away is hard and we’ve argued more this year because of that, and being away I don’t even have him to comfort me when I am sad. Sometimes it’s hard.

And the weird thing is, when I’m angry, like really really angry… I cry. And people think I’m upset, but I’m not, I’m angry. It just all builds up, and there’s so much anger and emotion, and I can’t deal with it so it ends up with me crying like a little girl. Not the effect you want when you’re trying to argue with someone.

I need to deal with my anger, that’s the crux of this. It all comes back to things with the ex. I was never allowed to be angry, it was always MY fault. And the anger was displaced, onto myself. And it was stored up inside me, so at any time I had a whole host of things to criticise myself about. I have never dealt with the anger I feel about everything that happened, I didn’t know how and now I supress it all and try and forget everything. But I can’t (of course I can’t.) So I think when I get back to England, more counselling is needed. Until I deal with this anger, I’m never going to be able to react to anger in a normal way. And it’s an important thing, dealing with anger.

Breaking the cycle

I feel like I’m slipping. The lovely safety of feeling stress-free is disappearing and I am clinging onto my new, happier life as best as I can.

But I’m terrified of going back there. And the more scared I am, the more anxious I feel. And the more anxious I feel, the more I want to isolate myself and do nothing, and this all brings my mood down, and then BAM depressed again.

But this time I know how it works. This is the cycle of my mood, and that is how it COULD end up if I follow the cycle. But what if I don’t. What if I stop at stress. Ok, so I’m feeling a bit stressed. So I can have a day to myself – to watch films, unwind, maybe Skype people from home. But I will not isolate myself, I will not let myself hide (for long anyway.) I will make a to do list and try and break it into small things. Small things are easily done, it’s the big tasks that seem daunting. But every big task can be broken into little tasks, and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad or scary.

But there’s some things I can’t do anything about. For example, I know my mood heavily relies on my relationship with S. But he’s not coming to visit this term, and I’m not going home again until Easter. So when I next see him, I won’t have seen him for 12 weeks. 3 months is a long time, to me anyway. And it’s hard. But I can’t do anything about it. And now he’s going back to work I will speak to him less, and I’ve got a busy month of travelling weekends coming up so there won’t be as much time to Skype… And somehow I find myself breaking into tears as I’m writing this. And there we go, I’ve found out why I’m feeling down. But what do you do when there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it? Who knows. I’ll get back to you on that one if I figure it out.

I don’t think it’s healthy that my mood relies on him so much. But I also don’t know how to change it. They say you have to love yourself before you can love someone else but I don’t think that’s true. Despite all the improvements in my mood, and changing my ways of thinking I still can’t see myself positively – I guess that’s something still to be worked on.

How can I feel numb and hurt at the same time? That empty feeling that has been gone for a while has come back. And I want it to go away again. I was doing so well. I just want to prove I can do it.

I know everyone has down days. But it’s when the down days start getting more frequent that you have to watch out. And all I can do is a deal with it as best as I can.

 

Excuse?

So I know I said the next post would be on “staying out of the hole”, but seeing as today I’m not feeling very positive, I’ll save that for another day and instead write about something else today.

I have been feeling much better for the last few months. A lot of the time I would say I have been happy, been able to concentrate, enjoy things, etc etc – in other words I have been able to function properly and normally. And that’s great but sometimes there are days like today.

Today was supposed to be a productive day. I was going to go for a run and write some of my essay. It’s 2:45 now and I’ve done nothing. I’ve watched “Outnumbered” on iplayer, played some games on my ipad and eaten breakfast. That’s it. And I know I have to write those essays. I know I need to get fit. But I don’t have the motivation today.

And it raises the question, today: is it a down day? Or am I just being lazy? Am I just using the depression as an excuse to do nothing. I was fine yesterday, I have done some work for these essays already, but not a lot. Because let’s be honest, no one wants to write an essay at all, let alone on a Sunday when there are lots of other, less productive things to do!

Today I don’t want to do anything. I feel blah. Today is a down day. And that’s ok, everyone has down days. But having learnt to take care of myself a bit better, and trying not to be so hard on myself, I’m questioning whether I need to just make myself do these things, or whether actually I’m feeling low because the depression is still there, even if a lot milder than it used to be.

I don’t want to use it as an excuse. Because I’ve been at the place where I genuinely cannot do anything because I’m that depressed. So am I just making excuses to myself? Am I being lazy? Is the lack of motivation the same as a “normal” person gets, or is it as a result of depression? I don’t know where the boundaries between “normal” and “depressed” lie. I don’t know which feelings are “normal” and which aren’t anymore.

Although truth be told, as much as things are better and I am a lot more “well”, when I think about things my ways of thinking are still often negative. I think that people don’t like me, or I don’t deserve the good things in life. Does it even matter if I’m properly “well” as long as I’m functioning? I don’t know.

And is it all going to crack under the pressure once I get back to uni? Is that why I’m better this year – no coursework, no exams, no deadlines. I work 12 hours a week, it’s not exactly strenuous, and every weekend (3 day weekends) I go somewhere, I do something. This is not “normal life”. And I am enjoying it but the what ifs are still there. What if I’m not ok afterwards? What if I can’t get back into uni life? What if, what if,  what if…. I’m starting to panic about all the things I’ve got to do, even though a lot of them are small, and I have still got a lot of time for many of them (like these essays, not due until July – but there’s 4 of them, and they’re in German…) I don’t want to stress myself out again. I know it makes me ill. I feel like there’s too much and not enough time and I just need to break it all down but instead I’m burying in my head in the sand and doing nothing. As if that’s going to help!

I’m really just typing what I’m thinking so sorry if it doesn’t make that much sense. I hope my motivation comes back soon!!

On climbing out of a hole

When I tell people how happy I am now, how different things are to how they were last year sometimes they ask me how I did it.

I wish I knew. There’s no magic solution, and to be honest I don’t think I am recovered, but still recovering. It takes time, lots of time.

This post deals with how I personally have dealt with depression and got myself out of the “hole.” This is not medical or professional advice, in fact it’s not even advice – these methods may or may not be helpful for other people, it’s just what I personally have done to help myself recover. Maybe it can help people who are stuck have some hope that things can get better, because they really can. It’s important to have your GP/psychologist/psychiatrist/etc to help support you, and even more importantly;  remember you do not have to do it on your own…

CBT was a big help, I know that. It was painful, and in reality, I have not finished dealing with all of the issues, but I’ve dealt with some things. I’ve learned how to deal with my anxiety differently, I’ve learned how to see my behaviour differently, and sometimes (on a good day) I can cut myself some slack, and say it’s ok not to be perfect. That was a big step.

I have tried 5 different anti-depressants, all at various doses. After 5 with no effect, I thought there wasn’t any anti-depressant that could help. Then the psychiatrist increased the dosage of the 5th medication (lofepramine), just to check and after that things got better. I do not know whether the medication is what helped, or if it was the CBT, or pure coincidence, but I think it was more likely a combination of the CBT and the medication. So my tip is don’t give up, sometimes it takes a lot of different attempts to get it right but trust the doctors, they are trying to help, and maybe it’ll pay off in the end.

And I opened up to people, I didn’t keep it all inside. I told people I was struggling. I asked for help, and I got help. You don’t have to do it on your own, and sometimes talking to people helps… it shows you that they care, and it lets out some of the pain that you are dealing with.

Once I started feeling a bit better, life became easier. My concentration improved and I could work again (a massive help when it came to revision and exam time!) And it has a knock-on effect. When you feel a bit better, you are more open to do things that you might enjoy, and then before you know it, you’re actually smiling because you’re happy instead of that old pretence you’re so used to.

Another thing I did was I started climbing. It doesn’t have to be climbing, anything active is good for you (physically or mentally) or even something that’s not sporty – a hobby, something you can do for fun, preferably something you can improve at. Then you start to see your progress, and see that you can achieve something, you can grasp every victory, even if it’s completing a new level wall or just getting one hold higher. If it’s knitting your first scarf, or even your first stitch… it’s all progress, it’s all an achievement!

Then I moved to Germany. It was make or break time. A whole new life, where there are no memories to hurt me and no one I know. I got the chance to start again. A lot of people won’t have this option, but I’m glad I did. I was so unsure about doing this year abroad but I can now safely say, 6 months in, that it was the best thing I could’ve done for me, for my health, for my happiness. And I’ve been taking every opportunity, making the most of this year… Last week I went on a cabbage tour, despite the fact I don’t like cabbage, and it was fun. I got to talk to the teachers outside school and it was nice. And I found myself telling one of the teachers that I don’t want to go home… a massive difference to the way I thought I’d be dealing with this year. I didn’t think I could do it, I thought it would go slowly, I thought I’d want to go home, but I was wrong. (And I’m so glad about that.)

Today I did the depression questionnaire on the NHS website, the same one I used to fill in every week at CBT and everytime I saw my GP about depression, it is scored out of 27. Today I scored 9, indicating mild depression. What a difference from last time I filled that in… I used to get scores of over 20. Turns out I’ve come quite a long way. But it also shows that even though things are much much better, and a lot of the time I am happy, I can’t just ignore it now.

It’s not just about getting out of the hole, it’s about staying out of it… Because depression has a very high relapse rate, and looking after your mental wellbeing is something everyone should do all the time, not just those suffering from mental illnesses, and expecting that once you’ve “recovered” it’s all over is a big mistake, and one that can lead to a bigger fall. My next post will deal with staying out of the hole (once you’ve climbed out of it.)

Memory gaps

For anyone who has been reading my blog for a while, you will know that things weren’t always like they are now, and this time last year things were pretty bad depression-wise.

And at the time it felt horrific, but I’m still realising some of the effects it had on me. I tried to function; I made myself function even when I really couldn’t. But I wasn’t really functioning, I just appeared to be functioning.

Every so often I realise how little I was functioning. I was talking about German grammar with a friend (because I’m cool like that) and I was saying that I hadn’t ever learnt a certain thing, and he said we learnt it at uni last year. I have no recollection of this whatsoever. I missed some uni, but not a lot really. It’s impossible that I missed all of the stuff that I don’t remember learning. There were many lectures and even seminars where I was present but not really present. This became clear when it came to revision, and a lot of it wasn’t revision, but actually reading it for the first time, because I hadn’t taken any of it in in the lectures. I’d be sleeping or just not concentrating. Thinking back I really don’t know how I did it. My grades should have gone through the floor with the lack of concentration and interest, but I started getting better and managed to pull it back when it came to revision I guess.

But it’s not just uni stuff I don’t remember. I realised my memory is terrible now. There is so much missing from my memory; I think back and I just can’t recall anything. It’s mostly the last 5 years that have bits missing, I guess it is my response to everything that happened – block it out. And dissociate because it’s easier than dealing with it. And when things were bad, when I was really low, it’s like my brain couldn’t be bothered to record everything, and just left some bits out. It’s really frustrating that so much of my first two years of uni evades my memory… it’s really strange.

Even writing about this topic I can’t quite find the words I want to say. I am trying to learn the stuff I should’ve learnt before. My German would be so much better by now if I’d taken it in at the time. But better late than never I guess.

Now, back to adjective endings for me 😉

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx