Pondering

What if it’s turning toxic like before?

All I hear is “you’re not good enough” and “no one wants you” but I’m the only one saying it, to myself.

All the anger is still there and it gets taken out on others. It’s not fair.

This anger has to be dealt with. But how? Turning the anger on myself just exhausts me and I still can’t let it out the right way. I’m so angry all the time. It’s got to come out somehow. But safely. Somehow…

Imagine if people had to deal with the consequences of their actions, maybe then they wouldn’t be so evil. Maybe then they’d see what they are doing.

If you say something enough times it might become true. What if that’s true. Stop pushing him away.

But he’s not safe. Never safe.

No one is safe.

I don’t want to be alone but I don’t want to be with people either.

Feeling pretty gloomy.

 

I need to be more independent but I can’t do it. How do I do it?

After a long time of relying on people, the idea seems so crazy.

 

I want to help other people but I know I need to fix myself first.

Fix because I’m broken.

I don’t know how to be normal. I don’t know how to stop this whole thing.

There are so many things I want(ed) to do in life… now I just want to be happy.

Shame it’s not as easy as it sounds.

I’m so tired of fighting

One of those days

Last night I went to bed early, really early. Why? Because I felt I’ll and because I was meant to be at work at 7am this morning.

So my alarm went off at 6 this morning, I got up, had breakfast bla bla bla… Drove to work. And my name was not on the rota. The guy who sorts out the rotas wasn’t there, so I drove home and went back to bed. Not a happy bunny (or elephant!) this is not the first time they’ve mucked up my hours. I was meant to be working Wednesday this week and they took that one off (but I knew in advance) and now they take away my other day of overtime, and don’t bother to tell me! So angry about this. And I could do with the money so it’s really not ideal.

One good thing is that I got to go back to bed for a few hours, still not feeling well today. I’ve brought out the lemsip max! But still very angry about this whole work thing, they keep messing around with my hours, and considering I was told the want me to work 30 hours a week, 8 or 16 just isn’t cutting it for me!

I’m working tomorrow and Sunday, but that’s it for this week. Highly irritating that there’s barely any overtime and there’s nothing I can do about it! Grr!

So to conclude: my immune system is crap and my manager at work (well one of them) is crap.

I got upset at work this morning. After getting up that early especially when I was feeling ill, it was all a bit much and I couldn’t stop the tears leaking out of my eyes. But I’m more angry than upset… I often cry when I’m angry. I cry when I’m sad too, but it’s annoying when I cry from anger because I look like I’m overreacting and being upset over nothing.

I’m off to see S this afternoon, maybe he will be able to cheer me up (and hopefully I won’t make him ill too!)

Lots of love,
Ellie xxx
P.s. the other day S said I’m an anxious little elephant… And he doesn’t know the name of my blog! Spooky or what!?

Mammoth

MammothToday I was feeling pretty low. I have been feeling a bit funny physically for the last few days – lots of migraines/headaches, feeling a bit faint/light headed, feeling really really hot… that kind of thing. And a combination of feeling bad physically and mentally is never good.

So S said he would come over after work for a bit to see me and give me some cuddles to cheer me up. And he did.

We ate some strawberries and ice cream and had some cuddles and talked and it was really nice. It sounds pathetic but it’s the small things that mean the most. I love the fact that  S can just come round and he gets on with my family and it is relaxed and I don’t have to be on edge (like I was with the ex and my family).

And as you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I am now in possession of a new elephant (or more accurately – a mammoth!) S brought me it from work to cheer me up (as he knows how much I love elephants!) It is a little fluffy cuddly toy mammoth and I think he’s really cute! Only problem now is that I can’t think of a name (but I’ve decided it is a him), so feel free to give any name suggestions! 🙂

While we were cuddling and talking I said “Maybe you do actually love me”, because I’m finally starting to think maybe it’s true. Maybe not everyone will be like the ex, and maybe I’m not unlovable – maybe it wasn’t even my fault. And he laughed and said “At least it’s a maybe now.” I know it’s stupid that I am so scared of getting hurt and that I really find it so hard to believe that anyone could love and care about ME, but these are thoughts which have been programmed into my mind for a long time – with the ex, and even before that with the teasing/bullying (?)

I am feeling more determined than ever that I am going to get through this stuff, and I am not going to let the ex win or ruin any more of my life. I can and I will get through these problems. I can and I will succeed and be happy. I know I need to deal with the anger I still feel about everything that happened, but maybe I can use it positively, and use it as motivation and incentive to keep going and stay determined. I can and I will.**

I am so happy being with S, he makes me feel safe and loved and happy. And I love him, I really do and our relationship is so much better (now that I’ve finally allowed myself to feel that way instead of being too scared to get close.) I think my depression/anxiety/general craziness* definitely does affect our relationship but he copes pretty well, and he is very understanding and helping me get through my issues.

Time for bed now, but tonight I am going to bed feeling happy and safe, instead of anxious and scared and paranoid (like last night).

Good night,
Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

P.S. Here is another picture of my (nameless) mammoth!

Mammoth toy

* I hope this doesn’t offend anyone – here I am referring to my irrational thoughts and behaviours, which could definitely be called crazy rather than the mental health side of things.

** This is one of the mantras from my list, and this one often comes to mind. When I’m feeling low or like I can’t do something, I think to myself ‘I can and I will’ and I feel more in control, more determined and more positive.

Get off that train

**trigger warning – self harm thoughts**

The thought train/negative spiral, whatever you want to call it… It tends to run away with itself, until suddenly you’ve made a mountain out of a molehill, and paranoid thoughts become the absolute truth (in your mind)

Last night the situation arose (again), but this time it was a bit different. Instead of staying on that train, going down the track of paranoia, self doubt and anger, I stopped the train.

I argue for the sake of arguing, because if S gets angry or says something horrible, it proves that I’m right, that he doesn’t really love me, that I’m worth nothing… And I’m paranoid, if he wants to see his friends, its not because he actually wants to see them, its because he doesn’t want to see me, he is just trying to avoid seeing me. This stupid paranoid thought spirals. And when he said he is going to the pub with Sheep, (and didn’t invite me) my immediate thought was that I’m not invited, they don’t want to see me… he wants her not me. Even though they haven’t really made proper plans, just said that they will go on Wednesday, and we always go to the pub, the 3 of us, why wouldn’t I be invited? My brain is incredibly irrational.

But yesterday I didn’t get to my usual point, I didn’t get to the point of “well why are you even with me then, you should just leave me” (because I’m not worth anyone’s love.)

So even though it still went further than it should. The paranoid thoughts are still there, so is the self doubt and thoughts that I’m not good enough. But these are just thoughts, not reality. And I noticed that, and stopped it earlier than I have in the past. Little steps.
So now I just have to realise it before the arguments begin, but for now I’m taking little steps to make this better.

It’s strange. When I get these thoughts, I feel so angry and so low. My mood just drops in an instant, and I wish I was dead, I want to cut myself and the urges are so strong. And I feel so so angry, like I just want to scream and shout, and I hate him at that moment. All of these emotions are so strong, I guess that’s why I get carried away into the negative spiral. But then just as quick as it comes, the anger is gone. And I’m sorry, so sorry for being so stupid. And I don’t hate him, I love him.

I have so little control over my emotions, its scary. They are all just so strong, so quick to surface. Why am I like this?

Tear-free CBT

That’s right people, I got through a whole session of CBT without crying today! There were a couple of moments where tears weren’t far away but no crying today. Not that it’s a bad thing to cry in therapy, but it’s exhausting. Today was definitely easier than the last session, but I guess that’s because what we talked about wasn’t as painful today.

We spoke about how I have grown up, and why I have always felt this need to do everything perfectly.

My mum had to work and work to prove she was good enough. When she was at school she wanted to be a teacher, from the age of about 11. She did her O levels and A levels, and had to retake some, and she was told she’d never become a teacher. But she did it, she got her grades, went to college and became a P.E teacher. It’s so sad that the thing she wanted to do for so long became one of the things that made her ill. And now she lacks the confidence to teach again, doesn’t want to go back there. My dad is a very hard worker too. He always gives everything 100%. He is the person who gets into work early and leaves late. And so you see my parents have both been very successful and they want the same for my brother and I, and that’s why they always try to push us to do our best. Unfortunately in my case, with a mixture of family pressure and going to a school where everyone is very bright (like a grammar school), I ended up feeling that I will never ever be good enough.

And I also realised that maybe part of it is that I’m trying to prove that I’m good enough, trying to prove that going to college wasn’t a bad idea. I left my school at 16, much to the dismay of my parents, and went to a college to do my A levels instead of the school 6th form. But I did it, I got my grades. I went to uni, I finished my first year with a first… Maybe I feel like if I get a first I’m proving that college was a good thing, that I wouldn’t have been better off going to my school’s 6th form. But the thing is, it’s done now anyway. Maybe I would’ve done better at 6th form, maybe I would’ve done worse, or maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. We can never find out.

We also talked about mindfulness. A says that I am getting much better at identifying the negative thoughts as they happen, but now we need to focus on the here and now – ignoring the past and future, so that I can react in a suitable way to these negative thoughts.

I explained the cycle I spoke about in my previous post. How S said something as a joke which made me paranoid, then the paranoia made me scared he was going to leave me, then I realised I was overreacting, so I was scared he was going to leave because I worry so much… And on and on and on.

As we are coming to the end of the CBT sessions, A said it would be good to do some work on mindfulness, and that is something I can use after my sessions have finished, to help me.

According to Wikipedia*, mindfulness is the focusing of attention and awareness, based of the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation. It says mindfulness can be useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depressive relapse, disordered eating and addiction.

It appears, from the definitions to involve bringing attention and awareness to the present moment where thoughts/feelings etc. are acknowledged and accepted.

A handed me a pen and asked me to look at it while she talked about it, asking questions (which aren’t to be answered.) What does it look like? Are there any marks on it? What about writing? Does the nib have any ink on it, or any marks?

At one point she asked me to hold the pen by my ear and listen to it when shaking it. At this point I thought “well, this is a bit weird!!” A said that is an example of when your mind wanders and thoughts go to other things rather than focusing on the pen (in this case).

This week’s homework is to do the “bodyscan” each day which is a guided mindfulness practise, involving listening to a CD (Kind of like meditation I think). I’ll be writing about that as I go along too!

So today’s session was quite helpful I think. I’ve made some realisations about my perfectionism and where it comes from. And I’m starting to accept that it’s ok not to do everything perfectly (because in most cases perfection doesn’t exist.) We also talked about my little experiment from last week – actively giving 80% (rather than 100%) to see what happened. You might remember, I did it when climbing. I decided that instead of pushing myself hard to finish the route, I would just come down and try another time, and the world didn’t end 😉 (In case you were wondering!) A said she thinks the key to all of the stuff with the ex is anger, and that when I am ready to access all of the feelings, I will be able to feel this anger that’s been locked away for so long. It also explains my anger outburts, which are almost always disproportionate to the thing I am actually angry about. (Like when I went completely crazy shouting at my housemates over the bins situation… but it wasn’t actually about the bins, it was about everything that has made me angry ever!) Anyway, progress is definitely a good thing, so I’ll let you all know how I get on with the mindfulness this week!

*obviously the source of all knowledge!

The right thing for the wrong reason

Today’s Daily prompt (Green-eyed monster) reminded me of something that happened nearly 2 years ago now. I’ve probably written a bit about it before, but nevermind.

This time 2 years ago, the ex had just broken up with me and got into a new relationship straight away. I was jealous, crazily jealous of her. What did she have that I didn’t? Who was she to take him away from me? Why did he choose her over me?

He carried on using me, sleeping with me while he was with her. For a while I was under the delusion that he was going to change his mind, that she was nothing serious, that he would come back to me. That didn’t happen*. While he was with her I would purposefully text him in the hope that she would read his texts and find out he was cheating on her.

I became like a woman girl possessed – I became obsessed with breaking them up, with showing him that she wasn’t worth it. I do not like that side of me, and it is a side of me I have never seen before this and hope never to see again. I was so jealous that she had his attention and I didn’t. He (appeared to) treat her so much better than he did me. I wanted his love, his attention, his care and she had it all. I told her that he was cheating on her, and he told her I was crazy. I was his crazy, jealous ex. And that’s exactly true (except that I was telling her the truth.)

And then I got angry.

I came to my senses, I realised that HE was the evil one (not her). I realised that he was using me, that he had been controlling and using me for a long time and I had been too blind to see it. And then I started doing the right thing for the right reason. Once I wasn’t jealous anymore I just wanted to warn her. I didn’t like her, but she’s still  a person with feelings. She still didn’t deserve to be treated badly by him.

And this one has a happy ending actually. Quite a while after she still wouldn’t believe me and I had given up on trying, I got a message from her. It said they had broken up, and that I was right and she apologised for not believing me.

And so in the end,jealousy aside, the right thing happened. But it showed me the dangerous side of human nature. It showed me how calculating and horrible I could be. And I never want to see it again.

I had never realised before how connected jealousy is to anger. The jealousy was fuelled by anger, and the anger was fuelled by jealousy. With some tainted love and error of judgement thrown in there, the whole thing was a recipe for disaster. (I am very glad this is over.)

*thank God! 

End of term!

By some miracle it’s here… the end of term!

I didn’t finish all my coursework – had to get an extension on 1 essay, but managed the rest.

This week I had to hand in a lab report, a project and a language portfolio, do a german presentation and a statistics exam… so I’m pretty glad that I managed to do all of that, even if I couldn’t manage the essay as well.

And now it’s the easter holidays. Back to London tomorrow, for a month of “holiday”.

Unfortunately I can’t really take much time off, there’s this essay to write, another lab report and revision to start… but term 2 of year 2 is done, and for now at least I am going to take a bit of time for myself!

So tomorrow I will start playing catch up with reading blogs. I may not manage to read every single post, seeing as I’ve missed LOADS, but I’ll try 🙂

I have quite a lot of write about, like my CBT session this week, anger, relationship stuff and general stuff that’s been going on, but I’m too tired right now.

Tonight, instead of going out with my housemates, I decided to stay in my (nice warm) house and watch Don’t tell the bride on BBC iplayer, relax and get an early night.

I am proud to say I didn’t give in to peer pressure and subject myself to another bad night out. But after the last time when I ended up running out of the club in panic, I decided it would be more sensible to have a night in (even if that makes me boring).

So looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs, I’ve really missed WP while I’ve been away!!

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

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!

CBT – Week 4

Today was another hour spent mostly crying.

We talked too of course.

Today we started looking at trauma memories from my relationship with the ex. It was hard, and scary thinking about it all again, but hopefully in the long run this will be helpful.

I used my safe space and grounding techniques to calm me down, and A made sure I was back in the room and ok before I left.

For homework I’ve got to write down as much as I can remember about a certain memory. It is a horrible, triggering memory. I think it’s the worst one; the one that haunts me most. I thought I was going to die.

I’ll probably write a post on that memory when I write it for my “homework”.

No session next week – mixed feelings about that. On one hand it’s a shame because I want to get on with this so it will help asap! On the other hand, maybe it’s good not to take it too fast, and at least I will get a lie in next Monday for once!

On the next session we will look at retelling and rescripting the memory.

I hope that this will help, and maybe one day soon I might be able to feel safe.

Today we also talked about the last week. I told her about Saturday night, and how I’ve been feeling really low this week. I also explained how irritable and angry I am. Everything winds me up. Everything makes me angry. It’s not fair – life is not fair. It makes me angry when I see people complaining when they have nothing to complain about. It makes me angry when my housemate can’t be bothered to go to uni, puts no effort in, and then comes out with good grades. I wonder what most people would do if they felt like I do. Then they would understand, what an effort it is for me to do the everyday things that they can’t be bothered to do. Or maybe all of this is just an excuse, and I’m just lazy?