This Blog

I started this blog when things were bad, I was feeling low. I posted quite frequently, and built up a network of blogs which I read everyday. It helped me feel better when I felt low, and helped me get some perspective from people who really understood. But now I’m too busy to spend all these hours on WordPress. I still read the blogs that I follow, but sometimes it takes me a while to get to posts. Sometimes I don’t read every single post, sometimes I miss things. And I’m sorry about that, but I am still here, I’m still listening (reading.)

Now I don’t feel like writing that much. I feel like I don’t have a lot to say most of the time, which is to say I don’t have that much to complain about at the moment. It’s a good thing, but I don’t want to stop this blog. But it doesn’t really do anything anymore. I keep saying I’ll do this and I’ll do that, but I always procrastinate my way through things, so it takes a long time for any of it to happen.

So I’m just saying – I’m still here, but not as much. Just bare with me. I know there aren’t that many that read my blog anymore anyway, but for those who do, thank you for being there, it means a lot. Maybe when I have some time I’ll have more to say, maybe once I get on with this mindfulness (if I ever get round to it) then I’ll have more to say.

I don’t want to just disappear, but I don’t want to keep writing posts like this which just say that I don’t know what to say.

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I don’t like goodbyes

Goodbyes are inevitable over the next week, I’m going in just over a week.

But I hate goodbyes, they seem so final. And there’s so many people I’m going to miss.

Yesterday was my last day at my volunteering place, they got me a ‘thank you’ card which was really nice. Sunday is my last day of work, so that will be more goodbyes. Then comes Monday when I will see Owl for the first and last time this summer, and after that I’m meeting up with some of the girls from my old school, and then my scouty friends (busy busy Ellie!) On Tuesday I’m having lunch with another friend, and I’m also meant to be meeting up with my oldest friend (Twin) at some point next week. I’ve also got to fit in more goodbyes, packing and making sure everything is organised for my early morning flight on Monday! 

So I’m very busy, and it’s a bit overwhelming. My head is overflowing with too many thoughts and ideas, and I think all this stress is causing my migraines to flare up. I’m scared of things going wrong and I hardly seem to have time to actually be excited!

The worst goodbye will be saying goodbye to S. I have seen him a lot recently and I always rely on him when I’m feeling low. But I won’t be able to do that when I’m away. It was hard when I was in Lancaster, but from Germany I won’t be able to phone as often.

I guess I will have to learn to be more independent this year. It’s probably a good thing, but I’m worried about if I feel worse again, will I be able to look after myself? I think this will be a good year for me (to develop as a person) as long as I am well enough to look after myself and be strong. 

Well at least there is one goodbye I don’t have to say – I won’t be saying goodbye to you guys here on WordPress, I want to continue my blog while I’m abroad. My posting may be a bit sporadic (as if it wasn’t already!) at first because I will be busy busy busy (as usual!)

Dependent

I hate being dependent on other people. Especially S.

Because he could leave (like the ex did.) That’s why you should never let anyone be everything to you. But it’s hard not to rely on him.

I hate how my happiness relies on him. When I’m with S I am generally much happier. It’s when I’m on my own I feel down. And I overanalyse every little thing. Why do I do it to myself? I’m torturing myself over things I can’t change. Things that are said and done, it’s too late to change them.

And things that he doesn’t even care about but I do. I feel fat, and I hate it. But I’m scared of starting exercise again like before because it’s addictive, like not eating – addictive and not good. 

I haven’t been blogging that much recently. Too busy. Life just gets in the way. But I still need time for myself. I’m going to try and set aside some time each day for myself. To reflect on how things are, to write my blog, to do some mindfulness stuff (because I haven’t done any of it in ages, and it was helping I think.)

Sometimes I think I do too much and I don’t allow myself enough time to just be. On Monday I had a day to do nothing. I slept until about 1, then pottered around doing not much – reading blogs, watching TV. But it was nice, just sometimes it’s nice to do nothing. Nothing that matters anyway. I’m always in such a rush all the time, maybe I should take a step back and try to relax a bit.

This post got a bit more reflective than I expected. Just a quick one before bed. To get some thoughts out of my mind. This one is like a mental stream (MMS you should be proud!)

I just want to stop for a bit. I wish I could pause the world, like in Bernard’s watch (did anyone watch that?) And then I could just take some time, with nothing going on. Wouldn’t it be nice?

But relaxing has always been difficult for me, that’s something I need to learn to do. A was right – I can’t give 100% all the time, it’s too exhausting. I need to relax too, and take some time for me – not to work or volunteer or even socialise, just to unwind.

Hopefully my holiday will help me relax a bit. On Monday I am off to Amsterdam (not Prague as originally planned) so I’m sure I will have an Amsterdam-related post at the end of next week!

As you might be able to tell, my mind is a bit of a jumble at the moment, if you managed to follow this post and its changing topics – well done!

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

CBT: Get up and get out!

No don’t worry – these were not words said by my therapist to me (or vice versa.) Yesterday I was feeling pretty down and really didn’t feel like doing anything. But my appointment was at 2pm, so having finally dragged myself up at about 1, I called a taxi and went to my CBT session.

And I’m glad I did, I felt a bit better afterwards. And once you’re up and about, things normally feel a bit better. If I stay in bed hiding all day, what have I achieved? Nothing. But by getting up and out and going to CBT, I have (hopefully) helped myself a bit. So that’s the advice: Get up and get out! 

I was pretty tearful in my CBT session yesterday – the realisation that it’s coming to an end is scaring me. Then I have to cope by myself!! I have 2 more sessions left, then I’m back home in London until September, and then the big move to Germany – eek! The fact that I won’t have A to speak to anymore is a bit scary, especially because I think the CBT is helping, but there’s still a lot that hasn’t been dealt with.

A said there are some things I am still not ready to deal with. She said in the future I will be and then I can have some counselling/therapy to help me deal with it. She said when I get back to Lancaster I can get re-referred if I need to.

A gave me another CD with some guided mindfulness meditations on it. There is one called Mindful sitting practise and one called 3 minute breathing space. I’ll write about these sometime this week when I’ve done them a few times.

We talked about the way the mind works (according to CBT.) We have the situation or event and the emotion/feeling, but inbetween there is the thought which triggers the emotion. So I am working on spotting the thoughts and seeing – is this a fact or a thought? This is of course easier said than done, but it’s work in progress.

We talked about my insecurity and constant fear about S leaving me. This is rational to some extent because my previous experience (with the ex) has shown me that people can leave me. However, this does not mean everyone will leave me, and it does not mean I am not good enough (which is the thought that goes with the event: ex leaving me and the feeling: depressed/lonely/scared.)

A has asked me to write down how I am feeling each half day, and more importantly the negative thoughts that come with the feelings. Then I can look at them and say – fact or thought? Do I have any evidence of this? The chances are, probably not!

The other thing I am meant to look at this week are when I have these thoughts that S is going to leave me. We have established that seeking reassurance doesn’t really help… it may help for a brief moment, but soon afterwards, the thoughts will be back. And I know they must be irritating for S, to constantly reassure me that he’s not going anywhere, he’s not going to hurt me, and yes he does love me. So the aim here is to identify these thoughts and look at them without engaging with them. Using mindfulness, the idea is to see the thoughts as thoughts (and not facts), not engage with them, and ignore them. But baby steps – this week I’ve just got to identify them as early as possible.

A used the analogy of the “thought train”… so once the thought comes into mind, it starts a trail of destruction, with each thought encouraging the next, until I’m in a massive negative spiral and I truly believe that S is going to leave me because I’m just not good enough. So instead of this, I should try to identify the thoughts early and get off the thought train. Another analogy was “putting on the same DVD”, so once you have had the thought (put the DVD on), the same thing happens (the same DVD plays) and it results in the same behaviour and feelings each time. So instead of letting the same thing play out each time, it is better to catch the thought early, and throw away that DVD 😉

Anyway, enough about DVDs and trains… me thinks this is more progress.

Oh – and A said she thinks if I use the mindfulness stuff we are learning and use the book I have bought (The Mindful Way Through Depression), I will be ok in Germany without any therapy. I hope she’s right! But I have my blog too, which I think is therapy in itself!

What’s in a name?

Daily Prompt:

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

My real first name is something I am almost never called. My parents and everyone else have always called me the shortened version of my name. (It’s like if my name were Eleanor, but everyone calls me Ellie.)

I’ve asked my parents why they chose my name, and got a very boring answer. My mum said “your dad liked it.” No story behind it, nothing! And my middle name was chosen because my mum had a lot of friends with that name (not sure if this is true or a joke*).

As for my name here (Ellie) it was used by a certain blogging friend and then it caught on, so I kept it. Ellie the elephant fits quite well, as I originally started the blog as “anxious elephant”. And anyway, I really like the name Ellie. I think if I ever have a daughter I would like to call her Ellie, maybe. 

If I had the choice to have a different name, I’m not sure what I’d pick really! I would feel strange using a different name! It’s not really about the name though is it? It’s more about who you are; whether I’m using my real name or Ellie, I’m still me. 

Lots of love,

Ellie 🙂

xxx

*That this is the reason, not that my mum had a lot of friends with that name, she did/does!

Painful hands and procrastination

My hands hurt, that is all I have to say really. I just got back from climbing with Owl, and although I enjoy climbing, today was not great!

I couldn’t do the route I was trying to do, my hands are in agony and I’m tired. But it was a pretty good workout. We spent a bit longer bouldering than usual, and tried some harder routes. That’s probably why I couldn’t do the route I was trying in top-roping (hands were already hurting after bouldering!), but it’s still frustrating. 

Today I haven’t managed to get much work done either. Did a bit of German grammar this morning (what could be more exciting?!) but I really need to get into proper revision mode… the exam is on Tuesday!! What am I doing going rockclimbing this close to an exam?!

Since S left I have been feeling pretty down and my concentration is worse again. A couple of days ago the anxiety really kicked in (again), I was hiding in my bed for most of the day and I was really freaked out (haven’t worked out why though) but that seems to have subsided (at least for now.) I keep putting myself down, and usually I feel a sense of accomplishment after climbing which helps with motivation, but today I didn’t manage to complete the route so I feel like a bit of a failure. (Even though I know it was a hard route, and it was only the 2nd time of trying a route of that grade!) 

In other news, I have come to the conclusion that nice nails do not go with climbing. I painted my nails on Friday before I went out. Owl bought me a magnetic nail varnish for my birthday that makes a cool pattern so I used that. Now (Sunday) after climbing they are ruined… It’s to be expected. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to do them again now… (More procrastination! Wait until after the exam!!)

Sorry for the boring update, but I don’t really have much else to say at present. (Just having a little moan really!) After Tuesday when I have finished my exam I will have to start focusing on my CBT stuff… I’m sure I’ll have plenty to blog about then!!

Talking of after exams, I’m going to have to start planning my dissertation! I am doing some research into how EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing – A type of therapy often used to treat PTSD) works. Has anyone tried EMDR? And if so, how did you find it? (Would be interested to know if anyone feels like they want to tell me about it)

Funny searches

Looking at my stats today, I saw a search term that made me giggle.

Today, 3 views on my blog have come from the search: sex overdose elephant!

What on earth is going on in the world?!

Also, the search that has given me the most views since I started my blog is minion with 264 views!! (As in the cute yellow things from Despicable me!)

Talking of minions, Despicable Me 2 is coming out this summer! I’m excited 😀 (Still a child at heart!)

Anyone else got funny searches?*

*I’m meant to be revising but I’m procrastinating so funny searches seems to be the way forward today!

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.

Everything needs to change (back in Lancaster)

I have made it back to Lancaster. At times I thought I wouldn’t be coming back this term, but here I am, sitting in my tiny little bedroom and catching up on my blog reading.

I have finished 2 of my pieces of coursework. I’ve got 1 more to do, and an exam on Wednesday, and then the pressure is off (for a little while). This term, I hope to stay on top of my work. But then again, I always say that.

I am feeling very low, and still wondering what I am doing back here… Can I get through this term? Am I good enough? Why can’t I just go home and hide until it all goes away?

Last night we went out for Footballer’s birthday. It was nice to see everyone, and I got drunk for the first time in ages. There was a part of the evening where I started crying, and couldn’t stop. I heard my friend talking to her boyfriend, saying “never leave me”, and that was enough to set me off.

I wanted to go home. Actually, I wanted to die. (Not just because of that, but because I generally felt incredibly rubbish*).

I didn’t go home. I stayed out and went to the club. I didn’t want to let Footballer down by going home. Several other people didn’t come out, and (drunk) footballer got really upset. She thought no one cared and that no one was really her friend.

This is ridiculous; we all love her, we all care about her so much. But Footballer has a very idyllic view of the world, and she expects (and wants) everything to be perfect, but naturally it isn’t.

Someone didn’t come out because they were ill, some are not back in Lancaster, one was at work (but did come out afterwards). No one wanted to hurt her, but it did. She felt let down, and so I went out, and tried to make sure she had fun.

I think she did in the end.

When we came home, I went to bed. I lay there for ages. Just feeling nothing but pain.

When is this going to stop hurting? When am I going to get better? Or, worst of all… what if I never get better?

Today I didn’t get up until about 2. I was drifting in and out of sleep from about 10, but didn’t have the motivation to get up. I was very achy, tired and generally fed up. I got up eventually, and read some blogs.

I was supposed to be doing my lab report today, but I haven’t. It’s half past 6 now and I still can’t be bothered to do anything.

I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to talk. I don’t even want to sleep. I just want this to stop hurting.

Tomorrow uni begins again. This term my timetable is much better – no more 9-6 on a Monday! I don’t start until 11 tomorrow, so I can have a bit of a lie in. I don’t want to go to uni. I don’t want to do any of this right now.

People say I should “try and stay positive”, but how can I stay positive when I’m not positive to begin with?

Feeling very negative. And I wanted this term to be different. I don’t think it will be though.

I am hoping and praying** that things will get better. That the CBT will work. That the psychiatrist will be able to help. That I will lose some of this weight. That I will be able to get through this term. That I will do well in my work…

Everything needs to change. And I don’t know how.

*I always say that. “I feel rubbish”. Actually this is a massive understatement, but it gets across the general feeling.

**This is very hypocritical. I don’t even know if I believe in God anymore. I want to, but I’m in so much pain. I don’t really believe in much anymore. I pray sometimes, that God will help me, and show me a sign that he’s listening. It’s probably stupid. If he’s there, why would he listen to me, who doesn’t even know if I believe anymore?

Blogging changes (Ellie is indecisive)

If you have been reading my blog in the last few minutes, you may have noticed a lot of changes going on…

I have changed the theme of my blog (about 5 times) in the last few minutes, as I was not (and never really have been) happy with the original theme I used.

I have been experimenting, and *drum roll…* finally found one that I liked!!

BUT, it didn’t have a sidebar, so I couldn’t have my widgets that I wanted, except at the bottom in a footer (but I doubt anyone would scroll down there!)

So I tried a few more, and I’ve got one now that is okay. What do you think?

I will probably be experimenting more soon, but really fancied a change for my little blog!

So just in case you wondered what is going on…. Ellie has had a sudden decision to change theme, but can’t decide on one!

I really need to get to grips with how all these widget things and themes work. I would ideally like a picture of an elephant on my blog, but haven’t figured out how to do this yet! (Any help would be lovely! *hint hint*)

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

Drat… it’s 1:20 am… so much for an early night!