Feeling stuck

Down. Low. Depressed. Sad. Feeling like shit. Whatever you want to call it, I’m there.

I don’t exactly know why but I’m feeling rough (more than usual.) The idea of getting up and doing another week of work tomorrow makes me weary. The idea of eating anything makes me feel sick. I can’t stop bloody crying, I am a mess.

I hate posting negative things with no purpose, but I thought it might help to let it out. I’m trying to look after myself and do things that help, but right now nothing is helping. The only thing I can think of is speaking to S, and that’s not a possibility anymore.

I just don’t have the energy to be ok anymore. I’m fed up, I’m so tired. I want to feel ok and I don’t know how. I know it comes in waves, I know it will pass eventually, but I also know that overall things are no better than they were last year, 2 years ago, even 5 years ago, and that depresses me.

I know I have a lot of positives in my life but right now I feel incredibly lonely. I still miss S every single day, I still can’t imagine finding someone who understands me the way he did. I don’t like being on my own.

I know I need to learn to be ok by myself. I know that this is my chance to figure out who I really am and all that jazz, but I don’t care. I would give anything to go back, even though things weren’t perfect between us.

Sorry for my negative ranting. I just needed to let it out somehow.

Love,

Ellie xx

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CBT – core beliefs

I mentioned a while ago that I was going to be having CBT as treatment for my chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia, and as I am now half way through the treatment, I thought I’d give a bit of an update on it.

At the beginning, we did a pie chart of my problems. Highly featuring were depression and fatigue, and others were migraines, pain and anxiety. It was interesting to get a view of how much each issue was affecting me, and how they all link together.

We have been looking at my core beliefs and rules for living, and have identified my negative core beliefs – “I am not good enough”, “I am unlovable”, and as a result, one of my rules for living is “if I please everyone, it means I am good enough and people will like me”

But the thing is, I can’t please everyone. It’s not physically possible. I know that this is a deep rooted thing, it was probably already there when I met the ex all those years ago. I always had the need to please my parents, hence my preoccupation with getting a first in my degree!

During my relationship with the ex, that rule kept me safe. I knew that not keeping him happy would have consequences so it was important to do so. But then I was with S, and I had the overwhelming need to please him, it made me anxious and it didn’t work. It just ended up with him frustrated that I couldn’t make decisions, and me exhausted from trying to guess what would please him. That rule is not useful to me anymore, now it’s unhelpful and keeps me anxious and stuck.

Being able to identify this kind of thing is really important. I think the CBT has been useful so far, but there’s still a long way to go and only 4 more sessions to do it in.

I plan to write more posts about different aspects of my CBT as I go along. For today, I’m going to get an early night as therapy can be quite tiring. Every time I walk into the room suddenly I can’t stop crying which is exhausting!

Love,

Ellie xx

Finding a hobby

After everything that happened last year (in brief: diagnosis, breakup, bereavement) I am on a mission to make 2018 a good one. What I need, I decided, is a new hobby.

I thought about taking up dance – maybe ballet or tap which I did when I was younger, or going back to rock climbing which I did a lot at uni, but given that I’m being treated for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (they don’t seem to know which as both have been written in letters but they seem to have the same treatments anyway) I thought it best not to go for something physically demanding at present. I don’t think my physio would be too impressed if I started up climbing again while I’m doing my graded exercise therapy which currently consists of walking, stretches and yoga (will write a post about that at some point!)

So anyway, exercise based hobbies were out… I considered joining a choir because I’d love to be able to sing, but the thing is… I can’t sing! Art was another good one, and I decided to pursue that, emailed someone about doing their art class, but it was full. Another dead end (for now)

Then I was scrolling through Facebook as you do, and saw a video of a friend performing one of his poems. Then it hit me – writing. I didn’t need a new hobby, I needed an old one. So I’m going to start writing more again. More blogging, but also creative writing. I used to write poems and stories all the time but stopped that a long time ago.

I think writing can be so therapeutic, and it is something I really enjoy so why not?! So I’m now looking for creative writing courses or workshops or groups, and I will try and dedicate some time each week to writing.

Today I wrote my first poem in a long time. I actually thought of it on my way to work and then wrote it down when I got there.

You can expect to see more posts hopefully and maybe some creative writing appearing on this blog!

I’d also love to hear about your hobbies. What do you do that’s just for you? And what hobbies do you have that help your wellbeing?

Love,

Ellie xx

Things that help: my dog

Animals are so clever, my dog definitely knows when I’m sad. When I got home and sat on the sofa this afternoon, he jumped straight up and sat on my lap. He curls up and he thinks he’s still a puppy. He’s actually pretty heavy but I don’t mind. He’s my hot-water-dog, and I find cuddling him very soothing.

He reminds me the world isn’t all bad. He reminds me I’m not all alone. People always say pets can be therapeutic. I didn’t really get it until we got our dog, but now I do and I totally agree.

Not only that, but having a dog means I walk more. He gives me a reason to leave the house even when I don’t feel like it. He’s so inquisitive, imagine being as curious about the world as a dog… we would be much more mindful and really take in our surroundings instead of being on autopilot. He makes me notice the small things.

As you may be able to guess from this post, I’m feeling pretty crappy at the moment. I’ve been coping quite well but today is a bad day, no particular reason for it.

Now, back to cuddling my dog!

Love,

Ellie

I don’t want to be rescued

I have spoken to my counsellor a lot about how both the ex and S* rescued me in a way. Before the ex, I was going through a low patch and I wanted to be rescued, enter the ex. After the ex, I was in a much worse place, enter S, ready to rescue me and me wanting to be rescued.

But this time I don’t want to be rescued. When S and I first split up, I wanted nothing more than him to rescue me. When I felt suicidal, I wanted to tell him and for him to make me feel better, to rescue me again. But actually, that is not what I need anymore.

I want to rescue myself. What a revelation!

I don’t need a knight on a white horse or any of that bullshit. I need to learn to look after myself, not become reliant on anyone else. I’m not saying I don’t need friends and family because I do, but I don’t need someone to rescue me. I don’t need to be a victim forever. I am not passive in my life, I should have the main role in my own life.

So this is me, on a mission to rescue myself. And do you know what? I’m going to be ok.

Love,

Ellie xx

* now this is confusing as both are exes but let’s be very clear – my relationship with “the ex” was toxic and horrible, my relationship with s was happy and safe… It makes me sad to draw parallels between the ex and S, as the relationships were so so different, and yet I am realising there are definite similarities in some ways which I had never noticed before.

Yoga

Before everything went wrong, I was half way through a 30 day yoga challenge. I was writing a bit about each day and was going to post it at the end of November, when I was due to finish 30 days, but obviously that didn’t happen.

For over a month, I have not done any yoga (sorry physio lady) and my yoga mat lay on the floor, unused and became covered in stuff – clothes, wrapping paper, rubbish as I let my room get messier and messier.

I have tidied my room this week, and put the yoga mat away. I had almost forgotten the colour of my carpet (a terracotta/orangey colour in case you wondered!)

Today I got my yoga mat out. I have decided I’m going to start the 30 days again tomorrow, so I just picked a short one for today – sun salutation. It was only 12 minutes and I can feel that I need a lot more practice again as my joints are tight and stiff and I am not flexible, but one step at a time. I had noticed that when I was doing yoga daily (I only did about 2 weeks), I could already notice a difference – my heels were closer to the floor on my downward dog for example.

I hope that at the end of January, I will be able to give you a post about my new 30 days.

So it turns out I did post again before the end of 2017… happy new year once again!

Love,

Ellie xx

Strength from somewhere

The Christmas period has been hard(er than usual) this year for me, but I’m starting to feel a bit stronger.

New Year’s Eve is always difficult for me because of something that happened 7 years ago. I have worked through it so it’s not as bad any more but most years I have avoided doing anything because I used to get flashbacks and panic attacks about the thing that happened. I want a new start this year so will be spending NYE with some friends, nothing big, we are going to get food, play games and make cocktails.

Although I still feel pretty low, I have found a bit of hope. From somewhere, I have found some strength to carry on. I miss S unbelievably every day but I now feel like eventually I will be ok without him. I’m trying to take control of my life and sort out stuff I’ve been avoiding for ages.

This will probably be my last post of 2017, so – Happy new year everyone, I hope 2018 is a good year for us all!

Love,

Ellie xx

Merry Christmas

This Christmas will be a hard one for me (and for many of you). I think Christmas is always hard for people with depression, other mental illnesses or chronic health conditions… everyone is cheerful and expects the same from you. But newsflash – depression (or any other illness) doesn’t care that it’s Christmas, Christmas doesn’t make it all go away.

All I can do is try to enjoy it as much as I can. I will have lots of family around me and good food, so I’ll just try to make the best of it.

This christmas I am reminded of all that I’ve lost this year… I usually have lots of plans with S in December, and it’s weird that he’s doing his own thing and I’m doing mine. It’s hard not to wonder if he’s missing me too (I guess not since he chose to leave me.) I am also reminded of the family members who are missing, especially my grandma who we lost very recently.

I will do my best to smile, to eat and joke around. I will try to focus on what I have instead of what I don’t. But I will probably feel upset and a little lonely. That’s ok, that’s how this works. I’m not going to pretend it’s been a good year because it hasn’t.

Just do what is right for you. Take care and merry Christmas.

Love,

Ellie xx

Still trying

I don’t feel positive at all but I’m trying to be. I’m remembering how low my lows can be and it’s not good.

Somehow through it all I am getting stuff done. I see my friends, go to family events, turn up to work every day. Each evening is hard as I tend to feel worse then, more time to think.

I’m doing my ‘must keep busy so there’s no time to think’ thing and I know I will burn out eventually but right now I don’t see an alternative. I have a whole week off work over Christmas so will try to take it easy. I just need to make sure the thoughts don’t take over.

Let me end this post with a lovely quote. I read it in a book recently, it was a crappy chick lit book (I must confess I like them!) and I can’t even remember the name, but I remember the quote –

“The darker the storm, the brighter the rainbow”

Love,

Ellie xx

Dark place

Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts + self harm

I find myself in a very dark place. Everything that has happened these last few months has taken its toll. The work related stress, the fibro diagnosis, the break up, my grandma passing away… And even before any of that, my mood was creeping lower, after the 6 month period of being relatively stable. I feel guilty that the main thing on my mind is the break up. I desperately miss S, he is ignoring all contact with me, it hurts.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I can mostly put on a front when I’m out, when with friends or at work. At home the barriers are down, which to me indicate things are even worse… I am bursting into tears frequently. I told my parents I can’t cope. I’m a mess.

Although I’ve had thoughts of self-harm and suicide on and off for years, for the first time in years, I took a knife to my skin a couple of weeks ago and again today. It’s quite blunt so it doesn’t cut properly, more of a scratch, to make it sting. No danger, no drama.

The suicidal thoughts are scaring me now. They are getting more and more frequent and I find myself starting to make plans. If there was a way that I could do it without hurting others, I’d be gone. But there isn’t. That’s what I have to remind myself.

I’m in a dark place and I don’t know how to get out. I just need to try and stay safe for now, that’s the best I can do.

Love,

Ellie xx