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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A night feeling “normal”

I went out at the weekend. I drank cocktails and shots. I danced and sang (*ahem* shouted) and got home at 3:30 in the morning. The club was packed and I knew I should feel anxious, but I didn’t (thank you alcohol).

It was weird because that night (until the very end when I got a bit upset and overwhelmed once the alcohol started wearing off), I felt like a “normal” person. For so long I have avoided situations like that, or have tried but have been overcome by anxiety or fatigue. It was nice to be able to do something that most people probably don’t think twice about, but I usually do.

It’s now Wednesday and admittedly I am probably still feeling the effects (because it takes days for my energy levels to recover from things like this. Things I used to take for granted) but it was worth it. It was a good night and I won’t even let the end of it ruin that memory.

On another happy note, I mentioned that I was planning on writing a happy memory about each day to put in a jar, and I am proud to say that’s still going strong. Month one, done, in the jar. I also bought a pretty jar to use (although now that I’ve got it home and put 31 pieces of paper in, I’m pretty sure 365 won’t fit but oh well!)

Jar of memories

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

100 days of mindfulness!

I reached 100 days of mindfulness in a row. I’m really proud of that, especially given how hard the last couple of months have been. It has become part of my daily routine – every morning my alarm goes off, and then I open the app on my phone and put on a short meditation. My favourite morning one is ‘welcoming the day’ on the app I use – Stop, Breathe & Think.

I would like to increase the time I do my mindfulness each day, but 5 minutes every day is a good start! I know that mindfulness is a really good tool in managing anxiety, so ideally I would use the skills when I am in a moment of panic! One of my favourite meditations (called ‘relax, ground and clear’) talks about being on top of a mountain and I really love that imagery, it puts me in a more relaxed state and it’s easier to tackle the day.

Another time that I find the app really useful is if I am struggling to get to sleep. When you are lying in bed trying to sleep and all of those niggling thoughts pop into your mind – did I send that email at work? I must remember to buy more milk. Etc. Or worse, the negative thoughts set in – “I’m useless”, “no one will ever love me” and so on… To clear my mind, I can put one of the mindfulness meditations on (often ‘falling asleep’ or ‘sound bed’) and then my mind focuses on my breath and I am much more relaxed so sleep comes more easily.

I know I’ve written a few posts about mindfulness and this app in particular, but I am a massive fan and I feel it could help others too! Plus, the logo is a really cute cloud with a face!

Love,

Ellie xx

Safety net

Scared of being alone,

Missing the way you smile

And how you touched my hair

Wanting to be in your arms,

To be in my safe place with you.

Safety has gone now, I miss him. (I just re-read that sentence, when I wrote ‘him’, I meant S, but saying I miss safety and that S was safety to me is just as true.) I am doing ok most of the time but sometimes I get an overwhelming wave of sadness. Today it was while I drove home from work, tears streamed down my face. No trigger, just the feeling of loneliness, emptiness. I know that it is for the best, I would never have ‘grown up’ and taken responsibility for my own wellbeing if he didn’t leave me.

I am trying to take control of my life now; I made a bucket list for 2018, I have started my CBT for fatigue (will write a post on that soon), I am focusing on the amazing friends and family I do have and even reconnecting with some old friends. I am really trying my best but it’s hard because I am terrified that I will always be on my own.

I miss S and our stupid in-jokes and the stupid names we called each other. I miss lying in bed cuddling while we watched a film and feeling safer than I have ever felt. I can’t imagine getting that feeling again.

I am 24 and I know that is young and there’s time to meet someone, I know it doesn’t mean I will be on my own for the rest of my life, but I didn’t plan for this – I couldn’t have planned for this. My plans and expectations for the next few years down the drain – hopes of moving out and buying a property *flush*, hopes of marriage and children *flush* hopes of safety and love *flush*

Seeing other people with long term relationships is hard, I have hit the age where people are starting to move in together/buy a place together or get engaged/married. It just reminds me what I’ve lost and makes me panic that it’s going to be too late for me. I know it’s silly but that’s how my brain goes.

He was my safety net in so many ways, and now he’s not there, free-fall is a terrifying prospect. But what if I don’t fall? What if I can fly instead?

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

The evolution of my depression

When I first got diagnosed with depression and anxiety, it was very much trauma related and I had flashbacks, nightmares, the whole shebang… (there were also mentions of PTSD from the Psych, which I am sure I did have). I was lost and depressed and I didn’t know who I was. My abusive relationship had taken my identity and confidence and buried them somewhere far far away. 

Fast forward over 6 years to today, I have dealt with a lot of the trauma. I still get triggered occasionally, but not multiple times a day like previously, and now I can walk down the street at home without being scared, and I can drive past the road sign that says the place name where he lived… all that “normal” stuff that used to be so hard and triggering for me. 

Now I have a different problem, my migraines and pain and fatigue have spiralled out of control. I wouldn’t say my depression ever completely went, but it was much more manageable, now I find a lot of my negative thoughts and depression and anxiety are around the pain/fatigue.

 I feel hopeless because I know that neither my migraines or fibro are curable (the consultants are aiming to help me reduce rather than cure the migraines, and to manage the pain and fatigue of fibro.)

Some days when the pain is bad or the migraines are bad and persistent, I find myself questioning the point of my life. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I want to live like this for another 60+ years. 

My biggest fears are now that I won’t be able to do things. This week has been hard, it has taken everything I have to get to work and do my job, and it’s only Wednesday. It makes me wonder how long I will be able to work full time for? How long before I have to give up my dream of being a clinical psychologist (training, if I ever get into it, would be intense and fulltime – balancing placements, studies and research)? I am going on a really exciting trip next year with the scouts, and I am terrified that I won’t be able to actually go. The aim of the trip is to build a large structure so will involve a lot of physical activity and it is at altitude.

Clearly I am not feeling very positive today. Some days I do, most days I don’t. It is hard for me to accept the way that my conditions are affecting my life, and that they will always affect me. I always had the hope the one day I would overcome my anxiety and depression, but this is different, I know that this won’t go away. And actually even my psychiatrist said that we are working to manage my symptoms as I have chronic depression. Pretty crap.

Ok, negative post done. I am working on something more positive which I hope to post in early December – I am trying yoga this month. Also, I have a physio appointment tomorrow and they are going to give me an exercise plan for graded exercise therapy as treatment for fibro. I’m really hoping it will be helpful! Will probably write a post about it to keep you updated!

Love, 

Ellie xx

 

The evolution of my depression

When I first got diagnosed with depression and anxiety, it was very much trauma related and I had flashbacks, nightmares, the whole shebang… (there were also mentions of PTSD from the Psych, which I am sure I did have). I was lost and depressed and I didn’t know who I was. My abusive relationship had taken my identity and confidence and buried them somewhere far far away. 

Fast forward over 6 years to today, I have dealt with a lot of the trauma. I still get triggered occasionally, but not multiple times a day like previously, and now I can walk down the street at home without being scared, and I can drive past the road sign that says the place name where he lived… all that “normal” stuff that used to be so hard and triggering for me. 

Now I have a different problem, my migraines and pain and fatigue have spiralled out of control. I wouldn’t say my depression ever completely went, but it was much more manageable, now I find a lot of my negative thoughts and depression and anxiety are around the pain/fatigue.

 I feel hopeless because I know that neither my migraines or fibro are curable (the consultants are aiming to help me reduce rather than cure the migraines, and to manage the pain and fatigue of fibro.)

Some days when the pain is bad or the migraines are bad and persistent, I find myself questioning the point of my life. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I want to live like this for another 60+ years. 

My biggest fears are now that I won’t be able to do things. This week has been hard, it has taken everything I have to get to work and do my job, and it’s only Wednesday. It makes me wonder how long I will be able to work full time for? How long before I have to give up my dream of being a clinical psychologist (training, if I ever get into it, would be intense and fulltime – balancing placements, studies and research)? I am going on a really exciting trip next year with the scouts, and I am terrified that I won’t be able to actually go. The aim of the trip is to build a large structure so will involve a lot of physical activity and it is at altitude.

Clearly I am not feeling very positive today. Some days I do, most days I don’t. It is hard for me to accept the way that my conditions are affecting my life, and that they will always affect me. I always had the hope the one day I would overcome my anxiety and depression, but this is different, I know that this won’t go away. And actually even my psychiatrist said that we are working to manage my symptoms as I have chronic depression. Pretty crap.

Ok, negative post done. I am working on something more positive which I hope to post in early December – I am trying yoga this month. Also, I have a physio appointment tomorrow and they are going to give me an exercise plan for graded exercise therapy as treatment for fibro. I’m really hoping it will be helpful! Will probably write a post about it to keep you updated!

Love, 

Ellie xx