Or otherwise known as diagnosis day.
Wednesday 18th January, I finally hit my metaphorical rock bottom. I had sunk to my lowest.
It had been building up and up all week and all it took was a quick look at my rota at work for me to break.
The anxiety. The claminess. The nausea. The lump in my throat. The washing machine stomach. The fear. The impending fear and worry. It was exhausting. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get through the day without crying and just wishing I wasn’t around anymore. I couldn’t cope anymore.
It’s hard to come to terms with how bad it got so quick in such a short amount of time. The week before, I couldn’t have been happier. Me and the boyfriend, F, had gone on our first holiday together. We went on bike rides, excursions, sat by the pool, couldn’t keep our hands off each other, went for meals, even found our own regular bar to indulge in cocktails every night before our meal.
This holiday in my eyes was the making of us. I knew before that I loved him and saw a future with him but after the week together, on our own, in a foreign place, I knew even more that he was the one. The one I could see myself having a family with and getting married and celebrating the milestones together. This was a big step for me. I never wanted a family. Or kids. I never wanted the marriage side of things. I had convinced myself I didn’t want them nor did I deserve them, but with F that’s all I want and all I can envisage.
Towards the end of the holiday I felt the anxiety come creeping back. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t cured whilst on holiday I still had moments where these thoughts would come rushing into my head and cause my stomach to churn and make me feel so on edge. One night I was so anxious I had to sit on the sofa as I didn’t want to wake F up with how much I was fidgeting.
The day we were leaving, I felt awful. I felt continously sick. On edge. Uncomfortable. I was struggling to breathe. And it hit me on the plane. I’m normally fine with planes so it wasn’t the fear of flying. It was the idea of returning back to reality. The place where it wasn’t just me and F. It was going back home. Back to the job. Back to feeling like i was failure. A disappointment. A burden. The place where I wasn’t comfortable. The place with no escape. The place with so many worries. So much to panic and fear. I can’t pinpoint what I feared and worried about back at home but I constantly felt on a knife’s edge.
There was a troubled passenger on the plane before we left and this didn’t help my anxiety. I could feel my breathing shortening and the lump in my throat growing bigger. I couldn’t think straight. The panic. The fear. It was suffocating. F finally witnessed me having a panic attack. My leg was uncontrollably shaking, I couldn’t breathe, tears were running down my face. F was brilliant. Despite never seeing me have a panic attack before he knew just what to do. He put his hand on my leg. Told me it was okay. Told me he was proud of me and that I was doing really well. He told me he loved me. He wasn’t embarrassed of me. He wasn’t freaked out. He just wanted to help me. And he did. I don’t know how long the attack was but with F by my side I got through it.
We got back on the Thursday and that weekend we were going on a double date with my Best friend and her Fiancé. I still wasn’t feeling myself. I still had this sinking feeling inside. I still felt panicked. Worried. Out of sorts. I tried my best to ignore it. I saw my best friend and had an amazing night out with everyone. Me and F danced together, something we’ve never really done before. His dance moves 😍. They were similar to dad dancing but this made me fall even more in love with him. He was confident in himself. He looked like he was enjoying himself. I was so proud he was mine. I’m the one that gets to love him. And I couldn’t have been prouder to show him off.
But something was still nagging at me on the inside. I never fully felt relaxed the whole night despite being around the people I care about most and who I trust the most. On the Sunday I realised I forgot to take two of my contraceptive pills and I was scared. So scared to tell F. I didn’t want to worry him. I thought if I told him he would go off me. Never want to touch me again. Be so repelled. I thought he wouldn’t trust me again.
The thoughts were blurring my rationality. It ruined our Sunday evening together. I was pushing F away. I was silent. Cold. Distant. F tried to cuddle me and ask what was wrong but I couldn’t tell him. These fears were running around my head telling me that he’d end it with me. He’d run a thousand miles. He wouldn’t love me anymore. It was building and building. I decided to leave but he finally got it out of me. I finally blurted out that I forgot my pill. Twice. He didn’t shout. Didn’t panic. Didn’t argue. Didn’t dump me. He Googled what to do. Reassured me. Told me we were a team and that I should have told him sooner. It was all fine. I over reacted. There was no harm done. The pill that I had taken was still effective and I just needed to carry on taking them as normal. All that fear for nothing. It was exhausting.
The next couple of days I became a wreck. I was constantly on edge. I couldn’t think. I was constantly panicking. I don’t know what about half the time. But I felt constantly worried. The thoughts I had were damaging. They destroyed my purpose of reasoning. I was constantly down. Crying. Feeling sick. Panic attacks in the shower. Before I went to sleep. I couldn’t relax.
So finally, we’ve arrived back to Wednesday 18th January. I was bad on my walk to work. How I managed to even get out of bed I don’t know. I got to work, checked the rota and just broke. I cried and cried. I couldn’t breathe. I said I was quitting my job. That I was fed up with life. I was exhausted. I was done. That night I got in and I opened up to my mum. I got through the door and just cried. I told her about the panic attacks. The fear. The anxiety. The emptiness. And I didn’t get much response. She suggested I make an appointment with a doctor but that was it.
Her and dad believed it was because I didn’t have a full time job. Despite years of me being up and down they’ve always swept it under the carpet. They didn’t understand but they didn’t try to.
Thursday was an awful day. The anxiety was now maximum level. I couldn’t move from my bed. I was hurting. I was exhausted. I’d spoken to F the night before and he kept insisting I see the doctor. He had been telling me for months to talk to someone. I felt him becoming distant and this scared me. I didn’t want this,whatever was going on in my head to push him away and destroy our relationship.
This forced me to make an appointment. I was finally booked in. It wasn’t until the following Tuesday but that was better than the original date of mid February to see my GP. I made the call on my own. With no encouragement from my parents. I was signed off work straight away despite not even seeing the doctor. Apparently the phone call was enough to determine my state of mind.
That Saturday I realised the toll it had on F. All day I felt he was distant. Not as loving or caring. Not chatty. And showed little interest. I couldn’t sleep that night and more than ever I felt so alone despite F being next to me. I felt he was there because he didn’t want to dump me and add to my sadness. In the early hours I plucked up the courage, or the anxiety simply got too much for me, and I confronted him. I told him I knew. I knew he didn’t want to be with me anymore. He was shocked but he didn’t deny it. Long story short he simply wanted the happy girl back and loved her and the times they had. (I will do a blog on F so I’ll go into it more then.)
We didn’t break up but I was more determined than ever to get that happy girl back. For my sake. For F’s sake. For our relationship.
The wait to Tuesday was painful. The days felt like years. I had no support around me. I didn’t want to bother F as I feared he would get bored of hearing it all the time and I’d push him away. My parents still hadn’t spoken to me nor addressed the situation. I have no friends where I live and no one I can trust. Yes, I had my best friend but she lived a way away and she was happy planning her wedding. She’s already been through a similar situation with someone she knows. I didn’t want to burden her with the same with me. My other turn to, Tor, he wasn’t local nor did I really want to turn to him. I wanted to turn to F but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t allow myself.
I have since turned to Tor because he’s been through it. He knows what it is like. But despite him being at the end of the phone it’s not quite the same as having someone physically around you. It’s not the person I want to turn to.
I keep getting side tracked! I do apologise. We’re here. We’re now at the GP and I’m sat on my own in the waiting room. My leg shaking. My hands fidgeting. I felt sweaty. Sick. I could have easily run away. I had no one with me. No one wished me well or sent me messages reassuring me. No one offered to come despite knowing how much I hate the doctors. I don’t know how I stayed there. 40 minutes I sat on my own. Watching people going in and out.
My name was called! (Hallelujah!) It wasn’t my doctor nor the one I was hoping for as a stand in. This made it even harder to deal with. I got in there and just cried. I couldn’t talk. There were no words which could describe just what was in my head. Just how I was feeling.
10 minutes later. A PHQ9 form down (the locating of this form was a palava in itself. Doc couldn’t find it, had to call in her husband, then her daughter who are also doctors and in the end it was simply on the desktop of the computer. Looking back it’s funny but at the time it was such a shambles, I just wanted them to find it and for me to just get diagnosed), a talk of what I was feeling and how long for. I was at last diagnosed.
I have anxiety and depression. Seeing her write this on my medical records wasn’t easy but at last I had a reason for why I’d felt like this for so long. She didn’t laugh at me. Tell me I was fine. She could see. She could understand that I wasn’t okay. I’ve been placed on fluoxetine or prozac as it’s known and I’ve been referred to IAPT, a kind of councilling service which I have my phone assessment with today.
Through these past weeks I have been on my own with this. I made the phone call myself. I went to the doctor on my own. I called IAPT myself to organise an appointment. I’ve had very little encouragement or support from those around me. Yes, I’ve had some but not as much as I have needed or wanted.
But maybe that’s a good thing. It has all been my decision. This can only mean that I want the help. I want to get better. No one else is having their input. It’s just me and it’s up to me to sort myself out.
You’re now all caught up. Bit long, I do apologise but you’re there. You’re in the present day of Not Quite Made Girl! I’ll give you an update on my IAPT assessment and just how they diagnose mental health.
Thanks for sticking with me and I promise it will get more entertaining.
Not Quite Made Girl