I’m in that state of mind Where I bottle everything inside my head And stare at the ground

Wow, it has been a while since I’ve ventured to this neck of the woods. Feels like I am in a room at a family reunion and not quite sure what to say to you all. Feels a bit awkward turtle in here. I know I keep having moments of being overly trigger happy on the typing front then I disappear into oblivion for a bit. I keep saying sorry for my lack of writing, but no one cares really, do they? And clearly I don’t mean my sorry because I keep doing it over and over, so sorry about that.

I wish I could say I have been absent for a good reason; that I have been happy, socialising, enjoying this thing that we call life. If I did say this, I would be lying. Not wholeheartedly lying but for the most part, I would be.

Life’s a funny old thing, isn’t it?  Life with mental health illness is even funnier. You never know quite how you feel. If you’re coming or going. If you want to smile or cry. If you want to love and be loved or be alone. If you want to live or die. There’s never a definite answer to those conflictions.

I just want to write. I want to get it all down. Out of my head. I want to try to make sense of some of these thoughts.

The last what, how long has it been since I last wrote? Month?  Month and a half? Well they have been a bit topsy turvey. Nothing significant has caused this to happen, I just don’t think I am handling things all that well and not really receiving much help when I do try to talk and ask for help.

I want to talk about my successes, because I have to at least have some positivism, right?

Where to start? There are actually a few good things that I have done, achieved and experienced.I have come out of my comfort zone, done things on my own that I never thought was possible and even dragged myself onto a plane and spent a weekend with extended family, when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and not talk to anyone.

I went to my Best Friend’s wedding. On my own. And I only went and survived, didn’t I?! I got through it all, meeting her relatives the night before when I wasn’t expecting to see them, I went out to dinner with her and her family and I even managed to walk down the aisle with her and dance the night away on the dance floor! I was truly honoured to be so involved in my Best Friend’s wedding to the extent that I was but in all honesty I was stressing about it. I was dreading it at times, especially when I knew F wasn’t going to be there by my side for the whole day. I wouldn’t see his face across the room to reassure me I  was doing a good job, I wouldn’t have him there to dance with, to kiss, to celebrate true love with. I wouldn’t have him to go to bed with and enjoy the novelty of a hotel room. I don’t think anyone realised I would find it tough or that it was those little things that I would struggle with.

I was also fearing the amount of people. The conversations that I would have to make with people I hadn’t met before. Walking down the aisle before the Bride. How I was going to get there and how I was going to get back. How I was going to carry everything on my own. Whether I would fit into my dress or if I had binged too much so wouldn’t. Who would I spend the evening part of the ceremony with. What would I talk to people about?

I know these all sound so irrational to most people and a lot of  people out there wouldn’t even think these things before an event, but that’s what anxiety does. At times I get so angry at myself, because the anxiety is not only ruining it for me, but it affects other people. Leading up to the wedding, I just distanced myself from my Best Friend Bee, I felt I couldn’t talk to her because I didn’t want to distract her from the wedding. I had no one to talk to. But I don’t think I generally wanted to talk to anyone about it, because no one quite understands. They often just see it as acting irrational, and over thinking. Being dramatic. But it isn’t. They don’t feel the heart racing. Palms getting sweaty. The room starting to spin. The catch of breath. The obsessive thinking and overthinking of the situation, the outcomes, the possibilities. It’s a bizarre thing to face and no matter how much you try to tell yourself you’re being irrational and ridiculous, it doesn’t calm you down and doesn’t make it go away.

But, the event has passed, and I survived. I wish I hadn’t felt all that I did before the big day, but I did and I can’t take it back. I had a good time, got some good memories, and saw people I hadn’t seen since University. Conversation wasn’t always flowing and I wasn’t comfortable a lot of the time, but I did it. I got through it for my Best Friend and just seeing her as happy and as beautiful as she was, it was worth going to.

What’s the next thing that I have forced myself through?
Belfast.


I have always wanted to go to Belfast, More for the love of the accent of the people than anything else, but also because it is such a beautiful place. I finally got the chance to go and visit my cousin, who I haven’t seen in years with our Auntie for a quick weekend away. When I first booked this up, I was in a place where I wanted to keep myself busy and go on adventures, be sociable and be happy. The week leading up to the weekend, I felt low. I cried in work several times, I didn’t want to get up most mornings. I was struggling. I kept trying to think of ways to get out of going to Belfast. I didn’t want to see family. I was panicking about how I would feel around family I haven’t seen in a while. What conversation I would have. If I would have to talk about my job, which I was fully loathing at this point. If they would ask about my parents and how they were getting on. It was always awkward because years ago, my Uncle and my Mum fell out and we’ve never really spoken to him since or his family. The feud was between my Mum and Uncle, but I have a loyalty to my Mum and I felt guilty that I was going away for the weekend and spending it with her brother, who she despises. The only thing that I wasn’t worried about: was the flight. The thing that most people would panic about was the one thing I didn’t even care about.

It was obvious, I had no choice but to go.

The trip was very up and down for me, personally. At times I felt like I was doing okay, but other times, I just wanted to disappear off on my own and not have to talk or listen to others. That sounds incredibly selfish, and I apologise profusely for that. I am so grateful to my Auntie for suggesting the weekend away and to my cousin for organising things for us to do. It was great to see my Auntie and Uncle as well, and they really couldn’t have nicer or more welcoming and warm than they they were. I appreciated the beautiful city that was Belfast, but I just couldn’t shake that low, numbing feeling that kept cropping out. 
I will do a blog post on Belfast, because the history, the people and the place are just incredible and I am champing at the bit to return and see all that Belfast has to offer. I will talk briefly of one thing that really spurred an excitement in me that I hadn’t felt for a while. I witness a protest. A  protest in favour of pro-choice. Now, I have never done a protest, or felt passionate enough about anything to actually get involved in one. However, watching these people in huge groups peacefully marching along voicing their opinion, it made me really excited and warm and wanting to join in. I felt a spur of passion about a topic which I haven’t felt in ages. 

I did Belfast. I spoke with my family. I even had to stay an extra day with them all because of Storm Ophelia cancelling all the flights back home. I smiled, I laughed and I did have good points. I made it through. Got some good memories and witnessed many new things. I dragged myself so far out of my comfort zone: I made conversation, got myself out of bed, plastered a smile on my face, did things I didn’t want to do and I had a good time for the most part. I even traveled to the airport on my own on the way back and got through the journey as well. TBH I think I relished on doing the journey on my own, I felt independent and liked having time to myself after a very full on weekend being surrounded by people. 

Finally, the third thing that I count as a success, is me putting myself out there and meeting new people, doing new things and socialising. My October was a full packed month. I didn’t have one weekend to just relax and even during the week I was busy. But I wanted it to be that way. I wanted to be busy. I wanted new adventures. New people. New memories. But I guess there is only so long you can convince yourself you’re doing okay and that you are okay being surrounded by people and going out and doing things. This started of great. I loved going out. I went to a festival with someone new, I went to a show with another, I have been for cocktails, been cooked dinner, and even gone for a walk in Greenwich on a beautiful autumn day. I have made two people in particular who I have loved spending time with. Their conversations, their humor and their comfort really appealed to me and I was always so excited to go see them. I was seeing them every week and always had a laugh and came away smiling. Of course, I still had times on my own, when I would feel sad, alone and different. At times I regretted being as happy as I was and felt I didn’t deserve to be feeling that way. Other times my mind would wonder back to F, and the times we had together and the times we had planned for these next few months. Other times I just wanted to hide away, cut all communication and be on my own. I fought these feelings for the whole of October. I kept going out even when I didn’t want to and I am glad I did because I always had a good time. Yet, now I have sunk right back down. I have now cancelled three times on them and slowly reclining back into my shell. I know I shouldn’t. I know I should persevere and stick with this because I have been happy. I have laughed when I thought all I wanted to do was cry. I have met some really interesting people who have shown an interest. I just wish I felt more like I deserved to know them. That is deserved to have their friendship. That I deserved to be happy.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am so grateful for my life and those that I have around me. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and those yet to come. I understand there’s a lot more hardship that others are suffering out there, and I am so thankful that I am fortunate enough to be who I am, where I live, Where I work and who I know, but no matter how much I try to remind myself and bring that to the forefront of my mind, I still just feel… how to put this politely… shit. I still, so much of the time find myself struggling to compute other thoughts that aren’t negative. I can’t help thinking at times that not to live would be a way to not feel the way I do anymore. I am tired of feeling so up and down. It’s exhausting. 

Not Quite Made Girl 

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Progress Update 103

Can I just get a round of high fives as yesterday I hit a couple of realisations and I actually achieved such a change in my train of thought, that a few weeks ago, would have been so different. Amazing what a couple of weeks does for you and a bit of drive, hope and determination.

Image result for high five gif
Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/barack-obama-president-they-tried-TEFplLVRDMWBi

 

Yesterday, the weather was shocking here. It was like a true winter’s day. It rained all day. It was flooding. It was grey. It was cold. It could have given me so many reasons to recluse within myself a bit and draw back from my positive outlook and go back to my old ways.

 

Instead, I embraced it! I got soaked on the way to work, but I was smiling. I didn’t care. It was such a minor thing, it wasn’t going to be permanent and I would dry off the second I got to work.
I walked in with a smile and greeted those around me. I feel I am becoming more approachable. I am dropping that barrier that I used to carry. And it is all thanks to being honest with those around me and being honest with myself.

On Tuesday, I finally opened up to those that I work with. I may have over shared a bit too much, but it helped. I got other opinions, other views, other people’s advice which is so different to that of those that I normally surround myself with, such as friends outside of work and my parents.
Continue reading “Progress Update 103”

Eureka! ūüí°

It’s been a while. I do apologise. Life has been happening as of late. And in a good way. Hallelujah!
In the words of the band Paramore:

Things are looking up
Oh, finally
I thought I’d never see the day

They really are looking up and for the first time in a long time, I feel generally content with my life and everything that I have. It has taken me a while to reach this point of realisation but I am so glad I finally have.

So many aspects of my life are going right. Things have fallen into place on the job front and with regards to my relationship with F, I feel we are both finally on the same page of understanding and happier and stronger than we’ve ever been. I don’t want to brag or rub it in everyone’s face, because that’s not the point of this blog. The reason I want to talk about the highs and happiness that I am experiencing at the moment is because I want to show that no matter how low you get or how much of a dark, lonely place you find yourself in, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it at that point of time.

Only a few weeks ago, was I at my lowest, not wanting to continue with life anymore. Believing that me and F were doomed for. That I would never get a job. That I would be stuck at home forever. That I would have to sit at home and look at the same four walls all day, day in, day out. I felt so distant from my friends, my family and F. Continue reading “Eureka! ūüí°”

Dear F,

Well here I am writing you another letter. I suppose I find it easier to express myself to tell you just what is on my mind and the hypothetical worries that I have.

This weekend was my first weekend without in a while. I didn’t expect to find it as hard as I have. It didn’t help that this week I haven’t exactly been in a great place mentally. But spending the whole weekend without seeing you or touching you was hard. There were so many times that I found myself yearning for you and a ‘your’ hugs. Your comfort. Your security. I dreaded a whole weekend in with my parents. It was as I expected. Them bickering most of the weekend over menial stuff and many awkward silences. It was nothing compared to the easiness and comfort of our weekends together at yours with your family. I missed them.

All weekend I have had so many thoughts running through my head. I have been really struggling with them. And I have had no one to turn to for confirmation that everything was okay and will continue to be okay. So I thought I would get them all down in a letter. I chose to write it to you because you’re the one who I want to understand what it is that I feel and fear. What keeps me up. What makes me sad. What hurts me. What makes me behave the way I do at times. Continue reading “Dear F,”

404 Error

How many times have we all, over the years,seen the error message 404 error pop up when we tried to enter a URL for a site. The error? That now, apparently, the site no longer exists, was moved or deleted. Or we  typed in the URL wrong or the server responsible for the website is not running and the connection is broken.

At the moment I feel that my actions and behaviours are a result of a connection in my brain not running or simply being broken. I feel like I have regressed and facing a few errors. Maybe I am typing the URL in wrong or perhaps something has moved or been erased causing me to fall back into old ways.
I’ll stop with the analogy for now, especially as I don’t know a great deal about technology but it seemed to fit with what I was going with. So bare with.

Continue reading “404 Error”

Therapy

It was my turn at last. I had reached the top of the waiting list to receive my first therapy session. The letter came in the post informing me of when my appointment was and that it would take place on the phone. The phone? How can a therapy session work on the phone? I didn’t care how the logistics worked, all I cared about was that it was finally my name being called and it was me who could finally talk to someone and maybe get a hand of this situation.

The 1st of March. A new month. A new chance. And what better way to start a new month than with my first therapy session. Even if it was on a telephone.

I chose an early appointment so it would force me to get up and try and do something with my day afterwards. I was apprehensive before my phone call. I didn’t think that I would be totally honest with how I felt or what I was going through because it is easier to hide it when you are on a phone. I did worry that I would cry and become so incoherent on the phone that it would be pointless. Continue reading “Therapy”

Follow-up

Can you believe it has been three weeks since I was officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety?! And this baby From Mad Girl to Made Girl is two and a half weeks old! Where has the time gone!

I can’t hide the fact that I was anxiously counting down to this appointment. Three weeks after being given my diagnosis and being sent away to try new tablets and to sort out therapy, it was time for a follow-up. Another chance to inspect at how I was¬†getting on.

As I am sure you can tell from a few of my posts, I have been struggling despite being on Fluoxetine. I was told they wouldn’t begin to work until about a week after taking them, so I wasn’t expecting miracles. But after three weeks and religiously taking them at the same time every day, I really don’t feel any sort of improvement.
If anything, my anxiety and depression has been just as bad. Although now, I am finding myself crying more publicly because I just can’t hold it back anymore. Throughout these three weeks, I don’t think there has been a day where I haven’t just wanted to give up. There wasn’t a single day where I was anxious free or didn’t have a low point. I know that’s not the point of the tablets. I know they aren’t miracle workers. But I was hoping it would ease it. Make it easier to get on with everyday life things. But it hasn’t.

I struggle so much to get out of bed most days. I am not sleeping until gone 4 in the morning and even when I do drop off I am up throughout the night. The second I wake up my mind is already anxiously overthinking situations. I can’t even pinpoint what it is worrying about half the time. It just fills me with a sense of dread and fear. A fear I can’t shake off. I’ve broken down into tears most days in my bedroom because I just can’t cope feeling like this all the time. I’m not living. I’m literally a living, breathing being with no life in her at times.

Continue reading “Follow-up”

One Prozac a day…

Husband’s a CPA.

For those of you who are Bowling for Soup fans you would have noticed that the title of this blog comes from the song¬†1985.¬†Thought I’d try lightening it up a bit before I get real heavy and deep!

I wasn’t going to post a blog today but I’m struggling. Really struggling. And I am on my own and got no one I can immediately turn to right now, so hi! You’re the lucky one, you get me turning to you. You get to hear me go on and on, moaning about things, how lucky are you?! (I give you permission to walk away now to save you haha).

Fluoxetine. You’re meant to be helping me. You’re meant to be my one tablet a day that sends off those happy hormones known as serotonin into my brain. You’re meant to make me more balanced. More stable. More able to handle life. It seems you’re doing the opposite. You’re not helping. It feels you’re hindering me more than helping. There’s points that I do find myself thanking you and thanking the fact that for just a few times here and there you have made the anxiety less. But you have made my depression even more apparent. You’ve made me realise underneath the anxiety, I am empty. I am sad. And these past two days have been hard. Harder than I could have imagined. I scared myself today. The thoughts running through my head. The things I was saying to myself. They became more powerful than normal. I had to get out the house. I couldn’t take another minute of sitting on the bathroom floor in tears. I wish I knew why these tears keep burning my cheeks. I wish I knew why you weren’t working. Why the hormone serotonin wasn’t overpowering the negativity in my brain.

Continue reading “One Prozac a day…”

Will you be my..?

I finally have¬†big and exciting¬†news. It has actually been a few weeks since I first came across this news, but Mad Girl to Made Girl didn’t exist yet, and it was just before my world turned upside down with my breakdown and diagnosis of my depression and anxiety.

So, you’re finally going to have a happy blog by moi! Yes, smiles all round, cheers even, a little celebration if you may, for I, Not Quite Made Girl, have had my hand asked for in Marriag – yes, I have been asked to be my very best Bestie’s¬†MAID OF HONOUR!

Yes, me! I know I didn’t think I could be trusted with such responsibility either but hey, she must have been having a funny moment when she chose me to be her Maid of Honour! (I’m just going to keep highlighting¬†Maid of Honour¬†in bold because I just love the title and that it¬†is attributed to me. That I’m a¬†Maid of Honour. Am I annoying you yet with my gloating? Good, I hope not! I hope y’all are¬†pleased for me. ;))

It was so romantic how she did it, my heart just exploded into a million and one pieces and I couldn’t stop the word ‘yes‘ coming out of my mouth.

My bestie, or BeeBee as she is known, had been bugging me for a few weeks about organising a specific weekend in January for us to meet up. I couldn’t understand the necessity for such a specific date. I now know why haha. I just thought she was so eager for a double date with her fianc√© and her with me and F, especially as she had never met F before.

Continue reading “Will you be my..?”

Pitiful Taboo

There’s no balance with how people treat you once they know you have mental health issues – I hate how that sounds, and I hate using the word mental health. There feels such a taboo with it. But of course there isn’t. There should be no feeling of stigma or the sense of the unmentionable when talking about mental health.

I fully understand mental health is hard to understand. There’s not always physical symptoms or a real way to really diagnose someone with mental health problems. There’s no education on mental health yet we’re always told if we feel unwell with a broken leg to go get a cast at hospital, or had a headache for a few days, we’re encouraged to take paracetamol and sleep it off.¬†If we fall over and graze our knee and blood is pouring, we don’t just simply ignore it. We treat it, make sure it doesn’t get infected and nurse it for a couple of days until the scab does it job and it starts to heal.

Yet with mental health, I have witnessed first hand very rigid views, pitiful looks and some obscure comments. It seems that a broken heart after the end of a relationship is understood and treated so much more than those who are suffering from mental health problems.

In the past two weeks since I got my diagnosis and slowly told those around me, bare in mind only those that I need to or feel I can trust or if I am in a situation where I need to, I have received a various amount of reactions. I want to say everyone tried their best to understand how I was feeling and what I was going through but I don’t think anyone truly did and that’s fine. I don’t think you can fully comprehend depression or anxiety unless you have suffered from it yourself or someone close to you has.
For the most part, the people I have told have had positive reactions. However, I have also had a few weird ones which have made me feel uncomfortable.

Continue reading “Pitiful Taboo”