130. The Fabulous Four.

I had psychology today. I still get a sense of calm walking back into the hospital. Part of me wanted to stroll onto my old stomping ground, head to the dining room and make a cup of tea, just so that somebody would ask me; “Are you o.k?” It’s clearly had a lasting effect on me. I’ve been out now for 2 weeks and I really really miss the amazing staff.

I do love my psychologist though (not in a creepy way).  I’m limited to five more sessions with her, which is scary. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place by the time our therapeutic relationship ends.

Today I was tasked with yet more homework which I believe is worth sharing with you all. Depression tends to make us less active, less inclined to care for ourselves and less likely to do things that lift our spirits and so the vicious cycle goes. I’m certainly struggling in this regard, and if I didn’t have a little toddler shouting at 8 am every morning, I honestly don’t think I’d get up.

I’ve been introduced to “Activity Scheduling”. Basically its important that in any given week we schedule activities that incorporate the “Fabulous Four”

  1. Pleasurable Activities.
  2. Activites that we get a sense of achievement from.
  3. Physical activities.
  4. Sociable activities.

I’m not so good at this, and both my CPN and psychologist are trying to get me to do more of 1, 2 and 4, with the emphasis on 4. I’m nailing 3 though if that’s any concilation. Indeed I’ve just come back from the gym.  50 minutes of cardio followed by the leg lift challenge, which is continuing to stave off self harm (my stomach muscles burn instead).

I’m really struggling to find activities that I find pleasurable.  At 32 years old (33 soon), you’d think over the years I’d have developed interests but actually I think as the years have crept up on me, I’ve become increasingly reclusive, scared to try new things and lacking in motivation. For these reasons I’m also struggling to become a more sociaiable being. I make plans and cancel them by text.  I look up classes but never enrol. I have good intentons but never follow through.

Changing this particular behaviour on the path to better mental health, is perhaps the most challenging off all.  I’m afraid of exposing myself to new people, in all my pale, squinty, odd looking, albino glory.  I’m afraid of trying new activites or challenges for fear of failure due to my poor vision or just incompetence. When you hate yourself and all your flaws, it’s very difficult to present yourself to new endeavours.  I don’t think we’ll fix this in 5 more sessions!.

This week I will at least try to make plans with existing friends, and give serious thought to what I can do.

The Fabulous Four is something that we all should strive for.  If you’re interested in reading more about it; check out; https://www.childline.org.uk/globalassets/info-and-advice/your-feelings/feelings-and-emotions/depression-and-feeling-sad/activity-plan-the-fabulous-four.pdf

You’ll need to copy and paste.  It’s a safe link, I promise. 

Loopy x.

 

127. 2 in a row!

It was a pleasure to blog yesterday as I was documenting good spirits. It’s even more of a pleasure today as I’ve now had 2 good days in a row!!  It’s been quite a while since that has happened. Again I don’t know why. Maybe its the meds, or maybe I’m just slowing readjusting to life outside the walls of the psych ward, but whatever it is; it feels good.

Today has also been a productive day in terms of taking steps to recovery and returning to lifes daily rituals.  I took little man to nursery this afternoon.  It went much better than I had anticipated.  He was a little clingy, but there were no tears or tantrums and I was even able to leave him for a little while.

We then braved the commute home during rush hour, squashed like sardeens into the sweat box that rumbles along tracks and stops at every hole in the hedge. I put headphones on little man today and allowed him to watch cartoons on my phone.  I never wanted to be one of those parents that shoves a scrren in front of their toddler at every oppertunity, but today it worked.  He was content for the entire journey and more importantly my heart rate stayed within normal limits. I guess if it makes my commute less stressful then it’s worth it.

I also had coffee today with my closest work confidante.  It was lovely to see her again, and I don’t have to hide who I am with her which is such a relief.  We chatted about all sorts but she also mentioned that another colleague is off sick at the moment.  Off course I don’t wish illness on anyone, but I was just a little happy to hear its not just me landing people in the crapper, picking up my responsabilities.

I also know that I have someone I can talk to when i return who understands the difficulties of mental ill health, the challenges of returning to work, and she’s someone who will take the piss out off me at every oppertunity and will help me to see the funny side off all lifes dramas!.

I’ve just come back from the gym and my endorphins are pumping. OH has put little man to bed, the house is peaceful and I’m going to have a cuppa.

Loopy x.

126. Good days sneak up on me.

Good days kind off sneak up on me. Like the last taxi home after night clubbing; I’m pleased to see them.  Today was just that; a good day.  I don’t know why I have them or what triggers them. Little man was in good spirits today, but not without his tantrums. I took those in my stride.

I did laundry, took Little man for groceries, listened to music and caught myself humming frequently. I had a shower (2 infact) which is always a good sign. The second shower was just now after a 12 km cycle.

I’ve not been doing my psychology homweork (being compassionate towards myself) as much as I should have, but I have the will to do some now.

Tomorrow is another big step for me. It’s one that I’m anxious about.  I’m taking Little man to nursery.  I’ll have to brave the train commute and the uphill walk and the weather.  Fingers crossed, it’s another good day.

Loopy x.

 

124. Grazed and grazed and grazed some more.

I couldn’t stop eating today. I couldn’t cope very well with Little man and to compensate I just grazed and grazed and grazed some more. It would be forgivable had it been healthy options, but oh no today was all about the carbs and fat.

I really struggled today.  People unaffected often wonder what depression is and how it manifests.  I guess it varies by individual but for me today; it was wanting to cower in the corner and cry.  It was wanting to lock my Little man in his room, so that I couldn’t hear his crying.  It was wanting to binge.  It was wanting to self harm. It was wanting to ring my CPN but not having the courage to..  It was wishing I had succeeded weeks ago in my attempt to end it all, and thinking about how I could succeed in future. It was feeling relieved when my friend text to cancel our coffee date. It was drinking black tea because I couldn’t drag myself from the house to purchase milk. It was thinking about how I’ve ruined my career and how I can never face my boss and colleagues again. It was feeling thankful when OH arrived home from work just in time to carry Little man to bed.

What is recovery?  I guess it’s dragging myself to the gym despite my awful day, it’s resisting the urge to self harm and it’s being hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

Loopy x.

122. Bumps in the road.

I guess I should have expected this.  It’s two steps forward and one step back.  I’ve found today quite challenging.  At 8.00 am little crying sounds penetrated my eardrums; “Please go back to sleep, please please please!”

I really didn’t want to get up today and If I’d had the choice, I would have stayed cocooned in my duvet. With the Little man though, I have no choice. He stirred for a little while and by 9 am, I was up and preparing his breakfast.  I didn’t have the energy today.  It may be a coincidence but often when I’m low, Little man is more difficult. Off course this is partly explained by my inability to cope with normal day to day behaviours, but  sometimes I think he is attuned to my inner demons and when they rise, his quickly follow suit. He tested me today, and I guess I should be thankful that we both survived.

OH arrived home from work around 1. I found him tiresome. As I’ve mentioned before, he is in need of help himself.  We negatively bounce of each other, on days like this.  There is a general feeling of malaise. I tried to persuade him to hit the gym.  I’ve tried everyday since my hospital discharge, and everyday he finds a reason to decline.

I’ve also had trouble organising my medication since leaving hospital. Several phonecalls to the ward, my GP and my CPN have quite frankly stressed me out.  I was finally able to pick up the script this afternoon, only to find, that I’ve been given enough for 7 days.  Only 7 days! I guess when you try to overdose; GP’s become a little more cautious, but the thought of battling against the receptionists and the locums again next week, is enough to send me into a cold sweat.

I’m tired now, really tired, but if the past few nights are anything to go by; it will be a few hours yet before sleep finds me.

On a brighter note; I’m seeing my psychologist tomorrow, who I’m very fond off.

Loopy x.

114. Struggling today.

My body is filled with lead today. The weather, grey and weepy, is a good reflection of my mood.  I neglected my son this mornig by staying in bed, even though he was awake in the next room (I threw some toys into his cot, and I could hear him clearly). I’m not fit to be a mother. I just didn’t want to get up.  I’m feeling tired and emotional.  I’ve still had no contact from my family which shows you just how much they appreciate the difficulties of mental ill health. OH is trying (went for blood tests today), but he lacks motivation and drive also.  He’s tired too.

After eventaully dragging myself up, I went to the GP to sort out my meds for the next few days.  They apparently hadn’t recieved my discharge summary, so I had to ring the ward. The familiar voice on the phone was pleasant, caring and upbeat.  I wish I was still in there. How pathetic is that? I’m feeling very alone out here.  The urge to burn is strong today.

It feels inevitable, that I will die by suicide someday.

Take your bike out Loopy, it always cheers you up.

Loopy x.