Pleased with myself

This morning I woke feeling terrible as I had an appointment booked with my therapist/counsellor at 11am and I really didn’t want to go.

I dragged myself out of bed at 8am and took the dog for a walk and then didn’t know what to do with myself while I waited for the time to leave for the appointment. I felt so low and hopeless.

However, I did go to the appointment. I’d been dreading talking through everything with my therapist. I’ve been trying not to cry all week and I knew I’d cry. When I got there I felt awful but as we talked I felt my mood lift – like a cloud dispersing.

Straight after the appointment I decided to make the most of the change in mood, so I went for a swim. On the way back I dropped in at the clinic near my house and booked in with a physio for next week – I need to get my leg sorted so I can run again. I miss running so much. At the moment I can run a short distance about once a week, but right now the back of my knee is sore. I need it fixing.

Taking advantage of my lifted mood this afternoon I helped my daughter move into her new flat. I came home and made myself a nice tea.

I’m currently watching a movie on Netflix.

I never expected today to turn out so well. I woke up feeling so awful. It just goes to show that even if I wake up feeling totally crap the day can still turn out well.

Another day another diagnosis

I went to see the Psychiatrist today and after 14 years of living with Bipolar I he tells me I’ve got Bipolar II. Personally I don’t think I’m either – looking at the DSM criteria I’m in between the two. I have had 5 episodes of depression and in between I’ve possibly been hypomanic at times, but mostly euthymic (normal). I’ve had one episode of full blown mania that came on 10 days after starting Sertraline. I have also had at least 2 very short episodes of probable mania triggered by lack of sleep fixed by taking sufficient Olanzapine to correct my sleep pattern.

Anyway, the Psych wasn’t happy about me being on Fluoxetine, so I’m stopping that, I’m also weaning off Depakote. I’m continuing Olanzapine and starting Lamotrigine. Ho hum.

I’m not bothered about stopping Fluoxetine – my mood is very reactive, making me think I might even be experiencing a mixed episode, so antidepressants are risky. I’ll stick with Olanzapine for now.

Where does my marriage figure in all of this? Inevitably I’m questioning my experience of the past 23 years. Did the emotional abuse I experienced cause the Bipolar? It may have contributed, but I reckon I must have been predisposed to experiencing the drastic mood swings of Bipolar, and my latest episode was fairly predictable to have happened due to all the stress.

Did my Bipolar cause all the problems in our marriage? Was it all my fault? Did I leave because I was hypomanic? No, definitely not. I’d been thinking of leaving for years.

My husband and I both had psychological issues which we brought into the marriage. He blamed my mental health for everything that went wrong and had no insight into his own problems (and still doesn’t).

He had no trust for me or respect.

I think in truth our problems were caused by our incompatibility and there’s no point in me accepting all the responsibility for the death of our marriage. Neither is there any point in me thinking that going back to him will fix me.

I had 4 episodes of depression whilst I was with him and got myself better every time.

A better day

I kept myself busy today.

If I was my normal self today’s activities would have been easy, but in my depressed state everything required extra effort.

I dragged myself out of bed at 8am after lying listening to the radio for an hour – I was actively listening though and not dozing too much.

Then I dragged myself on a 20 minute dog walk and even went swimming before I had breakfast. I’m well proud of myself for that achievement – I swam my usual 50 lengths and even enjoyed it.

Then I walked to Costa to meet friends for coffee – a 15 minute walk each way. Some other friends came round to see me this afternoon.

By 6pm I was exhausted but still had to cook tea for one of my daughters who came round to check up on me, to have tea with me and watch some Netflix.

It’s been a good day.

It was hard to keep going but I’ve done it.

Onwards and upwards and all that.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Keeping on keeping on

As another day draws to a close, it has been another day of swimming through treacle.

Again, my mood has now lifted slightly because it’s evening – although it’s a pleasant relief from the constant negativity, it also gives me a false sense of hope that I’ll wake up feeling normal tomorrow. There’s very little chance of that just yet.

I’ve got a cancellation appointment with a psychiatrist on Thursday so at least I’ll get my meds reviewed.

God I hate depression. I’ve withdrawn from everything. I’m finding it hard to leave the house. I’m pleased with myself that I managed a 5k run with the dog this evening though. Weirdly, even when I’m overcome with paranoia and agoraphobia I can still manage to go for a run – I think it’s because when you’re out running even if you see someone you know who might normally try to speak to you, if you’re running they usually just shout ‘hi’ or wave – you don’t have to stop and speak to people.

I managed to phone the pensions people again this afternoon for the 6th time to try and chase up my CETV (Certificate of Estimated Transfer Value) which is needed for the divorce settlement. I’ve been waiting for it for >3 months now. I’m sure the feeling of being in limbo caused by the divorce has been the main trigger for my depression – as well as the aftermath of leaving my husband and the realisation of just what I had put up with for too many years, also the loneliness and the changes in my job.

Nothing has been consistent or constant in my life for more than 6 months.

But when you’re at the bottom of the well, the only way is up. I will climb out again

one step at a time.

The black dog returned

I haven’t written anything for quite a while. The reason is that I’ve become depressed again. It’s the 5th time in 22 years.

One of the last things my Psychiatrist said to me before he took early retirement 8 years ago was to avoid stress. Well, I guess over the past 6 months I have just loaded on the stress – left my husband, bought a house, went through major changes at work. In that time I lost my routine and any sense of stability I had.

My mood has been continually up and down for months and from everything I’ve read and all the other divorced friends I’ve spoken to that’s completely normal, but just at the moment there’s a lot more down than up. And when you’ve got a bipolar brain the mood swings are exaggerated.

I went away last week with my 2 younger daughters – I managed to pull myself out of the worst depths of the depression in that week by being with them 24 hours a day, walking miles and swimming every day.

But now I’m home reality has kicked back in and I realised this morning that I don’t have the confidence to return to work next week. I couldn’t find the energy to walk half a mile up the road to go swimming, even going to the shop was hard – and that’s even nearer.

So, I’ve been to the doctor and got myself on Prozac again (I’ve had it

twice before – it worked the first time, but not the second). I’ve had several SSRIs over the years. I was on mirtazapine the week before last but that made me feel dreadful. I stopped it after 7 days.

I’ve got proper bipolar depression with diurnal mood variation – I feel better this evening which is why I’m managing to write this.

I know what to do to fight it – been there, done that, got several T shirts. I have to remember that negative thoughts are just thoughts, I need stimulation – as much as possible, routine, good food and activity. I have therefore borrowed the dog even though it’s not my week to have him. I’m signed off work for 4 weeks.

I will get through this.

I’ve woken with a knot in my stomach again

I had a really good day yesterday. I met some of my new friends for tea last night. I slept well – the best sleep I’ve had for weeks, but have woken with a knot of anxiety in my stomach again. I need to go to work soon.

I think the reason for my anxiety is that I had a dream that my ex was in. I can’t recall the details but the dream was generally happy. So, I’ve woken feeling confused again.

I have to remember why I’m doing this. Why I’m where I am. I am re-building my life, on my own,

orange rope wrapped brown wood log
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

because my marriage was awful. I have to remember the bad times. Yes, there were some good times over the past 20 years. If there hadn’t been any good times I doubt I would have survived.

But a lot if it was bad, and as time went on most of it was bad.

Stop missing him. Stop the guilt. Move on.

Reach out when you need to

I’m writing this to remind myself that when things are tough I need to reach out to those I know will listen.

The past 24hrs have been particularly hard for me but I have spoken with 2 of my older daughters, 2 of my friends and my mum and a work colleague and I feel a lot calmer and less alone. I’d been avoiding ringing my oldest daughter because I didn’t want to burden her with my problems. I’ve just come off the phone to her and I feel so much better. She’s such a good listener.

Too often when you feel down it’s tempting to hold it all in and not speak to others for fear of burdening them or of losing control of your emotions – I did the same with my therapist 2 weeks ago and I pay the guy to listen to me! He realised I was putting on a brave face

so he made me cry. But he was right -sometimes those emotions need to come out.

Just can’t stop singing Coldplay in my head 😉

Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start