Busy mind

I’ll know when I’m better because I’ll no longer be constantly thinking about how anxious I am, imagining myself in different scenarios, unable to carry out even the simplest task without rehearsing it over and over in my head.

I’m exhausted by the constant stream of chatter in my head – at least it feels constant, but I think actually there are moments when my mind is at peace – I’m just not aware of them. I can’t really tell how I am this week because I’m staying at my daughter’s house, 30 miles away from home. I’m cocooned in a little bubble of loveliness.

Yet my mind still chatters away telling me I’m still not fit to return to work, I’m not fit to drive – even though I haven’t got my car here with me to actually try. My mind wanders off into the future making up its own reality of what the future will bring – and obviously it’s all bleak and hopeless.

I am enjoying being at my daughter’s – she’s keeping me very busy. Last night we went to see some performance art, today we’ve been to a drawing class then yoga. Obviously my brain isn’t letting me just enjoy being busy with my daughter – obviously my brain is comparing what I’m doing this week with the void of nothingness that will be coming next week.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not actually a soothsayer and I can’t actually predict the future.

When it’s raining look for rainbows

I’m still depressed and I’m feeling very very lonely. I’m not sure if the loneliness caused my depression or the depression is making me lonely. Probably both.

I’m so bored as well. I’ve been off work for 7 weeks now. I’ve got very little to do during the day and my boredom compounds my loneliness. I’m in a never-ending cycle of nothingness and solitude. I’ve taken to doing colouring and painting by numbers but it doesn’t feel like much of an achievement when I complete a page of my colouring book. I can just about concentrate to read and I’m going through a fair number of books. I’m reading one at the moment written by a woman who was emotionally and physically abused – I read half of it yesterday.

Next week I’ve decided to go to my mum’s to stay. I’m hoping that if I am in company continually for the next few weeks that my mood will lift and I’ll hopefully be able to sustain any improvement – whenever people are around me my mood does lift, then at the moment it plummets as soon as I am alone. I had no issue about being on my own before the depression started.

My youngest daughter is with me this week, but she’s at school during the day. I’m dragging myself to pilates and yoga classes, but I really am having to drag myself. I’ve got the dog this week so I have to walk him twice a day. I’ve just been on a dog walk – I really didn’t want to go but I made myself and I actually enjoyed it despite my paranoia and agoraphobia – I have to remember that I enjoyed it for future reference.

I am fighting this depression as hard as I can. I’m making myself do the opposite of what I feel like doing. Most of the time I’d much rather lie in bed than do anything. I’m not letting myself lie in bed.

I have an intrusive rumination at the moment – my husband is refusing to sell the marital home and I’m worried that I’ll lose my house because I won’t be able to pay my mortgage. In my logical head I know that I have savings that I can dip into if I need to which should keep me afloat for at least a year – my anxiety is exacerbating the depression and my pay running out will become a self fulfilling prophecy if I’m not careful. I get full pay until November, then half pay until March. I keep going over and over it in my head. It’s wearing me out.

I hate depression. 3 months ago my life seemed normal – I could go food shopping without even thinking about it. I could drive for hundreds of miles by myself without a care. Now I have to think through every stage of any task and it feels like climbing a massive mountain. I can’t go shopping without severe anxiety beforehand or drive more than a couple of miles without feeling panicky and wanting to return home.

I have had these feelings before. My last depression was 8 years ago and I did get better. I know it’s possible and that I mustn’t give up.

This beautiful rainbow just appeared outside while I was writing.

When it’s raining look for rainbows.

Still fighting

It’s nine days since I last wrote anything. In some ways I’m better. My mood has lifted a bit, but I still have massive anxiety symptoms and I feel very unsettled today.

The girls came back from the trip to Rome with my ex. I survived the week they were away and my youngest is staying with me this week.

I’ve been off work for the past 5 weeks. I can’t imagine doing my job at the moment – I’ve lost all my confidence and I can’t concentrate on much.

But on a positive note I joined a new choir on Monday and I went running with my running club last night despite my anxiety.

I’m apprehensive about next week as I will be completely by myself again. I’m just not sure how I’ll keep myself busy. When I’m by myself time just feels like a vast ocean with no end. I spend all day longing to go back to bed to sleep. There are things I could do to busy myself if I had the motivation and if I could fight my feelings of paranoia and agoraphobia which stop me stepping outside my front door.

I have to keep fighting this. I don’t want to be depressed. I hate it.

All messed up

I haven’t written in a while. My mood has been so low that I haven’t had the energy to write anything. And I’m so mixed up about the divorce, work, everything.

I was admitted for respite for 2 days to give my family a break the week before last. It didn’t really help me in any way.

I’m now back at home by myself. I don’t feel like a danger to myself anymore, so I’m allowed to be on my own.

I feel so lonely and isolated though. My youngest two daughters have gone on the Italy trip with their father – that’s why I’m feeling so bad. I feel so confused about my ex now. I know that he was a complete bastard to me, but in my current depressed state I want him to help me get better. How messed up is that?

The only way is up

Yesterday was a bad day. I reached my lowest point yet. I was on my own at home with no plans to see anyone. I’d finished painting the stairs with the correct colour and then became overcome by feelings of despair and fear of being on my own. I didn’t trust myself.

I phoned an emergency number given to me by the Psychiatrist. I’ve been given an appointment to see the Home Treatment team on Friday. I didn’t feel safe by myself at my house, so I’m back at my mum’s, sitting on the bed in my old room writing this.

I was so confused about everything last night. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had an overwhelming desire to speak to my husband. We’ve had no contact for nearly 4 months. Despite everything that’s happened I miss him. I also need to discuss things with him about the children – especially our youngest – whole weeks without her and with no contact are making me ill. Also, right now I am more afraid of myself than I am of him. I don’t feel threatened by him anymore.

I phoned him and we spoke on the phone for 90 minutes. We didn’t argue at all. He’s seeing a therapist fortnightly. We talked about the divorce – so far we’re still going ahead with it. I don’t know what to think about it all, but I felt better for talking to him. I know all the advice says to have no contact to get over someone, but every relationship is different – there’s no one size fits all and deep down I don’t know if I want to get over him. I’m wondering if the pending decree nisi tomorrow is one reason I’m feeling so low – I never wanted the divorce straight away – I just wanted to separate and see how things went.

Everything has happened too quickly.

I am really mixed up. I’m also pre-menstrual. I may feel different about everything tomorrow.

Arrgghhh

My mood was getting better, then my youngest daughter went back to her dad’s for a week yesterday. Since then my mood has dipped yet again. I went for a run first thing with the dog, and managed 5.5 miles – the furthest I’ve run for months.

I decided to start some DIY when I got back to keep myself occupied so I didn’t ruminate too much. Everything was a disaster. After my shower this morning I noticed the silicon sealant needed replacing around the bath. So I went to the DIY shop and got all the stuff. Then when I removed the old sealant I noticed one of the tiles was loose, so what should have been a simple job has turned out to be far from simple.

So, I gave up with the bathroom and decided to paint the banister. I started painting and did quite a lot of painting until I finally decided the paint was totally the wrong shade of white. So, now I need to get more paint tomorrow which is nearer to the right colour, otherwise I’ll have to paint all of the woodwork in the house.

This afternoon I received an email from the pensions people – on a Sunday – to say that I hadn’t sent them a form PD1. I know I did send the form – more than 2 months ago. I’ve sent them two of the damn things, one in April and one in June.

After all of my DIY exploits going badly wrong, and the email about the CETV, I ended up sobbing my heart out – it was surprisingly cathartic.

I feel quite calm right now, calmer than I have felt all day.

A long day but a good one

I’ve realised that I can do more to pull myself out of this depression. With previous episodes one technique I have tried is sleep deprivation. I don’t mean going without sleep completely – even though this has been proven to lift bipolar depression (at least short term) – but rather to reduce the amount of time in bed and increase the time in daylight to correct my circadian rhythm. I found this article about it this morning.

So, this morning I woke up at 6.30 am and instead of lying dozing like I have done recently I got up and opened the curtains straight away. Then I got dressed and went straight out for a dog walk. It may be coincidence but my mood has been much better today than it has been for weeks. I’m tired now, as I’ve been awake for 15 hours, but I’m not so tired that I need my bed yet.

I have kept very busy today. I went to Sainsbury’s this morning, then to the DIY shop to get paint and brushes for a job I’m planning to do next week when my daughter’s at her dad’s. I also went to the GP surgery to request my next prescription for Lamotrigine.

When I got back home I discovered a letter from my solicitor about the financial settlement for the divorce with a very lengthy form to fill in. I still haven’t got my CETV (Certificate of Estimated Transfer Value) for my pension, but I spent 6 hours filling in the form, printing out 12 months of bank statements etc. When I’d finished with all of it I took it to the solicitor’s office personally rather than posting it. My solicitor advised me to cooperate with the financial statement – I don’t think I could have been any more cooperative really since I’ve sent all the information back within 7 hours of receiving the request.

It’s a relief – even printing all of the bank statements was a huge job on its own.

I had a sudden memory of something about my ex-husband this morning that I’d forgotten about. I remember dreading my younger daughters going to stay with their big sister over the past few years in the summer holidays as it meant I was alone with my husband each time for a few days. The horrible feeling of dread came over me as I recalled the memory. It helped remind me of why I have left.

The court date for the decree nisi is set for 15th August – I smiled when I read that bit in the solicitor’s letter. I feel as though the horrible limbo that I’ve been existing in for the past few months will finally end.

It’s been a good day today. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m on the right path to find the way out.