It’s been a while

I haven’t written anything for weeks. The reason is that I’m much better but again I haven’t wanted to jinx it by actually saying it out loud.

I’m back at work and have been for 3 weeks. I know I’m getting my confidence back gradually, but I’m still full of self doubt. I know it’s ridiculous and there’s no good reason to doubt myself. The work I’ve done has been to my normal high standard, but I’m thinking about it all too much. I became overwhelmed by anxiety this afternoon but I held it together so no-one noticed.

I’m finding it weird to even get up and go to work. I haven’t done it for so long.

I’m feeling lonely. It doesn’t help that all the girls at work talk constantly about their partners/husbands and what they’ll be doing at the weekend. I know in my logical head that I would have had those same conversations 10 years ago, before it all went horribly wrong.

Ifeel like I have no-one to talk to – my rational self knows that is not true. A lot of people who care about me are only a phone call away.

I have to keep fighting the self doubt and low moods. I can’t let my ex win. If I fall to pieces again he will have won. I cannot let that happen.

I have to start living my life and enjoying it for myself. I have to stop feeling that my life is over. It isn’t over and the only one judging and doubting me is me.

One day I will come out the other side.

One day I will wake up and realise that I am enough.

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.

Exhausted

I’m still battling on with my depression. I’m on my own this week and it’s so hard to keep fighting it completely on my own. But fight it I will.

I managed to go to a Pilates class this afternoon so I’m pleased with myself for that.

I’m feeling particularly down because I had a welfare visit from work last Friday and found out that I’ll only get full pay until mid-November, then half pay for 4 months, then nothing from March. In the meantime my dear soon to be ex husband is refusing to sell the family home to release the equity which would allow me to pay off my mortgage. I’ve seen him twice over the weekend. Seeing him in person has reinforced the fact that I made the right decision when I left him, so from that point of view it was useful. It’s reinforced the fact that he is a total arsehole. I’m just hoping that I don’t lose my house and end up having to live back with him.

He promised me yesterday that he would never let me lose my house. In that case why won’t he sell the big house? He says he can’t face selling the house and that it will be too stressful. It’s bloody stressful being off work with depression and thinking you’re going to lose your house matey!

I don’t know when this nightmare will ever end.

I have to remember that it’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel lonely. These are normal feelings. I have to show compassion to myself. I am in a very stressful situation and I am still functioning – I should be proud of myself for that.

I’ve got to keep going. One thing I will always be is a mum to my girls. He can’t take that away from me.

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.

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.

Up and down

I feel so peculiar this week. My thoughts are screaming inside my head – ruminations going round and round and getting nowhere. I go from feeling hopeful and excited for my future to feeling hopeless. Most of the time I’m just about managing to keep my head above water so I don’t drown.

My youngest daughter is with her dad this week and I’m missing her like crazy.

But I’ve got lots of stuff planned with my new friends on Thursday and my 20 year old daughter is coming to see me on Wednesday.

I’ve spoken to so many women who tell me it’s normal to feel like this and that it gets better with time.

I’m just impatient. I want to feel better.

I got a letter from my divorce solicitor yesterday that made me upset – she’s sent me a letter to chase up where I’m up to with my cash equivalent transfer value statement for my pension. The pension people have told me it’ll be about another 2 weeks before I get it. I don’t want to reply to my solicitor just to tell her that I haven’t got anything for her yet because she’ll charge me just under 20 quid for the privilege of replying to her. I wonder how it feels to exploit other people’s misery for money.

I feel like I’m in limbo. I can’t move on with my life. Every so often I fantasise about dating but if I do I’ll have to keep it secret from my kids and my ex – if he found out he’d see it as the ultimate proof of what he’d always suspected me of. I’m not sure my kids are ready for anyone new in their lives, especially my youngest. I’m not sure I’m ready.

I don’t feel I can get involved with anyone else yet. I still feel loyalty towards my ex – why? I have no idea. I owe him nothing. I told my therapist last week that I feel like when I left him six months ago, after 24hrs or so it felt like I’d left a hostage situation. I feel like I should have been welcomed by friends and family with a blanket placed round my shoulders. But no-one knew what I’d been through – I’d hidden it so well for so many years. Let’s face it, I’d even hidden it from myself. No wonder it’s taking me so long to unravel it all.

Leaving Facebook behind

I’ve been looking at Facebook less and less over the past few months. I’ve taken to referring to it as Fakebook – because that is precisely what it is.

People were genuinely shocked when they found out I’d left my husband, because in the fake reality of Facebook everything in the garden was rosy, ours appeared to be a perfect marriage – all those selfies of us out and about doing stuff, all the family photos, anniversaries, birthdays. It was all bullshit. None of it was the true version of my shitty life – just the glossy version I chose to share. I’ve just deleted Facebook from my phone – I needed space to update my apps.

I wonder if I’ll miss it.