I’ve been on my own today, alone with my thoughts. I’ve been baking Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings. Inevitably this has reminded me of Christmases past. There were some happy times at Christmas over the years, but mostly this time of the year just caused stress and more arguments than usual.
I have to remind myself of last Christmas which was the worst of all. I spent most of the day in tears.
This year I’m going to my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas Eve until Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to it, but mostly I’ll just be really relieved when it’s all over.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I woke again today with no desire to get out of bed, but I eventually got up, at 8.30am and went for a run/walk (mostly walk) with my daughter and the dog.
I spent the rest of the day mainly reading and did some DIY CBT from a book called Mind Over Mood that I’ve had since I had puerperal psychosis 14 years ago. It was good to read over the stuff in there and remind myself of CBT techniques – I did a few of the exercises. It had dawned on me earlier this week that I was avoiding walking down certain roads near me because I have moved round the corner from my husband’s 4 friends. It’s almost like I’d identified a danger zone that I was avoiding in case I bumped into any of them. In fact I’ve started deliberately making myself walk that way on dog walks etc over the past few days and I have the Kenny Loggins song playing in my head when I do ‘I went through the danger zone’! I guess it’s what psychologists would call “flooding” – a technique used to treat phobias. I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t care what version of events my ex has told his friends – I know I have nothing to be ashamed of – and they have no idea what went on in our marriage.
Then this evening we went for tea at my mum’s – myself and 2 of my daughters. It was an eventful evening – while we there one of her bathroom pipes spontaneously burst and there was a massive flood into the kitchen ceiling. I took control of the situation and called an emergency plumber and went about dealing with the flood in the kitchen. My mum is 85 and lives by herself. She was so glad that I was there because she just froze when the water started coming through the ceiling and didn’t know what to do. It boosted my confidence dealing with the situation. My daughter says the universe sends situations when they’re needed – maybe she’s right 🙂