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.

Tomorrow’s another day

Today wasn’t great. I woke up feeling rubbish and really struggled to get out of bed. I went on a dog walk, had breakfast and then forced myself to go to the gym. I stayed there for over an hour just to kill time.

I got home and the postman had been. There was something in the post from work that I needed for my accountant for my tax return, so I decided to send that off – my tax stuff is something I’d been wanting to sort out since April, but I’d needed this particular document. I should have felt a sense of achievement in finally sorting it, but I just felt flat.

One of my friends texted whilst I was dealing with the stuff from the accountant – she said she was going to see a mutual friend this afternoon who’s had a hip replacement and has had a setback. I jumped at the chance to get out of the house. Days seem very long when you’re depressed.

It struck me how similar my plight is to my friend who’s had the hip op. He’s confined to his house and is bored, lonely, frustrated and desperate to get back to normal. I can relate to that.

My youngest daughter arrived at tea time which lifted my mood. We watched a film together. In my depressed state I’m already thinking of the fact that she’s only here temporarily and she’ll soon be going back to her dad’s – the house she thinks of as home because that’s where she grew up. She was tearful when she got here today and we hugged and she told me how hard it was to keep going between me and her dad. How will we ever adjust and get used to it?

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. Let’s see what it brings.

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.

Slowly getting used to my new life

It’s dawned on me that the one thing I can’t get used to in the new version of my life is how simple my life has become.

Most days I get up, get dressed, get just my own breakfast, read my own newspaper and go to work. I rarely have to go and do a big supermarket shop. I can do what I want when I want.

It’s totally alien to me.

For the last 23 years I have been putting other people first, mostly my ex. His needs trumped everyone else’s.

I had a bit of a wobble at work today. I burst out crying when talking to 2 of my colleagues about the past 5 months but I’ve been ok since.

This afternoon I came home and put up a curtain rail and curtains all by myself. I’m pretty damned proud of myself too.

I’m going out for tea with friends this evening. Because I can.

Loneliness

4 months ago today I walked out on my husband. I know it was the right thing to do, but it has not been easy.

Over the past few weeks I have been feeling increasingly lonely and I’m craving for an intimacy that I never even had.

I’m craving for someone to share my day with, someone to confide in. My husband never was that someone. It isn’t him that I miss, but the dream of what I wished he had been.

He never did listen to me. I remember once when we’d only been together for a short time he joked that I was just background noise; that should have been a warning.

Over the last few years of our pointless marriage he didn’t listen to me at all. Also there was no respect and there was no trust.

I’m writing this blog to remind me why I left. When you feel alone, and lonely, it is tempting to think that maybe you could go back. Maybe things would be better. Maybe it’s better the devil you know.

No way. No bastard way. I’ve already wasted almost half my life with the wrong man. He is one leopard that will never change his spots.

Maybe it’s time I started looking for other fish in the big wide sea.