Getting back on the horse

I’m doing ok. I’ve got a meeting with one of my managers tomorrow to discuss returning to work.

I can’t imagine being back at work. Even the drive to work every day seems daunting.

I have to do it though. I have to pay my mortgage. If my ex would agree to sell the house I would have no mortgage. It all seems so unfair.

So, next week I’ll be back at work. Back on the horse.

Pre-Christmas blues

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.

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.

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.