Tuesday, 29 June 2010

One step forward, six steps back....

The ride went better than expected. It was so hot - there aren't words - the heat was actually like a physical weight pressing down on me. But I managed it. I didn't walk too many hills. My legs didn't hurt that much afterwards. Fairly dehydrated and mild sunburn, that was about it. Slept very well that night though!

It was a huge achievement for me. I'm so proud that I managed it. I'm so grateful to all the people who supported me in so many different ways (particularly through sponsorship, raised over £230!). Not sure if I'd do it again, but it was a great day and I'm glad I did it.

I was on such a huge high afterwards. I felt like I'd made real progress, would finally start to overcome everything, turn my life around. Then today, it all went wrong again. Tried to book an appointment to get more anti-depressants, surgery is totally screwing me around. Not sure if I will even be able to make an appointment before my anti-depressants run out, not sure what I'm going to do. Totally freaked out this morning. Could barely get ready for work, couldn't stop crying long enough to put make-up on. Still shaky when I got to work... Was just about able to cope, but felt totally on edge the whole time. Really need to talk to my boss at some point, find out how much she knows. I don't know.

And now I feel like I'm running out of options again. Anti-depressants barely do anything. Can't get counselling for months. I get for now I have to just enjoy the ups and hope the downs don't last too long....

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Charity cycle ride tomorrow. Meant to be the hottest day of the year. Getting very nervous now. No idea how it's going to go. Will need to take sleeping pills tonight.

Work today was awesome. Very busy, and my boss told me he was really happy with how he did. And some very very cute children!

That's all I really have to say for now. Should probably try to sleep in preparation for tomorrow...

Friday, 25 June 2010

Does it ever end?

Depression, please cut to the chase
And make a long story short
Oh, please be done
How much longer can this drama afford to run?

(Lyrics quoted from memory, desperately hope they're right, but my memory is bad...)

This song (Owl City, Tidal Wave) caught my attention while I was on the way to work this morning. The worst thing about depression is that it is just really boring, you get bored of being stuck in your head with the same negative thoughts, you just want it to go away. I've been thinking a lot recently about how long it will take me to recover - or if I will ever recover completely. I honestly don't know right now.

The last couple of days were really good, I was feeling quite positive. Today, not so much. A couple of things shook me. Really weird things.

Firstly at work. The day was actually going really well, busier than expected with a couple of quite big sales. Then I sold a customer a dark blue swing when I think she might have actually wanted a pale blue swing and got totally freaked out. All I wanted to do was go and hide in the stock room, or at least beg my manager to give me a long reassuring pep talk. Neither of these things happened (still not sure if they even know about my depression and I don't want to bring it up unless absolutely necessary...). I calmed down eventually. But it was frustrating. Mostly I think my customer service is actually pretty good. I'm naturally very polite, I like making small talk with customers, helping people makes me happy. But it takes annoyingly litte to knock my confidence, and then I'm borderline useless for a while...

Second knock came this evening (by which point I was feeling fine again). I saw the results from some tests my brother had taken recently. He'd done fairly well on two papers, but pretty badly on the third, and therefore failed the entire subject. He can retake that one paper again, but I don't know how much difference it would make... That made me sad.

My relationship with my brother is complicated. He has Asperger's Syndrome. I could write for hours on the impact this has had on me and my family, but I'll leave that for another time, I'd like to get some sleep tonight. Right now, it is enough to say that my relationship with my brother is... complicated. Often it feels like we're just strangers who happen to live in the same house. I can't talk to him. I think I could when I was younger, but communication broke down somewhere (I suspect when I became a teenager...)

So we basically both live in our own worlds with very little interaction. I'm mostly used to it. But whenever he gets particularly good or particularly bad news - enough to penetrate my consciousness - I simply don't know how to process it. Exam results are especially complicated, as our academic standards are extremely different. Bad results in particular - I know he's not stupid, he just doesn't think how examiners want him to. I wish I could help, share my knowledge... But that just reminds me how big the distance between us is. The best I can do is explain to my parents what he should be doing, and they pass it on to him.

I think he's afraid of me. I'm not sure why. That makes me sad. And I wonder whether it will ever be possible to bridge the gap...

Is that depression talking or the realist in me? I find it hard to tell most of the time now.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Happy day!

So I had the most amazing day!

Wasn't off to a great start... Made the mistake of texting my friend in America quite late last night, we ended up talking for a long time, hardly got any sleep... It was good, cleared a lot up, but meant I went to work having only had about 4 hours sleep.

Things got better once I got to work. My boss made me the most awesome cup of coffee ever - strong, black, very sweet, perfect. That helped lots. Then we exchanges stories of drunken escapades for a while, which is always fun, although sadly hers were a lot more impressive than mine...

Then she ordered me to do some colouring in. I can hardly believe myself that I'm not making this up. I spent an hour (on and off, I did occasionally serve customers too....) colouring in a butterfly and some other insects. It was awesome! In theory I was doing it to entertain the children, but there weren't many children around this morning... But she told me to keep colouring anyway! I must admit, I was actually weirdly proud by the final outcome.

Lunch was amazing. Went to one of my favourites cafes. I recently found a really really old loyalty card from them - the guy was so surprised, he gave me three extra stamps to fill up the card - free drink for me next time I go there! Sat in the awesome comfy chair, drinking an awesome Skittles milkshake (I know it shouldn't work, but it really does), reading the new Hitchhiker's book. I love Douglas Adams, I loved everything he ever wrote (and I have actually read pretty much all of it), and for a long time I couldn't bring myself to read it, couldn't believe it would work. But now it's come out in paperback and my curiousity has got the better of me. It's not perfect, there are little things that grate, but in general I do actually really like it. Mostly Harmless did end at a fairly rubbish point, I'm hoping this might provide some closure.... We shall see.

Afternoon was good too. Several customers came in with some fairly awkward requests, and I managed to find them all something suitable. They were all thrilled. I love it when that happened! And one of my colleages happened to make a random comment about how well I was fitting in, that made me feel so good. I worry a lot, even more with everything going on right now, but then even the smallest amount of praise does so much to reassure me, boost my confidence.

So yeah, feeling pretty good right now. No idea how long it will last, but I'm definitely going to enjoy it while I can!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Generic subject

I'm really bad at picking subjects, I basically want to use the same three over and over again depending on my mood. Oh well, whatever.

I was reflecting earlier on how the only time I have to blog is when I'm not doing something more interesting. And as I'm not doing anything interesting, I don't know what to say. I know the point is probably to talk about what I have been doing, but my memory is really bad at the moment (another fun side-effect of the stupid pills....) so that doesn't help too much.

Last week I went back to Cambridge to visit some university friends, that was awesome :D At first I was a bit up and down, paranoid that I was going to freak out and ruin everything, but after a while I managed to relax and actually have a lot of fun. Shame I couldn't stay for longer, there were a lot more people I would have liked to have seen. Now they're all going to graduate and scatter all over the country, will be harder to stay in touch. This is where I find out who were the true friends, I guess.

Then on Sunday I had my last training session before the big cycle ride next weekend. It actually went pretty well which is exciting, but I'm still terrified. I think it will be OK now. Weirdly, one of my main problems on the training rides is that I just get really bored. Would love to listen to my iPod, but rely too much on my hearing to tell where cars are. But the atmosphere is different on the charity rides, everyone cheers each other along, so hopefully boredom won't be an issue. I don't like being stuck in my own head for long periods of time.

Today was really bizarre. First day off for ages where I haven't had anything planned. Tidied my room, long overdue. Sorted out other things I've been putting off for weeks. Then I got this text from my friend in America asking me to call his mum and calm her down as they'd had some kind of argument. Still don't understand the details, all I know is that it was somehow related to his finances... Anyway, I called her up, and she was really sweet, and we actually talked for ages. It was kind of strange, I've spoken to her loads of times, but never about anything... substantial. It was kind of nice. I'm going over to see her on Wednesday, that should be nice. I think she's finding this all difficult to cope with as well, I'm hoping we might be able to help each other. And then I had a long feedback conversation via text with my friend. He talked a lot more openly than he has for a long long time, I do now kind of see why he's doing all this. And I feel a little bad for all the crap I've given him about it - it's not just some idiotic selfish impulse, it really is something he needs to do. I just hope it doesn't totally break me in the process...

So glad I'm working tomorrow. I'd probably go insane if I had another day off, I really don't know what to do with them!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Ups and downs

Today was a very bizarre day. Had a doctor's appointment in the morning. Stupid surgery keeps giving me locum doctors, and I'm so bored of explaining my situation over and over again. And this particular doctor was an Indian man with quite broken English and clearly very little understanding of depression. I know he tried to be helpful, but the whole thing felt like a waste of time. Although I guess I got more anti-depressants, which is the main thing. But I didn't want the pills, I wanted a chat with someone comforting and reassuring who could offer comfort and advice, like the last few locum doctors I've seen... Oh well.

My parents have started thinking about going to a private therapist, and NHS counselling takes so bloody long. They've told me it will still be months before anyone can see me. Private might be better, will look into it properly next week I guess. I still find it absolutely appalling that mental health is such a low priority within the NHS. If I had a broken arm and was told someone might be able to help me in another nine months, I could get some national newspaper to cause an uproar. But this, which is in some ways actually harder to live with, doesn't seem to bother anyone. Because, of course, you can't understand what it's like to live with unless you've experienced it. The doctor told me if I get worse I should come back - they always tell me that - but I don't see what that's going to achieve. Last time I told them it was getting worse they increased my dose. I don't think it can go much higher.... Whatever.

So anyway, that wasn't great. But my boyfriend had a half day, which was awesome. We walked along the canal in the sunshine and stopped at a pub for a very good pub lunch. We saw ducks and dragonflies and fish and dogs and it was exciting. And we talked more openly than we have done in a while, that was nice. Then we went back and I played Dragon Age for hours. I love Dragon Age, I'm so addicted to it at the moment!

But then around 9pm, I ended up in this low mood for no reason. I don't know whether it's connected to my depression or my time of the month or something else, but it was really sudden and annoying. I'm not exactly sad, I just feel really... neutral. Don't know why. Hope it passes soon.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Blah blah blah..

...usual moaning time. Been working stupid hours recently. Also been feeling kinda coldy and run down and generally sorry for myself. People don't understand why I'm so tired all the time - they seem to forget I am actually on pretty strong medication which is totally draining me. I try explaining this, but it always sounds like a feeble excuse... I have been shakier recently though. Going to doctor's on Wednesday, but don't really know what they can do about it, I don't want even stronger medication. I found some old sleeping pills, that might help, my sleep has been all over the place recently. Getting increasing paranoid at work. I forget whether they even know I have depression, can't remember if it was on my application form. Not sure what they would do about it anyway. Don't feel like I can ask my boss for the constant reassurance that I need in order to keep myself borderline stable...

The weird thing is, the last couple of days have actually gone really well. I've made some really good sales, some right in front of my manager, spent ages talking to customers and getting lots of positive feedback from them. I'm even beginning to recognise some regulars, which is really nice. But it still takes absolutely nothing to knock all my confidence out of me.

I nearly totally broke down again earlier. I don't even know why. It's all just getting too much for me... Counting down the days until Portugal. Still far too far away for my liking.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Fresh Feeling

I got it out of my system! Finally figured out a way to vent... My friend has a Facebook account, but he never ever ever logs on, so I sent him a Facebook message. I let myself sink to my absolute lowest, I said some incredibly bitter and hurtful things, got it all out of my system... And woke up today feeling refreshed, like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I honestly don't think he'll ever see it, but I wrote a disclaimer at the top just in case. And it helped me a lot.

In the evening, I showed the message to my boyfriend. It was a bit scary, but it felt like he deserved to know, to see me at my lowest, most unpleasant point. And he accepted it. I did tell him it is a tiny part of who I am, but a part he needs to be aware of. I think it brought us closer. I felt happier than I have for a long time.

Work was awesome, as usual. I feel like I should talk about it more, but I don't really have much to say, except that so many customers are so lovely, and so many of the children are gorgeous, and I love them all. Can't wait until I'm in a place where I'm ready to have kids!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Not much to say

Haven't been blogging really. Not in the mood. Don't really know what I'm going to say now, just hoping I'll br struck by inspiration!

I think I mostly stopped blogging because I got sick of my own moaning. It wasn't helping. Felt the need for a happy post, but haven't been that happy recently. Had a pretty awesome day today though. Met up with an old school friend, had an awesome milkshake and equally good cheesecake, wandered around town a lot, bought some exciting new books and Ponyo on DVD. I love Ponyo, it's so cute! Want to go to Japan now!

I started reading one of the books, and I love that too. I'm hoping if I read more it will help my mood. I remember a couple of months ago I went through a phase of reading ALL the time and I think it did help, but then I stopped for no apparent reason. Certainly wasn't due to lack of books - I'm actually addicted to Waterstone's 3 for 2 offer, and go in and pick up random books all the time. Have huge piles of books I haven't started, and a fairly big pile of books I started reading, enjoyed, but never got around to finishing for no apparent reason. I do love reading, I just have a very fluctuating attention span.

I haven't heard from my friend for a few days. I'm not sure whether that's better or worse. Thinking I might call him at some point, see how things are going. Need to be in a good mood when I do it though. I'm still stuck in neutral at the moment, but feel like I'm getting closer to breaking point. I am going to explode at some point, I just have no idea when or how. I'm starting to feel more on edge, really wasn't with it at work today. Just have to hope when I properly explode, I do it somewhere where it won't really matter...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Can't cope

For the last six months, I have had this thought more than any other. Right now, I'm feeling like it more than ever. Just don't know what to do, can't function properly. Today was particularly unfortunately in that: (i) it's the first full day with my best friend in America, (ii) my boyfriend was attending some work thing, so I haven't seen him either, and (iii) it was my day off, so I haven't even had work to occupy my mind.

It was all just very unfortunate, nobody's fault. But it has made today an absolute nightmare. I just haven't wanted to do anything, didn't get out of bed until 4pm. All sorts of things I was meant to be doing, just can't force myself to care. I've got tomorrow off as well, hopefully I'll be able to force myself into doing some of that stuff tomorrow. At least I'm seeing my boyfriend tomorrow, so it will be relatively better than today. And then I'm working most days after that, which is awesome. Work is often the only time I feel truly happy at the moment, I love chatting to the customers and there's so much to distract my mind, which is exactly what I need.

Today has also been made worse by the fact I keep getting texts from my best friend telling me what a wonderful time's he having. It's nice to know he's happy, but it provokes a whole host of negative thoughts. Jealousy, as it sounds as though he's having so many fantastic experiences, and I want that too. Bitterness, as he's out having fun while I'm desperately trying to hold myself together. And each text just reminds me that I miss him. And it's even harder, because I've decided that while he's away, I'm not going to tell him how much I'm suffering. It's not like there's anything he can do about it, and I don't want to taint his trip with guilt or whatever. I'm sure he can tell my fake positivity a mile off, but I'm going to keep up the act anyway. So there's going to be lots of moaning on here instead.

The most positive thing I have to hold onto is that my boyfriend and I are going on holiday to Portugal in six weeks. It's been a long time since I so desperately wanted to go away on holiday. I love Portugal, it's impossible for me to be unhappy there.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Too much in my head

Need to get some of these thoughts out of my head. Quickly. Need to be awake in about 5 hours... Bleh.

My best friend goes away on his 3 month trip to America. I'm not taking it well. I went out tonight - coincidentally, it's my boyfriend's dad's birthday - and had far too much to drink. Too much to drink by normal standards. Even worse considering I'm now on quite strong medication, on which I'm not meant to drink at all. Very drunk. Things were spinning. Lots. I came home and cried lots. My parents didn't understand why - although they were very sweet about the whole thing. But nothing helps.

I just can't process it. I'm going to miss him. Lots. I guess I will get used to it in time - and I'm lucky to have such supportive parents, and a wonderful boyfriend and a job I love - but depression doesn't care about those things. All I know is that since January he has been the one person I know who has been through it all, who understands exactly how I feel - even when I don't - and always knows what to do about it. Other people try, and I appreciate that very much, but you really really can't understand depression unless you've experienced it first hand.

I'm trying to hold on to the positives - I absolutely love my new job, it's so much fun. I have a boyfriend who loves me unconditionally and puts up with everything, even when I know I'm being unreasonable. I have loving, supportive parents.

But right now, that's not enough. I need all the help I can get, and the one person who understands all this is moving away for three whole months.

I really need to get some sleep. Will be taking him to the airport in six and a half hours. Rubbing salt in the wound.

It would be nice if I could feel my face again at some point.