Wednesday, 27 April 2016

How it actually feels.

Imagine standing in the middle of a room full of people. Imagine those people are talking so loudly you can't pick out one distinct voice, just the odd word here and there. Imagine all those people are staring at you, scrutinising everything from your hair, to your clothes, to your posture. Imagine you're inside a clear glass partition in this room, and you can't get to these people, and no one can get to you to comfort you. Then suddenly an alarm sounds, the room falls silent and all the people leave, leaving you standing behind your partition on your own, watching everyone, unable to join in. The silence is so loud it hurts your ears. This goes on for an undetermined amount of time. Then they all come running back in, shouting, staring and judging. Imagine that as an actual real life situation. 

Then imagine knowing its not real, but not being able to do anything about it. That's how I face every day in my mind. I've most recently come to have anxiety issues when leaving the house. I have lived in the same house in the same town since the day I was born. I grew up here, went to school here. Had my first time of everything here. Had my last times of things here. I've had my best times here, and I've had my worst times here. I've had my most heartbreaking moments here, my most embarrassing moments here. My funniest moments, my happiest moments. Everywhere I look this place has memories, and right now they are memories I can't cope with. 

I've taken to turning down any friends ideas to go for drinks, go shopping, cinema, anything. I only go out in the middle of the day when everyone I know will be at work. And then I keep my hood up, or I keep looking down at the floor. I run in and out of the buildings I need to go to, and then I walk home avoiding the main high road. I purposefully don't make eye contact with anyone, and when I get home I have to sit and relax for a moment while hoping to god that no one I know saw me. I can't relax until I know I've made it in and out of the house without being seen again. 

But what am I actually scared of seeing? I'm scared of seeing the people involved in the events that lead to my breakdown. I'm scared of seeing people I knew when I was at my best and having to explain what happened to them. I'm scared of seeing people who know of me, but I don't actually know of them, in some situations those people had more of a say in things about myself than I did. (Bitter Rosie comment I know. I knew she was still in there somewhere, and I'm pleased about that, so I'm going to acknowledge I shouldn't have said that but leave it in anyway.) 

It's feels like I'm walking around with a neon lit sign above my head that declares in capital letters I AM DEPRESSED. LOOK AT ME. It feels so obvious and heavy to me every day that I find it hard to believe that no one else can see it. When I look in the mirror and see the pale tone to my skin, or the dullness in my eyes. Just the utter disinterest I have in life, I can't imagine how no one else can see it. But the thing is I don't want people to see it, so at the same time it feels like I've become a master of deception. Like I've said in other posts I've been hiding this for a long time, and I thought I'd lost the ability to do that anymore. 

The other day I went back to the doctor (I'm now on a repeat prescription of Fluoxetine, back in 8 weeks to see how the dosage is going) and I went in to the room and purposefully didn't say how bad I was still feeling. I made out that I was sleeping and eating again, and I was starting to see a point in things. I told a joke, I smiled and I laughed. I managed to look him in the eye, and not cry. I basically managed to pull off an Oscar winning performance in there. I've gotten really good at saying things, and then saying something after it that covers up what I've said, like I'm trying to make it impossible for people to pick holes in what I'm saying or doing by doing that myself. 

I'm not really sure what the point to this post was. It's 11.04pm and I've just taken my Fluoxetine, so when that kicks in I end up with a few hours where I can just about control my thoughts enough to calm down and go to sleep. Right now my brain is still going. All I can think about is how much I miss some people and places, and wonder how the hell my life became what it is. Blogging isn't really working tonight, the more I open up on this the more I'm opening the door to my thoughts that I'm trying to close. 

Good night guys. 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

It's been 2 weeks since 'The Breakdown'.

So it's been two weeks since my epic breakdown, and the beginning of me starting to get help. I've been taking Fluoxetine for 13 days now, and the side effects are starting to show. Fortunately they're nothing I can't handle. The loss of appetite is pretty good for my waistline and fit of my jeans. The lack of sleep is nothing I can't handle, I'm not a good sleeper anyway. The main annoyance is the nausea. I've felt horrendously sick for two weeks now, and there doesn't appear to be any let up in it. My muscles and joints are quite sore, and I've not been taking my painkillers because I forgot to ask if they can mix with the Fluoxetine. On top of these side effects I picked up a cold from my niece, which hasn't helped my morale that much. 

But I make it through most days without feeling the need to cry (round of applause) which is a huge improvement. I'm eating again, I still can't eat the portions I could a few weeks ago, but that's probably a good thing. I still haven't turned my phone on, it's been sat in a drawer in my mums room for the entire time. I'm planning on turning that back on sometime this week. I still dream about people and things that I don't want to, meaning that I often wake up in the morning having forgotten what's happening to me. Mornings still aren't my favourite time of day. I still don't want to be left alone in my house at all. I've been staying at my sisters house a lot to avoid that. I've been forcing myself to leave the house once a day at least, even just for 5 minutes. That's been one of the best things I've been doing. 

I've got my appointment for my counselling assessment in a few weeks, I'm looking forward to getting started. On Tuesday I go back for to see my doctor and get my next Fluoxetine prescription. Would I be where I am right now without the antidepressants? I don't think so. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why I made that last post public & A Midnight Thought Ramble.

Why did I make that last post public? Why the hell not. I realised as long as I'm ashamed and hiding it and not owning what I am, I'm never going to get better. How do you recover when you can't admit you're ill? If I'd broken my leg I'd be all over Facebook posting pictures of my cast, getting people to sign it, posting updates on how much it hurts. Why the hell can't I do the same thing with depression? It's no less real than a broken leg. Why is it so abnormal to post 'hey guys, I'm feeling sad today?' No one complains (that much) when I tell everyone I'm getting take away for dinner, or I have a headache. Why should they complain that I have; shock horror, dared to publicise my emotions? 

When did emotions become this thing that no one could talk about unless they were positive? If someone posts 'I'm so happy today!' It will get liked and commented on for hours, no one will think anymore of it. However if someone posts 'I'm so sad today!' The post will probably get ignored, no one will know what to say. But then without knowing the facts it will most likely be taken to other people and ridiculed. How do I know this? Because I've done it myself. Everyone has done it. 'Have you seen So And So posting about how upset she is all the time? It's so annoying.' I feel awful for it now, and these days I wouldn't dare think that about someone. However, would I contact them and tell them it gets better and try to help them? I'm not so sure. 

People did however message me after my previous post, from friends I've known for a long time to people that I've either never spoken to before, or barely spoken to before. The support people have shown me and things they have told me have helped no end. But the things we've spoken about are what have lead to me realise how awful it is that people are ashamed to feel sad, or anxious. Two perfectly normal, perfectly human emotions. Once again, would you be ashamed to have a broken leg? Would you be ashamed if you had a cold? Would you be ashamed if you were in a good mood? No. No you wouldn't. I'm not sitting here saying 'run free children, and spread your emotions far and wide!' I'm not telling you to shove them in people's faces (even though I know that's what people think I'm doing right now.) What I'm saying is don't be ashamed of it. Share it, talk about it. Say whatever you need to say to make yourself feel better. 

One of the problems with depression, anxiety or any mental illness is that they all lead to a feeling of having no control. The main reason I shared my last post (and who knows, I might just go ahead and share some more) is to take some control back from the big, scary, ugly monster that follows me around in my head all the time. That monster that tells you to hide everything from people? He's wrong. Share the fuck out of your feelings if you want to, with whoever you want to. If people don't want to know, they don't have to read it. As it is now, yes, people know that I am 'depressed'. But they found out in the way I wanted them too. They didn't find out because I got drunk and cried, or because someone told them something I did, or by any other reason. Yes people can talk about it, but once again they can only talk about what I chose to let them talk about. When you're fighting against the Depression Monster you have to take small wins where you can. 

The next time you're talking to someone with a mental illness, or some other form of an 'invisible illness' please just try and remember that it is just as real as the eyeballs you're using to read this now, or the chair that you're sitting on. If you wouldn't say it to someone with a visible illness, you probably shouldn't say it to someone with a less visible or an invisible one either. I'm going to sign off this post now, because I've gone on to a topic I will probably write about at another time. But if you take one thing from this post, please let that be it. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

So what's going on Rosie?

This is probably one of the hardest posts I've had to write, because I'm writing it with the intention of posting the link online for people to read. Before you get any further, if you've come from that link I need to make it clear that I'm not sitting here like 'this happened, this person did it and it's their fault' because I'm not. This is no ones fault. It's not my families fault, friends fault or my fault. It's just something that happens in my brain, due to a chemical imbalance. That's all it is. Depression and anxiety are just things I have to accept are in my life. 

I also can't force myself to get better because other people think I should be. I know that I come across as lazy. I know that I look like I don't care about anything. I know that I should be doing more. But please note the use of 'should' not 'could'. I know it doesn't look like it but I am doing the best that I can. Some days my best is going to be getting out of bed and functioning all day. Other days my best is going to be getting outside for a walk. Eventually my best will be applying for jobs, then going out and doing a job interview, then getting a job and holding it down, and so on and so forth. The point is, I know these things, and I am trying. I really really am. 

On Monday evening, I had a breakdown. I don't mean I got upset and cried for a few minutes. I mean (excuse my language) I lost my shit. I screamed, shouted, and cried and cried and cried. I know some people reading this are going to be sat there like 'really? Because of that? Get a grip.' And in answer to that. No. Not because of that. I guess the phrase you could use here is that it was the straw that broke the camels back. I'd been trying and failing for so long and the realisation that nothing was working and I was losing something I cared about because of it just sent me over the edge. But it also turned a light on to my problems as I've been aware I'd needed help for a while. I admit, I was trying to ignore it, hoping it would just go away. 

On Tuesday morning I went to the doctors, and finally I saw someone that actually seemed to want to help me. I'm going to throw this out there right now; I am on antidepressants. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by it, and neither should you be. You're not the one taking them, I am. It's my situation, not yours. I am on a pill called Fluoxetine. I've got a prescription for the next two weeks, then a check up and then more. I've also been referred for a thing called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. That should help me understand my anxities and the triggers. Then it will help me learn how to control them and overcome them, leading to me being able to live again. For the first time in a long time I can see that there might be something I can actually do to help myself. 

However there is no miracle cure. I'm trying but I'm not going to wake up in a few months time and suddenly be cured or healed. There will also be days where I wake up and just can't cope. Eventually, I will feel better, and the bad days will be fewer and further between. However when I am better, I will still be aware of what these conditions have caused me to lose. I've lost 5 years of my life to this, 5 years of sitting inside avoiding people and life, basically 5 years of just existing not living. I'm not going to get back the friendships I've lost, the relationships I've cared deeply for, or the experiences I missed out on. That's just the reality. It kills me when I realise what I've lost and what I'm never going to get back now, especially at the moment. But those people are better off with out me there dragging them down. I can see that now. If you care for people, you need to do what is best for them. It just took me a while to see that. 

Friday, 8 April 2016


Recently I have had what I've come to know and love as a 'Rosie Special Melt Down' these can happen over anything that I really cherish in my life, if I start to feel I'm losing something or something is going wrong and I'm scared, then I will have one of these. I have absolutely no control over them, but literally all hell breaks lose within my mind and my body. 

I've come to know it in stages. 
- Bad thing happens. 
- Cry. 
- Get angry. 
- Cry again and apologise to whoever had to face me during the previous stage. 
- Imagine the worst case scenario for what has happened. 
- Convince myself that aforementioned imaginary worst case scenario will happen. 
- Cry. (I'm a big believer in crying.)
- Turn off my phone. 
- Wait it out. (and probably cry again, let's be real.) 

The main one on that list that I wanted to talk about is the phone one. I am one of those people who sometimes needs a break in communication. I am an obsessive phone checker, hence why I have to force the break. I also have an obsessive need to make things right. And I have been known in the past to just continuously text or call someone until they will speak to me (FYI, don't do that, it very rarely helps your case.) unfortunately in doing this step, you do miss out on things that have been sent to you. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes that's a bad thing. You might miss out on the situation resolving for longer than you needed to, or you might end up making yourself feel worse if you're constantly checking and checking for something to happen and nothing does. It's a double edged sword. 

There is also the fact that approximately 99.9% (I made that up. That is obviously not a genuine statistic) of people will not believe that your phone was genuinely turned off, and you weren't just ignoring them or being childish. Most people will think a young adult can barely go 10 seconds without looking at their phones, which is sometimes true. Phones are used for everything these days. As your address book, your notebook, your camera, your link to social media, your calculator etc. People find it hard to believe I can turn my phone off like I can for days on end. I am fortunate enough to own an iPad as well, which I can use in place of my phone. So essentially I still have access to the same apps and social media etc but not from my phone. So quite often I'll post on Twitter or Facebook while my phone is turned off and people will say 'well how did you post if your phone was turned off?' And they will not believe me. But believe me, it was genuinely turned off. Eventually when I turn it on I will say that I had it off and apologise and hope it's all going to start to work out. 

All my previous counsellors, and these days the friends I have, have told me when these things happen I just have to do what I need to do to get through it. Sometimes cutting myself off is one of those things I have to do to cope. I'm still continuing to get closer to getting help for my mind soon, and hopefully I'll learn more and more coping mechanisms and eventually maybe even be able to say the thoughts I write in this blog out loud to people.