Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hey there

I had two weeks off work and I've been taking happy pills now for a month.

I feel better.

Not great. I'm not in a position where I can claim I'm 100%. I'm still grieving for Dad. I'm still super stressed at work. I haven't written or painted anything for ages. I don't feel great.

But...

  • I've spent the last few days working on a long term strategy for my department
  • I've been hiking by myself and walked through fields of cows
  • I've cried - properly cried, not uncontrollable hysteria - for my loss
  • I've spent time with family
  • I've been sleeping well
  • I've rested.
That last one? That's the important one.

I saw a GP not long after my last but one post and I told him how I never felt like I could rest. When I wake up I'm exactly where I was when I went to sleep. I slept well, but it wasn't working. He gave me happy pills with a tiny side order of diazepam.

I took a diazepam that night and I remember waking the next day and knowing everything that had happened. As I thought through the things, I felt the burden of taking each of them back on. I had put them down overnight.

It wasn't much, but it was enough. It made the next few days (week) easier. Then I had a panic attack and took another diazepam. It got even better. The happy pills apparently haven't even kicked in yet, according to my latest GP visit, but the temporary aid from the diazepam is such a relief.

I've taken three in total and I'm functioning like a normal human being. 

I'm looking forward to the day when I am functioning at my peak. And then I'll hopefully be able to quit them and be awesome without the aid of drugs. Right now I'm happy to be this.

-A-

Friday, 31 March 2017

Do you believe in fairies?

Once upon a time there was a little girl who believed in fairies. She sang made up songs, danced where everyone could see her and was very happy.

As she grew up she learned that it is important to do good things for other people and so she listened to what other people wanted.

Other people wanted her to stop being so embarrassing. To stop being so spotty. To stop wearing a bra. To start wearing a bra. To lose weight, to gain weight, to not have a nipple outline on a cold day.

As she tried to make other people happy, she grew slowly more closed off and afraid of accidentally doing something to make people unhappy.

She found friends. Real friends, but she was still trying to make them happy, so she pretended. Some of the time.

She set out on her own and decided she would try to make herself happy too.

That worked for a while.

Then it really didn't work and making other people happy became all-consuming.

This story has a happy ending. The little girl had a crisis. A traumatic episode where everything was darkness and pain and other people finally started telling the truth about what was needed to make them happy and how far her responsibility went.

Some years later, she still has difficulty with that, but she has good friends and caring people around her.

She sings made up songs in front of people. She dances in the supermarket, where everyone can see her. And although she no longer believes in fairies, she really, *really* wants to.

She can be happy. Very, very soon.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Black hole rising

Stare into the coffee cup
Tendrils of steam stretch up
enchain you
Promise you sweet life, energy and release

As you are drawn in the steam thickens
Chokes
Darkens
Solidifies
Stretching up
Squeezing in
Through ears, nostrils, eyeballs
All those little crevices
to pull you down
Out of your self
Into the murky depths

Drink it
It will make you feel better
It will
Trust it

You are OK
If you drink it
And carry on

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

I'm unhappy.

I'm doing everything. Everything that might need doing. Apart from sorting out the shares situation. Other than that, I'm being more productive than you might think possible. And then I stop and the voice inside starts screaming into the abyss and if I don't start again it becomes unbearable. So I start and go and go and go until I can't and then the screaming starts and I have to keep going to get away and I can't

I just can't

It should be so easy. How hard can it be to stop? But there's no off button. It's go. Always go. Always on. Be the best, do your best, fix everything, make it better and for God's sake don't let it get you down because then you fall in.

And how bad would that really be? Well, I don't know, but I know my survival instinct and that is what is making me go. I'm guessing it would be bad to ignore that.

I don't know if it's the worst part, or even if it's possible to rate things from best to worst any more, but there is something I'm becoming more aware of and I don't enjoy it. I'm either really *really* violently intense emotions, or nothing at all. I can simulate stuff - you know, in a conversation I can laugh and cry and chatter and be silly, but when I walk away I'm completely untouched. And then I start with the emotions and it's jaw achingly intense. I hurt. I cry. I feel intense... like *super* intense pride and self justification.  I just used intense three times in two sentences (4 in 3) and I think that's fairly indicative.

Right now I'm emotional (writing triggers it) and all I can say

All I can say

With all of these words at my disposal...

I'm so unbelievably unhappy. Not sad. Well, yes, sad. But sad about things. Not overwhelming sadness. Overwhelming unhappiness. And I feel like if I just do enough stuff maybe I get to be happy again. And now I'm sobbing at work because I know I'll never ever ever be happy again. Which is illogical. It can't be true. But it's all I feel.

I can't fix me. I didn't get the manual.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Getting there

I'm exhausted all the time. Last night I ploughed through a whole pile of official paperwork I should have done ages ago and posted it off today. I missed dinner and was exhausted after a long day. Today I'm determined to get my gym induction done. I'm still exhausted but I feel obliged to.

Get it done now.

I guess the subtext is: While you still have time.

I hope everything comes through ok. I'm currently finding it difficult to keep wading on through. The world feels thicker than normal and days are putting up more resistance.

Need to exercise more, eat more healthily and be creative while still excelling at my job and supporting my family as much as I can.

Some things are their own reward, so I don't include them (I've been puzzling and reading *hard* lately, but some people consider those "brain training") and of course catching up on TV when all else is done.

But right now, I need to go excel at work.

A

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

It's going to hurt

I've been off work for over a month. I had 2.5 weeks of sick leave, then turned up for Thursday and Friday during half term (at which point it was impossible for me to do more than check my emails - seriously; my team were all away and I was afraid of starting anything major because I knew I'd have to leave soon) and mid Friday afternoon I got the message.

I disappeared for another two weeks.

And now I'm here and I'm almost up to date with what my team are doing and the college are doing and my external projects and there's some part of me that's standing back screaming "I'm not ready! I don't want to do this! It's going to hurt!"

And today? Today, that part is in charge.

It's going to hurt and I'm not ready for more pain.

I'm not sure I have another option.

A

Saturday, 25 February 2017

It happened

The day after my last post, hurting heart, I lost my dad.

I've been with my family since and it's funny it didn't feel real. At all.

Last time I saw him he rushed downstairs without his stick because he thought I was going to leave without saying goodbye. I told him off.

A week later he was bedridden.

A week after that his mum said goodbye.

5 days after that, the day before I was due to see him and two days before his own siblings were due to say goodbye, he was gone.

I totally got the best out of all of this.

I got to spend a week with him (I had an abscess and couldn't travel) when it should only have been a weekend. I only remember him as upright and smiling. I didn't see him fade away, although I saw him getting shakier and falling, so I knew it was coming. And he wrote me the letter I begged him for.

I haven't read that letter yet.

We went to see him yesterday, laid out in the chapel of rest.

I was scared. So scared. I spent so much time not believing it - thinking he was away on a marking trip or off on holiday with one of his friends. I thought it was all a bad, bad joke. I thought seeing him would force me to believe it.

And it did.

And didn't.

He looked like he was pretending to be asleep. He looked like he was on the verge of smiling; as though he'd gotten the joke before any of us. I told him a whole bunch of stuff. I waited for him to look at me with that expression that says "now you're just being silly."

It didn't happen. So I told him the stuff I thought he'd want to know about, like who was coming to see him and the flowers and inconsequential things. And when I planned to read the letter.

I touched his sleeve and his jacket lapel and it felt like he'd been outside in winter. I told him more stuff and then I kissed his forehead and that was when I knew he'd never answer back.

But dammit, I'm going to keep talking.