Haven’t been around much lately, but thought I’d give an update on the state of mind in my little world. As a lot of people know, I had a ‘perfect storm’ of events in my life, which led to a breakdown of sorts. It’s led to a lot of soul-searching, a change in anti-depressant medication (going from one, which I’d been on for nearly fifteen years to a new one) and nearly seven weeks of nightmarish times as I’ve adapted to the new medication and had a lot of my mental health issues rear their ugly heads at my weakest moment.
It’s been a roller-coaster, but despite everything, each day there are more good moments than bad. And I count in moments nowadays – hoping to maintain one mood all day is proving to be quite impossible.
I’ve agreed to go and talk with a psychologist – which took a great deal of soul searching on my part – have tried it before, but hated it and didn’t feel comfortable. Still not feeling comfortable, but my support network is encouraging me and I figure it can’t do any harm. Maybe because I’m older (probably not any wiser) I might be more open to it. I’ve been assured by the chief members of the support network that if I don’t like the psychologist (which has been the case in the past), we’ll find someone else.
In an example of the weird ‘catch 22’ of my emotional well-being – my stress-levels and anxiety are sky-high today, because I’m going to see the psychologist tomorrow. You know you’re in trouble when you have to take anti-anxiety meds to get through the day, because you’re going to see someone who is supposed to help your anxiety levels 😛
On a good note, I can laugh more. Mainly at myself. I made lunch for Steve and myself on Sunday and it took FORTY FIVE MINUTES to manage cheese on toast for me and tuna sandwiches for Steve. Plus one tea and one coffee. Why? Because my OCD is out of control and I have to take everything out of the fridge and cupboard one at a time and put it back one at a time. In the right place. And if anything is out of sorts or out of order when I get there, I have to fix it. Which extends the operation out to a great extent. Then there’s the problem of being unable to manage to think about two things at once. The queen of multitasking is reduced to thinking about one thing at a time. Very slowly. So I made everything one at a time. And halfway through most things lately, I get massively sidetracked, or just plain forget what the hell I was doing. By the time I managed to give Steve his lunch, I needed a good lie down in a darkened room for a couple of hours.
We’ve discovered certain things set off my anxiety levels – namely people, loud noises, repetitive noises and leaving the house without someone to hold my hand. Honestly, while my Doctor assures me I’m not crazy (REALLY???) – I’m pretty certain I am. Steve took me out last week and we discovered I can’t stand JB HiFi (music and noise is way too loud) and McDonalds (why the hell does every piece of equipment need to beep?) And I don’t like people. They make me anxious. Having said that, I like people generally – as long as they are accessible via internet, via text message, or very occasionally, via telephone. Face to face – not so much.
The decision has already been made that I will be doing my Christmas shopping via the internet this year – the thought of going out and facing people in the shops has already been classified as impossible.
There have been some bright notes. My connection with my darling husband could have been destroyed by the recent events in our lives – but has only grown stronger. He has been my rock, my port in a storm, my anchor as I floated in the stormy waters my life has become. He holds my hands, listens to my (quite often, irrational fears), took time off work to care for me and has learned to ‘read’ my warning signs really well. And he thinks I’m cute when I’m about to cry, because apparently, my chin wobbles. He would know. I do it a lot.
My kids have been amazing! They’ve always known I had issues with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and OCD, because we’ve never kept it secret from them and like most things, they accept mental health issues as being something which can happen to anyone. They are non-judgmental, and I love them for it. And they think some of my ‘things’ I have to do are just hysterical. The wonderful thing is, they laugh with me, not at me. Well, sometimes I think it’s at me, but as I do that myself, it’s perfectly okay.
And there’s a small, wonderful band of people who have provided unconditional support, not only since this fairly major hiccup, but also before then. I’ve never kept my mental health issues secret, but not everyone understands. And that’s okay. But to the small wonderful group who have always accepted my issues as ‘normal’ for me, and not treated me like some sort of freak – I thank you for it. And I thank you particularly, for your support and love during these past few weeks. You’ve been a shining beacon in a world of darkness.