Monday, 8 July 2019

Life Hacks

Simple things that have made me feel better over the past few days.

  • Sleeping, and knowing when I've done to much sleeping and need to get out and do things.
  • Gardening.
  • Washing my beautiful car (I might write about this later on, but after five years of driving about in my wee Fox I have a lovely new car - that I was so proud of I painted my nails the same colour as it for about three weeks after getting it .FYI I did not have to purchase the specific colour I have that many nail polishes*).
  • Being outside - even for a minute.
  • Housework.
  • Hoovering my bedroom floor - this does not come under housework - it is it's own separate task (if you have anxiety you may find this familiar, too much stuff clutter everything a bit hard to organise?)
  • Reading the amazing Help Me! by Marianne Power. 10/10 would recommend as it has saved me from reading all the self help books and has guided me to a couple I (already own) and sounded the most useful to me. Her account of trying to find herself, and change herself was just wonderful. I was impressed and in awe of her bravery at the start of the book, and related to getting too much into self help, and the impact it has on her relationship with her friend Sarah. I am going to be reading The Power Of Now and Daring Greatly soon, and 100% making a vision board a la The Secret.
  • Staying connected with friends and family.
  • Taking responsibility and not hiding away from things.
  • Sharing my experience
  • Writing - I love writing, when I was a teenager I used to carry a notebook with me everywhere just in case I had some thought or idea that I wanted to remember - note down- if you will, I don't do that anymore and it makes me sad. I use my phone instead I guess?
  • Having a bath - being in water is the best, and if I would live in water I would.
  • Kath and Kim, please watch this if you haven't already
  • KYLIE Minogue!! 
  • Camomile and herbal tea.
  • Great Memes and Gifs.
  • Spending time with Colin.
  • Knowing how much my Mum and Dad love me.
  • Friends reaching out.
  • Podcasts - shout outs to My Favourite Murder, They Walk Among Us, Table Manners and Jules and Sarah (aways a fave - and really helped with the room tidying/hoovering).
  • Knowing I have a counselling appointment soon.
  • Maybe a bit more sleeping?
  • Quetiapine and  Clomipramine 
*I did not buy the car based on my nail polish collection.

Do you have any self care tips? I am thinking about doing a follow up post on things I should be doing but haven't yet - so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 


Saturday, 6 July 2019


I feel like I need to start this by saying – I love the NHS, a want to give it a big kiss and a hug, and give it a cup of hot cocoa before tucking it into bed in the evening, stroking its hair, and reading it a bed time story. Much like a child that you love dearly can it be frustrating as hell sometimes.

I am a veteran of the mental health scene in the NHS – we have been through it . I have been seeing doctors, CPNs and psychiatry about my mental health since I was 19. So nearly 15 years. I know how it all works, and through all of this I know how I work. Very well. Not to be braggy or anything, but I know myself and know when I am not doing well – even if it is not as bad as it was about 6 or 7 years ago where I had the big breakdown – couldn’t leave the house blah blah blah. I understand anxiety and depression, I know the symptoms and I know ways that I can make myself better before things get bad.

Something else that you may know about me is that I suffer terribly from PMS and stomach cramps (which I should say are stomach/leg and back cramps). The pain is so bad that nothing seems to resolve it – I have tried everything. Including really strong painkillers – that don’t even touch the surface, and make me super drowsy – not great when having to drive and work. A hot water bottle helps, and to be completely honest so does a massive glass of red wine – however I can’t really start the day off with that combi when I’ve got things to do. A couple of months ago – I had had enough, my period had been about five days late which meant I had PMS for about a week and a half, and was loosing it. I am surprised that my family and boyfriend are still talking to me because I was PMSing hard! The worst part of day one of my period is of course they physical pain, but also the mental anguish that goes with it. It’s like in my brain I’ve been told ‘oh your family are all dead – it’s your fault – but hey ho sweetie – pop you make up on and get on with your day’ – I feel mentally awful. So I went to the Doctor for a solution. I had the implant before, which I think to be entirely honest might have had something to do with the feelings 6 or 7 years ago. How do I know this? Well let me tell you. I taken the pill a few times in my early twenties, and didn’t really remember much about taking it – good or bad, so when I discussed it with the doctor I thought – this could be it. The answer to my prayers. So I started taking Loestrin, and it was not good. I felt like a moody teenager – honestly took me back to being 17 and raging all the time for no reason. I could not stop crying, and I started to get these weird under the skin spots which I had when I had the implant. I felt like I did when I had had the implant before. The spots were the least of my problems.

After about a month and a half of taking that I asked to try another pill. Rigevidon – this was even worse – I cried the whole journey home from work one day. I could not stop crying – honestly about things that were not worth crying about. Everything was rubbing me up the wrong way – and I was still raging. I don’t think I can apologise enough to my mum and Colin during this time as they bore the brunt of all of this. Needless to say I stopped taking it – and waited for things to settle down. I had bleed constantly while taking Rigevidon, and as soon as I stopped taking it I experienced one of the heaviest periods I’ve had in recent times, I woke up one morning with blood soaked through to my jim jams – and just started crying – feeling completely out of control of my body that is doing it’s own thing. I had terrible cramp as well, and just wanted to run away and hide.

While I was taking this pill I noticed that my anxiety had gone into over drive – while I realise from a bit of reading around; particularly Eleanor Morgan’s article in the guardian which made me get that light bulb moment of – ‘oh wait hormones can do this to you’. I was scared – not just because of the anxiety making me see threats everywhere, but I was trying my best to do everything right. Everything in my life was in place and going well. I should be enjoying everything I had worked so hard for over the past few years – but I couldn’t. I could only focus on the panic attacks that made me stop half way on my way home from work, and meant that I hadn’t had a solid bowel movement in two months. My head was going into over thinking mode and I couldn’t seem to get it to stop.

So I had a few weeks without the pill – but I still felt that I was not completely right. Just kept on going – until I couldn’t. It all came to a head the weekend of the really heavy gross period. I went out mountain biking in the afternoon (Callender Estate – if you like mountain biking/cycling/being outside it really is great fun) – I was like a cycling Tampax commercial – except that I can’t use tampons - too sore – ironic I spent day two of my horrendous period on a bike. That was plenty sore,but it was exhilarating. I felt like I did when I was a child out on my bike – it was the most free and best I had felt in a long time. Then we came home, and I just didn’t feel right – I felt like my heart wasn’t beating properly, and I felt frustrated. Exercise is meant to make you feel amazing, release endorphins – the miracle cure all. I felt like I was in hell. Colin had said – let’s go out for a drink – and I couldn’t get my head around if I wanted to go out or stay in – I love a trip to the pub, but I couldn’t get my head around heading out, and not bursting into tears for no reason. I had not been crying at that point. So we stayed in and watched the office – which was nice, but I knew this wasn’t right and I wasn’t feeling myself.

The following day I had some things to go back to the shops, I got ready – put my face on and proceeded to cry uncontrollably at the thought of going out and seeing people and not being able to stop crying. I was thinking this is ridiculous – go to the shops, you’ve already passed up on a drink this weekend – who are you?! So we set off in the car to the shops – it was a lovely trip from Colin’s flat in Bridge of Allan to the round about at Waitrose in Stirling, where we got to and then drove back to Colin’s as I could not stop crying.

On the Monday I couldn’t get myself into work, I called and spoke to a dr and I was told I was able to self cert for a week, and we would increase my anti depressant. She was amazing – and I really though I would be back to work within a couple of days.

One week later I was still unable to get to work. I had arranged seeing a private counsellor on the Saturday in between, but I just couldn’t get there – I had arranged an appointment near where I work so that it would be easy to arrange sessions when I was back working – however it was too much to go myself. This lead to a big dip in how I was feeling – I had to cancel the appointment, I felt stupid for wasting the counsellors time and to be perfectly honest I was suicidal. I didn’t have plans to end my life – but I felt totally out of control, and anything was possible. I had the anger and rage within myself that I though I want to hurt myself.

On the plus side – my wonderful friend Janie came and sat with me – made me laugh, and watch a couple of films. It was a much chiller Saturday that we used to have – but it was perfect and kept me alive.

On the Sunday I made it to Tesco to buy some dinner items. Score. I felt sick and anxious when I got into the car – but I pushed through and made it. This is not being ill like last time – this is manageable. Not great – but not the worst.

On the Tuesday I called my local doctor’s surgery, they have a care navigation system where you call in between 8-10, and the reception staff ask you a few questions and work out if you need to see a doctor or a nurse practitioner depending on what is wrong with you. When I spoke to the reception staff I said that my anxiety/mood was bad, and I was still unable to work. They said a doctor would call me back. I got through at about 8:15, so not a long wait – and the doctor call at about 8:40. This is an amazing service when you get the help that you need – being able to speak to a doctor so quickly is amazing. However the doctor I spoke to was as much use as a chocolate teapot to put it nicely. I told her about being off work – that I didn’t feel quite ready to go back – maybe I should try to go back on Thursday? What did she think? She told me that she would give me a sick line until Thursday and then I would have to call back to arrange a phased return to work on the Thursday. I really needed some guidance and felt that I was leading the phone call without much input from the doctor about what I should do. The doctor did not even ask me how I was feeling. I felt there was a kind of apathy there, and that she hasn’t even looked at my notes, and just looked at what was given to her by the receptionist. I have no complaints about the reception staff – because they really do get the brunt of everyone’s anger and really just do their best.

I was so disappointed – I honestly didn’t know what to do – I had spent a week of just about managing to shower and change into new pjs – and I was the person leading this conversation with the doctor. I though – never the less she persevered – and I called the back the day. Asking to speak to a doctor I had spoken to the week before. She asked me how I was feeling straight off the bat, and it felt like a relief to tell her how bad things were. She referred me to the mental health team, and I was told to expect a call back 9:30 the following day.

During this couple of days of phone calls and back and forth I was exhausted – it is hard to put into words how badly you feel when you don’t get listened to by health care professionals. I was in physical pain – my head was pounding, and my chest was tight and sore. I felt completely done in. I have slept and slept and slept, to escape, and to not be in pain for a few hours.

This morning was the day I was hoping to get some help, after being referred by the doctor who has listened to me, and knew at the weekend that I had felt suicidal – because she asked. The doctor also admitted that GPs are stretched for time, and being put through to the Mental Health Team would give me a chance to talk and more time with someone who could listen.

As I have mentioned at the start of this rant/information session on mental health and hormones, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I have been through this many times. I was buzzing for this chat on the phone – I thought brilliant I can speak to someone who has a wealth of knowledge on what I am talking about, and can find me the right support based on what I have spoken about during our phone call. I basically went down a very condensed version of everything I have spent the past two/three hours typing away at. I said my life is great right now – I can see everything is good, however the pill caused me a lot of problems, I am dealing with the fallout, and I am now at a loss of how I am going to find something to help the PMS/period symptoms, and that I am really not coping with anything. I don’t feel as bad as I have felt before, but I feel bad enough. I feel like you might be expecting a build up to the big climax where a plan was put in place that fitted in with what I had spoken about over the course of the phone call. Of course this was not the case, and I was offered Stress Control Classes, a group session where I could learn about anxiety and how it affects my body, and how to look at changing my thinking. I am very impressed that I didn’t scream down the phone. I know anxiety – I know how to change my thinking – but at this moment in time I cannot do this on my own. This is not group therapy, this is something that anyone can just walk into. This is not the help that I am needing. Instead of screaming I said – no that won’t work for me, I need something more acute that what you are offering. Should I just look into private counselling? The nurse on the phone said, it’s expensive so we can look at an NHS option for me. I have a face to face appointment to discuss things on Wednesday of next week. This makes me feel good for me, but bad for more vulnerable people who don’t have the ability or means to ask for better help.

I have now booked in with a private counsellor who I am seeing on Tuesday next week – which feels like a starting point. I will still see the nurse on Wednesday as I know she was going to look into a couple of things for me, and get back to me. Overall I feel lucky that I am in a position of privilege that I can find other sources of help out with our over stretched NHS, but I worry for people who can’t. I feel that they are not only being let down, but their lives are being put in danger. Mental Illness is a killer, and we need to respect that and fund the NHS appropriately.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

The Comfort Zone is Comfy. (Tell your friends)

My head this week has been swimming around the thought of the comfort zone. Not in an angry crawl powering through lengths and lengths of a pool, more just wading- keeping afloat gently occasionally feeling the water lapping around my face. 

The comfort zone terrifies me, I have lived it and I did not like it and you really shouldn't either. It might seem obvious to say this however it is good to know a mental health problem like anxiety is there because your beautiful, complex  - but at the same time a little bit stupid and a little bit simplistic, brain wants to keep you safe. So how this works in general terms is having your favourite things/places/people. If you notice it or not you become a regular at a restaurant/cafe/pub/club in simple terms your brain goes we've had a good time here, I was safe, I survived we can go and do that again. I am aware there is a group of proper weirdos that love new experiences, places, people but that's not who I am talking about just now. I'm talking about the normal folk like me who likes to stay comfy/safe. 

When I have had the idea of the comfort zone in my head the past week I think it was because I had had time off work, and time off for me can make me feel a bit edgy. I should mention it was annual leave, I am in perfect health - my doctor said my blood pressure was excellent this week. My brain needs to be kept busy, with human interaction and a little bit of problem solving through the day to keep me happy. I love being busy. Which might sound strange for some people who know me - I think I have two states though - busy or asleep. Not much in the way of in between. When I don't have things scheduled in or plans my wee head starts to do a little bit of work in the background thinking about how to make me safe - and that days off don't happen too regularly. Needless to say my brain felt that sleep was the best option for the second day off. The first day was BUSY.

'So where are you going with all this?', my lovely grey matter is asking me now. And for that I'm not sure. I felt flat today, I ended up getting dragged out the house today by my mum and we spent a beautiful day in Peebles doing what we do best, shopping and supporting local businesses. I came home through Biggar and I picked up a copy of How To Fail by Elizabeth Day in Aktinson Pryce - a lovely bookshop you really should check out if you are in Biggar. I thought this is the book for me today. There was also a lovely book on Dogs Of The National Trust which turned out also to be for me but that is less relevant for this exercise. I checked out her podcast when I got in after the girl who served me in the shop mentioned it, obviously went with the episode featuring Pheobe Waller-Bridge (I am pretty sure we are twins - identical soul twins - or maybe everyone is a bit garbage in their twenties - WHO IS TO SAY?!). When I was listening to my twin Pheobe I thought - I really need to be writing again. When I was a teenager/into my twenties I carried a notebook with me everywhere because I needed to write things down and get things out of my head. I had so many important things to say that I needed to put on paper. I'm 33 now (same age at Pheobe - winky face), and I didn't do that anymore - but what I have noticed over the past month or so I've started again. I grab my phone out of my bag or from my left hand so I can type better and start to form things in my notes. I also bought a notebook the other week so I can put pen to paper which is truly a euphoric feeling that I haven't had in a while. 

So I think this is me stepping out my comfort zone for the moment, and I hope by publishing this it'll make me think about some other things that I could be doing but haven't done for a while. Gonna get back to blogging yeah! Does anyone blog anymore?

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thank You Thank You Thank You Very Much

Now while we can all agree 2016 has been a massive dumpster fire of a year - Bowie, why did you leave us so early?, as my mum pointed out to me yesterday my year hasn't actually been that bad. In fact it has been pretty good. Ok the first few months were tricky, and I used to summer to recover and feel like myself again, but now I am feeling pretty good. Even when I think back to this time last year - I certainly didn't feel the way I am feeling just now. I feel like I've got my Heatherness back. So if you are interested, and to be honest I encourage you to do the same I am going to go through my year and talk about what I am thankful for.

I started the year off by DJing at a local charity night, no it wasn't anything like the nights I used to do - think more Moves Like Jagger than actual Mick Jagger, but it was a great night and I really enjoyed myself - so did everyone else as I am back doing it again this year. In January I also started my writing group Rough Draft (originally Wallace Writers, but then Rough Draft sounded much better). I have loved loved loved taking part in this, every month we have a theme and we each write a piece, we have covered Bowie, sleep and scary stories to name but a few. I love that every month (well nearly every month), we get together share our stories, I am always amazed at how talented everyone is, and have a few drinks. I do wonder what other people think we are up to when the group is on, no one has said anything so far.

Here's me, Marc, Allison and Jon, by Jake our super talented group member. 

My mum also turned 60 and I had a great time celebrating with her. I should also add in Lawrie's birthday, which was such a fun night in Route 36, good food and so much laughter.

Onto February, I can't think of anything too stand out in February - maybe just my annual V Day tradition of self love ie drinking Champagne, eating truffles and watching films. It really is my ideal day! 

Don't think March was much to write home about, not feeling too grand, April was better, took at trip to Stobo with Lawrie which was lovely, so relaxing, oh and we cemented our friendship with these mugs. 
I also believe there may have been some nice weather in April, either that or I just don't dress for the seasons.

May - what did you bring, the end of second year of uni, it was tough going, but I blooming well loved it. It feels fantastic to be doing something I actually want to be doing, rather than feeling uni is some sort of endurance exercise, an educational hunger games if you will.I also went to my first Eurovision party, which was a beautiful night with Lawrie and Mark rating all the acts with our bizarre marking system that included sex appeal. From looking at my photos I seem to have also been rewatching Jonathan Creek, as it was shown originally at that time of year, it my equivalent of what you do with Christmas movies but in summer.

In June I found out I'd passed second year with all As and Bs, which was nice. I also actually walked in the Lanimers this year, which was quite nice as it was sunny. I really like getting to see all our hard work through the year from the fundraising, costume meetings, to all the good spray painting we did this year paying off. Scotty Boy also graduated with a 2:1 from Glasgow, he has done so well, worked so hard and I am a really proud big sister. 

Lucy also went to India with her school, it fits into my favourites as she got me some great presents! So Thank you Lucy.

July saw the arrival of Queen Bey to Scotland, it was amazing. I don't have words - the whole show was spectacular, from the opening bars of Formation to her promotion of Black Lives Matter, the staging and costumes were out of this world. Can't wait to see her when she comes back. I was also so touched when my friend Cheryl popped round one day with a lovely Lush bath product - one of my faves - because she knew I hadn't been feeling like myself. I am so lucky to have such thoughtful people around me. I also got to help Lawrie run a summer singing school which I loved every minute of and wish we were doing it again next year. 

In the back ground of all this I was studying to become a hynpotherapist, after having successful sessions of hypnotherapy myself, and on top of that life coaching both with Sandie Robertson I am so grateful to have been able to do these courses with Sandie as she is an excellent tutor, with so much experience and it has allowed me to keep using the skills that I learnt during my counselling HNC. 

In July I started going on a lot of dates, as I was getting a bit fed up of being single. Now although nothing came of any of them, I am so glad I did it. I used to be a nervous wreck at the thought of meeting someone on a date, but after meeting so many new people this year I like to think I am a lot more relaxed than I used to be. I went on tinder as a way of meeting people, and while there were a couple of lads that I knew weren't right for me, I did meet one of two people who I had quite a bit in common with, so I am looking forward to any dates I have in the future....probably wait til after Christmas and New Years now, is it just me who thinks that would be a creepy first date? 

Right August you saucy minx, what did we get up to - I do believe we went on a family boat holiday. The weather wasn't amazing but we did have a couple of beautiful days, sitting out at Port Bannatyne is one of my favourite places to be, especially in the pub which has a beautiful sun trap garden, which also included a dog to play with this year.The guys in the boat next to us also gave us fresh mackerel to eat, which was unbelievably good. So nice to know that you are eating food that is so fresh. Thankfully we didn't have to do any gutting or chopping heads off - that would be a little bit too fresh for me. I also seem to remember myself, Scott and Lucy laughing on deck for about 30 minutes, when we got back to the boat at Port Bannatyne, something about an otter or a seal? Oh and how the food looked nice, but everyone's feet around the food when it was on the deck didn't look so appetising. I'm laughing again thinking about it.

I loved that over the summer this year I managed to read a tonne of books, I should really review them as I promised, maybe one day. I also managed to meet up with some of my college lads for a night out, which was great. So nice to see everyone and hear what they have been up to since the course ended. 

Oh September - that meant the SAAS money was in, so myself, Katy and Nadia went shopping, so lucky to have these guys on my course, they've got my back when I feel like I am floundering - and they say I am a calming influence on them - which is a somewhat surprising compliment. I went on a little trip up to Piperdam with the birthday club from mum's work - it was an amazing weekend spend in the Vegas Lodge, and we also had a great wee trip to Dundee, where I stocked up on all the Halloween Lush bits and enjoyed a walk about my favourite city. We also got a lift from a lovely 70 year old gentleman, that however is a story for another day.

At the start of October, myself and my mummy went to Edinburgh School of Food and Wine for a desserts course, which had been a birthday present from my neighbour Suzannah before she moved to Oz, which I am still not happy about hehe. I also managed to fit in a walk to Baron's Haugh, one of my favourite places to go for a walk at that time of year. Great for picking up conkers, although I doubt we left many for anyone else.

 Obviously October means Hallowe'en and having the neighbours over to celebrate. I dressed up at James from The Snowman this year and it was my favourite costume I have ever had - apart from Britney Slave Zombie. 

Just getting to carry the snowman about with me all the time kinda made the whole night for me.

November the birthday month, I went into Edinburgh for the day with my mum, if you don't know by now she's pretty much my BFF. We had a great day, we stayed pretty much on George Street, had a good swatch about Anthropologie, got some lovely cupcakes from Harvey Nick's, ooh and I got a tenner off my favourite Diptyque candle, I love when Space NK does that. I also got fantastic presents from my friends, a Lush surprise from Lozza, some great books from Scott and Jon, and the birthday club were beyond generous, getting me individual presents and a group present of an Agent Provocateur voucher - they know what I like.

December was pretty special as I bought the M&S beauty advent calendar, which has meant I have raced down stairs every morning to open it - just to see what I am getting. The brands and size of the products that you get are so good, so I would recommend that for next year. I also went to see two of my favourite bands, The Sunshine Underground and Honeyblood, both gigs were great fun, and although TSU are now donezo - I'm already counting down the days to see Honeyblood when they tour again,as they are amazing.

So that was my year, my year of lovely things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. If you managed to read the whole way through this I have two questions - why? And would you like the job as my official autobiographer?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

What I did on my Holiday

This little collection of books if where I spent my summer holidays this year. As you will have seen in my previous post the start of this year wasn't too zip zap zupulous, so this summer I required a lot of self care. The best way for me to do a bit of self care, other than a Lush bath with some trashy american teen drama on in the background (Sorry PLL - you are solid gold, and I love you), is by reading. I always read here and there through the year - somewhat less as the uni work piles up and I start to feel a bit guilty about reading for pleasure, when I should be reading for misery. Even reading stuff for uni is pretty great, which for me is saying something, the right course is the key to everything. 

As the autumn nights are starting to draw in I've started on my next pile of books, so I thought I better review what I read over the summer, as I promised myself I would. As you can see from the teeny tiny picture that I've posted here, they are a right mixed bag of books. A couple I mentioned in my previous post, One More Thing and So Sad Today, I didn't go into too much detail on those, so I'll give them a proper review. I think what really got me hungry for reading this summer was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. From there I went on a roadtrip from North Carolina to NYC, back in time through a telephone, spent a bit of time in Seoul, South Korea, and some time with a cult in California. Some of the titles here are a bit meatier than others, some where perfect light reading when I didn't have much concentration for anything. I love when books become part of you - if you know me, you'll know my favourites and how you'd have to prize the copies of those books out of my cold dead hands. There are a couple of those in here, with a few I have already passed on as I want other people to share the experience - I'm talking about you The Vegetarian by Han Kang. Ok so sixteen books to review, let's see how I get on reviewing these and how much I remember over the next few weeks.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Hold Up

So I was on here last week whinging about my mental illness again - as I was having a bad bad day. Fast forward a week and things were not much improved. I managed to go to work on the Monday, however I cried as soon as I got home and then felt really anxious and crap for the rest of the day. On Tuesday I had to go to work, but as soon as I got up the day just felt too much - so I started the day off with a classic crying in the shower. Then cried a lot more when I got out of the shower - I felt in physical pain from how I was feeling - I total ache in my soul.

Long story short - I ended up seeing a doctor yesterday. Seeing a doctor about mental health problems can be a bit hit or miss - sometimes you come out feeling like you have been listened to (which is what happened yesterday), other times you come out feeling worse than you did when you went in. I have had a couple of bad experiences at the doctors recently, during one appointment I was discussing my medication with the doctor, and she said to me 'that sounds a bit like you are self medicating to me'. To give a bit of back ground to this - I take Quetiapine at night - two 25mg tables, I used to take much much more, and I used to take one tablet in the morning, I had also been advised that I could take a Quetiapine tablet if I was having a panic attack and that would help calm me down, this is in my notes but not my recent notes so I can see the confusion for the doctor - especially as I was in to talk about something else. So needless to say I came out of that appointment feeling a little bit shell shocked !!! 

This time was totally different, the doctor really listened to me, and helped me to see that this is just a wee blip, and I would be back on track soon. She said to me you know how to get better, you have done it before, so you just need a little bit of time to get yourself feeling better. She also suggested changing the dosage of the medication that I take - so another 50 mg Quetiapine during the day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. She also increased the anti depressant that I take as well. Everything I was on for the past few months has been really low dose - so an increase will just give me a wee boost to get back on my feet. This doctor also said that taking the Quetiapine during the day would help, and to carry some in my bag in case I feel panicky when I am out and about. All good advice. She was asking me how long I have felt like this, and I said since about the start of the year, after having a panic attack out of nowhere on the train back from uni - it really knocked my confidence, and from that I have found travelling really difficult again. I also said - and I cringe as I am reliving this moment - I just don't think I have been right since David Bowie died. As if he was my best pal, and I was gutted we wouldn't get to hang out every day. 2016 has been a bit of a shiter so far - don't get me wrong lovely things have happened, but some really shit things have happened. Anyways that is by the by - back to me. 

When I was seeing the Dr I was like - I know the things I can do to make me feel better, eating well, exercise etc - and she was like - that is great, but just now you need to give yourself a break, and then you can get all that stuff in place again. I am really enjoying this blog so far as I have written it like I speak - mostly by saying like all the time, she was like - I was like blah blah blah.

I think things are on the up again - feeling a bit calmer with the tablets, managed to go to work today, with a lot of support from my fantastic co-workers and volunteers who were amazing. I have spent the day taking it easy, and have introduced a wee afternoon nap, which has been nice as a treat, but is not something I want to get into the habit of, I have far to much to do and achieve, and the books I have to read...well what can I say.

Moving seamlessly on to what I am currently reading - One More Thing by BJ Novak and So Sad Today by Melissa Broder, which are both great for when you are not feeling 100%. One More Thing is nice as it is a collection of short stories that you can dip in and out of, and most of them are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I have had this book for over a year, and kind of forgot about it - picked it up this week and it was like it was meant to be - perfect for when your concentration isn't quite what it should be, but you want to give your brain something to do rather than being left in the prison of your own consciousness (I came over a bit John Green there). So Sad Today has been great, a collection of personal essays that feel like part of my soul - all be it a very dark part of my soul. Her writing is easy to read yet thought provoking, and describes her anxiety and fears of her own mortality in ways that I can completely relate to. Also there is a sexting exchange between her and a guy she meets online that has to be read to be believed.   

So that was the start of my week - talk soon. xxx

(If this got a bit rambly at the end it is because when I woke up from my nap I was really thirsty so I drank about three glasses of irn bru which I can now see has been a mistake, so I am off to flush this out with lots of water - which is what I should have drank in the first place)

Monday, 6 June 2016

Threat Level Midnight

Just a heads up at the start of this - I tried to write this already today, but it didn't go well. Well the writing was ok - then an awful panic attack came over me, and I had to go and lie down, not before I deleted everything I had written.

So today is what I would describe as a black day. I can feel it before I have even woken up. When I wake up there is a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, and it feels like my heart is all that I have in my chest - almost like it is sitting in the middle of one of those bungie/trampoline thingys that kids can jump on in funfairs. I started crying before I got up out of bed, and I couldn't stop. I cried through thinking about the day ahead, I cried through breakfast, I cried in the shower, when I got out of the shower and then when I called into work to say that I couldn't come in - which makes me feel terrible because I love my job. I just couldn't see me getting through today.

I spoke with my mum at length, but I just had to settle on the fact that this was one of those days. Yesterday I had felt particularly anxious, a two minute drive up the road to help out at the shed for the Lanimer (google it, if you don't know what it is already :) ) lorry, felt like an impossible task. The whole time I was up there - I could barely help out, as I was so worried about driving the two minutes back home because I felt so horrendous. This makes me feel like a failure - that something as simple as driving up the road, feels like it is completely beyond me - I do need to point out though that for the most part doing stuff like that is ok. 

Self care is so important - eating right, making sure you get enough sleep, exercising, spending time with people who make you feel great - avoiding those who don't, taking time for yourself just to relax - be that reading, going for a walk, petting a dog - or all the dogs - I just want a dog. When everything starts to get a bit much for me - all that stuff goes out the window. It is easy to sit about doing hee haw, rather than things that make you feel good. Like socialising - I find it so easy to say no to things, 'as I can't I'm studying', 'I have this thing coming up' - and after a while the invites stop coming, or you wonder why you've not heard from someone for a while. So today instead of doing a bit of self care I threw myself into the stupid deep end, by going a trip to Tesco - needless to say it was horrible, I made it through two aisles and then begged my mum to get the hell out of there. I should have really just left it for the day, but I wanted to push myself. Which can be a mixed bag - sometimes it works out amazing, and I feel proud of what I have achieved, other much rarer times it goes like today. And that is what I need to remember because - the bad times are in the minority.

On the black days, I don't say dark days as dark gives way to light, and black days don't, everything feels 100% more intrusive, every sound feels like it is much louder than it is, I swear I could hear the grass growing today, my skin crawls, everything aches, my stomach felt so bad I wanted to scream out to make it go away. My brain feel like it is in some kind of foggy syrupy mixture that makes thinking straight and even finishing a sentence impossible. 

I am not too sure why I wanted to write this all down today, but I felt like I had to because if you are reading this and having a noir day too - try not too worry too much, it will pass. Even as I have been sitting writing this, I am feel much better than I did this morning. I feel much better than I did twelve hours ago, which I think is pretty great, not even having to wait a full day for my mood to lift slightly. Suffering is part of being human, and it is not forever. Light always cuts through the darkness - even in a black sky there are all those millions of stars a shining for you to see.

FYI Black day in South Korea is like their Valentines day - so I should be feeling better already.

Would anyone like an update on how I am feeling as the week goes on?

Also if you are an office fan, hope you liked the title. ;)