Oh goody, paranoia strikes

February 27, 2010

Yesterday I went back to Citizens Advice to complete my DLA form. Wasn’t looking forward to it so took some diazepam before leaving the house. Unfortunately it didn’t help. I had my MP3 player on so I could concentrate on music, if I’m listening to it I can concentrate intensely on the lyrics and it stops the badness insidiously creeping in. Everyone was starting at me. I first noticed it walking down the road, every car I glanced at the driver and passengers were all looking, every pedestrian glared. I desperately tried to avoid eye contact but I could tell, I could feel their eyes boring into me, silently judging. Look, that girl’s crazy. Look at her, why is she allowed out in public? What a state she is.

And I was a state. My hair was a mess, my clothes were creased. I was talking to myself in an attempt to calm me down – don’t be silly Anickdaler, why would they look at you, there’s nothing exciting, eyes down, we’ll get there – at first this was an internal monologue but then I realised my lips were moving and for all I know I was muttering out loud. I wanted to scream and run as far and fast as I could but I had to make the appointment.

To my credit, I got there and the DLA form is in. With everything properly written up, it is the most depressing piece of paper ever. Citizens Advice are enclosing a note asking to be copied in on any replies so if I have to appeal I will have support. My GP and psychiatrist have written in support of my application and apparently they’ve said just the right things so hopefully it’ll all be ok. I don’t want to have to fight, I don’t have the strength.

Then all I had to do was get home. Of course the eyes of the world were back on me and I was so afraid. I was almost running, talking to myself to try and shut out the eyes. It was worse than it’s been for a very long time. I think what I tweeted when I got home says it all;

leaving house was BAD idea. Everyone was staring. They all know you see. Should really just carve crazy in my forehead and be done with it.

And I really wanted to. Just take a knife and write it so that nobody ever had any doubts and at least then I’d know for certain why they were staring rather than just suspecting it. Urgh, don’t ever want to feel like that again. I could tell that everyone was judging and the people in cars were talking about me the second I passed. It took a very long time to ground myself again yesterday evening and come back to reality from complete dissociation.

I was meant to be going climbing this morning. I love climbing, the physical side of it wears me out and it requires concentration to plan a route so it occupies my mind too. Unfortunately trip was canceled at the last minute for reasons unspecified  😦  This is obviously because of me. People do not want to spend time with the crazy one and to be honest who can blame them? So with the one thing I’ve been looking forward to off the cards, I now need to find another way to fill my weekend. My parents have volunteered to drive down but I’m going to visit them next week anyway and besides what sort of 24yo can’t find anything to do or anyone to do it with?  [That was a rhetorical question, if in doubt, the answer’s me]

Seriously what’s the point in any of this? Why do I continue to delay the inevitable on the off chance something will change?

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Who stole my week?

February 25, 2010

Can’t believe it’s Thursday already. I’d been doing relatively well up until today. Managed to get out of the house every day, and actually achieve productive things while out too 🙂 It seems like such a stupid thing to be proud of. I have a degree for fucks sake and I’m reduced to my proudest achievement of the week being getting beyond the front door. I was so excited about it, I even had to phone my mum to tell her, that’s what I’m being reduced to. I hate being mentally ill, I hate what it’s made me, I hate what I’ve become.

Clearly 3 days in a row of getting out was more than my system could take as back to indoors only today. I was meant to be doing something but it got to an hour and a half before the appointment and I was working myself into such a state, I emailed and canceled. Not what I wanted but it’s done now and at least the reduction in anxiety somewhat tempered the guilt. It’s stupid, I have diazepam that I’m meant to take when I get overly anxious and it really helps. But I only get prescribed 7 tablets at a time, and I can need a couple over the course of an evening if things are really bad. So I don’t take it because then I will have less available when I really need it even thought the times I really need it are probably exactly when I’m thinking like that.

On the ?plus? side, I received a letter from the Complex Cases Services offering me an appointment to “…talk about the things that have been troubling you and see if our services might be able to help…”. It’s in just over 2 weeks so pretty damn efficient too compared to what I’m used to. This should be exciting, it’s what I’ve been waiting for but to be honest I’m almost tempted to tear the letter up and hide. What if they can’t help me? What if I go and see them, and they tell me to just pull myself together and get on with it? Maybe I’m just being pathetic and all they will do is confirm that. Although, possibly I shouldn’t expect anything, since they’ve managed to call me by my middle name (which I never use) throughout which doesn’t bode particularly well…


Time for another week.

February 22, 2010

It’s Monday again. How did that happen? Was on my own for most of the weekend so spent it inside, drinking wine, watching the olympics, chatting on Twitter and swearing profusely at inanimate objects that got in my way. It’s a good job nobody sees me when I’m on me own, I’d be locked up for sure! Oh, there was also a fair amount of sleeping involved. I seem inordinately good at sleeping at the moment. Or at least I had been until last night. I tend to put off going to bed until I’m exhausted. Lying there, waiting for sleep is when I’m at my most vulnerable . Either the misplaced optimism will strike and I’ll be mentally taking over the world or I’ll think of something that went wrong in the day. That will then cycle completely out of control and full blown panic reigns.

But last night, I was kind of tired so went to bed at a vaguely sensible time. I had a psych appointment relatively early so thought I’d increase my odds of being conscious for it by getting a good amount of sleep. Yeah, that was a tad optimistic! Ended up mentally destroying myself over something I’d said to someone 6 months previously which they probably have no recollection of which then spiraled into every stupid thing I’ve ever done (and believe me, there’s been a few). Had taken 5mg of diazepam earlier in the evening to ward off similar thoughts and really hoped that would have sorted me out. Took another 5mg and still no rest. Honestly, had I had the pills around there’s no doubt in my mind I would have overdosed big style. I must have finally drifted off to sleep around 0130ish. So much for my early night.

Still managed to get up and make it to psych appt roughly on time despite the rather unexpected snowfall. Was good in an incredibly anxious, edgy way to be out of the house. Appointment was pretty useless. I think I scare them, I really do. I know how borderline safe I am right now and I think my complete acceptance of this is something of a worry. There’s nothing they can do though. They are waiting to hear back from the complex cases team and until then we’re basically holding. A whole complex cases team sounds awfully important and also far beyond the capabilities of the NHS so I remain doubtful. In the mean time, up my medication to 300mg Venlafaxine MR daily and keep taking the diazepam as and when. Woo.

Back to the GP this afternoon to pick up new prescriptions. This means I have been out of the house twice in one day! This is something of an epic achievement right about now. I feel a little proud of myself for actually getting things done though and if I don’t stop to think about how little it really is I’ve achieved, today could almost be counted as a success. [Where success is defined somewhat differently to normal]. My major goal for this week is to get out of the house every day, even if it’s just to the library across the road. After today, this is going to be increasingly challenging as I have no commitments until Friday. We shall see.

Other than that, still getting my medication in fortnightly amounts only. It’s meant to be weekly but I don’t think the GP could deal with seeing me that often so has prescribed two weeks worth. My medication dose has doubled in the last month or so. This means a fortnight’s worth at new dose is the same amount as a months worth at old dose. This is somewhat ironic since I was deemed too unsafe to have a months supply of old dose at once, however they will now quite happily give me the same amount as it’s now only a fortnights supply. *rolls eyes despairingly*. I don’t think I’m meant to think about it like that, am I?


The problem with optimism

February 20, 2010

Wow, I’m writing a lot at the moment and it’s not even half of what’s in my head. My head is so full of high speed thoughts that I have to get some of them out even if they are immediately replaced by others. Plus I like to write and it’s something that could almost be counted as productive to do with my time.

This time off is meant to be my chance to sort things out. I know I don’t need to know where I’m going right now (although I do wish people would stop asking) but I don’t want to waste it. Occasionally I will have these wild half hours of extreme optimism. From nowhere I will become energised, come up a list of all I can achieve over the next however. How I’m going to get up at a sensible time, go for a run every day, maybe even build up to entering a half marathon, have some sort of schedule. Goals that I want to achieve, a cushion patchworked, a new necklace made. Unimportant things perhaps that aren’t going to change my life but things that could make me just that little bit happier. Unfortunately these moments inevitably occur at stupid o’clock in the morning when it isn’t really feasible to achieve anything. So I go to sleep with plans for my fresh start etched in my brain.

And yet it never happens. I wake up and I can’t begin to face the task of getting out of bed never mind the rest of my crazy schemes. There’s nothing that should prevent me achieving these goals. Hell, I could be out for a run right now or at the very least making cards, if I could just find the motivation to move from this desk.  Instead here I sit feeling lower than before because once again I’ve failed to do that which I’m eminently capable of. There is nothing stopping me but me so why don’t I just get out there and do it? But then of course that’s what got me into this situation in the first place. If I could find motivation, stick to schedules, not let things build up then I would never have had to drop out of my course. I’d never have messed my first degree up. I would be what I want instead of what I am.

That’s why I hate the optimism. For the tiny periods it is present, it gives me hope but ultimately all it does is remind me of how little I am achieving. I can’t honestly describe putting some bread in the bread maker (it means I don’t need to leave the house to buy some) as anything other than one of life’s many necessary tasks  but that is the sum total of my yesterday and it took hours of effort to even get to that. Deep down I know I could be so much, I cannot live with the fact I am so little.


If I was brave…

February 19, 2010

Following on from my post the other night, I’ve been thinking more about my detachment from people in the ‘real’ world. It’s not that I don’t want the friendships, the contact, the social life, it’s more that I don’t know how to access them any more. Things are pretty fucking awful right about now and therefore I’m not able to inflict my presence on others. I’d desperately like to but I know I’d ruin it for everyone else. There’s nothing I need more right about now that a quiet night out and a few drinks with mates but I can’t ask. Someone to chat to, to drink cheap wine, eat pizza and watch crap DVDs with, I’m not actually all that fussed what it is. I’m so bad at asking for help even when it’s needed. I would be flattered if people came to me if they needed someone to talk to, but I can’t be the person to do that to others.

I was talking to someone a while ago about why my blog and the online community of friends I have are so important to me. One of the main reasons I could come up with was that if I vanish for a few days, people start contacting me, checking up on me, offering advice and hugs, albeit in a virtual manner. People in the real world don’t do that. The reply was that I’d be surprised how much people do care and do keep an eye on me and this gave me hope. Unfortunately, it has of course been proved untrue which I should have realised was inevitable. Since Monday, the only friend I’ve seen has been my flatmate and that’s only because we live together. I’ve had texts from two others. So if people are checking up on me, they’re mostly doing it behind my back which to be frank isn’t all that comforting.

To be honest, this is all just pointless whinging. The reason I haven’t seen anybody is because I haven’t tried. The reason I’ve had no conversations is because I haven’t instigated any. It’s my fault but it still hurts. So yes, if I was brave this is what I would like to send to my friends:

Dear all,

This is very difficult for me to write, I am the least likely person in the world to ask for help and support no matter how much it is needed. I don’t know how much you know, but I’m not all that well at the moment. You may (or more realistically may not) have noticed my absence from things I normally do as well as a lack of texts attempting to organise random pub trips! I also apologise to those of you who have invited me to things and whose offers I’ve refused with a series of poor excuses.

The fact is that I’m finding it difficult to leave the house to make appointments I absolutely cannot avoid, never mind anything else. This means that random invites will probably just be ignored/rejected unless a lot of persuasion goes in. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to see people, in fact I’d like nothing more than mates around right now. So I guess I’m asking for some support if you’ve got the time or inclination to give it 🙂 It really doesn’t matter what; after all, I do have a pretty much empty schedule. Oh, and I promise not to act too insane (or at least no more insane than normal 😉 )!

I’m aware how pathetic this sounds, but right now I just need to know that people care and aren’t just including me in things out of a sense of duty. This means that despite asking for some help, I’ll probably still try and refuse it if any is offered. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you, just that you may have to try a little harder!

I’ll try and make this up to you all one day.

A

You know, even though I could never send that in a million years, it’s still taken me over an hour to write! That’s how bad I am at reaching out. Right now I would love nothing more than for some good friends to have realised that something’s not right, and to come round and physically drag me out to the pub but it would never happen. To be honest, people are so busy, they’ve probably not even noticed I’ve been gone.


DLA

February 18, 2010

Had my appointment with Citizens Advice today to help fill in my DLA form. Started badly when I attempted to leave the house in slippers before realising that no matter how warm and fluffy they are, they don’t give much protection against a downpour. So, slippers replaced with walking boots, bike wrestled from bike shed amidst copious swearing as it attempted to mate with both the recycling bin and another bike simultaneously, I did eventually make it on time.

The advisor lady was incredible. Really patient and understanding. She’d kept her whole afternoon free so that we could do as much or as little of the form as I wanted in my own time. We didn’t bother too much about keeping the information in the right boxes, I just talked and she’s going to go through, reword and reorganise it in my absence so I can just check it next week and we can get it submitted.

Without the support, there’s no way I could have got anywhere near completing it beyond the personal details page. There’s no way a piece of paper should be able to generate such feelings of self-hatred within me. Alone it would probably just have ended up with “I’M FINE” scrawled in big letters over every box, the margin, anywhere I could fit it. That’s what I’d like, I want to say I’m fine. Everything’s ok or at the very most that ‘it’s been worse so why worry?’. But none of that’s true.

With a few pointed questions and my own overabundence of insight into why I’m not normal, we soon had more than enough material to fill most of the boxes many times over. I hate my own intelligence and the insight it gives me. I can analyse where my behaviour is wrong, where my thoughts bear no relation to reality, identify the advice I’d give others but I can’t do it for me. And I don’t know why the fuck not. How can I sit there for hours with a list of easy things to do and just not move? I know how to move, I know how to complete the tasks, hell some of them are things I’d like to do and yet nothing ever happens. How can I fail to achieve even the most basic functions of existence when physically there’s nothing stopping me?

Sorry, got distracted, where was I? Ah yes, the form. The good news is I should very definitely be entitled to some form of DLA. With a decent Dr’s letter behind me, I shouldn’t even need to fight. Not that I’m deleriously happy to be nuts enough to be disabled but the money would be a real help. The advisor made me laugh when we were talking about self harm. I’d confessed that I was self harming pretty much daily right now and she turned round and said that was a good thing. And then backtracked rather quickly in an explanation that it was one of the easy triggers to get them to pay out rather than the self harm itself being a wondrous achievement. Sorry, sometimes poor taste, black humour is all I have.

Going back in a weeks time to check the form over. In the mean time I have paperwork for my GP and psych to complete to submit alongside it. Now I just need to rediscover some of the emptiness because it’s better than this acute awareness of everything that’s wrong with me and let’s face it, it seems to be a lot. Oh, and I cycled into a wall on the way home, straight on into it. I just genuinely didn’t see it. How can you be so out of it you miss a 6ft tall brick built structure that’s been there every other time you’ve used that path?


Retreating from reality

February 17, 2010

That’s how I would describe my behaviour right now. On some abstract level, I know there are people in the “real world” who would consider themselves my friends. Although I can’t rationalise any reason for this, the occasional texts I receive indicate at least a passing level of concern from a very few people. However, they invite me to social situations that due to various other attendees, I am effectively banned from whatever I would like. That’s just an excuse though, no matter who else was there I probably wouldn’t attend, that would involve leaving the house, wearing a long sleeved shirt, pretending it’s all a-ok. When it’s not. I’m fucking up big style all over again.

So I’m running. Not quite to an imaginary world (even though there are times at which that is decidedly tempting) but to an online one which has provided me with so  much help and support in the past. I can’t explain why I can’t turn to the people I see day to day (oh wait, there aren’t any any more but you know what I mean…), but expressing in print is so much easier than in word. Besides, those to whom I could turn, I have alienated too much, there’s only so much crazy people can tolerate.

I am desperately lonely.

I’m commenting on every blog post on every blog I read even if I have nothing at all to say. This leads to me writing patronising shit which is probably worse than useless for which I apologise. However, comments have a massive ability to lift me so I have a vague hope they can do the same for some of you no matter how vague and empty they are.

I also find myself desperately replying to Tweets in the hope of starting a conversation. I want to help other people. I’ve failed and fucked up so much for myself that I feel there’s no chance for me, but if I can use what I’ve learnt to in any way make a difference to someone else then at least I’ve done something. Ignoring the people in “reality” who say I can’t start to help others until I help myself, I want to do something. It’s ironic how I can offer in all seriousness the sort of advice I promptly ignore when offered to me but I do mean well.

But more than that, I want to talk. I don’t want to burden people with me but maybe if I listen to them a bit, they’ll be prepared to listen to me back. I love knowing about people, I find other people’s stories endlessly fascinating. I am incredibly curious but I have an unfortunate habit of oversharing in reply.

So yeah, I guess this is an apology to those of you who have suddenly started being oversupplied with blog comments or @ replies on Twitter. I don’t mean any harm, I’m nice enough and certainly harmless in my own way 🙂 Oh, and this self-indulgent crap may well vanish in the morning.