Posted in Some thoughts about my journey

Doing it right?

I’ve decided that it’s about time I attempted something approaching coherent – I’ve been meaning to write about all kinds of things but thoughts keep getting in the way.

The first thing to say is that over the weekend I reached the rather dizzying heights of…. One hundred* followers here on WordPress. Wow! I thought it was particularly exciting to reach one hundred, because, you know, what’s not to like about a nice neat hundred? The only thing is I thought I got a  a badge or something from WordPress but I didn’t. Poor me. Anyway, I can’t quite believe that one hundred human beings have stopped by my blog and decided they had a little bit of interest in reading the nonsense that comes out of my head. Like I said… wow!

The next thing to say is that despite my recent rocky patch I am still ‘functioning well’. Those were my GP’s*** words and I guess I agree insofar as that I continue to cling on and make a reasonable fist of dragging myself through things. I’m not sure that making a reasonable fist of dragging yourself through things ought to be seen as functioning well – it’s more a case of functioning in spite of things surely? Anyhow, I didn’t want to get into another argument with her so I let her have that one. I also didn’t bother respond to the ‘I’m not as discouraged as you are’ comment because I was too busy trying not to poke her in the eye for saying such a ridiculous thing. So I’m depressed and I’m discouraged and you’re not depressed** and you’re not discouraged? Who’d have thunk it? (By the way, I went to see my GP yesterday when I was very angry. About everything. And everybody….)

Needless to say the argument with my GP wasn’t really an argument at all because WeeGee doesn’t do confrontation in the real world**** it was more of a difference of opinion. The GPs opinion was that because I can ‘afford’ to pay for private counselling I should perhaps come off the NHS waiting list for CBT which, by the way, I have been on for twenty weeks now. WeeGee’s opinion was that it wasn’t so much a case of being able to ‘afford’ it as being so terrified of myself that I couldn’t ‘afford’ not to find a way to ‘afford’ it. WeeGee was also of the opinion that the GP seemed to have missed the whole point of the NHS which, as I’ve always understood it, is essentially free treatment at the point of need regardless of your ability to pay (Mini rant about the NHS and how we’re all going to hell in a hand cart what with the Tories and all officially over).

More than anything, I think I’ve hit a wall of frustration. I’m doing everything right, I really am. I’m taking my medication, I’m mindful, I’m eating, I’m exercising and above all else I’m trying very (very) hard. I keep my appointments with my GP, Mr Clever the psychiatrist and my own lovely counsellor Mrs Mountain and I take everything that they say on board*****. I’ve got mood charts, progress charts, lists and self help resources coming out of my ears. I haven’t topped myself yet. I’m doing everything right but none of it is getting any better. Actually it feels like it gets a little worse with every day that passes.

I honestly don’t know what to do next. Is it really just a case of waiting it out? Will it pass in time? Or is the problem that I’m maybe throwing too much at it? Or do I just think I’m doing it right when actually I’m doing it wrong?

Who knows? Answers on the back of a postcard.

 

Meanwhile in other news I have continued to keep up with the 10,000 step challenge even though I’ve been a bit mental and the Olympic torch passed through Kingston today. I was a little bit underwhelmed by the whole thing but I did enjoy listening to the couple next to me arguing about who was responsible for forgetting to put batteries in the camera. Nothing else to report today save that the sun is shining upon the UK which means I have a sunburnt nose****** and the Breaking Bad obsession in coming along quite nicely thank you very much.

Cheerio, WeeGee xx

 

 

 

 

*Then it went up to 101, which is less neat but does allow me to say that I have more than 100 followers

**To my knowledge. Perhaps I shouldn’t make assumptions like that – a lot of people probably don’t think I’m depressed either

***AKA Mrs Helpful, but I couldn’t bring myself to call her that today

****I do okay at it when I’m at work but I’m just acting

*****Unless it’s stupid

******When will I learn!

Posted in Practical issues

Joining the back of the queue

I had a bit of a setback earlier this week. Turns out, the waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in my borough is considerable and I’m at the back of the queue!

I’m feeling a little cut adrift, to be honest. The psych appointments are all well and good, and I fully appreciate that they are necessary but…. point number one: they make me feel like a bit of a mentalist (I am a bit of a mentalist so I’m allowed to say that) and point number two: I worry that the focus on the symptoms and the feelings somehow reinforces the symptoms and the feelings, if you see what I mean. I’ve followed CBT courses twice before and found the approach incredibly helpful. I like to understand and I like to have a plan and using CBT techniques provides both. Over the last month or so I’ve tried to put as much of what I have learned in the past into action, but I do feel that both a refresher course and some regular contact with a specialist is something that would be helpful for me at the moment. Nevertheless, for now I need to hang on in there by myself for a little while longer. There are plenty of excellent self help CBT tools on the web, so I guess I’ll be turning to them* for the time being.

I don’t suppose for one minute that I’m the first person to have found the energy and courage to admit they need a little help only to be told that whilst help is available it will be a long time coming. At the same time, it’s certainly no secret that mental health services are under resourced and over-subscribed so NHS waiting lists in excess of 12 weeks are hardly surprising. The question is, what can I do about this state of affairs? The depressed me says nothing – people get what they’re given, and have to suck it up and hunker down; the ‘other’ me says not a lot, but maybe a little!

Mind are a fantastic charity who do a lot of brilliant advocacy work and play a huge role in keeping the issues associated with mental ill health on all kinds of important agendas. They also work closely with those affected by mental health difficulties providing advice, services and local support networks. Mind do great things and have an important role to play both in providing much needed resources and in ensuring the needs of those experiencing mental health difficulties are at the forefront of the minds of our policy makers. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days now and I’ve decided that doing something to support Mind could be just the little thing the other me could do!

And so I’ve found this on the Mind website and I think I might give it a go. Even if I only manage to raise a couple of quid, I’ll have done something positive, right? I’m also fairly confident that the exercise, and the outdoors will do wonders for my well being and hopefully the challenge will give me an external focus whilst I wait for my name to reach the top of the CBT queue. Finally, maybe I’ll be able to do a tiny little bit to raise the profile of Mind and the awareness of mental health difficulties amongst my friends and family as well.

I’m not entirely sure that I know what I’m letting myself in for – I do a fair bit of walking and I’m not altogether averse to running now and again but I’ve no idea how many steps I actually take in an average day. 10,000 sounds like quite a lot, doesn’t it?! Anyway, I’ll be signing up this weekend and I’ll keep you posted.

Of course if anyone reading this is looking for something to do over the summer, they’d be more than welcome to join me – little things added together make big things after all!

* Mood Juice is a particularly good one.