Posted in Recovery?

What the heartbreak left behind

Since last I wrote I have mostly been being sentimental because when all’s said I’m done the WeeGee is nothing if not a sentimental old fool….

As I write I’m sitting in my packed up living room, trying to come to terms with the fact that it very nearly isn’t my living room anymore. It’s worth mentioning, I think, that tonight is the LAST EVER night I will spend alone in this little flat that I’ve come to call home.

I moved in here a little over three years ago at a time when (and I don’t mean to be melodramatic) it felt like my whole life was falling apart. It wasn’t just that a relationship had come to an end – although with hindsight I know that the grief that came with that was a large part of it – I’d lost friendships, support structures, routines, every single reference point that I thought I could rely on. I was all at sea and there was no shore, or at least no shore that I could find. I’d been lost before, plenty of times in fact, but when I moved here I was lost in a whole new way – mostly because I was lost alone.

Of course the heartbreak subsided because that’s what it does – it was that thing that people talked about when it first happened ‘time’. I didn’t believe them then and if it happened all over again I still wouldn’t believe them because the heart doesn’t learn lessons nearly as well as the brain does. I guess you need the time to happen before you believe it’s going to help.

Once the heartbreak was over I didn’t feel like I’d been left with very much – a silent flat and a WeeGee who not only had no idea who she was anymore but who also didn’t really care was pretty much all I had in my head for the longest time. It was the worst of me – the worst of who I’ve been and worst of who I can be. Everything was nothing and it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be dead. I just didn’t care one way or another. My brain has taken me to some spectacularly awful places but this was the first time that I didn’t feel that I had anything to get better for. I’d been unwell before, sure, but there had always been people around to save me. This time, all I had was myself and I’d never much cared for her

Needless to say, I’ve learned an awful lot since I moved to Kingston. I learned how to be with myself, and how to let myself be who I am, and, to a certain extent, how to forgive myself. I’ve learned how to put one foot in front of the other JUST FOR ME. Most importantly of all, I’ve learned how to save myself from the worst my brain has to throw at me.

I thought I was going to hate living alone, and for a long time, I did. But eventually I realised that I needed to be alone because I’d become so used to fitting in around other people that I had no idea how to be me when the other people weren’t around anymore. On reflection, maybe that’s the most important lesson I learned here: I matter. And I matter whether there is anyone else in my life or not.

At this point, it seems worth a bit of fast forwarding because the time I spent alone, coming to terms with myself and working out who I might be if I ever grow up put me in a new place. It put me in a place where I was ready to meet Mr Awesome Thing Number Five, who, I would like to put on record, is the love of my life. I don’t love Mr Awesome Thing Number Five because he loves me and I don’t adapt myself or lose anything of me in loving him. I bring as much to his life as he brings to mine – I’ve never had that before because I never cared enough for myself before. I’ve always been too willing to please and too quick to compromise no matter what the consequences. Who knew that you had to learn to love yourself before you could make space to love any one else?

Living in this little flat gave me my life back and helped me to learn lessons that I might not otherwise have learned. What it also did is give me the opportunity to move on sensibly in a grown up and deeply loving relationship that has a future. Being heartbroken seems like a lifetime ago but it gave me things that I never thought I would have. Nothing you ever feel is wasted; everything you survive is significant. Hope is the most important thing of all.

Lots of love, WeeGee xoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in About today

How did this happen?

Sometimes it’s really funny the way things turn out…. I’m currently dating a guy called Craig. Before that I dated a guy called Daniel. Before that I dated a guy who described himself as Daniel Craig’s body double*…. Weird huh?

Anyway – all of that aside, I figured it was time for a proper update. And by proper I mean not all BOO HOO or all AWESOME and just a bit matter of fact this is what’s going on in WeeGee land at the moment…..

Bottom line? Life is good and I can’t find a single thing to complain about** I went from ‘dating’ a lovely guy to being ‘in a relationship’ with a lovely guy which ought to be weird and scary but which is actually just natural and nice. You can spend years and years and years of your life dreading and avoiding something until one day the thing you were dreading and avoiding turns up and you are somehow glad that it did.

Hmmm. So the thing is that this time last year I was a bit mental. I was hiding, and jumping off tall things, and waiting for it all to be over. This time last year I wasn’t coping. As for now? Take that broken brain. I’m all better, and well, and IN YOUR FACE DEPRESSION. Oh and I seem to have remembered what the future feels like and it’s all cool….

I suppose the pertinent point at the moment is my upcoming birthday. What should I do? A big thing with all the people I know (scary), a medium thing with the important people (scary) a small thing with the old folks, or the new folks, or the wordpress folks. BUMS.

This isn’t the kind of song I usually share

Jelly tots xxxx

*To be fair, there is definitely a resemblance
**I could if I tried. But why try?

Posted in Some thoughts about my journey

Thus the sky has nothing to scatter but red….

It’s pretty late. As in well past WeeGee’s bed time pretty late. The thing is my brain is not going to consent to going to sleep and I don’t have the energy to have that particular argument with myslef so I’m going to go right ahead and blog instead.

Hello! Welcome to my insomniac, wibbly wobbly wobbling post 🙂 I might as well tell you the short story because the long story is, well, long…..

So – I had a date. Third date actually with a total sweetie. And I had a lovely time. And that ought to be all you need to know. But then WeeGee did a WeeGee and pushed the infamous self sabotage button….

‘Dear Mr Awesome Thing Number Five,

Oh, you’re not thinking of running a mile? Let me behave like a weirdo until you do

Love, WeeGee’

Why can’t I just take nice and enjoy it? What on earth is the matter with me?

If I’m lost tonight, it’s only because I lost myself. And, as Mr Wise quite rightly pointed out – I seem to be doing this on purpose. How many more inappropriate guys am I going to fall in love with? Do I even want someone to care let alone love me? Do you like this song? It’s AWESOME:

Oh – and as for the title of my post? I went to the Science Museum on Saturday and a little person had drawn an awesome picture and explained some science that was beyond me and ended by pointing out that the sky had nothing else to scatter but red. I liked it.

Love you with all of my heart xoxoxo

Posted in About today

I am angry

If I knew my readers a little better I’d probably start off by swearing; really badly. But I really don’t want to offend anybody so I’ll keep the profanities for the cat (he doesn’t seem to mind). I don’t know what the matter with me is, apart from the fact that I’m grumpy – nothing has happened to make me particularly grumpy but then again I suppose even mentalists have normal off days. If you see what I mean.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned the world can shut its mouth:

Apart from feeling a bit ‘boo to everything’ I’m doing pretty well  after the mahoosive ‘bit of a maddy’ on Wednesday. By the time I woke up on Thursday ‘no’ had quietened down and I was able to get myself through the motions once more. Fank gawd for that. Looking back there are a couple of reasons to be cheerful following my ‘moment’:

  1. I didn’t decide not to eat, despite being in hiding and feeling rotten
  2. I didn’t do myself a mischief, serious or otherwise
  3. It passed quite quickly
  4. I didn’t end up wandering around the outside world in my PJs raving at strangers

As is always the case with these things it could’ve been worse….

My appointment with the doctor today confirmed that the jitters are ‘almost certainly’ caused by the citalopram and that they should ‘pass in (an unspecified amount of) time’. That’s alright then. I’ll tell myself that next time I’m bouncing off the walls and considering jumping out the window*. Told you I was grumpy.

Meanwhile in other news, I sent an email today** and I’m off up to Nottingham for a few days with the folks tomorrow. It’ll be good to get out of London for a while and I’ve a few old friends to catch up with which is always cool.

Beyond that, I don’t have anything else to say for myself today but I wanted to make sure I posted something or it would have been the best part of a week before I did***.

That’s all from me folks.

Love (a rather grumpy but not in a mental way) Wee Gee x

* It’s okay. I only live on the first floor.

** I’ve been meaning to send it for ages – it’s a long story which I’ll no doubt tell in time

***If I left it that long I’d almost certainly give up and go all flaky.

Posted in About today

A novel way to spend your time

Once again I had challenged myself to simply spend time in my own company this weekend without leading myself to the dreaded cliff edge. This was my third attempt in three wobbly weeks so naturally I was hoping for third time lucky.

On Saturday I was as close to bright and breezy as I’m capable of being right now. Painting the smile on, getting out and about and going through the motions came quite naturally and I didn’t have to coax myself too hard to get going. I made it to the supermarket (via the Maple Road farmer’s market, where I couldn’t quite afford to buy anything, but didn’t get disheartened!), cleaned the flat, took a walk along the river and read my book. This is all good stuff, and, if I may say, is especially good for me. But it got better! I also got myself signed up for the 10,000 step challenge, ate four – yes four – square meals, took a long, hot bath and eventually headed for an early night feeling really rather pleased with myself.

And then my old friend insomnia turned up in an attempt to pull the rug from under my feet (Boo hiss). To be fair, I haven’t been sleeping terribly well since I started taking the Citalopram but on Saturday night I was chronically awake for the first time in weeks and it wasn’t long before I started getting frightened. The wee small hours can be a dangerous time for me – it’s the absence of distractions, the quietness, stillness and the dark that does for me. Above all else it’s the notion that I am completely alone and that not a soul on earth knows where I am or what I am doing…. If things are going to get really bad for me, it’ll be in the middle of the night. And if I find myself awake in the middle of the night things almost always get really bad.

Before I knew it, everything was crowding in and I started to feel defeated. I couldn’t sleep and I was in no fit state to be awake and “I couldn’t do this anymore”…. and then a revelation: I had a kettle, a good book, a cat who would be delighted to have my company over a brew and an emergency sleeping tablet that would take an hour to kick in. Low and behold* I had a plan!

An hour and a bit later I was fast asleep and full of Horlicks….. I also felt quite proud, no, I did – I felt quite proud that I had dispensed of the hopelessness, all by myself, at my most vulnerable of moments. Go me.

Today I was mostly tired and groggy! I caught up with a few work emails, pottered up to Canbury Gardens for a wander in the rain, faffed about online and ate three meals. Incidentally, I’ve managed to put a little weight on over the last few weeks, but I’m still hovering somewhere around the ‘telling off’ mark.

Over all I think this weekend has been third time almost lucky. I’m aware that eventually I’m going to have to start getting myself ‘out there’ again but for now taking care of myself (even when the chips are very down), getting things done and finding ways to relax are huge achievements for me and I’m not ready to rock the boat just yet. I’m going for third time completely lucky next week.

Do you know what though? I haven’t hated this weekend; in fact, I’ve spent this weekend feeling moslty calm, reasonably safe and fairly relaxed. What a novel way to spend your time!

*Or is it lo and behold?!

Posted in Moving forwards

This train terminates here

Transperth B-series train at McIver station

Until recently I was avoiding getting the help I needed. It wasn’t that I didn’t want help, or even that I didn’t think I needed help, it was just that I felt so completely beaten by everything that I didn’t know how to start thinking about where to start. To some extent, I suppose I had decided that I was beyond help – that this really was it, and there was nothing that I, or anybody else, could do to stop it. Over the course of the piece, there had been a few abortive attempts to get help but I always managed to straighten myself out just enough to be able to think I could manage my symptoms on my own; the lesson I learned during the months I was managing on my own was that I couldn’t actually manage on my own.

When you’re in the middle of an episode it’s incredibly hard to admit that you are having problems coping with yourself and that life has got too much for you. Nevertheless you need to try to focus the mind so you can reach in and grab yourself by the scruff of the neck; in the end, all you’ve done is take a wrong turning somewhere along the line and what you need to remember is (motivational quote warning):

When you board the wrong train it’s no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction

Eventually I found the strength to stop running and get off the train.

Step one in the right direction was booking an appointment with my GP. Over the years I have been fortunate in almost always receiving excellent care from the GPs I have been treated by (when I eventually engage) and my recent experience has been no different. Quite aside from the relief of getting in place the interventions that I knew I needed, just getting to the doctors’ surgery felt like and achievement and a baby step towards a better place. I left the surgery with a psychiatric referral and a referral for a refresher course in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as well as a prescription for the anti-depressant Citalopram. Anti-depressants aren’t new to me, but are a form of treatment that I have tended to resist in all but my bleakest times. It felt like it was a big thing for me to decide that an anti-depressant was right for me at the moment. Although I had a few concerns, they were quite easily dealt with in the end:

  • Anti-depressants aren’t prescribed in the short-term, so I knew that if I decided to go down that route I would have to continue taking them over a period of months and that a managed withdrawal would be necessary – on balance that didn’t seem like a significant reason not to take them
  • I haven’t always had a good experience with anti depressants, on occasions becoming numb and more withdrawn and on others experiencing a significant worsening of my self-harming problems – I chatted this through with the doctor and we agreed that I would continue regular appointments with her throughout the course of treatments so that my state of mind was properly monitored. We also spoke about my strategies for managing any crisis intervention that might be required, and I felt a little better knowing I had a plan.
  • I’m only too aware that medication alone is not the answer to depression – this isn’t a real concern if the other things you need are being put into place
  • I was worried about short-term side effects having an impact at work – this one didn’t really fly, because my symptoms were already affecting me at work

Once I’d had the chance to talk and think things through, it seemed like a good idea. At the heart of my decision to medicate was the simple fact that I needed to get from a to b and that once I’d dragged myself through the motions I didn’t have any energy left to make that particular journey.

I’ve been taking the Citalopram for just over three weeks now and feel like it is helping to clear the fog. I did experience some early side effects (restlessness, heightened anxiety and difficulty sleeping) but these passed in a fairly quickly. I was also a little bit too ‘up’ for a couple of days, with a ridiculous number of disjointed ideas and plans flying around my head but this also seems to have passed – I wonder if I just wore myself out?!. Now I’m starting to feel a little bit more like myself at last; Citalopram hasn’t been, and isn’t likely to be, a miracle cure. Still it feels like a tiny chink of light is shining into my dark space and I feel able to think about what I can do next to support myself and manage my symptoms.

To return to my train analogy, it feels like I might be about to board the right train…… I suppose this is where the hard work starts.