[POEM] Sometimes

It still strikes within my broken body
When I had thought it was dying a death.

It turns, grinning and moving wildly
And reminds me of its depth and breadth.

All consuming, it pushes in madly
Demanding I give it each ragged breath.

All sense of time and true reality
Leaves me, as does my soul’s wealth.

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I love you

And though we are only away from each other for a few days, I feel the distance already tearing at my chest.

As if the miles push the pain of your absence deeper into my soul, with their hefty weight.

I will return to you soon. Know that I am missing you with each minute, in beautiful pain for your love.

[DEPRESSION] 2 weeks over – What now?

Two weeks have passed, and though my sleeping has improved (Wahey waking up at 5am instead of somewhere around 3am), I now feel anxious when I wake up.

My mind unpleasantly wrestles me from sleep at full strength, whirring before I even know sleep is over. My dreams are vivid, but I don’t remember most of them and that suits me just fine.

Queasy, reactive stomach, though my libido seems… fine? Not under-active and it’s resurfaced after a long depression related dormant period.

BUT – I actually felt feelings yesterday. And once the day before. I almost giggled in public, and I actually felt endorphins when I went to the gym. So instead of being permanently grey or irritated, or hateful, I have actually begun to feel some joy.

I really didn’t realise how much it had been missing from my life until I felt that little spark. It was such a shock, and such an alien feeling that it actually hurts a little, and makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable at moments.

But I’m looking forward to learning how to feel and be vulnerable again, which I haven’t had to do in a long time.

Vulnerability is something I’ll have to focus on.

[DEPRESSION] Week 2 of Prozac

Sleep. Sleep has finally started to come back to me somewhat.

The first week was queasy spells, sleepless nights (waking up at 3am), some anxiety, exhaustion, confusion, forgetfullness and continuous yawning. The acid reflux was pretty bad, too, and I found myself eating more to cope with the stress. First day I was incredibly suicidal, thoughts of self harm continuously and crying in the bathrooms at work, and even more at home.

Week 2, waking up is less painful. I actually get a half decent sleep, though I’m still exhausted and my stomach is still upset and showing the signs. Heart burn is still worse than usual, and I’m completely forgetful. I’ll move to do something, only to forget instantly what it is I’m supposed to be doing.

Less gym due to low energy, which also means back pain. Eating less now, barely ate yesterday. Heavy palpitations for hours, feeling sick, anxious, work was a bit too much. I’m definitely improving, just slowly. I’m hoping the positive effects start soon.

Palpitations seem to have started again, and I’m so distracted I can barely focus.

 

How I’ve pulled through it? By allowing myself more treats, more time to myself, being less hard on myself, taking time to relax and pushing myself to be comfortable with help.

I’ve been lucky enough to have so much support from the people around me, and though I feel uncomfortable accepting help, I’ve pushed myself to do it. It’s helped A LOT, and I feel like I’m actually enjoying things a little again.

[Depression] Day three on Prozac

Prozac is giving me heavy pressures and little rest from the waking dullness of the day. Emotions have begun to actually happen, but sleepless nights lay behind and ahead of me with tepid carelessness.

Side effects settle slowly, and I have a long span of fighting ahead of me, trying to cope until the pills start to work. The listlessness is fine, and being mostly void of feelings is also fine. But the body aches and pains, the headaches and the exhaustion that can’t be lessened is difficult.

I seem to find myself full of restless energy but exhausted at the same time. I’m comfort eating (mostly because I’m allowing myself – I’m learning not to stretch myself too thin again)

Maybe it’s time for copious amounts of tea? If anyone has advice on what can help a full time worker make the symptoms more bearable, I’m all ears.

I’ve read it can take a month. Some people say ten days.

[Self help] I am actually off to see my doctor

Poetry or writing hasn’t come easy to me recently, and neither has work.

I’m not the best worker, I’m distinctly easy to distract and that gets worse with my lower moods and lack of sleep. If I’m not passionate about the work, or feel like I’m given clear instructions I don’t push myself overly much. I hate these traits to be honest, but I’m so exhausted I can’t actually be bothered to change them.

I also think I need a new place to work but that’s another story.

Either way, I’m going to ask to be put on medication again, and talk about my symptoms, on Monday. Wish me luck.

[Self Help] St John’s Wort, self therapy & facing medication

This is coming from a person who has so far come into so many ‘walls’ with the NHS that she’s too tired to try anymore.

They’ve had me crying on the phone while arguing with me about their professionalism, keep expecting me to be able to drop an hour out of my day to provide the same information I’ve provided over and over again (an hour of my working day, where I would then have to return to work in an overly emotional state) and have informed me that my wage means I -should- be paying £30 an hour when I am distinctly quite broke living in London.

I have started facing the idea of medication with no professional aid, despite the fact that Mind recommends only using medication for severe depression, and that it shouldn’t be your sole method of recovery.

I loathe the idea of going back on to medication, but the constant exhaustion and reliance on cigarettes, alcohol and other substances to cope is too much. I’ve fooled myself with looking at over the counters, such as St John’s Wort, because I don’t want side effects that come with my pills. I keep thinking if I just keep carrying on and trying my best to live that eventually I will start to live. It’s become my daily lie, mostly because I’m exhausted. The smaller part of me, however, has just given up hope I can ever lead a functioning life without physical pain, mental anguish and often times a total lack of emotions plaguing me on a daily basis.So, I’m heading back to medication, and hopefully with a good dose of healthy eating, exercise, meditation and spending my money on happiness instead of image… Who knows, I might at least find myself again.

I don’t take this decision lightly, and neither should anyone else. I have deliberated, spoken to my nearest and most trusted friends. Most of my friends always ask “Have you seen your Doctor? Why aren’t you in therapy?” continuously, which is less than helpful. I feel accused, as if I’m choosing to be ill, and maybe that’s what pushed me to now think of medication again.

I didn’t hate the medication, but I hated the lack of care and information my doctors had. When I said I wanted to come off them, they didn’t have a conversation with me, they didn’t seem concerned. It was just “Do you feel able to come off them? Ok, taper them off… ” and I was told how to reduce dosage until I didn’t need my tablets anymore.
They don’t seem to realise I was first diagnosed 13 years ago. I know I’m the best judge of my mental state, but surely coming off medication warrants some sort of check up? A couple of therapy sessions while you begin to cope with normal life?
Things went wrong, I heaved and almost threw up due to my body’s reaction to coming off my meds in the way they suggested. I was told this was abnormal – ok fine – but after being given further medication advice that contradicted Mind I just said enough was enough. I was done trusting these people who obviously had no idea what they were doing.

I hate that I have to trust these people AGAIN. I don’t want to trust them. I have the distinct impression they don’t care, even though they assure me they do while I sit and weep in the patient’s chair, livid and exhausted.

I’m rambling now. I hope any of you with mental health problems have better facilities you can reach out to, and if not please do use any resources you can.

You can do this.

[Depression] Thank yourself. Every day. Ignore the feeling of dreadful cheesiness.

I’ve not posted any new self help method attempts in a while, mostly because I’m currently going through a very low period of depression.

Those times where the sadness ebbs into something much more grey than you could imagine, and you feel like an empty hollow wandering aimlessly. You’ll likely lose motivation, passion and emotions. You might feel like a phony, living in the stead of someone who used to be very much alive and real. You may sleep all day, or never be able to lay your head to rest, eat too much or not enough. There are always differences in how each of us experiences our lowest of lows, but it sucks balls for each and every one of us.

Normally, my coping mechanism used to be drink a lot, smoke a lot, go out, get crazy. This lead to emotional breakdowns, stupid decisions and a whole host of anxiety and heart palpitations from alcohol and cigarettes. Now, I’ve given up that life, cutting down my drinking and only having more than one if I know I’m in a good spot. It’s helped a lot, but it hasn’t solved this destructive urge. I still turn to cigarettes but I don’t implode the way my body wants me too. I have no solution yet for this, though I have found something that helps soothe over this pain just a little.

Say thank you to yourself.

I first heard this in a yoga class (so I know, this sounds old, cheesy and you’ve probably heard it a million times). I practice some yoga alone, using videos and apps, and realizing each time how horrendously stiff and inflexible I am. Last Sunday, I decided to have a change of pace, let’s actually join in with a group of people, be around the presence of others and see if that brings me more peace.

It didn’t just bring me peace, it brought out some of the pain in me. After an hour and a half of hard work, listening to my body, thinking about me exclusively and letting my form move in ways it wanted I felt released. I felt like a small crack had formed in the tough grey wall that stopped me feeling. When the instructor then said the words “Ignore that criticizing voice inside of you. It’s a decision, decide every day not to listen. Thank your body, send yourself love.”

I remind you, I am a meat eating, weight lifting kinkster who’s more cynical and bitter than at peace with the world, but this struck me hard in the chest to the point that tears rose, unfallen, into my eyes. I realized that the idea of pushing away these negative thoughts and sending positive ones to myself felt alien and wrong to the strongest degree. That I had allowed my mind to poison itself into such self hatred that I absolutely couldn’t appreciate how hard my body had worked. Because there was always better, always the next goal, it was all about progress and never understand that what I was doing in itself was enough. That still working out and eating healthy while going through a dark mental episode was enough. Living was enough.

So, for everyone out there who might be forgetting that they deserve thanks, thank yourself. Appreciate yourself. Living IS enough. Choosing the positive voice, at least sometimes, is enough. Do not let this disease dictate how you speak to yourself.

Maybe just a little bit of self kindness could go a long way for you. You deserve to feel happy, even if it feels like the world is against you

When my toes overstep this cliff edge
And drag my spirit down through my soul,
I begin to make a solemn pledge
That I will one day persevere to lose it all.
“He” hefts his weighty darkness down
Upon my shifting back, heavy shoulders bunched
With muscle, ready to drown
And leave my body pale and bloated, hunched
Over into death. Into this finished
Chasm of truth. This truth that we all answer the
Call of the void. Whether pushed,
Or longingly drawn like a golden lover’s kiss.
Bring the bite and noose to me
Then sweet one, and call my name like a siren
Of silver and lilacs, the simile
Of wealth and glory. But, foolish me, what then?

Then I answer my call to the dark,
Wisps of words half said turn away in his scream
“Come to me, my sparrow-lark
And help repair this rip and mend that seam
With your human spirit,
As flimsy as it is. I need it, my burdensome one,
Your eyes and fire lit
Brightly, illuminated and gorgeous, second to none.”

The voice calls me, as I
Stand with my toes edging off this cliff. Alone,
It calls me. And to the sky
I fall, until I am naught but air, and space and bone.

[Depression] A brief explanation of my History with the Demon

As I’ll be starting a series of my own experienced with battling depression, I though it only sensible to give you my credentials. Why should you listen to me? What do I know?

You don’t need to, and uh… Not much!

However, I do have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and was first diagnosed at 14, 2 years after the self harming and anxiety induced skin diseases began.

I have been struggling with this mental illness officially for 13 years, but really it’s more like 15. I have tried talking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication mixed with therapy, medication on its own. I am still currently struggling with the mental health system.

Last update: The nurse treating and diagnosing me wrote down some facts very incorrectly for my diagnosis, caused me to break down into tears on the phone because I missed a catch up appointment after not receiving any treatment, and then he discharged me for no reason.

So I am less than eager to entrust my mental state to the NHS since every time I try to go on their path, my mental health dives and my struggle becomes much more difficult.

This is why I’m going down the path of self help, because I have no professional help. I could keep trying, but it has been over a year since my latest struggle, and the last good piece of help I received was CBT. However my therapist said she couldn’t help me unless I decided to medicate, so I medicated for the first time due to pressure.

I’m not suggesting your experience will be the same. I am not suggesting you avoid mental health services, but treat with caution and keep a strong support system around you. Prepare yourself for some difficult times, and make sure you have some comforts you can fall back on in need.