“You know, sometimes I feel like I was born with a leak, and any goodness I started with just slowly spilled out of me, and now it’s all gone. And I’ll never get it back in me. It’s too late. Life is a series of closing doors, isn’t it?”
Bojack Horseman, Bojack Horseman (2014)
I hate to have to start this off with a content warning but I feel it’s important. In this post I will be covering some nasty topics such as Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Thoughts, Mental Illness, Isolation & Hopelessness so please feel free to close the page if you are negatively impacted by any of these subjects. Thank you.
Collapsing At Christmas
Last time I talked about this I talked about how I was being let go by my CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) councilor after a series of horrible events that left me housebound and terrified of what the future may hold. Well I’m sorry to say it hasn’t gotten much better, since being let go my life has been a complete mess, I had to have two emergency appointments with the local mental hospital and I’ve retreated even further (if that’s possible) into my own shell and hidden away from everyone and everything.
When the Christmas break came around and my partner had some time off work I thought that things might get a bit better, I’d get to spend more time with them and maybe relax some more. But what I didn’t count on was that everyone would be getting time off and we would be socialising, a lot. It seemed that not a day went by where we didn’t have people round or had to go to someone’s house for something or another and it really negatively impacted me, I couldn’t stop shaking all day, I was constantly being sick and my sleep pattern was all over the place.
The worst of it came on New Year’s eve where we were going to go to a friend’s house for the night, I stood by the door smoking fag after fag trying to build up the courage to do so. When I turned back into the house to go and get changed and ready to go I just froze in place, I was bright red (I assume from blood pressure), shaking like a leaf and crying streams of tears. My partner was with me and tried to move me to the living room to sit on the sofa and as soon as I took one step I just collapsed onto my knees then face. Now I don’t mind telling you that I am a big bastard, very overweight and my knees were killing me for a few days, even bruising and swelling up from the impact. Needless to say I was not a pretty sight.
The Major Issues
I talked last time about how I was finding it difficult to get out of the house, well that hasn’t changed and if anything it has gotten a lot worse. The only things I leave the house for now are appointments and visiting people, but I always have my partner with me for that. I have a support group that I go to on a Thursday that’s only a 5 minute walk away from the house and I haven’t been since before Christmas, it’s one of the only ways of socialising with people I have and I have been staunch avoiding it either due to sleep issues or just not being able to leave the house. Needless to say this has been a major contributor to my decline in mental health and a big player in my heightened sense of loneliness over the last few months.
My anxiety over the last few months has been atrocious, as I said above I have been shaking practically non-stop and it caused me to collapse over Christmas. I don’t know how I’ve managed to maintain my weight cos the amount I’ve been sick should have made me lose weight by now, which is something worth worrying about come to think of it as I’ve had two visiting friends in the last week tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight but don’t worry though, I’ve got plenty to spare on that front.
I could sit here and write thousands of words on my depression and my “Toxic Brain” as it now gets referred to a lot but I won’t go on to long about it. My depression at the moment is not giving me a moments peace, it seems that I am not allowed any break in the constant negativity I’ve come to know. I hate to use or be cliché but thoughts that “You’re worthless”, “You’d be better off dead”, “You’re ruining (my partner)’s life by just existing”, “You don’t even talk to your friends anymore”, “What’s the point in you being alive right now” and far to many more that I won’t go into detail about are a constant stream in my head and again without trying to be cliche but it really gets you down.
Motivation has been another major problem for me as of late, if this ever sees light on my site I’ll be amazed. I currently have seven different posts at various stages of completion just sitting there waiting for me to come and enjoy some escapism thinking about something nice like Doctor Who, Star Wars or Pokémon but I just simply haven’t been able to type (I last edited one on November 10th, it’s January 23rd at time of writing).
I’ve got some great friends that I regularly talk to over the mic on Discord but I haven’t even managed to talk to them properly for months, the effort required to put my headset on and then talk to people like nothing’s wrong is far to great. Even if I do manage to get my headset on and manage to double-click Discord I can’t take that final step of joining the server and talking to them, it just feels like I’m lying to myself when I tell myself they’ll be glad to speak to me because I can’t believe it.
My self-worth has plummeted to a point that most people would consider dangerous, all I do now is hide away in my little room and stare at my computer (I don’t even have to have anything on be it music or videos/tv shows etc) because I am convinced that my presence is ruining other people’s lives. Whether or not that is true or no matter how much I’m told otherwise I still keep doing it “They’re just lying to try and make you feel better”, “You’re gonna make them broken just like you”, “What’s the point, you’ll only let them down if you can’t repeat the feat tomorrow”. Again this constant negative spiral is overwhelming to the point of suffocation and I can’t seem to escape it.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times during this and during my “Light Night Trail” posts that my sleep is horrible. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t really call it a pattern because there is no “pattern” to it, I stay awake until I am exhausted and then I sleep for far to long or until I have a nightmare or night terror and wake up screaming/shouting. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) on top of my never ending list of problems, I am not at a point where I can talk about why I have been diagnosed with this so please forgive me, it may be something I talk about in the future when I am a lot braver or have learned to cope with it better. I recently told my partner about something that they were unaware of from my past and we’ve been together for 10 years this year so the internet can wait a little longer I reckon.
The lack of motivation to do anything is something that my doctor’s are particularly concerned about because whereas before I could listen to music, watch tv/films, play video games, read interesting articles and even write on here to some extent all I am left with now is a whole lot of nothing. I’m left with my thoughts and nothing to block them out which is obviously creating a really negative environment for me to be in and it is seemingly impossible for me to claw back any sense of “normality”.
As I said above I had some emergency appointments in this period and they deemed I was eligible for some Therapy, and boy did they mean it. I am currently averaging 2 or 3 appointments a week with Doctors, Therapists, Psychologists and OTs (Occupational Therapists). Now this bit is going to sound strange to some of you and I in no way mean any disrespect to any of the professionals involved or the NHS but my god is it all overwhelming.
To suddenly go from no (or very little) help to this has been a real culture shock, like I have already said I struggle to leave the house at the moment so I seem to spend quite a lot of my time now standing by the front door working up the courage to cross that threshold. For lack of a better word, it’s been mental.
Therapy is going well (I think) despite me leaving every appointment so far crying and needing to hide away in reception before leaving. The Doctor I’m seeing is very nice and very patient with me, we’ve talked about some really difficult subjects and there’s some we haven’t even touched on yet. I dread going every week but at the same time I do find it very therapeutic (that’s luck isn’t it?), talking about problems and past events in an open environment is soothing but strange. I half expect her to go “There’s nothing we can do for you” at every turn but luckily that hasn’t happened yet, the best I’ve gotten is “You should write a book” which made me laugh.
My OT is equally very nice and she said she was going to check out this site so if you are reading this, Hi I guess. Luckily for me these appointments take place in my own home so I feel a bit safer and don’t have to hide my face walking home after them. I do feel extremely guilty at these appointments as it is her job to find something for me to do, whether it be outside or in my own home and every time we talk about it I just sit there and say no to everything and I’ve always got an excuse, especially with the leaving the house thing. As I said though she is very nice and is always quick to remind me that they don’t expect miracles over night which does help alleviate some of the pressure.
So yeh it’s not been great, I’ve met my worst enemy who despises everything about me and unfortunately the bastard lives inside my head. But there is some glimmer of hope I think, I’m getting lots of support at the moment and everyone is being very very patient with me and hopefully now I can start the slow climb back to sanity.
One of my big problems recently is when I realise that I’ve been like this now since I was 14/15, I’m currently 28 years old so that’s a decade and a half of my life I’ve lost to this illness. I had to drop out of university and ever since I feel like I’m dragging other people down with me but who knows, there may be light at the end of the tunnel yet.
I would just also like to say a massive thank you to my friends (in real life and on the internet), I know I haven’t been the most reliable person in the world for the last couple of months and you people have all been absolutely amazing.
And to my partner I’ll say that you are the reason I think there is any light at the end of the tunnel, I might think that I’m human garbage and not worth much to anyone but if you’ve managed to put up with me and my bullshit for ten years then there has to be something in me worth fighting for. You’ve been amazing and I don’t think I’d still be here if it wasn’t for you, you give me a reason to fight and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay what you’ve done for me.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health then please please please don’t suffer alone. Use the NHS service finder to find your local mental health services, ring the Samaritans or talk to your GP. One of the worst things about mental health problems is feeling that you are alone and if there’s one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that you’re not.
Thank you for reading this incredibly long and I imagine depressing post, it hasn’t been easy for me to type and I can’t imagine it’s been easy to read. Take care of yourselves out there and I’ll speak to you soon, hopefully with something nicer to talk about. Leigh.
What I’ve been listening to while putting the final touches on this post.