Anxiety, art, depression, mental health

Blooming into the new (old) me

I know I’m not 100%. I know that those anxiety bouts get the better of me sometimes. Over analysing and I still remain BFF’s. I know I’ll have to manage this all my life. 9 years with it feels like a lifetime, like watching anything with Piers Morgan on.

But somethings happened. Through these blogs. I’ve really got to know a lot more about myself and who I am. And how I haven’t been that person for a long time.

A close friend told me the other day. Although I’ve had a shit time, she’s already seeing me as better, funnier, more chilled out person. Isn’t it amazing what new meds and getting rid of metaphorical baggage can do! (Don’t leave your baggage unattended though, the non metaphorical kind. I did that once and my bag went to Middlesborough).

Now I might get a bit hippy and deep here. But y’know, we’ve entered spring (I know! Tell the weather that!) and I feel I’ve entered the spring of my life. Out of the cold, ice of winter and into the blooms of spring. New life.

Yes it’s going to be a constant battle with me and my thought processes, but I’m armed to fight them. The bulbs are sprouting and I can see so much light shining in. Pass me my shades.

This could well be down to therapy today. Or, it could be down to me. I’m on a journey of self- discovery (god I want to punch myself right now for writing that, next I’ll be packing a back pack and off to south East Asia to ‘find myself’ and stroke a sedated tiger).

I go back to work on Thursday and I can’t wait. Nursing is part of my identity, that I’m re-building. This time with the knowledge that I have a support system. And I know I can trust this support system.

Everything happens for a reason. I had to reach rock bottom to climb back up.

Oh and… Karma bitches ✌🏼

Anxiety, depression, mental health

Side 2 of side 1. When we entered shit creek without a paddle.

We got back together. You know that yeh? It took some time for me to trust him again. Feeling on a knifes edge that any minute he could drop me again. He reassured me, we lived different lives now.

I was still doing my nurse training (half way through, which is the worst time where you really want to throw anything to do with reflective writing off a cliff). He had organised to go travelling for 6 months with his friend. And I accepted he wanted to do that.

Off he went, I went all the way down to Heathrow to spend one last night with him before he went off to do complete his millennial task of ‘finding himself’. I remember sobbing at the tube station of Heathrow, full snot bubble sobbing. But I trusted he needed to do this, and I had a lot on my plate as it was.

I can’t say it wasn’t a struggle. I missed him, his presence, his smell, just hugging him. And anyone who knows me knows I DO NOT let people hug me. I’m not a big personal contact person (despite being a nurse, I’m not hugging patients all day, I make an exception for the cuties).

There were times I said to my friends, and him “why am I doing this? It’s so difficult.” I even met him in Thailand for Christmas and it was lovely, I had a mini travelling experience with him which I’ll never forget. Especially when a Thai street food vendor stole my new pants! (I wasn’t wearing them as he stole them, that would of been awkward).

I met him when he got to his Europe leg of his trip in Rome, my favourite city. With hope there was just a month left before he would be back in sunny England.

Eventually he was back. We went back to having a semi-normal relationship. (Living only 60 miles apart has its challenges, especially the M6 on a Friday night!)

But there was one major MAJOR niggle. His father. Now, I know in-laws can be a pain in the arse at the best of times. But when someone goes out of their way to ignore you, not make conversation with you, decline you as a friend on Facebook (big deal in this day and age). It puts a lot of strain on how you feel about yourself, especially when you have anxiety and depression as it is. Obviously I thought “god he bloody hates me it’s so obvious.” And guess what, it turns out for once, my anxiety was completely correct. He who shall not be named told me. After noticing it himself and feeling trapped between the two of us, he confronted his father, who confirmed he didn’t like me. Due to how I had upset his son in the past…. WHAT?!

Now up until the end of our relationship, this wasn’t actually confirmed. I pushed on, was polite, attempted to build some form of relationship, but that’s hard when you’re provided with metaphorical circular breeze blocks.

I even had it out with the ex once, in my drunk and anxious state about why the hell shouldn’t his dad like me. I’m not a waster, I’m an RGN for Christ’s sake. To which, he launched at me and put his hands round my throat (red light?! Yeh probs). Probably, due to some delightful childhood experiences I just thought “okay, it’s fine I aggravated him, everyone lashes out now and again right?”

We carried on. Our relationship wasn’t perfect, who’s is?! But 95% of the time we were best mates. Totally in love, marriage talk, kids talk, the whole shabang!

He went away to sea, and forgot to organise his flights home early enough. Therefore missing my graduation. In-fact, he’s missed the majority of my life events (but muggins here still managed to blag time off placement and drive to DEVON, for his passing out parade. Which, I would like to add is 2 hours of standing and staring at people standing. YAWN)

Anyway, I don’t want to ramble. He went away for months on end. We were apart, I missed him but I got on with being me. During this time, as GP’s like to do. My anti-depressants were changed from citalopram to sertraline, as I was having palpitations. Citalopram can affect your QT interval and cause arrhythmias. So my GP panicked and off I went on sertraline.

Little did I know, this knew SSRI was doing sweet FA for me. My anxiety spiked. I wasn’t socialising enough, I was having angry outbursts at friends and family. Spending time off in bed not communicating with anyone.

There was even a time I didn’t think I loved him anymore. We stopped doing things together. Just sat around in a rut. When he touched me my skin crawled. Especially when I found him texting one of his ex’s. (I slapped him on this occasion –maladaptive anger.) He cried and begged me not to break up with him.

He who shall not be named noticed (fair play to him there) and suggested I get some therapy. I self-referred into the wonderful 18 week waiting list for talking therapy.

But things weren’t getting better. I was having them butterflies all day. I had to lay in bed in the morning and rock myself back and forth to distract me from the fear. The low self-worth, the dark thoughts. But knowing I had no reason to feel this way.

I was always scared. Always felt judged, by everyone, and I mean everyone. It would make me tetchy especially after a drink. So I stopped going out drinking. I told him all this. I expressed my darkest feelings to the person I trusted with all my heart. And it backfired. Big time.

See you for the finale!