Saturday, 18 June 2011

Is there anybody out there?

I have felt pretty stable all this week, except for Friday when I was unusually tearful, lonely and frightened in my own home.  Maybe it's the extra Seroquel I am taking which is making me anxious or something?  I am on 200mg a night in order to sleep - I was on anything between 50-100mg but that stopped working and so I upped the dose.  I tried Wednesday night to sleep without medication but it didn't work and I spent the night in a permanent light sleep - so frustrating.
One thing I have enjoyed this week is reaching out and reading a lot of mental health blogs.  There seem to be some regulars and most are so articulate, way more so than me.  But what I have found is that I am not alone and some people have way worse problems than me - I almost feel ashamed to consider myself mental.  I know it is all relative and on my better days I will feel like I belong, but I have always had a problem of fitting in and I think sometimes I am thinking that I don't even fit into the mentalists world.  I have felt confident enough to post a few comments and hope I have worded them properly so that I haven't insulted anyone.
Psych appointment on Monday after my appointment with the unemployment office.  Am feeling a bit ranty towards my psychiatrist so it may not be an easy appointment.
Also, with my planned return to England I have been researching the kind of help and support that I can get.  I have found a support group in the area that I am moving to but the hunt for a psychiatrist to see privately until I am into the NHS system again, has not been so easy. I have also looked for psychologists but am totally confused with the therapy types (person centered etc.) so have no idea which one will be suitable for me.  It made me cry as it seemed so overwhelming and scary that I am going back when I am so used to a high level of support over here in Switzerland.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Job Hunting

I bit the bullet and went and spoke to the managers of one of the hotels, who require an Au pair and help in service.  They are really nice and I knew them already so when the conversation got going I wasn't too nervous.  Of course, the wage for an au Pair is terrible but at least I would be working and earning my own wage.
At the moment the days are just drifting by.  Because of the Seroquel (now on 200mg/day to get me to sleep) I tend to wake up groggy and lay there for ages daydreaming.  I feel like I am being really lazy but I am just in a zombie like state most of the time except for bursts of energy every so often.  Hence making the effort to write on my blog.
Last night I was really tearful.  I really missed my ex and being in the comfort of a relationship.   Although I am content with being alone which has proved to myself that I don't need to be in a relationship, I miss the day to day security of having that person there.  I am still sleeping with him when the mood takes me but I am very passive about it, it's just emotionless.
So I have focused a bit on research as to the kind of jobs I can apply for in HR when I get back to the UK and am pleased to see I can get something pretty good that earns a decent amount as I have the skills they are looking for. Will start applying around September time as I am not expecting to get something straight away but it would be good to get something before the end of the year.

Monday, 13 June 2011


I sometimes wonder if my cat knows my mood is going to change before i do. He has been very cuddly towards me today and although i have been ok most of the time i have had waves of sadness and loneliness wash over me. Talking to my best friend earlier was great and i was feeling positive and telling her all my plans,  but now i feel so sad and very lonely. I am missing my ex too. I am so confused.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Life etc.

I HAVE to get a job tomorrow.  I can't put it off any longer, even though my anxiety has been getting the better of me.  So I have been reading every self help book and listening to self esteem CD's that I own to try and boost my self belief and confidence.
J called by today at about 1.30pm.  I was still in bed.  I could tell he didn't approve but he's not the one who is suffering insomnia at the moment and due to his army years he can survive on three hours sleep a night.  So I felt really guilty and then spent the rest of the day worrying about how guilty I was feeling.
My guts are churning though - I have tried visualising me going to speak to the hotel manager (who I know) and getting the job and receiving the pay at the end of the month.  If I earn the money then I can pay off the health insurance debts and take away that anxiety.  So I have to do it, I have just lost all trust and confidence in myself to be able to commit to work.  I know once I am in work I will be OK because I will have the routine and it is a job where no-one is breathing down my neck all the time so no pressure there, but there is a nagging doubt in the back of my mind - well, that voice that tells you that you can't do it, it will go wrong, that I am no good, I am a failure etc.
Plus there is still this sodding insomnia to sort out.  I have been taking more Seroquel as Dr I said I should try that rather than using sleeping tablets as it will also have an antidepressant effect and take that edge off that I am experiencing at the moment.  But I am almost scared to go to sleep as I don't know what tomorrow will bring and am anxious about that.
I spoke to my best friend, E, today.  Her new house will be ready in August and I am welcome to go back to the UK anytime after where she will take care of me and get me back on my feet again.  I have told her it will more likely be near Christmas by the time I have sorted out all the shit over here.  It's a goal anyway.  J heard somehow that I am planning to go back to the UK - he said I can't take my cat with me as he will never cope in a  town as he is used to wide open spaces and countryside.  He has a point I guess, but its my cat........In that past I rehomed my three cats when I was with my ex and we went travelling and I swore that I would never do that again.  But J found the cat for me so and it looked like we were going to be together forever.
Which wasn't to be.
I am focusing on daily affirmations and on future goals to keep me going at the moment.  This week I have been missing J quite a lot.  Also, last week I heard that some of the desperate housewives have been having girly nights and BBQ's together and they didn't invite me, so I was really upset (still am) as I take things like that really personally and then wonder what is wrong with me, am I not good enough for them.  But I will never feel "good enough" as it has haunted me throughout my life and I simply can't seem to shake the feeling.
I have been reading lots of other mental health blogs and my heart goes out to those who are finding life difficult right are not alone........

Monday, 6 June 2011

Hope and Despair

When I first met my Psychiatrist I wasn't full of much hope.  I was in fact in deep despair - what had sent me to the clinic? Why couldn't I just be normal? Why did I keep coming back to these feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, fear, giving up?  I had tried medication before and it hadn't worked.  I had been depressed on and off since I was 15 so why would this time be any different?
I had requested a female psychiatrist, but this was not possible as no-one at the Psychiatric Service had good enough English skills to treat me and my German certainly wasn't up to the level  required to talk about my feelings.  In fact, I ended up with the Chief doctor as he had worked in America for some years and have remained with him ever since, three and a half years later.
I remember that first meeting - I was terrified.  I thought he wouldn't take me seriously.  I didn't believe anyone could help me.  After all, in the clinic they had remedicated me and I had therapies  but nothing seemed to offer a glimmer of hope that I would stop feeling this way.  I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but from the instant I opened my mouth to the close of the meeting an hour later I didn't stop sobbing.  I threw an exercise book at him containing my life story so far which I had written in the clinic and told him that I wasn't going to go over my life story again as I had done that years before in counselling and I was bored of it.
I really felt that he listened to me even though I was stumbling over words, jumping from thought to thought and completely embarrassed about opening up so intensely.
Finally, he spoke.  Please offer me a glimmer of something that can cure me, I thought.  He told me that it appeared I was suffering from Atypical Depression, which is in fact quite "typical".  He ran through the diagnostic criteria and I felt such relief that what he was describing was in fact - me.  Finally, someone may be able to help me?  He suggested medication that might help me (although I can't remember which as I am on regime number 6 now) to start off with and then began a weekly appointment to try and unwrap my feelings of despair.
It is three and a half years later and I see Dr I on a monthly basis.  I have tried leaving it longer but invariably crack up in a longer timescale.  I now take medication which I am satisfied with (here's hoping it continues to deliver) and have learnt a lot about myself.  He is a lifeline.
Maybe one day I will not have to depend on this.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Psychiatrist appointment

My scheduled appointment was on Monday, one of the hottest days we have had here this year.  Dr I did apologise that his office would be hot and stuffy - although the window was open it is often reshut as the office is located by the hospital helipad - the heli usually comes in to land just when I am getting to an important or emotional comment.
Anyway, my mood had dropped last week and so I began by explaining that.  He asked if there was a particular reason and I said I had been thinking about that but there was no reason I could think of.  I explained about my sleeping problems over the last three weeks and that Dr A had given me Zolpidem after I had tried Temesta.  He seemed a bit disapproving and suggested I tried Seroquel instead, up to 300mg as the antidepressant effects would also help with my mood.
There wasn't much else to talk about really.  He asked about J and I said that I was in a mood with him as he only phones when he wants something.  J gets annoyed if I don't pick up the phone when he calls, saying that he worries in case I have done something to myself.  When I said to J after my appointment that he hadn't phoned for a week and I could be dead on the floor he said that I can pick up the phone too!  Typical, he always tries to turn it back on me. Dr I thinks I am working through my anger.
I explained that I had lists everywhere of stuff I want to do, to achieve, but never do and then beat myself up about not achieving my goals.  Dr I suggested I had a maximum list of three things and that I spent 5 minutes on each with the hope that this would motivate me to achieve more.  I am going to give it a try.  I've got nothing to lose.
I think my health insurance problem is getting closer to resolution.  I keep getting random statements from insurer number 1 with cancelled policies and new ones that are cheaper etc.  So I am  a bit confused as to who I am insured with at the moment.  Anyway, not my problem as the Social Service is taking on my case and will basically reallocate my money according to the debts I owe and pay me the excess (topped up if it is too low) into my bank account so that I know how much money I have for myself each month and no surprise bills coming in.  I sent off the paperwork yesterday after meeting with them last week.  Fingers crossed this goes well.