Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Routine going to pots

I had really good intentions of sticking to routine tonight, I was going to come home, check my email and then go for a walk in the park. I was going to come home cook, have a bath and get to bed at a sensible time.

I have spent 2 hours online (whoops!) It is 8:30 aleady. I have registered with Social Anxiety UK (see Social Anxiety link on the left). That is where I found a link to the blogg below. I can still get to bed by 10pm. I still do not think I am hypomanic as I can do 8hours straight without it entering my head that it is a possibility, like the selective mutism entries below.

Work is going really well, my boss is giving me loads of positive feedback and he has said my interim review will be really good so I don't have to worry. Of course I am still asking myself whether he is just trying to build my confidence.

I have also volunteered for the interdepartmental football team :o)!! I am really looking forward to it! They have not got enough players yet so fingers crossed that we will get a team together!

OK I am going to practise some self discipline - Dinner + jobs - wash up then - bath and bed!!!

PS. Please visit blogg below

Someone needs support

Sage, Raine, Anyone;
Please visit this blogg, the guy needs some support and you two are so good at it :o)!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Am I feeling a bit manic?

I could be I guess, I find it very hard to know sometimes and impossible to distinguish a natural high from a hypo manic episode.

I was buzzing after going Salsa dancing on Sunday night, I was so nervous before I went in I said the Lord's Prayer to myself over and over again. I am not even religious but it keeps the negative thoughts away and it is a comforting feeling that someone is looking over you.

I guess I was a little high afterwards - I think I was just pleased with myself for going Salsa dancing. I had a lot of energy Sunday night, the guy I was dancing with wanted to sit every other dance out! I could have been a little high?

I don't think I was too high or caused myself any problems; I did loose my routine a bit yesterday and stayed up far too late. I will make sure I get to bed on time today and eat properly. As for blogging a lot I think I was bored more than anything else :o).

Raine; Thank you very much for your concern, I will make sure I stick to a routine this week and take plenty of time out to slow down and relax!

Monday, May 29, 2006

My Story (with happy ending!!!!)

I have just submitted this article to

I am 28 years old; I have an undergraduate degree and a post graduate degree. I have a good career that pays well and allows me to be independent. I get to do some travelling for business.

All my life I have suffered from social anxiety, I was an extremely shy child and speaking to my psychiatrist recently we believe I suffered from selective mutism. My social phobia went undiagnosed until recently.

I was first diagnosed with depression nearly five years ago. Since then I have tried several anti-depressants, which offered me some relief. I believe the underlying cause of the depression was the social anxiety.

I first started having symptoms of depression around puberty. This went undiagnosed until I was 23 as the social phobia prevented me seeking help even after I realised I was ill.

Things came to a head last year when I could no longer cope. A friend called 999 because I was threatening suicide. He rang me and all I could do was scream. I had not hurt my self but I could no longer cope with all the stuff going on in my head.

I still did not get the help I needed for another few days. The police took me to my doctor who prescribed anti-depressants (again!). I was also assigned a social worker. Over the next week I was prescribed strong sleeping tablets and valium. Neither of these helped.

A few weeks later I became psychotic and was admitted to hospital. I had not slept for over a week. I spent 5 days in an NHS hospital. My antidepressants/ anti anxiety drugs were stopped and I was put on Anti Psychotics. After I started to gain control again I asked to see a psychiatrist privately as the NHS psychiatrist would not see me for another week. I got myself transferred to a private hospital where I spent another three weeks.

During this time I nearly lost my job (luckily thanks to my supervisor and manager realising I was going through a rough time I was talked out of resigning and offered a career break instead). I lost the place I was living in.

It took me a few months to rebuild my life and get my independence back. Loosing my independence had triggered several panic attacks.

I returned to work part time after about four months off. That was about 6 months ago.

I now have a new lease of life. I am being treated for Social Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder. I have also received some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Social Anxiety is my biggest battle. I have suffered from this all my life and have become an expert in avoidance.

I so want to make friends, I love people and I hate being on my own. I am making really good progress and I have my own blogg, which I have been writing for just over a month now.

I have suffered in silence most of my life - When I kept getting diagnosed with depression and prescribed more drugs I said I thought I had social phobia but my GP would not take it seriously. It has taken me years and been so difficult to get any help! I want to share my experience in the hope that it may help others.

Things to do before I'm 30

1. Get a tattoo
2. Buy my own flat/house with a garden and a gas cooker
3. Go to New York
4. Increase my social life

Things to do before I die!

Last tear when I was at a very low point in my life, I had just come out of hospital after a psychotic episode and I was finding life very difficult. A friend encouraged me to write a list of things to do before I was 30. I was quite seriously contemplatng suicide at the time so I made the list things to do before I die (much to her concern at the time).

1. have a baby (or two)
2. hug a stranger
3. Sing in a karaoke
4. Go on a cruise
5. Visit India
6. Cycle the great wall of China
7. Go to New York
8. See victoria falls
9. live abroard
10. Visit Africa and do voluntary work
11. Grow my bonsai (it has already died)
12. Write a diary to leave behind when I die
13. Have a bonfire
14. Own a piece of jewlery worth over £1000
15. Pait a wild elaborate picture on an easil
16. Have sex in a public place
17. Sleep on a beach under the stars
18. be fit and run in a race
19. Host a party (know enough people for it)
20. Be slim enough to wear a bikini

I did it...

I went Salsa dancing like I promised myself three weeks ago. I really enjoyed it. I did two lessons and then the had a live band until 1am. I did the classes and the women had to keep moving on so we danced with all the men. I did both the lessons which were really great. I then decided to get a drink at the bar before going home. I danced with three different men after the class. One of the men walked me back to my car!!!

The first man was in my beginners class but he was not a strong enough partner to lead me and was too short so I just had the one dance with him. The next man asked me to dance but was not impressed that I did not know all the steps. Finally the last guy I danced with I stayed with for a while. He has had a bout 20 lessons and I got better with him through the evening. He ended up walking me back to my car which was nice. I intend to go again next week as I really enjoyed it.

I am watching 'The girl with a Pearl Earing' now I am still buzzing from the dancing!!


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Salsa Dancing

I am going Salsa Dancing tonight, I need to leave in just over an hour. I am trying not to think about it too much - if I winde myself up I don't think I will end up going. I just want to meet people and find people to go out with. I also find dancing quite sexy and if I meet someone nice tht would be cool!


Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm Exhausted!

I am exhausted after a really busy week. I have just been to the supermarket tonight to put some food in the fridge before my parents come tomorrow. I bought my best friend some flowers. Her baby is due on Monday and she looks about ready to burst. I invited her and her husband around for dinner on Monday; I thought it might help pass the time for them. When I saw her face I realised it was a bad idea - she suddenly looked exhausted at the thought. I should have realised.

I completed the document I have been working really hard on at work. I got it finished by lunchtime and my boss read it this afternoon. He said it was really good for a first attempt at that type of document. He only had a few comments, which is good for him - he will happily rip things to shreds if he is not happy.

I had lunch with my boss today - he has just got engaged and is really really happy and content with life. He really deserves his happiness he has been really good to me and very understanding. He was talking about his wedding plans, which bought back how I felt when I was engaged last year. I was about at the stage he is now discussing venues and the type of wedding he would like. Then it all went wrong for me; my partner of 8 years decided to end it.

Although I am really excited about my friends baby and really happy for my boss a part of me is jealous. I feel really bad about it but I wanted the marriage and the home and the family. My chances of it seem really slim now. That is what is driving me to break this social anxiety thing.

I watched Eastenders tonight and Little Mo was leaving, She was suppose to go with the Doctor, Oliver, and start a new life. She had a row with him and decided to leave without him. He ran after her and met her in the tube. He asked her to think again and go with him instead. She said she loved him but would not go, she made a little speech and it really rang true to me...

Her speech starts off 'I have been little Mo too long......' It goes on to say how she has always relied on someone else for her happiness and has always been scared. She needs to go on her own to stop being scared, she was saying she has to make her self happy.

I am trying to make myself happy but it is not that easy :o(. I have decided to start looking for a flat to buy. I am in two minds though, the driver to do it is I want a garden and I want to decorate. I used to own a house with my ex. The down side is that I have to face that I will probably be on my own for some time!! I think buying a flat is the right thing to do as I can not wait for someone else to make me happy - Mr Right may never come - I can only work on increasing my social interactions to give me the best chance! I think a garden so I can grow things and a flat to make into a proper home will start to making me happier on my own.

I probably will not post for the next few days as my parents are coming to stay. I am going to try Salsa dancing on Sunday- I promised myself!! Maybe someone nice will be there.

I feel exhausted at the moment; I have bags under my eyes and messy greasy hair. With the jet lag, going out on Wednesday and my workload I have not had time to wash it. Before my parents come tomorrow I am going to go swimming, go to the Sauna and have a good shower - I will style my hair and put some make up on. I have just bought a new lipstick and nail varnish ready for Salsa dancing.

I think it is time to put more effort into my appearance to help me find Mr Right. I am pretty plain looking and have gooffey teeth. My hair is always a mess. Up until now I have not seen any point on working on my appearance as I thought only shallow people judge you on your appearance and presides I will still be ugly even after spending ages getting ready in the mornings. The fact is I still believe this but I want to meet new people and I think I would feel more comfortable with a little make up.

I never used to like to wear make up to work in case someone commented on it - I was frightened. I do not feel so anxious about that anymore. I'd probably like the attention!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I visited my sister last night, her and her husband made me dinner and I walked her three dogs in the forest. I have been working too hard this week so I left everything at work last night.

Tonight I went to see a work friend who is on maternity leave, her baby is four months old already. She is very sweet. My best friend's baby is due on Monday. I am really excited but it is her first baby so she is a little nervous about the birth. She is also planning on moving house in the next few weeks.

Work is very busy, I am really busy at work at the moment :o(. I am enjoying it though and I am enjoying new challenges.

I am talking to my Mum on the phone, she does not know about my blogg! I am going for a bath now - I'll post again soon.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

working again!

I have been working all evening again!! I get so bored and lonely in the evenings I do it just for something to do! It is a good job Ilike work!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back to work

I was back to work today, I came home to a whole load of things to do, workis parachuting in from all directions at the moment. I even bought work home tonight and I have only just finished it atgone 10pm.

I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday and we are planning to go to New York for a few days in June. I have booked the days off work and I will be away or my Birthday :o)

I am going to wash up and go to bed now!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'm Back...

I had a really good week on the whole it was great!!

I enjoyed having some company during the evenings. I met a lot of new people without working myself up in to a state that meant I actually enjoyed meeting them!

I received some really nice comments from the team I usually work with. One person said to me it was really nice to see me so relaxed and making new friends. I also had the feedback that I had done some really good networking.

I had two low points, Monday night I got really upset because I had a really good day, everyone had been so nice to me. I was in the pub Monday night but I was quite tired. One of the girls said they wanted to go in about 5 mins and I said I would go back to the hotel with her. I had changed my mind, but I thought she was waiting for me so I got up to go but she changed her mind and said she was going to stay longer. I felt I still had to go so I left. I went back to the Hotel, changed my shoes and then wondered around. It was a nice evening. I got upset that I had no friends at home, everyone was being nice to me there and I cried about how crap my life was!!

Tuesday was good; I finished work early and went shopping with someone I work with in the UK. We then went out for dinner; we met some German guys from our team and went with them. The restaurant I chose turned out to be really crap. I felt responsible :o(. And then to top things off they bought the bill and I expected one of the German guys to pay as company policy for expenses is the most senior person pays. He obviously did not want to and I put him on the spot. I felt really bad :o(.

Wednesday evening I got myself in a mess. We had a banquet for a few hundred people. Because of conversations in the past about being there to network and make connections I felt I could not sit with the people I know and feel comfortable with. I made the effort to sit with people I did not know. I made some polite conversation. All the people I would have liked to sit with sat together. Towards the end of the evening they all got up and were singing as the entertainment was a game of Pop Idol with three judges. Everyone was having great fun and I wanted to join in. I did not know how but it is the kind of thing I really wish I could do.

I decided to go back to the Hotel quite early as I was feeling very left out. It was pouring hard but I did not want to ask for a taxi for such a short distance and I do not mind the rain. Unfortunately I did not ask for directions as I though the porters would judge me and think me weird for walking in the rain. I got very lost, I walked a couple of blocks, I asked someone for directions but they obviously did not know where as they told me wrong. I ended up back where I started. My hair was dripping and there was a thunderstorm. I decided to ask the porter for a taxi and finally got back to the hotel.

The hotel room was massive, I felt invaded by the house keeping staff coming in and I was upset that I could not join in the with the entertainment. I sat in the wardrobe, closed the door and cried for about 20 minutes. I felt safer in the wardrobe and less anxious, it was easier to calm down in a small private space.

I used to sit in the wardrobe and when I was a child and we had guests. I had to give up my bedroom for the guests so I did not have any private space. I had to stay in the living room with my Mum and her friends until bedtime and then I slept in my parent’s room. It got too much and I was crying that I wanted my bedroom back. My Mum was telling me off for being a spoilt brat so I ran upstairs and hid in the wardrobe, I felt private there and I felt comfortable. It was a similar feeling then.

Thursday and Friday went really well. I made lots of good contacts for work and I felt more comfortable with my European colleagues.

I left Indy on Friday; our flight from Indy to Chicago was delayed so we had less than an hour until the departure time of the flight to London. We had to change terminal, check in and get to the departure gate. We ran across the airport and just made it to the gate in time. We got chatting about fitness levels and stuff and said I should play in the interdepartmental football team this summer. I said I might do. I played a few years ago but I felt so anxious about doing something wrong and letting the team down it was more torturous than fun. I hope they ask me when they get the team together as it is something I would really like to do!

Work wise the week went really really well, and I am very pleased with myself for little things like shaking everybody’s hand when I met them, not sitting in the hotel on my own in the evenings and making new contacts with people who do similar jobs as me from around the world!! I had a really good week!

I loved the mid west, for all the space, no over crowding, enough lifts in the Hotel not to have to queue and the friendliness of everyone I came across. I let a shop assistant helped me choose some jeans in GAP. I really enjoyed the service, I told my best friend about this yesterday and said I would usually run away, she just said I know you do!

I felt a bit down yesterday, the two people I was travelling with were met from the airport by their boy friend and girl friend both with gifts and hugs. I was met by a miserable taxi driver who complained about how long it took me from landing to getting out of the airport!!! I miss US service :o)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ready to go.....

I am all packed, house work done and ready to go - the taxi gets here in 10 minutes.
I will not post while I am away so next entry will be next weekend.

I am really looking forward to the trip but it is going to be hard work, I will have to be social and I will get tired. I hope people do not think I am weird.

I am sure it will be fine, I can talk about work. As long as I do not have to make too much small talk.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I did it, I met him, I did it!!!!!

I met him, it did not exactly go to plan and I did originally stood him up (again) but I went back. I originally got there a few minutes late but I had received a text message that he was trying to park. I waited there for about 20mins. I was doing fine, nervous but managing to keep myself reasonably calm. I was in control.

I even spoke to him on the phone and although my stomach was all in knots when I answered it I was still doing well. Then I saw someone walking along and I thought it might have been him. So I got up to walk towards him but it was not the right person. Therefore I stood looking around me and waiting. That was the big mistake, as soon as I saw someone on the phone and my phone started to ring I just went. I almost ran to get out of there!

I felt really really awful! I had stood him up twice. The first time was a few weeks ago when he was late and I wound myself up while I was waiting until I just decided it was not worth the hassle. I turned my phone off and went home. I felt really bad about it, so bad I did not turn my phone on to face the messages for over a week. I did a lot better this time, I still acted very weirdly but better than last time.

I could not do this to him again, so I sent him a text message saying I was not going to meet him. We swapped a few more text messages. I was going to get a sandwich and go home but then I could not stay in the town incase he saw me and recognised me so I got in the car and drove to Mc Donolds in the retail park. I munched my way through a large meal as I was comfort eating, I did not enjoy it at all.

I then got in the car to drive home, I was telling myself that I had pushed myself too hard and making the decision to take smaller steps in future. I was just starting to feel better inside when I had a message to say he would stay in town for a few hours. He had come a long way and I had stood him up twice. Even after promising I would not today. Therefore I made a plan to just go in to town and have a hot chocalate. I mean leaving town incase I bumped into him is extreme avoidance.

I just took it one step at the time, queueing for the car park, parking, going to the coffee shop, ordering a drink and sitting down. I then sent him a text saying where I was and that he could come and say hello if he still wanted to. I probably only saw him for 5 minutes (if that) but I really felt like I had achieved something. He has been so patient and really nice and understanding. He did nothing to increase my anxiety! X, if you read this Thank You!!!

I must get on and do some ironing and packing for tomorrow, I have to go round to my friends to take some house plants for her to look after and check in for my flight on line. I can not do it here as I do not have a printer to print the boarding pass.

Mind Rushing

At 2 am my mind was still rushing. I think talking to the guy I am going to meet today triggered it. Y told him I wanted to raise awareness about selective mutism. I then did not move from the sofa or have any dinner until 2am. That was about 8hours straight.

When I went to bed I did not feel tired, I could not lie still and I felt like getting upto do the some of the things I need to do today to prepare to go away.

It is 10am now, I intend to hang the washing, wash up and wash my hair before meeting for lunch at 12.30. I need to go in earlier to do a few things in town.

Doing all that stuff on selective mutism seems a little ambitous, I am going to contact the social phobia web sites at a minimum though - maybe I will do more maybe not?

I will post again later if I get time!

Select Mutism Awareness

For My Poster Campaign

- Selective Mutism is a psychiatric disorder that is characterised by consistent failure to speak in SELECT social settings in which there is an expectation to speak; such as school.

- The child might be genetically prone to anxiety and too frightened to speak. If the child does not receive professional help they may fail to grow into an employable adult and suffer many years of psychiatric illness. By educating yourself you can help them.

- Selective mutism may become apparent in children as young as three years old.

- 1 in 1000 children suffer, please help identify that child and get them some help. They are too young and too scared to do it themselves!

Organisations to contact

· Childline
· National Lottery
· Department of Health
· Department of Education
· General Government/ individual MP’s
· National Institute of Mental Health
· NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence)
· Children in Need
· The BBC/ Schools
· Universities with teaching courses.
· Channel 4 – TV advertising campaign.

I think I have set myself a big project - I have to do something, the information available mainly comes from the US, it talks about medication, that would scare most parent in the UK off. There is next to no information targeted at the UK population.

If you are reading this and you live in the UK please try and share some information with your familyand friends - we can't let young children suffer and grow up hinking they are different and bad people! PLEASE HELP!!!!

PS. It is 1am - I hope this still seems like a good idea tomorrow (or after some sleep) I have not done any laundry or house work and I am meeting a stranger for lunch tomorrow. The taxi picks me up at 10.15 on Sunday morning I am so going to regret staying up so late! I hope I am not getting too high!

I am ging to put a load of laundry in and then go to BED!!!

My views on BBC Documentary on Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism Campaign

I am going to Indianapolis via Chicago Airport. It is going to be a working trip so I will not have much spare time.

I have got a bee in my bonet about selective mutism. I really want to do something to raise awareness. I have been brain storming all evening about things I could do. I am going to write to all the mental health and social phobia oganisations I can find. My aim will be to just get them to put an information site on their websites. I am also going to start writing to the department of health, the department of education and to try and get them to fund an awareness campaign. I am also going to contact the national lottery, childline, and the BBC Children in need organisation. I have to do something.

I have been working on some information, I am going to try and post it! I wonder how this will sound in the morning!

My views on BBC Documentary on Selective Mutism 

Friday, May 12, 2006

lots to do...

Work was good again today, I spent a lot of time preparing for my trip to the US. The office was very quiet as a lot of people work from home on Fridays plus a few have taken holiday as many of us are flying to the US on Sunday.

I ate my lunch in the Orchard again today, it is really pleasant sitting there in the sun. Someone from my office came to join me so I did not feel quite so much like a loner! It was someone who does the same job as I do but I have not talked to him much as we work in different teams.

I have a lot to do tonight and tomorrow, although I have all my work stuff ready to go on Sunday I have not started to get my clothes ready and I do not have a suitcase. Most of them are in the dirty washing and the rest are in the ironing heap.

I have arranged to meet someone I met on a dating website for lunch tomorrow, I stood him up last time as I got really nervous and freaked out. He came quite a long way to see me and he is coming a long way again tomorrow - I can not stand him up again - I hope I do not get too nervous. Not sure why he would still want to meet me? I have been chatting to him for a while now and I have not managed to put him off?

I have loads to do so I need to get on! I will post again tomorrow evening.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Is anyone out there?

Please leave me a comment if you visit, you are probably the first!

happy and content after 25 years of anxiety

It has been another beautiful day, the sun has been out and work has been really relaxed. I spent lunchtime alone again but I was sitting outside in the hot sun and looking up at the manor house. It was almost like one of those horrible American films that try to be English!

I made a few phone calls to people I work with who are based in Germany and Spain. I normally avoid the phone especially when working with people whose second language is English. I get nervous and worry they will think badly of me as I speak too fast and all my words roll into each other. I felt so relaxed and chilled out that I actually enjoyed making the calls it almost came naturally.

All my meetings for my week in Indy are starting to come together and I am making arrangement to meet the others who are travelling on Sunday at Heathrow. I'm quite looking forward to it now!

I left work early today and came home. I walked over to the park and sat by the pub. It has been a lovely day. I have never felt this settled and content in my life!

I was alone in the park but I felt content and at peace inside. I don't believe life can be this good - I keep expecting it to end!

I talked to three people I did not know in the park - I have never done that before. One person asked me what I was studying and I said, "I'm not, I am working". He said sorry and walked off, I wish I tried harder to make conversation.

I spoke to someone with a dog. The dog was trampling all over my work and me; he pulled the dog off and said sorry. I said I didn't mind!

Someone smiled and said hello to me on the way home. He was quite sexy. I hope I see him again!

I'm too happy to think about selective mutism and stuff but realising and acknowledging that I actually had an anxiety disorder when I was three years old and that has probably caused the depression for most of my life has helped me come to terms with my illness and realise that I am not an out cast and thinking people hate me and being nervous has made it difficult to make friends. I have been sick and it is not my fault!! My nephew is two and a half nearly as old as was when I started being mute at school - you cannot blame a child that young for their behaviour.

I learned to hate myself as I was always in trouble for not talking and being told I was rude for not saying hello to guests. But I could not help the anxiety I felt and it went undiagnosed for 25 years, I did not speak to my teachers and never asked a question in class until even at University. If I can live with that I am strong enough for anything!!!! I am actually starting to believe I am a nice person to know and people do not hate me!! Life is great and I am so lucky to understand that and appreciate it!!

I have to add I am actually quite talkative in meetings at work now. I started talking more when I was doing my postgraduate degree. I get a lot of encouragement at work from my boss and a lot of support from the whole department!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A sunny day

I had another good day today; I managed to get up ok this morning so I have taken my tablets late again tonight. Work was ok I got lots done.

I sat in the Orchard for lunch, as it was a lovely sunny day. I ate my lunch alone though and I think I missed a couple of possibilities to join others. It was a lovely day, when I was in the office I opened all the windows wide, few wasps came in but I did not mind :o) The weather has been gorgeous!

By the time I got home there was a really good thunderstorm and large hailstones; I love weather like that although my friend thinks I am a bit crazy.

I went to the Pub with my friend after work today, which was nice. She is confident that the baby will not come while her husband is away as it has not fully turned. This is good thing, as I would not know what to do. I am keeping my phone with me until her husband is home!

Bedtime for me, Nite!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A trip to the Psychiatrist

I went to see my Psychiatrist this morning; I am only going every three months at the moment, as I am considered stable.

We discussed changing my medication as I sleep too much. I said I was nervous about making changes, as I am reasonably stable at the moment. I don't want to rock the boat! I am just going to take them last thing at night rather than teatime, see if I can stay up a little later.

I also asked him about my Mum's theory that I had selective mutism as a child. He supported this theory and we discussed how I have learned to cope. I am an expert in avoiding having to speak to people. Although I don't want to do this anymore it has become instinct. It is not that bad others resort to alcohol. I was more aware of it after my appointment this morning.

I tried not avoiding people and I really enjoyed it. Firstly when I went to the cafe for my afternoon can of coke and chocolate, I instinctively went to take it back to my desk but then decided to sit down and take a 10-minute break. Instead of feeling everyone was watching me and thinking I was weird or bad for sitting on my own I just watched the social interactions going on around me. I felt quite relaxed and a part of life rather than an on looker. Then my manager and a supervisor from another department came in, I went to get up to leave in case they talked to me. I stopped myself and just sat there - I carried on looking around and even looked towards them to make eye contact if they saw me. I was sweating 5mins later - but it was a BIG step forwards and I am going to go over there tomorrow afternoon too!

It is funny if I have a purpose to a conversation I will do it - it is small chat and socialising I really struggle with!

I had a chat with my Mum this evening about not wanting to go to Cambridge when I get back from the US next week. She took it really well so I told her about my appointment this morning. It was nice to have someone who cared. Sometimes I feel so alone as no one understands. I speak to my boss at work as he seems to care and is very supportive, He seems to genuinely be interested but if it was outside 9 to 5 and he was not being paid I wonder. He seems nice and a genuine friend it is just your boss is not the ideal person to confide in!

That's it for tonight. It is 9.30pm and I am still awake :o) - taking the meds earlier seems to be working!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A good day!

I had a good day today.

I got up quite late (7.45am) this morning, I went back to sleep after my alarm went off at 6:30. I do that a lot. It took me nearly two hours to get to work because of the traffic and it was raining. I love the rain, I put the hand brake on sat back and listened to the radio with the window wide open and the rain comming in on my face, it was bliss!

I got to work about 10am and decided to do some of my more interesting tasks. The day flew past and I feel like I have achieved something, I have crossed several things off my very long to do list.

I came home when I had enough but that's when I started to feel a bit low. I am going to make myself a fish finger sandwich for dinner and then sit back and watch TV. I get to sleep until about 9am tomorrow as I am going to see my Psychiatrist.

I want to write about what I remember about having selective mutism, it was never diagnosed at the time but my Mum said she thinks I had it. It is quite rare and little known anxiety disorder in young children. I want to write my experiance to help people raise awareness and help carers understand. If you are interested look back here later!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

not going to Salsa :o(

I got the time wrong for Salsa dancing - whoops. I swam half a mile this afternoon though. I will be late if I go now. Maybe I am avoiding it I don't know. If I wait and go when I come back from Indy in 2 weeks I am more likely to be with the same people while I am learning. I don't know what to do. I think I am making excuses I am nervous enough though without walking in late! I will promise myself that I will go when I get back from Indy.

My psycholgist saidI should not back out of things that I am anxious about doing because the relief of not doing it is a reward to yourself and it just reinforces the patterns. I WILL GO THREE WEEKS TODAY!!!!!

I have Ants in my flat, I went out this afternoon and got some ant powder, some stuff to stop my hair getting so frizzy and a light bulb for the kitchen. I have cleaned the Kitchen again today although I did it yesterday as I don't want anyone to sy it is my fault they have got in as I donot keep the place clean enough.

My friend and her husband came around and gave me a sofa bed. They were going to give it away on freecycle.

I feel bad about not going Salsa Dancing!!! :o( I told my sister I intended to go but I will not tell her I missed it, she will be disapointed that I did not go. I am already disapointed with myself.

difficulty getting support...

I tried to stay awake and watch a film on channel four last night. Unfortunately I fell asleep about half an hour before the end. I do that quite a lot these days. I find I really need my sleep. If I don't get enough sleep my mind is likely to rush or I feel quite low.

I am going to Indianapolis next week on business, one part of me is really looking forward to an opportunity to get to know the faces of people I work with on the phone. I arrive at 7pm on Sunday night and I have meetings all day every day until 3pm Friday when I get a taxi back to the airport. I am also expected to be sociable in the evenings so I know I am going to be chattered, I intend to make my excuses at least one evening and get room service as my health comes first and I need chill out time.

I arrive back in London at 10am on the Saturday morning. My mother and my sisters are pressuring me to go up to Cambridge on the Sunday, I would really like to as it will be one of my sisters 40th and also the celebration of my parents 30th anniversary. I want to go but if I am too tired I will be irritable, I won't talk to anyone and I will have a tough time staying awake. I have said I will make up my mind on the Sunday morning. I am not popular with my family at the moment, as I did not send my Dad a birthday card last week. I bought him a present and rang him three times on the day but all they see is I did not send a card.

I really need my sleep; I find it is key to staying well. I love my job so I often get really involved in it at work. When I get home after a good day my mind can rush for days. Then a depression follows. I sleep all weekend and then my diet and exercise goes to pot. It can take me weeks to recover and get my routine back. It will be a challenge for me to cope while I am away - I don't think my family realise what they are asking me to do by going out for the day the weekend I get back!! I wish they understood, as it is they just think I am selfish for not making the effort!
The thing is I would really have liked to go - I think if they understood they would have arranged it for a different weekend, they knew I had to go away when they picked the time.

It has only been this week that I feel I am managing to recover from Easter. It was my Mum’s 70th Birthday and I had her stay for a week. I was still going to work too and she arranged for me to go out for dinner with her friend on the Friday evening. We went to my sisters for the day on the Saturday, I also went to visit an old friend of hers on the Sunday, which I really wanted to do! My Mum and Dad woke me up on the Sunday morning (about 11am) I put my clothes on and slept all the way there in the car. I stayed awake for about 4 hours for the visit; I slept all the way home. I had to take a day off work after they had gone home - I felt so dizzy and tired.

I tried to watch a film with my parents when I got home as my Mum said the problem was that I slept too much. About 2 mines before the end my Mum got up to go toilet - she asked me to stop the film but as I was fighting to keep my eyes open I kept watching it and said I would rewind it for her. This way I could go to bed. She refused to watch the end of the film - went to bed without saying anything - and complained the next morning that I had given her palpitations!

If anyone reads this - please leave me a comment - what do you think I should do? - She does not help me manage my illness - I have tried giving her some reading material but she says I have not got bipolar - My psychiatrist says I have and the more I read about it the more it fits - my Mum seems to think she knows what it is like inside my head more than I do - some things I only discuss with my psychiatrist but I really need more support than 30 mins a month!

When my mind rushes it skips from one thing to another and I get bright ideas but to higher expectations and think the ideas are better than they are! A good nights sleep usually puts things into perspective.

To stay well I know I need to eat healthily, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. If my mind rushes the most important thing to do is calm down in time for bed. I find yoga and a hot bath usually does the job. If I get too tired it is really difficult to exercise or find the energy to cook and do the laundry. If I am living in a mess I get depressed very quickly.

I'm going swimming this afternoon, I will then come home for dinner before going Salsa dancing, it will be my first time Salsa dancing at this place and I am going on my own!

Please leave me a comment if you have any ideas how I can get some support from my Mum! It upsets me that I cannot go to the family party and she makes me feel guiltier. I am fighting to stay well and keep my independence. One reason for this is if I loose my well-paid job I would have nowhere to go other than my mothers and she does not understand my illness.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I'm bored; I get lonely sometimes as I find it difficult to make friends. I avoid people out of habit - I have been doing it too long. I found myself waiting in the toilet cubicle at work the other day. I waited until everyone else had left the bathroom so I would not have to talk to anyone. I'm not nervous of it anymore but I have been avoiding people all my life so it is habit. I don't know how to meet people.

I am thinking of going to Salsa Dancing lessons tomorrow night; I'm quite nervous though. It says on the website that it is normal for people to turn upon their own. The instructor pairs everyone up. I find it difficult to strike up a conversation but I do not want to live on my own forever so I make myself go out in situations where I feel a little uncomfortable. It is Saturday evening and I am staying in on my own watching crap on TV like every other night!

It is not like I do not have any friends, I do have a few very close friends, most do not live in the same area and the only one that does is married and heavily pregnant, I see her and her husband about once a week but I can't impose any more than that.

I also get on well with my boss and the other people I work with, but they are all in relationships and I do not see any of them out of work. I only really talk about work with them. I talk to my boss a bit more; he has been a great source of support to me. I rang him when I was very ill and told him I did not want to die, he called the police and talked me down the stairs to the door on the phone. I don't think he realises that he probably saved my life. I had got ready to go and jump in front of the next train about half a mile from where I was living. He knows about my illness and has been very supportive.

I have told a few people at work about my bipolar, it is not common knowledge but I do not hide it. If people ask why I was off work for 4 months last summer and ask why I cancelled my career break to travel around the world, I tell them! Because I work in a professional environment and the company has an interest in psychiatric illness I have not had any problems. I did get a bit frustrated after returning to work last autumn. I was ready to do more work but my boss and occupational health wanted to protect me from a heavy workload, I was starting to go in and have nothing to do. It was all well intentioned and when I spoke to them it was all resolved. I'm getting on really well now and even have new responsibilities. I am coping a lot better with more responsibility than I did before with less responsibility.

I sometimes wonder about the bipolar diagnosis and other times I believe it is correct. My psychiatrist says he is as sure as he can be. He also says I was definitely psychotic last year and the tablets I am taking are anti psychotics and mood stabilisers. I have to take them for at least two years; if I stay stable for two years I can try reducing the dose very slowly. Right now I do not feel like I could get myself in such a state again.

Maybe the diagnosis is all wrong. My mother thinks so. I'm scared to stop taking the tablets though incase I get as ill as I was before. When I was in hospital last year one of the other psychiatrists said to me that he was not going to give me a diagnosis because people are individuals and should not be pigeon holed. The tablets work for me so I doubt if I will stop them anytime soon. I do have the normal dream of falling madly in love getting married and having a family. If I am ever lucky enough to have a family of my own I will stop taking them while I am pregnant.

About me

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after a psychotic episode last summer. I think I had a mixed episode with psychosis and anxiety. It was really frightening and I believed I was dying but no one would tell me. I did not sleep for over a week but I did not feel tired and would pace and walk around rather than sitting still! My mind was racing and my beliefs got more and more terrifying.

I was diagnosed with depression when I was 23 and I have had three severe episodes since then. Last summer was the first time I was psychotic and I would rather die and than go through that again. I thought I was dying and a part of me did.

I remember feeling very anxious since I was extremely young, I mean in kindergarten and infant school. I would not speak to the teachers, I was frightened and I was getting told off for being rude because I would not answer the teachers. I was always in trouble but I never said a word. I now believe I had selective mutism which is an anxiety disorder. I was just seen as rude and naughty.

At the moment I am well, I take 150mg Sertraline (also known as Lustral or Zoloft) for my anxiety and I take 200mg of Quetiapine as a mood stabiliser.

I have been stable for about 6 months now, I am back at work and doing well, I am going to the US next sunday for a week on business - I'm really enjoying work.

I don't ever remember being as content with myself as I am right now. I hoovered this morning purely because I did not like the bits on the floor, in the past I have hoovered regularly even obsessively as I would be worried that people thought I was dirty or did not look after myself. I'm cooking today and there is only me to eat it. I sat in the park on my own yesterday and did not feel like people were looking at me and watching me! Life is great right now.

I have started this blogg for a few reasons, firstly if one new person understands what it is like to be ill in the mind and understands a friend or family member I will be really happy, it will all be worth it!

Secondly while I was sick I felt no body understood, I still can't talk to my friends and family about my illness so I feel really isolated and alone. I'd love to hear about other people’s methods of coping.

Finally I really really enjoy the little things in life, a dandylion growing in the grass, the smell a frosty morning, a comfortable bed, a hot bath, someone saying thank you, the company of my nephew. I have always been too anxious or had my mind running too fast to notice these things before!

I first wanted to kill myself when I was about 12; to everyone else I was just a moody teenager who spent all my time in my room (nobody ever came to see what I was doing) nobody cared. I was an easy target for bullies and I would hang around with all the other kids who were bullied. Some of whom are still good friends. But I was not happy, I planned my suicide, I put the suicide note under my mattress and planned to take an overdose about a mile from my house down a farm track called green lane. I just never went through with it; I clinged to the hope that life would get better.

That’s enough for now, I want this blogg to be about the little things in life that I really appreciate as I have never really felt in control and enjoyed life so much!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Psychiatric Illness in the Media

On the way home from work today I heard a report about a man from Hull who stabbed a woman he passed on the street and killed her. She was seven months pregnant with twins. You could be forgiven in thinking the death penalty is the only punishment for this man. My best friend is eight and a half months pregnant and right now I would give my life for hers and the baby's she carries so please do not think that I do not feel for the victims family, I DO!!! However there was another victim in this crime, one with no sympathy from the media and one who has had his life taken away too.

I do not know the details as I don't know the victim. He may well have been pursued he may have been hunted down by people who wanted to kill him, torture him or worse do it those he loves. These people who are pursuing him should be locked up in a Secure Psychiatric Hospital. The problem is nobody believe him. He can not go to the police as they will not believe him they may even be involved in the conspiracy. He may well have taken the situation into his own hands and in an act of self defense stabbed an evil person.

This victim has had no sympathy, he infact has been locked up by the authorities who are there to protect us. He has a devastating illness, he has Schizophrenia.

I don't pretend to have any answers to what should be done but what I do object to is the headlines on the radio, - Psychiatric Patient Stabbs Pregnant Women he passes in the street! This bad reporting creates fear about psychiatric patients and adds to an already hostile community for patients who suffer severe illness and often in silence due to an already frightened and ignorant public who are prejudice towards them.

BBC link to Story - It is a lot better than commercial radio!