Friday, December 26, 2008


I mean what a nightmare. My perfect Christmas would be just me, a bottle of wine and a mountain of films. Instead I have to stay with family and participate in the festivities. I am not even allowed a lie in as I have to help prepare for guests I do not particularly want to see. I hate the tension and the small arguments and bickering.

I have drank far too much wine on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to try and make myself oblivious to my surroundings. My stomach now sounds like stew bubbling and simmering away. The stress of Christmas just drives me to drink!

But oh yes, we have another big meal today and if I pass it makes me the selfish person spoiling Christmas for everyone else. In fact I dispute this. Everyone else is spoiling my Christmas as they make me do something with others everyday. I actually would prefer to be alone, I hate Christmas and families equal nothing but stress!

My family will not let me be alone at christmas but this is more for their sake than mine. I would much prefer the solitude. I dream of a week to watch some films, surf the internet and go to the health club. Maybe stroll around the sales or have some chosen friends to dinner.

An argumentative stressful family events forced upon me is my idea of hell!! Roll on new year and my return to work! Next year I will be stronger and insist on doing my own thing. I will leave the country on a solitary holiday if that is the only way to escape!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting everything back into perspective

I'm feeling a lot better today. I had a chance to talk to my manager about the changes that are happening. He is a lot more clued up and people focused than my immediate supervisor. He talked to me about how the role of my current supervisor was going to change and assured me that my new supervisor would suit my style more effectively. He said he could not tell me who it would be yet as the legal stuff was not yet in place. He did share enough with me to settle most of my anxieties.

My next battle is to challenge a comment in my end of year appraisal. There is something in my development needs which I want to question. I'm usually quite submissive when discussing my performance and take the line of what ever you say sir. He has critisied a very basic skill which I feel I do well and master. It is not something I have the confidence to tackle head on but I think I can ask for specific example for when this particular area has been a problem. Even this will be a challenge for me and feels like a big deal.

I think that coment is a part of a larger issue of the whole department underestimating my ability so I think it is very important for me to challenge that coment. This perception comes from a recent task which management did to map peoples skills onto the technical career ladder. I felt really under valued. As my current supervisor has very little insight into what I do and I remain concerned that he did not have the appropriate information to do this task. I have the document which specifies the skills and I will challenge these and tackle this perception with my new supervisor next year. I guess we have progress as this is the first time ever I have anything to help me work out where I fit in the organisation and what others think of me.

I find this aspect of work and career progression the most difficult of all as you have to blow your own trumpet a bit. When I become hypomanic I feel like I rule the world and I can run the whole department and make great scientific discoveries. I hate arrogant people or big headed people. Therefore following these thoughts of great achievement and confidence the anxiety kicks in that someone may judge me as big headed or arrogant.

Work in general is back to normal tho'. After my manager settled some of my anxieties I became absorbed in my daily tasks again and the afternoon flew by. Why my supervisor could not share some of this information escapes me. My only conclusion can be that he enjoys having the power to withhold information.

Monday, December 15, 2008

When the lights go out...

I use the TV, DVDs and soaps to hide from the way I am feeling. The last few nights when the lights have gone out; when all I can hear is the clock ticking, the cat purring and next doors TV I realise how alone I am in this depressing world.

This tme yesterday I could not see my way through today. Now I at least have a plan for tomorrow and maybe after that I will be able to see my way through the week and to the Christmas break! I hate turning the lights out!

tears at work

Work was horrible, a really hard slog today. I was in tears twice for no reason at all. I went to submit my end of year appraisal to find my supervisor had been changed on the system. I guess this is an administration error surely this would not be done without informing me and it is VERY unlikely to be the person it has been changed to. This just adds to the uncertainty and stress :o(.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

motivaton all gone

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I had a migraine this afternoon and I was really hoping it would be a second round of this virus to get me off work for a few more days. I don't want to go back, can't cope at the moment and would much rather sleep. I guess I should try and get some sleep.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

getting better...

I'm feeling a bit better today. I walked into town and finished my Christmas shopping. I still fill with dread and anxiety when I think about work. I think I will just try and knuckle down and think about practical tasks which I need to complete. I might make the list tomorrow so I will be focused on Monday morning.

I have taken out unemployment / redundancy cover for my mortgage. It is a bit of reassurance for some of the anxieties in my head.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Depression following virus / flu type thing....

I keep imagining ways to end it all but that's not what I want. I have just had a bath and got dressed. I just feel clean and miserable now. I don't want to go back to work, I can't face it. Hopefully I will feel better by Monday.

I think I will just try and clear up and do some laundry today. It is probably better than doing nothing. It might keep my mind occupied. I liked being physically ill it kind of gave my mind a rest. My mind needs a kick start now as the emptyness leaves a void for the negative thoughts to sneak in. There are many many negative thoughts at the moment too. Mainly regarding my ability at work.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I have had enough....

I have had this horrible flu like virus thing the last few days. The physical symptoms are begining to clear but the depression is starting to set in :o(. I am still tired with a blocked nose and headache tho'.

All the uncertainty at work really isn't helping. My supervisor has told me that he will be moving to a new role so that is fact not rumour now. I have a lot of anxieties about how my job is likely to change when I have a new supervisor. I think I got a bit hypo as I have taken on far too much work and with one particular project I have I am beginning to feel out of my depth. There are new people working on it and they are very negative.

I'm ready to give up on work for various reasons. I use to thinkI was good at what I did and I had a future. Now there is nothing apart from a lot of hassle and no suport from anyone. But if I do not have work what is there?

I am feeling very very low :(

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Uncertainty at Work

Things have been going wellfor a while now. I am still on the lower doses of quetiaine and sertraline. I have been seeing the psychiatrist a littlemore frequently recently but the letter he wrote after my last appointment said "Annie is doing well and her mentalhealth is stable".

I have has the brace off my teeth for a few weeks now and I am pleased with the result. I do not feel self concious about smiling in front of strangers or in photos at the moment. The only thing that worries me about smiling in fron of friends is that some people want to gawp into my mouth! I mean is this normal behavior! I personally think it is an invasion into my perseonal space. I have been refusing to open my mouth!

Work is really demanding as usual. I have been working quite long hours and bringing work home in the evenings. I know this is not healthy but I care about my work and cannot leave it if I have not given it my best.

Today has been a tough one. I have been to Germany for the day. I am over tired now after being up 21 hours (it is now 1am) . I have been in bed about an hour and just cryed a lot. I think, mainly, I just need a good nights sleep.

I'm feeling very paranoid. I am wondering if those I trust and respect at work care about me at all. I am fighting the urge to try and mind read and reminding myself to take people at face value. It is hard at he moment due to certain stresses.

My supervisor, who I use to idolise, seems to be really struggling these last few months. I have been wondering if I would be better off with a different supervisor who could help me more effectively. I have heard from an indepenent source that I am not the only one who doubts his ability and is struggling to work with him. I have also heard a rumour that my manager is thinking about reorganising the department and removing some of his responsibilities, including all his direct reports.

I cannot get the idea out of my head, that if he is an inadequate supervisor that maybe the encouragement he has given me over the years was unfounded. Even worse, if the department is reorganised I may loose my studies and the people I work well with. He has been asking my favourite colleague why he likes working with me. What if my manager is thinking about finding someone else he would equally like to working with!

I know I am over tired and in the morning this may well sound crazy. Problem is if I turn off the lights I will just lay awake crying again. I wish I had someone to hold me, protect me and love me no matter what!


Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm so tired...

After starting to loose control in the summer months I made quite a large achievement. I made an appointment to see my psychiatrist before the time I was asked to return. I even managed to get a cancellation. The problem was that I had been sleeping too much.

Since then I have reduced my dose of quetiapine from 200mg daily to 150mg daily. My psychiatrist said I was over sedated. This has stopped me sleeping all he time but my anxiety has been slowly increasing. It is now at quite an uncomfortable level :o(. I do not know if I am so tired because I am anxious or so anxious because I am so tired. I am falling asleep on the sofa now after drinking half a bottle of wine.

Work is tough. I have so much to do but I do not want to let anything go. I really need other peoples approval. I worry that if I let things go I will loose the approval of the people I admire and respect most. I don't want to let anyone down. I have a meeting with my manager on monday to discuss my work load and how we can reduce it. I do not want to loose his respect and approval either. My colleagues are my friends and mean so much to me.

I feel bad about the way I have insisted that my work load be cut. I told my supervisor that my psychiatrist had said I need to work less hours. This is partly true but I can not remember exactly what he said. He definitely talked about how large companies put pressure on people to achieve more and more. He said that this continues until the employee pushes back and with my personality I like to please and may not push back. I think he said the last bit anyway. This is so right it is scary. He hit the nail right on the head.

I told my supervisor that my psychiatrist said I must push back and say no. I can't remember if he actually said that though so now I feel anxious about the whole situation.

I feel so rotten and tired at the moment. A friend commented on how tired I look and I am now back to visiting the psychiatrist every 6 weeks rather than every 6 months. I have no idea how I am going to get through the next few weeks.

Next week we have a department meeting and I have to go to evening events finishing after 10pm. There will be a 45 min drive home and then an hours drive in the morning to 8:45am starts. I said I would have to leave the evening events early, I said I was on medication a which makes me sleep and 8:45am was a very early start for me. This did not go down well with the organisers. I do think my supervisor, manager and occupational health are very understanding but I still feel bad. The thing that gets me is I would love to stay, but I just know I would not manage it though!

The week after next I am travelling for work and then I have 10 days holiday! I REALLY need the break!

I'm so tired!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Changing Meds Again.....

I visited my GP yesterday and the psychiatrist this morning. I said I have been feeling a bit low for a few weeks now. The GP is being really helpful, I am having a load of blood tests next week to rule out anything physical. The psychiatrist is suggesting that my quetiapine is reduced from 200mg to 150mg daily. He says I am probably sleeping too much because I am over sedated. He also said it might be a bit of depression. Therefore, if I am not more lively in 3 weeks I have to increase the sertraline back up to 100mg daily. I have to go back to the psychiatrist in 6 weeks.

I am a little worried about going privately to the psychiatrist and having NHS prescriptions. What if the meds he recommends are not available on the NHS. There has been a lot in the media about this recently. Also when I bought my flat I moved out of the catchment area for my current GP and have not changed GP yet. I don't want to change as I now have a young female doctor who seems on the ball. She is the first decent GP I have had in about 10 years.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I dumped him!

I had to dump the guy I have been seeing. I just knew it wasn't going anywhere and it had to be done. I feel so bad because he is a nice man and for various reasons a little vulnerable when it comes to relationships. It just was not right though and I felt it would be unfair to lead him on any longer. I did it face to face though, a first for me. I still feel really rotton though.

Not much else to say really, I keep clinging to my belief it is better to be alone than to be with the wrong person. My parents reinforce this belief nearly every time I see them. I have also spent the few months since I have moved looking forward to a single life and starting to date again now I am more confident. I am going to sign up for the next Speed Dating night, I like the idea of a bit of dating, meeting different men, nothing too serious...

I hope my Mum is not right and I hope I will not be an old maid... I'm still looking for my Prince and my happy ever after... Maybe I wont find my FairyTale though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is there really anything wrong with me...

The week before last I was at the gym every night my mood was NOT particulary high but I was feeling fat and frumpy and thought the exercise might help. By last week I stopped the gym each night. I could not get up to go to work in the mornings so getting to work late meant I had to stay late to get the work done. I spoke to my boss yesterday and discussed working at home for some of the time this week just to get life back on track. He agreed without any resistence, he just asked me to make an appointment with occupational health as a follow up.

The thing is though, have I just got behind at work because I have been staying up late at night. My mood has got worse because I have not been eating properly and I'm just over tired and a bit fed up or have I got myself into a hole because my moods were not stable in the first place.

I wonder if I just hide behind my diagnosis as it is easier than sorting my life out. Everyone has moods and I am just wondering if I suffer anymore than anyone else. I have a comfy job, working from home 50% of the time right now. I feel really lucky. I feel a bit worried about taking advantage and using my illness as an excuse for poor performance at work.

I have also been wondering about diagnosis, is there really anything wrong with me. Do I just make too much fuss about small fluctuations in my mood or do I really need to be aware of my moods and manage them.

I'm so pissed off with this label, if you are told you are sick in the head and your thoughts are distorted how are you ever suppose to trust anything you think again! Justbeing given this label is enough to screw you up for life even if you are perfectly well!!!

I think I spend too much time analysing my moods and just need to let go. I really fear being psychotic again though!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A new relationship, a BIG risk to find LOVE!

I'm still fed up, work is really difficult at the moment and everything is going wrong. My mind is just numb.

I'm still seeing that guy I mentioned a few posts ago. We had a really nice weekend and are planning to meet again on Sunday. I'm just taking things one day at the time and trying to enjoy it. It's nice to have someone about who cares for me and someone I care about.

I am quite screwed up when it comes to relationships. My parents have not shown each other any affection since I was very small. It seems to me that they can not bare to be in the same room as each other. My Mum seems to despise my Dad and is really nasty and spiteful to him. He just takes it all and rarely retaliates. My eldest sister (who is a half sister) says that my Mum married him for a meal ticket as she was a single Mum. I know my grandparents told her not to marry him because she would always regret it. From what I can remember they liked my Dad very much and I never heard a bad word, from them, against him. I wonder if she had doubts from the start?

All I can think about is being stuck in a relationship and not being able to get out, just like she is. Last year when I was dating someone who was completely wrong for me my Mum told me that I was stupid to dump him because I was not getting any younger and there might not be anyone else who wanted me. Maybe I should just not take her relationship advise and leave it at that.

I have been thinking about visiting my Grandparents grave. I have never done it before however, sometimes when I was very upset I would feel like my Nan was there. Shortly after my Grandad died I felt he was there too. I have not felt their presence for a few years. I wonder if I would get some comfort from visiting their grave? When my Grandad died my mood was all over the place. It was shortly before I was first diagnosed with depression. I wore a yellow jacket to his funeral, I don't think he would forgive me or understand!

I am also screwed up from the one serious relationship I have had. I was emotionally dependent on someone else. I hid behind him and would not do anything alone. I never want to be like that again. It took me years to really get over him dumping me. I'm a bit nervous of falling in love with someone and being dumped! However, even that has to be better than being stuck in a relationship without love.

This man is nervous of failure and thinks rejection is failure. To me failure is making the wrong decision and ultimately being unhappy myself or hurting him. The earlier you get out of a relationship the less hurt but if you get out too soon without finding out if you might have a future you are on your own forever. I think maybe we might have a future.

I want it to work, I want a secure loving relationship with a future. I want to share the ups and downs of life and I want someone to share the mundane routine with. I know I need to let go of the anxieties and just get to know him and find out if he wants the same things as I do. I have now started caring enough not to want it to go wrong.

I wonder what it would be like to have a 'normal' confident life. The early days of a romance are suppose to be a whirl wind of pleasure!!! Oh why oh why!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

"I doubt sometimes whether

a quiet & unagitated life
would have suited me
- yet I sometimes long for it."

Byron 1788-1824

Thursday, August 07, 2008

feeling miserable

Here's a photo from my hols, a traditional English seaside holiday! Hopefully to cheer up the post...

I have internet access back, had it for about 10days now. My mood is all over the place as there is a man about who I'm not sure whether is interested in me and I am not sure if I'm interested but think he seems really nice and I'd like to find out. I'm feeling particulary low tonight. I had a few days off work after my holiday as I was really low. Then decided to sort myself out have buzzed non stop for the last few weeks and now my mood has crashed again.

I wish I knew what normal was, maybe this is normal?? Maybe I just try to hard to feel better when I am feeling normal. Maybe that is what sends me hypo! I think the key is to just accept my different moods, not hate them and not fight them! I don't think there will ever be a man who can cope! Isit even fair to impose my moods on others?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paris Now!!

I spent £200 on new clothes last weekend, I bought a suit and some new tops to go with the suit. It is a good job too as when I went to work on Monday it became apparent that I would need to go to Paris for the day on Thursday.

I am in a lovely hotel and have a view out over the city. I can see the eiffel tower from my window!

Friday, May 30, 2008


It's Friday now and I am still recovering from my trip. It was really difficult one. My mind is still quite numb from the experiance. I came into work yesterday and spent about 3 hours here. I was so tired I went home early and slept a few hours yesterday afternoon and then about 13 hours over night.

I got to work at about 11am today. Our admin. assistant said something about me still being tired and it is a good job it was not a long flight :o(. Most people do not know my history as I am becoming more and more concious of people judging me and being shocked. I need the people around me to understand and support me though :o(.

I sent an email to F saying thanks for helping me out and introducing me to people. He was really nice and said I was an important member of the team and said how he used to find those meeting hard. He sid to book my time for next years meeting so things could not have been as bad as I had imagined.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The City Cathedral

I wandered off into the city this morning. I got the tube. I am starting to feel more confident in European countries now. I worry a lot about the British stereo type of never trying to speak the language, assuming others just know English and not making the effort. I think this has all come from the French though. I have never heard it from anyone else!

Anyway, I went to the cathedral today, it was quite nice I kind of feel a presence when I go. I do not know if it is the old buildings or some sense of religon. I kind of feel warm and supported. Like I am not alone. I lit a few candles and prayed too. My mum told my dad off in a cathedral once as he lit a candle. She said you were only suppose to light them in remembrance of someone. I had lit one too for a friend of hers (who was always good to me). I never told her! I never went to church as a child so I do not know what I am suppose to do. I like that sense of warmth but would not dare talk to anyone. I liked the visit more here in Spain than at home in the UK. There were more people about, confessions were being made and a service was going on in one of the side rooms. It did not feel so weird.

I am really starting to blame my family for many of my fears and anxieties. I feel so guilty about that but I am learning that nothing they told me and the fears they put in my head are unfounded.

Got to run, my taxi to the airport will be here in 10 mins.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting my clothes all wrong...

It´s been a while since my last post. My new flat is lovely but I still haven´t got internet access. I really miss blogging and on bad days I cry because I need the thearapeutic benefit of my blog. They are days like today.

I am staying in a Hotel in Spain at the moment as I have been attending a conference for the last few days. I was worrying about the conference for months in advance. Not about the technical work or the contributions I would have to make but the social aspect and the networking.

I have a lovely colleague who I would be proud to call a friend and he has been great, I´ll call him F. But, he is quite a senior person and I was unsure how much I should stay around him. Silly really but looking back a little more logically and after me experiance today I think he would have been happy to have me around (maybe not dressed as a clown though).

There´s so much I want to say about the last few days I just don´t know where to start. So I will start at the beginning but it will have to be a quick summary because I have to go and get some food from somewhere.

Thursday night after work I started to pack to come to Spain. Packing was difficult as I had to wear business clothes, however I feel very uncomfortable in anything other than jeans. I bought some summer dresses with a friend a few weeks ago purposely for this trip. I had a panic the evening I packed as I had no idea what to expect or how to behave etc. Anyway I did the packing, carefully timed my medication pefectly so I would fall asleep at the correct time as not to leave room for those automatic negative thoughts to creep in, and I got a good nights sleep.

I had a good trip out to Spain, I even relaxed a little on the plane. When I arrived I got lost in the airport and got through customs without collecting my baggage. I coped though! I asked at three different information desks and went back through security found my bag and a taxi (all on my own!) and I made it to the hotel. I was really pleased with myself!

Friday afternoon was nice and relaxing, I walked about 2-3 miles along the coast into the city, I walked around the city and even ate out on my own! A proper restaurant and not Mc Donalds too. I had my purse stollen and caught the theif but that is a story for another time!

Saturday the conference started, I attended all the sessions but I was quite lonely and could not find any of my colleagues. I only knew one or two of the other attendees out of about 30 from my company. One I could not find and the other would not have a conversation with me. I asked him if anything had been planned for dinner two evenings in a row and he brushed me off. The first time I met him I fancied him but that was over a year ago now and to be honest as soon as I realised he was married the feelings went instantly! and, to be honest he does not involve me with anything which makes my job really hard, he does not listen to my advice even though I have shared responsibilities with him. He was getting very close to rude.

I must have been dressed like a clown, it was colder than I had expected so I did not have any clothes I felt comfortable in :o(. That was my biggest problem. My supervisor had told me before I left that I must wear business clothes and not to wear jeans, I listened to him and that turned out to be a huge mistake. I was cold, uncomfortable, badly dressed and that drained all my confidence. I must learn and remember that comfort is far more important than appearance, even at business meetings. The thing is when I was dressed like a clown the business meetings I had were not about my appearance they were about the science. I work with intelligent people and I must always remember the people worth knowing will not judge on appearance. I usually work with a bunch of middle aged men so I had no one to look to for judging appearance and what to wear.

Yesterday B arrived. I have been working with her by phone for a wile but never met here face to face. She was so nice and open and straight forward. Also not much older than me. She was confident, dressed nicely and really open and friendly. Once she had arrived I felt like there was someone I could relate to. Yesterday evening I went out and bought myself a new pair of jeans. I wore them today and felt a whole lot better. I had such a nice afternoon, I felt confident, joined in more conversations and felt relaxed.

On the way to lunch with B and F today we discussed clothes for a bit. Dress codes etc. F was talking about some of the women in his office and how their clothes were borderline. I was saying how I wear jeans with holes in most days and how I had nothing to wear because I was told not to wear jeans. F said how jeans were more elegant on some women than skirts etc. The conversation was changed soon after but I think he may have been refering to me. I am trying to view this logically and clinging to the fact that if he was refering to me he was decent and kind enough to be subtle and I will never know if I was over sensitive because I´d felt so uncomfortable and disapointed with myself or whether my instincts can be trusted on this ocassion.

Clothes are so important to confidence. Right now I don´t think I will ever wear a dress or skirt again. I made a mistake with my clothes this week and I feel dreadful. When I did not feel comfortable I avoided contact with people as much as I could, I slouched around alone and felt awfully unhappy. I went back to my hotel room this evening and had a really good cry. I´m staying on the 24th floor and for a moment I leaned over the balcony and thought about it for a few seconds. Ending the fight to feel accepted and fit in. Thinking about the shock and greif people would feel kind of makes me feel accepted. But I do not want to die, I want to feel accepted in my life time.

I still feel that there is no one I can turn to and talk to. My Mother and Sister were calling two or three times a day last week to see if I had packed and asking if I was excited. I was actually dreading it and really worried about these social things. I feel like my worse fears were realised!

I was thinking today about moving away to a different country and leaving all my problems behind me. A part of me still blames my mum and sister for my depression and social anxiety. I so wish I could have a person I can relax with and who would guide me and help me on social issues. As I get older I believe more and more that no one can help me with my problems and I have to find my own way. I so want to feel accepted and loved though. That is my one target in life and the one I will pursue until the day I die. If I run out of strength for the fight I´ll just die sooner...

I think I throw myself into my work as I am starting to realise that I am good at what I do and F appreciates my help and input. I´m not completely sure of him though and at the moment I am worrying how much dressing like a clown will have changed his opinion of me. He is so important to me, not in an inapproropriate way, but he is a mentor and the person I feel knows me best. Although we only talk about work most of the time I feel happiest when I am working as it does not leave space for negative thoughts in my mind. It allows me to be myself, people I work in depth with usually like me.

I´d like to tell F about my problems and history to explain my weird behavior and let him know how much I appreciate his help and support and how important his friendship is to me. The problem is the smallest of disclosures shocks people. I let it slip the other night over dinner that I was extremely shy and never spoke to my teachers. It was not F but two other people with public school educations with latin lessons who I dare say have never needed or desired anything. I doubt they have ever suffered as they were so shocked about my shyness and if this is a big deal how would these people take psychotic episodes, social anxiety and bipolar disorder. I will tell F if I ever feel he needs to know and I feel confident his respect for me will not be risked, I appreciate his support so much that I could never risk that.

On the other had I have told two people who I work with, they have similar backgrounds to me though and their opinion of me was more respect. My boss says I am the strongest person he knows and another guy does nothing but show me support. I think I need to find a way to make more use of them. They know me better than my family does!

I need to change something to reach my goal of acceptance. I will never find that closeness I desire from a colleague. Especially as most of my colleagues are middle aged married men with children. I do believe that you meet the love of your life when you are happy though so I must find non work activities which make me happy. It would have to occupy my mind fully to block out negative thoughts.

Usually when I feel this low I take my tablets and put a powerful movie on to keep my attention until I can no longer keep my eyes open. In a hotel that is hard, the TV in my room is all in Spanish and I do not want to go out after taking my tablets as I am likely to fall asleep in a public place, or worse meet a colleague while my eyes are rolling from the drugs!

I w a n n a g o h o m e!
Everyone else has left and my flight is not until tomorrow afternoon, 20 hours away!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Working to the kitchen timmer

I was wondering again the other day whether all these labels put on me and the medication switching was real or not. I have never really though about when I have had clear bouts of hypomania. They usually pass so smoothly aqnd efficiently I only recognise I have been high after the event.

I thought of this example the week before I moved, the more I think about it the more I believe it is not something most people do....

It was a sunday and I had to do some work to do, it was also the weekend before I moved so I had to get a certain amount of to be packing done. To start off with I dithered a lot and flicked between one task and then the other, but then I had an idea and set the kitchen timmer. I did 45 minutes of packing followed by 45 minutes of work. I was so efficient throughout the day I managed to get everything done. My mind just managed to switch on command, everything was so clear and under control.

It was like the usuall anxiety and lack of confidence and fear of failing, then super efficiency kicked in and everything worked like clock work. It was great.....
My first attempt to reduce my sertraline did not work. I started well but kept getting sharp anxiety attacks which just make my whole body shudder. They are short lived though. My whole body jumps when I realise I have done something wrong. For example, I said my friend's daughter was in 12-18 month old clothes in front of my friends husband (the child's father). I said this to my parents and their friend. Later on I remembered she was in 18 to 24 month old clothes. As friend's husband had not said anything I start the thinking....... he knows I was wrong, I should have let him answer, he was laughing at me, why didn't he say anything. The fact that I was just wrong in front of him made me shudder. Instances such as this made me decide to increase the sertraline again.

On top of this I have decided to stop eating large amounts of chocalate and biscuits. The sugar rush then the withdrawal from the sugar is not helping my moods. I have relapsed once in the 10 days I have been doing this and that was only about 6 biscuits, not a whole pack. The problem was that I had them for dinner. I had two days off work last week as I was feeling quite low.

Anyway in the last week or so I have felt a lot better, I have been eating healthily and lost a few pounds. I joined the gym again and have been twice. I'm feeling a lot better. The last two evenings I have only taken 75mg of sertraline. So far no shudders! Then again no BIG mistakes.

I'm having a new sofa delivered tomorrow, I had a new TV delivered last Friday so this weekend will be a lazy one sitting on my new sofa and watching my new TV. As I am working from home in the morning I am going to try and sort my broardband out :o).

I'm travelling for work for three days next week, I always find those things challenging. That is not concerning me too much but at the end of May I am going to a conference in Barcellona, that one is really worrying me as it will not be with anyone I know very well and also there will be a lot of external people to meet. The main purpose for me will be networking so loads of pressure there :o(. Still, if I can keep the anxiety under control it should be really good.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My New Flat....

My new flat is great. I have not arranged internet access yet as there is so much to do. I was full of energy and buzzing constantly for weeks and now I have suddenly crashed. I feel drained and I am struggling to concentrate on anything.

I am going to leave work early today and re-join the gym. I am hoping the exercise will get me back into a routine and make the daily tasks easier again.

I saw my psychiatrist in early March and he has reduced my sertraline from 100mg to 75mg and then it will go to 50mg in a few weeks. This is becuase the anxiety has not been worrying me for a long time now and my moods have been swinging a little bit. I always put up with the moderate highs and lows because the fear of changing my medication making me relapse to the state I was in before diagnosis.

Once my sertraline has been reduced he is talking of changing my quetiapine to lamotagrine (sp). apperently it has less side effects of drowsiness and weight gain. I am suffering from both of these at the moment.

My mood is so low today it is having an effect on my ability to work and concentrate. I have not been this low for some time. I cried a lot on Friday evening. I had a great day out with a friend on Saturday and yesterday I slept until 2pm :o(. I came to work today although I feel really rough. I didn't want to let people down and I know staying at home will make the automatic negative thoughts start to race.

In all I'm feeling low and lathargic. I need to sort myself out and re-establish a routine :o(. Also I need to get internet access!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving on Friday

I am moving the day after tomorrow, I'm living in chaos!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I had a bad day...

I was in tears three times before lunch this morning. I now feel drained and like shit. First a vendor we use at work told my boss I had refused to answer her question. Ok maybe I did not answer it but it was 9pm on Monday evening and I had done a whole days work on Sunday and been in the city on a course all day! OK, this pissed me off but I took a walk, could see where she was coming from and got over it.

A bit later I found an email from my boss telling me to note the words she had used and think about the impression I was giving her. Now that really annoyed me. I am doing my best and have been working 14 hour days this week so things did not slip while I was out the office. How dare he pick me up on this!

Anyway, I talked to him for a bit and he reassured me I was doing ok and said I could go home once I had done the essential stuff! Ok I got over that one again!

Next I went to lunch and I forgot my security pass. I knocked on the window and asked the security guy to let me in. Not only did he want to know where my pass was (that would be fair) but he started saying I can not leave it behind (as if I would lock myself out on purpose!). He was shouting at me 'How are you going to get back in?' How the hell was I suppose to know! I just walked away from him as I knew I could not take anymore. I sent my boss a text message and he came down to let me in. I was in full tears by this point. I could not look at him. He understood and let me be.

I bumped into the security guard again and he apologised for not helping me. Apparently he was talking to an off site boss who had reprimanded them all because 4 people had been found onsite without passes last week. He felt bad but it was not his fault I was upset. I still could not look at anyone because I knew I would start bawling rather than silent tears rolling down my face.

I finally got to the canteen to meet my friend. By then the table he was sitting on had filled up and I could not face strangers. I told him what had happened and we are going to meet on Friday.

I'm still on work email now, I'm just trying to keep the essentials ticking over but I am trying to rest. I can cope with these lows now but I'm not sure I can cope with people reactions to them. If anyone tries to be nice and if I do not know them well, it makes me worse. The people I know best seem to just keep me company and let me know they are there. They except "I'm having a bad day" as a good enough reason for the tears!

I think I need a rest.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm so tired.....

All I want to do is sleep. I think I have taken on too much recently :o(
I have been on a course, I have a big deadline at work and I am buying a flat.

It has now become too much for me....

It didn't seem that much a little while ago, the days just weren't long enough because I had to take my medication to make me sleep. This was just to keep my routine not because I was tired. My energy has now drained and all I want to do is sleep. The only thing that stops me calling in sick tomorrow is I love my job and it feels like a sicky.

I am going to do the minumum possible for a while, minimum work anyway!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A LIFE LONG JOURNEY, Staying Well with Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder

As I look along my bookcase I see a number of great self help books that have really helped me, I thought I'd review a few of them, maybe they can help others?

I found this book really good and comforting. It includes many accounts of real peple who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and lead normal healthy lives. One of the hardest things about coming to terms with my illness was getting over the stereo type of psychiatric illness. I had heard of this condition before I was diagnosed but I had only ever heard horror stories.

I know someone (who is my mother's god daughter) , she has the more severe form of the illness. My mum would tell me how she was in hosptital because she thought she was a beautiful ballerina and would be dancing around the ward. I also thought people had no control and spent all their money on whims and these were uncontrollable and this was the case for everyone. I believed that medication did not work for anyone and it was only a matter of time before relapse. I thought as a manic or hypomanic episode starts everyone stopped taking there medication as they felt so good they did not need it. Unfortunately I knew very little and had only heard horror stories.

This book is very positive and puts many misconceptions to rest and presents an illness which can be successfully managed for many. By reading patients accounts it gave me many ideas to make my life easier and more manageable. I believe this is essential reading for anyone who is scared about their diagnosis.

Amazon Link

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Friends and Family

Yesterday I started sorting through some of my keep sakes ready to pack and move. I found a card one of my friends sent me while I was in hospital a few years ago. She had written a long message in it. I only read about a quarter of it and I couldn't go any further. It was just too hard. I had a good cry and packed it away in a shoe box. I have two of three really special friends who I love to peices.

My nephew came to see me an Saturday, my parents bought him down. I took them all to see my new flat and we went out for lunch. When he got home and my sister asked him what he did he said the I said 'Just calm down'. He was over excited and I kept telling him to sit on the sofa and count to one hundred.

Apparently he was still talking about me this morning. The first thing he said when he woke up was 'Aunty Annie wears contact lentals'. He meant contact lenses. He also got in the car this morning and told my sister that he wanted to call me as he had something really exciting to tell me. He told me there was a lump of mud on the road. He is a very clever little boy, he has just turned four and he can count to one hundred and knows his two times table. He also knows all his letters and reads quite a few words. I hope he does not turm out to be so clever he does no fit in. I love my nephew so much!

I'm not so sure that I need a man and a family of my own. I keep thinking that I will never want to leave my flat once I move in!

Family can also be a nightmare though. My sister and I were talking about charities we donate to. I said that I donate regulary to the NSPCC, she basically told me I wasted my money as it was the most over funded charity in the UK and it is a waste of money. She actually raised her voice to me. How dare she inflict her opinions on me as fact. I chose the NSPCC for two reasons; 1. they have just taken over childline and currently childline can only answer one third of all calls; 2. There was a little boy about the same age as my nephew on a TV advert, I just thought what if Oscar ever needs someone outside the family to talk to, I want to know his call would be answered.

I tried to call childline myself when I was very desperate and depressed as a teenager, nobody answered my calls, they need to be well funded as every time a child calls for help someone has to be there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Celebrating; I got the flat!

My offer has been accepted, I have done all my sums and have the mortgage approved in principle. I was really worried about my credit rating but it was in the top category!

This is the river out the back of the flat, my living room and bedroom over look the river! I can't wait! The flat is currently empty so there is no chain and I could be in as soon as the end of February!

I had an embarrassing awkward moment this afternoon. I went to see the financial advisor to apply for the mortgage. He was trying to sell me all the insurances. He asked if I wanted critical illness cover. I just said no and wanted to leave it at that. However, he kept trying to sell it so I just said I would not be accepted for it. He kept going so I said I had a medical illness. He STILL kept going and wanted to know what type! I said psychiatric but he just kept pushing!!! In the end I asked what the problem was and why all the questions, the insurance is not compulsory, my mortgage had gone through with a top credit rating! He moved on after that! I spoke to my friend who is also a financial advisor and knows my history. I discussed the insurance I have through work and she does not think critical illness cover is worth it given my history. I have sick pay for up to 12 months anyway and critical illness cover has a terrible reputation for not paying out. I'm not worried about skipping this. I will check my benefits at work and check I have the maximum benefit available through my flexi-pay scheme. They don't ask any questions as it is done on a corporate level!

I am starting to imagine where my furniture is going to go, I hope I don't get gazumped!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Buying a flat.....

I have put an offer in for a flat. It is really nice and over looks the river. I am already getting stressed about whether the bank will give me a mortgage. I fear this is going to be a stressful few months....

I hope my offer is accepted.....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Not Taking Medication...

He He He; I didn't take all my medication last night and I had a good day today. It was not an easy day by far but I felt things more intensely than I have done for a long time. I had forgotten that I was missing out on a part of life. Quetiapine is a really strong sedative.

I know this is a bad idea and I am sure not at all sensible but it was a genuine mistake which felt quite nice. I am tempted to do this more often, just for fun! Let me explain...

I am really busy at the moment and I get frustrated that I can not fit everything I want to do into my life. I am looking for a flat to buy (I have viewed seven in three days and I have another tomorrow and another on Thursday). I am still really busy at work too. I also have research to do regarding buying a flat and the various laws and leases. For example when you own the property (a freeholder I think) vs. buying the right to live in the property for 100 years (leaseholder). It is all really complicated. Most flats are leasehold but sometimes you can buy a share of the freehold.

Anyway, while I was researching the difference last night I remember thinking about taking my meds and then I think I forgot. When I looked at my pill box Mondays were missing. I also had a slight sense of heartburn which I often get after taking them. (Not painful but I just know it is there). This really confused me as I seemed to have taken them because they were not there however I did not remember taking them. Anyway an hour later I was laying awake so I decided just to take half the dose of quetiapine. I only take 200mg rather than the recommended 300mg so I knew an extra 100mg would not do me any harm.

I was a bit worried that I would not wake up in the morning because it was late and my normal dose usually knocks me out. I had a really pleasant night though. I stirred a few times which I don't usually do and when it was time to get up I felt like I had rested for a while. Usually I fall straight asleep and wake up in exactly the same position the next morning, often with a few aches if I was not laying correctly.

I did not get up in time for work this morning, I have been having difficulty for a few weeks. This is not usually a problem as I work flexi time so I just have to stay a bit later. However, this morning I had a meeting at 9:30am and I knew I was going to be late. I felt an anxiety in my stomach which I have not felt for a long time. I found it quite exciting, it gave me a real buzz. Just for comparison I missed a more important meeting the week before Christmas. It was a 9am meeting and I did not get to work until 10am. Someone tried to reprimand me but I stood my ground and actually felt hard done by. I was suppose to be on holiday that day and they were having a go at me for being late. No anxiety crept in at all!

The meeting which I was 15 minutes late for today was with my supervisor. He started talking about the changes which will happen during 2008 and I got stressed by this. I like my supervisor a great deal and he has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life but I have not felt a connection with him recently. Today however, he noticed this had stressed me and talked me through it until I felt better.

The day went well until about 4:30 when I received a phone call from a meeting which I said I would make myself available for, incase they needed me.
First I received an instant message saying, "can we call you?"
When I said, "sure", they said "We will call in about 10minutes".
During those 10minutes I worked myself in to a state. The difference between now and a few years ago was that I didn't avoid the situation. The call went well in the end, I could answer the questions and I did not dwell on it after the event!

I wonder if today is a what a 'normal' day for 'normal' people is like. I have definitely been missing all the emotions and I am wondering if I am over sedated.

I have only taken 100mg instead of 200mg again tonight as it was good to stir in the night. I know only too well that this is not sensible. The thing is that in the past this illness has scared me a lot. I have always sworn I would never stop taking my medication even though I have always known that many people do after 2-3 years of stability but they usually relapse at some point. I didn't think this was worth the risk but maybe I will think again.

I had a good cry this evening as my Dad got an email from a bogus lottery scam telling him he had won more than a million pounds. He asked me to check it out for him and he said he knew it was probably a scam. The thing is when I confirmed it was through the advise on the real national lottery website I could sense his disappointment. It really upset me, I mean HOW THE FUCK* DO PEOPLE GET OFF DOING THINGS LIKE THAT!!!!! THE LOTTERY IS A CON ANYWAY WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE SHORT OF MONEY WASTE £100 A YEAR ON THESE TICKETS, SPEND HOURS CLINGING TO DREAMS THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AND THEN IF THAT IS NOT BAD ENOUGH SOMEONE COMES AND TELLS THEM THEY HAVE WON WHEN THEY HAVEN'T, JUST TO CON MONEY OUT OF THEM!!!! IT IS CRUEL AND PRAYING ON THE VULNERABLE!!! THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!!!

*apologies for the language, I don't use it often, but sometime it is needed to express the strength of emotion!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Last Years Resolutions

- lots more friends, some friends I can ring and say, hey, do you want to go to the pub tonight!!
I went out or New Year for the first time in years. I think I have a lot more friends now, mainly to pass the time of day with. There is still no one I can call and ask, 'Would you like to go to the pub tonight?'.

- loose weight, my medication made me put on a stone so I am going to have another attempt at shifting it!
Well my weight had gone down quite a lot however, I have been eating a lot of chocolate over the past few weeks. When I went out last night I felt really fat. I think I will loose it again quite quickly.

- be happier
yes - I think I am definitely happier, last Christmas I was biting myself, overall I have enjoyed this Christmas!

This Years Resolutions

1. Watch less television, listen to more music and be more active. I currently spend too many days in front of the televison.

2. Have my own flat and be moved in by next Christmas!

3. Continue to try and expand my social life.