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.