Category Archives: Mental Health

A mini Kate Update – February 2020

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet – sorry! I’m currently off work for two weeks (well, a week now) as my medication is kicking my butt; I hate being off work but the doctor suggested it as the one stress we could remove, just to see if everything settles down. The medication is working, which is good; I mean, not having feels isn’t great but it’s better than having too many. The problem is that it’s currently letting the weasels have free reign, and I’m having trouble shouting them down constantly. A week of sleep has helped a little (I’m also ridiculously tired, struggling to get out of bed, finding sitting upright hard… all the usual fun) so I’m hoping another week of sleep will help, and then getting back into the routine of work.

A gardener chasing after a goose that has stolen his radioI’m pretty much out of options so I’m keeping on this course; I know the first six months are the hardest, and I’m fighting something that’s been entrenching itself over the past fifteen years. The rest of my life stresses have mostly got better and I’ve been able to haul the growing depressions out, so it’s just the roots I’ve got to dig out now! I hope, anyway. Gonna keep going. Gotta keep going. That’s pretty much it.

There are a few rays of light; I had an idea for a game, and as Otter has been creating a simple little detective game, I had a chat to them about the possibilities of actually learning to make it. I’ve also managed to read a little, even if it is books I’ve read before. I’m also managing to Cope With Occasional People, and my foot got sniffed by a very snooty cat, so that’s progress. I’m also being aided in The Fortnight of Rest by Blue Planet 2, shortbread, amazing friends and terrible memes, so that’s all helpful… I haven’t really had the focus for reading or playing computer games, although Otter did turn into a Horrible Goose earlier in the week, which was hilarious. (It’s an amazing game and if you haven’t played it, you should.)

Beyond that – I’m just keeping going, and taking each day as it comes!

Mini Kate update

I’ve been on anti-depressants for about six weeks now, and they’re definitely working – happy! Baking! Singing! Stuff!

But this last week has reminded me that it’s only six weeks, and brain chemistry often doesn’t work that fast… I have all the energy and want to do all the things but actually, I’m still really tired. I’m lacking motivation. I’m struggling to turn my brain off, and when I have a moment to just try to relax, the underlying anxiety makes me restless.

(As a side note, my partner did comment on my habit of always needing to do something, and wondered where that came from. I told them it would probably take a therapist to untangle that knot!)

From what I remember, the six months after starting anti-depressants are often the most dangerous – you’ve got the energy and feel better, but the underlying thoughts haven’t yet sorted themselves out. I’m not suicidal (thank goodness) but I do kinda understand where that danger is coming from – I’m feeling better, but also still bad. It’s a weird combination.

I have been baking; haven’t been reading. Have been getting out a bit more; haven’t been sleeping well. Have had more energy and felt up to tidying and people; have also crashed badly afterwards. I still find it hard to settle, even if I’m also playing games because my mind just won’t focus. It’s made work a bit more difficult but at least I can multi-task there, whereas I often find that difficult at home.

But (but!) I am coping better. We had a hectic and chaotic day at work last week where everything went wrong, and I was ok. I had a very stressful day yesterday with family, and I was ok. So that’s been good, if weird. (It’s a very odd feeling of wanting to cry to release stress, but not being able to. Yay drugs!)

So, overall: doing better. I need to keep remembering that I’m not well, keep conserving energy, and try not to overspend my spoons even though they’re better quality spoons.

Also, it’s Christmas soon! Wheee! I can sing carols round the house! (It’s ok, work people, I’m not going to be singing them round the office. I’m not that cruel.)

Thinking About Trauma

Trigger warnings for… I’m not sure what. Trauma, miscarriage, mental health? It’s a bit of a jumble of thoughts, really.

So I trundled off up to the hospital yesterday for some random tests (I’m fine, it’s only minor stuff) and I’ve been given some medication. As part of this, I was Strongly Warned that I shouldn’t be taking it while pregnant. Hah, no, no plans to get pregnant. And that was…ok. I felt fine with it.  It didn’t feel weird to say or think; it was just a Thing. I’m not planning on having children, and that’s ok.

And the nice thing, I realised afterwards, is that the doctor actually listened to me. At no point did anyone try to change my mind, disagree, tell me that I’d want children eventually, disapprove… considering there’s a lot of stories of women whose medical advisors don’t listen to them – particularly when it comes to not wanting children! – I’m incredibly grateful for the empathy and understanding that I get from most of the medical professionals that I’ve interacted with. (I make an exception for one doctor, but I try to be charitable and assume things got lost in translation with them.)

I also had to mention the miscarriages, and that was actually kinda weird. The doctor’s reaction was sympathy, and I can understand that – it’s a shitty thing to happen to anyone, and if anyone told me that they’d had the same experience, I’d be entirely sympathetic. But actually, I’m ok with it. I’m not particularly sad, or traumatised, or… whatever I should be feeling. It sucked at the time, but I think sort of expecting it to happen helped soften the blows. It’s crap to have one miscarriage, let alone three, but it’s not as big a deal as it could have been. Which isn’t to say that it’s not for other people, and it shouldn’t be treated as such: miscarriages fucking suck balls, particularly after 12 weeks. I’m just saying that I think I’ve come to terms with mine – which is good, I think. A little worrying, maybe? I wonder if I’ve repressed it or something, especially as I’ve been feeling grey for a while. But I don’t really know how you find out if you’re repressing stuff (especially as I’m ok talking about it) so… I guess I just don’t worry about it too much?

It’s fairly easy to figure out when you’re not dealing well with something. I don’t really know how you figure out if you are dealing well with it, beyond it… not really being a problem.

Anyhow.

I’m also incredibly grateful for the NHS. I trogged around four different departments and it cost me £9 plus a bus fare – and that’s for two blood tests (same arm – I was GRUMPY), a batch of about six other tests, a chat with two doctors and a nurse, a pile of pills and the promise of check-ups. All for less than £15!

I was also very grateful to not be blown off about any of the problems I asked people about. It’s reassuring to be listened to and given solutions, particularly when for most of my life the solution has been “oh, you’ll grow out of it” or “GENERIC PILLS” or one of a list of standard things that I’ve tried and haven’t helped. So that was nice.

My work also rock; I got in and, in the words of Otter, looked a “bit grey”. (I took that to mean “have you seriously just walked out of one of our Zombie games?!”) David got me tea, the Boss told me to drink it, and I got to just chill for a bit until I was less shaky. It’s really nice to just have my limitations accepted! (And be fed tea on request.)

Also, I got a red bean bun from Rachel’s as a treat for not fainting during the blood draws. GO ME! (Also also: it’s still a point of serious pissed-off-ness that I’m not allowed to give blood because I faint. Like, seriously?!)

So, there we go: a Kate ramble of thoughts and weirdness for today.

A Quick Wednesday Update

I’ve had bad anxiety for the past few days – never sure if the nightmares set it off or it causes nightmares, or both just go round in circles… but it’s just a Bad Brain which got particularly bad last night, and left me in a heap.

Today’s been a little better, albeit rather shaky; work’s absolutely lovely about it and I have wonderful and supportive co-workers (even if one of the support methods is an unexpected bag of Haribo dropped in front of me; that made me jump!) And I had a good cry on my partner at lunchtime when they hit me with something lovely that released a tangle, so that helped whack a few of the weasels occupying my brain.

So hopefully on the up from it now; still shaky, just had cereal for dinner (because it beats not eating) and going to do some self-care this evening, but the world’s looking a bit better.

Ps. I’m writing! Snippets of characters, but there’s writing there!

sloth by neil slorance