6/10 – Mentally I am doing ok but physically not feeling it. I booked myself into a spin class last night for this morning and if I hadn’t then I probably would have not done any exercise. It was nice to see a lady in the changing rooms who is a regular swimmer. She sees me swimming and always asks how much I have done. I set her a challenge of swimming 1 mile (as she was not that far off it). I check on her progress every time I see her and today she was so chuffed to tell me that she had achieved it. It is funny how I have fitted into a group I have met of mostly retired ladies and I will miss this group when I return to work.
As for work, I don’t think I will be returning next week. Whilst I am making progress, there are times when I feel like I have been smacked in the chops. These times usually occur during the evening and night when I am home alone, when I have put my book down or turned off the computer and silenced my phone. It is during these quiet times when I reflect on my life and whilst I have not shed any tears for a while my pain and suffering are still there. Pain and suffering is something we touched upon in the session yesterday. Whilst it is considered normal, I will hopefully be taught techniques on how to deal with it.
I have not had any messages from anyone yet. I finished my book yesterday and have now started on another one ‘Black Rainbow’ by Rachel Kelly. Its s story of depression and Rachel’s fight against it.
I have been reading my book and a few lines have really spoken to me:
“I had not imagined that anyone as privileged as me and as happy could become unwell”. As for me I have more than anyone could ask for – but this does not make me happy.
“I feared I might become a different person thanks to their (medication) mind altering properties. I wanted to be in control. My depression to get better won out. I had no choice but to surrender”. How many times did I look at my pills and not take them? How much research did I do on them before finally giving in?
5/10 – I am feeling a little bit fed up this evening and not quite sure why? I received a text message earlier and I left it until late afternoon to reply. I plan to meet up with a friend tomorrow – well that is the plan anyway. England beat Wales in the football with a goal in injury time. Gutted. I have had a message from an old friend who was conducting a ‘welfare check’ and I have replied.
I got to David Lloyd early and smashed a 2500m swim, 30 mins cycle and 30 mins run. Happy with that considering I initially ignored my early alarm as I did not want to get up. I felt guilty so ended up getting up not long after. Change of scenery for me this morning, I have decided to come to Starbucks to use up what is on my pre-paid card. My morning so far has been quite nice, I have read quite a bit of my book ‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’ by Oliver Sacks. Not quite sure what I think of it and I just want to get it finished. I have to finish books that I start and I will not move on to the next until I am done. I am aware that I have not scored myself yet, that is because I forgot at the start and now I am not quite sure what I am. Probably a 5 and a half / 10.
The thought of potentially returning to work next Thursday is on my mind and again I am torn about what I should do. It will be nearly 3 months which I would have been off. Whilst I can have 6 months on full pay I do not want to stretch that far. Do I feel ready to go back? No, probably not but I have to go back at some stage and will there ever be a right time? I will see how next week goes and discuss with GP next Wednesday.
6/10 – I am sitting in Costa having just come from my first Action for Living course. The course run by ‘Mind’ aims to readdress actions, acceptance, values and the mind. I am not sure if the course is for me or what I will get from it. It is only four weeks long so I will just go with it for now. I have homework to do which I have done in my head. Next weeks session is all about thoughts and sounds interesting. I just have to embrace it, learn from it and drop the ‘I know all of this anyway’ attitude. I did not know what to expect from the session or of the other people in the group. There must have been more than 25 people there, of all ages. I realised how hard it was for some people to attend, as I just take my confidence of walking into the unknown for granted. We did not have to talk or do any group work; instead it was Powerpoint driven. I would have quite liked some interaction but the sessions are not going to go that way. The course is not about sharing our experiences, it is about rethinking or reframing our thought processes.
A friend rang and left a message on my phone whilst I was in the session expressing concern as he had not seen or heard from me for a while. I messaged back to say that I was ok but I did not want to talk. Avoidance – as I have learnt today.
I have hardly eaten (2 dry bread rolls), so I think it is time I left here to get some food. I recognise that I do still have a problem with not wanting to eat. I think this is the first time ever that I have become weight conscious. For someone who usually loves food, cake, chocolate, crisps and all the bad stuff – should I be concerned? If it is still an issue next week then I will talk to the Dr about it. I understand that it is a symptom of depression but I am not sure if my medication has anything to do with it. Not an easy illness to deal with. Mind you, things are generally never easy when it comes to me (laughs) !
2/10 – I feel really fed up and I do not want to speak to anyone or be bothered with anything. I have received a message from a friend but I am not in the mood for replying. I know people care and worry but at times I just want to be left alone. I booked a spin class last night for this morning but I have cancelled it as I just cannot be bothered. I will go to the gym at some point.
4/10 – My mood has improved after an hour on the Wattbike. I am sat in the lounge at David Lloyd, someone has tried to make conversation with me but I don’t want to talk and not in the mood for company. I just want to read in peace. I have replied to the earlier text message and had a brief Twitter conversation with a friend. I do feel bad if I don’t reply as I know people are making the effort. How would I feel if they didn’t? I am not coming out of isolation so don’t get too excited.
4/10 – Seeing as I have read so many books I have joined the library to see if I can save money.
3/10 – I was awake most of the night and therefore did not get up as planned for swimming or gyming. Instead I have ended up at Coffee #1 to see if I can clear my head. I am feeling angry and I am not sure what about exactly. I have this feeling of annoyance and frustration and I don’t know what to do with it. I want to take the anger out on myself and when I have felt like this previously I have driven off in the car as if to go and hide and harm myself. I would describe this feeling as a ‘body take over’ which I cannot control. When I then calm down I can’t believe how I was.
It is lovey and quiet here this morning, people are relaxing and reading the Saturday papers. I love Penarth and nearly moved here once but got more for my money where I am now. Maybe one day? If I had not have moved to where I am then I would not have met ‘A’ and therefore I would not have had 10 great years. Things are sent to test us, build us and make us stronger. I do feel like I am getting stronger and getting more used to being apart, that is not to say that it is easy – far from it.
Sitting in Costa with an orange juice, trying to work out what I want to wear for my up and coming triathlon. Dilemma of a Pro athlete eh?!
2/10 – Not doing too good. After I finished writing last night I deactivated my Facebook account, watched some TV and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep for a while and again I felt as if I just wanted to go out but I had no energy. I felt that I was breathing too fast and I could not settle. I set my alarm for 5am not knowing if I was going to swim or gym; when it went off I ignored it and stayed in bed. I am feeling a bit lost with myself. I have read some of my book in bed but I know it is best I make an effort to get up and head to David Lloyd to see if that helps. I do not want to speak to anyone today. I have received a ‘whats app’ message from a friend but don’t feel like replying – not yet anyway.
4/10 – I am at David Lloyd and my mood has lifted probably because I just got on the treadmill and ran like Gump for an hour. Sometimes it is exactly what I need and it is the only thing that helps. I am just having a text conversation with my mum and I said about my run and why. She mentioned about going down and I said about my isolated state, but I may do next week depending on the weather.
I am back at David Lloyd, having booked myself into spin class. I do feel tired and I have not had much too eat today. Again, I kind of feel that I do not want to eat. I had a phone call from a good friend from work. It was nice to speak to him. I am not sure if this spin class at 6pm will kill me or wake me up. The people on the table next to me are eating chips and they smell scrummy.
4/10 – Back at home now and I am glad that I went to gym as I saw a friend who I have not seen for ages. We always used to see each other when I got there after work and that is how we got chatting. She commented on how much weight I had lost. Spin class was good but I did not stay around afterwards. Euro 2016 started tonight so that will keep me occupied for the next few weeks. I will probably go swimming in the morning and then have a day off training on Sunday. I had a quick look on Facebook before deactivating my account (again) – it just annoys me, and puts me in more of mood. I do not want contact with the outside world.
So today is the day I have kind of been dreading, its my 4th wedding anniversary; first without ‘A’. Not quite sure how I feel? In some respect I feel empty, alone, lost and a failure. We have been in text contact this morning. I really need to figure out how I am going to move forward, but I really do not know. I quite enjoyed my spin class. I tucked myself at the back out of the way and it did take my mind off things momentarily. I did not end up meeting with my friend as she could not make it. No doubt we will meet next week instead.
After the gym I headed into Roath to collect something. I had a nice walk around as a reminder of my student days (over 20 years ago). I had such a great time there as a student (now I feel old). I had a look in a book shop (which seems to be my new addiction) but I didn’t pick anything up.
I am writing this in Coffee #1 in Penarth. My drink today was free as I had enough stamps on my loyalty card (yippie). All helps now I am watching my pennies (supposed to be anyway).
I have had text messages from three different friends. I have not replied to all yet. Last night I deactivated my Facebook account as I was afraid that I would get ‘happy anniversary’ messages. I think the majority of people who I am linked to either know, have worked it out, or do not know its our anniversary. I have now reactivated as I can quickly delete messages now I am awake!
I am not sure what my plans are for the rest of the day. It is warm but not overly sunny like it has been which is typical as I have my shorts on. No doubt I will go for a walk somewhere. I just need to be out and about keeping as busy as possible. I may even go to the bakery and treat myself to a pasty and cake! I do however feel guilty about eating such foods now (which has never happened before). I have never been concerned about my weight or had to diet but I want to maintain what I am. It must be part of the depression but again I feel like I do not want to eat. So far today I have eaten a bread roll in the car after the gym. Not sure what is going on in this mad brain of mine.
Whilst having depression is one of the hardest things I have had to deal with, it is also one of the best things which could have happened to me. To finally realise, get help and be able to switch my brain off before it blew up has really made me reflect on life. Moving forward, I know and accept that I have an illness which now I will be better placed to deal with. I appreciate that there will be peaks and troughs but I have a benchmark now of how low I was and I know that after getting through that I can get through anything. I have the support of family, friends and professionals but I know that this is something which I have to do and work out for myself. At the moment I am probably 4/10.
I wish I was a little more descriptive in my writing so I could explain what I am looking at and what is going on around me. I am currently sitting on a rock at Barry Island headlands (if that is what it is called). I always seem to find a rock, and I have found one on top of the cliff looking towards The Knap. I have wondered what it would be like to jump – don’t worry, I have no intention of doing so. The tide is out and I would just splam myself onto the rocks below which would no doubt be very painful! I could sit here for ages but my bum is going numb. I am sitting right under Cardiff airport flight path, watching the planes above me and thinking of their intended destination.
I have decided to try more classes at the gym and be more sociable (within reason). Meeting new people would be good for me. Does this mean I am coming out of my isolated phase? Nah, I don’t think so. A couple of friends have messaged me about meeting up but I have not yet responded. It feels like I have a fear of making plans and meeting up with people. This may all seem contradictory but I am unable to explain this. Will I ever completely understand me?
I decided that because it is a nice evening I would make the most of it and enjoy a change of scenery. I am sitting on a bench at The Knap dedicated, in loving memory of Keith overlooking the pebble beach and sea. As I was walking earlier, I was reminded of when I was younger growing up in Tenby. The summers always seemed hotter then, as I was forever down the beach either after school or in the holidays. I always enjoyed jumping the sea, that is probably why I am drawn to live where I do. I am lucky to have the beach on my doorstep. Maybe I have not appreciated it for many years and just take it for granted, but over the last few weeks it has been nice to visit. The smell of fish and chips is also a reminder of home and I was tempted to get some, but once again I get reminded of a new found discipline with food, not sure how long it will last. Suddenly the thought of pasta and sauce when I get home is not so appealing. Being down Barry Island earlier reminded me of how much I hate f@@king (sorry about the language) seagulls!
2/10 – I am home now feeling overwhelmed and restless. I feel that I cant keep still and that I need to be out. I have had a number of people messaging me and I feel as if my brain can not cope with it all. One message required me to make a plan to go out biking but I could not commit to anything. I feel overloaded and I just need my brain to slow down and switch off. There is all this stuff in there going around and I do not know what to do with it or how to deal with it hence my need to write. How do I make it slow down? I want to escape. I want to run away. Everything just feels like too much. I am really struggling at the moment – not enough for anything stupid. Perhaps I just need to go to bed and wake up in a better frame of mind tomorrow. I want isolation, I do not want to speak to anyone. I don’t want Facebook, where can I hide? Will I be found? Will I return on my own accord? I am sounding mad, out of control even, but I am not (I don’t think). Is my heart beating faster? Am I breathing faster? Am I holding my breath? Don’t know? What shall I do tomorrow? Early morning swim? gym? My head is confused, am I being irate? how do I control this?
5/10 – I explained to the GP that I had been feeling angry and that after my last appointment I did not want to eat. I was weighed and I was 1kg heavier. GP still concerned that I am isolating myself. I am meeting up with a friend tomorrow and another friend is asking if I want to meet on Friday. I am not sure about Friday yet, I guess it depends on what I do. I am happy being in my own bubble, doing my own thing without having to make an effort with conversation.
5/10 – I had a lovely afternoon walking from Penarth across the barrage to Cardiff Bay. I brought my book with me ‘Its all in you head – stories from the frontline of psychosomatic illness’. You can see where my reading is going during this time.
I have booked myself into a 9.30am spin class tomorrow and then I plan to still meet up with my friend. I just want to be happy and at the moment I cant help thinking back to a time when I was. My mum rang earlier and I said that I was doing ok. Am I? I am not so sure? I feel destructive like I want to stop eating. I also feel that I just want to run away and escape everything. These thoughts concern me as I have been doing relatively well. Lets see what tomorrow brings.
5/10 – Not sure if I am doing myself an injustice with my score, maybe it should be a 6? I was in the pool at 6am this morning and my swim felt stronger than yesterday. I followed this up with a bike session and run. Trained well and legs are doing fine at the moment. Afterwards I headed to Starbucks and had the biggest hot chocolate and sausage bap which I really enjoyed. I always find that swimming makes me hungry. Even as a kid after swimming lessons I would raid the vending machine for fruit & nut chocolate and then the Max Pax machine for chicken soup (random).
I was reading my book in Starbucks when some police officers walked in for refreshments. They were on special duty as the Queen was down Cardiff Bay. I spoke to two officers who I used to supervise and it was so lovely to chat with them. We had a quick reminisce and laugh about things; I was really lucky to have such a good shift on my promotion to Sergeant. Talking to them made me glad to be a cop and it gave me back a sense of pride.
As for my brain, I do think that it is functioning better. I am definitely feeling more alert and more focused, At times, this smidgen of positivity does slip but I am still in the early stages.
5/10 – This afternoon I went to Penarth and read my book in Costa for a while (day of coffee shops eh) before walking back down the seafront where I sat and finished my book. I got through it pretty quickly and it was comforting to read about the authors thoughts and feelings, many of which mirror mine. I would like to re read and make some notes of key points and of some positive quotes.
I have a GP appointment tomorrow. I just hope I wake up in a good mood and that I am positive.
5/10 – Not quite sure what to say about today, not that it has been bad, as it has been nice in fact, maybe I am just feeling fed up. I was in the outdoor pool by 6am before doing a 40 minute bike session. I popped into Cardiff afterwards and picked up three more books (I seem to be flying through books at the moment. Treated myself (using voucher) to a cake and drink in John Lewis.
I spent the afternoon down Barry Island where I started reading ‘Reasons to stay alive’ by Matt Haig. It is about his personal experience of suffering with anxiety and depression. I have read quite a lot already and it is amazing how much I can associate with. I am aware of depression but this book has opened my eyes as to what is actually is. Whilst I know depression is an illness, I have not viewed myself as being ill; but I am. It is the old adage of ‘you cant see it’. There is no sticky plaster, or in my case a knee brace to show that you have something up. People do not know that I am ill unless I tell them. Am I ashamed? No, I am not and in some respect I am glad this has happened as now I know it will help me get better and move forward.
It is my 4th wedding anniversary on Thursday and to some extent that is occupying my mind. How could we have been so happy for it all to fall apart. People change, we changed and circumstances changed. I am not sure what I will do Thursday, I don’t suppose my day will be that different to any other. I just hope I have the strength to handle it.
3/10 – Feeling down tonight.
I set my alarm for 5am to get up for swimming but I turned it off at 4.30am as I felt tired. I did not get up late but when I did I felt angry and peed off, scoring 2/10. I had been thinking of the conversation I had with ‘A’ yesterday and I suppose mulling things over in my head did not help. When I got to the gym I spoke with a couple of ladies who I often see and it was nice to stop and chat with them as I find that this does help. A few people said how ‘well’ or ‘good’ I looked . Physically, I am fitter than I have ever been but this does not negate the fact of the turmoil spinning around in my head. Talking helped me go on and smash an hours training on the Wattbike.
I have been thinking about work and I would like to be able to return after this period of sickness. Once again I will see how it goes.