mental health

All posts tagged mental health

Screaming Inside, but still treading water

Published February 23, 2014 by violetdragonlady

It’s been a while since I last blogged. All that time I have been fighting against the anxiety dragging me down. I can’t honestly say I’m winning the fight but I’m not losing either, just treading water.

I had rather a bad panic attack a few weeks ago. I’d been doing pretty well I thought, managed 6 hours at work although the last couple had been quite a struggle I stayed. I was chilling in the bath just before bed, as you do and listening to music on my phone. I had a message come through so I dried my hands and read the message, then decided to surf Facebook as my hands were dry. I read something on there that affected me and sent me hurtling into a panic attack, luckily hubby heard me crying and came up and started trying to calm me down. All I wanted to do was scream, cry and rip my skin off. I was good (or it was good he came up when he did) as I have no new scars.

I’ve had no major attacks since, am still managing to go to work 3 times a week, still going out on a social basis to all appearances I’m doing great. What people don’t know is how bloody hard it is to go out of the door some days, let alone going to work, going out socialising. Often I get home and all I want to do is curl under a blanket and cry.

But I’m not going backwards, I’m treading water.

If I try to look inside my head all I can feel is a scream, a scream that wants to be let out, a scream that is trapped inside and can’t escape. There is no other feeling, no other emotions just the scream. I feel that I now know what Edvard Munch was trying to express in his painting.

The dreams don’t help much either. I still have nightmares most nights; just don’t seem to scream anymore. I try to climb stairs or steps in my dreams and I can’t, I’m disabled in some way, my legs don’t work or are too painful to climb the steps. I can’t keep up or follow the others.

Last night’s dream was equally disturbing, but one I didn’t want to wake from as it made me feel happy. I was cutting myself. I had dismantled a disposable razor and was carving patterns in my arms and legs. I watched as the blood flowed out, perhaps put a bandage over one or two and watched as the whiteness turned to red. I coated the cuts with something, not sure what but it didn’t make them fade and go away but made them more bright and vivid. There were some who were trying to stop me but I fought them. It was what I wanted and needed. I guess that was what was scary when I awoke, not the fact I was dreaming about cutting myself but that I NEEDED the scars, the pain, the disfigurement to feel better.

Maybe I should worry more that the nightmares, the bad dreams, the horror no longer makes me scream out in fear, it is just part of the norm. Perhaps I should start another blog and note down my dreams/nightmares. Often they are very odd and strange, I sometimes forget parts of them but for the most time I do remember them, vividly, so realistically I am often confused when I get up as its so hard to tell dream from reality.

It might be coming back but It isn’t taking me with it this time

Published January 25, 2014 by violetdragonlady

It’s been quite a struggle since I had my breakdown in March 2013, and a long hard slog to get back to where I am now. But I can feel it returning. The palpitations are back, along with the anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, headaches and a desire to hide under the duvet and hide from the world. I’m still taking the meds, practicing the CBT techniques and yet feel part of myself trying to slip away again

This time though there is a difference. I’m not going to let it take me down again. Last time it was sudden, I wasn’t expecting it (although others may have been) and was somewhere I’d never been before, well out of my comfort zone and didn’t know how to handle it or what to do. I allowed the anxiety to control me and my actions – or should I say inactions. But I’m prepared now and going to fight them head on. I had some fantastic help from my GP, the mental health nurse at the surgery and the counsellor. And of course I have no idea where I’d be without my fantastic husband, youngest daughter and adopted brother. Others helped too of course and I think they know who they are.

I guess part of the ability to fight is knowing what to expect and that much of it is physical responses to hormones, I was warned that there would be setbacks and the amount of changes this year I shouldn’t be surprised.

Anxiety trigger 1. Giving up smoking on New year’s day. 3 weeks smoke free now, and while I’m quite pleased that I’ve had the willpower to keep at it and it will be making me healthier I still miss it and crave it.

Anxiety trigger 2. Going back to work. Ok so it’s only part time, a few hours a week but I’m doing it and compared to being unable to leave the house at all for months, then only able to go out with my husband or youngest daughter it is a HUGE achievement. The hours I’m doing are increasing gradually week by week and of course I’m all on my own at work, no hubby, daughter just me and everyone else at the company. Some I know as they’ve been there a while but there are a lot of new faces and strangers. Things have changed quite a bit. I do appreciate how lucky I am though; if Carlsberg made bosses they’d be my two. Not only did they keep my job for me but are allowing me to work whatever hours I want and not pressuring me at all. The first couple of weeks I was upstairs with them doing the accounts on a computer they’d set up there just for me. There’s only so much accounts you can do though so I’ve now ventured downstairs into the production area, talking to other members of staff when not accounting. Yes I am bloody proud of this accomplishment too.

Anxiety trigger 3. Losing the support of one of my crutches. Well not really losing the support as such, it just feels like it, their life has changed, they have their own issues and well there are some things that are reminding me of the reason for my breakdown in the first place.

So I shouldn’t be surprised really that the symptoms are coming back. I’m dealing with them though. I’m not letting them prevent me from doing things, I feel the attacks start and ride through them, breathe, use the inhalator, remind myself that the attacks have a time limit and if I can ride through it will go away. I am stronger than the anxiety and panics and I won’t let it pull me down again.