Tag Archives: Tears

Searching, Always Searching

20 May

I’m sorry I’ve been so utterly unreachable and quiet this past month or so. First the crushing defeat of depression was nipping at my heels and running me ragged, and then I went on a month long trip to America. I visited friends, I met my half brother, but still I couldn’t shake the drunken, depressive devil free from my shoulder. I think he must have talons the size of fifty states because whatever I did the bastard and his friends wouldn’t leave me alone. But I’m home now, I have been for weeks. Has anything changed though? No, nothing apart from the sights, sounds and silence I’ve surrounded myself with.

Last week I had another appointment with the psychologist. In my previous appointment I was what she described as “hypomanic”.  This time around I was anxious, in floods of tears, incredibly depressed and apparently I looked “ill”.  Yes, that would be because I had ventured out the day before and spent the better part of a lazy afternoon in the pub. I was self-medicating on alcohol because the thoughts, the feelings, the paranoia, it was impossible to live with.

The woman, the psychologist as she calls herself, tried to palm my symptoms off on drinking. I was sitting there stunned, alone, crying and wondering if there would ever come a time when somebody would listen to me. I mean really listen. Listen to what I have to say about the way I feel and respond in a manner that tells me you understand and you’re going to do everything in your power to help me banish this fucking illness from my mind.

She then murmured on about me needing to stop drinking because that’s why I was feeling so terrible. Fine, I understand alcohol can be a depressant because I’ve been told that a million times before. But no, feeling that way was what led me to the local pub in the first place. I’ve been feeling like this without drinking, goddamn it! I drink because I can’t stand myself and I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts!

My mind scares me when I leave the house and I’m convinced the two people ahead of me on the pathway are conspiring to murder me as I pass them by. I’m worried when I overhear people talking close to me and I think they’re discussing how ugly I am or why they don’t like me. I don’t even think I can return to my volunteer job now because I spent the best part of three weeks drowning myself in thoughts of how everybody in that office wanted to make me leave because they didn’t want me there anymore.

I saw that my local Mind office (The place I volunteer at) had released their first newsletter. I read it, scanned the pages and when I saw another man had joined the ranks and was doing the same job as me I was convinced it was a conspiracy. That was their way of telling me I wasn’t wanted, I thought. They haven’t mentioned me and I’m now reading between the lines. I came to the conclusion so quickly and the feelings were so powerful I’m still having trouble processing them. I know its paranoia now, but at the time I didn’t. It was real to me and I started to frantically think of what I could have done wrong. Why did I do that made them want to cut me loose? I wrote charity letters for them, I did everything they asked! Were they just using me for a while? Were they planning on doing this all along?

Thankfully these feelings have subsided since and I’m no longer caught so tightly in the grip of paranoia. I deleted facebook friends because I was convinced they were gossiping about me, I’ve hidden myself away in my room, I refused to listen to my iPod as I walked home in case somebody attacked me, I’ve done all these things because of incessant worrying and fears.

Is this another symptom of Bipolar disorder? Does paranoia go hand-in-hand with the manic stages, the crashing lows and this strange tingling across my skin when my mood begins to skyrocket?

The psychiatrist continued her appraisal of me and said I needed to start a course of anti-depressants. Her tone of voice was dull, lackluster and made me think I was either the most boring individual she had ever had the misfortune of meeting or her mind was elsewhere. As in, ‘Oh God, when I left the house this morning did I lock the door?’ I’m pretty sure that was where her mind was at.

My mind was on an entirely different level though. “Anti-depressants?” I said, staring at the woman with red rimmed eyes. “But… What happened to Bipolar?

I know I need anti-depressants to keep the low moods at bay, but the way she was announcing this I had a feeling she was sweeping the whole Bipolar diagnosis under the carpet.

“Who said you had Bipolar?” The woman, allegedly a psychiatrist, asked me.

Well, she did. But my counselor was the first person to broach the topic so I told her he had suspicions that I could have it.

“Hmm,” She drawled, looking through her notes. “What anti-depressants have you taken before?”

It went on like this until the meeting was thankfully over.

“Do you want me to ring and let you know what’s happening?” The alleged psychiatrist said to me after she had informed me she would talk to a colleague about what depression medication I needed to take.

“Uh, yes.” I answered, dragging my feet to the exit and willing myself not to break down and cry.

“Okay, I will.” She replied, stopping at the exit for a spilt-second. “Goodbye.”

I didn’t bother to watch her walk away; I just left as quickly as I could and swallowed the lump in my throat. The tears started running down my cheeks and I was so frustrated at the meeting I’d just encountered I dialed the number of my counselor. My God, I was standing in the street by a busy NHS walk in centre and I was crying for all to see.

I talked to him, all but begged for an appointment that same day and was told he had a free slot in an hour and a half. I walked to town, not wanting to sit on the bus and cry. It was a slow walk and I was falling into paranoia over the alleged psychiatrist. I couldn’t understand why she was doing this to me! Why was she suddenly not taking me seriously? And why wasn’t her colleague in the appointment like she was supposed to be? I’d been told that she would be there and it was even in the letter I’d received.  Did they think I was pretending to have all these symptoms? But I wasn’t doing this for attention, I was actually ill.

I willed away some time in McDonalds with a Diet Pepsi and I stared into space for what seemed like forever. Soon I caught the bus and was ranting away in my counselor’s office about what had just happened. He wanted to ask how my holiday had gone but I was more interested in venting my fears.

It’s actually thanks to him I have now started a course of medication. He was unhappy with what had happened and said he would contact the alleged psychiatrist if she hadn’t contacted me by Tuesday. I rang him on said Tuesday letting him know I still hadn’t heard from the woman, even though she had been saying she would fax the prescription of anti-depressants to my doctors the very same day. He couldn’t get in touch with her either, but had my file opened, the prescription found and it was finally sent to my doctors where I could pick it up.

The strange thing is I’m not taking anti-depressants…

My medication, Quetiapine: a Bipolar med.

I don’t understand how I was prescribed this when the alleged psychiatrist spent a lovely amount of time going through different anti-depressants with me. Does this medication also work as an antidepressant or just as a mood stabiliser to stop my hypomanic phases? I have absolutely no bloody idea either way. What I do know is I would love a string of answers for once. A sharp, solid answer I can digest and then I won’t have to Google my questions in hopes I will find some closure.

I think I have Bipolar, the people around me think I have it, so why can’t the alleged psychiatrist put me out of my misery? I have another appointment with her later next month and I’m in two minds not to go. A definitive answer means I can work on myself and strive to fight this illness and all it throws at me while on medication. No answer leaves me swimming blind, alone and with a severe cramp in every limb. The woman, let’s call her ‘Alleged’ doesn’t contact me when she says she will, doesn’t fax my prescriptions to my doctor, seems bored when I speak, can’t give me a definitive answer, leaves me feeling unsure of myself and rather paranoid… The list goes on!

Perhaps I need to kick Alleged to the curb and ask for a new psychiatrist or maybe even a new brain?

Why Me?

21 Mar

Dear Diary,

My mood slumped last night and I could feel it happening. That happy-go-lucky heart of mine lost its hypomanic sparkle and I crashed to a place where worry, anger and tears are the norm.  I read about Bipolar II Disorder and I wondered if that’s what’s wrong with me. My eyes drank in the words until I felt like my head was going to explode and then I slammed my laptop shut because I couldn’t stomach anymore. The list of symptoms I was reading, they were describing how I’ve been feeling! The depressive lows are becoming worse and I’m scared one day I will drown in my misery because the suicidal feelings are stronger and stronger each time the darkness infects my mind. I’m not saying I’m depressed now, just slightly miserable, but I know the depression is coming for me.

I woke up today and sighed because I had to contact the psychiatrist again. They said they would call yesterday, there was no phone call, and so it was up to me to see what the hell was happening. I realise when I look back now that I’m starting to get snappy with people again. I’m irritated at the slightest of things and that isn’t normal. I’m usually more pleasant in social circles, but my brain isn’t having any of that today. I guess I’m going to have to live like this until early May because they won’t give me medication until I sit through another appointment. Joy of fucking joys, I thought, this is just what I need! Now I’m going away on holiday none the wiser and wondering if any doctor will ever take my worries seriously.

Yes, I’m off to Heathrow next Tuesday and part of me can’t wait to get away from England because I need some time to pull myself together. I’m scared of a diagnosis like Bipolar because it’s a lifelong illness and even with medication, it’s always going to be there. I’m scared my life will never change for the better and most of all, I’m scared because I’ve always known I was different, but I never knew it was a mental illness making me act this way. I’d come to terms with the depression label a long time ago and now that process has to begin again because pitiful lows signal major depression, but coupled with those beautiful highs I’ve been experiencing, I feel completely out of my depth.

Yesterday I was convinced every time I stood at the bus stop a bus would come hurtling down the street right away because I was lucky. I had two days of this, Monday and Tuesday, where I felt on top of the world and I could do no wrong. I would stand at the bus stop for no longer than a few minutes and the transport would arrive and I’d be grinning manically. I even told a woman as we were standing there that I was lucky and she wouldn’t have to wait much longer. She was complaining because she had been standing there for twenty five minutes and I told her not to worry because each time I arrive at the bus stop the bus soon rolls in. Of course when that happened straight away, I became even more convinced I was on a lucky streak. I should point out I no longer feel this way at all. It vanished when I came back to Earth with a bump and now I’m left wondering what the heck I was doing Monday and Tuesday. I mean, I know what I was doing, but why was I acting that way?

I’ve never believed in luck before and I certainly don’t court it or babble about it when I’m depressed or my usual miserable self. So is that a symptom of Bipolar, a tie in with hypomania or am I losing my mind completely? I’m sitting here right now thinking about all these things and I don’t know what to do. Part of me doesn’t want to be patient and wait until May because I need this all to be sorted right this second. Another part of me wants to run away from this because I don’t want to be told I’m crazy and that’s how I feel, absolutely crazy.

I tried to talk to my mum about everything and she shot me down straight away. She said I shouldn’t be listening to other people because there’s nothing wrong with me and I need to get a job and get on with my life. If I was being honest I would say it crushed me to hear those words because all I wanted was a little support. But I’m not being honest though, so not one word bothered me and I don’t care what she has to say on the subject. I’m not lazy and I’m not selfish, I’m hurting, I’m scared and I feel all alone.

I’ve been told families are supposed to be supportive and if that’s the case, what the hell happened to mine? I think mines broken, just like my brain and I can’t fix either of them. But what I am going to do is try and focus on the positives. I’m going on holiday in six days and if this is Bipolar I guess I’m in good company. Perhaps there’s a reason why I’m far more creative and like to toss around words until I’m the puppet master of paragraphs? Whatever the reason, I’m thankful I find the writing process so therapeutic because it helps to post here; it really does, especially on a day like today.

I want to be Happy

28 Jan

Dear Diary,

On Thursday I felt a fleeting moment of happiness and I loved it. Remember that Mind volunteering job I wanted? The one where I’d get to write and make a difference to those who suffer from mental distress? Well I got the job. I know I don’t get paid but it’s a start and even on the first day I realised I was going to love every moment of being there because people understand me. They’re not going to question me when I feel down or even judge me when I’m feeling so depressed I want to crawl to the nearest hiding place and never be seen again. But like I said, that was a fleeting moment.

Today I woke up to a very serious looking letter with my name on and the envelope was light brown. The colour is significant because it means the Job Centre have decided to do their best to make my life a misery again. At first I thought it was a reply to the complaint I’d made about my job advisor, but do you know what it contained? It was three sheets of paper informing me I was no longer going to receive money because I’d refused to apply for a certain job. There is a set of numbers beside the rambling letters from the typist but I don’t know what job title it’s eluding too and of course the Job Centre has to be closed today! I don’t know what to do or even how to fight the decision because they don’t care about a young woman, who has little confidence, tries her best and was actually happy on Thursday. Why would they care? I’m only one person and when I try to take them on it overwhelms me. Sometimes I think they like it that way. They like people to be overwhelmed or to just say, “I can’t be bothered with this. I’ll let them win instead.” But if I don’t stand up for my rights, what happens when somebody else who suffers from depression or some other kind of mental health condition visits my local Job Centre?

It makes me realise when my mood has slumped and I feel so utterly lost, I’m easily trampled over and the Job Centre have become masters at this. Even my Job Advisor can peck away at me and I’ll dissolve into tears. I sometimes wonder if it gives her pleasure to push until my life begins to sail away from me and my depression rears its ugly head. She will sit there and ask why I’m late, I’ll explain the buses aren’t running on time and she’ll shoot me down before I’ve even finished my explanation. “That’s a story,” She’ll say. “The buses are always running on time.” I’m left sitting there and thinking I’m telling the truth, so why am I being treated like something she’s stepped in? But when she strolls in late from lunch and I’ve been sitting there waiting for over fifteen minutes that seems to be okay.

What I really want is to be treated with respect. Just because I’m depressed and may snap or cry sometimes, it doesn’t mean I’m any different to you, or anybody else. I’m certainly not treated with any such respect at the Job Centre and I guess that will never change. When I’m there they talk to me like I’m a liar, because every time I say something I receive a look and an answer of, “Yeah, yeah”. Then there’s a roll of the eyes and the woman types furiously on her keyboard. Now I’m starting to wish I knew what she was typing on my details because she could be putting anything. Especially when I know I’m telling the truth and she’s there on the opposite side of the desk arguing with me and labelling me as a liar.

Since November my moods have been flying all over the place. I had about four to five days where I was on top of the world, swiftly followed by the most soul crushing depression and then I felt extremely hyperactive again. There’s been almost three solid months where I’ve been forgetful, not myself and I can’t even start to begin to understand what’s happening to me. Then I visit the Job Centre where I’m treated like I’m worth nothing, I’m a liar and I’m a benefit cheat. That is how I feel right at this moment. When I sit in front of my Job Advisor and I know I’ve been searching for jobs and I can’t remember where, that isn’t an act, because I truly can’t remember the dates or times or even names of the places. There was even an entire week where I felt hyper, high and depressed all at the same time and I was still trying to search for a job. If you think that was easy, I’ll tell you right now, it bloody wasn’t. I was falling apart and I was trying to cling onto some kind of semblance when part of me knew it was an impossible task because when your mind is falling apart, job searching when you truly believe you’re worthless is not going to cure the problem, but only make it much worse.

I seem to try but ultimately I always fail and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m in floods of tears right now. If there’s something I truly, truly despise it’s failing and I’m always and forever falling into that trap. I’m a failure, I can’t find a job and even when I secure the best volunteer job in the world, the happiness is torn away from me.

So thank you Peterborough Job Centre. You’ve made me feel like a benefit cheating, waste of space that pretends she looks for work while she also puts on a show and says she has a mental illness.

  • Raindrops

That Dark Cloud is Stalking Me

28 Nov

Dear Diary,

It’s been a funny sort of day and I don’t know where to start. I’ve cried to the point where I’m surprised I haven’t caused a flash flood and no, I’m nowhere near the point of exaggeration. I forgot how much depression hurts, how badly I want to fall flat on my face and stay there until I’m nothing but a distant memory. Like I said, it’s been one of those days. I’ve walked around on autopilot, pleading with my emotions and I really didn’t want to break down in public like I did, but it happened and I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face.

I guess it all started when I left the house today. I’m still so tired, my sleeping schedule is worse than a newborn baby and without sleep, I’m terrible. I snap like a rabid dog, I act as though I’ve never heard of the word ‘patience’ and I’m probably not the type of person you want to sit down and have a conversation with. I get tearful and before I know it, I’m a walking waterfall. That’s what happened earlier and I still can’t pinpoint where it all went wrong. It would be easy to blame the buses, seeing as once again they weren’t running on time and because of that I was ten minutes late for my Job Centre appointment. Yes, I suppose the bus driver played his part in my tears today. Also the queue I was met with when I arrived, that annoyed me further. Still, what really pushed me over the edge was the waiting.

Sitting there for over forty minutes, my name was eventually called and I sat down at the lady’s desk. This was the part where everything fell to pieces. She started telling me off for being late, I explained about the bus not being on time and how it was full before we’d even gotten half way to town (That always happens when the buses are slow.) and she rolled her fucking eyes at me. I was told the buses ran every ten minutes, so my ‘story’ couldn’t have been true. I’d pushed back all her appointments, made her late and the same happened last week. And this is the part where I snapped back at her.

I was on time last week and I told her so. What made her late was the fact she stood there gossiping for a while to one of her work colleagues and left me waiting for over fifteen minutes. Yes, that’s what I told her, but I sprinkled my argument with a handful of ‘bloody hells’ and the likes.

She stared at me stony faced and said “Well, if you want to play it that way…” and then started to fire questions at me.

What have I been doing to look for work? Where’s my booklet? Have I been writing things down? What websites did I look at? Times, dates, places… It started to overload me and before I knew it, I was crying. Fat tears were rolling down my cheeks and right at that moment, I’d had enough. I ended up yelling at her and saying I couldn’t give a toss about any of this right now. Christ, that’s where I really shot myself in the foot, because she’s now trying to get my claim shut down… Well, at least she gave me a tissue before I left.

I then had to go buy potato fucking seasoning from Marks and Spencer. Of course I didn’t have to, but I would never have heard the end of it if I hadn’t picked up that bloody packet of crap. I just walked around in a daze, fighting the urge to cry again. It was difficult but I held on to my tears until I stepped through the front door.

I thought I was getting a little better, yet my mood took a nosedive today. Even with the medication I’m religiously taking I don’t seem to spot a difference in my day-to-day moods. It seems like its one step forward and ten steps back. I can’t sleep properly and I’m snatching a couple of hours here and there. My brain’s like a hamster on a wheel, it’s forever running but never getting anywhere, only turning in circles until I’m so exhausted I cry and eventually fall into a light sleep.

After a phone call, I now have something else to keep me awake at night. Shit, I’m probably the worst friend in the world and today I feel like the depression can claim victory because I’ve well and truly lost the battle. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll feel better? I can always hope, but right now even that feels like a struggle of epic proportions. Still the battle lines are drawn in the sand and with the waves crashing down on me; I’ll live to fight another day because Tuesday won’t know what hit it.