Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The long process of realising.

Hi you. Not sure who I am today or what to do with myself. I'm sitting about looking at all of the blogs I follow, pages I like to read, topics I usually like to research, but I can't focus my brain on any one thing for long enough. It's flitting about and I keep disappearing too. Just for short amounts of time I think. I don't know that anybody else is coming out to replace me, I think I'm just going blank and missing bits of my day. I freaked myself out while driving because my windscreen wipers suddenly appeared to be on but I couldn't remember having put them on for the life of me. It's only little things like that but happening all day long.

I'm home now from my jollies. Adam was ill for the entire duration which put a dampener on things a bit but I still had a good time for my standards. The only problem really was that neither of us could sleep and so we're both exhausted now. The good news is, a thing I had to go to for work has been cancelled so I am going to take the rest of the week off. In theory, I would like to spend the time sorting out some of my house, doing some Christmas shopping and putting up some decorations and the tree etc. In practice, it's more likely to mirror my evening today: staring blankly at the laptop, not being able to focus for more than a minute and having no energy to move.

Shall I tell you about my new diagnosis? I'm ambivalent to talk about exactly what it is on here for one reason only: DID is rare, Northern Ireland is a VERY small country. I already feel worried that friends or family members will stumble onto my blog and recognise me from the description, especially knowing that my mum works in mental health. The disorder I have been diagnosed with is also rare and so I don't want to increase the chances of my being recognised on here... which is a pity because I want to be able to talk about everything on my blog. Am I just being paranoid? Well until I am sure, it shall remain nameless but I can tell you that the main symptoms of it are also some of the symptoms that you will see on any list of symptoms of DID. So I will be very curious to see how much improvement I notice once I start getting treated for it. How much of my symptoms are just because of DID and how much are because of this genetic disorder? The treatment may not be starting for quite some time and is going to involve me having to attend hospital to get stuff done to my blood every week or every other week for possibly the first year. After that it will be visits every few months. It's a good job I don't have a needle phobia!

I'm still getting my head around the diagnosis. I have actually had a lot of trouble believing it, despite it being diagnosed by a gene test which either shows up that you have the genes for it or you don't. It's very black and white, yet I still find myself thinking it couldn't be possible. It makes me feel incredulous towards myself and it's no wonder I have trouble accepting that I have dissociative identity disorder then, when I can't even accept something I can see evidenced on paper.

The DID battle goes on inside. It's a joke really. The fact that my views about it change so often is evidence enough that there are big shifts in my mind, yet I see the changing views as a reason to doubt that I have DID. I have been trying not to go over things too much in my head in this regard in recent months. My psychologist, T, offered that maybe it's not about asking if I have DID or not, but accepting that if DID gives me a useful framework for understanding how I am and what's happening internally and if it fits, then it is useful for us. And it does that. It does give me a useful framework for understanding myself. And when I read about DID it fits with what happens inside me. When I do the tests for DID, it comes up positive: that doesn't convince me at all. So I need to stop seeking confirmation and accept that things are in 'parts' and that's how I understand myself, so that's as much as I need to get on with.

I am making progress in therapy, although at times it doesn't feel as though I am. In fact, on another day I might tell you I feel further back than when I started. Despite being still so separate from the other alters (something that happened during the summer: I have just stopped being able to communicate well internally. It felt like I had been left alone) my tolerance of thinking about difficult topics has increased. 'Despite' might not be the word: it could be 'because of' actually. Maybe having that distance means I can tolerate talking about difficult things more without feeling how the other alters react to it, or switching. It's not like I've been talking a lot with T about anything traumatic (far from it), but I have been very slowly coming through a process of putting the pieces of information I have together and acknowledging with T that bad things really did happen when I was a child. You know... it's hard to say it... sexual abuse. This acknowledgement is not universal in Candycan. It is still limited to specific parts

Monday, 28 November 2011

Alters fighting with each other: sabotage and rescue

I'm still alive! It's been almost two weeks since I last blogged and I'm sorry about that (for myself too), but things have been hectic to say the least. First of all, here is a post I half wrote last week but didn't get finishing:

"Things are different. I'm losing time a lot. Just small amounts. I think it's mainly just moments where I am going somewhere else in my head and then realising time has gone by. It's because I'm stressed. 

I have another work 'event' this Thursday which I am organising. My colleague who is supposed to be helping me has offered to do a twenty minute session of the entire half day and no help whatsoever with the organising. So I have had to do all of the practical things like venue, food, invitations etc plus research the entire topic, come up with a seminar on the topic and design all of the displays and demos and group work, plus do all of the printing, getting resources, confirming attendees etc. I actually think it would be better if she wasn't helping at all because at least then I could take the credit for the hard work. She does this every time: offers to help and then does a tiny amount but it is so that she can say she organised it with me and that will be recorded on her work record as something she has done. 

She's more than happy to give her ideas about what I should be doing in my parts though and she's really quick to tell me I should be doing things differently. Most of the time, it's just that my different way is only that... different. Not wrong; just not how she would do it. I have been working every minute that I have been awake, more or less ('more' because I seem to spend the night dreaming about work as well and actually found on more than one occasion that I solved a few work related problems in my sleep... 'less' because sometimes DID just makes the focus impossible and I have been doing a good job at procrastinating at times) and need to probably stay awake and work every second between now and Thursday if I want to have it all organised.

Anyway I didn't come here to complain about work. I've been dying of the cold the past several days which is like the cherry on the icing on the cake at the moment. It really hasn't helped things. The good news is, if I survive until Thursday, I am going to be off work for SIX WHOLE DAYS afterwards! Yippee! This will be the first proper time off I've had since my trip in the new year and it is long overdue. Seriously overdue. I have found myself taking an annual leave day several times in the past few months just to lie in bed and get my head around psychology sessions, or because I have been unable to function. I don't want to wither away all of my holidays on crisis situations. 

Hopefully having a proper break will get me rested and psychologically improved so that I will be better able to cope with my work/therapy/physical health/life juggling act. And maybe after that I might even be able to start looking forward to Christmas. Christmas is 'my' time. A lot of people with mental health problems find (and understandably so) Christmas to be the hardest time of year. For me it's always been my favourite time of year. I'm the annoying person who doesn't go along with the rant about the decorations being up in the shops straight after Halloween. I'm the one who says thinks 'the earlier the better'. 

I'm not sure why I love Christmas so much. I have split memories about it. I would say it was the time of year my parents were more likely to make an effort to make us happy as a family, so we had some nice times at Christmas. Yet at the same time, I remember that my dad hated Christmas and on more than one year banned us from having a tree up or any decorations. So maybe my over embracing attitude about Christmas is a rebellion from my scrooge of a dad, or maybe it's just..."

That ended quite abruptly and I don't know what wisdom I was about to impart but I'm guessing it was possibly saying that my love of Christmas could be to do with the fact that sometimes Christmas was a happy time for us. I never liked to admit it to myself at the time, but Christmas was always the one time of year where my church (cult) didn't meet and I always kind of enjoyed not having to go to the meetings, which were usually at least twice per week and not just for a few hours but the whole of my Sundays.

The sad thing about this year is that, despite my usual love of Christmas, I have not been able to really feel any excitement about it. If I'm honest, I have been quite depressed recently. However, I have been quite depressed on previous years and this hasn't stopped me from appreciating the Christmassyness. This year I have found myself dreading it a little bit, mainly because of my lack of energy and physical tiredness. This could be largely due to my new diagnosis of a genetic disorder, so I am hoping that once I start my treatment for it, my energy levels will improve. I have been trying to do some Christmas shopping online, because my energy for actual shopping is quite low, but you kind of miss out on the 'festiveness' of it all.

I was reflecting on this with Adam after Thursday's event and observed that I think I do this on purpose. Let me explain this in easier terms: in the plural. Basically, there is a part that tries to sabotage me. They intentionally cause me to not do the work I should be doing. They want me to fail or for things to end in disaster. There were a lot of times I knew I should be getting organised but would intentionally do other things instead. I feel that this part wants things to go wrong. It wants drama and bad things to happen (is it because that's what's familiar to that part?). Then there is the rescuing part: the one who stays up until 2am getting everything done. They come in and take over when it's getting to that disaster point. Why does this happen? Part of me only knows chaos and drama in their life and can't cope with things being good and straight forward, so they try to recreate that on a daily basis. The other part wants for a better, straight forward life and strives to achieve that. The two parts are at war with each other. It makes for a lot of stress.

In my clinical psychology session this week, T and I got to talking about my relationship with Adam and her reflections ran along a similar vein. We noted that there is a part of me that tries to sabotage my relationship with him and drive him away or make him angry. I asked her why someone would do this or to be precise, I think I said something like: "Why? Why?! I don't get it! WHY?! Why would someone live with something they hate all their life and then try to recreate it? Why?!".

I think my seldom seen passion in my question must have warranted an actual answer for once (don't psychologists have some kind of policy of never answering a question?) because she explained that it is what that part knows, therefore it has the coping strategies to deal with someone being horrible. It hasn't developed the coping strategies to deal with a male being nice and so this feels uncomfortable. She then said, that there is a part who does match with the good things too, because I got into a relationship with Adam in the first place. I agreed that there is a part of me that's really good at picking out the things that would make for a good life: I have found a lovely guy to live with, I have worked hard despite my setbacks and made a good life for myself. I've gone into an area of work that helps people to include practical things in their lives that were often missing from my own as a child; yet the other part is still there because I can help other people to improve this but I still don't do it myself... and there is always that voice saying I don't deserve that for myself.

I said that statistically, people like me don't end up with people like Adam. Statistically, people like me are more likely to end up with abusive partners. T felt that the part that is able to feel a match with 'good' things is there because I must have had some relationship as a child that provided this. She says there must have been someone who showed me love and kindness in a safe way. She has said this to me before. It suggests she is working on a theory that you can't know what love is unless you've experienced it. You can't know a good thing unless you've seen a good thing. It's hard for me to pinpoint one person who was that influence. I think it must have been my mother. But even she, although loving and kind and caring to me, was at times abusive and scary and unsafe. Could I have developed those skills based on how she was in the good times? Did I develop a self who saw and related to only the good side of my mum and another part to deal with the other side of her along with my father? Is that why there would be a part who could know good things and trust them despite not having a consistent source of that from one person? It must be; otherwise, if we're basing this belief on the aforementioned theory, I couldn't have the part who knows what a good relationship would be like. I hope you can get your head around my wording of this. I don't know that I've explained it very well.

It has given me things to think about anyway. It brings up one big question for me: how can I change so that I don't continue to try to sabotage every good thing in my life? How can I change my desire for life to be chaotic and painful and lonely? I feel that part won't be content until they have driven Adam away (they have already managed to make sure I have no other relationships worth talking about by cutting us off from people) and caused me to lose my job. And like T says, there are no winners in this situation. That part won't be happy then either. I wonder if that part actually wants to drive everyone away so that they can justify suicide, being that my only real reason for not having done it is the knowledge of how it affects those left behind.

Phwew... getting a bit heavy there. I don't want to end on that sad note so despite this post being of a length that makes up for all of the posts I normally would have done in two weeks combined, I will finish on a better note by saying that I am so relieved that 'Thursday' is over and I am now in the middle of my lovely break from work. Adam and I are away on our jollies for a few days. Nowhere exotic, just a lovely hotel in Fermanagh and I am enjoying not thinking about work at all. I have decided that I am not going to feel guilty about anything if I can help it for the next few days, which is a good thing because the food here is to die for.

It's currently 1pm in the afternoon and after having a mammoth cooked breakfast this morning, I am sitting in bed typing this while Adam is sleeping in the other bed (our bed at home is Super King Sized and downgrading to sharing a double bed for this weekend wasn't working out so I have ended up in the extra single bed, but between you and me, I'd be happy if I had my own bed on a permanent basis!) after coming down with some kind of bug and cold combination (probably wouldn't want to be sharing a bed with someone in that condition anyway). I feel sorry for him that he is sick but I hope it will pass. Is it bad that I also feel secretly relieved that he may be too ill to want to have sex with me too? It has been on my mind, that going away for a romantic break means there's a kind of expectation for that intimacy too. I have struggled from day one with sex with Adam and it's not getting any easier with time. Damnit! I didn't want to end on a negative note and it has gone down hill again... OK something positive.... the good news is it's Monday and I'm not at work and it's raining outside and I don't need to be out in it and for the next few days there's not a thing in the world I have to do if I don't want to. I might go and sit in the jacuzzi later... this is the life!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Trying EMDR

I promised I would tell you about EMDR (not that I think you're hanging on my every word and waiting desperately, wondering if I'll keep my word or anything!) last week. It was the first time I've tried it. I've had a lot of apprehension re starting EMDR since many people I have communicated with online about it in relation to DID felt it was a risky thing. It's been on the cards lately in psychology sessions and it seemed we were preparing for it although I felt we were still waiting for something or that T didn't want to rush into it... until my meltdown last weekend. She suggested then that we would do some EMDR at the next session to help with the disturbing images etc I'd been having. 

If you haven't heard of EMDR, it is short for 'Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing'. That sounds about as easy to get your head around as a crash course in rocket science might be, but in my very layman's terms, it's something to do with causing eye movements (usually left to right, alternating) combined with thinking about certain things and this speeds up the brain processing of that thing. It goes on the theory that if you experienced something traumatic, sometimes the event gets 'stuck' in your brain and you might not process it, so every time you are reminded of it, you might feel the same way as just after it happened (ie symptoms of PTSD: post traumatic stress disorder).

EMDR is a process of making eye movements which do something fancy to the connections in your brain and help your brain to process things. The eye movements are usually done by you sitting in front of the EMDR therapist and following their left to right to left to right hand movements. It can also be done by tapping alternating sides of your body or by using sounds which alternate from left to right ears. I must emphasize that this is my interpretation of what I have been told and read and that it may not be exactly how EMDR is (because contrary to apparent popular belief (I'll tell you about that in another post), I AM NOT A THERAPIST!), but it's how I understand it. If you want to read more, I am sure Mr Wikipedia would oblige.

In my very limited reading, I am pretty sure I read that the use of the visual movements is quickest and the use of sounds is slowest. Unfortunately, I freaked out a bit when T first tried doing EMDR with me. I found the eye movements very uncomfortable and so she tried the tapping, but I felt really anxious having her so physically near to me. So we are going to try using the aural version. So last week we did a very short session of EMDR...

T gave me some ear phones and a CD player and I listened to some nice music which alternated between the left and right earphones while T asked me to think about my safe place and to imagine myself there. She said to think about how it feels in my body and to think of one word to associate with the feelings of being there in the safe place.

I found this to be a challenge because firstly, it's surprisingly hard to concentrate on listening to music, whilst listening to someone give instructions (my hearing problem doesn't help here either) and simultaneously trying to imagine myself in a safe place while also feeling extremely physically anxious and on edge (just how I normally feel in therapy sessions). 

I find that when I feel anxious, it's really hard to imagine a safe place. I know it's imagination so I should be able to come up with some kind of impenetrable fortress but I tend to always end up imagining my safe place being invaded by something or someone dangerous. It's seldom safe enough. Sometimes it is, and that feels great. It's just hard to always feel that way, then I get annoyed at myself for 'failing' in the task and feel like if I tell T, she will be disappointed in me and give up. 

On the positive side though, the music was lovely. It was hard to listen to the music because I was holding in a lot of emotions about the dreams and in life in general, I am holding in a lot of emotions about everything that's gone before, so I tend to avoid listening to sad music anyway. The song was kind of sad and I felt emotions coming up that I couldn't afford to tolerate at that moment. T thought this was a good thing and a sign that the EMDR was doing what it should. I don't have an opinion although I did feel that I would have felt the same way simply listening to that song without any alternations in sound in my ears. Another positive was that after trying it for a few minutes, I am feeling a lot less anxious about the prospect of doing EMDR in general and possibly even might be looking forward to doing it again!

So to summarise, I liked the music and I'm less anxious about trying it out now than I was, but my concerns are:
1) that I will have problems hearing her speak and listening to the music as well, because of my hearing problem and this will mean needing to go back to tapping and then I might feel anxious all over again
2) if I can't relax enough while she is EMDRing me a safe place, will I then process my safe place in a way that makes me feel anxious when I think about it?
3) how am I going to listen to the music without feeling like I'm about to burst into tears?

Then there is my new job offer, which has been a lot to take in. I'm still not sure what this will mean for me but it could mean huge change at work and this is something I'm not sure I want because it's not likely to lessen my work load at all. Thirdly, there's the news of my new diagnosis of a genetic disorder which affects my blood. This has been a lot to get my head around. 

And lastly, there's been the added stress of some twat writing horrible things about me on her blog. I may or may not write about that on here. It really upset me. I understand that some people don't believe in DID, but I let them get on with their ignorance and would like to be left to get on with my own business, not used as a case study in an effort to try and prove why people with DID are a danger to society (if the person I am referring to is reading this, please go away and leave me alone). At the same time, I don't know if I can even be bothered getting bogged down with a post about it, because I just wonder, is it worth my time?

It certainly hasn't helped me cope this week anyway and have found it very difficult to sleep. As soon as I lie down I start thinking about horrible twat or work or my illness. I also have a big work event coming up next week which I am organising and it is stressing me out big time.

Wish me luck for T day tomorrow.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Update on the mini crash and things in general

Good afternoon world and friends.

It's been a week and it feels like it's been a year, yet still just a minute since I last wrote to you. What's new hey?

Erm, so to fill you in... hmm, I'm not really sure myself how things have been to be honest. Last time I wrote I was in the middle of a mini crisis where I felt my world had just come crashing down. This was triggered partly by some nightmares and then body pains which seemed to be more than a coincidence, combined with not getting along with Adam and a big argument where he told me he didn't like me anymore (to be fair, I had just said the same thing to him... well, Pan had, but Pan is part of me so I can't pass the blame... but I believe I am unlovable and I know I love Adam so when I say it I know it's just anger (not trying to excuse it) but when he says it, it's confirmation of how no one in the world, including Adam could possibly love me or even like me). Anyway, I don't want to tread old ground (is that even an expression? I'm still learning about figures of speech. Either I'm a bit autistic or was a bit busy growing up in an abnormal life to take on board the wonders of metaphors and the like).

So the weekend was difficult. I was thinking about the dreams a lot and feeling depressed and despairing and hopeless. Light fittings were not just light fittings and bannisters were not just bannisters if you know what I mean and I found myself rummaging through the bin to find a glass jar or bottle that I could smash and then throwing it back in the bin after staring at the object for some time on more than one occasion... but apart from Thursday night and Friday morning, I didn't self harm or try to hang myself, so that's pretty good going all in all! It's hard to describe what a crash feels like. A minute feels like an hour in that state. I feel so completely alone and being with Adam just adds to the feeling of aloneness. It's like I am trapped in a bubble which someone has filled with painful emotions and bits of memories of hurt and loss and I can't get out of it and no one can get in. It doesn't matter what the world is doing, if the sun's shining or the rain's falling because it can't affect me except to make me feel more alone and hopeless. I want to cry. My body feels heavy. Movements are very slow. I don't care what I look like, but I look different...pale, puffy eyes (probably because I don't sleep the same way when I'm like this), bedraggled. I curve into myself because holding my head up is an effort I don't have the motivation or will for. I stare, but I'm not looking out at anything. I'm just seeing a blur.

I felt despairing and I felt hopeless at the weekend but I guess I couldn't have been completely hopeless because I was holding onto the thoughts that a) I could remember feeling this way and worse in the past and had survived and b) if I could make it to Monday I'd probably switch to a more life compatible version of Candycan.

Monday came and I went along to see T at clinical psychology. Erm... trying to remember... erm... Oh yes! We talked about... gosh, I'm not sure. I'm not doing very well here. But I know it was difficult and I talked about, oh yes!...  the dreams. I was pleased with myself I guess that I was able to tell T at least one of the dreams because I definitely wouldn't have been able to talk about it out loud last year, or even perhaps earlier this year, without dissociating and ending up feeling everything physically or switching. So I feel that is huge progress, or else I was just in a different state that was more able to talk without getting overwhelmed. It was difficult and I felt my heart hammering in my chest. I know it's stupid but I still worry that T won't believe me, even though in reality she probably believes it more than I do myself. But while I was talking about the dreams and how I felt that the pains I had couldn't be a coincidence, I was worrying that she would think I was just making things up for attention and then I start to convince myself  that I am. Or at least just blowing things out of proportion. And I start doubting everything again.

Last night I had a dream that I was in a car that fell off the road into a lake and I was in the sinking car trying to get the windows open to get myself and the others in the car out. I've had this dream a thousand times and when I drive near water I always feel freaked out. That doesn't mean this actually happened to me though. So why should I assume that dreaming about terrible things happening to a child and then feeling physical pains means those things happened to me? I don't know. Why would I dream about those things happening to me if it wasn't because of past experiences? Then I say (inside), 'I know it's real because it feels real'. Even though I don't consciously know it, in a way, I kind of do at the same time. But then in another way, I know it's not. OK so to conclude... we can't rely on any opinions or feelings that come out of my brain!

So, I told T about the dream. She didn't say an awful lot although she did ask me if I had considered if these things might have happened to me. I think she was trying to get me to think for myself and come to that conclusion. I'm sure we talked about other things but I can't bring them to mind. Then, at the end of the session, we tried EMDR for the first time. I will tell you about that in another post.

My week has been pretty huge in some ways. First of all, I found out the results of my liver tests. I haven't spoken with the doctor yet, I just found out by looking up my blood results at work and have extrapolated through this my diagnosis, which is a genetic (therefore lifelong) disorder which can cause chronic fatigue like tiredness! I don't want to go into too much detail about this on here because I'm worried about my anonymity for various reasons but suffice to say, it's a lot to get my head around. In a way, I am happy that there is potentially an answer for the exhaustion I have been plagued with for some time now and therefore hopefully a treatment that can help. On the other hand, the treatment for the condition sounds like it could be pretty hard going in itself and might make me feel worse instead of better for the first long while. But, I need to speak to the consultant again before I get ahead of myself and thanks to the NHS being as it is, I will have to wait another two months for an appointment. I tried several times to contact his secretary this week to find out if there's anything I can do in the meantime and have come to the conclusion that they make it almost impossible to find the number on purpose so that patients can't ring up to bother them. I eventually got through to an answering machine, which proved to be pointless because two messages and several days later and I haven't heard a thing back from them.

The other big news of this week is that I have been offered a new job! This is a good thing in that it gives me job security until 2013 instead of until Christmas, but bad in that it potentially means starting in an area of work I always said I'd hate to work in and I'd be working under the supervision of the very person who bullied me when I was a student. Now, to be fair, I have come to like this area of work a bit more this year seeing as half the patients I am currently seeing would fall into this client group and although I haven't had much dealings with this bully from hell of a manager since I started working, I hope it might be different now that I am working as a professional and have a lot more confidence in my abilities. The other bad thing is that the girl who is currently doing this particular job is so stressed out, I feel it will kill me... and I see her as much more competent than I am. :S Given my current physical and mental state and the fact that I am just about managing to get through each working day by the skin of my teeth (teeth don't have skin...what's that about?) I am finding it hard to feel excited about the prospect of work in general, never mind starting a new job at the moment. Sigh.

These two things have kind of been occupying my head this week; the diagnosis much more than the job, so I haven't had too much time to think about my meltdown of last weekend until now. I've felt like I've struggled through each day. I'm now having to work late on a Wednesday evening as well and starting an extra project at work. It's all fun and games isn't it?

Emotionally I've just numbed myself through the week. I've been too busy to feel. This morning was my first moment of rest since last Sunday. Adam went out after lunch and I watched a bit of telly for half an hour then switched off the box, lay down on the living room floor and stared at the carpet while tears rolled out of my eyes and I thought about how empty and hopeless my life is looking. I went back into the kitchen and looked at the glass jar which is still sitting out from last weekend, for a moment... contemplating. Then I shook myself and got my laptop out to do some of the work that I can't fit into my working days but that is building up and causing me to have dreams about car crashes all night.

I'm starting to resent Adam. He hasn't been working now for a year. He could have been working if he'd wanted to. At the same time I understand why he hasn't taken a job but his line of work means he earns at least double my wage when he does work. If he was working now I'd have the option of cutting down my hours or even taking some time out to get well, but as it is, the mortgage needs paid and I must keep going in order to pay it. Last weekend I found myself asking Adam what would happen to the house if I died and he said that our insurance policy means the mortgage would be paid off. One of the things that has been on my list of 'reasons not to kill myself' is that it wouldn't be fair to leave Adam with the debt of the house. Now, it appears it would actually do him a favour in this regard. There are however, still two other reasons on the list at the moment so unfortunately, that's not an option.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

It's a crash

Dear world

I am still alive. I think I must be because the pain in my heart would suggest it hasn't died. My husband picked up some sleeping tablets from the doctor I spoke to yesterday and I took one last night. I slept for ten hours although I still feel knackered today and unfortunately, still in a dark, despairing, empty, alone place. It's a crash.

I lay on the sofa again this afternoon for some time while Adam tried to cheer me up by playing some jolly tunes on the piano. He said he wanted to go and play golf today with a friend. I really felt down when he said this. I don't want to be alone again after spending most of the day on my own yesterday. A small part of me felt sad that he couldn't understand how hard things are for me at the moment. I guess he's so used to seeing me with something or other wrong: if it's not feeling sick, or random body pains, it's exhausted or depressed; that he doesn't really distinguish the crisis I am having as different. But yet he does, because he keeps saying how worried he is and he rang my psychologist and he knows I wouldn't contact the out of hours GP if I felt it could wait until Monday. This is more than depressed. This is a crash.

If you read the comments section on yesterday's post you'll know already that I contacted the out of hours GP yesterday and he was very kind and tried to be understanding although didn't really understand at all. He gave me lots of useful advice like drink ten glasses of water per day and eat my five a day fruit and veg. I know when you're in the middle of a crisis, eating your five a day isn't the answer, but that's OK. It's still important sometimes to hear the basic advice. I know as well as anyone about the importance of these things but even I find myself sitting on the sofa at 7pm realising I haven't eaten or drank since I woke up that morning. So he had a point. It's just not going to solve my crisis and I wanted something much more immediate than lifestyle advice. He advised me to keep taking the diazepams which I had from my GP ages ago and hadn't found any use. He said to up the dose to three tablets as and when and he prescribed the aforementioned sleeping tablet, which after reading the side effects of, I wondered if was going to do me more harm than good taking it and went to sleep half expecting to wake up this morning in a psychotic state having lost my memory and end up running round aggressively attacking people with a bat.

After I while of being sprawled on the sofa today I asked Adam to ring the doctor again because I am sure diazepam doesn't help someone who is in the depths of despair. He did so and spoke with a doctor on my behalf. I could hear him talking about how I have DID and depression and I wondered if the GP would have a clue what DID was. I don't think I would have mentioned it myself. I could hear the GP asking Adam if I was having thoughts of self harm or suicide and Adam said he didn't think so. I suggested I speak to the doctor and we chatted for about ten minutes. He was very friendly again, which again surprised me. I've only ever had to ring an out of hours GP once before and that was when I ran out of antidepressants just before a bank holiday weekend and wanted to get some more in case I would have withdrawal. The GP was so rude and patronising and gave me a stern lecture about being responsible for my own health. It was like a slap in the face for someone who, I think given my difficulties is doing a pretty good job at managing and being responsible all in all.

Anyway, this doctor seemed to be very understanding of the crisis I was having. He agreed that diazepam probably isn't going to help me much and that although he wished he could give me something to help me feel better through the weekend, that there really isn't any short term medication for the type of feelings I am having. He talked about how I had been in therapy for three years and that this must be very difficult and bring up a lot of things for me. He said he understood that sometimes things can become overwhelming and very intrusive and that an antidepressant would be something I should consider although it probably wouldn't help me today or tomorrow as it could take a few weeks to kick in. I expressed that I am worried about work because even this weekend there is a lot of work I need to do because of deadlines coming up and he said it was important not to think about these things but that my health is a priority. He's about the fourth person to say that to me in the last week. Even my own manager suggested that I need to put my health first and consider leaving work for a time. It's just not an option though. Adam is out of work and we have a mortgage to pay. I'm trapped. I can't really talk to Adam about this because he feels it's his fault for not being in a job. Sigh.

In the end we left it that if the thoughts were becoming very intrusive, I should contact them again. I'm OK with that. I know I'm not going to kill myself this weekend. I guess I just need to try and cope and do the things like drink water and eat fruit. 

Afterwards I asked Adam how the GP had reacted when he talked about DID and Adam said he seemed to have a good understanding of it which surprised and pleased me. I guess that's why he seemed to have quite a good insight into how I was feeling when I tried to explain that these crashes are usually short lived and most of the time I'm like 'a different person'. It felt really good to speak with someone who was caring and compassionate and not judgemental and ignorant. GPs can't be all bad.

The sun is shining here, for a change. My husband has realised I need him not to go out to play golf (I didn't want to say but I was hoping he wouldn't abandon me today so it's a relief) and instead we are going to walk up the hill behind my house and have bacon sandwiches by the lake in the meadow. You wouldn't think I live in the capital city! I just need to muster up some energy to get out of my pyjamas into some clothes which seems like a simple enough task but feels mammoth.

I'm supposed to be going out for dinner with Adam, my sister Katie and her husband tonight. I know it's probably good if I do get out and could help me feel better, but between you and me, the thought of having to take a shower and find some clothes to wear is overwhelming me!

Thank you for the encouraging comments on the last post. It really does help to hear from others who know what it's like. I feel for anyone who goes through life feeling the way I am this weekend.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Crisis... meltdown...breakdown... temporary glitch

The past weeks have been hard and getting harder. Work is getting me down for a number of reasons and things are going on internally. I have been struggling to articulate how I feel. On wednesday night I had some nightmares which were triggered off by hearing a news story and they have been playing on my mind. I have been having some strange pains inside me too...inside my bum. Last night I had a fight with Adam and I think that has been the straw that broke the camel's back really. When Adam rejects me I feel hopeless. I feel he is the only good thing in my life. I hate myself that I make his life so difficult by being me. I lay in bed last night crying and holding a blade to my arm, willing myself to cut it really deeply but doing no more than light damage. Ebony was out. She wrote an email to my T in the middle of the night:

"T, i don't know what else to do that doesn't involve damage Is there hope for me? what do i have left to live for? Adam says he doesn't like me anymore. i have no one else really. my comfort is the image of what i want to do to ease this and fix things for good so i won't be a burden anymore. I feel hated. i hate myself. i hate myself for writing to you. i don't want to feel so alone and in a way i feel like your help is my only hope. if your help can't help i wonder if anything else could. I'm trying not to think about what i want to do to myself just now. I'm trying not to think about the nightmares. The pains are reminding me and questioning my memory. it feels real. I'm scared. My body hurts in places. Bad things happen to little girls and it makes me hurt. I want to tell you the dream. i want to run away. i hope you can help me"

I didn't go to work today. I had already planned to take friday off because things have been so hard for me this past while and I felt I just needed a day off to recharge. I don't know how I would have managed the day if I had've needed to go in because things have been pretty bad. I feel catatonic. I lay in bed for hours after I woke up. Adam tried to make friends with me and I said we could be friends but I felt very down. I sat in the garden with my head sagging onto my chest while we had breakfast. I moved onto the sofa where I lay curled up in a pile with a blanket over my head.
I wondered if T had gotten my email. Around lunchtime Adam rang T to say things weren't good and she asked to speak to me. It was hard to speak to her; I felt I had no answers to her questions. I guess she was trying to establish what the risks were. She said she wondered if I needed to have an urgent assessment by a psychiatrist. I think she was looking for me to tell her if I thought this was needed. She was asking if I felt there was a risk I would do something. I said I didn't know but I hoped not. I've been thinking about hanging myself constantly, but that's a far cry from doing it. I don't plan to, but I also can't speak for everyone else inside. She asked about the dreams. I couldn't really say much except that it was about a little girl... I was struggling to get out anymore than that. She asked: "were things done to her?" I said yes. We talked about the pains I've been having and how I'm feeling emotionally and T asked if I felt this was a part that was more to the fore at the moment. Yes. She suggested that I needed some medication to help me settle so that I can get through the weekend. We talked through the options. T was keen for me to speak to my doctor. I said I had some diazepam which I could take and would contact the out of hours doctor at the weekend if it didn't help. She told me to mention her name and that she had recommended I contact them if I did. She was very nice and said it sounded like I was going through a difficult time and part of it is trying to sit with it but that medication would probably help until I see her on Monday morning. She said some things about the dreams triggering memories of trauma that parts hold. I tried to explain how it was confusing because the dreams disturbed me and the pains seemed to be linked but I don't remember things like that happening... but instead someone else spoke and said 'I think so too'. She was worried that I would be on my own as Adam was going out. She asked why Adam was worried enough to ring her. I explained that he probably isn't used to seeing me this way, which is very different. She asked if he was worried I would self harm. I guess he is. She asked if I'd told him I self harmed today. I said I hadn't. She asked if he was worried I'd end my life. I said I doubted he knew I felt that way. I felt guilty for burdening him and her with it all but she said she was glad we rang. She explained that she had sent an email to my work email asking me to ring her but hadn't realised I wouldn't be at work to get it. I was glad to hear this because it was nice to know she cared. I apologised for being a hassle and she said 'not at all'. She said she wants to talk about things more on Monday and assess what I need and wants to do some EMDR to help me feel safe and did I think that would be helpful. I said I hoped so.
I felt a bit better afterwards. A bit of hope. Just a small amount. Adam made me a bed on the sofa and I cuddled my teddies and watched my favourite film ever: the Grinch. I also took two diazepam although I don't feel any different for having taken them. I'm thinking now I should have taken T's advice and rang my doctor. I hope I'll be OK though. I can ring the out of hours GP if need be. I might switch and feel much better soon. It's hard when Ebony is around. It's hard to tolerate the emotions. I switched for a while when Adam put the Grinch on. Little C came out and felt very happy but at the same time I felt the others there. Many emotions. Now that has passed. I feel very down and drained and lifeless. Hopeless. Adam is gone out. I've been thinking about glass and my arms a lot. But I am just thinking. I've been thinking about it constantly since last night so hopefully I will be OK and this will pass. As I said to T, I will probably be back to my old self by Monday. It's just a glitch.