Admitting to feeling like crap

This was a private post but I’ve decided to make it public instead.

I am feeling pretty fucking awful at the moment, in my customary agitated, irritable, paranoid, anxious, racing, constant brain noise so bad that I want to throw myself into traffic just for some silence, absolutely fucking hopeless about the future, self-hating depressed way.

Things have not been great here for, ooh, I don’t know, ten years, but more recently- well, recently, for months. The past two weeks have seen a change because I quit Lamictal. Please don’t line up with the “I told you so”s, because that dead, paralysed feeling was utterly terrifying to me and I would have done anything to make it stop. My CPN agreed that the dose was not helping me and that was no way to be living. I’m starting 50mg on Monday- half the previous dose- because I lost my prescription. I have been in that headspace where I am laughing and ranting hysterically one minute and crying the next. All I can think about is how shit I am, how I fuck up all my opportunities, how hopeless I feel, how lonely I am, that I don’t feel like there is any sort of future, any way out, ever, any prospects, feeling frustrated and worthless all the time. I am trying my best to keep a hold of things but it is hard. It maddens me that stopping a medication can make me feel a certain way, and it maddens me more that starting and taking medication makes me feel nothing at all. So what do I do. This is meant to make me strong. You suffer, everything I have gone through, all the losses, all the hurt, all the crap, it is meant to make me strong. This illness is meant to make me strong- it’s meant to push me forward, to say, fuck it, I will succeed because this won’t hold me back. It’s meant to be empowering. It’s not. It’s not. It is breaking me.

The worst thing is that the mental and physical energy is doing a number on my physically unwell body, and I feel as though it is trying to shut down. My body is screaming, “STOP!” Seroquel is not working properly to sedate me so I have to double the dose. I feel completely battered. There is so so so much that I want to forget, and so much I have forgotten that I want to remember.

I’m mentioning it here because I said I’d be honest here, didn’t I, and I deliberately try and hide my worst feelings from you because I don’t like letting people down and feeling like this seems to me to be a slap in the face to Rob and Hannah. And it’s not that I can’t smile or hug or love anyone, it’s just that all those lovely things are being submerged in a fog that I have to fight to get through. I know that besides this illness I am a happy and positive person. I love Rob and my family and friends so very much but I just feel as though I am an addition to their lives that brings nothing but trouble. I miss Brendan and I miss my dad. I don’t want to be like this.

I have this image of myself as laughing with my arms around Rob somewhere happy with my cats and a stack of books I’ve written and my sisters giggling with me, wearing clothes that don’t have holes in them, clothes that fit, with no self harm scars, with some sort of prospects, with something in my life that I don’t feel I have failed at, where everything that my dad ever hoped for me had come to pass, where I was a writer, alive, alive at thirty, forty, fifty, talking, without worrying about what I’m saying, not worrying anybody anymore, creative without being held back by this, outside, not paranoid about being outside, not caring at all what I look like or feel like, just being there, truly happy, for that moment, forever because I had that moment, it’s a fabrication, but it’s where I violently wish I was and I wish I could go to. Because all I imagined in my life was that, “this too shall pass”. And it’s didn’t. It never does. It never has in ten years. It is swings and roundabouts constantly. I can’t take it. I don’t want this. I cope with it all the time, every day, but this isn’t what life should be like, for me, or Rob, or anyone else in the world. This is not right.

So this isn’t articulate polemic, nor is it any attempt from me to gussy up everything and talk sagely about mental illness like it’s something that I read in a book. Living my life vicariously through writing here is not helping me as much as you’d think it is because all this is, it’s just words on a screen. I come across as so coherent here that I wonder if you forget that behind the screen I am a twenty two year old girl with no money and a family that lives across a sea and a complete inability to pick up a phone that is struggling to cope. I find it easy to write but so incredibly hard to talk.

I’m not “waaahing” but I often get the sensation that I’m floating on an island that’s merrily drifting towards the end of the world. I don’t write my way out of it, I write my way through it.

Sometimes it needs to be stated as baldly and tactlessly as possible: I feel like shit.

This is me banging my head against a wall. And it serves as an explanation if I go quiet.

I’m not asking for help. It’s not self pity or giving up, just pure, total frustration. I am okay, I will get through this, but I just needed to admit to it. Y’know, admit to it, then get over it. I will. I will do. I just needed to rant a little bit, and now I am composed again.

I really really hope that therapy happens soon as I am losing faith in medication.

Rob and I are going to stay in a lovely guesthouse in Cromer for two days on the 30th. Maybe that’s all I need, a break away. I wish I could afford more than two days, though. I hope my mood is better by then so I don’t ruin the holiday. I hope it’s sunny. I love the sea.

EDIT: I am itching to delete this. I hate writing stuff like this. Let’s see how long it lasts for.

15 Responses

  1. I am here if you ever need a pillow to dampen the banging

  2. Just thought I’d leave a note saying you’re a very brave person to expose yourself like this — it’s a beautiful thing.

    I’m all for people having that kind of courage.

  3. know where you are
    pretend it’s normal
    you get so far….

    well it worked for me for about 20 years – I had to create my own very idiosyncratic business though….

    currently my head is frying – literally

    feels as if someone has taken a hacksaw to my skull, peeled it all back, and tipped an espresso cup of petrol onto my lobes…. then been careless with matches.

    how do I cope? sit tight – try not to do peoples heads in – remember that sleep is a blessing when it comes – walk at least a few miles away from home if I want to run around the fields screaming my head off (not so easy in London, sorry) – play the fiddle til my arm falls off (thank god I like donegal style) – write write write – and occasionally try to remember that if one can simultaneously remember the stratospheric highs and the abysmal lows, that one can blend them in the liquidizer of one’s memory, and feel “”””normal””””” in retrospect!

    Your blog is super. Thanks for writing it.

  4. “I come across as so coherent here that I wonder if you forget that behind the screen I am […] struggling to cope.”

    Yes, I get that too. I’ve got an OK vocabulary, I can debate reasonably with people online and often make wise cracks and so on. So people are rather… suspicious when they learn I don’t have a job.

    Depression/anxiety, to them, seems like a weak excuse. And when people learn I wrote up and successfully pushed through my own appeal for those benefits they say “you must be well enough to work then!”

    They don’t realise how long it took me to do that, how much I had to rest as I went along and how much it worsened my condition to have to go through the process.

    So I relate to what you’re saying. I feel that people are seeing me at my most capable when all they know of me is online. They get a very misleading picture.

  5. It’s important to articulate these things. There’s no shame in wanting success, recognition and in wanting to be well, to be able to return people’s love. There’s no shame in mourning people who’ve died that you hold close.

    I hope you benefit from the trip away on the 30th and that you remember your faith in yourself and your abilities. I hope that you get to persue therapy and that you find the inner calm that’s proving elusive right at the moment.

    The doors to the future might look closed from your vantage point, but they’re standing ajar and they will open when you’re ready to knock on them, I promise you.

  6. I just randomly came across your blog today but I’m really glad I stumbled across it. I understand what you mean about writing things like that and then wanting to delete them, for me I nearly always destroy things I write that come across that way, mostly because I can’t bear to read it again because it will scare me so much. I guess vocalising (or blogging) feelings make them even scarier.

    Be proud that you’re managing to get it out and keep going. I suffer from severe depression and I know it’s not the same but after five years of suffering, I always understand the feelings that are screaming throw yourself under that bus now.


  7. What you wrote was really great, in a raw sort of way. Few people write how they feel when times are like what you are experiencing and even fewer then publish it for everyone else to see. I think mny of us have been in the same kind of place and seeing this as really reminded how far I have come. Thank you

  8. Thank you. Please don’t delete this post. Not many people can be as honest as you have been about how they feel.

  9. I’m so glad someone else feels like that on Lamictal. I haven’t binned it, because i am too scared to come off it, but it irritates me to think the same thoughts but have no feelings about them. Like sticking a pin in your arm and not being able to feel the pain. I really hope things get better for you soon, keep blogging because we need you

    xx Lola xx

  10. A few days in Cromer sounds great. I hope you have a nice time.

  11. I find it easy to write but so incredibly hard to talk.

    I am the same.. although of late I haven’t even found it easy to write. I just seem to have dried up.

    p.s. I used to post here anonymously under a different name, but now have a wordpress account..

  12. p.p.s. hang in there.. and keep sharing. I think a lot of us just want to hear how you are, good or bad.

  13. Seaneen – I know that the numbness that medications can cause can be maddening in and of itself, but just stopping them whenever you get tired of the numbness is not going to help you move forward to getting well. I’m not trying to say I told you so at all because I am just catching up on your blog after a few months of not visiting, so I have “told you” anything for quite awhile. All I want is to let you know that I have gone thru the same thing with the numbness, and I went through it on and off for years, eventually though my mind and body adjusted to the meds I have been taking for those years and I now am able to feel things pretty deeply again… it’s just that those things are the normal sort of joys and sorrows, and stresses that are related to life events, not manic depressive illness.
    In the mean time though, while I was still not 100% stable, and while I was still dealing with being almost completely numb except for when I would have a “break through” episode of this illness… well I doubted many times wether meds were worth it or not.(I gained a lot of wieght from them along with having my memory get worse, loosing all my motivation, loosing my interest in socializing and my whit etc etc)…. I really did think many times about quittingmy meds but I knew that if I did that that all my progress would be lost and I would essentialy have to start from the beggining again.

    My point is that I am very happy that I choose to stay on my medications and push thru all the side effects and the numbness because now I actually am once again able to feel happy when good things happen in life and sad when bad things happen and only stressed when life is actually stressful etc. It did take quite awhile on the same meds and living with those side effects but eventually my body and mind adjusted and now the meds just make me feel normal without any real side effects. Soooo…. If you can take your meds every day, or at least not skip more than a day or two because of being forgetful, EVENTUALLY THEY WILL WORK THE WAY YOU WERE TOLD TO EXPECT THEM TO WORK. And they will help you a whole heck of a lot more if you do things that way than if you continue to start and stop and start and stop your medications. You just have to allow your mind and body the chance to truely adapt to the medications. HAVE PATIENCE! and if you can do that you will find true stability, not just the numb dull half assed side effect laden excuse for stability that medications seem to offer now …. but real stability, the type that can only happen after you have given your medications a true chance to work and your body and mind a treu chance to adapt and change in the ways they must to make the medications the most effective with the least amount of side effects that they can be.

    It just takes time. Take care.

    • Just read your reply and it true take your medication I have recenatlry had a baby and have suffored bio polar for years. Havind no episodes till baby was 6 months home. Back on lithium now and zopiclon , diazepam makes me down so don’t take it, just want to be well again for my children and my wonderfull supportive husband
      Has any one had problems recurring cause of going on holiday this seems to imbalance me x

  14. Thanks Katie Lou. I am taking them dutifully again.

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