Monday, 31 July 2017

I knew it was there despite pretending it wasn't.

Today is a storm cloud coloured kind of day. Not quite grey but not quite black enough to be a bad day but enough of a disruptor to make me feel tried and down.
I felt the usual fear Sunday night and by the morning I awoke before the alarm feeling jittery. It is always the morning with me. It is almost as if all the fears that had been slumbering fairly peacefully rouse on a Monday morning just to open up and spew forth. 
A few years ago it would have kept me in bed. These days I can just about fend them off with my usual mental 'shssh'. It is the only simple thing that keeps them and me in check.
I knew things weren't great when I felt more tired than usual despite having a relaxed non sporty weekend. It brought to mind that empty batteries running down feeling that I had at my worst a few years back. That feeling I fear returning to. That feeling that is replicated whenever I have a virus and I immediately wonder, is it coming back? Is it a visit or something more... long term?
When it is like that, like today it is harder to ignore and pretend it isn't there. some days I have done that, I try not to but sometimes I can't help it. I try not to be defined by this but that is difficult when it has had such an effect over my life. Fears of the future, what may or may not be are creeping in a lot at the moment bu then maybe that it is to do with my age more than anything? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that no matter how often I tell myself it I don't think I will ever get used to being this way until my, hopefully, natural end.
At work this morning it was a Tool kind of music day. Their music really chimed with me again, fitting in with my mood. If it rains, so much the better.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I can't find my batteries

Today was a day of trying to keep to the, be kind to self, day. After a health scare yesterday today I took it upon myself, albeit grudgingly at first, to just lay off my usual routine if it means I can get back to it with more vigor and energy tomorrow. Admittedly, tomorrow never comes but today I strove to make sure that it will. With my main work was out of the way so nuts to it. rest, tea and toast and, yes damn it, if required biscuit dunking too. I just felt too drained today, power levels in the red. I'm not sure if it due to the last couple of days or if it a dose I was supposed to do more things today and I was also due out for sporty times tonight but I could not face it. And not because of the usual either. I felt run down upon waking. Never a good sign and generally sets the tone for the rest of the day. There are times when I can bat those concerns away, take stock as the day unfolds but not today.
Today I had no resupply of batteries. Only old ones still on re-charge.
Days like this are a reminder of what I fear. That this will be always. It's a tap on the shoulder from inside, from it, telling me, 'Get used to it. This is you now. Until the end.'
Time for more of The Boss.

Monday, 26 June 2017

He huffed and puffed but could not make it go in. Upon looking, he realised he was trying to put his square peg into a circular hole.

Currently I am reading Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and it is chiming muchly with me. It is a book I have to take my time with and doesn't read quickly but I am enjoying the language and slowness of it. Mostly because Jude's tale is matching my own lot right now. Particularly his attempt to better himself and move to the city of his dreams where he thinks all will be better for him and he will be a man transformed. I am in the third section at the moment and his dream has currently ended leaving him feeling, melancholy mad. (A phrase which I read and knew I had to put into my blog as a new title). Which is where I am after some news today.
We have, or I have, been here before. Last year, late September. There is a video link there for a perfectly sums up my experience then and now by Stewart Lee regarding not dreaming, not getting what you want. Aside from that and going for a few hill sprints there isn't anything I can to do to get over this feeling. It feels a little bit like having burnt my tongue. Nothing will bring those taste buds back to life but time. But even then I think this feeling will linger some. I had too much hope. Before I had breezed through the process but this time before I had even started my nerves kicked in, expectation was high. All that anxiety brought on by... well, me. As per usual. And, although I tried, I could not escape it or settle down before I had started. 
When I saw the email this morning with those all too familiar, you have not been successful at this time, words I wasn't surprised. I had failed. To use a running metaphor, I hadn't even made it beyond the qualifying race to the big event itself. Pathetic. The only upside is that, although I am hammering myself mentally and physically, I am resisting the big time sink into the ground option that would have been my go to when really in the deep black. 
My experiences have taught me to know the difference between the two and I suppose that is something. Once, or when I eventually get over this, I am sure I will appreciate that more.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

I took a step outside but the wind forced me back. I did not resist.

Sad times. Chris Cornell, gone and the news of a former colleague also gone has left me wobbly. That and an illness working in sync made for a difficult week. Thankfully there was a bank holiday to rest in and the usual self care activities, or non in some cases, saw me at least relax somewhat.
Now, although I was resigned to this a couple of years back, that me having this illness will be a constant, the thought of it and when it actually hits me and the subsequent after-effects of it are still no easier to deal with. It makes me think about relationships, again and whether or not I can even be in one long term. It makes me think about my career prospects and employment future and whether or not, as my hours increase, my employer will be sympathetic to mental illness. So many questions, thoughts and fears. 
Of course, if my book took off then that would probably answer those questions as I would be my employer. 
Hmm, considering my issues with myself in the past that might not be a good thing.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Thank you for the music again

I' m going to go back some now, back to when I was at my most end it all a few years back. When I had fell on black days. Or black day. That day is detailed somewhat in a post from around late Feb 2014. The below is something that details what kept me safe and I submitted it to The Mighty. It wasn't used but hey-ho. 
Here it is for all two of you to read :)

The day had started off well enough and with good intentions but by the end of it I was struggling to stay safe. I was out of bed early as I’d had plans for a long day. Starting with breakfast it was then going to be out to the gym and then lectures. It had started off well with the getting up early but ended there. This much became clear as I ate my way through breakfast and found that I was worn and tired despite the sleep that I had had. I kept looking at the clock putting off leaving, knowing that a workout was going to be beyond me. In fact, I was starting to realise everything that day would be beyond me that day. As I did so anxiety began to rouse itself and I realised that I wasn’t going anywhere. When I realised that I would have to let my Tutors know the anxiety began to bubble up. It quickly let me know what a let down I was being and got me wondering what would they all think of me, would it mean the end of my course because of me letting people down, what would I say to them when I eventfully saw them again? on and on it went. It was the only time I didn’t feel tired, the anxiety pushing through the listlessness to torment me. So, back to bed I went feeling empty and a complete let down. Anxiety and depression would be my only bedfellows that day and that always meant I would in a dangerous state. Dangerous to myself because when inhabiting this mentality I feel trapped with no visible escape. It consumes me, convincing me that it will always be this way, stuck in bed, useless to myself, useless to anyone and shouldn’t I really just…. Well, you get the point.

Text sent, phone off and me in bed, eating little and drifting in and out of an uncomfortable slumber feeling unable to even stare at the tv I felt that bad. So I did what I could only do and had done before when feeling internally destructive and worn. Put on my earphones and plugged in to music. Music has been the soundtrack to my life and it’s subsequent activities. It has helped me sleep, it has helped me exercise and, around that time, it had soothed when I was feeling horrible. When the noise of everyday life and my mental conditions get the better of me music keeps helps shut it out, whether it be the joyous melodies of the Dropkick Murphys and Abba or the loud abrasive growls of Amon Amarth and/or the atmospheric soundtracks of Nine Inch Nails. One album though reached out to me that day. The Manic Street Preachers, This is my Truth Tell Me Yours, was an album that I felt connected to. 
I had really gotten into it (by really gotten into it I mean listening to it everyday and feeling kinda empty if I didn’t) about a year earlier and as I did each song would open itself up to me and I would feel directly plugged into its mood and meaning. The lyrics seemed to grasp what it meant to have depression, taking medication and well, my current mood and mental illness in general. Songs about the black dog, lyrics mentioning not working as a person, drifting away, feeling tender and tired it was the only soundtrack for me that day as I tried desperately to keep suicidal thoughts from overtaking and overwhelming me. 
As I kept the album on rotation that day it worked. It kept me distracted and made me feel as though I had a comforting partner who got exactly what I was going through. It was enough to keep me safe. Not long after that I was back at the Doctors but for that time, that day that I was in a deep depressive funk that music was like cool glass of water to a dried out sponge. It was an aural comfort blanket that kept me calm and safe and I’ll always be thankfully to the band for that even though they will never know.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Routine drain

A new year and one filled with some expectation. 
Last year, although a bad year with regards to certain world events, was good for me. I volunteered for a couple of events, played a new sport, ran my first half marathon and secured a new part time job as well as some coaching too. So with this in mind 2017 has given me the opportunity to achieve more. At the moment though I am trying not to slip into that old familiar black, which, perhaps because of the time of year is threatening again. 
Now I go to work early in the morning in the hope of coming back to do things, be a bit productive. What usually happens is that I feel a bit pooped, have a nap and then wake up a bit out of it and minus a good chunk of motivation. It is usually because I don't know what to actually do with my time and when I do I feel too drained to actually do it. I suppose on the plus side I can get out to exercise unless I feel really bad. So that is something. A plus amongts the minuses.
This year feels like it could be a decider. I'm getting older and if I don't want this illness to either define me or, ultimately, be the end of me I need to get certain things moving and progressing. 
Even if it is just a small step on that road.

Just gotta stay positive.....

Monday, 12 December 2016

Every day is starting to become exactly the same...again

Xmas is fast approaching. On the one hand it will be nice to chill out, more than usual, and on the other bad memories abound from previous. Not least five years ago and the taking hold of the second great depression. If it is a stable as last year I will be happy and if it isn't well, I always have a Victorian themed video game to get lost in. At the moment though, time of season or not, my days are falling into the above. Up, to work, back from work, nap, do bits of stuff maybe exercise, back to bed, up, work and so on and so on. If I can avoid stuff I will. Depending on the stuff. If I can avoid going out I will. My solitude is becoming an overwhelming presence both wanted and not wanted. Once I have finished work and I come home, depending on whether I have slept the night before, slipping back into bed is easy enough as I know I won't have much else on. That I don't mind as sometimes it helps keep my mind calm. Until I awaken and worry that I have wasted time. I really don't think I can give myself time off. It is either doing too much, doing the wrong thing or, as in this case, not doing enough. Enough of what though? And even if I was doing something would that be the right thing, the right thing to still my mind? Probably not. Having anxiety and depression is a horrible push me/pull you scenario and it is tiring. I have a drive but that drive is aimless and is more of a drain and hindrance than anything close to fueling or inspiring me.
Hopefully the New Year will be different.
We shall see.