Grief.

 

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Some people say, that grief washes over you like waves. Those some people, are absolutely right.

When the morning approaches, it hits my body before my mind even has the chance to wake up and acknowledge the day. I feel it; a solid, heavy burning weight, like my heart has been set alight before I even open my eyes. And then I do, and the anchor of reality sinks me.

This is how I have spent each and every once of my mornings for the past 3 months. Most of these days, I have succeeded to bite down hard and talk myself in to getting out of bed and facing the day. Others, I have not.

One day, around three weeks ago, I woke up and realised that I did not want to live. This was not a passive, drifting thought. This was a certified, stubborn fact. I did not want to be here. The weightiness of Bipolar depression, of a spiral hard hitting life events, a year worth of losses, are an unhealthy concoction for the mind and the spirit.

I went to see my GP just before the truth occurred to me, an she suggested that I increased by anti-depressant up by double. I reluctantly took the prescription, paid for the charge regardless of not being able to afford them and started on my higher dose. Then a few days later, I stopped. I stopped taking my meds altogether.

You would have thought, having lived with this for years exactly how dangerous it is to just stop, that I would have accumulated at least some wisdom to keep me alive along the way. The last time I stopped taking them, I ended up attempting to drive to the hospital to seek help but instead had a brain blip and ended up manically driving to another country instead. The time before that, I also had another brain blip, but this time it happened in an Asda Superstore which resulted in me being chaperoned by an ambulance and being left hovering around in A&E with none of the medical staff not knowing what to do with me. But no, I got to the point where everything that had a point did not have a point anymore. Including taking my medication. They were not working, so what was the point in taking them?

And so I fell. I fell further than what I thought could be humanly possible.

One night, out of panic, frustration, anger at the world and with the impulse to kick and scream and do something at least, I ran out of the house, got in the car and put my foot down. I ended up in the hills, in the middle of the night but instead of screaming or doing something stupid, I fumbled around frantically for a pen and ripped a scrap of paper and wrote the first thing my hand would write, without even thinking of what I was writing. I wrote one word and then froze with it.

FRAUD. 

Fraud. Is that what I have been feeling all this time? A fraud? The answer was yes. I did not feel like I belonged. I don’t belong in a room full of people. I don’t belong in society. My thoughts, my beliefs, my morals were all different and it pushed me further and further from this planet until I got pushed so far I could not find my way back in to it.

I took a train one evening. I got out in to town, I tried to enjoy myself, but it was there, ebbing inside my chest. Fraud. I took a train, but the train was cancelled and moved to another platform. It was busy. The whole of the commuters pushed and ran – why were they running? –  they ran like a flock of desperate souls to this other platform, and they all scrambled on to this train, pushing and shoving and elbowing in the battle, each one of them only looking out for themselves in their fight to get on to this train and get a seat at the cost of other people. I did not understand why they were running for this train like their lives depended on it. I did not understand why they were fighting to aggressively to get a seat. Was it really so important? I stood beside the crowd, watching them like rats in their desperate efforts and felt more like an outsider because I couldn’t understand it. They scrambled on to the train like I had been scrambling on to my last reason to stay alive.

I fell further. I stopped sleeping properly. I didn’t tell people. Occasionally, I mentioned it to my partner.

“I feel down.”

“I don’t feel too good today.”

“My anxiety is shocking.”

“I can’t do this anymore.”

Then we would talk, and I would feel comforted for a moment. Then the next day I’d say, “I feel bad today,” and he’d say –

“Why? I thought you was feeling better?”

If a rant, and a cuddle and a cry on ones shoulder was all it took to make it completely disappear, then I would be the healthiest and most happiest girl on this planet. Depression doesn’t care whether you are rich with love and with the strength given by other people.

So I stopped talking as much. Because that, as all, felt pointless too.

I went on autopilot mode. I wrote bullet lists. I wrote LOTS of bullet lists. I checked them off one after another. Trying to pass the time and distract me from ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ because sitting there with my own thoughts in my own mind was too much. I tried not to think about the present. I tried not to think about Christmas. I tried not to think about the future. I tried not to think about lying there sleepless in the dark, night after night with my mind tormenting me. My heart hurt. Like, physically hurt. I was walking around with a sharp shooting pain which wouldn’t ease.

Why am I getting pains in my heart? Am I going to die?!

No, Megan. You are not going to die. 

Then, few nights ago, to add insult to injury; I lost someone close to me.

This is the first family death to have occurred in my life, as I have been fortunate to have everyone still here up until this week. And it hit me, slowly with the steady pace that realisation sometimes does when it can’t be arsed smacking you cold in the face, but it did, and it came over me wave after wave after wave, just like they said it would.

The pain of losing a loved one is an unbearable ache. It is a burning fire in your chest that sits there uninvited and ever present, and occasionally gets washed over by the deepest waves of sadness whilst memories come flooding up to the surface. Then the waves go, and you carry that unbearable burning in you chest again. Rinse and repeat. With this in mind, I have come to another hard-realisation this week. The realisation that pure pain of depression and anxiety and feelings of ‘doom’ and the so many fragments of the things I have been experiencing over the past months which can no just be summed up in to a one word-diagnosis, felt the same as my grief did.

This is what I have not been well with, all this time. Grief. I am grieving. Not just at the loss of my Nan. I have been grieving these past few months. At the loss of everything this year, at the loss of myself, my home, my dignity, all the other things I have lost this year? I did not know, but I was grieving nonetheless.

And so, the next time someone asks me what it feels like to feel this bad, I can truthfully and most honestly say this. It feels like Grief.

With the push of my partner I ended up filling out another prescription with my meds, and to start taking them again. The doctors surgery wouldn’t release them without another ‘medication review’ (which I had just 5 weeks ago) and so I ended up having to fill up on one the out of hours appointments, thus wasting NHS services again.

“What can I do for you Megan?”

“Um…”

No matter how many times I have been there, said that, admitting that I am not okay and that I need help still fills me with shame, dread and other taunting emotions that, if you look at it from an outsiders point of view, I should not be obliged to feel.

“Have you, or have you feel like hurting yourself?”

“Yes.”

“How have you hurt yourself?”

Please don’t make me say it.

“Have you felt suicidal?”

“Yes.”

“Have you or do you feel like making any plans to act on these feelings?”

“No.”

Which is true – although they might seem like two of the same questions, I have picked up within the last few years that practitioners always ask and separate the following:

1. Do you feel suicidal?

2. Have you made any plans to commit suicide?

Although I made my mind up a while back now that no, I did not want to live – but it didn’t necessarily mean that I wanted to die either.

He gave me two weeks worth of both my medications.

“Two weeks? So does that mean I have to make another appointment in a fortnight to claim my monthly rolling prescription back?”

“I can’t give you more than that just incase you decide to take them all at once.”

Oh. Good point.

And so I started my medication again, and wrote another bullet list.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. But I do know this. I am depressed. I am grieving. I am not functioning and I am not well. And it has taken me over three months to admit it.

But also,

I am still.

I am.

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The Dawn

dawn

So I did it. I finally cracked.

I’m admitting defeat now. I’m in a depression and I don’t see anyway of getting out. I can’t. fucking. breathe.

It all happened about 7 weeks ago when I had an unexpected miscarriage.

I know this will possibly be an extremely sensitive subject for anyone of my readers, or who happen to come across this post during a random search, so I will spare it at that. The experience was surreal, and the details i’d prefer to keep locked up in that black box full of little insanities in my mind anyway.

The following week, one of The Boy’s close relatives passed away, and took a massive part of him away with her.

As selfish as it sounds (I wholeheartedly admit that I was selfish, as the grief of knowing someone for the duration of your life vs the grief of… well, nothing, is one of the hardest things a human being would ever have to face), in the midst of both mine and his drama and without him there, I was alone.

I dealt with the next few weeks on my own.

Rejection after rejection of job applications, with the expiry date on my current job coming up fast, finances and unexpected debt putting pressure on me, other little life stresses sneaking up behind my back and attacking when I was at my lowest point…

I got the news that I wouldn’t be enrolling on my postgraduate course a few week before my start date (my finance fell through). So with nobody to talk to about it, no partner there to lend an ear I ultimately resorted back to the pills.

For anybody who is not familiar with my posts or my past, drug addiction has made a huge impact on my life the past few years. As it turns out, some habits die hard. Even after extensive therapy and rehab to wean you off them.

No money, no job, no period (for some reason my life seemed incredibly empty without one whilst my body recovered from the event), no university course. No plans. Nobody. No nothing, apart from a ton of pressure to sort all the debt I have somehow blindly managed to accumulate over the past year.

It wasn’t just the big things. It was the little ones that hurt the most. I began to get sensitive to everything and everyone around me, closing myself off from the world. One of my best friends once told me, “You know when something is wrong with you, when you don’t want to talk about your problems.” How right she was. I have even been ignoring her messages the past few weeks.

Eventually, I told The boy what was going on. Shameful feelings were confessed. Raw anger brought out to the table. Tears were shed (both parties). He didn’t know about the drug addiction. I thought he did. Little things I’ve mentioned over the past 18 months, I have an NA keyring on my everyday keys for heaven’s sake. Absolutely oblivious. Men.

He was supportive though. And he has been there ever since. He told me we will fight and go through this together, whatever life throws at me and whatever feelings are burdening me. It was too late by then, I already knew it. You don’t really go through a Bipolar depression together. You go through it alone. No one else around you really feels what its like to suffocate at site of the sun rising up during the day and setting during the evening.

The past 10 days, my finances took a turn for the worst. I am a single mother with a part time job, holding the fort down on my own – my bills are mine, and mine alone to pay. Since the government cuts this year I have spent the past week and a half unable to feed myself. My daughter is fine, she will always have enough. Myself? Let’s just say i’ve been left that short that I had to make an excuse last week not to go in to work because I couldn’t afford the petrol fee’s to get in, never mind a loaf of bread.

I have one more payday left in my current job.

Things started to get a little better. Last week, for a few days I had a few great days – tackling life’s problems like a pro, doing something active about my finance situation, making sure I attempted to scrape some funds together for the next month. My mood perked up, considerably. And then, I fell down again. Just like that. I think the no eating – and withdrawal from the not taking any pills, food came first before my fix obviously, i’m not that low of a person. Yet. – the tiredness from a messsed up sleeping pattern (my good old friend insomnia has made an appearance nightly since it happened). I just crashed. My motivation went, everything just went. Gone. That was it. I could feel a change in me, something fighting for some survival (I even wrote back to my friend at last about the whole situation). And then it just crumbled away again.

Saturday night, was the first night in YEARS that I laid in bed in tears and came to the realisation that I felt suicidal.

It feels so strange seeing it typed out like that. Like I am being a drama queen over nothing. I have to accept that not only these life events ( I have been saying to myself over the past month that time passes, it wont be like this forever, it will pass etc. It’s making no difference) are difficult to overcome, but the urge to push the reminder that I changed my medication two months back and the overexaggerated feelings that I am holding could be partly due to the cuts in my medication.

I am not on my antidepressants anymore (I would KILL for the feel of prozac in my system) and I am 100mg down on my antipsychotic.

My last pdoc appointment, she promised she’d arrange a follow up app within 4-6 weeks (never heard anything back off them). I also recall her saying, if it gets bad then we can try a back up drug (i think it was abilify??) that they can just throw in to the mix as an emergency.

Is it time to admit defeat, as a bipolar diagnosed patient, that my life and my health relies on that medication? I understand it’s common for mental health patients find it difficult to fully accept their illnesses. After all, we have no band aids, no neck braces, no broken bones.We only have scars and broken minds. We live with that. Sometimes it’s hard to see past our ‘normality’.

I think it is time I admit my defeat. Not as a person who’s life stresses are getting under her. But as a patient who’s chronic condition has her throwing in the towel to her illness.

Accepting that sometimes I have to surrrender is the hard part.