I made a list of things that I wanted to try and get done this past week, it was mostly small things that I kept putting off for one reason or another like replying to some message that I was nervous about reading etc. I managed to get a few of them done but I’m still left with a few that are very difficult. I am not in a great situation financially and there is a bank account that I opened while at university pretty much only because it came with a free railcard and I was taking the train a lot at the time. Anyway, this account was overdrawn by a small amount and I tried to get it back in credit and just leave some money in there so they didn’t bother me but somehow it got charged again even though I wasn’t overdrawn so now it’d back in debt again. I really need to phone up and get it sorted out but I hate using the phone, especially for things like this where I am going to have to give them loads of information and I just can’t face it. There is another thing that I need to phone up and cancel because it’s costing me £20 every few months, which I can hardly afford but it’s so daunting to me that I have just left it for well over a year…
There are so many ways in which being this way has cost me huge amounts of money. The most obvious is having a degree which is supposedly in demand but not being able to do anything with it. Even if I could call my old workplace up and face going back there, I was still only getting just over minimum wage. I dropped out of university and going back ended up putting me into way more debt than everyone else my age.
One of the more pressing things I want to try and accomplish this week is something I have been trying to do for like 2 years now and get back to the doctor. I just find it so hard going back there, I can’t really explain all the reasons why. I am scared of them telling me I can’t go back on the medication I was on, the only one which worked. I am scared that even if I do, it won’t work this time. I am scared of everything about calling them to make the appointment, going there, talking to the doctor, telling them everything all over again, what they might make me do regarding mental health workers etc. I can’t go on like I have been for the last few years though. It’s getting too much to try and handle alone.
2014 was probably the least productive year I have ever had. I don’t think I accomplished anything of note and it just seems to have flown by. I remember being in this exact same place a year ago, thinking about how I really need to go back to the doctor if I want anything to change for the better. This time last year I wrote something about worrying that birthday would be my last but the truth is I don’t have the energy or drive to feel like killing myself. I haven’t been able to think about things without being overwhelmed by just how pathetic I am. I don’t even know if it would help if I had anyone to talk to because I am at the stage where I am so embarrassed to say out loud how pathetic I am because it hurts so much to contemplate. If I talked about the reality of my life, there is no way anyone could honestly not think I was a complete loser. At best they could pity me.
I did manage to make one tiny step towards changing things. I decided to ask my sister to help me try and resolve the problem I have been having with doctors. I have found myself yet again slipping through the cracks and not being registered with any GP that I can get to. I decided to try and phone my local GP here even though I hate the phone so much and have been putting this off for over a year and of course no-one answered. I tried calling back several more times but could not get through. In the end I asked my sister to come to the reception with me and try to explain the situation to them. I managed to get a form to re-register (even though I don’t know for sure if this is the right way to be going about it) but ran into more problems because they need to know the name of my previous GP who has subsequently left the practice I was registered at before when I was at university. The whole thing is an administrative nightmare, doubly so when you using the phone is such a difficulty.
I am going to try again to phone up and get an appointment if I can face it tomorrow. Why does everything have to be such a struggle? I hate saying things like that because I know I bring a lot of it on myself, but I am getting so tired of my mental problems making everything such a colossal pain to deal with.
I don’t really know why I am bothering to be honest but I have run out of options. I did manage to turn things around at university and I don’t think it is a coincidence that I coped best when I was taking those antidepressants. It also helped that I wasn’t surrounded by negativity that I have at home though. It’s not that anyone is overtly mean to me but just constant comments and things that make me feel worthless. I need to get out of this house but that requires about a hundred other things to be in place first and this cycle means I am stuck here.
I can’t even write coherently now so I am just going to leave it but I will try to update again soon when I am not so strung out.
I can’t remember when the last time I made an appointment with my doctor was, it has been years since I went to the GP here where I live. When I was at university I got tired of messing around with the psychiatrist and couldn’t stand dealing with the unhelpful person they used to send to see me (presumably to make sure I wasn’t about to hurt myself) and so worked my usual avoidance magic until I was free of them. The medication I used to take was on a repeat prescription so I managed to get that for a few months without making a doctor’s appointment and I’d stopped taking it by the time came for it to be reviewed. The GP I used to see there had left and after all the different medical staff I’ve had to try and explain my situation to over the years I didn’t fancy going through all of that again with someone else. At any rate, I felt I could get on without the antidepressants by that point and I managed reasonably well.
Lately I have felt like I really need to talk to someone again though. I think I would benefit from being back on the sertraline too, I just hope that it works again, it took a lot of tries to find an antidepressant that made a difference without awful side effects. I don’t want to repeat myself, but I am practically in the exact situation I was in back in 2008 yet again, only this time I am 5 years older and don’t have the chance to escape to university.
It’s been months and I just can’t get myself to overcome the obstacles in the way though. It might seem like I should just make an appointment and go, but it isn’t that simple. I will try to explain what’s stopping me. I realise this will sound crazy but it’s just how my mind works.
I will have to let my mum know because she’ll want to know where I’m going and I don’t want her to worry about me. She seems to think I am over the depression but in reality it’s just a lot easier to hide when I don’t have the stresses of uni work or a job but that has to change at some point. If I start working I know I won’t be able to cope alone.
Having to explain everything to yet another new GP is very difficult for me to do.
I don’t even know if I’m still registered at the doctor’s surgery here. I didn’t tell them I’d registered at the one where I went to university.
Making the actual appointment itself. This may seem trivial but using the phone is still something I go to any lengths to avoid. I don’t know if I can do it.
Money is very tight and because I’m not on jobseekers allowance (for a multitude of reasons that I have gone into before) I would have to pay for the prescription which I can’t really afford.
I might try and talk to my mum about it but I keep remembering how much she used to get upset about it all before. I don’t think she wants to think of me as someone who needs mental health help. Also considering how much she blames my suicide attempt entirely on the paroxetine I used to take despite me being suicidal for years previously, I don’t think she’s too keen on me taking any sort of antidepressant.
I think being able to talk things over with my psychiatrist and especially over a very generous extended appointment with my nice GP at uni has been a turning point for me. This week has been one of my better ones, probably the best since I’ve been here at uni. I managed to talk to and spend time with my flatmates every day and got to know one of the guys from the opposite apartment as well. I think they are pleased that I’m not just hiding from them so much, at least I hope so. Maybe the prospect of having some support close by and having access to the crisis team without having to let my mum find out has made a big difference, whatever it is, I hope it continues.
The crisis team came to visit me on Tuesday morning as a result of a fax my psychiatrist sent and they asked me the usual stuff and wrote up a basic care plan for me. I’m being referred to somewhere where they are going to give me a care co-ordinator at last and things seem to have started working as they should rather than the hodge podge approach I’ve had so far, being shunted to 4 GP’s in as many months and riding the psychiatrist merry-go-round. I realise things aren’t going to be perfect and there will be setbacks but I am so glad that something has happened to get me out of that horrible mindset where all I can see is the problems and hopelessness.
I took the initiative for once and asked a person who I’ve met a few times from the SAUK forums if they wanted to go for a coffee and see a film this weekend and we are going on Sunday so hopefully I can keep up my good run.
The appointment was surprisingly short, I spent most of the time there sitting around in a tiny waiting room trying to avoid catching peoples eye. The first doctor I saw was a junior psychiatrist, she asked me the usual questions that I’ve been asked many times before about my anxiety symptoms etc. I asked about diazepam but nothing came of it unfortunately. After talking about my suicidal feelings, she decided to discuss with the consultant and then asked me to come and talk to him. He was very intimidating, I felt like I was being interrogated. This just made me anxiety worse, I stumbled over words and my mind went blank several times but I think I managed to get my point across. There was a particularly painful moment when he asked if I had any close friends or girlfriend, to which I answered truthfully; no, and then he asked “Why not?”. My mind was overcome with all the hatred I have for myself and if I wasn’t so tongue tied with anxiety, I could probably have spent half an hour listing the many reasons why not. Eventually though I had to settle with “probably because I am so weird” which led to further questioning about why I think that, and of course why I think that I look weird which I couldn’t answer because I felt tears coming to my eyes. Thankfully he stopped the interrogation at that point and asked me to wait outside while he talked to the original doctor.
I went back to see her and apparently they are concerned about me, maybe it was the way I answered their questions because I was not feeling actively suicidal like I was the last time I saw my MHP who just sent me on my merry way. The outcome of it all is that I have got to have someone from the crisis team visit me at home today, which I didn’t really want but I couldn’t bring myself to argue with them about that. They also changed my medication to venlafaxine, an SNRI so hopefully that might make a slight difference though I am not expecting miracles.
I had hoped that I could relax slightly after the appointment was done but now I have to worry about this person coming round. Of course I had to tell my mum, but I didn’t say why they were coming exactly because I don’t want her to know how close I was to killing myself. She’s now gone on a mad cleaning spree that usually happens whenever we are expecting visitors. I just hope that she will give me some privacy because I don’t want her listening to me talk about such personal and potential hurtful things.
It’s here at last, I seem to have been waiting an eternity to see an actual psychiatrist. My appointment is tomorrow morning and the nerves had already set in a few days ago. I didn’t get more than 3 hours sleep last night, I was lying awake worrying until 4:30am, hopefully tonight will be a little better. That is actually something I want to talk to them about, my incredibly haphazard sleeping. One night I might only get a few hours, like yesterday, and sometimes I sleep in until 1 in the afternoon and can hardly stay awake during the day.
One thing I’m really hoping to get out of tomorrow is the opportunity to try some different meds. I’m coming up to one of the most stressful and difficult times in my life for a long time, leaving home and going to university. This seems like a valid situation where prescribing me some benzos would be useful. I don’t want to fall to pieces the first day I get there, I won’t have anyone to hold my hand and therapy is still a distant dream so it’d be nice to have some help. When I had the diazepam after my visit to A&E, it helped a lot to calm my shaking and racing heart/thoughts. I could really do with even a tiny supply of them to help get me through the most stressful few days.
I was always scared to ask about them before since I’d heard that they are almost impossible to get prescribed for social anxiety, but after seeing the psychiatrist at the hospital who recommended I could use them in the above scenario, I think I might grasp this chance and ask. One of my great fears is that they will think I am a drug seeker, when nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t smoke, take any illegal drugs or even drink for goodness sake, but it’s still a thought lingering in the back of my mind.
Goodness knows what will come of the appointment, I’m preparing myself for disappointment but also bearing in mind that it has taken months and months to get this arranged and I don’t want to miss my chance at possibly getting some help. I’m prepared to be honest with them and try my hardest to force the words out of my throat even though I know my body will make that as hard as possible.