Monday, 27 June 2011

Pieces

I was going to call this post Picking up the Pieces, but have recently come to the realisation that my task goes even further than that, I have to figure out what the pieces of my life are before I can put them back together.
My therapist has suggested I try to break everything down to small, simple and achievable steps, to prevent me becoming overwhelmed by trying to tackle big tasks with long time frames. It makes a lot of sense, and it sounds like it could be helpful, but I don't know what to begin with. I suppose I'm still struggling with the concept a bit, well, I know what it means, but my brain doesn't seem to be very good at processing it. In trying to identify a first step I get too caught up in the number of things I have to do, which ones should go first and what each one leads on to, basically, not managing to break down things at all. What sounded like a very straight-forward task is actually proving to be quite a challenge for me. The only thing I can really think to do is start righting copious lists of things I need to do, both work and personal, and things I want to do, then try to strike some reasonable balance that makes me feel like I actually have a life.
I'm actually in a reasonable frame of mind today. I wouldn't go so far as to say positive, but maybe neutral. This is particularly surprising given that my boyfriend has left this afternoon to spend three months doing volunteer work in Idaho in the US. It was hard to say goodbye, but after just one day I'm still managing to keep myself together (although I did cry quite a lot yesterday). This could be potentially devastating for the process of me sorting myself out, I should certainly be fine for a while, but last time he was away or just a month I starting losing control. I have bad visions of spending the next three months sat at home on my own, which will not do me or my mood any favours. This should just be another reason for identifying and structuring the components of my life, so I can make it through and be a happy(er) girlfriend for him to come home to. We shall see.

I hope you are all well,
Thanks for the support.
Betty
x

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bringing things up to date

I don't even have the brain power to come up with a snappy title. Sorry for the lack of posting, I just haven't been able to bring myself to write.
Last week I was away with my family. It was nice, it was good to be somewhere else, away from things that bring me down and where the sun was shining. I even let myself relax a little bit, but not completely. I couldn't completely forget about all the things that usually fill my head, especially work and my relationships with my friends. I had a few emotional moments, that also made me feel guilty for bringing other people down on their holiday. On the last day I was very, very tense and nervous and scared at the prospect of returning home and having to deal with everything again, with the added pressure of having done nothing for a week.
The days since I got back have, unsurprisingly, been pretty bad. I feel absolutely wretchid. I'm finding it hard to function and spend a large portion of my time doing very little, just laying or sitting, in a state of near paralysis from fear and confusion and pain. I'm barely able to get enough brain cells firing to acheive anything in my work, which increases my anxiety and fear about my progress and makes me even less productive.
I hate this so much. I have next to no interest in anything, practically no motivation and am struggling to see the point in most things. I get so frustrated with myself, with anger building up but I don't know what to do with it. If I had the choice, I wouldn't be spending time with me right now, so I'm isolating myself.
I don't know what to do, I don't know what I can do.

Betty
x

Needle in a Haystack

Using the internet I am in the company of more than 2 billion people, yet I could not feel more alone and isolated.
Depression is an oxymoron, the most painful and yet most comfortable place I know.

Betty
x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Absence

I apologise for my recent absence from posting. A combination of too much work, feeling too low and going away for a week have meant I haven't had time or brain space for writing. I hope to be able to put my thought back into words soon.
I hope you are all doing ok, and welcome to my new followers.
Betty
x

Friday, 10 June 2011

Keeping Friends

Whenever I suffer a particularly severe period of depression I always seem to lose friends. For me, it's one of the worst consequences, I've never been great at making friends and the friends I do have are always very important to me.
It's only recently that I have begun to recognise this pattern of depression and friend loss, through work with my therapist making me think long and hard about the friends I have had and lost over the years. While identifying this reoccurring pattern may be helpful to me in helping to maintain friendships, or at least reduce the feelings of guilt and abandonment associated with losing friends, at the moment it's just making me worry about my current friendships, which I can see disintegrating before my eyes.
Losing friends can send my emotions in one of two directions, either I blame myself and descend into self loathing and blame, or I blame them and get angry and defiant. Neither of these reactions is helpful in trying to resurrect the friendship, if I blame myself I usually shut myself off and don't want to see people, if I blame them I don't want to see them and become insistent that they should contact me if they want to keep me as a friend. So both these courses of action basically result in me not contacting or seeing anyone, and everyone else gets on with their lives completely unaware.
I know depression isn't an easy thing to understand or deal with, but I do make efforts to try and help people understand the problems I experience and the very simple things they can do to help me. I won't pretend that I didn't write my blog on how to help a friend with depression without hoping that my own friends would read it and take the advice. I don't mean to imply that all my friends are useless and unhelpful, some of them are wonderful and I would be lost without, and I am truly grateful for them.
For anyone, either my friend or a friend of someone else with depression, if you want to be able to do something, you don't have to play counsellor or be with them all day making sure they perform daily functions like washing or eating, just show that you are interested and you care, give them a call or send them a message to ask how they are, do that regularly, try not to ignore them if they attempt to contact you and, if you haven't seen or heard from them for a few days, check how they are. I know that would make a massive difference for me.

Hope you are doing well,
Betty
x