Slipping – An Entry About Doubt

I can feel myself slipping. Only I’m not entirely sure what I’m slipping into, or what I’m slipping away from. All I know is that I’m slipping, that I’m loosing my grip, somehow.

It’s been going on for a while now, and I’m sure that there are a million different reasons why it’s happening. But that doesn’t really help with this feeling I have inside.

I’m not sure if this is depression rearing its ugly head again, or if, maybe, it’s a sign of change. Or if it is, in fact, a combination of the two.

I feel kind of helpless, and I don’t like that feeling. I used to be able to check myself. No matter what was going on, I could always check myself, control myself. Make sure things didn’t go in a direction I didn’t want them to go. But right now I feel like I’m wandering aimlessly in this foggy darkness, and I have no idea how to find my way out.

It’s different from how I felt, say, a year ago. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. There is no urgent wish to just end it all. And yet, at the same time, those thoughts, although half-hearted in comparison, do pop up with frightening ease and frequency.

I don’t think I’m a real risk to myself. I keep reminding myself of things that have been said to me, about how I have what it takes to be good to myself. That the fact that someone hurt me back then doesn’t mean that I have to keep on doing that to myself. But it’s hard. It’s really really hard.

I have started seeing a new therapist. And I’m just not sure about it. Not about the need to be in therapy, to work through my issues. Actually, I’m as convinced about the need for that as I ever was. But I’m not sure if this is the person to do it with. I’m not sure she’s right for me.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve had a few different counsellors and therapists in my life. Some were very good matches and some were at the very opposite end of the scale. And I think this new person, well, as much as I wanted her to be someone I could do some good work with.. I’m not sure. It’s not just the language barrier (like me, English is not her first language, and she seems to often not understand the words I use), nor is it a case of her not yet knowing my background well enough to be able to respond in a meaningful way. It’s not even the fact that the interpretations she relentlessly throws at me feel very much like Psychology 101. No, it’s something more than that. Deeper. It’s something missing. Something vital. A connection that needs to be there, but that just doesn’t exist.

No matter how much I try to convince myself that maybe it’s merely a matter of allowing more time; that it’s unreasonable to think that anyone would be able to get me after such a short time, after so few meetings – well – I keep returning to that one point; that there is no real connection between us. Because, although – with all of my previous therapists it’s taken a long time for me trust, to test, to suss out what they are about – with some of them I’ve just intuitively known that there was a potential to do some serious work with. And with others I knew that it – real therapy – would just never happen.

And I’m worried that this person falls into the latter category.

I don’t want that to be the case. In actual fact, I’ve kind of decided to give it – to give us – at least another five sessions to find out if maybe, just maybe, I’ve got it all wrong. That maybe there is something there, something that I have so far failed to detect. Because, it would be so much better if that was the case.

I’m just scared to find out how far I will continue to slip before I know for sure. Especially if it turns out that my instincts are right.

Because it’s a long way to climb to get back to where I was.

xx

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I Stumble, I Tumble, I Spin, I Fall – An Entry About Losing Control

Remember that little voice I was talking about in my last entry? The one that tells me that I’m just gonna have to get through this? That there’s no other option? It’s gone AWOL. Completely muted. It’s been nowhere to be heard this week. Not good. At all.

I am really struggling at the moment. Not just a little, but to the point of wondering if it’s really worth it. All that darn talk about light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah yeah. Sure. Whatever. What I want to know is when?? How long am I supposed to hang on to the ridiculously vague hope of things getting better? Seriously?

I feel like I have really given it my best shot. No two ways about it. I couldn’t do it any better than I am. I really couldn’t. I haven’t self-harmed for a very long time, I stopped researching suicide methods entirely, I got myself back to work and I even managed to be good to myself by deciding that working full-time is not the best thing for me right now.

I’ve ticked every single box on the “Rid yourself of depression” step-by-step list. I genuinely feel I have. And yet this depression keeps rearing its ugly head, reminding me of all the things that I am up against. No, I’m not after a free ride. Not at all. I know that there is no such thing as a free ride when it comes to depression and over-coming emotional trauma. But couldn’t I at least be allowed to have a good streak that lasted long enough for me to actually catch my breath before being pushed head first below the surface again?

I am so incredibly sick of this illness. And this whole thing with diagnosis. Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder. Big words, but what the bleeding heck is that supposed to mean? That I have been experiencing more than one depressive episode? Well, duh? Really? I’m glad you told me, ’cause I sure hadn’t noticed.. Or even worse, does it mean that I am doomed to have recurring depressive episodes forever? Honestly? Because if that’s the case, why even try to get out of the one I’m in. For the sheer joy of getting knocked down again?

I had an appointment with S., my care co-ordinator on Wednesday, and being the happy little helper that I am I agreed to allow a third year student nurse to sit in on our meeting. Big mistake I’m sorry to say. Not only did S. spend half the time explaining to him why she had wanted to meet with both me and Dev two weeks earlier etc etc etc (could she really not have gone over the background with him before actually meeting with me?) but also, – and I’m trying to put this in an as gentle way as I can – the poor fella just didn’t seem quite mentally capable of grasping the basic concept of depression and kept coming up with these annoyingly naïve positive comments to whatever I said. This, naturally, made me feel like I wasn’t being taken serious (when talking about having suffered some pretty horrendous flash-backs at work) and also I had to – yet again – practise my skill of holding my frustration back. In other words, the exact opposite of what I have been trying to do. Great! Enormously helpful.

Later in the session we ended up talking about my family and I said that I really really miss them at the moment, especially my nephews – and this guy goes “So, does that make you feel like getting back in touch with your family? Maybe they are exactly the reason you need to get back with them? Does that make you feel hopeful?” Again, surely S. could have had the foresight to have given him at least a the bare essentials on my history before inviting him to join in? Or am I being unfair?

What else? (As I’m going on a monster moan I may as well do it properly. This is meant to be honesty-focused after all). Oh yeah – as great as my boss has been in helping me out with sorting out my working hours and such, it seems my working part-time is breeding contempt in my two closest colleagues. On the one hand I can understand it – they can’t see that my day off is actually my toughest day of the entire week, but on the other hand it’s really none of their damn business what the reason for my absence is. I’ve told them that both Den and the MD of our company are aware of them, and that should be enough.

Finally.. I was meant to see D. tomorrow. But I won’t be. Unfortunately a family matter has arisen and she’s had to cancel the next two weeks of counselling. To start with. Obviously I feel for her, it’s never easy when those things happen, whatever they are, and ultimately we are all only human and sometimes we have to prioritise. But as much as I accept this, it doesn’t stop her prolonged ansence from having a pretty bad effect on me. I mean, of course that’s a mere side effect – but it’s still there. So I had a bit of a breakdown today.

I had already been struggling a good deal with thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation in the last few days, and in order to motivate myself to resist my urges I kept repeating to myself that I’ve made it through nearly four weeks without counselling and I just need to hang on for another few days and I’d be back on the road to normality again. That, if I think about it, it’s only hours, really, until I’d have my time back again. And that although there is no miracle cure, at least that should ease the pressure a little. The space and place that is there just for me to vent whatever is brewing in my head.

And then I was told that that’s not happening.

I was sort of ok with it for a few hours, while I was still at work. But then on the way home I just started crying. All that pent up sadness and loss and confusion just bubbled out of me. Surprisingly I actually had the mental awareness to realise that this might be rather a good thing; that allowing myself to express these feelings is precisely what I need to be doing. But, of course, me being me I quickly reverted to the safer path of checking myself out of this emotional turmoil, turning it back on myself in the way I’m most comfortable with; the self-punishing thought pattern of Blithering heck, woman, get a grip! What’s there to cry about? You have no reason to cry. Only weak people cry, and you can’t afford to be weak because people will take advantage of you. So, literally within minutes, I had switched from indulging in self-pity to absolutely bursting to find a razor and start carving up my arm.

I didn’t. God knows how, – I guess my tattoo and the lack of razors in my flat helped somewhat – and I didn’t. Instead I picked the phone up. First I called the Samaritans and found myself having another good cry over the pathetic mess that is my life, how stupid I am to even think that good things would ever happen to me and how I’m never going to get away from feeling this way. Then I called Drayton Park Women’s Crisis Centre. I’m not even really sure why. It was just something I did. One of the workers picked up – the one who’s always so cheerful I can’t help but to think of her as being chemically imbalanced no matter how sweet she is – and even though I’ve never actually had a one to one session with her I just started to cough up how badly I was wrestling with the idea of harming myself. She assumed that this was a direct result of having been told that I won’t be seeing D. earlier in the day. I didn’t even get a chance to tell her that this urge has been intensifying over the last few days, but maybe that doesn’t really matter – because I’m pretty sure that although this explosion of emotion isn’t purely down to my disappointment with this setback, it was more than likely the final trigger.

Hm.. Odd.. As I’ve been writing this seizmically proportioned rant I think that little voice has returned. Fair enough, it’s still very faint, and my demons definitely still outshout it. But at least it feels like it’s there.

And I guess that’s something.

I just hope I can hold on to it.

xx

“..when all I really want, I said to myself, is to survive the present..” [Nuala O’Faolain]