Sweet dreams are made of meds…

Sleep is precious. It happens naturally & yet we take the peace of sleep for granted. This is my little pup in her current state of snoozing…

We realise we take sleep for granted when we can’t access it.

In short, I can’t sleep. This is my own fault, however, for 3 reasons:

  1. I didn’t have time to get my prescription for my anti-psychotics at lunchtime today
  2. I haven’t taken cocodamol before bed tonight
  3. The former is because I had some fizz to celebrate Valentine’s Day & can’t take meds’ with it

And the paranoia and anxiety is horrendous. While being in a state of awake & unrest I’ve near-to hyperventilated about the following:

  1. I’m not going to sleep tonight
  2. I might fall asleep driving tomorrow & crash my car on the way to work
  3. Our house will be broken into & I’ll be the only one to save us being the only one awake
  4. Having withdrawal sweats
  5. Waking the puppy up (we’ve spent several 4ams out in the dark garden while she ponders going to the toilet)

The anxiety is crippling. For those who get it regularly, you’ll feel my pain. Hot & cold sweats, tension headache, restlessness & impending chest pains. The more I worry about not sleeping, the worse they get.

I realise that I’m incapable of sleep without medication of some kind. I used to ‘get creative’ at 3am a lot more before the meds. It was a weird one to explain to my now fiancé but he accepted it. And he’ll probably have a giggle at me writing a blog at 4am!

I’ve tried so many methods of ‘chilling out’ but I get so frustrated because they don’t work for me. With my BPD, intense moods & wandering mind, meditation is out the window, as is yoga. Our bath water isn’t currently hot enough for long, relaxing soak & the ‘Sleepy Cream’ moisturiser only goes so far. I’ve put lavender on my pillows & have a relaxing bed time playlist (currently on shuffle) but sleep doesn’t come naturally.

The frustration is presenting itself as anxiety chest pains which aren’t helpful & the sweats are unreal. All this because I forgot to go for a walk at lunchtime. Tomorrow (technically today), it’s on my to-do list.

For now, I’ll just keep ‘trying to sleep’ & keeping an eye on the shadows for a friendly neighbourhood burglar. On a plus, ‘Anxious woman takes down thief with a boot’ does have a newsworthy ring to it….

Does identity stump diagnosis?

This has been circulating in my head. A lot. Ok obsessively. If you identify with something but you’re diagnosed otherwise, is this ok?

Some of you lovely bloggers might have seen my blog about the diagnosis I got from the psychologist when I went for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment two weeks back. I was told I was on the border of Aspergers after getting 32/50 on the AQ test but that Alexithymia, Sensory Processing Disorder & severe Social Anxiety were prevalent. I’m basically on the border looking in.

However, thanks to amazing bloggers such as Everyday Aspie, To Aspie or Not to Aspie, Emerging From The Dark Night & That Aspie Lady, I realised I have so much in common with them and can relate to so much of what they blog about.

I chatted with my partner (for about the sixth time) who’s heard me obsess about this for weeks.

When I say ‘obsess’ I mean get upset, get angry, keep asking questions & become agitated that numbers mean I can’t be who I think I am. He said ‘What does it mean if you were? What can you do to help yourself? If you identify with it, it can’t be wrong’. He’s very wise.

He’s also right. If I need to use the same Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) tactics for myself anyway, surely identifying with ASD/Aspergers would be ok?

I agree with him but I don’t want people further along the Spectrum to think I’m just saying it. I really genuinely feel that the number on the test doesn’t truly show the extent of me.

I’m obsessing. I apologise. I know I am. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m reading up on ASD, finding variations of traits, writing examples & sending to the psychologist, Googling, buying lots of books (Amazon are lucky to have me as a customer) & telling my partner for the millionth time all about it, despite him knowing the ins & outs.

It’s like I’m looking for permission from someone to say ‘It’s ok, your 32 counts for something. You are on the Spectrum.’

So, identity vs diagnosis? What are the thoughts? 💭

5 Confessions before 2017 is out…

So, thanks to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Confess, here are my 5 confessions of 2017:

1. I’m not yet a grown up

Yes, I turned 30, my partner and I bought a house & got ourselves a puppy, but I don’t feel like a grown up yet. I’m not sure at what stage you start to feel like one but I’m not there. 2018 will present opportunities to become a human adult but for now, for the last few days of 2017, I’ll continue to prat about as normal.

2. I’m not satisfied with my diagnosis & am going to keep looking for answers

After seeing a psychologist & getting a wishy-washy response, I’m persisting. I know many of you might be thinking that the diagnosis isn’t everything. That may be true for you but not for me, not yet. I was a 32/50 for ASD but technically not Aspergers. But there are so many things I relate to, especially in this blog post by Everyday Aspie.

3. I’ve learned a lot from so many of you so thank you

I’ve been better at reading blogs in the tags they I’m interested in & realised there are so many talented & honest people around. Your beautiful writing & words are amazing to see & I salute you all. Reading your blogs, I’m learning too 🙂

4. I feel rejected by my Dad but I’m working on getting through it

A long, boring 30-year old story of someone who wasn’t here nor there for his kids who now have their own lives & are mad at him. My sister is phenomenal & just gets on with things diplomatically. Me? Not w chance. But, thinking things differently might help me to distance myself from the situation.

5. I just want to feel happier

I’m so lucky to have all the people I do & the support too. Sometimes it overwhelms me & I’d rather shut myself in a quiet room by myself. Christmas Day was fraught with anxiety, stress, panic & anger, purely because of not having alone time or time to chill. The puppy was wired for the 11hrs 23mins I was at my folks’ house. It should’ve been a day of being happy. All I wanted to do was get into bed & be quiet. I will try harder in 2018.

Any confessions from 2017?

Proclivity for the mind

In truth, I did just have to Google what the Daily Prompt: Proclivity actually meant, but thought I’d give it a go.

I have a proclivity for talking about mental health. It’s something I feel passionately about, strongly about & having experience of it, it’s something I have tendency to talk about a lot.

However, since the update to my ‘diagnosis’, I feel a bit like a fraud. I don’t feel ok in my skin. My mind is an unsure, uneven, overwhelmed entity. I feel like I don’t fit into the world I do strongly associate with.

My proclivity for mental health also goes hand in hand with that of my other love, running. It helps clear the fog, gets me away from the annoyance of daily life & lets me breathe. I’ve run the stages (5k,10k, Half Marathon & Marathon), read so many books, have collected running tops, medals etc. It waned for a bit because I was injured but I’m getting back to it by taking part in RED January. ‘RED’ stands for ‘Run Every Day’ – and is to raise money for the mental health charity, Mind.

This will have my focus for the next month. I do have a tendency to launch full force into things & then give up so we’ll see!

What do you have a strong tendency to talk about? What gets you excited?

Torn feelings: A diagnosis

So, finally, after so many years of struggling emotionally and mentally, the psychologist revealed to me today what it is that’s been going on with me.

The Daily Prompt of ‘Torn’ is quite fitting.

The very nice psychologist came to the following conclusions about me:

  1. I have severe social anxiety
  2. I have a sensory disorder (I get overloaded by certain things I see, hear or feel)
  3. I have Alexithymia(I have difficulty inexperiencing, expressing and describing my emotions and how I feel)

So, not only am I torn about how I feel but also my mind is torn three different and separate ways. And now I have to work out how to deal with each of them.

This is pretty spot on right now…

It’s bad, isn’t it, that my whole life I’ve never fitted in and now the same’s true for my diagnosis? I was frustrated, angry, disappointed and cried a hell of a lot. That’s because I know how to do this and do it well. And this rings true…

I was told a few days ago that I was an ‘interesting case’ and that I was ‘definitely special and fabulous’. Lovely, but seeing as compliments freak me out and make me awkward, it wasn’t great.

I have a full report basically telling me I’m very anxious. Which I knew.

The cause? For those who know me, you’ll already know this…My Dad. This surprises me not. That’s a WHOLE different blogpost for when I’m less seethingly angry at him. Or when it’s simmering. I write better when there’s simmering.

For now, I’ll continue to be torn between the diagnosis I got today and what I’ve been told in the past, and try to find my way to self-help.

❤️❤️❤️

If anyone has any hints or tips on dealing with the above, that would be awesome.

My best buddy Anger

During the process of trying to find out exactly what my issues are and how to deal with them, I’ve discovered I have a new best friend.

Someone that I’m drawing closer to, taking knowledge from, and someone who’s leading by example in my life at present. My good old buddy, Anger. This is how I think she’d look…

img_0991-1

Now, you might know Anger and be able to quieten her down when she gets too much. I can’t seem to do this. She’s the friend you don’t want.

You’re quite happily plodding along with your distant buddies ‘Calm’ and ‘In control’ when suddenly, Anger feels neglected and kicks off that you’re not paying her any attention. Then, ‘BAM!’ you’re on a one-woman trip to Regretsville with no way of getting off that train. Again, it’s what I imagine & I don’t actually look like that ⬇️


Anyone who struggles with their anger will know only too well what if feels like.

So, the other morning, I was trying to eat my breakfast and the puppy was being naughty. She was trying to eat the curtains, Christmas tree, my foot, digging the carpet and barking; basically anything to get my attention. I, thanks to various books and training advice, was ignoring her.

However, the surge of anger came. Now, the rational side of my brain said ‘She’s only a puppy’ and ‘You know she’s doing this for attention’, however the ir-rant-tional side is screaming ‘I can’t take it. She’s interrupting my routine and my time. She’s distracting me and being a nightmare’.

Physical feelingsBurning/fluttering in the pit of my stomach

  • Feeling hot
  • Feeling flush with rage
  • Getting the shakes
  • Getting hot sweats
  • Wanting to punch something
  • Wanting to scream

Mental feelingsRage

  • Stress
  • Irritability

Anger, of course, is there egging me on. It’s making me want to scream at the top of my lungs until I run out of air, cry hysterically, leave the house and runaway. Anger is basically taking over and kicking me out of my own skin. Since I’ve started on new medication (Quetiapine), it’s getting worse. I’m getting angry because I’m letting Anger get to me and spur me on.

If anyone has any tips of how they control their good friend Anger, I’m all ears.

I’m trying to move away from my intoxicating friend Anger & focus more on those true friends, Calm & In Control & Safe. The ones that keep me (half) sane and keep me out of trouble. The fluttery feelings will hopefully pass & I’m going to attempt to stay away from Anger & her train to Regretsville & maybe give Patience and Calm a try. I hear they’re lovely this time of year.

It’s been emotional, Anger buddy, but it’s time we parted ways. For now.

My true calling

If you can’t tell, I’m embracing the Daily Prompts these days. It lets you be so creative & explore new avenues of thought previously unknown. I love reading everyone else’s too! So, here’s my go at ‘Daily Prompt: Calling’

I sit alone awake at night & think of all the times,

My mind has been all a-flutter, a-whizz with lots of rhymes.

Sometimes my thoughts become too much floating in my head,

So I write them down or tap them out before I go to bed.

I feel like poetry is my calling & really helps me breathe,

But most of the time it lurks below the surface, safe & underneath.

Until a time when I let it out & it shows what it can do,

I get out my phone or my notepad & let the creativity sneak right through.

My true calling channels my emotions & helps me feel at ease,

It calms me & my fretting down so that no one ever sees.

What a swan-like person I really am with my faffing feet,

Hiding my anxious mind from most people that I meet.

Big thank you for reading & please post a link to your prompts below. I’d love to see your interpretation! ❤️ (Beautiful image from here)

Today, this is me. Who can relate?

So today, this is me.

Tomorrow, this is most certainly who I’ll be.

But I might be a different version of this me that you see.

Getting this diagnosis, will it set me free?

From not really knowing who or what is me.

I know I should be thinking, what will be will be,

But a mind like mine doesn’t work this way, all emotions there you see.

I know I will be fine, of this we both agree,

I just need to know right now, who or what is me.

To put into context, tomorrow is my evaluation/results with my psychiatrist & I’m very nervous. I know it shouldn’t matter what they tell me but ultimately, it does. It might help to explain ‘me’ better.

Anyone relate to this?

Determining the Diagnosis

If you’re struggling to see someone and get the mental health diagnosis you need, you’re not alone. With 1 in 4 people suffering with their mental health, this is not uncommon.

The problems with getting a diagnosis include:

  • GPs having limited experience of mental illness
  • Waiting lists in the UK being overwhelmed with GP referrals
  • Some of the disorders present themselves as something else so can be hard to diagnose
  • Having a negative 8-minute consultation with the GP and not wanting to bother again
  • Not getting a concrete one

Having been in limbo for the past 20+ years of my life as to what was wrong with me and who I actually am, I’ve become almost obsessed with finding out. Weirdly, the obsession is something that’s helping me with my diagnosis plight.

After I hit rock bottom in October and saw my new GP, I was referred within six weeks to see the Community Mental Health Team. I was so surprised that it took such a short amount of time but so pleased that my plea for help was being taken seriously. The last time I was referred to the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) where I used to live, they sat with clipboards, studied me and when I told them about my episode of crashing my car they said I couldn’t make excuses for bad driving. You can imagine how I was feeling about seeing the CMHT this time around. Because we’ve moved, I now come under a different health board. Thank.Goodness. There’s been more progress in two months here than there has been in 20+ years with the other one.

In the time leading up to the appointment, I couldn’t sleep. I was grumpy, panicking, feeling sick and at the same time, felt so productive and totally amazing, I couldn’t complain. On the day of the appointment, I had been in two meetings at work and pretty much sped to the appointment (running late as usual). Sitting in the waiting room, I was twitching, biting the side of my cheek and feeling the sense of overwhelming foreboding that I wasn’t going to get anywhere.

The psychiatrist, turns out, was lovely. I took all of my proof of moods with me, my sleep patterns and any notes of ‘unusual behaviour’. She looked through it all, asked me lots of questions and listened to what I was saying.

After what seemed like a lifetime, she said she could rule out a few things but said that my moods and lack of control over emotions pointed to Borderline Personality Disorder or ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder’. We talked about it and looked at the Mind website for a breakdown of the diagnosis. It seemed to fit me to a T. She did suggest that I also have a test for Autism, which has been suggested a few times by my counsellor too.

I came out of the appointment feeling confused. Relieved, that we’d put our fingers on it, scared, because this was something new and I didn’t know much about it, and still a bit unsettled. The psychiatrist changed my medication from anti-depressants to mood stabilisers, something I’ve been banging on about for years.

If you’re in that stage where you’re not sure what to do about your mental health and feel like there’s more to it than ‘You’re just having a bad day’ or a bad week, make sure you tell someone.

I’d suggest the following (although I’m by no means an expert!):

  • Keep a track of your moods, emotions etc so you have proof for your GP of how you’re feeling (A diary might be a good way of doing this)
  • Make an appointment with your GP and tell them what’s going on
  • Fill in the test they give to monitor how you’re feeling
  • Have a chat with them and see if you can be referred to see a mental health specialist
  • If you’re not opposed, trial the medication they give you and if it’s not right, tell them
  • Don’t give up!

Grandma's Special HerbsThe last one is the most important. Don’t just settle for what you’ve been told. If you don’t think that’s right, tell your GP. If the medication doesn’t sit well or you experience bad side affects, tell your GP. You have to do what’s right for you and make sure it suits you and works for you.

It takes guts to do it but I believe you can do it. You deserve it. You owe it to you to be able to live the life you’re here to live.