The Morning After The Night Before

The alarm said 4:30am.

There is a great play by Sarah Kane called 4.48 Pychosis, which is about how her only moments of clarity in a 24 hour onslaught of poor mental health would come at 4.48 in the morning.

I am a deep sleeper, but 4.30 am has become my new waking up time over the last few days.

I drifted in and out and got out of bed at 7am. I came downstairs and put on the news to discover another tragedy had befallen London, this time a massive blaze through a 20+ storey tower block. Even though this tower block was in West London, and my brother lives in East London, and he is always quick to point out it is ‘real’ East London, not what is referred to as East London, I still had to send him a text to make sure he was alright.

I went up to the boy at close to 8, he came down not long after. His dad had already phoned him.

It was then we made the phone call to my line manager and I had to tell her that yesterday my Doctor has signed me off work for 4 weeks because I am suffering from Stress, Anxiety and Depression.

A job I started less than 2 months ago.

The phone call could have been far worse.

I have texted, messaged and called more friends in the last 24 hours then I probably have in the last year. Indeed one friend I messaged on FaceBook showed my last contact with him had been in 2016.

I have realised far too late that hiding my problems, not telling them to anyone, pretending everything is alright has gotten me worse than nowhere, it has made me backtrack to a terrible, terrible point.

I feel that I have ruined everything. I feel embarrassed beyond all comprehension. I can’t bear to think of what certain people may think of me.

I would obviously never be this harsh to anyone else. If someone is sick is doesn’t matter if it is a broken leg or a broken mind. Sickness is sickness.

I had a good chat to my brother after he woke up and confirmed he was in East London and far away from West London. He spoke about his problems navigating social situations and kept saying ‘Not that it’s a competition’. We then moved on to safer topics like running and he asked me about my running ambitions and then kindly and delicately told me I should concentrate on losing weight first before I go back to running.

My other brother’s main concern regarding my mental health is to make sure I don’t miss out on season 3 of Twin Peaks.

I started re-reading ‘Grace Under Pressure’ by Sophie Walker, a running memoir, about a mum struggling to help her daughter who has Asperger’s Syndrome. I have put on the film Wild on Netflix, about a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

I guess I am focusing on what my body has the potential to do when what my mind can do is up for debate.

I have been to the Doctor to ask if my referral for assessment can somehow be escalated.

I have been to the local Mind centre to arrange an initial consultation. I was asked about what medication I am on, lots of people have been asking me that lately. As I listed the anti depressants, the anti psychotics, the anti anxiety pills and the three separate meds I take to manage my stress induced IBS I could see the person I was talking to look shocked.

The boy came home for lunch and asked how I was:

‘I’m not ok, but I’m ok’ I said

I have suddenly become consumed by anxiety, over what people will think of me, over how little I have been coping, over how ill I am.

Nearly 8 weeks ago the boy and I made a deal that if I could lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks he would get me a special prize. I would get another prize if I exceeded that.

I am currently on 12 pounds lost and the official deadline is this Saturday, the bulk of that was in the last two weeks, normally I would have been ecstatic. But I think it is a sign of deep emotional trauma if my usual comfort eating has fallen by the wayside and I have replaced it with drinking coffee and eating only bananas because anything else is too challenging.

I’m not ok, but I’m ok’. Please forgive me.


I feel elated

I had the day off work today and I went to the Doctor’s to discuss being referred to the Mental Health service here to be checked for Borderline Personality Disorder.

We had a lovely chat, but my Doctor was very keen to stress that diagnosis can take years, it can totally depend on who sees me, when they see me, and how I’m feeling that day. She said it could be nothing. She said they might reject her referral not because they don’t believe me but because they won’t have the resources to investigate any more claims.

She also said as I can hold down relationships and a job they might not offer me any support.

But I have to do something.

More practical help my Doctor gave me was she passed me on a reference sheet for all the mental health services in my city and a list of different low cost/free counselling services.

After a bit of investigation I found a trainee but approved counsellor who does evening appointments and next Monday I will be going along to a (free!) consultation to see if it will be a good fit.

Speaking to my Doctor the best thing for me would be both counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but I can barely afford counselling, let alone both.

I have rejigged the budget and if I cut down on my debt repayments, and, I don’t know, don’t have a social life, I should just be able to cover it.

I put today to good use and sent off my We Buy Book parcels, so hopefully I will have some money in my account by the end of the week.

I am going to try to make an additional £75 this month as a little challenge I am doing through the Money Saving Expert website (please do check it and the forum in particular out, it really doesn’t matter if you live outside of the UK, I’ve seen people all over the world use it and it has been a life saver for me).

My Pinecone Survey earnings are up to £12. So I may cash in a £10 Amazon voucher so that I can add it to my now £20 in Shop and Scan Amazon voucher earnings so that I can buy my Dad his Father’s Day Present, a very close University friend her birthday present and maybe some aluminium free deodorant.

I may do another sweep of the Book Shelves to see if any more pennies can be made (yes, I capitalised the words Book and Shelves, my book shelves are worthy of the distinction, or at least they were before they were decimated this weekend).

All in all it has been an Up/Down day. I got in a bit of a strop earlier and took it out on the boy.

I am going to binge watch Shop Well For Less on BBC Iplayer and Save Money Good Food on the ITV player this evening. I am also going to hoover the living room carpet as the boy has rather grossly cut his toe nails in here.

I have done over 1 hours walking today, so I am slowly introducing exercise back into my life, but to be honest I kinda feel bad for counting walking as since I don’t drive and I am poor walking is pretty much my only way of getting anywhere. I don’t really have a choice.

I must remind myself to be grateful for things. I’m sure it hasn’t escaped you what happened in London on Saturday night. My little brother lives in London. He is fine. I am lucky, but so many recently haven’t been.

Thank you to all those who comment on my blog. Thank you for reading even if you don’t comment. Thank you.