I got this message on my mobile today when I tried to look at Facebook, and I thought it very appropriate.
Today has been tough. Read: really tough. As soon as I tried to start actually doing something (packing to go to my Mums) I completely broke down. I was crying uncontrollably for a couple of hours, and couldn't stop jittering - I literally couldn't keep still. I just cannot cope with having to think logically. Dom was clearly very concerned and wasn't sure what to do. I was sure what to do either.
In the end, Dom did two things, both of which were very helpful. Firstly, he rang my Mum and told her the whole story, from the beginning. I hadn't even told her there was a problem in the first place, much less that it had been going on since Charlie was born. I did try to talk to her once, and she pleaded with me not to go to the doctors and "get into all that." I assume she had problems with depression and/or valium in the past. However, ours is not a family that will discuss such matters openly. My Dad has also said to me before that he had "several breakdowns" and I do remember periods of my childhood when he acted rather oddly, but it's not something that is ever discussed. I suspect that I have a pretty high chance of hereditary depression but, as it's so stigmatised in our family, I can't imagine it's something we'll discuss.
So, now my Mum and Dad know my secret. It is a huge relief. However, I am really nervous about being away from home. I don't know how they will react. I am sure they love me and they are concerned, but as mental illness is something "we don't do," even though it has been fairly evident throughout my childhood, how will they react to my mental illness? Will they tell me to pull myself together? That it's all in my head? The other thing that frightens me is not having anywhere to go in the night. My sleep is shocking at the moment and, at Mums when we stay, someone sleeps in every single room. Now thankfully my Dad is also an insomniac and he often gets up in the night at our house, so there is something of a precedent set. However, the idea of not being able to go anywhere during those long, dark hours makes me feel very claustrophobic.
The second thing Dom did was to phone the doctors and explain his concerns and, for the first time I think, took it seriously that I couldn't use the phone. We were asked to go in for an appointment an hour later and, when we did, the doctor was very sympathetic and understanding. He said that my brain was currently liked cooked spaghetti, that thoughts weren't getting to where they needed to, they just got all jumbled up and made me confused, and would make me more confused the more I tried to work it out. He told me not to worry about anything (easier said than done, but nice to hear it from a professional) He said not to think about anything, and to go to my Mums and just have a break from life for a few days, without having to deal with anything, especially work. He has also prescribed me a beta-blocker, Propranolol, which I have to take every day for a month. It apparently works by reducing the heart rate which calms you down. I have taken one this evening, but I am not sure I have noticed any different yet. I am pleased, and optimistic, that the new medication will improve things for me. At one stage today I imagined they were going to come and put my in a psych ward and I didn't know whether I was scared or relieved. The suicidal thoughts persist and, today, I was sorely tempted to pour a kettle of boiling water over my hand. You know how it feels when you have a mosquito bite that you know you mustn't scratch, but you know for a moment it'll also feel delicious? That's the exact feeling I had. It was the first of the kind, and it frightened me. I haven't told the doctor about it.
I may not be able to post much over the next few days as I'll be away, but I will take a paper diary and write in there. Hopefully, then, I can add the words when I get back. I rather enjoy a bit of typing. Which may be the maddest thing I have written in this blog yet.....