Yesterday was better. Yesterday I slept till 10ish, spent a good hour doing yoga, had a ridiculously long shower then picked up the kids. The rest of the day was mostly pottering. Ok, I did have to resort to emergency drugs, but just once this time as opposed to the twice of Tuesday. Today? I’m not long up (I went back to bed once Hubby and the kids had left) and have just ‘treated’ myself to a second breakfast of coco pops and a stale scone, so as well as feeling like crap mentally, I’ve managed to make myself feel like crap physically too.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want to write. It was all in my head when I woke up, but now it’s just gone.

Ok, I’m going to try something. I’m going to try and talk to me like I’d talk to a friend. What if my friend told me what’s been going on the last while……………I’m out of work because my focus and concentration are shot to bits and I’ve been getting really overwhelmed. On an emotional stability scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being certifiable, I’m a fairly consistent 8-9. I need to make some really big decisions that are causing me no end of anxiety and guilt, and I’ve no one to talk to because I finished with my therapist. I’m waiting on treatment for a severe psychiatric disorder, but in the meantime I need to muddle through on my own, plus look after my kids and generally try and maintain some semblance of functioning. The guilt that I’m feeling at the stress that all of the above is causing my family is compounding everything and making it feel so much worse. I’ve been suicidal, I’ve self harmed and have had periods of feeling intensely lost and hopeless, like there’s nothing I can do to make this better. My gp has told me I’m not currently fit to work full time, and I’m waiting to see my psychiatrist.

See, if a friend told me all that, pretty much the first thing I’d say is take out of the equation what can be taken out of the equation. I have to look after my kids. I have to continue functioning at some level.

Oh my god!!!!! I cannot apply the logic I’d apply to someone else to me. I want to say take a step back from work, but the unbelievable level of guilt that’s causing is making it all but impossible, because it’s not that simple. There are significant financial implications of doing that, and adding financial stress on top of all of the above really won’t help. But if I continue to push through with work, continue to make stupid mistakes…….

I want to be kind to myself. I want to say take a step back from work, and focus on doing what helps to keep me relatively stable. But I can’t. All I can hear is the voice in my head telling me to suck it up and get on with it, that I’m just not trying hard enough.



This article has 10 Comments

  1. In a similar place at the moment. Thank you for sharing. You are trying hard enough – not everyone at work is on medication and dealing with a psychiatric disorder. You don’t need to feel guilty about prioritizing you and your family. There are more important things than work – only you and your family will notice the difference if you take a step back and it should be positive. Have you tried making yourself take short breaks from guilt? Like one day or a few hours to let yourself off the hook and stop the pressure building?

    1. I’ve tried but I’m not sure I can…………I end up feeling guilty for taking a step back when I ‘should’ be doing more.It’s a vicious circle. I probably need to talk about it a bit more with my boss but it’s such a big conversation and so hard to understand.
      But thank you, for reading and commenting and letting me know I’m not the only one

  2. Hi my heart goes out to u I’m mentally unwell at the moment to i was in a car accident last year which has left me in chronic pain and unable to work I had surgery 7 weeks ago which has made my pain worse i had discs removed and I have nerve damage now so here I am in bed while my kids are making the dinner I’m on serlan antidressant i take Valium to relax my muscles i don’t know wheather I’m coming or going as well as pain meds I hope u feel well soon god love u unless your living it no one realises what it like thank u for your blog and your honesty u are a great lady and u will fight through god bless Barbara x

    1. Thanks so much Barbara, and I’m really sorry to hear things are so difficult for you. Physical pain on top of emotional pain seems so cruel. I hope the surgery starts to show some benefits soon, take care of you x

  3. Fiona, I want to tell you something really good. In a FB group for people who have been through ECT we try to help each other out with chatting and sharing of experiences. One member has been crashing recently. She lives in a different country than most of us. But through your blog I had learned about Pieta House and was able to give that information to the person who was closest to her. He is using it to help find the resources to get her through this crisis period. So thank you once again from another person who has learned through your outreach and information. What you are doing matters, and as hard as everyday is to get through it is worth it.

  4. Two fairly random thoughts from someone who has read you blog for quite a while:
    How are your vitamin D levels? A “healthy” level of vitamin D may help to get through the dark months a tad easier.
    When was the last time you painted a wall? I seem to remember that it has helped you in the past to regain some form of calm in stormy times.

    1. 🙂 thank you! Started taking vitamin D about two weeks ago, as well as iron (levels are low), magnesium, B complex and evening primrose oil. Something has to work!
      Also, I absolutely agree, I need to paint some walls, badly. I’m settling for colouring in for now, it’s helping

  5. I’ve been a long time lurker on your site but I couldn’t read this and not reply. PLEASE be kind to your self, please, you deserve it.

    I’ve been a bit touch and go myself with different things lately and one bit of advice I read was similar to the lines of talk to yourself as you would a friend but it was talk to yourself as if you were your child. You are someone’s child, you deserve to receive the all encompassing love and support you would give to your own child to your self.

    From the little bits I have picked up on about your boss, they seem to be understanding and compassionate. While you (understandably) have financial worries to take into account regarding not working, please listen to someone who has been on both sides of the fence in a work situation. From your side: Is there an insurance scheme offered through work (possibly as part of your pension scheme if you have one) that would help cover some of your salary if you are off on long time sick leave? I am sure you have covered all the options but this is one that I wouldn’t have known about had I not had to help colleagues avail of it. It’s not something insurance companies or employers make readily known.

    From a work point of view: while you are thinking that pushing through is the best thing for your employer – at times it isn’t. Potentially getting a temp in to over you while you are off is a bitter option. You aren’t tempted to come back before you are ready and they have someone in on a consistent basis which means they aren’t resenting you being off or pushing for you to come back early either.

    If you take nothing else from long and rambling response, take this – You deserve to take a step back and look after your self. You are worth more than your illness and you are tough enough to get through this but “sucking it up” and making yourself more miserable and giving your self more reasons to beat yourself is not the answer.

  6. Thanks so much Emma, for the long time reading and first time response, it means a lot. In terms of work, Id’ need to look into what’s available financially in terms of support, but I’m really conflicted about what to do. Part of me wants to do exactly as you say, take time out and do what I know helps. The problem is, if I step back, the longer I’m out, the harder it will be to go back. Plus, people keep telling me how important it is that I keep working – it’s a distraction etc etc. Of course, the other side of that is how productive I can or can’t be, and the impact that that’s having. I’ve actually been referred to our occupational health doctor to establish whether or not I’m fit to be working at all. I’m seeing him thurs so I guess it’s up to him at this point.

    As for talking to myself as I would talk to my kids……….I don’t know. IN theory that would be just lovely, but I don’t know how I would begin to put it into practice. Right now, the closest I can get is allowing myself a cuppa and some chocolate in a quiet house rather than rushing out to pick up the kids. If I could just put aside the guilt at being selfish………..

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