Tag Archive | depression recovery

My frustrating brain

brain-fog-1

I’ve had a good few months. My brain has been behaving as expected; waking up nice and early ready to take on the day’s challenges quite willingly. It has enjoyed and embraced the challenge of technical tax work and I have gone to bed at night feeling mentally tired but still in control.

That is until I woke up this morning.

Today I could have cried. I woke up feeling overwhelmed, confused and angry with a head that felt like cotton wool. Why does this happen? I do know why but as hard as I try, I seem to have little control over those pesky grey cells between my ears.

Whilst I hate to labour the point, as an “HSP” I am a square peg in a round hole; Something I have known for many years but have been too chicken to resolve. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my job. I do but maybe for the wrong reasons. It satisfies certain criteria in that I enjoy a challenge, I am target driven and I like to learn new skills which stretch my brain. What it doesn’t do however, is help me satisfy my long-hidden creative instincts and the basic need to do something “meaningful.”

So, I really tried to continue as normal today. All the time fighting the urge to jack it all in and  disappear into a large cave somewhere. As an HSP susceptible to periods of depression and anxiety I need my periods of respite so mid-afternoon I caved in and logged off.

When I get very bad hay fever, I want to take my eyes out of their sockets and wash them clean. When I get brain-fog, I feel the need to do something similar. Remove brain from skull; immerse in liquid chocolate and breathe. I need complete sensory respite from targets and tax legislation.

So what did I do?

I went into the garage and sawed some wood. I switched off and made something. Something meaningful.

A hedgehog house.

brain-gog-2

 

 

Waiting for good

When I last saw my Doctor on Wednesday we chatted at length about the time it is taking me to recover from my latest bout of depression. I suppose like all things, it gets harder as you get older.

She reassured me that I am heading in the right direction, albeit at snail’s pace, but that during my recovery phase I can expect to have good days and bad days. I have to learn to accept the bad days and be kind to myself and I also need to recognise good days and not do too much. I have been waiting for a good day and today has been one of the best for a number of weeks. Of course it is all relative and I need to remember that I am not recovered, I am just not as despairing and hopeless as I have been. But it feels good.

I have achieved more today than I have for a long time but made sure that I had plenty of rest as well in between short bouts of activity.

I managed to pot up my seedlings. Sitting in the lovely warm sunshine with a barrow full of compost in front of me, I was quite content.

Seedlings potted up

Seedlings potted up

I did a tour of my garden taking note of all the new growth bursting forth at last. Here are some of my favourite bits.

One swallow…

doesn’t make a summer.

After a positive day yesterday, today my mood is much subdued in comparison but instead of being negative I am treating it as a gentle reminder that recovery is going to take some time and is not going to happen overnight. Everyone has good days and bad days and this is perfectly normal. Today is one of those days, nothing more.

Having said that, I was really cheered up when I received a Get Well card from my colleagues closely followed by a lovely vase of flowers. They were perfectly timed and gave me a welcome boost this afternoon.

Get Well card and flowers from work

Get Well card and flowers from work

Tomorrow I must make the effort to get out even if it’s only for a couple of hours in the morning and I am looking forward to a long weekend when I can get out into the garden and perhaps hit a few balls at the golf range.

I’m digging my heels in and taking small steps but am definitely moving in the right direction.

Slow and steady wins the race!

online-depression-test

“I’m Fine”…….

Im-Fine

Last week I went back to my GP asking for help with a sudden onset of a severe depression. At the time, she suggested that I might need some time off work to recover and get myself back on track and, true to form, I said, “No, thanks, I’m sure I’ll be fine; it’s just a blip”.

That was a tad optimistic to say the least and over the week and weekend it became patently obvious that I wouldn’t be “fine” and having wrestled with both the disappointment and stark reality of my illness, this morning I was at the Drs surgery at 08.15am waving the white flag.

I am now off work for 2 weeks. There is no doubt that I need the time out and we spent a good 30 minutes going through my mind-mapping exercise so that I can plot my recovery properly. Anti-depressants only go part of the way to lifting mood long-term and therefore we identified a number of things that I need to do over the coming weeks and months to secure success.

My biggest challenge? To be kind to myself.  My GP recognises that this is the crux of many of my issues and that with the high standards that I expect of myself  I live with constant disappointment. I have to achieve. It is deeply ingrained in my core and unless I am achieving something, however small and insignificant, I am a failure. I can’t just do something and enjoy it, there has to be a purpose otherwise, what’s the point?  I know that I have to work very hard on turning this ethos upside down and hopefully persuade myself that I can do something purely for enjoyment.

Challenging this mindset is going to be difficult, it has been part of me for almost half a century and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t collecting certificates, accolades, trophies, rosettes and badges for my efforts. I even have all the photos taken over the years to prove it but it is time to stop.

Depression the illness and the recovery is exhausting and I spent a few hours this afternoon asleep. When I woke up, the skies had cleared and the sun was out and whilst there is a stiff breeze, I went for a short walk around the village to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. I don’t want to spend the next 2 weeks in bed however tempting that may be at the moment so I am going to pump up the tyres on my bike and get cycling. That should help to clear the mind and gentle exercise will hopefully stimulate those endorphins to multiply exponentially!

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Magnolia, Garden of Remembrance, Lubenham

Pied Beauty-Gerard Manley-Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things —
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.