On Thursday I completed my 3rd week in a row of work (my new part-time hours). I hadn’t managed this since my diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder in January of this year.
As a celebration this lovely lady, my bestie, Alex, invited me up for a spontaneous weekend in Peebles. I was anxious so Nigel & the kids came too. We’re been friends since we were 11 (erm… a long time) & as we looked through old photos & reminisced we found so many clues to my condition that had been there all along. Especially in my leaving note to my “Best Friend- huh”. I have actually always been this needy & anxious, we spotted the signs looking back. I’ve had just what the doctor ordered this weekend, but tomorrow it’s back to normality! I can’t live in this bubble forever.
Plus it hasn’t been a “normal” 3 weeks by any means. It had included
- my sisters wedding (a 3 day event)
- An MRI scan
- A busy working week with our Australian buddies, where it wasn’t possible to work from home one day & had a full day of 9-5pm for team building
- I wasn’t shortlisted for an award I was really excited about
- I quit smoking (I’ll be completely honest & day on 4 out of 5 occasions when I’ve had a drink I’ve had a smoke, so I still need to work on this)
- My diazepam, my dependency lifeline, I have stopped my daily allowance (I take as and when needed now) & I am no longer on the 14mg I was on per day, but may take a 2mg tablet every couple of days
- My replacement at work was recruited
Can I be honest? I don’t particularly feel any better for it. I don’t feel proud or a sense of achievement. I feel more stressed & that the expectation from others is now that I’m “well”. I’m still desperate for the DBT, which I’ve still not heard about but is still an estimated start date of January 2020, based on the waiting list of 2 years. I now feel the growing pressure of being social, stopping smoking, eating healthier, being at work & being a good mum. Before it kind of felt like everyone expected (& not in a bad way) for me to fail, & suddenly because people want you to succeed, they are cheerleading for you, the pressure is now there not to let them down too!
I know this sounds like a woe is me post, but it’s not meant to. It’s meant to be about however hard I try, because of my condition my brain just doesn’t work right. I don’t see things the same way others do. I’m more anxious & worried over a throw away comment, then ever before, & have to go & lay in my bed & cry a little so I can bring myself round or lay waiting til I’m ready to face the world. And the longer I’m away, the harder it becomes to peep out.
On Thursday I didn’t feel like going into work, but my lovely manager Margaret gently encouraged me to. She also still gave me the option of staying at home if the anxiety & headache was too much, but reminded me of how I’d feel after 3 weeks. And I did feel so much better, I was proud of myself. But I just want it to feel like it’s getting easier & it isn’t. It’s just the same whether I try hard or I don’t. I still have sleepless nights, racing thoughts & a paranoid horrible inner critic who shows up whenever he isn’t wanted! All last night!
So overall I’m still not well. I still need help & support, I still overshare & overthink. In one weekend I’ve decided (racing thoughts in the middle of the night)
- Smoking when I drink needs to stop
- I’m planning a 10K tunnel run with our Scottish besties
- I need to lose 4 stone
- I want to do a sky dive for charity
- I want to find a daily morning workout I can do in my house before the kids get up, so 6am -7am & find the motivation to do it & cant afford a personal trainer
- I’ve booked tickets to see Boyzone next year with my friend
- Had a spontaneous trip to Peebles which has been amazing & just the therapy I needed – thank you Alex & Dave
- Decided I need to be a better mum to the kids because they fought a lot this weekend (please tell me all kids fight!)
- I need to get to a place where I’m not celebrating 3 weeks at work, it’s just the norm
- Considered whether or not I should pull out of the next award I’ve been nominated for, because with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, I know I’ll find failure difficult, but surely you can’t live like that forever
- I’ve had over 20 responses to a survey a created for an article based on the above question
And breathe… I’m exhausted, drained, shattered, all of the above & I’ve only thought the majority of this. I’ve not physically done all of it yet. My inner critic has been louder than ever with:
“What have you said to them to make them behave that way”
“You are such a disappointment”
“You only have 3 friends… wonder why?!”
“The kids would be better with a better mum, for goodness sake, just get well or get out of their lives”
“You’ve embarrassed yourself again”
“Look at everyone looking at you”
“Your talking too much” / “You’re not talking enough, your hidden away”
“Be quieter”/ “Be nicer”
“They’re laughing about you even attempting a 10K”
“As if you could ever be thin again”
“Look at the staring, he hates you & thinks your a bad mum”
I feel like I need a week to sleep off & switch off. God I can’t wait for DBT where I can actually vent all of this to a real person, and get some real help. I feel so alone & rationally I know I’m not. I want to check into a rehab & zone out with therapy for a week, why is this only an option if you’re a celebrity, millionaire or you seriously attempt suicide?
I’m going to try & go back to sleep now as another week of work will be 4 weeks & that may be another stepping stone.
Have a great week, I’m going to keep trying.