We've had some incredible weather in this area the past few days. It's hit almost 30 degrees Celsius, with clear blue skies that last right up until 10pm. It's beautiful. The trees are green, the flowers have blossomed, and people are wandering around with sunglasses and flip flops. I love this time of year so much, and look forward to Summer days, and yet right now, it's like a little rain cloud has appeared in my head and the forecast isn't looking too good for a while.
The past couple of weeks have been very hectic and stressful. I won't bore you with all the details because there's not much need I suppose. But it's left me feeling very low, and to be quite blunt, I've not felt this depressed in quite a while. I'm writing this post today just for my own benefit to be honest - sometimes seeing all the issues written down helps and I can work out what I need to do going forward.
My depression has started causing more and more physical problems as well, and it's making me angry in turn. My panic attacks have become a lot worse, and all of a sudden, so I'm left feeling very tired and yet I have broken sleep and odd dreams in between which in turn triggers my anxiety for the next day. My heart is racing quite a lot of the time, and even when it's not, I'm feeling so low to almost the point of tears.
The most frustrating thing about all this is I don't want to feel this way. Living with this for 11 years has already taken a toll on me, and why should I live another 11 like it? My head's a bit confused about where I need to go next with this, and I'm frightened some days about where this depression will take me. My biggest problem is the feeling I have of guilt - particularly towards my fiancé who is incredibly supportive and has always stood by me. But I don't want our married life to start like this. I want to be bringing in an income so we can enjoy life a little more whilst we're still young, and so that eventually I can go to university and study Psychology. And yet right now, I don't feel like I'm contributing to anything at all in society.
Sometimes when I'm out and about, my mind clouds over so much it's like I can't see quite straight. I daydream, my mind is elsewhere, and I can't focus on where I'm walking, what I'm eating, what I'm watching on TV or who I'm listening to in a conversation. You know that feeling in your chest when you are about to cry? That heaviness? I get that, constantly, and yet I just can't cry sometimes. It's just this weight, this tightness, all over my body and I can't ease it.
I've also noticed this headache I've had for about a week now. It's not constant, and it's just about my left eye and shoots towards the back. It is painful, but not so much that I need to take painkillers for it, just enough to be annoying when I'm trying to focus. I've noticed it comes on when I'm particularly stressed, so I know my body is telling me to slow down and look after myself.
But the problem is - how? I've tried a range of therapies since I was first diagnosed with depression. At first it was therapy with a psychiatrist, then a whole load of CBT, counselling, and even hypnotherapy. And yet I come back to this feeling. And I don't want to anymore - I'm tired of being tired, and the struggle is too strong some days. I've also changed doctors so I need to build that trust up again, which I'm hesitant to do. A change of medication has been suggested but only in a few weeks in the hope that this depressive episode will lift slightly (although I'm not sure how that one quite works - if my medication isn't right, then I need to change, right?) and it was briefly mentioned about referral to a psychiatrist. I'm frightened, but I know it needs to be done.
So what do you do in the meantime? Here we are again - The Waiting Game. Do I go back to the doctors? Do I see about a local charity who might help? Do I refer myself to the Wellbeing Service (third time lucky?) ? It's difficult - and as my doctor said herself - there is NOT enough help out there.
All I can say is, watch this space.