Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Pressure

This is a word that has come up A LOT recently. I put SO much pressure on myself. Pressure to be useful, pressure to be there for people enough, pressure to not say/do the wrong things (to a point where I try to do nothing wrong. Impossible!), pressure to be a better person, pressure to get back to people, pressure to be as productive as my health allows (actually, more productive than my health allows!), pressure to be as good as others at things like blogging etc.

Blah. You get the picture. I put so so much on myself every single day & all it really achieves is me turning into a big ball of stress and worry.

I don't have many therapy sessions left, and I'm getting stressed out about this too. It turns out that I can request the same therapist next time. It's just the wait seems to be getting longer each time. The therapist I have at the moment seems to be the best one I've had so far. It helps that we have a lot in common too. I constantly explain myself because I feel I have to. I've never just unapologetically been me. I never feel like I'm *enough*. This therapist really does listen to me, and I'm finally beginning to let go because I'm beginning to trust her. In terms of functioning, I'm not seeing any improvements just yet, but I'm at least starting to believe that I don't need to apologise for absolutely everything, & I am allowed to do things I enjoy/take time out for myself.

The Sertraline seems to be suiting me (i.e. no nasty side effects) and sometimes I feel as if it's at least taking the edge off the Depression, sometimes I feel as if it is doing nothing. I've had the odd time where I've been quite hyper, although pain from the Fibromyalgia has masked that a bit. I had the odd day where I felt wonderful. It was like I could breathe again. I wanted to do so much, go to so many places, buy lots of new clothes, be spontaneous! If I'd been able to, I've no doubt that I would've. Another day, I'd gone outside to get some air. It was about 10.30pm, no one was around, & I got this huge urge to go on a walk. So I did. I didn't tell anyone (all I'd told my parents was that I would be round the back for 5 mins). I got this real rush of adrenaline, and it reminded me of how I felt at uni, when on a night out. The pain stopped me walking far & I had to stop so many times but it felt great to just go. Of course when I got back in, my parents were pretty worried about me because I'd disappeared. At the time I couldn't understand why they were worried, but I guess I should've at least told them first! Anyway, I've been on the Sertraline around 2 months now & I have my follow up psychiatrist appointment next month, so I'm guessing I'll be going up a dose if I'm still not finding any/not enough of an improvement.

I'm still getting bad paranoia, and feel I've been such a nightmare recently because of it. Not so long ago, I blocked a whole load of people. I'm not entirely sure why (apart from some didn't say anything & I thought they were spying on me?) but it's as if I couldn't trust anyone. I just don't know. I've lost friends, people have let me down, betrayed my trust, turned out to be prejudiced towards anyone without a job etc & it's making me isolate more.

Something happened recently that really knocked me sideways. I'm spending less time on social media, I've deleted a lot of accounts, ramped up internet security etc because of it. I won't go into detail on here because it involves someone else's experience and it's not my place to share other people's experiences without their consent. Basically, someone spread rumours about a friend. They'd accused my friend of lying about something. They were doing everything in their power (including creating multiple trolling accounts) to get people to listen to them and remove support from my friend. I'd stuck up for my friend (not as much as I wish I could, but I tried) and this resulted in this harasser turning on me, & trying to use my own mental illnesses against me. This made me panic a lot. The paranoia got a lot worse too. I'd noticed strange little things happening with my laptop, some of my accounts, friends on other accounts not replying etc and I actually started to think that someone was taking over my laptop, my accounts, and even controlling my friends. It was horrible. It didn't make sense. In my mind I knew that they couldn't control my friends, but I couldn't stop myself from worrying about it.

I'm still getting times where I start to think this even now, but I'm not as panicked as I was then. I had to take a complete break from places such as Twitter. As well as the paranoia, I was also finding all my mentions, messages, timeline etc very overwhelming. When I came back from my break, I felt incredibly guilty. I'd not been there for people, I'd missed so much, I expected either angry tweets and messages, or for no one to want to talk to me ever again. Even now, I think everyone hates me if they don't reply/straight away. I wish I could just let myself take time out without feeling guilty, unsupportive and selfish.

Back to the topic of pressure. This is probably partly due to the subject being brought up in so many political broadcasts, manifestos etc, but I'm still feeling the pressure to be well enough for work. My doctor, therapist etc all agree I won't be well enough for a while yet, and I'm in the Support Group for ESA, but that pressure is still there. In society, the government, media etc. I'm not surprised about it, but I'm not happy about it either. What about quality of life? social life? daily living? These are all vital. I barely ever see friends, I struggle to cook for myself, I only ever leave the house alone to post my sick notes. I can't predict when/if I'll get some symptoms under control enough to obtain and keep a job. First though, I'd need to be able to look after myself, have the energy/confidence to travel alone, be in busy places, be out of the house for longer.

I want to go onto the topics of disability, political parties' focus on people in work etc more, but may leave this for another blog post (when my head's a bit clearer, frankly!)

My therapy homework (although the therapist doesn't often use this term because it puts more pressure on me, something we're trying to do the opposite of!) is to just be me, do things I enjoy, notice the kind of thoughts and worries I have, and above all, put less pressure on myself! So this is what I'm trying to do.

On that note, I will finish the post here, otherwise I will pressure myself to write more!

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