Continuing to struggle, so in a quest to help myself, I have returned to my new coping strategy of writing down my thoughts (blogging).
I have started self-harming again and I thought I was keeping it hidden, but my son (20) spotted the marks on my arm today. This has made me feel guiltier, but he has said he is available to talk if I want to - #amazing.
My thoughts of suicide are possibly the highest I have ever experienced today and in past week or so - constantly reoccurring and on my mind. I have tried to speak to to my counsellor about it, but having not achieved that yet, i.e. I haven’t, managed to blurt it out. Considering seeing the GP. Just read Mind’s leaflet ‘How to cope with suicidal feelings’ I Was just thinking I needed to talk to my wife about it. But she is still really fed up with me because I have been such hard work today, so she has just gone to bed. So I think I will have to try and find a time to talk to her tomorrow.
I think what scares me most is that I used to worry about the impact on my family if I did it. But now I find myself thinking more they will be better off without me here, all I do is upset them, nag and say the wrong thing anyway. I think these thoughts have been made worse because of Christmas coming, I really dislike Christmas which upsets my wife and therefore adds to my guilt. At counselling we were talking, obviously, and I was asked “do I like myself?” Having dwelled on that I realise I hate myself, I hate my brain and body for what they do to me and I hate myself for the person I have been and am now.
Sorry, just paused to berate myself, for such self-pity, I know I shouldn’t (berate myself).
Anyway going back to triggers, so Christmas, realisation I hate myself, also I have been signed up to stop smoking clinic by my wife and the date looms on 1st December. I don’t smoke a lot maybe 5 a day, but if you asked me my favourite time of day, I would say my first smoke and first cup of coffee in the morning outside in the garden on my own, usually with the dog , as a reward for me getting up, having a shower and getting dressed. My wife has COPD so has to stop smoking, I want to support her by stopping too, but was happy retaining control and stopping myself, now I have texts and weekly meetings. If you are thinking about ending it, then the damage and shortening of one’s life from a couple of roll ups a day seems irrelevant to me. I suspect the fourth trigger is seasonal (4), I don’t like the loss of day light and that seems to add to my problems.
So, I have written it down, a good step.
I haven’t done any major harm to myself, just a deep fingernail scratch / dig - Tuesday night and a small cut today with a clean blade. I have started driving more recklessly and had better think about that. I have two plans for how to do it, so need to talk about this with someone.
I AM ok, got Samaritans and Sane if it gets worse, otherwise I will talk to my wife, make an appointment with GP and talk to Counsellor next week.
Today, has been a difficult end to a challenging week. I knew it would be difficult, because the builders were in for three days, repairing a leaking shower and using my bedroom as a workspace, so not only was my retreat and safe zone out of action, but I also had to be up and about early (for me at least). So reduced sleep with the pressure of entertaining my family to celebrate my daughters 26th birthday all day, with the builders still here, and an expectation of a home baked birthday cake and lunch, followed by a meeting in the evening, made Wednesday an overwhelming challenge, but I did it and the builders finished that night. Relief.
Friday required me to get my 20 year old son up and to a new (temporary) work place. This pushes my abilities now, as it is an unknown place, a fixed time and needs me to push my son to get up. It went ok, my previous nights research to check where we had to go paid off, as the agency had the postcode wrong. I anticipated I would be anxious, because of the combinations of triggers I Have mentioned. But I got him there, managed my building panic and made it back home. I was also able to try and mentally note what was going on, so here goes:
I wake up with my alarm, and feel the dread creep over me. I stretch my legs and feel the comfort of the duvet on my legs, wish I could stay. But get up, drag on my clothes and head for the kitchen and a mug of tea. I feel my bowels start to move and try to suppress the sick feeling by drinking my tea. Then I go up and knock the boy. Come back down and go for a smoke and drink my tea. Then loo. Then know I have to go knock the boy again. Back down, loo. Make second tea. Hear movement, yes, he is up, but no it is my wife. "Is the boy getting up?" I ask, "no" the reply, "did you knock I ask?" - "no" is the reply. So up I go for third time - this time there is movement. Back to my tea, feeling sick, tense, can't sit still. Hear movement he is up - some relief. Then time to go, stop at shop car park and I wait while he gets his lunch, anxious about time ticking by and the time he should be at work, that has become 'my' deadline now, although it is of course his. Now the anxiety is kicking in: Nausea, dry mouth, bowel movement, hands clenched, thoughts racing, rubbing my leg, heavy breathing, chest tightening. He is back, we are off- anxiety lessens slightly as we are on way again. Find place easy. See him go in sense of relief in my body and chest isn't so tight, breathing easier, wait for few minutes in case he come back out. Then drive home. On way home feel anxiety lift or change, tearful now, frustrated about my reaction, but it is nearly over.
Once home, I potter have a coffee and a smoke to rest, put a wash on, shower and get dressed ready for counselling session at Rushden Mind at 11. Back in control now, plenty of time.
I leave for counselling allowing plenty of time. Get to Rushden and (having previously had trouble parking) go for the less popular car park 5 minutes walk away that always has spaces, having had difficultly parking in near places previously. But it is full, I start to panic, the next car park is full too and I am stuck and can't get out as people are waiting for spaces. It is back - tight chest, heavy breathing, nausea, dry mouth, tightness, clenching, can't stand it, ABORT ABORT - go home. I can't - stuck, and I DO want to go to counselling. Get out of car park, drive round the one way system, try nearest car park, find a space. Anxiety drops slightly, at Mind on time!!!! Now what I haven't said is during all this I am telling, well shouting, at myself, what is the problem? It is your appointment, you can be late or not arrive, Mind nor my counsellor will mind. There is NO problem. But it doesn't go in.
Once at counselling, I get the aftermath reaction, shaking, tearful, stuttering, clenching, breathing, chest, nausea, you get the picture, we talk and after 20 minutes I am calming down.
What strikes me and has bothered my is that: I was not worried about going to counselling. I thought I was all OK with it, but still it (anxiety) has to have a go and a double hit me in one day which has pi$$ed me off and make wonder if I am in control at all. I know it is just a setback but it is still extremely frustrating and confusing. Anyway I have been asleep for few hours in my safe place (bed), got the boy back from work (3pm) and decided to use writing therapy to try and lift my mood and I do feel a bit better - I am going to get up and have a tea and smoke.
I am also going to use this blog differently, I am going to just post my thoughts instead of writing them in my book. It will be more messy, but this blog can be for me now primarily, if you find it useful then all the better. Now where is the weebly iPad app?
Also big thanks of appreciation to the wonderful work of Rushden Mind and my counsellor
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