I’m still alive

So after a long time off the anti depressants inevitably I have been put on a new prescription a lower dose for now building me back up, but the edge of the depression has thankfully subsided.

I don’t think that I can accurately describe how in despair I actually was over the last week or two, however my wife and those closest to myself would probably tell you that they were not in the presence of the person they knew or loved.

I keep on getting told not to apologise, but I cannot help but thinking that it’s the minimum I should do. That person, the one who was clawing themselves out of my body and soul tearing my personality, the calm, the patience and the dignity apart leaving an angry, confused and emotional wreck in the wake of all those I care about.

This blog allowed the only humanity left in myself to give a written account of how I felt, to try and let people know that I still cared about them and not to allow this monster to chase them away.

I also used this opportunity to let those people who are locked in the same prison I am know they are not alone, I have had plenty of feedback which I will always keep in confidence and hopefully my further blogs will continue that trend of helping others.

I will be back in work tomorrow, the anxiety still bubbles up thinking about it but in no way near the level it was. I’m hoping I shall be able to present myself better and return stronger than ever.

Take care guys, next blog soon.

James.

I thought it couldn’t get worse.

Many readers of my blogs may have noticed they’re not coming thick and fast like they did and lacking the detail I once had took pride in providing.

Where I was once on 45mg Mirtazapine and 40mg Citalopram My detox has finally hit zero and completely taken myself out of the game.

Today I was in to see my doctor my words were muddled a little and I found it hard to understand me so I have to applaud her on trying to make sense of my utterances, after babbling for what seemed like 30 minutes she gave me two options to either go back on the drugs I was on, or allow them to run dry until Friday, then two other options when my system was dry I could see if I can hold myself “sober” or start a new treatment.

Ive been a fighter of sorts my whole life so the idea that I’d give in after coming so far is not going to happen so I have decided to wait until Friday.

I have been able to publicly hold myself together although to onlookers maybe a little off, but today as I left the doctors office I became overwhelmed and a spiral of confusion and anxiety took over and in a fit of panic silently started to cry. I walked fast and in the middle of the grass in the park I stopped not able to walk any further.

I rang my wife who found it difficult to understand what I was saying, I shut off the phone until I could compose myself and talk through and afterwards she texted my manager knowing that I was in an impossible situation emotionally to work after a week of hell.

Can I find light at the end of the tunnel? I don’t know, maybe I can but its not clear to me right now I can only think my wife, close friends, family and dogs are keeping me reasonably grounded I just wish I didn’t feel like I’m letting everyone down.

Please be patient with my updates only in these small moments of clarity can I find it in myself to find the words to describe what’s going on, as always thanks for reading.

James.

The longest day

The last two days had proven difficult my body felt like it was in agony any kind of movement was heavy and aching, my personality very drunken-like I could not concentrate on any conversation so I made silly jokes to compensate, the people who were around me the last two days were too nice to call me out on it but I would have been more than accommodating to explain if they quite rightly called me out on it.

Today I have been shocked about how far I have tumbled since last night, I woke tired and confused I did not feel like I had slept as I raised my body from the bed I realised I must have slept drenched in sweat… considering the room was so cold after a very cool night, two fans are on full blast for my wife who suffers with Multiple Sclerosis and our duvet is the one suited for sleeping in the summer, sweating is like a bad joke.

I was in a brain fog most of the morning, once in a while realising I needed to quench my thirst but my appetite was neither forthcoming nor wanted to be honest any thoughts sustenance was stomach churning, I did not even bother with my pain killers one thing forthcoming the last two days is that anything in my stomach makes me feel very ill and needing to spend an hour near the loo.

My brain fog and hypersensitive emotions have been the forefront of my problems including a fear of those around me hoping that they will not trigger something, the idea that I might turn to a tearful wreck in front of people was really worrying. In a fit of anxiety I pre-planned every move from when I left the house to work, taking no chances that I could be cornered by anyone who would wish harm and on the main roads so if anything did happen people would see and hopefully intervene.

Thankfully when I got to work I was more level headed that no one was after me, which was lucky as I had to do a lot of walking around the city centre; my huge headphones were on so no one spoke to me, I had a couple of errands including deliveries however when I got back to the shop I think I might not have fooled anyone that I was somewhat suffering with my depression. I was a bumbling man, clumsy and unable to level the volume in my voice I think that nerves may have wobbled the tone in my speech which did not help.

The walk home I was in a spiral and surprisingly my brain was telling me to get cigarettes, a habit I gave up 2/3 years ago I had to ignore it because my body would hate me if I started up again. I was drowning the all outside noises by playing loud music but once in a while a song would come on that spurred old memories which got me upset, thank goodness someone invented the skip button.

When I got home my body gave out in a blink of an eye I fell asleep and awoke a couple of hours later once again feeling heavy and aching, I the dogs were comforting and kept me company in dead silence I couldn’t bear to watch TV and instead opted to read a book until Emily came home.

She forced me to eat and gave me a huge hug not leaving me until she was sure I was feeling better and later got me to watch this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, that right there is true love. I’ve got to battle on for two more days and hoping that I do not fall any further, a horrid thought that is not allowing the wanting of sleep although I am complete in the knowledge sleep or none it will happen anyway. I shall give an update soon.

James

Detox

As well as catching a nasty flu like illness I’m about to embark on a 6 day lowering of my current anti-depressants, before being put on a brand new regime of drugs to level my head out.

My current medication has stopped working sadly the last couple of months I have been in a ‘Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ type mood, one day being on top of the world and another lower than a one legged cockroach and with all this recently going on I have been on the edge of doing something very, very stupid.

Unfortunately I have met those who have lost friends and family through suicide, after hearing and reading their stories I believe it is the only reason I could not take the final step in letting the cold blade slice up my arm, jump on the tracks or leap into the water feet first hoping they will get caught in the thick layer of silt, however as you might get the gist of the above, I have been in a position where I did contemplate them all.

The thing is when you are at the abyss you cannot see what is around you, you don’t think of family, friends, the pets or children but you do see the stress, the bills, you feel alone and think that the four walls you live in as jail house bars… I wouldn’t recommend that feeling to anyone.

I’m scared of what the next six days hold for me, however I’m ready to hold firm and allow myself to get on the new medication, my wife is a rock for me and I know she won’t allow me to do something stupid as she won’t allow to end the marriage that easily.

James.

When the smile fell…

My dad always said that he remembers when I used to smile all the time, it’s sad to see that he doesn’t think that I do anymore. I remember when the depression took hold in my head vividly, it was not like the signs weren’t there that I was going to take a turn for the worst and actually it was not until a long time after that I was actually diagnosed but that part is for a different blog. No names are mentioned in this blog as to protect identities.

After senior school I went to college and made some great friends those years were brilliant I’m happy to say that 11 years later I still have people from college who I still consider best friends who I would do anything for if they ask me too, even if it’s at short notice. However I will admit it was the same college where my spirit was finally broken it’s horribly vivid I think the lead up didn’t help.

I’ll go back a little, after a few short relationships that didn’t really go so well I met someone at work and the relationship grew serious quite quickly, we got engaged and I eventually moved in with her… that proved to be the worst decision of my life. The relationship was nothing but a series of arguments we often ended up sleeping in different rooms, I worked part time and studied full time along with the relationship I found the balancing act was getting increasingly difficult. I was on the phone with my dad he said something that echoed with my feelings and decided that I’d take his advice, I ended the relationship all together.

The brake up with my ex was not clear cut, I moved permanently into the spare room until a suitable person could take my place. The whole time it was awkward thankfully due to working and acting having to be out all the time helped a lot but stress was building all the time; I was about to take a tour of a couple of Sarah Kane plays 4:48 Psychosis and Crave, I had a monologue in Crave and for the life of me all that was going on I could not memorise the bloody thing this lead to me letting down the cast and I was, rightly so, berated.

I came home two days after the brake up I found that my ex had gotten with a guy, she assured me that they wouldn’t get up to anything that might get me upset, I stupidly believed her and went to work. It wasn’t going well at work I moved from a super store to a smaller store, and my new managers didn’t like me at the new place. I needed some breathing space but didn’t want to take the piss so after a month of working there including over time I asked them if I could take some time off citing that for the six years I worked for this particular company I had only had one two week holiday, I hated the smirk that came across the department managers face she went into her managers office (I later found out they were very good friends) and then both managers called me in and told me off for even contemplating taking time off.

I found myself in a situation where I had nowhere to turn, I was working in a shop where my managers liked watching me jump through hoops, I felt like my performing arts company was annoyed and hated me, I was stuck in a house where the girl that I loved was banging another bloke in my double bed and I had nowhere to go. I skipped work I couldn’t deal with it, I decided that enough was enough and the ex’s new bloke could take over my contract as he was basically living in the house and shagging her in my bed, I called the parents and told them to pick me, the bed and all my things up the whole house ended up with a long night of arguing but it had to happen, this leads up to the moment I broke and my smile ended.

I was becoming more and more distant, my parent’s patience with me was wearing thin and for myself adjusting to sleeping alone was difficult. My sleeping pattern was erratic so had taken to drinking in pubs and catching a taxi home with enough booze in my system to make the room spin when my head hit the pillow. Eventually I was able to get myself somewhat straight and got back on my feet. I went back into education on the regular but in class I had a few jibes thrown my way, I don’t know why but in that moment, all of a sudden, my face dropped that lump came into my throat and all the bad thoughts filled my head, I didn’t realise it at the time but I had my first full blown anxiety ridden panic attack, I couldn’t do it anymore.

I excused myself from the room I found one of my tutors by the theatre I had tears running down my face I lit a cigarette and told her that I was leaving the course and the college, to her credit she did try and talk me around but I felt like I was not liked by anyone anymore and that the time had run out. It was one of the lowest points but maybe the thing I needed most as a few weeks later I moved to Hampshire to start the new part of my life.

It took a while to start smiling again, but I did and that will be in my next blog.

James Hoddy

Well here goes

Sometimes I wake up and it’s one of those good days the ones where nothing can get you down, the second I put my feet on the floor positive and lively, I do all the house chores, walk the dogs, open all my letters and ring people if I need too, I then I go to work a huge smile on my face but then something happens, I get side swiped like a truck hitting my chest at a million miles per hour and then I just go quiet and then things spiral.

If cannot get over it quickly my decent escalates as I overanalyse what happened over and over, I then distribute blame on myself for the whole situation, start to feel guilty and then start to hate myself more and more. When I hate myself I then start to ask myself how everyone I love could possibly like me I just cannot stop those thoughts… all this starts me having a panic attack until eventually I throw myself under the duvet and the lights go off & I just cannot communicate with anyone.

Panic attacks have been the bane of my recent existence when it happens I tend to sleep a lot as I do not want to be in the realm of the living because I think they do not want me to be there, it’s when I’m at my worst I really truly believe that everyone hates me, my wife, my mother, father, my close family, my work colleagues I honestly don’t know why my brain ascertains that is the right emotion to go to, I guess if anything it is because I have a low self-esteem that makes even looking in the mirror a chore.

Why am I sharing this? I have no doubt that people will make it their job to make me feel worse but I will not let it get me too down because I’m writing this to the one person who reads my words and thinks ‘I’m not alone’ because you are not alone, I know it hurts inside and it is like you are constantly fighting a battle and often you lose but the war is not over, take the drugs, look for the positives and hug a loved one and once in a while you will have a good day.

James Hoddy.