depression · ramble · self harm

Why i quit my job

This is an awkward topic of conversation, and one that i’ve been forced to have with several people over the past couple of weeks.
As anyone who follows my blog or social media knows, i recently left my job at Sainsbos for another Supervisor position at a different company. It was slightly better pay, slightly better hours and as i’d had trouble with one of my managers at Sainsbos, a new start.

My first week started off a bit wobbly – i wasn’t given much notice of my shifts and they got changed a couple of times and people turned out to be on holiday blah blah. It also turned out to be an entirely different job than i expected. I knew it was a 44 hour contract, meaning 9 hour days, but other staff in my role were doing 14 hour shifts 4 or 5 days a week! Every single colleague i met mentioned how hard management work and how many hours they put in (i add – for no overtime, as the role was salaried). With it being a much larger store than my previous one, i expected a larger management team. Shockingly, there were only 3 senior management (Store Manager, Assistant Manager and Supervisor) and 2 or 3 lower level managers (Lead Sales) with usually only 2 managers on overlapping shifts leading a team of 10-20 staff, compared to 1-2 managers leading a team of 1-5 at Sainsbos. Not to mention the staff did not seem to be allowed to do anything without authorization from a manager, not even till voids. It was a mentally and physically hard job that i thought i would cope with.

My second week, i injured my left foot. I eventually went to the walk in centre and then the minor injuries unit about it to find out that it was my poor choice of footwear that had led me to suffer from a strained arch that would heal with orthotic shoes or insoles.
Unfortunately i suffer from a severe case of “ahh it’ll be orate”, so i had most of my second week off work before seeing a professional about it.
A couple of days into my second week and the pain was still there, so i was forced to take more time off. Tom had booked this week off work to try and de-stress and was instead forced to endure my miserable company.
The next day i had a breakdown. Tom had been trying to get me to go into work that day, telling me what impact my actions would have if i continued to refuse (i could technically walk but it caused me a lot of pain and that job involved 8+ hours of constant walking). It escalated and the only other part i remember clearly is when he threatened to phone an ambulance because i refused to move and he thought i might’ve taken something.
One of my symptoms of whatever my problem is (i’ve suspected Borderline Personality Disorder for several months and Tom agrees) is that i have memory loss around situations where i feel a lot of emotion, especially ones where i am angry or upset. Unfortunately this means i can’t really give much more of an insight of what was said that night but i know it was the worst state i’d gotten myself into in a long time.

I’m not sure what week it was or if i went back in again after that – as i said, memory loss problems – but it got to a day where i was due in the next morning. I was sat thinking of reasons and excuses not to go in when i started to seriously consider “doing something”.
Vague, i know. It’s another difficult thing to talk about, despite me trying to be so open about mental health, but i’ve just always found it uncomfortable to say outloud that i was considering harming myself seriously enough to warrant medical attention.
This option had other benefits for me – i knew i needed to get professional help with my emotional issues and even though they would probably view it as the attention seeking behaviour it was, surely that would push things along a little quicker? Sure it would be taking a risk; they might not take it seriously or they could take it too seriously and try to section me, but that risk would’ve been worth it.

The fact that i was even considering this…just made me stop in my tracks.
I had two options at hand: do something potentially dangerous and serious in order to get out of work and grab the attention of the mental health services but in doing so possibly risk my life and hurt those around me, or quit my job and see a Doctor in the proper way.

Thankfully, “normal me” was in control at that moment and made the safer decision to leave of my own accord – which i was more than entitled to do as i had no notice period.
Everybody i’ve tried to explain it to, i’ve emphasised that i didn’t have another choice and that it wasn’t an actual decision. This is true in some respects. “Normal me” fortunately has enough self preservation left to realise that the other option wasn’t really an option at all, and that the effects of choosing that path would have been much worse than struggling with money for a month or two until i found another job that was less stressful and not a management role.
I don’t enjoy being unemployed. It’s boring and mildly depressing, but i have the years of experience, training and qualifications that i didn’t have last time i was unemployed, so i’m remaining positive that i’ll be able to find something fairly soon.

In the meantime, it’s giving me the freedom to try and chase the Doctor for a diagnosis and referral, as well as making it easier to get interviews for new jobs thanks to all my spare time.

I’m hoping i’m right in thinking i’ve made the right decision and that this proves to be exactly what i needed. So far i’ve felt less depressed and more focused on getting to a stable place in both work and mind. Fingers crossed this positivity continues!

L x

ramble

Doctors, work and mental health

Today i registered at the local Doctor. I have my initial assessment with the nurse next Tuesday to get weighed and my blood pressure taken etc.
I also couldn’t face work again, thanks to a mix of my foot giving me grief and my brain hating me.
I went to the minor injuries unit yesterday about my foot. It turns out my poor choice in footwear has damaged the arch and that’s why it’s causing me pain. I’m expecting my orthotic insoles to arrive today and hopefully solve that problem.

As for my brain, joining a GP in Sheffield is a step in the right direction. It’s likely to be a long, unpleasant journey and one that will be hard to walk.
For the past few months i’ve felt like i’ve only just been keeping a lid on everything. I’ve been desperately grasping at the normality in my life, trying to stop it from slipping between my fingers, but now it all seems to be getting away from me.

It’s hard to talk about it here. Well, anywhere really.
It’s even harder thinking of how to explain it to people who have never experienced it or known anyone who has. I think it’s easy for a lot of people to confuse the word ‘can’t’ with ‘won’t’.¬†Mental health is still brushed under the carpet a lot, or romanticised for being ‘beautifully tragic’ but as soon as it manifests in a way that stops someone from doing “what they’re supposed to do”, it suddenly “doesn’t exist” or that person is told to get over it/man up/toughen up. I very much wish i was making mine up, but it’s as real as anything.

To an outsider looking in, i was doing pretty well. I’d been a manager for a year and a half in 4 different stores (Sainsbos liked to move you around a lot). I was having a few issues mentally but when have i ever not? I don’t know what the catalyst was; maybe it was all the pressure from family and work and myself to succeed.

Somebody asked me recently if i was afraid of failure.
I told them possibly…everyone has some fear of failing, that’s only natural, but i don’t think my fear is more intense than anyone else’s.
They then asked if i was afraid of success.
I wasn’t sure how to answer that one.
Maybe i am afraid of success. There haven’t been many occasions where i’ve actually succeeded at things. Maybe i’m just incredibly good at self sabotaging (i think we know already that one’s true). Maybe it’s just time for me to go in a different direction with work and not beat myself up about it.

What i do know is that i need help, and another job.

L x

depression · obsessive compulsive disorder · ocd · ramble · rats · reflecting · self harm · twenties

Things i’m most afraid of

All of my life i’ve been afraid of something.
Mostly irrational fears, like being scared of the dark until i was around 19 and still feeling claustrophobic about it even now.
When i was between 10 and 12 my cousin played an online video game that i believe was in a room escape style while i watched out of the corner of my eye. I remember feeling anxious even though i wasn’t playing or watching properly. In the game, he passed an open door with a mirror angled slightly towards the character’s POV. A dark hooded figure swept past the mirror’s reflection and thus began my fear of mirrors for around 8-10 years.
My OCD happily latched onto this image, which is probably the reason it became such an intense phobia for me, and i used to have rituals if i needed to interact with a mirror in any way.

I’ve sort of grown out of some of my fears as i’ve gotten older. I say ‘sort of’ because i still feel some level of anxiety around them but nowhere near the extreme they used to be.
My fears and worries nowadays tend to be just as irrational for being unfounded but more appropriate for my life, desires and happiness.

A fear of being infertile/having fertility problems 

This one has plagued me for approx 3 years now. I guess it started with myself and a past partner being stupid with contraception. It certainly wasn’t ever a plan to have a baby that early in our relationship but my period still hadn’t returned since stopping the Depo-Provera injection a year previous, so i made an assumption that “it would all be okay”. I know that tends to be the famous last words for a large amount of people but oddly it wasn’t for us. Even after my period returned and we were still sloppy and irresponsible, we never had so much of a scare and my periods kept coming like clockwork. Fast forward to now and i’ve had one scare when it came a day late. I’m hoping i’m just really good at my method of natural birth control by closely tracking my fertile periods, but i’m stuck between not wanting a baby right now and being happy that i’ve not accidentally gotten pregnant, and being terrified that i can’t get pregnant in the first place.

A fear of my partner dying

I suppose this is one that most people have, although my fears easily turn into obsessions that take over my brain. Tom works away a lot and he always drives, so my main worry is that he gets in an accident. This is probably fueled by my experiences of being in 3 car accidents before i turned 16. Logically i know he’s a great driver and has a ton of experience but that does very little to soothe me. I can’t imagine how parents must feel about their children if this is the level of anxiety i can achieve from my healthy, grown up, highly-capable-of-surviving partner dying.

A fear of my mental health deteriorating or never improving

It’s becoming clear that i’ve reached the end of my ability to deal with my mental health alone. I haven’t visited a Dr about it since 2011 and my dealings with them were less than useful. Those close to me keep telling me to speak to a professional about things and it is something i know i need to do, but i’m still a little hesitant. It scares me to think that i might always be this way or worse. It has an effect on every aspect of my life including work and relationships with others. It already stops me from doing certain things and causes other people pain. I can’t remember how long exactly i’ve felt this way but i know it’s a really long time, at least 4 years. Obviously i’m not a Dr or any kind of healthcare professional, but i have my suspicions on what the diagnosis could be. That’s part of the reason i’m still debating whether to seek help or not – i don’t want to be diagnosed and immediately put on medication. Sadly the only way i’m able to get the treatment i want (DBT) is by going through the motions, starting with my GP…

A fear of being emotionally unavailable to my future children

This one is related to the above paragraph. When i have strong emotions or reactions to events, i enter a “zombie state” where i am unavailable, uncooperative and generally a bit of a bitch. I can also deteriorate into this state by either accidentally or purposefully isolating myself from others for a prolonged period of time (aka having a day off work with no plans when Tom is working or away). I feel very sorry that Tom has to deal with this version of me and he’s said before that it’s heartbreaking. It can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 hours and i find it nearly impossible to ‘snap out of it’ without external help (aka someone intervening).
We aren’t planning on starting a family just yet, as Tom keeps saying: “house first!”, but as it’s something in the not so distant future, it’s a creeping worry for me that i will still be emotionally unavailable. I’m sure lots of parents will tell me not to fret and that nothing could crush your love for your children etc. I wish i could fully believe them but you hear horrible stories of neglectful mothers and i know how horrible my brain can be sometimes. Take the rats for example: i love those sweet little puddings so much. They’re fantastic and playing with them always makes me feel better, especially when they give me kisses and run up to the cage to greet me. But i can’t always get that far. Some days i can’t even bear to look at them because having something that loves me try to get affection from me feels like glass through my heart. Then comes the guilt of not getting them out to play and the disgust at myself and self pity and it can easily spiral from there. I guess i can’t really compare my pet rats to a child, but it’s the only similar relationship i have to work from.

All in all, it’s fucking terrifying being an adult.

L x

ramble · self harm

I think i have BPD

It’s something that’s been swimming around in my mind for a few months now, after Tom asked me if i thought i had Bipolar Disorder. At the time i’d had a couple of bad months mental health-wise and so i looked it up. I quickly realised that no, that wasn’t it at all. My mood swings lasted minutes to hours, not days and weeks. Sure i had both mania and depressive states, ranging from jumping around the kitchen laughing or singing to hysterically crying and lashing out at loved ones, but i could flit back and forth, like somebody flicking a switch.
I ended up on a webpage listing the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder and, sorry to be generic, it was like a lightbulb came on.

For years i’ve spoken about how my alleged ‘depression’ feels like nothing. My natural state is to be emotionless, to have no strong opinions on the majority of things and generally be quite chilled. Some of my old friends used to joke that i was emotionless, especially as it was coupled with my dislike for being touched.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that it changed, i think it must’ve evolved over time.

As well as the mood swings, i get this intense, almost overwhelming anger over nothing. I overreact hugely to the weirdest and smallest of situations. I have episodes of disassociation where i can’t feel any of the bonds with the people i love and i don’t even recognise my own face. ¬†Sometimes i want everything now – to be married and have babies and everything that comes with it – and i think it’s because it gives us a tie that’s harder to break if Tom leaves. We have each other on an app that shows our location for safety reasons and whenever he’s away for work i obsessively stalk him because i’m terrified that he’s going to be killed or have an accident. I never have any money left at the end of the month because i frivel it all on stupid shit. I was a self harmer for years and spoke in my previous post about suicidal thoughts and actions like counting all the painkillers in the cupboards.

I tick all of the boxes – except for the fact that i’ve never let my anger explode outwardly.

I’m not one to self diagnose but this doesn’t seem like something i can ignore. I’m just not sure how to approach the Doctor about it.
Would it be better to be honest, or to just ask for a referral for a psychiatrist?

L x

 

depression · ramble · self harm

The pit (TW: suicidal thoughts)

I spent 2 hours last night looking at articles, reviews and advice online about how many co codomal tablets it would take to kill you. 

I took them out the cupboard and put them into piles of full sheets and half empty sheets. 

I forced myself to put them back in their box and into the cupboard instead of leaving them on the kitchen side like I wanted.

Last week I had a breakdown. Tom said it was heartbreaking. I said mean things. That’s pretty much all I can remember, besides the crying and incessant voice in my head telling me to smash my skull against the wall opposite because that was the only way it would shut it up. 

I didn’t.

Today started off okay. And now everyone is asleep and I’ll be awake until 4am again staring at the ceiling and wondering why is this so hard sometimes. 

It terrifies me that sometimes I want to die and it terrifies me even more that no one is ever going to let me. That I’m probably always going to have somebody stopping me and it always will stop me because the pain it would cause them is too much for me to even consider. I wish it would stop me thinking about it in the first place. But it doesn’t.

Tom wants me to “see a professional” hahaha. That worked out so well last time. They told me I wasn’t depressed, but that I did have anxiety issues and OCD. Apparently self harm and an overdose and recreational drugs aren’t enough to warrant a label so bold as depressed!

And so what if that happens again, what if I go to the psych and they tell me I’m perfectly normal because my fucking social anxiety portrays me as this lovely, polite, sane young lady who giggles all the time. What do I do, record myself when I disappear for 5 hours inside my head? FaceTime her when I’m hysterical because my boyfriend told me I didn’t need to accompany him to his Dr’s appointment because he’d only be 10 minutes??

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, I’m supposed to be over the moon happy and content and someone who potters about the house reading and playing games and occasionally tidying up and talking to people. Not this shell of a human who stares into space for 20 minutes but thinks it was 20 seconds and cries at least 3 times a day and constantly isolates herself.

Am I crazy? I ask myself that question a lot. I never really know the answer. Isn’t everyone a bit crazy? But surely some crazy’s are worse than others. 

All I know is that I’m in a deep black pit and I can’t find a way of pulling myself out.