The randomness that is My World

Appearances can be deceptive

This is a photo I took last week. Looks like autumn and it sounded like autumn. It is not, however, autumn.

I can smile to order when out and about – I am not, however, smiling inside.

Feelings can be hidden. Depression can be covered up for short periods of time.

A recent hashtag is “it’s okay to not be okay”, but often it doesn’t feel like that. Society is not good (on the whole) at acknowledging invisible or difficult to see problems and health conditions. Broken leg = oh, poor you! How did you do it? Can I help? Do you need any shopping? Depression = silence, often from the person who has it as well as the people they meet.

There is no typical day. I can accept an invitation or make plans for my children only to find that on the day I am completely unable to leave the house/have a shower/get dressed/drive/stay awake. Sometimes I will manage the activity/day out with the kids to be faced with a day in bed the following day. Not too bad if they’re at school, not good if it’s a Sunday.

If you see someone you know has an illness or condition, whatever it may be, do not assume that because you are greeted with a smile and that they are dressed that they are okay.

I wish that it really was okay to not be okay.

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Look up….

When I’m suffering really badly with anxiety and/or depression then I forget to look up.

If I spend any time out of the house (my safest of safe places but also, paradoxically, a reminder of my trigger) I look at my feet/the pavement/ the dog/the children’s heads (worked better when they were smaller), walls (definitely NOT any mirrors!), did I mention the pavement? It’s a tried and tested technique of not catching people’s eye and therefore avoids talking to people.

I’m really good at spotting litter and if the dog didn’t object to me dropping regularly would pick more up then the one piece each walk that I currently do.

Making the area better one piece at a time is a realistic aim for me.

But time spent looking up is marvellous! The trees – their differences and their similarities, the things they can reveal if you look properly . A beautiful building in a state of disrepair as an ageing star of screen and state might age. An old cottage being renovated lovingly and carefully one hand-carved stone at a time. Birds are beautiful and their songs uplifting (okay, not all their songs are great)

Local trees here are already showing signs of shortage of water. Their leaves are brittle, some are brown and beginning to look like early autumn.

If I’m in a city then looking up can be very rewarding. Old buildings often retain their original features past the first floor. Stained glass windows can often be glimpsed.

Just need to remember to look down occasionally so I don’t bump into people or walk through thoughtlessly left dog poo. Always, always pick it up!!!!!!

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“You’ve got the light to fight the shadows”

Sunday, quite often an easy day for me. I don’t cook a traditional Sunday Lunch, we don’t go out to visit educational places (I’m too tired), we don’t go for perfect family walks around our village. Today I let my two youngest go to support their friends at the local football tournament. I Read the rest of this entry »

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Lost it, whatever it is.

me and my shadow (and one of my therapies and one of my saviours ) had a long and lovely walk this morning. We pass a horse trough on this particular route (I try to vary the walks for both our sakes) so a very welcome drink was taken there and back.

The good this walk did me was completely undone by late afternoon. Various children plus the lodger tested my patience until the final straw that made me lose it was me noticing that the leftover silica used for putting in plant pots to help hydration had been tipped in the top of two pots.

A little thing – it only costs pence, no one was injured, no plants or animals harmed, no real damage done- but it was THIS that had me in tears and despair that I am bringing up deceitful children (no one admitted to it) with no respect for other people’s property.

Depression is so unpredictable, I am intelligent and I try to understand my illness but it doesn’t mean I can cure myself. I will (hopefully) learn more about how to cope with it, and have more and more days when it doesn’t affect my days, but at the moment, it still surprises me with it’s seemingly random timings.

I am on a high dose of venlafaxine, with diazepam for more anxious times and zopiclone for my sleepless nights. All regularly reviewed by my GP.

I am currently seeing a psych nurse for CBT through Mind which is helping a lot.

I have had regular therapy through Mind which helped and I hope to have more sessions in the future if funding allows.

Medication is not for everyone with depression in a similar way that mothers choose breast or bottle. What works for one isn’t definitely going to work for another.

Therapy can be right for all. If you don’t feel right with your therapist then request another one, via email or text if you can’t do it face to face, but please persevere as


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No such thing as a “standard dose of anti-depressants”

Met two friends for coffee today. I made these friends whilst I was on the ‘work programme’. One was also on the work programme and the other was our support worker/job coach (or some similar title).

I was placed on the work programme around two years ago when claiming ESA for depression and anxiety. I dreaded it – new place to find; new place to park; new building to navigate; new people to meet etc etc etc.

I was allocated an advisor who had no previous professional experience of poor mental health……(none of the advisors in my area had experience in this area. None.)

I was lucky.

My advisor listened. She listened to me and to others on the programme. She came up with her own ideas of how to help us. She researched, she talked. I repeat, she listened.

Jumping forward two years….I’m no longer on the work programme, neither is the friend I made while attending the programme. My previous advisor has left the service provider.

We have however, made an unlikely trio (I can’t help but think “when shall we three meet again” each time we part) that supports each other. NOT what the government pictured when instigating the programme I’m sure. My friend has just had her judgement from the fit for work interview. Some of the comments are astounding. The worst is that she is “on the standard dose of anti-depressants”.

There is no standard dose.

There is no standard anti-depressant even.

My friend is appealing, with help from kind hearted retired people who listen and care. And with support from her two fellow witches.

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Lovely walk this morning with my dog walking dog (i.e. Not my dog – the dog I walk four days a week). He’s been my therapy and saviour this year. Depression and anxiety (sometimes) take away a sense of self worth and usefulness, the dog doesn’t care how I feel about myself, he greets me with glee in a morning and never fails to lift my spirits. Added bonus of walking in the amazing countryside near his house, listening to the birds, seeing the occasional creature scurrying away and making me remember how much I loved to walk in my PD (pre depression) days. I now walk around 20 miles a week which compares very favourably to the hardly ever got out of the house weeks.

My depression may always be a daily struggle, but I’m winning at the moment more often than not.

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Short day for me today. I’ve been up for 12 hours and now I’m in bed. I have depression and anxiety. Medically diagnosed and on tablets and currently having CBT. It’s been over 10 years since my original diagnosis (my mum sent me to the doctor- I was pregnant – and I burst into tears as soon as my doctor asked me how she could help today). It still has the capacity to take me by surprise. A fairly good day really, mood wise. I have been up and dressed and useful.

But exhausted. Complete utter exhaustion, not to be mistaken for tiredness , this is ‘must go to lie down and sleep’. Unfortunately, it may turn into fully awake at 11pm and an inability to regain sleep.

Fingers crossed it doesn’t – ‘night all.

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Dancing Pigeons

Two pigeons on the top of a streetlight engaged in a dance. I don’t know if it’s the male or the female that dances, and to me, it isn’t important. The fact that they dance in courtship was lovely to see. I was in a traffic jam, running late (as is usual) between school and and after school club. The dancing pigeons made me smile.

Sometimes the simple things really do make a difference, even if only for a moment.

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