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About Mr_Turtle

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    Knitting, reading, science, cute animals.

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  1. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this at such a young age. That's awful. I think with death and other traumas it's normal to swing between what you 'should' feel (very sad) and a kind of hysterical energy. This happened to me and a friend, when one of our mutual friends died - one minute we were sobbing, one minute we were laughing so hard, and then just numb for a while. A horrible rollercoaster. Maybe try not to make any major decisions before your emotions and judgement have stabilised a bit. It might take several weeks, or months. Just try to eat and sleep as normally as you can, and keep talking to the people around you. One of my friends lost her parents unexpectedly at the same age as you. Her grief has gone through many different phases over time, and occasionally it still surfaces at unexpected moments. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be fine too soon, especially for the sake of those around you. Take your time.
  2. I bought an actual rocking chair last week for my house. Sooooo gooooood. And I've decided it counts as low-level exercise too. If you rock vigorously for an hour or two while watching Netflix you do feel a noticeable mild endorphin buzz, like yoga. Rocking chairs for all - on prescription!
  3. Last year I lost my job when my employer refused to make the most basic of reasonable adjustments. I've spent the past few months recovering and I've finally got effective medication and an interview for a job I want. Or rather, I *think* I want it but my body might be telling me otherwise. Hopefully writing it down will help clarify. I don't know whether I'm ready to pick up something full time yet. I'm having trouble getting out of bed in the morning and getting on with doing things, but I can't tell whether it's because I'm still recovering or whether I just got into a really bad pattern of being lazy. When I changed medication I had a lot more oomph (possibly a little too much...) but it's kind of dropped off. It's stirring up a lot of more general feelings about my life, none of which are particularly positive. Going back to work is both a sign of my 'rest period' being over and admitting that I've (yet again) had to adjust my career expectations downwards. Sort of the worst of both worlds. I've been living in a cosy little bubble of writing my novel and playing with the pets, and it's a wrench to admit that 3 months have gone by. I've been enjoying my warm bathwater life and felt psychologically healthier than I have in about 12 years. I'm terrified of giving that up when I don't know what the next chapter of my life is going to look like. I know I have to move on at some point, but I don't know whether the best point is now or in 3/6/9 months. I have no sense of being able to trust my gut instinct either, because I've always pushed myself until I could barely stand before I had the sense to stop. Pros: It's an achievable job for an employer I like the sound of, in a location with a doable commute. I have felt like I wanted more routine as I've improved on this new medication (albeit it has only been a few weeks). It's only a 12-month contract, so it would have to be REALLY bad for me to have to quit before the end. It represents me rejoining the real world and being a real person on paper. There's nothing I specifically want to do instead (apart from slob around and write my book). If I do well then it might open up some doors for me in this area. I have felt nervous like this before and it turned out well, and I drew energy from having more routine. Cons: The problems I'm having with day-to-day activities are still pretty significant and might just need more time to settle down. My body is actively trying to stop me from preparing, which could be general fear or a genuine gut instinct. I feel deep-down upset by it. If I mess it up then that's another bridge burned, and I'm scraping the barrel as it is. I've already started to build up my confidence with an occasional part-time job, and that got easier after the third shift. Usually when I write out the pros and cons I can intuitively feel which side I gravitate towards. Right now that isn't happening and I don't know what that means. It doesn't affect what I'm going to do in practical terms at all - I'm still going to do the best interview I can (given my feeble level of preparation) and see what happens. But I think this is something where it's beneficial to have a handle on how I feel about it. My ideal scenario would be to get offered the job, but not start until the end of March/April. That would be best all round. I would have time to mentally adjust to the new situation and do some prep to smooth out the change, but not be limbo too long. So...overall I think my gut feeling is that I'm not ready yet. That doesn't mean I can't do it, but I think I would benefit from at least another month of recovery before I start doing full time working plus a commute. That would give me time to go up to 60mg Cymbalta and get everything sorted out with my house, and visit some relatives. If they offer me the job then I'll suggest a start date of 20/27 Feb, then they'll probably bargain me down to 13/20 and we're both happy. And after picking through ALL of that, I've just realised the logical fallacy I was unconsciously committing. I had mentally pre-compromised, and was picturing being forced to start next week because I'm worthless and should be grateful for being offered anything that I should anticipate and meet all of their demands, and then eviscerate myself some more just in case. I don't have to start next week. If they're desperate I can choose to start as soon as I like, but they would be unreasonable to demand for it to be less than 4 weeks. I will simply say "I'm having some repairs done on my new house, so it would be better for me to start towards the end of feb". I'm also scared of them phoning me while I'm on my way home. I can switch my phone off and say I had no signal on the train, and the message didn't come through until later. That won't upset anyone and it doesn't make me a bad person. It's a neat and smart way to work around my anxiety without inconveniencing anyone.
  4. I can totally relate to this! I'm currently still too messed up to consider a proper relationship, but some sex would be great. Trouble is, I've never had the confidence to pick up randos and I'm terrified of being alone with someone because of what my exes did to me. I'm currently toying with the idea of just going to some swingers club and getting it over with, but not sure if that's weird or not. I feel like it's ok but it would be super awkward if there was no-one there I liked the look of :). And I also made it awkward with an old friend I'd had a crush on forever last summer. We were dancing and then he leaned in...and I had a massive panic attack and had to go and hide, and it's been weird ever since. Not sure if we're even still friends and I don't like to ask. It's horrible to feel like such a weirdo. I'm in my 30s, so I think this is something that probably doesn't get better with age. It sounds like you're doing the best you can given the circumstances, so please don't be too hard on yourself. Maybe this was a necessary stepping stone and next time you're in bed with someone it'll go much more smoothly because you had this 'practice'? If he's getting awkward about sex stuff, do you think it would work if you texted him something a bit jokey like 'hey friend let's meet up and go to the cinema...and this time I promise I won't put the moves on you"?
  5. Hi nervousbat, thanks for commenting. I would strongly disagree with you about it counting as abuse, and I definitely want to keep her in my life. I think it falls within the usual level of dysfunction you get in a lot of families, and we all contributed to creating this dynamic. But you're right that I need to stand up for myself more! There are quite a few people in my life who expect me to accept their selfish/thoughtless/mean behaviour towards me and I'm making some good progress (albeit slowly) in changing that dynamic. It's just such a difficult pattern to break once it's really established. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. What a horrible thing for her to say over something so trivial! Totally unacceptable. Have you spoken to any of them since?
  6. I've had something similar a few times. At first it would be a creepy, wired feeling in the late evening. Then it would develop into being convinced there was a malicious presence in the room/house with me. Then a few times it has gotten really bad and I can see monsters in the room with me, and if I close my eyes I can still terrifying visions and hear loud crashes. It would keep me awake until 5am and then once it was light I might be able to sleep for 2-3 hours, or sometimes nap a little during the day. The sleep deprivation was a vicious cycle and after a couple of months I was in a real mess and never really felt fully awake or asleep - it was horrible! I couldn't eat because it was so stressful and the doctor thought I had an ulcer (but it wasn't confirmed by endoscopy). If it's still happening in a couple of weeks then definitely get your doctor involved, before the sleep deprivation gets worse. But I've had a few times where it's cleared up by itself with a bit of self-care after about 4 days, so you might be lucky. These things helped me: - Sleeping tablets (amitriptyline). I was like a zombie the next day, but when it got to the point of needing sleep at any cost (after several months) they were fantastic. - Listening to music or watching TV while I fell asleep, to give my mind something to be distracted by. - Sleeping in a different house, with more people around. Especially sleeping in the same room/bed as someone else. - Talking or singing to the presence, to pacify it. Last time this happened to me (relatively mildly) I couldn't go up the stairs to bed because the presence wouldn't let me use the stairs, but when I sang for it and included it in what I was doing it chilled out just enough that I managed to sneak up. I had to keep the lights on all night which wasn't ideal, but I did manage to get some sleep. Except for when it burst into the room at 4am and scared the bejeezus out of me.
  7. Anything that makes me feel clean (shower, deodorant, change clothes, even just chewing gum helps). Hot drinks and warm clothes. Doing something nice for someone else. Hugging the cats. Going for a walk, especially if it's a cold day. Putting on makeup, perfume and jewellery. Food and beer.
  8. - Stuck a sewing pin right into my arm and cut open part of my leg (separate occasions) because I 'wanted to see what was in there'. - Spent a lot of time crying uncontrollably behind pieces of equipment at work, for serious legitimate reasons such as 'there are no spiders in this country and that's weird', or 'I can't tell whether the guy I'm supervising is really Anakin Skywalker but I don't feel like I can ask him to check', or 'they're trying to poison me again'. For the record, there were so spiders in that country, he wasn't, and I was having a bad reaction to green tea. - Made a freakshow of myself on a work trip. I thought I was a monster so I ran about roaring at people, then randomly ran off home. They laughed because they thought I was messing about, but I was completely out of control. - Had a long conversation with a fish in a French aquarium. It had some really important messages for me. - Spent a whole day whispering to this guy at work because I thought he was a hallucination, but he was actually there. I told him why I was whispering too, but he assumed it was a weird joke. - Got lost on my own road, with a map. Got very distressed about it and had to sit down for 15 minutes. Got lost in various other places I went every day. Then went somewhere new abroad and decided not to take a map because I was 'better than that' and just strode off in any old direction until I found what I was looking for (somehow it worked!). - Spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom at work because I needed time to think about my Important World-Changing Ideas and the book I was going to write about proof about life after death. And all the other world-changing books, there have been many. This happens even during weaker hypomania. - Tried to teach myself the cancan between 1am-3am every night for a fortnight and obsessively watched old cancan footage. Not sure how I didn't hurt myself, since I'm very uncoordinated. - Decided to climb a countryside hill by myself in the pitch dark at in a different country 2am without telling anyone where I was going. A man followed me so I hid behind a rock, doubled back and ran like the clappers until I was safely back in civilisation. I never told anyone about this because I'm ashamed of how much unnecessary danger I put myself in, but at the time I felt like I'd explode if I didn't do it and that I was somehow invincible. - All sorts of smaller incidents involving talking a lot of garbage, communing with nature, whipping some of my clothes off in public, being everyone's new best friend, dancing without music in odd places (supermarket/lab/fountains), and running around outside laughing with no shoes or jumper even in freezing rain because I was 'impervious to weather'. And still the doctor I saw before Christmas told me it was 'just anxiety'.
  9. I know these feelings very well. I still get days where my brain suddenly goes "hey did you know that actually everything's fine and no bad stuff ever happened to you?" and for a while it's really comforting to feel like that - it's a seductive lie. What helped me was 1) making a police report, 2) retelling the story again and again either to myself, on this forum, or to people I know, 3) cutting off all contact. You owe him nothing. He hasn't changed. As long as you're still on the hook he'll keep trying to drag you back into his mess of an existence. If you feel better when you help him out then it's your right to do so (for your own benefit, not his), but it doesn't sound like that is the case. I certainly wouldn't stay involved 'just in case' you feel regret after he dies. If you remember sexual stuff as part of the abuse then you remember it. It doesn't matter what kind of person he portrayed himself as or how much people around you try to trivialise the effects on your health/wellbeing - memories are memories. If he is STILL doing shit like exposing himself to you and passing it off as 'just looking at an insect bite, honest...' then that is beyond worrying. Seriously, that made my blood run cold that he did that and it gave you deja vu. Keep the kids away from him, for sure.
  10. I recently lost my job due to mental illness for the second time. I had high hopes for a career in scientific research but over the years I've had to lower my expectations again, and again, and again. Now I've hit the bottom and it's been a horrible shock to realise that I can't even get an entry-level job because now I'm over-qualified. I have no idea what I'm going to do in terms of career and that scares the pants off me. At the moment I'm working occasional shifts in a shop but it doesn't bring in any money. I tried working for myself and it went well for about two weeks before it epically failed - it was harder than working in a job. I was scared something like this might happen so I bought a house while I was still employed that has spare bedrooms. I took in two lodgers and they're paying my way at the moment. I'm actively applying for jobs at the moment so hopefully I'll be back in the game soon, since the current situation is far from ideal. Don't suppose you have a spare room that you could let out temporarily? When I started my last full-time job I wasn't doing so great in retrospect, but the process of moving house and starting a new job caused me so much anxiety that it sort of counteracted the depression and kept me afloat for a good few months. And then it all fell apart, but left me in a better position than I would have been otherwise. Not saying it's something to aim for necessarily, just that life takes some bizarre twists and turns. I also thought I was out of meds to try and was angry when they told me to try Cymbalta/duloxetine, since Effexor/venlafaxine and Zoloft/sertraline were terrible before. But it has really hit the nail on the head - I feel much better than I ever dared hope. Can't believe it. I know it's hard to stay optimistic when you're scared, but you really never know whether the next step is going to be the right one.
  11. If you feel that the part of you that wants to live is shrinking and you are disappointed you haven't been sent IP then that is medically urgent. I'm not kidding. If it's hard to get your head around that, try to visualise how you would react if a friend said those words. It would be a big deal, right? A week can feel like a very long time when you're not doing well. If you can't call you tdoc, can you text her and tell her what you've said here? Or someone else? What would happen if you told your boss that you can't attend these meetings because of important medical treatment you need to receive? Don't be a hero - you can say no! I know how it feels to be so desperate for the next appointment you could just explode, and then be disappointed when the appointment doesn't bring any relief. It sucks. I've spent most of this year getting messed about by my doctor(s) and when I rang the Samaritans the woman on the other end said basically 'wow your life super sucks, I can't do anything with this mess, thanks for calling now BYE!'. Nobody prepares you for that feeling. But sometimes telling someone all the worst stuff out loud is a step you need to take for your own mind to work through its stuff, even if they can't help. Hang in there, communicate openly with your tdoc/pdoc and support network, take care of yourself, and at some point things will start to ease off. Or they'll come to a head and you'll have to ask for more support. It won't always be this bad.
  12. There's a whole world of difference between needing every last scrap of energy to put up a facade of being well, and actually being well. If you've been clinging on by your fingernails for a long time then maybe you need a bit more breathing space before meds/therapy will have their full effect? Especially therapy. When my depression is really bad it tells me I'm just doing it for attention too, and I know other people who have felt that. The fact that you're timing your meals and washing to convince people that you're doing better than you truly are is pretty strong evidence that you're not 'just doing it for attention'. From what you've written, it sounds like you need attention right now. If someone I cared about felt like they wanted to die, I would want to know about it right away. I have friends who got that low but didn't tell me and I really, really wish they had said something. Your plan to move in with family and get a part-time job sounds really positive. I hope it works out and provides a bit of relief.
  13. I get nonsense chatter and sometimes unearthly music too, and if it's started happening a lot then it's a really useful early warning signal that I need to look after myself better. By itself I don't worry about it, but when it develops into recognisable words/sentences or I have the sense of who the voice belongs to then that means there's a problem. How are you feeling apart from the chatter? Mood-wise and in terms of anything like paranoia. Also I don't know whether this applies to you, but sometimes external noises (especially white noise stuff like bad weather or something flapping in the wind outside) can sometimes make the chatter worse for me. If you put some music on, does that help at all? Just an idea. I'm feeling well at the moment but still I had to change which YouTube rain sounds tape I was listening to because the one I had chosen was producing 'evil' nonsense chatter and it was scaring me so much I couldn't sleep
  14. None of these are strong enough to replace medication or fix an episode once it's properly taken hold, but I do find they are powerful for maintaining my mood once I've achieved a bit of equilibrium. - White noise (usually rain), muscle relaxation exercises and vanilla body spray when I go to bed. Even if I'm totally wired and bordering on hypomanic the routine is enough to overcome the racing thoughts and trick me to sleep. - Hypnotherapy. I had already had very poor results from doing Youtube hypnotherapy tapes, but for whatever reason it worked AMAZINGLY well when I tried it in-person. It somehow switched all the bad stuff off and I was walking around for days in a lovely bubble of feeling normal and nice. It's about the same price as therapy and sometimes they send you an MP3 of the session to use at home. - Breaking my routine in some pleasant way. For example buying a food treat (exotic fruit/craft beer/fancy chocolate), or buying myself something nice from a thrift shop, or walking somewhere new during my lunch break to explore the local area. It seems to short-circuit downwards mood spirals, and is very useful on really bad days where realistically I don't have the energy to go running or socialise. Very occasionally I even grab a new book and read it alone in the pub because the change of physical and mental scenery has a resetting effect, although it's best to be careful around alcohol.